GATESVILLE — Unpacking boxes at his new office in Gatesville, Steven “Pasquale” Swaner will spend the holidays preparing to hit the ground running as Coryell County’s AgriLife extension agent for agriculture and natural resources.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in November tapped Swaner to succeed Lyle Zoeller, who left the Coryell County post for reassignment to Bell County.
Swaner, who has been the Falls County extension agent since 2003, won’t have much time to settle into the new job.
The Coryell County Fair runs Jan. 5-12, starting with the horse show and dairy goat show.
“I will be helping with the livestock projects,” Swaner said of his fair duties. “Julie (Gardner) and Shane (Martin) will line me out” on what to do.
Gardner, county extension agent for family and consumer services, and Martin, the county extension agent for 4-H and youth development, along with secretary Bridgette Alvarado make up the veteran Gatesville staff tasked with helping Swaner learn the ropes.
“We have a very strong extension office here,” Swaner said. “We also have a lot of volunteers to help. The community is very supportive of extension.”
Swaner has years of experience in cattle and forage, so he should feel at home in Coryell County.
He grew up in Waco on the family’s Brahman cattle ranch, Swaner Brahmans. As a third-generation rancher, Swaner raised and showed Brahman steers and heifers as well as lambs.
“Pasquale” is the nickname his Italian grandfather gave him the day he came home from the hospital as a newborn, he said. Friends and family have never called him anything else.
“If you call me Steven, I owe you money,” Swaner said. “I’ll just keep walking.”
Swaner graduated from La Vega High School in Waco, then earned two degrees in agriculture from Sam Houston State University — a bachelor of science in 1995 and a master of science in 1997.
From 1999-2002, Swaner served as county extension agent for natural resources in San Patricio County.
In 2003, he became county extension agent for agriculture in Falls County, where he served until November, when he was picked to come to Coryell County.
Swaner has judged cattle shows across the United States as well as in Central and South America and Thailand.