MU agronomist Jim Jarman retires

Extension specialist served Callaway County

Jim Jarman, agronomy specialist with the Callaway County Extension Service, is presented a resolution Wednesday by Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, approvd by the Missouri General Assembly congratulating him on his retirement after 35 years of service.

Jim Jarman, agronomy specialist with the Callaway County Extension Service, is presented a resolution Wednesday by Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, approvd by the Missouri General Assembly congratulating him on his retirement after 35 years of service. Photo by Don Norfleet.

Callaway County’s diverse farmland was fertile territory for the talents of Jim Jarman, who retired Wednesday as the agronomy specialist with the University of Missouri Callaway County Extension Service.

About 100 Callaway County residents gathered Wednesday at the Callaway Electric Cooperative Community Center for a luncheon in Jarman’s honor sponsored by the Callaway County Extension Council.

“I enjoy working in Callaway County,” Jarman said, “because it has a wide mixture of farmland. Its cropland includes both upland and river bottomland. It also has pastures as well as woodlands. It’s a great mix of agriculture.”

Jarman said Callaway County, “is a tremendous county to serve as an agronomy specialist because it has farmers with a high level of expertise in agriculture. It’s been a challenge to meet their needs.”

One of the Callaway farmers attending the retirement tribute to Jarman was Clifford Borgelt, who has a farm 15 miles northwest of Fulton.

“I served on a Soil District Board with Jarman. When I needed information for my farm, Jim was very knowledgeable. If he encountered something he was not familiar with, he has the entire network of the University of Missouri to back him up. They could always come up with an answer,” Borgelt said. “If I had a question on crops, Jim always had the answer on what type of chemicals I needed, whether it was herbicides or insecticides. He is very helpful to Callaway County farmers.”

Umbra M. Duffy, who has been active in Callaway County civic projects for many years, also attended the retirement celebration.

“I have known Jim since he started work in Callaway County,” Duffy said.

She was active in the Consumer Family and Community Education programs offered by the Callaway County Extension Service.

Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, presented a lengthy framed resolution approved by the Missouri General Assembly. It praises Jarman for 35 years of service as an agronomy specialist. He spent the last 16 years serving Callaway County.

Jarman grew up on a farm in Lafayette County near Kansas City. He is a 1964 graduate of Higginsville High School. He has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture entomology and a master’s degree in entomology, both from the University of Missouri.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he enlisted in the Navy and served from 1969 to 1973, serving two tours in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He then returned to the university and earned a master’s degree.

Jarman served as a county agent in Arkansas from 1975 to 1978.

“I learned a lot about insects in cotton fields,” Jarman said.

He came back to Missouri and served in the University of Missouri Extension Service in St. Joseph from 1978 to 1983.

From there he returned to Columbia and served in the university’s integrated pest management program from 1983 to 1997.

In 1997 he started service in Callaway County as an extension service agronomy specialist and held that position almost 16 years before his retirement.

Jarman also had a regular column in the Fulton Sun relating to Callaway County agriculture.

In addition to working as an agronomy specialist, Jarman also volunteered to serve in agriculture emergency management specialist in Callaway County. He participated in numerous emergency drills.

“Emergency management is another important focus at the University of Missouri,” Jarman said.

During retirement, Jarman plans to pursue his hobbies. While in the Navy he became interested in aeronautics.

“I’m still an airplane buff,” Jarman said, “and I enjoy air shows. I also like to camp.”

Jarman and his wife Phyllis have two daughters, Christy and Michelle, and six grandchildren.

“During retirement,” Jarman said, “I plan to spend more time with my family. And, by the way, since I am a retired entomologist, I still plan to chase some bugs.”

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