WESTMINSTER — Cows outnumber people in Tillamook County, Ore., which is fine with Stanley W. Fultz.
Fultz is packing up his expertise in dairy farming and taking it west to work as an agent for the Oregon State University Cooperative Extension Service.
Today is his last day as a Carroll County agent.
Fultz, 31, will work with dairy farmers in four northwestern Oregon counties. He and his wife, Debbie, and daughter, Emily, 3, will live in Tillamook, a town of 4,000 people 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 75 miles west of Portland.
He is looking forward to working solely with dairyfarmers, he said. In Carroll, he worked in a variety of programs, including crop production, farm management and pest control.
Tillamook County has 23,000 cows and 21,000 people, said John D. Faudskar, staff chairman of the OSU Extension Service.
Dairy farming is the largest agricultural pursuit in the area and is the biggest money-maker because the timber industry is down this year, he said.
Most of the milk produced in the area goes to a Tillamook cheese factory, Faudskar said.
Fultz, who will work with three other agents in the Tillamook office, replaces another Marylander, Jeanne Eickelberger, whohas been in the position about four years.
"We're real glad to get him," Faudskar said.
Fultz learned about the job opening while attending a conference of county agents in Seattle last September. It was the first time he and his wife, both raised in Pennsylvania, had been to the Northwest.
They liked the area, and Fultz went back for an interview in December. The day after the interview, Oregon instituted a hiring freeze. It wasn't until July that he knew he had the job.
Fultz said he and his wife are looking forward to living near the mountains and being able to go camping and hiking. The cost of living in Oregon also is cheaper than in Maryland, he said.
"It's beautiful, absolutely gorgeous. We like the outdoors," he said.
He said he wants to hike Mount St. Helens in Washington.
In addition to working in Tillamook County, he will work with farmers in Clatsop, Columbia and Washington counties.
Fultz came to Carroll to work asan extension agent six and a half years ago after obtaining a master's degree in dairy science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. He earned a bachelor's degree in animal production at Pennsylvania State University.
David L. Greene, interim county extension director in Carroll, said he'll miss Fultz's expertise and hard work.
"Stan's a very personable fellow. He's very easy to work with and for people to get to know. He's been a tremendous asset to the office," Greene said.
Until Fultz's position is filled, Roberta Weber, an agriculture science agent from Howard County, will work in Carroll every Wednesday, beginning Sept. 25. She has worked in Howard for four years and also was a dairy agent in Michigan.
"I'm looking forward to it. I really enjoy dairy work," she said.
Greene said he has received permission to fill Fultz's position despite the state government hiring freeze. He will advertise the job in a couple of weeks, he said.
Fultz said his parents and sister will help his family move 2,800 miles from Uniontown to their new housein Tillamook.