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Erin Kimbrough, Program Coordinator for Battleground to Breaking Ground with AgriLife Extension and the Center on Disability & Development, felt it was her duty and responsibility to do more for others following the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the southeast region of Texas. Having a background in agriculture and animal science, as well as plenty of years of experience as a rancher herself, Erin  knew the damage that a hurricane of this magnitude could present – especially to the rural parts of Texas. She acted quickly, loading up her horse and trailer, and headed to the floods and decimated lands that Harvey left behind.

Travis Aaron and Trent Smith led the team. Freddy Leal is a friend that volunteered with Erin and rescued goats, cattle, horses, and other farm animals. Why was it so important to serve the rural community in this way? These animals are not only valued members of the families they belonged to – they are also the life source and very important to the economy of these rural areas.

Erin and the other volunteers went above and beyond to support communities that are often left out of conversations of restructuring and rebuilding – the rural communities. She understood the impact that her work would have on these areas and the families that live there due to her experience working with veterans and farmers and ranchers through her Battlegrounds to Breaking aground project with Texas A&M University.

Erin co-created with Makenzie McLaurin, and other state agency partners a Disaster Assistance Workshop that provided farmers/ranchers a one-stop-shop to provide them education on 18+ programs to help them recover from the damage of the hurricane. The first workshop we hosted, 90 farmers/ranchers were in attendance. The workshop has been replicated by USDA and AgriLife Extension in 38 counties to date.

Her colleagues and those she serves are grateful for her leadership and support that she provides to so many.

Erin Pilosi-Kimbrough
Program Coordinator
Agriculture Workshops for Military Veterans
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service