“Passionate about serving community and industry”: Jonas Asbill Joins Poultry Extension

Jonas Asbill in a field with goats

photo by Neelie Asbill

In December, Poultry Extension and the Prestage Department of Poultry Science wished Dan Campeau well as he retired from his position as an Area Specialized Agent (ASA) for poultry.

Of course, things have changed since then. Even in the midst of alternative work arrangements in response to COVID-19, we’re happy to welcome Jonas Asbill, who will fill that ASA position. He’s based out of the Randolph County Center in Asheboro.

Jonas is a North Carolina native and NC State alum. He also has deep experience working with poultry – no surprise for our newest poultry agent. But like Dan, Jonas hasn’t settled for just one kind of animal.

Get to know Jonas and find out what else keeps him busy.

What’s your favorite thing about NC?

I was born and raised here in the state and couldn’t imagine it any other way.

My family has been here for generations.

My family has been here for generations, and I love being a part of the same tract of land that my grandparents farmed and built a life on.

I enjoy that summers and winters are mild in comparison to other parts of our country and that by living in the Piedmont area, both the beach and the mountains are just a short drive away.

I also value being part of the South where neighbors lend a hand, life moves at a little slower pace, and faith and family are still staples in most people’s homes.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about NC State?

As a former student, I was familiar with much of the campus and many of the faculty. Although not surprising, it has been very encouraging to see how the university is committed to Extension across the state and so many other research projects and continued education.

Tell us about your position and focus.

I am passionate about serving my community and industry in a very noble profession that helps to provide safe, affordable protein to families at home and abroad.

I appreciate the opportunity to work with poultry lovers and producers alike in as many sizes, shapes and standards, as suits their individual fancies or finances.

I am thankful that what I do each day makes a difference to many and look forward to working with others in the industry and learning from their expertise.

What’s the most important thing for people to understand about what you do?

My desire is to serve. I believe that leaders are only as successful as their willingness to help others.

Sharing our knowledge and skills benefits us all. We must be appreciated for our strengths and join together to minimize our weaknesses.

By remaining open to the thoughts of others we grow not only as individuals, but as a unit as well.

What else should everyone know about you?

Jonas Asbill holding two broiler chickens
photo by Neelie Asbill

I have nearly 15 years of industry experience, working as a hatchery employee (5 mos), Broiler Flock Supervisor (5.5 yrs), New Housing Coordinator (3 yrs), Broiler Service Manager (4.5 yrs) and Growout Manager (15 mos).

I also have 3 years of experience as a contract broiler grower.

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?

As a Sunday School teacher at my church, I am working through Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis curriculum.

Any interesting or odd hobbies?

I’ve raised goats most of my life. I have had Nubian, Boers and Kikos through the years.

I am currently breeding Kiko bucks with dairy cross does for a herd of commercial does that exhibit some of the desirable characteristics of the Kiko breed (like parasite resistance and general hardiness) with heavy milk production from the dairy side.

You started just as COVID-19 changed how we do things – what’s that been like?

It’s definitely a struggle living in a virtual world when so much of our work (Extension) is about making contacts and building relationships. I am excited to have joined the team, but even more excited to get out into the public and meet people face-to-face. I do believe that it will be interesting to see what long-term effects are caused by this pandemic with the number of backyard enthusiasts on the rise as people look to produce their own eggs and poultry.