By Patti Wilson Contributing Editor
If one wants to see what a good attitude looks like, search no further than Onelisa Arizola.
She is the event coordinator for the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management (KRIRM), located at Kingsville, Texas. Each year, the Institute hosts five to seven events on an array of topics. They include prescribed burns, cow-calf, equine and brush management. Once a year, they host a HOLT CAT Symposium on Excellence in Ranch Management on a timely topic. In addition, six graduate students keep busy earning their master’s degrees.
Arizola looks after event attendees, providing catering, hotel accommodations, class information, transportation and lab opportunities. She says, typically, attendees are age 30 to 50 and come from all over the United States. Some are even from other countries, since events are also held virtually, post-COVID.
“Agriculture never stops,” she says. “People are welcomed through technology online at each session, making lectureships as seamless as possible.”
Arizola credits her early involvement in 4-H and FFA with sparking her positive outlook. She was a Texas State 4-H Council first vice president and started showing lambs at the age of 3; her home was in the Deep South at Linn, Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, majoring in agricultural sciences and minoring in communication. Additionally, she’s had experience as an agricultural Extension agent prior to joining the KRIRM team. Arizola describes her co-workers as “family,” and going to work a real pleasure.
She married her high school sweetheart, whom she met a 4-H dance. Today, she and Jeremy, a law enforcement agent, share a 2-year-old daughter, Jolene. They love to go camping and hiking whenever possible so Jolene can “see the beauty of nature.”
Arizola’s plans for the future include “being a good role model for my daughter, so she can do anything she sets her mind to.”
Her final thought was, “Be a good human. There is so much hate going on. Treat your neighbors with respect and it will get you ahead in life.”