County commissioners Monday approved the hiring of Roy Stanford Jr., 36, as the new Orange County extension agent for agriculture and natural resources.

In that capacity, he will work with agriculture, natural resource, and 4-H and youth development programs, said Dale Fritz, district extension administrator.

“I’m excited about being here in Orange County,” Stanford said. “I look forward to working with commissioners and some of the other organizations.”

Stanford previously served as a research associate at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Vernon. He has a doctorate in plant pathology from Texas A&M, and two agriculture-related degrees from Stephen F. Austin State. A native of Liberty, Stanford will start on the job Sept. 8. His salary is set at $28,621, plus travel compensation.

His research includes work in College Station, where he developed an enhanced pecan disease screening program. He replaces Lance Little, who left to pursue other interests. As a youth, he competed in 4-H and FFA shows and served as treasurer of his local FFA chapter.

Looking at Stanford’s resume, which also includes missionary work in India and teaching time at Angelina College in Lufkin, Precinct 4 Commissioner Beamon Minton joked, “I know you don’t look it, but you’ve got to be 60 or 70 to have accomplished all these things.”

Also Monday, commissioners approved a move of public tax and foreclosure sales from the front steps of the county courthouse to the front steps of the sheriff’s office. The change takes effect in 90 days.

In other business, early voting times and locations were set for the Nov. 4 general election.

Early voting hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 20-25 and 27-31. The main early voting location is the Orange Public Library, and others are First Baptist Church of Mauriceville, the Bridge City Public Works Building and Vidor’s Raymond Gould Community Center.