The University of Arizona (UA) has hired two Cooperative Extension agents for central Arizona.

Effective March 7, Shawna Loper will serve as a field crops agent based in the Pinal County Cooperative Extension office in Casa Grande. She will provide Extension support in Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties.

“I am confident that Shawna will be an excellent match for this position and a strong asset to the Cooperative Extension team,” said Rick Gibson, UA Pinal County Extension director.

Loper graduated from the University of Florida with a Master’s degree in soil and water sciences. Prior to accepting the UA position, Loper served as a soil conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Concord, Calif.

Ayman Mostafa will serve as an assistant area agent effective April 15, based at the Maricopa County Extension office in Phoenix. Mostafa will provide entomological programming and agronomic field crops applied research and outreach education programs for Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties.

Mostafa’s background includes post doctoral fellow work at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Center in Canada from 2007 to 2010. Mostafa held other positions in Canada in the areas of forage seed, cereal research, beekeeping and pollination, and insect control.