Joe Watson was born and raised near Albion, Nebraska and attended Albion High School. He graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1930, after which he served as Agricultural Instructor of Scribner until 1935 when he took the position as Cuming County Extension Agent. Mr. Watson is married and has two children, Bob and Madeline.
Joe R. Watson has provided the leadership and inspiration for an outstanding county 4-H program, with premium achievements in the livestock and citizenship areas. He has coached many outstanding 4-H livestock judging teams and guided many youths to the winners' circle in livestock shows. He has had a keen interest in livestock marketing problems, and always has placed strong emphasis on marketing in the county 4-H program.
Joe helped organize the Cuming County Livestock Feeders' Association and Livestock Tour. He was a key figure in securing a new beef dressing plant for Cuming County that helped bolster local agricultural economy.
Mr. Watson helped organize the Cuming County Public Power District; the Cuming County Rural Youth Group; the first county-wide noxious weed district in Nebraska; served as secretary of the Cuming County Dairy Breeders Association, and served on the legislative committee of the Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association.
Joe R. Watson received the USDA 30 year service award, Knights of AK-SAR-BEN Agricultural Achievement Award, citation from the American Hereford Association, was elected president of Nebraska Association of County Agricultural Agents in 1942, and was a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, and Epsilon Sigma Pi honoraries.
Joe Watson has been characterized by Extension Administrators as a "people's man" because of his devotion to the families of Cuming County and their welfare.