09/13/12 — Extension horticulture agent named

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Extension horticulture agent named

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on September 13, 2012 1:46 PM

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Jessica Strickland

When Jessica Strickland first came to Wayne County, she was fresh out of college and ready to bring her passion for horticulture to the area through her position with the Cooperative Extension.

After a stint teaching agriculture education in Wayne and Duplin counties, she has returned to the Wayne Center once more as the county's horticulture agent where she hopes to build up close relationships with produce farmers in the field.

"I missed the connection," she said of her decision to return to the Extension. "I missed getting out and working with people and the variety -- doing different things."

Mrs. Strickland will work beneath Extension Director Kevin Johnson, handling the horticulture needs within the county, working with homeowners, landscapers and fruit, vegetable and flower growers.

She said she was attracted to Wayne County because of its juxtaposition of city life and farmland.

"It's what makes Wayne County great," she said. "It has a strong urban area and surrounding rural areas."

She is already working ahead of the area's signature agriculture showcase, too, as the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair is less than three weeks away. The fair will run Sept. 27 through Oct. 6 this year.

She's working with master gardeners to prepare their offerings at the fair and is also working on a program to begin training new master gardeners which will start in January.

She also aims to help gardeners by hosting a spring bulb planting session Oct. 25 at noon and at 6 p.m. For more information, contact the Extension office at 731-1525.

Mrs. Strickland and her husband, Matthew, reside in southern Wayne County.