What do you do in your current role with the University of Missouri?
I am an extension educator in St. Louis County. I coordinate the St. Louis Master Gardener Program, Youth Master Gardener program, the St. Charles & St. Louis Master Gardener Virtual Speaker Series and offer a variety of horticulture classes for the Master Gardeners and the general public.
How long have you worked in this position?
I have held my current position since December 11, 2011.
What is your favorite part about the work you do?
The St. Louis Master Gardeners are a very special group that includes neurosurgeons, tattoo artists, chefs, community leaders, comedians, and people from just about every walk of life. I am very fortunate to work with the St. Louis Master Gardeners with such a diverse group of individuals willing to give their time to help create a better environment for others. I work with people who pay to take an intensive 18-week training course that involves learning Latin plant names and weekly quizzes just so that they can volunteer, and there is a waiting list every year. I consider myself very fortunate.
How are you helping MU A&E Extension reach our #2xAg2030 goal?
The St. Louis Master Gardeners promote sustainable horticulture practices from organic disease and pest control to soil health and cover crops. I have expanded the project sites to include several urban farms so that the Master Gardeners can help teach others about how to grow their own food while creating an environment that is healthy and safe for people, pets and wildlife.
What is something your CAFNR and MU Extension teammates may not know about you?
I talk a lot, and in my weekly update, I share a lot of my family experiences, so there is probably very little people don’t know about me. What I haven’t shared yet is that three of my children are moving back to St. Louis this summer. That means five of six will live in St. Louis. I am still on the fence as to whether or not this is a good thing.
What is your hometown, place of high school graduation and degrees/universities?
My hometown is St.Louis.