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N.C. PSI Agent Network Expands

Eleven agents selected for the network serve as a bridge between the state's growers and the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative.

Group of nine people standing in a greenhouse

Eleven North Carolina Cooperative Extension agents have been selected to join the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative Extension Agent Network, serving as a bridge between the state’s growers and initiative researchers.

The Plant Sciences Initiative, with headquarters at NC State University, uses interdisciplinary research and collaboration with government, industry and academia to solve grand challenges in agriculture and the environment in North Carolina and beyond.

Agents in the network help farmers put science and technology to use on their farms to improve crop yields. They beta-test Plant Sciences Initiative-developed technologies in the field to accelerate seamless adoption on North Carolina farmers, participate in monthly meetings to discuss technologies and production needs in North Carolina and host technology outreach events in the counties they serve.

The newly selected members of the Extension Agent Network are part of three cohorts:

Precision Pest Ecology
With Anders Huseth

  • Adam Formella, agriculture agent, Currituck County.
  • Heather Schronce, area agriculture agent for field crops, Cleveland and Lincoln counties
  • Melissa Huffman, agriculture agent, Onslow County
  • Zach Parker, agriculture agent for field crops, Sampson County

Advanced Disease Diagnostics
With Qingshan Wei

  • Douglas Clement, agriculture, community development and horticulture agent and county Extension director, Cherokee County
  • Cody Craddock, agriculture and horticulture agent, Randolph County
  • Karen Blaedow, vegetable and small fruit agriculture agent, Henderson County
  • Joseph Aaron Moore, area small farms agent, Union County

Sensor Development for Stress
With Mike Kudenov

  • Sam Marshall, area specialized agent for ornamental nursery and greenhouse, Western Region, Haywood County
  • Brittany Pendleton, agriculture agent for field crops, Nash County
  • Cyndi Lauderdale, agriculture agent for commercial ornamental and consumer horticulture, Wilson County
North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission

The N.C. Plant Science Initiative gratefully acknowledges the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, which provided funding to expand the PSI Extension Agent Network.