News release: Horticulture Coverage for the Northwest Extension Region

Tim Baker, MU Extension Horticulture Specialist
102 N. Main, Suite 1, Gallatin, MO 64640

Release Date: January 19, 2017
Headline: Horticulture Coverage for the Northwest Extension Region

A few years ago, MU Extension regions were reorganized into seven regions. Our Northwest Extension Region gained four new counties.  We now stretch from Marshall to Rock Port, and from St. Joseph to Princeton.

Sometime after that, we held meetings to discuss programmatic assignments with our stakeholders… i.e. what type of specialist should be assigned to each county? It was an interesting process, which resulted in some long term goals for adding new specialists when funding became available.

 One of those goals was to add a third Horticulture Specialist to our region.  I’m happy to say that this goal has been achieved, and we have a new horticulturist in Carroll County.

Kathi Mecham is the new Commercial Horticulture Specialist headquartered in Carrollton. She will be covering the counties in the south part of our region: Caldwell, Carroll, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray, and Saline Counties.

Kathi worked in extension for two years before joining the northwest region. She started in the east central region where she coordinated three Missouri Master Gardener chapters and a Missouri Master Naturalist chapter. She also assisted homeowners with lawn, garden and ornamental needs.

Kathi operated a landscape business in Springfield, MO before joining extension. She specialized in providing a creative and natural approach to the landscape. Kathi has a background in landscape design and maintenance, ornamentals, composting, container and small space gardening as well as gardening with children and native plantings.

Tom Fowler is the Horticulture Specialist headquartered in St. Joseph.  He covers the counties on the west side of our region: Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Clinton, Holt, and Nodaway Counties.

Tom has been with MU Extension for over 30 years.  He started in Iron County as an agriculturist, then moved to Platte County as a Horticulture Specialist.  He later took a Horticulture Specialist position in Buchanan County, where he is now headquartered.

Tom has a background working with both commercial, Master Gardeners, and home horticulture clients. His experience includes landscaping and grounds work with Northwest Missouri State University, and tree and shrub landscape design prior to joining Extension.

The third Horticulture Specialist is myself, Tim Baker.  I am headquartered in Gallatin, and serve the counties on the east side of our Northwest Region: Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Mercer, and Worth Counties.

I have been with MU Extension for over 24 years.  I started in the Missouri Bootheel working with the watermelon and peach growers there, as well as homeowners and Master Gardeners. In 2006, I moved to Daviess County, my present position.

My background in horticulture is varied. After finishing graduate school, I spent a few years working for the potato variety development program of the University of Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1992, I moved back to Missouri, my home state, to take on the Extension horticulture responsibilities in Southeast Missouri.

As you can see, the MU Northwest Extension Region is well-served for horticulture.  Give us a call for any of your horticultural questions or needs.  We’ll be glad to help!