Kurz hired as new extension consumer horticulture specialist
By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture
(Newsrooms: With file art of Kurz at https://flic.kr/p/SoDXtY)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Berni Kurz, honored in Arkansas and nationally for his work as a county extension agent, has a new role to fill as consumer horticulture specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.
Kurz relocated from Fayetteville to the state extension headquarters in Little Rock to begin his new role on Feb. 1.
From his undergraduate years, horticulture has been a dominant theme for the Arkansas native, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture and a Master of Science degree in ornamental horticulture from the University of Arkansas. He accepted a position as a Garland County extension agent immediately after his college graduation, overseeing the horticulture and 4-H programs. In 1991, he moved to Crawford County, where he led the fledgling Master Gardener program established in 1988. In 2002, Kurz was promoted to Crawford County staff chair, where his duties grew to include the Landscape Maintenance Seminar and River Valley Lawn and Garden Show.
In 2004, Kurz became staff chair in Washington County, overseeing one of the state’s largest county Master Gardener groups.
He’s got plans for his new statewide duties, as well.
Among his objectives are to “update the many out-of-date consumer horticulture publications and create new ones to support the current research-based recommended principles and practices for all Arkansas home gardeners,” he said, adding that he plans to “initiate a process where Arkansas Master Gardeners will create a long-range vision to keep relevance to the program which also embraces the extension mission of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.”
Kurz also said he plans to develop relevant consumer horticulture information to help county agents when delivering their local programs.
“We are excited to have Berni join the Horticulture department,” said Wayne Mackay, head of the horticulture department for the Division of Agriculture and the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food and Life Sciences. “Berni brings many years of experience in consumer horticulture and the Master Gardener program and is a great addition to the horticulture program.”
Kurz is filling the position vacated by Janet Carson upon her retirement. Vic Ford, extension’s interim associate director-agriculture and natural resources for the Division of Agriculture, put it simply: “Good things are still going to happen.
“I am excited and pleased to have someone with Berni’s experience and dedication to continue Janet’s work in consumer horticulture,” he said. “My expectation is that under Berni’s leadership, that the Master Gardener program will continue to flourish.”
To learn more about Master Gardeners or gardening, contact your county extension office, or visit www.uaex.edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service