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Extension announce position in Juniata

Horticulturist to be based in Penn State Extention JC office

MIFFLINTOWN – Citing a need due to rapid growth of commercial horticulture in the area, Penn State Extension announced on Tuesday the approval of hiring a full-time horticulture program assistant to be based at the Penn State Extension office in Juniata County.

During Tuesday’s weekly business meeting of the Juniata County Commissioners, Jeff Hackenberg, client relationship manager for Penn State Extension, said the individual hired will serve commercial horticulture needs in Juniata, Mifflin and Centre counties and will serve consumer horticulture needs, including the Master Gardener Program, in Juniata and Mifflin counties.

“This is fueled by such factors as growth in the Amish population, transition and diversification of Anabaptist dairy farms into high value horticultural crops, and the growth in the number of homesteaders and part-time farmers that are embracing direct-marketing opportunities in the corridor that runs from State College to Harrisburg,” Heckenberg explained. “This person will plan and deliver educational programming regarding food safety, pest management, pesticide training, and serve as the primary horticulture contact for this area. They’ll also provide assistance for the Master Gardener program in Juniata and Mifflin counties.”

Hackenberg said the creation of this position is tangible evidence of Penn State’s commitment to the county.

“Penn State Extension is grateful for the support we receive from Juniata County,” he said. “We hope you’ll see this news as evidence of our commitment to serving the people of Juniata County.”

Commissioner Alice Gray agreed, noting, “This is the best news we’ve heard from Penn State Extension in a long time.”

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:

¯ Approved an amendment to the cooperative agreement between the county and Port Royal Municipal Authority as it pertains to the Port Royal Third and Fourth Street pump station project. The amendment extends the initial agreement under the Community Development Block Grant contract from Sept. 20, 2017 to June 10, 2018.

¯ Ratified a Juniata County Hazardous Materials check in the amount of $1,798 to Juniata County for reimbursement of the Swift Reach program.

¯ Approved purchase of service agreements between Juniata County Children and Youth Services, Juniata County Probation and the following: Pathways Adolescent Center, and Bethany Christian Services of Central Pennsylvania.

¯ Approved payment of bills in the amount of $70,605.32.

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