Special to Iredell Free News
Iredell County Cooperative Extension has hired Melinda Roberts as the new extension agent for agriculture-horticulture.
In this role, Roberts will provide leadership for horticulture programs in Iredell County for commercial businesses and consumers. Her responsibilities include delivering research-based information and educational opportunities in horticulture through demonstrations, workshops, demonstration gardens, on-site visits, and other educational programs. Additional duties consist of training and oversight of the Extension Master Gardener volunteer program and managing commercial pesticide education.
Roberts started in horticulture at an early age working on her family’s farm in Statesville. She received an associate degree in agriculture from Haywood Community College, a bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis in agriculture from Western Carolina University, and a master’s in plant ecophysiology from Appalachian State University. She is a certified organic specialist.
Her experience covers a wide range of horticultural activities– from Van Wingerden International, a large commercial grower in Asheville and Biltmore Gardens to Snow Creek Landscaping, serving over 200 residential accounts; and Buncombe County Cooperative Extension, where she served as the extension agent for small farms.
“We are excited to have Melinda join our team,” said Nancy Keith, Iredell County Extension director. “She brings extensive knowledge and firsthand, practical experience in horticulture that will benefit our programs and community.”
Roberts, her husband Mike and two children returned to Statesville to be close to family. They own River Sun Farms and Kindred Souls Flower Farm.
ABOUT N.C. COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
N.C. Cooperative Extension is a strategic partnership of NC State Extension, The Cooperative Extension Program at N.C. A&T State University, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), and local governments statewide.