New County Extension Agent on the Job in Stephens County

Next week Erin Harper will complete her second month on the job as the new Stephens County Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent.

Harper comes to Stephens County from Illinois where she taught at the University of Illinois and spent four years as an extension agent. Harper grew up on a farm family in Central Illinois, got her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, and attended Colorado State University for grad school. She has also worked for the USDA Wildlife Service.

Harper started her job as agent in Stephens County on May 1st and says things are goin great. “In the beginning you are encouraged to get to know the county, people, Ag. producers, businesses, and organizations, and we have a lot of training to make sure we know how to take care of different turf, weeds, and plants. That is what I have been doing the last seven weeks and will continue to get to know people.”

Harper says she receives calls and questions about a variety of subjects. “A lot of people have been calling about tomatoes and generally they are watering them too much so that has been an issue. So where it is cooler and it is wet tomatoes get lots of diseases. When watering too much the roots don’t get into the soil as they need to. It is usually better to water less early in the season and then every 3 or 4 days the rest of the summer unless it is really dry, hot, and windy, and maybe water more then.”

Harper says when watering plants that it is also important to water around the soil of the plant and not the plant itself.

To contact Harper, call 706-779-5501 between 8 A.M.-5 P.M. Monday-Friday. The office is closed for lunch each day from 12 P.M.-1 P.M. You can also email erin.harper1@uga.edu.