Phil Woolery started the job on May 1st of this year and has, so far, been working to assess exactly what residents in the two counties need out of his services. Purdue Extension offices work to provide educational opportunities in each of Indiana’s counties.
He says he took the job through a passion for helping others.
“I think this position will help me in catering, not just in helping people with agricultural production, but also people with their home and lawn and garden questions too,” says Woolery.
Prior to accepting the position in Starke and Pulaski County, Woolery attended Iowa State and Purdue University, receiving a degree in Forestry. He used that experience to work at a nursery in Minnesota.
Though his specialty is in forestry, Woolery says he has experience in agriculture, agronomy, and plant nutrition.
He says he has a few goals for the position in the near future.
“Maybe look into helping individuals in Starke County if they want to start a community garden,” says Woolery. “Helping with the information and helping coordinate that.”
Woolery is working to attain certification as a Master Gardener. His reasoning behind a push for local gardening involves eventually being able to provide locally sourced meals to the area’s residents.
He says he will continue to meet with farmers and active gardeners to better assess what the community needs.