Extension educator empowers grower to achieve

Sometimes it’s the small successes, achieved one person or project at a time, that give the clearest examples of our value to the state. Betty Blase, District 7 coordinator, feels that Kent County Michigan State University Extension educator Carlos Garcia-Salazar’s work with one Sparta blueberry grower is an example of that value. The grower inherited a 3-acre U-pick blueberry farm neglected for many years. He had no idea how to raise blueberries much less run a successful business selling them. However, after three years of training and technical assistance from Carlos, this part-time business owner has seen his profits grow, increasing blueberry production and income from $1,000 in 2008 to $9,000 in 2010. This is just one great example of how MSUE continues to empower people to achieve success. Although one-one-one training isn’t our predominant approach to programming, in some situations it is needed to help equip clients with basic skills so they can benefit from our other education programs. Thanks to Carlos for his willingness to reach out in this way.

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