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It is official!

January 2, 2019

Today was my official last day as an Extension employee. I turned in computers, keys and ID today.  It seems a bit surreal.  As I was working on my home office, I did find this letter tucked into a drawer: janet letter 1980.2

I got this letter a week or two after I interviewed for the position of county agriculture agent in Pulaski County as an urban horticulture agent–the first female full time agriculture agent and the first dedicated horticulture agent.  I got the job and started July 1, 1980 and the next 12 1/2 years I served as a horticulture agent in Pulaski County, achieving my MS degree in 1992 and moving to the state office that November to serve as the consumer horticulture agent and MG state coordinator for the next 26 years.  It has been a joyful ride with way more ups than downs.  I did a call in radio show on KARN for 28 years and have written columns for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for over 35 years, as well as columns for Arkansas Living and Arkansas Gardener magazines as well as numerous other publications including Arkansas Times, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening.  TV spots started the second month I was on the job and continued with various series from 4 Your Garden on KARK, to morning shows on KARK, to noon shows, taped spots from Garvan Gardens and for several years our own 30 minute Today’s Garden show on AETN.  A highlight of my career was the beginning and growth of the Arkansas Master Gardener program and the legacy it has given to this state.  From the beginning of 4 county programs participating with less than 40 participants to over 68 counties participating and 3400 volunteers supporting extension today, it is quite a force to be reckoned with.

I will write for this blog a few more times as the HIS (Horticulture Industry Show) is happening this week and I am in charge of one section–the Public Garden/Master Gardener section.  I traveled to Fayetteville today to beat any weather and be here for the high tunnel workshop tomorrow.  Officially the program starts Friday morning at the Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville and registration can be done at the door.

My replacement has not yet been named but whoever is, will do a fine job.  Then they can decide who will continue this blog.  I will continue to write for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, as well as Arkansas Living Magazine and Arkansas Gardener.  I will start a new blog, and will share the link once it is up and running.  I thank you all for allowing me to be a part of your gardening life and I have enjoyed sharing our gardening experiences together.  Happy Gardening!

Janet Carson

12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2019 9:45 pm

    What a ride you have had, I will miss you and your wisdom . To new beginnings!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. wbondscoxnet permalink
    January 2, 2019 9:56 pm

    Congratulations on your retirement! I will continue to read your articles in the paper and magazines, but will look forward to your new blog as I like to read about your personal experiences in gardening. Sincerely, Wilma Bonds Fayetteville

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Donna Bandy permalink
    January 2, 2019 10:12 pm

    Love and we will miss you! Enjoy the rest of your life! You have certainly earned it.

  4. David Kuh (Goofy) permalink
    January 3, 2019 3:52 am

    It has been great knowing and working with you the past ten years. Best wishes in your retirement. I hope to se you at some functions in the future. God speed and God Bless! Goofy!

  5. Karen Crockett permalink
    January 3, 2019 8:04 am

    Congratulations on a fantastic career, Janet! Enjoy the next phase of your life!

  6. Bonnie Hamlton permalink
    January 3, 2019 8:50 am

    Your run has been a pleasure for all Arkansas gardeners. My gardening passion was fueled by watching you on KARK and other TV shows. Thank you so much for everything. Have a wonderful retirement.

  7. Cindy Strauss permalink
    January 3, 2019 8:50 am

    As a Pulaski County Master Gardener, I thank you for your expertise and all you have done over the years. Most of all I thank you for getting the Master Gardener program started. It is one of the most fun things I do and have made so very many friends in the program.
    I wish you a very content and happy retirement.

  8. CC Cole permalink
    January 3, 2019 8:51 am

    so excited for you!

  9. Jeannette Straub permalink
    January 3, 2019 8:56 am

    Dear Janet, Thank you for all your wonderful service to the community. You helped me a a number of times over the years and I appreciated your expertise and cheerful help every time. Thank you! You will be missed! Sincerely, Jeannette Straub >

  10. Dale Webb permalink
    January 3, 2019 9:15 am

    What a great career! The Arkansas Master Gardener Program is a wonderful, lasting legacy. I’m glad to know that you will continue to write and share your wisdom. Congratulations.

  11. Lynda. Forsythe Settlemoir permalink
    January 3, 2019 11:44 pm

    Congratulations on all your wonderful accomplishments You broke so many barriers in your fabulous career I wish you well in your next phase of your life I will continue to watch for your printed word Such an a inspiration to so many gardeners thru out the years Your the best👏🏻

  12. Sharon Berdine permalink
    January 4, 2019 8:13 pm

    I love you, Janet, and have so enjoyed our journey with MGs for the last 20 years in Van Buren County. I am retiring too, but will miss our association with the organization and our dear friendship that will continue. Best of all things and travels, enjoy everyday with your family and faith. You are an inspiration to so many and it’s been a real joy in my life to enjoy your friendship.

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