Welcome from Kathy and Dave

photos of Kathy and DaveHello!  My name is Kathy Oliver and I am one of those rare native Floridians and a graduate of the University of Florida.  I have been a part-time Program Assistant with UF/IFAS Manatee County Extension Service since 2006, working with ornamental growers and the public to maintain production systems and home gardens using Integrated Pest Management (IPM).  Running my own certified organic herb nursery keeps me busy too.

Solving plant problems can involve quite a bit of detective work and specialized knowledge.  My particular interest is in scouting for insects and identifying them correctly – key first steps in IPM- as well as sustainable resource use.  Here at the Extension Service, we bring together information from many different areas of research, education and business.   With this blog I aim to pass along useful production info and keep you up-to-date on Extension events and other horticultural happenings. 

 Feel free to email me at koliver@ufl.edu if you have specific questions or needs.

My name is Dave Palmer. I’m the new the new Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent in Manatee County. I’ll be taking over both the commercial landscape position and the ornamental production positions. Both Peggy Dessaint and Sylvia Shives have retired.

I have 25+ years in horticulture, 12 as owner of a landscape maintenance business, 8 as the commercial horticulture agent in Hillsborough and several years working for retail garden centers and landscape maintenance companies.

I’m looking forward to working with the ornamental production industry in Manatee County. Down the road Kathy and I hope to put together a short survey for growers in the area. The survey will help us better understand the local industry and how we can best help you.

If you’d like to serve on our advisory committee, we’d love to have you. The plan is to have 2 meetings per year for 1 ½ hours each. To be most effective, we need the input of local growers.

I can be reached at dkp205@ufl.edu or at 941-722-4524 x 226.

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