Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

New horticulturist hired at Extension office

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Aug 10, 2017
Photo by: NICOLE MAJOR/Ledger photo Taylor Sickels is heavily recruiting those interested in the Master Gardner program. She’s standing with a sign advertising the program.

Taylor Sickels is geared up about bringing positive changes to the Jefferson County ISU Extension and Outreach office in Fairfield.

Just three days on the job, and she already finding ways to recruit more prospective green thumbs into the September Master Gardners program.

Sickels said the first 10 prospective garners who sign up by Sept. 1, and don’t miss any classes, would get their entire $195 entry fee refunded at the completion of the course.

“In the Linn County Area in Cedar Rapids, I got a chance to see a really big Master Gardners program ... they were able to have a plant sale that brought in $30,000. My goal is to really expand the program here and really make it amazing!” she said.

A graduate of the University of Iowa, majoring in Spanish and communications, it wasn’t long before Siskel found her passion in growing food.

“Right out of college I worked as a FoodCorps service member, and I taught kids how to garden,” she said. “I just finished that at the end of July, and I moved right into this.”

Sickels, who is from the Quad Cities, worked with FoodCorps serving children with food insecurities, for one year.

“I’m really passionate about being outside and getting my hands in the dirt,” she said. “I enjoy teaching others how to eat and cook their veggies – that’s what drives me; and I especially like helping people in food insecure areas.”

Sickels, who now lives in Van Buren County, recently helped start a one-acre vegetable garden with her boyfriend, David’s, mother.

She enjoyed growing food and selling it at the farmers market.

Now, she’s ready to help anyone who needs it in Jefferson County.

For more information, contact Sickles at 472-4166.


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