Friday, July 8, 2016

Jeffco Horticulture Staff Member Utley Takes on New Challenges by Jacki Paone

Horticulture Agent , Curtis Utley with Master Gardener Clinician, Allison Millich, present at the Joint Meeting of the Board of County Commissioners and CSU Extension Advisory Committee in June. County Manager, Ralph Schell, in the background.

Curtis Utley, a member of the CSU Extension Horticulture staff in Jefferson County since 2003, has been promoted to Extension Horticulture Agent.  With the promotion come additional challenges in Extension reporting, supervision, writing and program delivery.

Utley who has a background in pest management, diagnostics and plant pathology will assume additional responsibilities in food system programs.  His other duties remain essentially unchanged but with a broader emphasis on support for small farmers and backyard growers.  

“Curtis’ skills and knowledge will be more effectively used in his new role. This also acknowledges his leadership abilities and the strong program knowledge that has served Jefferson County residents well.  Curtis is sought out regionally and within the state by colleagues and green industry professionals.  I am pleased to be able to acknowledge his abilities through this promotion,” stated Jacki Paone, Director of the Extension office in Jefferson County.

Utley’s Extension career began in 2001 with an interim appointment in Adams County.  He has served in Jefferson County as a Research Associate and Program Associate, conducting plant diagnostics, integrated pest management, turf management and a variety of other horticulture related duties.  He teaches plant health care, conducts lawn checks, and trains Colorado Master Gardener clinicians to support the county’s Plant Diagnostic Laboratory. He attended Colorado State University where he received a Bachelors degree in Landscape Horticulture and Masters in Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management.  His Master’s thesis:  “The Biology of Geosmithia Morbida and Susceptibility of Walnut and Hickory Species to Thousand Cankers Disease.”

About the Horticulture Program in Jefferson County Extension
Jefferson County Extension provides resources and classes for residents to maintain their yard and gardens.  Resources and instruction available include the Colorado Master Gardener and certificate programs, plant diagnostic clinics, and Lawn Check evaluations.  Residents can find gardening help by sending their questions and photos to the Master Gardener e-mail, , or learn about gardening by visiting the demonstration and research gardens. For more information call 303.271.6620 or visit the Jefferson County Extension Horticultural programs webpage.
About Jefferson County ExtensionJefferson County Extension provides research-based information and innovative services that aid in developing youth, further the local production and consumption of healthy foods, and enhance plant life and natural resources.  Youth and adult programs are available that include 4-H Youth Development, Family & Consumer Sciences, Yard & Garden Horticulture, Native Plant Master, and Nutrition Education. For more information call 303.271.6620 or visit