Carroll County Extension Agent Forst named state's Ag Agent of Year

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

BERRYVILLE -- Carroll County Extension Agent Randy Forst was transferred into the Carroll County office only eight months ago, but he has made quite an impression apparently, as he was named "Ag Agent of the Year" by the University of Arkansas Co-op Extension Office's Master Gardener Program.

The program operates in most of the 75 counties in Arkansas, and each has the opportunity to nominate a county agent who demonstrates excellence in several areas which include community development and involvement.

Janet Carson, horticulture specialist for UA Extension Service said, "Randy is an excellent role model for other agents. In the two counties that I have worked with him in, he brought new life to the programs. He is a tireless worker, and always has a pleasant attitude.

"Whether he is working with 4-H youth, Master Gardeners or farmers, he is engaged, enthusiastic and a great teacher. I was thrilled he was nominated by Carroll County as County Agent of the Year, and then went on to receive the statewide award at the Arkansas Master Gardener Conference in Monticello. Carroll County is lucky to have him."

Kelly Swafford spoke of the impact Forst had in Berryville's outdoor classroom with his assistance in launching the Junior Master Gardener program.

"Randy's guidance and experience has made the program a big success, in fact, it has been so popular, that next year's program will expand to two groups," Swafford said. "We couldn't have done it without him."

"Congratulations! We all rave about how great Randy Forst is," said Martha Wilson, president of St. Francis County Master Gardeners. "He came to work for the St. Francis County Extension Office in July of 2009 for his first job with extension.

"He has so much knowledge of plants and landscaping that he taught our master gardeners a lot. Our county nominated him for Agent of the Year in 2011, but he did not win. We are very pleased that he was chosen this year. He's among the very best we have and St Francis County will always consider him a part of our group."

Forst was thanked publicly along with the master gardeners of Carroll County at the most recent Green Forest City Council meeting. Forst designed the refurbishment of the city's public square which was just recently completed.

Forst said of the award, "I am very honored and grateful to the Carroll County Master Gardeners for the nomination. They have been a fantastic group to work with."

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