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Friday, 23 March 2018 18:09

Former Auto Body Repairer to Take On Educator-Horticulture Role in NE

Written by Tammy Real-McKeighan, Fremont Tribune
Kathleen Cue, the new extension educator-horticulture in Dodge County, NE, stands in a lab in the Fremont office. Kathleen Cue, the new extension educator-horticulture in Dodge County, NE, stands in a lab in the Fremont office. Tammy Real-McKeighan, Fremont Tribune

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Cue earned her bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s of agriculture degree with a focus on horticulture and adult learning from Iowa State University in Ames.

 

She and her husband, Ken, have two adult children, Katie and Kaleb.

 

For the past 21 years, she’s worked as a horticulture assistant at Nebraska Extension in Douglas-Sarpy County.

 

Now, she’s an extension educator. She likes the job.

 

“The best thing about horticulture is that every day is different,” she said. “You don’t know if the client is going to come in and ask about their vegetable garden, or their tree or a wild flower they found in their garden. You get to see something different of what’s going on out there that people are growing.”

 

Her job as an extension educator is multi-faceted.

 

She can guide gardeners in taking steps to manage insects, disease and weeds in a way that doesn’t cause problems for the environment or people.

 

For instance, a gardener may want to pick two bugs off of a plant instead of treating it.

 

“Sometimes, you have 1,000 insects and you may need to go to the next step, which is insecticidal soap,” she said. “It’s finding out what can be effective at the low end of the IPM (Integrated Pest Management) spectrum and then working your way up to something more aggressive if the lower ones don’t work---ultimately contributing to plant success.

 

“If you have a plant that fails, that plant ends up in the landfill or the compost pile, so it’s really about contributing to plant success.”

 

Cue can help residents find local answers to insect and weed identification; tree and shrub insects and diseases; turf grass management and questions about growing vegetables and small fruit.


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