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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 22, 2014

CONTACT: Michelle McGinnis, Field Services Section chief
NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division
919-733-2655

New NCDA&CS regional agronomist based at Mountain Research Station

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has hired Chris Leek as regional agronomist for Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Swain and Yancey counties. He is based at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville.

Regional agronomists are part of the Field Services Section of the department’s Agronomic Services Division. They provide advice on crop fertilization, nutrient management, lime needs, soil testing, plant tissue analysis, use of animal wastes and composts, nematode analysis, and testing of source water and nutrient solutions.

“We are pleased that Chris has accepted this opportunity,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “He has been a valued member of our research station staff for quite some time and is very familiar with mountain agriculture. He will be a knowledgeable resource for growers seeking to optimize crop nutrients or manage plant-parasitic nematodes.”

A lifelong resident of the North Carolina mountains, Leek holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He has extensive experience managing horticultural crops such as broccoli, lettuce, cucurbits, peppers, tomatoes and Christmas trees. In addition, he is the former owner and operator of Ashe County’s Double Branch Farm, which specialized in certified organic produce.

To arrange a consultation with Leek, call 828-507-8671 or send an email to richard.leek@ncagr.gov.

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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