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Cooperative extension welcomes new staff member

A childhood filled with pig raising and 4-H clubs has prepared Leigh Guth for a career with the Lincoln County Cooperative Extension.
“I came after this job,” said Guth, the new family consumer sciences agent. “It does a lot of things I believe.”
Guth, who has lived in Lincoln County for seven years, was formerly employed as the director of Salem Industry.
Since earning her master’s degree from American University, Guth has focused on jobs that deal with adult education.
Her ability to deal well with people is what earned Guth her new job. Her experience serving on the Extension’s advisory board also didn’t hurt.
Since Monday, she has been learning about her new position, which has been left vacant for over a year.
Guth’s main responsibility will be handling housing issues including indoor air quality, questions on home improvement and upkeep and home financing.
Her first workshop will most likely take place in the winter.
“I’ve got to get my feet on the ground,” said Guth.
Beyond issues of housing, Guth will also spend time educating people about local food production.
“We always seem to be running out of time when it comes to educating the public,” said Kevin Starr, county extension director.
With Guth now on board, Starr hopes to get the word out about the benefits of locally grown produce — it’s nutritious and delicious, and all its proceeds are pumped back into the county.
Promoting local produce is something that comes naturally to Guth. For one thing she is “one generation off the farm” and spent her youth competing in 4-H talent shows and hog shows.
For another, she’s a big fan of vegetables, so much so that when in a bad mood, she turns to vegetables.
Guth hypothesizes it has to do with a comfort factor from her childhood.
“It’s that mental picture of hearth and home,” she said.
With her job just beginning, Guth has training to look forward too. Even prior to completing it, however, she will be expected to answer questions from the public.
Questions on mold, mildew, indoor air quality and home finances will all be directed to Guth, who is perfectly happy to follow the “learn as you go” approach.
Starr is happy to no longer be directing such questions out of the county.
“We’re real excited to have Leigh,” he said. “She’s going to be a big help.”
For more information or to contact Guth call (704) 736-8461.
by Sarah Grano

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