The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently announced the hiring of three new regional agronomists.

Growers can now seek agricultural advice from Georgia Love in Anson, Guilford, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond and Scotland counties; Chris Jernigan in Craven, Carteret, Greene, Jones, Lenoir and Pitt counties; and Amy Poirier in Cabarrus, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, Surry, Union and Yadkin counties.

Regional agronomists are part of the Field Services Section of the Agronomic Services Division. They are experts in 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’re fortunate to have these qualified professionals join our staff,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “They come to us with family-farm backgrounds, university training and extensive field experience. I’m sure they will be knowledgeable resources for growers seeking to optimize crop nutrients or manage plant-parasitic nematodes.”

Love, a native of Robeson County, is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and a master’s in crop science. She has advised Robeson County growers for nine years, first as a field crop agent with Cooperative Extension and then as an extension associate with N.C. State University. She currently resides in Rowland and can be reached at 910-690-0270.

Jernigan, a native of Greene County, earned his bachelor’s degree in Extension education at NCSU. Before joining the Agronomic Services Division, he worked at Caswell Research Farm and Cunningham Research Station, first as a research specialist and then as operations manager. He currently resides in Snow Hill and can be reached at 252-343-4760.

Poirier, a native of Rowan County, has a dairy farm background. She holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s in crop science from NCSU. She currently resides in Statesville and can be reached at 704-689-6853.

Visit http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/rahome.htm for additional information.