PLATTSBURGH Amy Ivy, Cornell Cooperative Extensions executive director, is an expert on growing plants. Recently, she grew the part-time horticulturist position at CCE into a full-time position. As part-time CCE horticulturist Pat Macomber prepared to retire, Ivy petitioned Cornell to expand CCEs the horticulturist position. Her request was granted and she hired Anne Lenox Barlow, a native of Sayre, Pa. Barlow had her first experience working with Cooperative Extension as an undergraduate student at Penn State. As a graduate student at Syracuse University, she worked in the education department as a grant writer and program evaluator, honing skills that prepared her for her new position. Barlow relocated to the area four years ago when her husband accepted the position of band instructor at Beekmantown Middle School. She continued to work for the Syracuse Education Department from her home, adding part-time work for the Au Sable River Association and motherhood to her schedule. Her 2-year-old son, Mathew, and infant daughter, Elsa, kept her quite busy, and though working from home had some advantages, Anne hoped to return to work for Cooperative Extension if the opportunity presented itself. She wasted no time in applying when she saw the advertisement for the position in the paper. I have always been interested in a CCE job, Barlow said. I like combining education with what I like to do. I like plants, bugs and animals. Because there is not a natural resource position at CCE, I have to field all the environmental questions that come into the office, and that includes questions about insects and animals. Fifty percent of Barlows time is devoted to helping local market producers who produce for local farm stands and farmers markets. It is a goal of mine to improve our outreach to these market producers and help meet their needs, she said. This includes increasing awareness of the benefits of buying and consuming local produce. The other half of Annes time on the job is dedicated to home horticulture, the Master Gardener Program, the newsletter, Web page and newspaper articles and educational workshops. Barlow is currently recruiting new Master Gardeners who she will train this fall. Trainees take an in-depth course about protecting the environment, growing plants more effectively, and teaching, all in preparation to share their knowledge with others through various educational activities. They must commit to a minimum of 50 volunteer hours each year. Applications for the program are due in the CCE office by Friday, June 20. If you have an environmental question, a question about your lawn or garden, or would like to become a Master Gardener, give Barlow a call at 561-7450 or e-mail her at email@example.com.