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Meet the Extension horticulture team

Contributed by: Natalie Hoidal, University of Minnesota Extension
The University of Minnesota Extension has created four new positions in horticulture over the past two years. These educators work together to support fruit and vegetable producers in topics ranging from food safety to soil health to integrated pest management and more.  If your organization works directly with farmers, please help spread the word that these educators are available for technical assistance.

Extension educator, Annalisa Hultberg and farmer, Becca Carlson of Seeds Farm connect in the field.
Extension educator, Annalisa Hultberg and
farmer, Becca Carlson of Seeds Farm
connect in the field.
Annalisa Hultberg is a statewide Extension Educator focusing on on-farm food safety education, outreach and research related to Good Agricultural Practices, or GAPs, with fruit and vegetable producers around the state. She is the state lead for the trainings and education around the new federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule for fruit and vegetable farmers. She also enjoys helping farmers who need a GAP audit to sell to places like grocery stores, wholesale distributors, or school food service successfully understand third-party audits to meet these market requirements. She has an M.S. in Natural Resources Science and Management with a minor in Sustainable Agriculture from UMN, where her research focused on the barriers to distribution and integration of fresh produce into wholesale markets. She grew up in rural western Wisconsin, and is happy to get to spend time with and help support our state's great farm communities. She can be reached at hultb006@umn.edu.

Anne Sawyer is an Extension Educator for On-Farm Food Safety, helping Minnesota fruit and vegetable growers implement practices that reduce the risks of foodborne illnesses (such as Salmonella) in fresh produce. She works with growers of all sizes and needs, ranging from school gardens that are just learning about garden food safety to large commercial operations that need to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. Anne has a PhD in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota, an MS in Watershed Science from Colorado State University, and BA in Geology from Carleton College. Anne is also Master Gardener in Rice County, and she's been a market grower, selling produce and managing a small market in Dundas, Minnesota, where she lives with her husband, 2-year-old son, dog, lots of chickens, occasional pigs, and a big garden. She can be reached at sawye177@umn.edu.

Annie Klodd is one of two statewide Extension Educators for Fruit and Vegetable Production. Her focus areas are fruit crops and viticulture, but she is also involved in the SFA Asparagus Project and a pumpkin trial. She can be found speaking at workshops throughout the state or working individually with farmers via phone, email, and in-person visits. Annie has a M.S. in Horticulture from Penn State University and a B.S. in Biology from Grinnell College. She grew up on a vineyard in south-central Iowa, and has been active in the cold climate grape industry for two decades. Annie lives west of the Twin Cities with her husband and dog, and works out of the Farmington Regional Extension Center. She can be reached at kloddann@umn.edu.

Natalie Hoidal
is an Extension Educator for fruit and vegetable production, working primarily with vegetable growers of all sizes, including urban producers. She is available for phone, email, and in-person visits with vegetable farmers for consultation on all aspects of production, especially related to Integrated Pest Management. Natalie has an MS in agronomy from the University of Copenhagen and a BA in biology from the University of Minnesota, Morris. She has worked on small-scale diversified farms on four continents, and grew up on a cactus farm north of the Twin Cities. Natalie currently lives in St. Paul with her partner, cats, and chickens. She can be reached at hoida016@umn.edu.

The Extension commercial horticulture team is based at the Farmington Regional Extension Center - producers are always welcome to visit, but make sure to reach out first since we’re often out visiting farms. Other places you can find updates from the team include:

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