Although he didn't grow up on a farm, Josh Fuder has always been surrounded by agriculture.
"I grew up in the country and my mom kept a big garden ... I went to a small, rural school, so everyone I grew up with was a farm kid," he said.
Today, Fuder has a 2-acre property with 30 mature fruit trees, muscadines and a 5,000-square-foot garden. It wasn’t until college that Fuder realized his love for plants and the outdoors, along with his desire to help others. These two passions led him to join the Peace Corps, and they are what makes him an outstanding University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent.
As the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Cherokee County, Fuder works with home gardeners and commercial growers to help them have the most productive crops possible. His job allows him to help his community.
"I was drawn to the public outreach side of the job and the ability to help coordinate and collaborate on a wide variety of projects and programs," he said.
He said the best part about his job is getting to "learn something new every day."
The biggest challenge facing Cherokee County is its transition from a rural, agricultural area to a suburban one, according to Fuder.
"Extension is playing a critical role in working with teachers and schools on school garden projects, educational programming for the backyard gardener, and supporting producers in the nursery, livestock, landscape, market grower and even burgeoning wine sectors," he said.
Fuder thinks agriculture is the most exciting and promising field in our economy.
"I can't think of another area that incorporates the fields of biology, technology, climate, chemistry, engineering and economics, and the end result is a tangible product that every person depends on for their most basic needs," he said.
Visit the UGA Extension Cherokee County website for more information about local programs.
Published September 28, 2015
Joshua G Fuder
Agriculture & Natural Resources
"If I'm not at my desk, you can find me ... out in the county, meeting with a producer or one of our many partners discussing programs for the county."
- Josh Fuder, Cherokee County ANR Agent
B.S. Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from Oklahoma State University; M.S. International Studies from Oklahoma State University
Fuder worked as a Peace Corps volunteer on the small, island nation of Vanuatu, and has lived in Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.