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N.C. State honors ag extension's berry specialist

Karen Blaedow Karen Blaedow

Henderson County berry specialist Karen Blaedow has received a high honor from N.C. State University and is in the running for an even more prestigious one.
Blaedow is one of the recipients of the Award of Excellence — “the highest honor bestowed upon a nonfaculty member at N.C. State University,” Henderson County Agriculture Extension Service Director Terry Kelley told county commissioners last week. Each of the university’s colleges chose nominees for the award. In the College of Agriculture, just three recipients were from cooperative extension offices. Of 55 nominees across the university, 12 won University Awards, including Blaedow. She now goes on to compete for the Governor’s Award of Excellence.
“So we’re very proud of Karen,” Kelley said. “She does a great job working with our small fruit and vegetable growers. She’s really a skilled diagnostician. She’s very knowledgeable in her field. She is asked for help by many people outside of Henderson County because word got out she’s good.
“She gets a lot of calls and a lot of requests and she puts together a lot of meetings across the state with blackberries and raspberries and grapes and vegetables. She’s really a top-notch talent and we’re just so thankful to have her here in Henderson County.”
County Commission Chair Rebecca McCall also praised Blaedow. She noted that the small-fruit specialist is part of the county’s exemplary extension staff — “a secret that we don’t want to get out to anybody.”