New Master Gardener Program Assistant Hired

Susan DeBlieck has joined the Horticulture Department’s staff working with the Extension Master Gardener team as the Master Gardener Program Assistant. Originally from the Twin Cities, Susan earned an undergraduate degree in community and regional planning (CRP) from ISU in 2007. DeBlieck earned a Master of Science in Sustainable Agriculture at ISU in 2009. As a graduate student, she organized workshops for farmers and ISU dining staff, starting Farm to ISU and the Midwest chapter of the Real Food Challenge.

Since completing her education, DeBlieck has cultivated her interest in local food. Following graduate school, she coordinated the Downeast Farm to School program on Mount Desert Island in Maine. She returned to Ames and started a teen gardening program and worked on a vegetable farm. Next, DeBlieck moved north to work for the University of Minnesota Extension on community food systems and served as the state lead for the National Farm to School Network. She provided technical assistance to local public health staff working on healthy eating initiatives in 14 counties and facilitated connections among 80 public health and community partners working on policy change to increase access to healthy foods. DeBlieck is glad to be on board to support and grow the Master Gardener program.