Willie is the Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Educator for the Garrett County office of University of Maryland Extension. Willie grew up in nearby Preston County, WV on a dairy farm. Willie received his BS and MS degrees in Agriculture Education from West Virginia University. Willie taught high school agriculture at Hedgesville High School in West Virginia for 5 years. Willie then took a position with the University of Maryland, Institute of Applied Agriculture teaching in a newly formed two year Agriculture Program at Garrett College in McHenry, MD. Willie transferred to the University of Maryland Extension in 2004.
In Willie’s current position, he works with farmers in western Maryland with a focus on small farms, forage based livestock production and fruit and vegetable production. One area of specialty has been working with season extension using high tunnels and local marketing of fruits and vegetables. Willie helped create Garrett Growers Cooperative which is a producer cooperative that focuses on marketing local produce to restaurants and grocery stores in western Maryland. In his spare time, Willie and his family operate a 100 acre farm in Garrett County producing vegetables in high tunnels and raising beef cattle. Willie is married to Arlene and has two sons, Aaron and Levi. Aaron attends Frostburg State and Levi is at UMBC.
Willie’s role at Frostburg Grows has been to serve as a technical advisor for the construction and operation of the high tunnels. Willie continues to teach courses related to high tunnels and season extension.