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EXT employee Dennis Patton receiving award

Local lawn and garden expert wins national award

If you ask Dennis Patton, horticulture agent for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, whether he has a favorite movie he might just say, “The Seven Year Itch.” After all, it was exactly seven years ago when Patton won, for the first time, the National Association of County Agricultural Agents award as the top columnist in the nation.

Patton has now received his second communications award, presented to him at the NACAA’s annual meeting and professional development conference. The association, which includes the nation’s horticulture agents, honored Patton for his columns in The Kansas City Star’s special “GROW” sections that were published during the spring and fall seasons. To reach the national level, Patton had to win at both the state and regional level.

Patton has been an agent for K-State Research and Extension for nearly 36 years, having started out as the horticulture agent in McPherson County before moving to Johnson County in 1987. His passion for gardening was learned at his grandmother’s knee on their family farm in southcentral Kansas. But it is his devotion to customer service and extensive horticultural knowledge that has earned him a well-deserved reputation as the go-to lawn and garden expert for the KC metro, and, in some instances, across the country. Patton has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, quoted on the CBS Morning Show, and his columns often show up in newspapers around the country.

Photo caption: (l-r) Dennis Patton was presented the National Association of County Agricultural Agents communications award by Lance Walheim, national book author and garden expert for Bayer Advanced lawn and garden products.