UCCE's Maxwell Norton loves agriculture

Feb 14, 2011

The Merced Sun-Star today ran a front-page feature about UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Maxwell Norton and his passion for the agricultural industry in Merced County.

The article is part of a weekly Sun-Star series, Merced Matters, which features "ordinary people doing extraordinary things, extraordinary people doing ordinary things, and a lot in between."

Perhaps because Norton's profile appears on Valentine's Day, writer Carol Reiter made the article something of a love story. It says that Norton:

  • Loves agriculture
  • Loves science
  • Loves growers who farm the land in Merced
  • Wants others to love the Valley as much as he does

And one of the experts asked to comment on the farm advisor said, "I love working with him."

In addition to traditional farm advisor duties, Norton has taken on a number of tasks designed to support and promote the agricultural industry in Merced County.

He was the founding director of Central Valley Farmland Trust, which as of June 2010 completed 15 agricultural conservation easements and protected 2,745 acres of working farm and ranch land in the northern San Joaquin Valley.

Norton planned a Merced County "blossom trail," which allows residents to tour country roads and enjoy the orchards when they are in bloom.

In 2010 he joined with a group of local agriculturalists to prepare a series of recordings that visitors can listen to in their cars while driving the historic roadway that connects the valley floor to Yosemite National Park. MP3 files can be downloaded from the Country Ventures website.

The recordings including information on points of historical interest, types of agricultural crops being grown, signs of early Native American residents, wildlife and geological features.

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By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist