Ron Patterson began his career with USU Extension in June of 2005. Over the course of the 11 ½ years that he’s been in the business, he’s accomplished a lot.
One of the first obstacles that Patterson tackled was working on research for ways to control Russian olive trees. He explains that Price has a very sensitive environment and that type of tree pushes out all of the native plants. This decreases the diversity in the area, which also affects the wildlife. One of the reasons that the Russian olive trees were encouraged in the area to begin with is that they are a very hearty tree and will tolerate salty soils. They also cut back on wind erosion. Patterson came up with ways that they can be controlled.
Water conservation is another serious issue that Patterson pushed quite hard. Utah is the second driest state in the nation and is on the dry side of the state. This means that we must be very conscientious of water use. Patterson has hired interns whose responsibility was to conduct water checks. He has also helped to educate people on how to use their irrigation wisely and still keep their yards in fine condition.
Patterson has also spearheaded a few different groups and programs. In 2007 he started a master gardening program as well as the farmers market that is hosted at the Price City Peace Gardens on the weekends in the summer. A crop school was also started by Patterson for farmers that is hosted every February. USU Extension also worked with Carbon Recreation during their summer program to do summer science camps as well as assisting in the 4H program.
With all of these accomplishments, Carbon County is sad to say goodbye to Patterson. He and his family are relocating over the mountain to be closer to their home state of Idaho. Patterson will continue to be employed by Utah State University and will do ultimately the same job in that area. Although someone has not been hired yet to replace Patterson in Carbon County, he stated that he will not have a hand in who is given the job.
“The community itself is a wonderful community. Its great diversity and really nice people. We’re not leaving because we don’t like Price; it’s really hard for us to leave that way,” Patterson stated.
When prompted to state what his favorite part of his job has been, Patterson found it difficult to land on one thing. He did state that he enjoys the diversity and the people. He is expected to begin work at his new position with Utah State University by Jan. 3.