UNH Cooperative Extension food and agriculture field specialist and University of New Hampshire alumna Amy Papineau has been selected as Cooperative Extension’s food and agriculture program team leader. In her new role, she will lead Cooperative Extension's food and agriculture staff and external partners as they develop and implement research-based educational programming for New Hampshire residents.
As a food and agriculture field specialist with Cooperative Extension since 2013, Papineau has supported the state’s agricultural and horticultural industries through one-on-one consultation and development of educational programing for growers, garden centers, landscapers, and other agricultural businesses and organizations. She became an integral member of the landscape and greenhouse horticulture team, the pesticide safety education team and Merrimack County Cooperative Extension office.
“Amy is driven, thoughtful, self-motivated, passionate and direct,” says Cooperative Extension Dean and Director Ken La Valley. “Because of these qualities, I know she will challenge the leadership team to continuously improve and will passionately advocate for food and agriculture programs and staff.”
Papineau earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental horticulture from UNH in 2004. While an undergraduate, she was a research technician for the university’s plant breeding program and was awarded an esteemed horticultural research internship by Longwood Gardens of Pennsylvania. During her internship, she managed breeding programs for ornamental plant species and trained other interns in plant breeding techniques.
Papineau went on to earn a master’s degree in plant biology from UNH in 2007, and during that time she worked as a research assistant to former Extension State Specialist Paul Fisher. Following graduation, she developed and managed plant breeding programs and supervised breeding technicians at NovaFlora, Inc. of West Grove, Pennsylvania. Eventually, she and her husband decided to move back to New Hampshire to be closer to family and Pawtuckaway Lake, where she grew up.
Back in the state, Papineau returned to the UNH campus where she worked as an assistant to Extension State Specialists Cathy Neal, Brian Krug and Stanley Swier on a variety of research projects. She also conducted horticultural research, developed outreach materials, co-authored grant proposals, supervised student labor and presented research updates at grower conferences.
“I have great respect for our Food and Agriculture staff and the incredible work they do throughout the state,” says Papineau. “I am honored to lead this team as we continue to grow and expand our programming to meet the needs of New Hampshire’s agricultural community.”