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Karen Neill, familiar face on FOX8 for decades, retiring from N.C. Cooperative Extension after 31 years

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- She’s been a familiar face on FOX8 for decades answering your gardening questions.

After working 31 years at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Guilford County, Karen Neill is retiring.

“I hope I have impacted people over the past 31 years,” she said.

Neill has served as the county extension director for the last three years, but she was the horticulture agent for 28 years.

“When I first started with the extension, I was told that you need to set yourself up as the expert within the community, so people look up to you, they know who to call to get that researched-based non-biased information that’s going to help them,” she said.

She did morning segments with FOX8 for about 25 years of her career.

Neill says she values the time she connected with the community through television.

“You were providing information that was usable at the time, so if somebody was watching and it said this is when you need to fertilize your lawn, well that weekend they could go out and buy their fertilizer and they'd know that they were putting it on at the right time,” Neill said.

Throughout her career, Neill has been passionate about outreach.

She has enjoyed helping get school and community gardens off the ground and leading the Master Gardener Program.

She says her work in the program was the most rewarding.

“From teaching the classes to watching them go back out into the community,” she said.

Neill plans to travel and looks forward to what’s next, but admits, in some ways it’s sad knowing that she will miss the people she meets every day.

“I've enjoyed what I've done,” she said.

Neill’s retirement is effective July 1.