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Agent back in favorite field // New garden guru sets down roots

A former horticultural agent from Pinellas County has been selected totake over the same program in Brooksville.

Klaus Geyer, 48, a native of what is now Poland, began working Monday at the Hernando County extension office near the fairgrounds on U.S. 41.

Geyer will work with homeowners who have questions about everything from house plants to backyard gardens and will direct the extension agency's master gardener program to teach advanced horticulture to adult students.

"I enjoy teaching and I enjoy working with adults interested in plants and gardens," Geyer said. "This is a fun job and a very rewarding one. That's why I decided to come back to it."

Geyer was Pinellas County's horticultural agent from 1975 to 1980, when he left to go into private business. He and his wife moved their family to Hernando County from Palm Harbor last year after their two daughters became interested in raising horses.

"We originally moved here because we just fell in love with the area," Geyer said.

Geyer replaces Lou Kavouras, who resigned at the end of last year to work with the Southwest Florida Water Management District. But while Geyer has moved into Mrs. Kavouras' office, he does not plan to replace any of her programs.

"I'll be reviving some of the things that Lou was doing," Geyer said. "Like the weekly plant clinic and other activities to keep people involved in horticulture."

Geyer has a bachelor's degree in education with a minor in biology from Florida Atlantic University and has a master's degree in agriculture from the University of Florida.

He just began the new job on Monday, but quickly found that he will be busy working with many of Hernando's retirees who have become active in raising plants at home.

"This is the time of year when things really start to blossom out," Geyer said. "So the phones have been ringing pretty steadily and I have already met a lot of the people here."

Geyer's office is open from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Residents with questions about insects or sick plants can call the office for free information at 796-9421.