Matt McKernan, son of Botanica landscape supervisor Pat McKernan, has been hired as the new extension agent for horticulture for Sedgwick County.
The younger McKernan will take the place of Bob Neier, who is retiring in June.
Matt McKernan grew up volunteering at Botanica – he has more than 1,000 hours – and operated his own landscape company as a high school student. He just graduated summa cum laude from Kansas State University.
“We are very impressed with Matt,” Angela Jones, director of the Extension in Sedwick County, said Monday. “We interviewed four candidates, and while it was a tough decision, we were really looking for someone to fill Bob’s shoes, which is a very tough thing to do. Matt is a young Bob Neier, to us. We think he’s going to do a great job.”
Neier has been an extension agent in Sedgwick County for 26 years. A retirement reception for him will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on June 19 in the 4-H Hall in the Extension Center and is open to the public. His last day will be June 30. McKernan will start on June 15.
McKernan said he learned he had gotten the job on Friday night, and then he graduated on Saturday. “It’s been a big week.”
He said his parents are excited that he’ll be living in Wichita.