HOTLINE 901.752.1207

Shelby County Agent Directory

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Dr. Chris Cooper

Shelby County Director

University of Tennessee – Shelby County Extension

Extension Agent III

Agriculture and Natural Resources


As the Extension Service’s Horticulture Agent and Coordinator for the Master Gardener program, Chris is a familiar face to most in the program, having just started his ninth year in the county. Chris’s primary job, in addition to his work with the Master Gardener program, is to plan, develop, coordinate and conduct educational programs addressing issues that affect urban, commercial and home horticulture.

Master Gardeners can volunteer to help Chris conduct horticultural education programs and workshops and respond to the public’s questions through the Gardening Hotline. There are also opportunities to gather research-based information for programs, meet with homeowners, and present programs to the public. The most important skill needed is an interest in interacting with the public on a subject of expertise.

Booker T. Leigh

post retirement commercial horticulture agent

University of Tennessee- Shelby County Extension

Extension Agent III

Commercial Agriculture;Agriculture & Natural Resources


Booker’s primary role is working with the commercial clientele who are producing horticulture crops and providing service to the general public through education programs. He will be setting up classes for training and certification for the commercial landscapers. Booker, also has a television program on cable channel 18 (the Library Station) that provides horticulture information to the general public. He writes a weekly news article for the Commercial Appeal that appears in the garden section on Fridays.

Jim Todd

Shelby County Director - 4-H Agent

Tennessee State University

Family & Consumer Science


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Tim Roberts

Youth Education

UT Extension Shelby County

Youth Education 


Tim works mostly with children and teens regarding agriculture, forestry, and natural resources. He interacts with grades K-12, adults, seniors and those county residents with special needs. Tim says the goal is to educate youth regarding the importance of agriculture (e.g., to let them know that milk doesn’t come from a jug at Kroger) and of forestry (e.g., to see past the trees to the products they use every day that come from trees). He works primarily in outdoor classrooms, including the Agricenter amphitheater. In addition to state funding, Tim’s programs are supported by agribusinesses that help subsidize the cost of transporting students from throughout west Tennessee, north Mississippi and eastern Arkansas to the Agricenter. Volunteers are needed to help prepare materials for educational programs and to even help lead programs for some groups. Master Gardeners can also serve as tour guides, plan some programs, serve on the Plant Camp Planning Committee and donate recyclable items such as milk jugs, drink bottles, and plastic containers for programs. Many of Tim’s programs are in the September through mid-November timeframe, but more are now being held in the spring, as well. Most of the programs are held at the Agricenter. The only skill required is an interest in educating youth and sharing your knowledge about plants with them.

Jo Anne Waterman

Urban Gardens & Small Farms

Tennessee State University Extension

Extension Agent I

Urban Gardens & Small Farms


Jo Anne primarily works with Urban Gardeners and the Small Farmers community. She mentors them and assists them in getting their gardens started by teaching them the growing cycle from “the ground up”, educating them on soil sampling and preparation. She educates small farmers and home gardeners on the latest practices needed to solve problems and improve production. She also conducts presentations at public and charter schools, community centers, nursing homes, independent living centers, churches and other organizations. Jo Anne often says “teach me to garden and I’ll grow food for a lifetime.” Master Gardeners can also help the community by sharing gardening tips and teaching families how to grow food in containers. The community may also be taught to enhance their food supply through community gardens, demonstration techniques, and presentations.
UT Extension - Institute of Agriculture Logo

UT/TSU Shelby County Extension Office
Agricenter International – Suite B, Box 21
7777 Walnut Grove Rd,
Memphis TN 38120.
Phone: 901-752-1207 Fax: 901-752-6240

Extension works with local governments, community leaders, families, and individuals to address problems and issues that help improve people’s lives. Extension is engaged in a broad range of educational programs in agriculture, community resource development, nutrition, health, family issues, lawn and garden, and youth development. 

The Agricultural Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, or veteran status and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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