Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties have partnered to bolster the Master Gardener Volunteer program in both counties.

Shannon Rinow of Amherst, who is relocating her family to Ashville in Chautauqua County, has been named program coordinator. The appointment was announced by Dick Rivers, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cattaraugus County and his Chautauqua County counterpart, Emily Reynolds.

“While the program in Chautauqua has been successful for several years now, it lacked the dedicated staff support that it deserves,” Reynolds said.

Rivers added that Cattaraugus is currently redeveloping a program. “The partnership just made sense,” he said.

Rinow said gardening and agriculture have been a passion of hers ever since she was a young girl. “I recall helping tie posts at my grandparent’s grape farm at a young age and harvesting vegetables and flowers from their home garden.”

She said she has tended own garden for the past decade, and each summer as the sweet smell of peonies return after a long winter, it brings her back to her younger years helping at her grandparents’ farm.

“Cornell Cooperative Extension has been an invaluable resource to me, and I am grateful to be a part of giving back to our community,” she said.

Rinow starts her new job in February. She can be contacted at


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