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Hillsdale County MSU Extension hires new Environmental Management Educator

Michigan State University Extension is excited to welcome, Sarah Fronczak, to the Hillsdale County MSU Extension Office.

The Hillsdale County Extension Office is pleased to welcome its newest Extension Educator, Sarah Fronczak!

Fronczak grew up in Hillsdale, MI where she lived on a laying hen and row crop operation. She attended Hillsdale College and received her Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2002.  Having a natural inclination toward land stewardship, inherited from her father Chuck Zeiler, she attended Bowling Green State University and received her Master of Science in Ecology in 2004. Fronczak’s research, with advisor Dr. Rex Lowe, focused on nutrient introductions to wetlands and the impact on algal populations. 

On returning to Hillsdale to help with the family farm, she worked as a conservation technician for the Hillsdale Conservation District. Sarah volunteered with Hillsdale County Farm Bureau where she held roles as the Young Farmer Chair and Public Policy Committee Member, and the Hillsdale County Planning Commission. Briefly, in 2005, she became the chief financial officer of Zeiler Farms. In 2008, Sarah spearheaded a grassroots effort to start a Farmers’ Market in Hillsdale. For over a year she worked with producers, regulatory officials, and informal consumer groups—for the purpose of promoting the physical, social, and economic health of the community. Hillsdale Farmers’ Market will be entering its 10th season in May.   

Having married Jacob Fronczak, a Coldwater resident, Sarah and her family relocated to Coldwater in 2014.  Sarah and Jacob have three boys. Jacob is a theologian and writer.  Most recently, Sarah worked for the City of Coldwater as the Engineering Coordinator, a role which allowed her insight into infrastructure planning, construction, and maintenance as well as regulatory practices of the government. 

Fronczak began working for MSU Extension in October as an Environmental Management Educator.

She said that she is excited to build relationships with producers saying, “I am eager to get back to my roots in agriculture.” She has already had several meetings with farmers and stakeholder groups across Hillsdale County.  Fronczak is passionate about helping farmers successfully manage the environmental impact of their farms in the Great Lakes State. Her initial focus will be assisting farmers with manure management and cover crops.  She will also be working with community groups to educate the public about the role of farmers as environmental stewards.

As a part of MSU Extension, Fronczak covers Hillsdale County along with the entirety of Michigan. Fronczak can be reached by email at Froncza3@msu.edu or by phone at (517) 439-9301.

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