Master Gardeners Extend Knowledge to Communities

MADISON — Lorre Kolb: Master Gardener Volunteers, learning about plants and making a difference in their communities. We’re visiting today with Mike Maddox, Director of Wisconsin Master Gardener Program, University of Wisconsin-Extension, and I’m Lorre Kolb. Mike, what is the Master Gardener Volunteer Program?

Mike Maddox: The Master Gardener Program is a program in which we’re training community members, interested in gardening, some of the foundational topics that any horticulturist would need to know. But, in return for this learning, we’ve asked for them to go out into their communities and help us extend that knowledge to other community members.

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Lorre Kolb: So, what is the connection between Master Gardeners and UW-Extension?

Mike Maddox: Well, the Master Gardener Program is a UW-Extension program. It has a 40-year history connected with Extension. It started with an Extension educator in Washington state, in which he trained individuals to help him answer questions, because the amount of new questions they had coming in from the developing suburbs at the time was more than what his role was able to do. It came into Wisconsin in the late 70s, early 80s, primarily to train individuals to help respond to the growing number of questions coming in from the public. But, it has evolved over that time to very active participation in the communities. They are using gardening to make some sort of difference in their communities.

Lorre Kolb: How do communities benefit from Master Gardener Volunteers?

Mike Maddox: To understand the role Master Gardeners are now playing in their communities, we also have to start with the role plants have in our communities. Research now shows there are economic, environmental, and health benefits of having plants in the places we live, work, and play. So, community gardens, urban forestry, downtown beautification projects – all this plays a role in making our communities healthy, happy places to live. Master Gardeners are now playing a lot of that role in providing that greening. They’re coming in and are the forces to do that school community garden or taking charge in making your city like a tree city USA and all the benefits that come with an urban forest. They also have that traditional role of helping respond to the questions that come in, helping people make informed, educated decisions – making the right plant for the right place kind of choices. So, hopefully reducing the number of invasive species we’re introducing to the environment. They’re having conversations with people on how many trees to put in, or where to plant them, or how to plant them correctly so you get the long term environmental benefits.

Lorre Kolb: If someone wants to become a Master Gardener Volunteer, what should they do?

Mike Maddox: You should start by visiting your local county UW-Extension office. Training consists of about 36 hours and as part of that you are expected to return a minimum of 24 hours of volunteer service in your community on select projects.

Lorre Kolb: We’ve been visiting today with Mike Maddox, Director of Wisconsin Master Gardener Program, University of Wisconsin-Extension, and I’m Lorre Kolb.

— Mike Maddox, Director of Wisconsin, Master Gardener Program and Lorre Kolb, UW-Extensio

Source:  Morning Ag Clips, June 19, 2017

Combined Town Hall Meeting via Twitter

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Extension specialists and Master Gardeners from the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Extension and the University of Wisconsin-Extension will partner with Agriculture is America (AgIsAmerica), a national communications initiative aimed at highlighting the nation’s land-grant institutions, to host a Twitter Town Hall on July 8 at 2 PM ET.

Extension Educators and Master Gardeners will answer questions regarding Master Gardener volunteer programs and additional gardening topics including urban gardening, beginner tips, and more.

A Twitter Town Hall, like a public meeting or webinar, gives the opportunity for a live question and answer period with subject matter experts. To follow the conversation or submit a question, include the hashtag “#agischat” in your tweet. All agriculture-related organizations, industry leaders, friends, and supporters are invited to join the discussion.

WHAT: Twitter Town Hall on Master Gardener Programs and Gardening

WHO:

  • Pamela Bennett, Associate Professor at the Ohio State University, Master Gardener Volunteer Program Director, Horticulture Educator/Director, OSU Extension, Clark County
  • Mike Maddox, Master Gardener Program Director at the University of Wisconsin-Extension

WHEN: Friday, July 8
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

WHERE: Participating Twitter handles include: @agisamerica, @osuemgv, and @UWEXMG.

About the Ohio State University Extension – Clark County
Ohio State University Extension brings the knowledge of the university directly to you. They fulfill the land-grant mission of TheOhio State University by interpreting knowledge and research developed by Extension and other faculty and staff at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio State main campus, and other land-grant universities – so Ohioans can use the scientifically based information to better their lives, businesses and communities.

About the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Horticulture
The University of Wisconsin-Extension works in partnership with 26 UW System campuses, 72 Wisconsin counties, three tribal governments, and other public and private organizations to fulfill its public service mission. This is the “Wisconsin Idea” – extending the university’s boundaries to the corners of the state. Through statewide outreach networks, UW-Extension also connects university research to the specific needs and interests of residents and communities. Educators, working on campuses and in communities, use up-to-date research and careful analysis to help Wisconsin people address economic, social and environmental issues.

The Cooperative Extension works with individuals, families, farms, business and communities, applying university knowledge and research to address issues in rural, suburban and urban settings. Locally-based Cooperative Extension staff collaborates with University of Wisconsin campus specialists to provide educational programming in Wisconsin’s 72 counties and within three tribal nations.

About Agriculture is America (Ag is America)
The agriculture industry – sustained in large part by the American land-grant university system through Colleges of Agriculture, Agricultural Experiment Stations, and Cooperative Extension – is integral to jobs, national security, and health. Ag is America works to promote research and news from land-grant universities across the United States. To learn more, visithttp://agisamerica.org/.

SOURCE Agriculture is America (AgIsAmerica)

Master Gardener Program in Wisconsin

The latest issue of Grow: Wisconsin’s Magazine for the Life Sciences provides insight into Wisconsin’s Master Gardener program through the eyes of current volunteer Jane de Broux in the featured article “Gardening for the People”.

The Master Gardener program is housed within the Department of Horticulture in Moore Hall under the direction of Mike Maddox and Susan Mahr.