Farmer's market, demonstration gardens, and research projects expand outreach of extension master gardeners

Pamela J. Bennett, Ellen M. Bauske, Alison Stoven O'Connor, Jean Reeder, Carol Busch, Heidi A. Kratsch, Elizabeth Leger, Angela O'Callaghan, Peter J. Nitzsche, Jim Downer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Extension Master Gardener (EMG) volunteers are central to expanding the outreach and engagement of extension staff. A workshop format was used at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science on 31 July 2012 in Miami, FL to identify successful management techniques and projects that expand EMG volunteer outreach, leading to increased extension effectiveness. One program leader described how EMGs manage a farmer's market that has been thriving for more than 30 years, generating income for the EMG program as well as the county extension office. Another program leader described a beneficial partnership between EMGs and the university in which EMGs grow plants for demonstration gardens and classroom use, facilitating learning for university students, EMGs, and the public. EMGs in another program have assumed much of the management role of the university orchard, using it for teaching and demonstrations. The final discussion focused on extension programs that used volunteers to assist in conducting research to expand extension's capabilities, and also increasing EMGs' understanding of the research process. All projects emphasized the need for extension agents to empower volunteers to take on leadership and decision-making roles as well as the value of EMGs to extension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-415
Number of pages5
JournalHortTechnology
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Horticulture

Keywords

  • Coordinator
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Supervision
  • Volunteers

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  • Cite this

    Bennett, P. J., Bauske, E. M., O'Connor, A. S., Reeder, J., Busch, C., Kratsch, H. A., Leger, E., O'Callaghan, A., Nitzsche, P. J., & Downer, J. (2013). Farmer's market, demonstration gardens, and research projects expand outreach of extension master gardeners. HortTechnology, 23(4), 411-415. https://doi.org/10.21273/horttech.23.4.411