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Search for Excellence

Search for Excellence (SFE) is a statewide competition designed to recognize outstanding UC Master Gardener projects that support the mission of UC Master Gardener Program.

“To extend research-based knowledge and information on home horticulture, pest management, and sustainable landscape practices to the residents of California and be guided by our core values and strategic initiatives."

- UC Master Gardener Program Mission Statement 

The SFE  competition is an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the tremendous talents of UC Master Gardeners from across the state. County programs are invited to submit an educational and innovative projects for consideration. 

Cash prizes will be awarded to the three highest scoring entries among seven categories:

  1. Community service
  2. Demonstration garden
  3. Innovative project
  4. Research (applied scientific methodology) 
  5. Special need audience
  6. Workshop or presentation
  7. Youth Program

Outreach and making an impact in local communities should be the focus of the entries, which will be judged by a team of gardening and horticultural experts. The winners will have the opportunity to present the projects at the 2023 UC Master Gardener Conference. 

Questions? Contact: 

Search for Excellence Chair
Email: mgsfe@ucanr.edu 
Include county name in subject line for all email communications
Email checked weekly

SFE Prize Money

SFE Dates

SFE documents released Jan. 2023

Submissions accepted Feb. 1 - May 1, 2023

Winners contacted June 2023

Winners announced July 2023

Statewide Master Gardener Conference Oct. 2 - 6, 2023