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Posts Tagged: Master Gardener Program

UC Master Gardener virtual Mini-Conference succeeds as livestream event

The virtual 2020 UC Master Gardener Mini-Conference was held Sept. 29–Oct. 1 online. It was a livestream success. All nine sessions streamed directly to the statewide Facebook and YouTube channels, which made for lively comments and instant access to recordings.

The UC Master Gardener Program recognized 52 of the 6,000 volunteers from across the state as "Gardeners with Heart" in celebration of the program's 40th year.

If you did not get a chance to join the conference live, or you just want to re-watch a session, they are all conveniently available on the statewide UC Master Gardener Program's YouTube channel.

Read Lauren Snowden's UC Master Gardener blog post for a wrap up of the virtual 2020 Mini-Conference at

The 2020 UC Master Gardener Mini-Conference was a virtual, livestream event.


Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 8:32 AM

Master Gardeners get a shout out in UCnetwork

Haley Kerr, left, and Yolanda Silva of CalFresh Healthy Living, UC, gave away tomato plants donated by UC Master Gardeners of Contra Costa County to families of schoolchildren in Alameda County. The joint project is mentioned in the May UCnetwork.

If you are a staff employee, you should be receiving UCnetwork — a monthly e-newsletter for UC staff systemwide.

Under Campus Buzz, the May edition features UC Master Gardener Program for offering useful resources online for home gardeners and donating vegetable plants to schoolchildren in Alameda County.

Delivered directly to your inbox each month, each issue contains:

  • Tips for maximizing UC's generous benefits — including those you may not be aware of
  • Resources to support your professional development and career goals
  • Stories and profiles of UC's remarkable staff
  • Ways to stay healthy, on and off the job

UCnetwork is sent the second Wednesday of each month to all staff employees and contract staff. Send suggestions, story ideas or feedback to If you are a nonacademic staff member and have not received UCnetwork, please email

Posted on Monday, May 25, 2020 at 1:18 PM

UC Master Gardener Conference brings together volunteers, coordinators, advisors and industry experts for learning experience

UC Master Gardener Conference participants explored Rancho Los Cerritos and admired the popcorn cassia.

The 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference was buzzing with activity as participants learned about the latest research in home horticulture and networked with fellow gardening enthusiasts in Long Beach on Aug. 22-25.

“It turns out there is far more to the UC Master Gardener Conference than talk about gardening!” AVP Wendy Powers wrote in her ANR Adventures blog. “I was unable to attend as many talks as I had hoped but those I made were great – filled with timely information from UC ANR advisors.”

Anne Schellman, urban UC IPM educator, taught conference participants how to make an insect collection.
Over the three days, participants could choose from 58 sessions to learn about subjects such as training fruit trees, pruning grapevines or roses, managing garden pests, selecting low-water-use plants, photographing plants, making an insect collection and many more.

The attendees took field trips to tour gardens at Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach, South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens and Huntington Botanical Gardens.

UC Master Gardeners who have reached milestones over 5,000 volunteer hours were honored.
Missy Gable learned about the very first UC Master Gardener Conference, which took place in 1994, from volunteer Elaine Byrd of Riverside County.
Keynote speaker Adam Schwerner, Disneyland Resort's director of horticulture and resort entertainment, talked about the magic and comingling of ornamental horticulture and art. Allan Armitage, University of Georgia professor emeritus and author of 14 books, riffed on the personal experience of gardening. Rosalind Creasy, a pioneer in the field of edible landscaping, spoke and signed copies of some of her most recent publications, including “Edible Flower Garden” and “Edible Herb Garden.”
"The 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference was an extraordinary event that connected the vast network of volunteers, coordinators, advisors and industry experts from across California!” said Missy Gable, director of the UC Master Gardener Program. "We were extremely excited to be able to learn together and most importantly celebrate the incredible impacts and accomplishments of our volunteers."
At the conference, volunteers celebrated the winners of the 2017 UC Master Gardener Search for Excellence awards. UC Master Gardener Programs in Los Angeles, Orange and Marin counties took the top three awards of the Search for Excellence competition. First place went to Los Angeles County with its “Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative,” second place was Orange County's radio show: "In the Garden with UC Master Gardeners” and third place was Marin County's “Dig it, Grow it, Eat it."

For shoppers, the conference MarketPlace was stocked with handcrafted items from UC Master Gardener volunteers, gardening tools and UC ANR publications. Funds raised from the sales will be used to support the county programs. 

UC Master Gardener volunteers from Riverside County took a break to snap a group photo to share on social media.
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 8:23 AM

Yvonne Savio, UC Master Gardener coordinator for Los Angeles County, retires

Yvonne Savio
Yvonne Savio, Master Gardener coordinator for UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County, will retire at the end of June after 21 years of working to grow an impressively large crop of UC Master Gardener volunteers willing to work in areas where there was the greatest need.

She and her army of volunteers taught thousands of residents how to grow their own food even before public interest in home gardening and urban agriculture expanded in Southern California.

Savio worked with people at hundreds of gardens in schools, communities, senior centers and homeless shelters to get gardening information to those who needed or wanted it and became widely recognized for much of the success of the UC Master Gardener Program in Los Angeles County.

In 2004, Huell Howser interviewed the Master Gardener coordinator for his California's Gold television series. In 2010, she was named Horticulturist of the Year by the Southern California Horticulture Society and featured in the Pasadena Star-News. Recently, Savio's work with volunteers interested in gardening was featured in the Los Angeles Times.

Savio will retire in her childhood home in Pasadena with her husband, Tom, a railroad historian and enthusiast. She plans to do some traveling, continue contributing to garden-based learning, and stay busy working in her terraced garden filled with fruit trees, vegetables and roses.

Savio has developed a website ( to inform Southern California gardeners of local events and opportunities. 

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 6:58 PM
  • Author: Dohee Kim

Names in the News

Laura Snell
Snell named advisor in Modoc County

Laura Snell joined UCCE on March 2 as a livestock and natural resources advisor in Modoc County.

Prior to joining UCCE, Snell worked as a recruitment coordinator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Agriculture Education where she provided recruitment, retention and advising services to future and current students. She also organized the World Food Prize Nebraska Youth Institute and arranged logistics for domestic and international student trips. In 2013, she collaborated with UNL and The Nature Conservancy as an undergraduate intern coordinator for summer undergraduate research projects at the Niobrara Valley preserve, a cattle and bison ranch in northcentral Nebraska. From 2010 to 2013, Snell was a graduate research assistant/laboratory instructor/publications coordinator, conducting research in cattle grazing, nutrient cycling and greenhouse gas emission in pasture ecosystems. She taught the introduction range and forage class and published journal articles on her master's research. Prior to working in Nebraska, Snell was an environmental educator at the University of Georgia, teaching forest ecology, hiking, canoeing, navigation, anthropology, high ropes and team building to children grades 3-12 and adults at 4-H camp.

She earned a B.S. in water science and a M.S. in agronomy at UNL.

Snell is based in Alturas and can be reached at (530) 233-6328 and

Lindsay Jordan
Jordan named area grape advisor

Lindsay Jordan joined UCCE on February 17, 2015 as a viticulture area advisor in Madera, Merced & Mariposa counties.

Jordan's viticulture experience began as an undergraduate at UC Davis, where she majored in viticulture and enology and participated in undergraduate research investigating the hydraulic conductivity of Vitis xylem vessels. For her master's degree research, she led trials in Riesling vineyards in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York that evaluated the effects of under-vine groundcovers on vine growth and fruit and wine quality to promote sustainable vineyard floor management. Jordan was the recipient of the Cornell Fredrick Dreer Award, which enabled her to travel to New Zealand and be a part of an under-vine management study lead by the Eastern Institute of Technology in Marlborough for the 2014 growing season. Jordan has worked at several commercial wineries for harvest in vineyard and lab technician positions, including Pernod Ricard Winemakers in Blenheim, New Zealand, and Mumm Napa and Quintessa in the Napa Valley before joining UC ANR. 

Jordan earned a B.S. in viticulture and enology from UC Davis in 2011 and a M.S. in horticulture from Cornell University in 2014.

Jordan is based in Madera and can be reached at (559) 675-7879, Ext. 7209 and

Devii Rao
Rao joins UCCE on Central Coast

Devii Rao joined UCCE on Feb. 23 as an area livestock and natural resources advisor for San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Rao had worked as a rangeland management specialist for Point Reyes National Seashore since 2012. She worked closely with 24 ranching families to identify priority issues and developed science-based solutions that allowed for both economically viable ranching operations and conservation of natural resources. Her outreach and education efforts for the Seashore have included presentations, coordination of conferences, and field tours. From 2008 to 2012, the Marin County native worked as a private consultant in range management conducting rangeland research; preparing grazing management, manure management, and monitoring plans for conservation lands with special resources; as well as outreach and education in the form of individual consultations with ranchers, presentations at conferences, and peer-reviewed publications.

She earned a B.A. in environmental studies with a minor in economics from UC Santa Cruz and an M.S. in range management from UC Berkeley.

Rao is based in Hollister and can be reached at (831) 637-5346, Ext. 14 and

Matt Fidelibus
Fidelibus honored for extension

The American Society for Enology and Viticulture has named Matthew Fidelibus, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis, as the recipient of the 2015 ASEV Extension Distinction Award. Fidelibus will receive the award at the 66th ASEV National Conference in Portland, Ore., in June after delivering his presentation “Increasing Scope and Engagement in Extension.”

Fidelibus, who is based at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, conducts research aimed at reducing production costs and improving yields and quality for raisin, table, and wine grapes. His research interests include environmental physiology, plant growth regulation, and cultivar and clone selection. In addition to publishing more than 30 papers, his list of accomplishments includes serving as past-president of the Plant Growth Regulation Society of America and director of ASEV. He is presently an associate editor of the Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture and PLOS ONE.

Fidelibus actively shares his research findings through on-farm visits, field days, seminars, articles in academic and trade journals, and through social networking media Facebook and Twitter.

The ASEV Extension Distinction Award recognizes outstanding contribution of enology or viticulture information through an extension program or the translation of novel research findings into commercially applicable tools for enologists or viticulturists.

Ariel Dinar
Dinar named Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Ariel Dinar, professor of environmental economics and policy at UC Riverside, has been named a 2015 Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), the organization's most prestigious honor.

“Ariel Dinar is known internationally as an expert on the economics of water, and his recognition by the AAEA is well-deserved,” said Anil Deolalikar, founding dean of the UCR School of Public Policy. “His research on water pricing, water institutions, water quality control, water management modeling, agriculture and climate change, agricultural extension, and regional cooperation in water management has influenced policy changes at the local, state and national levels. We are delighted that the AAEA has recognized him for this well-deserved honor.”

Dinar said the ultimate goal of his research is to better understand the tradeoff between various policy interventions and which societal objectives could be achieved at the expense of others.

“In the field of water economics, we are just starting to understand the relationships between the different water consuming sectors, and the direct and indirect effects of various water and non-water policies on the entire economy,” he said. “However, understanding economy-wide effects of water scarcity and policies to address it are still a challenge left to be achieved.”

According to the AAEA, the primary consideration for the selection of Fellows is “continuous contribution to the advancement of agricultural or applied economics as defined by the Vision Statement. Achievements may be in research, teaching, extension, administration, and/or other contributions to public or private sector decision-making.”

Read the entire UCR press release at

Master Gardeners win international award

The UC Master Gardener Program in Sonoma County was recently recognized with the International Master Gardener Search for Excellence award for their Garden Sense program. The project placed first in the Community Service category in the program recognizing Extension Master Gardener volunteer work in the United States, Canada and South Korea.

Garden Sense, a partnership developed between the Master Gardeners and the Sonoma County Water Agency in 2013, trains consultants in lawn conversion, landscape water management, irrigation systems, site assessment, low-water-use plants and sustainable garden practices. The volunteer consultants visit Sonoma County homeowners to show them how to conserve water by creating a climate-appropriate garden that is healthy, sustainable and environmentally sound.

“In our first year of operation we estimate water savings as a result of the program at 6 acre feet,” wrote Mimi Enright, Master Gardener Program coordinator in Sonoma County, in her blog post about the award.

UC Master Gardeners in Sonoma County
Posted on Monday, March 23, 2015 at 5:15 PM

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