Posts Tagged: 2020UCMG
It may seem odd to see seventy-five people at a hotel conference center learning about insects and rats on vegetables, but not if you are a UC Master Gardener. The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) in partnership with the UC Master Gardener Program just wrapped up the Vegetable Pests and Solutions train-the-trainer series. More than 340 UC Master Gardener volunteers from across the state took part in the regional trainings offered in Fresno, Orange, Placer, San Luis Obispo and Sonoma counties.
The advanced UC IPM training offered a hands-on, train-the-trainer experience that increased participants' knowledge of insect pests of vegetables, vegetable plant diseases and disorders, and vertebrate pests of gardens and homes. One of the highlights of the training was Human-Wildlife Interaction Advisor, Niamh Quinn, showing a taxidermy collection of vertebrate pests at the Orange and San Luis Obispo County workshops. Being able to handle and observe the different markings, colors and claws on certain animals makes future identification easier as participants learned the signs to look for when identifying vertebrate pest damage in the vegetable garden.
UC Master Gardener volunteers were lead through exercises that mimic questions commonly received from the public. Some of the questions had a photo, others just a sparse description that volunteers worked together to solve using online IPM resources and materials provided at the training. The exercises were designed to challenge and expose the learner to different types of scenarios and tools they can use in the future.
Outreach and Education
The UC Master Gardener Program's mission is to extend research-based information, by attending advanced trainings such as this, volunteers are even more prepared to contribute to the program's mission. With exposure and practice using new resources and materials training attendees have the tools and knowledge needed to educate the public on vegetable pests and solutions including scripted PowerPoints, activities, handouts, and vegetable pest identification card sets. One attendee reported “As a first year UC Master Gardener, this training helped me become more comfortable and more confident researching answers for pest management questions.”
At the conclusion of the training volunteers convened with their fellow county volunteers to talk about their plans to take new found knowledge back into their communities. Some of the great ideas generated were:
- offer seasonal pest problems workshops
- include a “Need Help Solving Pest Problems?” flier for all events
- add IPM tips to newsletters and social media
- integrate IPM into presentations as appropriate or relevant to topic
- add signage for damaged or diseased plants with IPM solutions in demonstration gardens
- share IPM toolkit at farmers markets and demo garden events
How We are Making a Difference
One portion of the agenda was focused on how the UC Master Gardener community is making a difference. With 6,000+ volunteers serving more than 517,000 Californians per year the impact of the UC Master Gardener volunteer effort is truly amazing. Through statewide program evaluation efforts the impact in sustainable landscaping, food gardening and community well-being is now being analyzed and reported in the programs annual report. Volunteers can see the impact they are having statewide and be proud of being part of a group that social changes they are seeing in their local communities.
As active volunteers and life-long learners UC Master Gardeners are a powerful educational tool and inspiration for others not only in the garden but in the volunteer community. Statewide educational offerings like UC IPM's train-the-trainer series help hone the diagnostics skills while building confidence in the subject matter.
The next statewide training opportunity for UC Master Gardener volunteers will be the 2020 UC Master Gardener Conference, Sept. 28 –Oct. 2, 2020 at the Granlibakken, Tahoe. The conference is the beginning planning stages and taking speaker and topic suggestions, click here to suggest a speaker or topic.
Looking to showcase the amazing projects happening in your county? The Search for Excellence (SFE) competition guidelines for the 2020 UC Master Gardener Conference are now available. Application submission will begin on January 7, 2020 and close on April 28, 2020. The conference is scheduled for September 28- October 2, 2020 at Granlibakken Tahoe.
UC Master Gardener volunteers, program coordinators and advisors from around the state are invited to start planning to submit their innovative educational and outreach projects now. The Search for Excellence guidelines and submission guide are available online to help with the planning stages.
The top three winning submissions are individually recognized and celebrated at the conference during the awards banquet dinner. Winners are given the opportunity to present their project to fellow UC Master Gardener volunteers from across the state during the Search for Excellence Session at the 2020 Conference. Cash prizes will be awarded to the three highest-scoring entries among seven counties.
1st place = $1500 GRAND PRIZE
2nd place = $1000
3rd place = $500
Search for Excellence Categories
Search for Excellence gives county programs the opportunity to share successful and innovative projects in the following seven categories:
- Community service
- Demonstration garden
- Innovative project
- Research (applied scientific methodology)
- Special needs audience
- Workshop or presentation
- 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 selected from throughout the state. Projects eligible for consideration must take place in California, be connected to the UC Master Gardener Program and have been completed between 2017-2019.
All applicants, regardless of award status, are strongly encouraged to submit a poster for display at the conference as an opportunity to share their ideas with other county programs. Winners to be announced July 2020.
For questions about submitting a project, contact your local program coordinator or advisor to discuss and get approval. Additional information and forms can be found on the conference website under the Search for Excellence tab, ucanr.edu/sites/2020MGConference/Activities/Search_for_Excellence/
We look forward to learning about the creative and impactful projects from counties big and small!
- Submission Guideline and Guide posted online October 23, 2019
- Submissions accepted January 7 - April 28, 2020
- Winners contacted end of June 2020
- Winners announced publicly July 2020
- Conference September 28- October 2, 2020
- 2017 UC Master Gardener Search for Excellence Winners
- 2014 UC Master Gardener Search for Excellence Winners
Search for Excellence Chair
Include county name in subject line for all email communications
Tahoe City, Calif. September 28- October 2, 2020
The triennial 2020 UC Master Gardener Conference is taking place Sept. 28- Oct. 2, 2020 in Tahoe City, Calif. Save-the-date to come and join the UC Master Gardener Program and celebrate our 40th anniversary!
The 2017 conference in Long Beach, Calif. saw over 700 attendees from 43 counties across California. The quality and value of the conference is unparalleled in the industry; bringing together leaders in home horticulture and sharing the latest in UC research.
Lake of the Sky: Lake Tahoe
Nestled on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, Tahoe City is the crown jewel of the Sierra-Nevada and the ideal location for the 2020 UC Master Gardener Conference to celebrate our 40th anniversary. The conference is being hosted at Granlibakken Tahoe, a resort built around connection - with adventure, land, water and sky with great food, and one another.
North Lake Tahoe offers experiences from outdoor adventures to explorations of food, culture, art, music and so much more.
Things to do:
- Squaw Valley's Olympic Museum (9.2 miles)
- Tahoe Maritime Museum (.06 miles)
- UC Davis Tahoe Science Center (17.3miles)
- Tahoe Gal (Lake Cruise, 2.1 miles)
- Helicopter Tours (20 miles)
- Ropes course (on-site)
- Kayaking, Paddle boarding
Located minutes from Tahoe City the Granlibakken Tahoe prides itself on preserving the natural environment and providing a space that feels like old Tahoe. Recreational activities (swimming, volleyball, tennis, biking and hiking) are all on conference grounds, and a 1.5 mile private trail leads to North Lake Tahoe.
The UC Master Gardener Conference has reserved the entire resort and an "all-inclusive package" for attendees who stay onsite means lodging, three meals per day, and cocktail receptions will all be included in the lodging rate. Room rate details and the process for booking will be announced in future conference communications. All hotel information will updated on the conference website, ucanr.edu/2020mgconference, check back often for details.
Come to learn, celebrate, explore, & connect
The triennial conference is an important statewide event designed to train volunteers with the most current and up-to-date research-based horticulture information. Training from the statewide conference is used as a jumping board for local-county based programs to be inspired by speakers, content and each other. Attendees are encouraged to share the information in their own county-based programs.
- Intensive sessions
- Poster session
- Search for Excellence
- Silent Auction
- Photo Contest
- Guided nature hikes
- Hosted cocktail receptions
- S'more campfire
- Celebration banquet
- And more…
The 2020 UC Master Gardener Conference is a fantastic opportunity to come together and celebrate our 40th anniversary and explore the natural beauty of Tahoe. Connect, network and build community with fellow UC Master Gardener volunteers from all over California. Save-the-date and see you Sept. 28 – Oct. 2, 2020 in Tahoe City!
Visit the conference website for more details, ucanr.edu/2020mgconference.