WASHBURN COUNTY -- A group of gardening enthusiasts have completed a three-month course through the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension to become Master Gardener Volunteers.  The graduates represent communities in Barron, Burnett, Douglas, Sawyer, and Washburn Counties.

According the Kevin Schoessow, UW Extension Area Agriculture Development Educator, “The new Master Gardener Volunteers will assist UW Extension in delivering programs that address community needs related to horticulture and gardening such as, increasing food security through gardening, assisting school garden programs to promote science awareness and nutrition in kids, or facilitating gardening projects at schools, libraries, and other public and tribal community sites.”

The Master Gardener Volunteer trainees rated their experience as very favorable with comments such as: “So many gardening tips, I have already used many things I learned to help others who have gardening questions, the lectures from the experts at UW Extension were priceless, we have already started volunteering, very fun and learned so much.”   Their confidence level on gardening subjects went from no/low confidence to moderate/high confidence almost uniformly.

A certified UW Extension Master Gardener Volunteer completes 36 hours of initial training, passes a final exam, and completes a minimum of 24 hours of volunteer service each year.

The training was held Tuesday evenings at the UW Spooner Agriculture Research Station and involved a different horticulture subject each week such as: Annual, Perennial and Native Plants, Fruits and Vegetables, Weeds, Wildlife, Soils, Insects, and Plant Diseases.    Participants learned from a wide range of instructors from University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension, Master Gardener Volunteers, local experts and through on-line materials.

Planning for the next training program will start soon.  If you are interested in learning more about gardening and joining the Master Gardener Volunteer program, please contact the UW Extension Area office located at the UW Spooner Agriculture Station to be added to the contact list.

Below is a list of those who completed the Master Gardener Volunteer training by county.

  • Barron: John Bergson and Mary Goetsch
  • Burnett: Vince Cosmano and Cynde Kleven
  • Douglas: Linda Seiferth and Paul Seiferth
  • Sawyer: Cala Hakseth, Patricia Johnson, and Marilyn Kaman
  • Washburn: Sandy Niewinski, Laird Niewinski, Sue Richter, Jill Schmalz-Washkuhn, and Don Stanislawski

[PHOTO: Trainees take a moment at the UW Spooner Agricultural Research Station Teaching and Display Garden after a hands-on session about woodland invasive plants.  Photo Credit:  Amanda Kupsch, UW Extension Master Gardener Volunteer from Trego.]


The UW Extension and Master Gardener Volunteers from Burnett, Sawyer, and Washburn Counties sponsor the Master Gardening Volunteer Training.  For more information, visit www.northcountrymgv.org/training or contact Kevin Schoessow, Area Ag Development Educator at 715-635-3506, toll free 800-528-1914, or by e-mail at kevin.schoessow@wisc.edu   Or contact Sue Reinardy, UW Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, 715-462-3361 or sreinardy@centurytel.net .


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