Independent from your Extension Service?

astilbe20912(z7 Maryland)February 4, 2007

Master Gardeners in D.C. need information about MG associations that are completely independent. We've discovered the indies of Long Island, but are there any others? Thanks for your help.

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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

Would be interested in finding out how that works.Don't you need their pamphlets and other materials and such?
Is such a thing approved or are you just calling yourselves Master Gardeners.Please ,I don't mean that in a snippy way I am just wondering how that would be possible.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 10:47PM
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astilbe20912(z7 Maryland)

Well, in our case we weren't getting anything from the Extension Service, anyway - only obstacles thrown in our way. And as we learned in our research, anyone can use the Master Gardener term, even if they're independent - see as an example.
To follow our progress, read our new site and News Blog

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 8:35AM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

First site showed up as an error.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 10:58AM
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astilbe20912(z7 Maryland)

I just tried and it worked for me -, the site of the totally independent Long Island Master Gardeners.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 11:14AM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

I guess my question would be why the need to keep the same name. I never understood why Master was used since Master Gardener Volunteers are public servants not masters!.
I know people who left Christian Youth organizations and their first thought was to have a totally different name so as not to be confused with who they just left since they wanted to DO things totally different they wanted to be called something totally different. My other thought and this goes back to a Christian Youth organization I belonged to. It was was easier for a large operation to get get insurance and background checks. That is something MGS
here have to have since they could be working with children and insurance in case something happens.I sure would not want to be sued personally!And this is one crazy sue happy world.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 9:57PM
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Since both Nassau and Suffolk counties - which constitute all of Long Island - have active Master Gardener programs associated with and under the auspices of Cornell CE, one has to wonder just what LIMG is. Sounds to me like it never did have anything to do with CCE and is perhaps just a copycat organization? Or maybe just a bunch of disgruntled former MG's that got a bit big for their britches? And I'd also wonder on the legalities of using the same name. Who provides the training? What does it consist of? What resources do they have access to? What are the volunteer positions? If they're so independent, I doubt they are manning the phone lines at the extension office.

Sounds a bit fishy to me. I'd be interested to hear of any other chapters that are removed/independent from coop extension offices as well, if any do exist.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 10:27PM
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Back to the original question... are you talking about groups who's name is not under the extension's control or those groups without an extension agent?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 11:18PM
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astilbe20912(z7 Maryland)

My group in DC is organized to be outside of the control of the Extension Service, as is the case with the Long Island group. Both groups have an Extension Agent.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 5:39AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

You wrote: "My group in DC is organized to be outside of the control of the Extension Service, as is the case with the Long Island group. Both groups have an Extension Agent."

Really? How can you be totally independent but still have an Extension Agent?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 11:45PM
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astilbe20912(z7 Maryland)

There's an Extension Agent but as a group we have nothing to do with her or the CES she works for. She coordinated our training and certification, after which we organized independently. And there is no Master Gardener organization that we're in competition with; we're the only MG group in town.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 12:11AM
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In case my post was not seen I am posting here also!!
Years ago graduating Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension, along with their extension agent, decided to form the Master Gardener Society. They would meet once a month, with the extension agent in attendance, to further their education and for companionship. It became quite a large group with diverse interests. Various trips were included in the curriculum and more speakers were requested. We had plant sales to help us pay for these new additions. Since CCE was basically in charge anything we did needed to be approved by them. It became an inefficient way of doing things and the group became disillusioned. When CCE disbanded the group, we decided to form our own group completely independent of CCE.
We formed an independent non-profit organization and called ourselves the Long Island Master Gardeners. We ARE, Master Gardeners, will always BE Master Gardeners and most of us are ACTIVE Master Gardeners. We are proud of our title MG and put in the hours to learn and volunteered hours necessary to become certified! The term Master Gardener is NOT a patented name and can be used by ANYONE! We keep up our active status by giving our volunteer time to CCE, including, manning phones, giving time to the CCE Spring Gardening Schools, helping at various CCE functions and giving classes as needed. As a result we are sent pamphlets and materials and are included in mailings from CCE. We are entitled to take their extended classes as long as we give our required volunteer time and remain ACTIVE Master Gardeners! This is done on an individual basis and has nothing to do with LIMG.
As members of LIMG we volunteer our time at community gardens, various nursing homes, ecology centers and try to educate the public on many aspects of gardening. We have educational speakers, including lecturers from Cornell Cooperative Extension! Our group now exceeds 100. It includes Master Gardeners who are not active due to being elderly, ill or just do having time to give their needed volunteer hours. They are still, in our opinion, Master Gardeners! We are enjoying each otherÂs company, furthering our education and taking trips in a very happy relaxed environment. EVERYONE is included in our activities and involved in the running of our group. Board meeting are open to everyone, there are no secrets. We are an efficient and well run independent organization. We VOTE on what we want to do as a group and only answer to ourselves!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 1:21PM
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fredw10(z8 AL)

From my MG experience I don't know why any MG group would want to be separated from the Extension. Our agents are great, provide training, are a source needing our volunteer help, provide ongong seminars, encouragement and help. and information resources. The Alabama Master Gardener Association with chapters in each county is the organization for active MG's after they have completed training. Each chapter has by laws and a structure. We have monthly meetings that usually involve interesting presentations or field trips. Help and guidance is available from the state AMGA but we operate independantly. We work on group and individual volunteer projects of many descriptions. Members who are not current on their volunteer hours are welcome, but they are not voting members. Whether they fulfill their volunteer committment is on their conscience. Association with our group keeps interest up, and most do perform regular volunteer work. Dues is $15 per year. Some of it goes to the state AMGA.
The only reason I can see for any group wanting to be separated from the Extension is that they have little intension of doing much voulunteer effort, and being separate would allow them to feel no need to do so.
Well, we run our own ship. volunteering is up to us individually. Most do the hours and everyone enjoys what we do.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 11:14AM
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tommie_jo(z8b TX)

OKÂsome counties (name your state) donÂt have MG Associations and work more closely with the Extension Agent who sponsors the MG Program in that county. In Travis County Texas our MG Association was formed almost 10 years ago and it is a totally separate non-profit organization which doesnÂt at all mean we are severed from our Ext. Agent. Our purpose is to support our Ext. Agent and the goals of public education set forth in our mission statement. The "business" of TCMGA is ours, independent of the Ext. Agent, none the less - it is a close working relationship.

As with all organizations and human endeavors, problems and perceptions pop up that affect this working relationship which may explain schisms that harm the effort; you fill in the blanks  all such events stand on their own merits. ItÂs a balancing act; if you have a dictatorial Ext. Agent or a head-strong MG Association President unable to deal with each other then you have problems in river city! Some times there are schisms within the MG Association and groups that splinter off for whatever reason. ThatÂs just life and the politics of gardening, sorry to say. Some MG Associations/Groups donÂt have much support or interest from the Ext. Agent and carry on "independently" to accomplish their mission.

Just My Observations,

Tommie C.
Past President  Travis County Master Gardener Association

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 7:43PM
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As I have stated previously we are still Master Gardeners, we put in our required hours and more, work with our Extension agent and put in many, many hours of volunteer time. We are members of the MG and we receive all our phamplets and materials needed to keep up to date on gardening policies and advances. We are also able to take classes that are offered by Cornell. It is a matter of choice! BUT our LIMG is our own group and we do ADDITIONAL volunteer work, doing some of the same things we do for our Cornell MG organization. There is enough volunteering for many organizations to keep busy and inform the public. We wanted a social group that we could plan trips and have speakers that WE want. Our extension agent does not have the time to donate to this group. That is why we are on our own!!!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 9:30AM
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See link below for another perspective on the "DC Thing".


Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Rant

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 12:05AM
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happyhoe(z6 OH)

Ironbelly, thanks for the link. After reading the "rant", one has to wonder who the bad guy is in this drama.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 7:44PM
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