We have had some agents who never missed a Master Gardener meeting and we have had plenty who have never attended the first meeting. Have others experienced this and what are your feelings on this? (careful, you are in print).
We don't have monthly meetings, but our agent does attend just about every function we have. He's very available to us on a day to day basis unless he's in a meeting somewhere. We are really enjoying having him with us, especially since he's a plant pathologist and is always teaching us new stuff. Plus he's very enthusiastic about the MG program which helps make us more eager to participate.
I've worked under three agents so far and each one has brought different skills to their job. But they have all been great promoters of the MG program and a joy to work with.
Formal meetings have not been helpful with our group. They seem to get too tangled in personalities and politics. The meetings we do have are combined with the garden workdays. It works well for us but it might not work for you. Sandy
Hmmm? I never considered M/Gs not having a monthly meeting. That is how we get together and learn each other. We have a regular program where a speaker is brought in to give a program, often a slide show, on their subject related to horticulture or nature.
From what I've heard here, the volunteers would prefer to spend that time volunteering rather than meeting. There are several facilities near here that have tons of classes available so there's no lack of education opportunities either. Although we don't meet formally, we often work together on projects and have refresher courses for a couple of different activities we do so we do get to meet each other. Different strokes... And all that might change by next year, too.
Eddie, Don't know if you are new in the MG program. Almost every MG program is different from county to county and State to State. One county next to ours has monthly meetings with guest speakers and we can attend if we chose. Our county doesn't have them. We have a steering committee that meets a couple times a year and when there's a major project coming up we have meetings. We also have special seminars for advanced training but no regular monthly meetings. Most of us around here have enough on their plate between family, working, volunteering, playing.
You have "agents"? We have one for our county and he does make himself available for meetings and projects. Billie
We have monthly meetings with speakers & we get 1CE for every meeting we attend. I don't mind our meetings at all. They hold them at lunchtime, keep them to right around an hour, & they're an easy way to keep up with what's going on. Our agent is at every meeting as well as almost every function we have.
In Washtenaw County, Michigan, we have a MG alumni group. It is voluntary and offers monthly meetings with speakers similar to what Eddie describes in his county. There is a nominal annual fee to join the group, but any MG (not just alumni group members) can attend these meetings. Our agent has always come to those.
The alumni group also sponsors group trips to area gardens, which are also open to any MG.
We have been having monthly meetings (first Tuesday of each month) since we first got our organization started in mid 1999. These meetings are for volunteer hours only and are business meetings.
Also we have a monthly brown bag luncheon (third Tuesday of each month) with a featured speaker. This is open to the public and qualifies for one hour of continuing education. And we have both a spring and fall seminar that counts for continuing education. And also two plant sales each year.
And for volunteer hours, we have two work days each month.
Our agent tries to make all of our meetings, but he is in charge of so many different areas that he is often out of town and can't always make each meeting.
I'm an MG in Ohio (I live real close to the border).
Our extension agent schedules and moderates the meetings each month. He is very involved in attending, and running the meetings, but he lets us do the lions share of the work. Goodness he already has enough to do!
I am with the Mobile County MG Program (Mobile, AL).
We have regularly scheduled monthly meetings...
one month in the am, next month in the pm.
We don't meet the three mid-summer months.
Our meetings are held at the extension office but our agent has very little input in our meetings.
Sometimes he is present, sometimes he isn't.
The meetings are ran by our MG President.
Getting speakers is the responsibility of the Vice President.
We get CE credit for each meeting.
And, we are required to attend a certain number of meetings each month.
We have quarterly meetings plus workbees on the various projects going on. A garden downtown, landscaping a couple of trails, working with a womens shelter teaching gardening skills (totally remarkable how little self esteem these women have), working with a couple of community garden groups in the area, schools, several churches.
Here is a link that might be useful: Muskegon Master Gardeners