Rejected by the MG Program- Please Help

iclimbtrees(4a)November 15, 2013

Today I found out that I was not accepted into the MG program. Must have sobbed for 2 hours:(
I don't know what I did wrong.
I come from a viticulture background, enjoy public speaking, love people, am interested in working with children in schools and , dressed properly, enthusiastic, have had many experiences with diverse cultures.
No...I generally do not brag this much:)
I called the extension office in hopes of finding out why. I'd love to find out what areas I need to work on.
I spoke to a very nice person who said she would try to help but she was doubtful that they would be willing to give me any feedback.
To make matters worse, during the interview, they told me that they could accept an unlimited number of applicants so the program is never full.
So, I can't even blame it on the the program being full.
Do any of you have any idea why people are rejected?
I'd just like to use this as a learning experience so I would appreciate any advice you could give.
But please be gentle...I'm already in tears:((

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Seems to me that if they invite people to join and then reject someone, they should at least explain why that person was rejected. Knowing what I know about this program I am not the least bit surprised to hear about this issue.

Serious question, not trying to be hurtful in the least: I am curious, why did you want this so much that your feelings would be hurt so badly upon being rejected? I would really like to hear your response to this question. The rest of this post is mainly just my ranting. :-)

Many people think this program is a farce. The MG's around here are called "those plant snobs" by all the "lesser" people for the snooty, critical attitudes they have towards other gardeners. They have their own exclusive club and the only way in is to become a MG and be recommended by a current member. What a childish joke. I remember having a club like that - when I was 8 freaking years old. Heck, I would not be a bit surprised if they even have a secret password to get in to the clubhouse.

I know some folks who never graduated high school who have more intuitive gardening skill, general plant knowledge, and gardening experience in their callused arthritic pinky fingers than some of the MGs I know. I do not know about you, but I would rather hang around those folks any day to discuss gardening topics, versus hanging around with a bunch of self-absorbed MGs.

And I do not want anyone telling me about the volunteer work that all the MGs do. I, and many other people I know, volunteer time and offer assistance and advice to new gardeners, and give away lots of starter plants and extra produce from our vegetable gardens every year. We do this out of the kindness of our hearts and because we enjoy doing it and feel good about it. The MGs "volunteer" because the program requires it, and they do projects that are highly visible and they make sure they get the credit or a writeup in the local paper. Pathetic.

Do you realize you could be paying up to $575 ($275 for the class fee plus $300 potential fine) for that MG adventure if you drop out of the internship before fulfilling the educational and volunteering requirements?

See if there is a local plant or growers club you can join that relates more specifically to your interests. Or bury yourself in horticultural research and learn about those same topics that are discussed in the MG education program. You can do it all yourself by using free online source material. You do not need to be part of some exclusive group or program to do these things.

So the MG program rejected you? In my opinion they did you a favor. You can do all kinds of horticultural and gardening related volunteer work on your own, you do not need that organization to tell you what to do. And when you do some of that volunteering you will not only feel rightfully proud of what you are doing but you will meet decent, friendly people and will undoubtedly make some wonderful friendships as a result. Isn't that kinda the point?

Best regards,

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 11:12AM
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Hi Tom,

Thank you for the "pep talk". I love your spirit!!

In response to your questions: "Why did I wanted to be part of this program and why are my feelings hurt."
I live in an urban area (The Frogtown Area of St Paul) where we have a large Mong population. Most of the gardening groups that are focused on actually creating stronger community (vs. a ladies garden club) have lost their have many MG programs around the country. The MN MG program allows members to suggest projects and will lend resources. Maybe yes, so they can get media attention, but none the less, it would be support.
My understanding was that the MG program is strongly into multi-cultural projects so this is why I wanted to become a MG.
It looked to be a good fit.
I have heard many of the negative comments about MGs being "bored housewives, having no knowledge, etc, but could care less because I have my own agenda.
My feelings were hurt because no one likes to feel like they aren't "good enough". By not being accepted into a program with unlimited slots, and with little criterea for acceptance, it truly is a personal insult.
So, yes, I could do all of the hort. volunteering on my own but due to the the non-profit climate in my area, I'll have to affiliate with a group that has already laid the groundwork.

Thank you for saying that they did me a favor by rejecting me:)
I do know that these things do happen for a reason.
But the little girl in me is stomping mad!

Thanks so much,

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 4:14PM
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VERY STRANGE that they can exclude you with out telling you why. In WI this is a government backed program run thru the Univ. Ext. which is part of the Univ. system & I'm guessing MN's is something similar. About the only thing that I could see excluding you from joining if there is available room in a class would be some felony conviction like sexual assault, child molestation, etc. I'd ask some more questions.................. Below is a link with contact info for 2 people that are in charge of this program at the state level.

This post was edited by wirosarian on Sat, Nov 16, 13 at 18:42

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 6:29PM
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Hi Wirosarian,

I appreciate your input!
They told me that they have an unlimited number of spots.
And I have a clean record.
My interview went well, they even asked my availability for several I have no clue what happened.
It just seems strange.

Thanks Again,

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 10:56PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I also think they did you a favor. They don't teach anything you can't learn on your own and they require all that volunteer time. My mom and myself know way more than any MG I have ever met to be honest. At market when the MGs can't answer questions at their volunteer booth they send the person to me and if I don't know I text my mom.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 8:52PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Sorry to hear so many have such a negative view of the MG program. I won't argue that there are MG's who are not all that knowledgeable about gardening ( I work with some). However the term Master Gardener does not mean that you know everything, just that you know of sources to check for answers. Also MG's are not supposed to give out information that is not University of MN extension approved so sometimes they may not know all the latest extension info without checking it first.At least in my county I have not found anyone in the group to be snooty and I've been an MG for 5 years now. I do know that in some of the metro counties there are waiting lists to get into the program, I can't say why you were turned down but I would contact the person you interviewed with and ask why they thought you wouldn't be a good fit for the program.
As to the volunteering, I don't do it because I'm seeking the limelight, I volunteered before I became an MG as well, though I have well over 200 hours this year and that doesn't count the time I put in for the local garden club or the community garden I'm working on at our church.
As to having to be invited to join the group, that just isn't the case. Anyone can apply. Whether you like or dislike the program or any particular MG, please remember that they paid a fair amount of money to volunteer for your county. Sorry, but that's my own little rant.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Hi Everyone!

Thanks for all of your responses.
Certainly didn't intend for this to turn into a MG hating session.
So sorry to hear of so many negative experiences out there:(

I did receive some feedback...but the information is conflicting.
I am being told that I wasn't admitted because they had too many candidates yet during the interview, I was told the could accept an unlimited number.

I am happy to report that I have connected with a community gardening group that is tied in to several community based projects.
Since that is why I wanted to be an MG in the first place, I will move on and leave their conflicting information behind!

Thank again, everyone!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 12:41PM
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