I recently joined SDSU Extension as a Consumer Horticulture Field Specialist after completing a PhD in Entomology from Penn State. I’m looking forward to working and gardening in South Dakota! My job at the Pierre Regional Center is to provide programming for home gardeners and answer your plant and pest questions. I will also work with community gardens and Master Gardener programs. I am planning projects on backyard biodiversity, butterfly gardening, and pollinator conservation. I would love to hear from you if you’re interested in getting involved in these projects. You can reach me at 605-773-8120.
If you’ve ever thought about becoming a Master Gardener yourself, now is the time! The 2013 Master Gardener training begins April 1, and registration is due March 20. This year’s class includes eight weeks of online training and three day-long sessions of hands on-training. Online sessions start April 1 and are accessible anywhere there is Internet access. The online access gives students the flexibility to watch the lessons at their convenience during the eight-week program.
The three, day-long, hands-on sessions give students the opportunity to learn skills like pruning, turf care, and plant and insect identification. This training is being offered at five locations including the Pierre Regional Center (April 30, May 7 and 14). The other hands-on training sites are McCrory Gardens in Brookings, Yankton County Extension Office, or the SDSU Extension Regional Centers in Aberdeen and Rapid City.
Master Gardeners work in their community to promote and teach gardening. Master Gardeners can complete their volunteer hours by writing articles, giving talks or presentations on a subject of interest, working at fair booths, helping in community and school gardens, teaching others about gardening, and answering garden questions.
For a copy of the application and answers to any questions you might have about the program, contact Mary Roduner, SDSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Field Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 605-394-1722.