WCMG Executive Board Meeting – Tuesday, 31 March 2015


Event:  WCMG Executive Board Meeting
When:  6:30 PM on Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Where:  the UT/TSU Extension Office
.              125 Baddour Parkway, Suite 100
.              Lebanon, TN 37087

Executive Board meetings are open to all WCMG members.


Posted in Announcement, Meeting Notice, Volunteer Opportunity

Spring Festival Planning Meeting – Tuesday, 17 March 2015

schoolexhibitbldg-20121104The next planning session for the Spring Festival & Garden Tour will take place Tuesday. All WCMG members are encouraged to attend and help make our Spring Festival a success.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 17
TIME: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
WHERE: School Exhibit Building at the Ward Ag Center

Please plan to attend.  Thanks.


Posted in Announcement, Meeting Notice, Volunteer Opportunity

WCMG Meeting, Tuesday, 3 March 2015 in the Veterans Building

ag_ctr_20140323-IMG_1376On Tuesday, 3 March 2015 the Wilson County Master Gardener Association will meet at 7:00 p.m. in the Veterans Building at James E. Ward Agricultural Center. Those who wish to eat should show up by  6:30 pm. The dinner theme is breakfast for supper.

johnstonOur guest speaker will be Dr. Tony Johnston from the MTSU Department of Agribusiness.

Tony Johnston received his PhD in Enology and Viticulture in 1995 from the University of Arkansas and assumed his current position as a faculty member at MTSU in August of that year. Upon his arrival at MTSU he began working with amateur and professional grape growers and winemakers in the region to improve their grape and wine production techniques. He established and started teaching home winemaking and wine appreciation classes on a non-credit basis initially and has now established credit-based classes on Wine Appreciation, Wine Science, and the International Wine Industry (among many other courses).

Dr. Johnston assisted with the opening of and served as the winemaker for 3 years at Sumner Crest Winery in Portland, owned and operated Monteagle Winery for 3 years, has consulted with grape growers and winemakers in almost every state adjoining Tennessee, and established a demonstration vineyard at the Rutherford County Extension Office. Dr. Johnston is frequently asked to speak on wine and wine related topics and has written over 50 wine related articles for publication in the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal.


Posted in Announcement, CEU Opportunity, Meeting Notice

2015 Winter School Agenda

The 2015 Tennessee Master Gardener Winter School Agenda:

Feb. 26, Thursday

7:00   Registration opens, Silent Auction begins

8:00     Welcome with Leadership Introductions – Dr. Chris Cooper

8:15     Our New TMG State Coordinator – Dr. Natalie Bumgarner

9:30     Grow Your Organization with Better Understanding of Personality Profiles and Group dynamics – Melody Rose

11:15   Concurrent Sessions –

  • Plant Scouting and Basic Diagnostics for the Master Gardener – Dr. Frank Hale & Dr. Alan Windham, or
  • Increasing your Organization’s Digital Footprint – Emily Tipton

12:15   Lunch & Alliance Meetings

1:45     SFE Winner Presentations – Suzanne Allen

3:00     Master Gardeners:  Round Table Discussions (Idea Sharing/Networking)

* Social Media
* Advanced Master Gardener
* Improving Meeting Attendance
* Jr. Master Gardener
* Fund Raising
— small
— large projects
* Networking
* Intern Training
* Educational Events

3:00     Agents:  Visit with Dr. Natalie Bumgarner and Dr. Chris Cooper

4:00     Concurrent Sessions –

  • Improving your Membership Recruitment and Retention – Carol Mathews, or
  • Plant Fertilization Strategies – Debbie Joines

Feb. 27, Friday

8:00     Welcome – Dr. Chris Cooper

8:15     Are Hydrangeas Wimps for Diseases and Insects? –Dr. Mark Windham

9:30     Concurrent Sessions –

  • So You Want to Apply for a Grant? – Maureen Mulroy, or
  • Balancing Pesticide Use with Biological Controls – Dr. Frank Hale

10:45   Local Identities – Shared Vision – Janet Carson

12:00   Lunch & Awards Presentations – Dr. Chris Cooper & Dr. Natalie Bumgarner

1:00     Concurrent Sessions –

  • Hands on Grafting (Apples and Tomatoes) Chris Ramsey & Dr. Natalie Bumgarner, or
  • GMOs – Who, What, Why – Dr. Scott Senseman, Dr. Dennis West, Dr. Heather Young

3:00     End – Door Prizes and Silent Auction (you must be present to win)

It’s going to be a good one! If you pre-register and pay your fee before Tuesday, 10 February you will save $10. You can do that here:


or, you may print and mail your registration by downloading the registration form here:


See you at Winter School.


Posted in Announcement, CEU Opportunity, Update | Tagged ,

Winter School 2015: Before You Go Info from Dr. Natalie Ruth Bumgarner


Winter School 2015   —  “The Good Earth”

The TEMG Advocacy board is looking forward to welcoming you to Winter School 2015 this week – TN Extension Master Gardeners’ best resource for education, networking and fun. There’s so much in store. Be ready for an experience that will motivate and inspire you, from the outstanding speakers to the incredible learning activities to all the great gardening ideas we always gain at Winter School. Pay close attention to the information in this email – we want you to be as prepared as possible for a state conference like no other.


The attire for the conference is gardener casual (jeans, khakis, sweatshirts are just fine). It is February and we’ll be inside a very nice, heated metal building, so dress in layers that you can take off or put on as needed. In years past, we’ve had a few people complain about the plastic chairs getting a little hard throughout the day, so feel free to bring a pillow or blanket to sit on if you prefer.

The middle TN forecast predicts mostly sunny conditions with daytime temperatures in low to mid 30s during the conference. Be sure to plan accordingly and check the weather forecast just before leaving.

 New for 2015

Did you notice any changes in the Winter School agenda?  Based on your requests (we really do read and make changes based on your surveys), we eliminated the “track” schedules.  We are still offering the top notch leadership training and educational sessions in a two-day conference.  We are still offering fantastic general session speakers and you can also still choose between great sessions in five different concurrent sessions (options are always a good thing).

A new activity for this year is a special listening session for association leadership (the alliance member or their designee).  TEMG is growing and improving, and we want to ensure that all our county associations are able to provide input into future planning for Extension Master Gardeners.  If you are a county association president, be sure to stick around Thursday after the final session for this meeting.

Another new feature this year is expanding the volunteer assistance across the state.  Previously the volunteer helpers have been the Advocacy board members and Master Gardeners from Rutherford County.  This year all TEMGs had the opportunity to help and, in turn, receive a discount on your registration fee.  Hope you signed up as a volunteer helper when you registered!  It is a lot of fun (not to mention those valuable volunteer hours)!

Thinking of 2016…..  Based on your numerous requests to hold Winter School in different locations, the Advocacy board is open to suggestions for moving to another place.  Rutherford County has tremendous facilities, staff, and local volunteers who have been wonderful to help us through these past few years.  The TEMG leadership has truly enjoyed working with them!  The Advocacy board would like to hear your suggestions for a 2016 site, keeping in mind these requirements:

*large classroom style meeting space with at least 3 good-sized rooms (or 2 large rooms and an area for registration and silent auction), kitchenette area, plenty of restroom space, and good parking – preferably on an university or extension campus (we’re willing to consider other inexpensive options)

*in a city that is somewhat central so that no one group must travel a very far distance, has several options for inexpensive hotel rooms, has several options for restaurants

We realize that this is a lot to ask, however you have told us that there are facilities out there wanting to host our conference, so now is your chance to let us know!

As you know, we are always striving to improve your experience at Winter School, so let us know what you think about these and other changes this year.  Be sure to write any other ideas or suggestions on your evaluation forms…..we really do use these comments when planning each year!

   Getting There

TEMG Winter School 2015 is in Murfreesboro, TN in the Community Center building at the Lane Agri-Center (315 John R. Rice Blvd).  When you turn off of John R. Rice Blvd, you will be facing the Administration Building.  Turn right to drive around that building, and then make another right.  Drive past the livestock barn and our meeting is in the next building on the left, the Community Center.  Parking is in the front of the building.

Registration Hours

Upon your arrival to the Lane Agri-Center’s Community Center, first you’ll stop by the registration desk in the Foyer to pick up your meeting materials, including your name badge and program. You will only need to register once.  Hours for the registration desk are:

Wednesday, Feb 25  —— 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  (accepting Silent Auction donations too)

Thursday, Feb 26  ——  7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Friday, Feb 27  ——  7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

First Day Activities – Thursday, Feb 26 

Opening Welcome 

8:00 a.m.   Come meet your new TEMG State Coordinator!  Dr. Natalie Bumgarner will discuss some of her background and ideas for TEMG’s in the future. We are excited to have Natalie in TN and know you will be also!

Regional Alliance Meetings

12:15 p.m. – Again this year we will have our TN regional alliance meetings.  Meet Master Gardeners from other associations within your region and discuss issues specific to your area.

Search for Excellence Presentations   

1:45 p.m. – Hear about our SFE 2014 winning projects and gain ideas about how to take these projects back to your association.  We encourage you to start working now on your SFE application for 2015!

Round Table Discussions

3:00 p.m.  New this year – We will have topic specific areas for you to network with your MG peers and help each other to improve with your own ideas and experiences.  Choose between topics such as social media, advanced master gardeners, improving meeting attendance, junior master gardeners, fund raising – small groups and another for large groups, networking, intern training, and educational events.  Pick a topic and let the knowledge flow!

Social Evening Event     

8:00 p.m. – Comfort Suites meeting room (1st floor)

You are invited to a get-together at the Comfort Suites hotel sponsored by the NETMG association.  Attire for this is casual.  Don’t sit in your hotel room all night.  Join your fellow TEMGs in fun fellowship and great conversation.

Second Day Activities – Friday, Feb 27 

Opening Session   

8:00 a.m. – We have a great educational session planned to increase our knowledge on hydrangeas.  Discover the latest UT research on which plants are wimps and which ones are great for our TN weather and insects.

Shared Visions 

10:45 a.m. – Another outstanding speaker this year is Janet Carson, coming to us all the way from Little Rock, Arkansas.  You’ll enjoy hearing Janet give us some of her perspectives on the relationship between local group identities and shared vision across the state.

Awards Program 

12:00 p.m. – Join us in anticipation as Chris Cooper makes very special announcements of our 2014 award winners.

Hands-on Grafting Class 

1:00 p.m. – Another new feature this year is a hands-on educational session teaching grafting of tomatoes and apples.  You’ll leave this session with the actual plants that you work on during class!  Be sure to register for this class when you register for Winter School so we’ll know how many plants to bring (and you’ll know to leave space in your car for the trip home).

Silent Auction  

1:00 p.m. – Silent auction ends.  Winners may pay for and pick up their items when Winter School ends at 3:00.  Good luck and bid high!


Meals are provided with your registration.  If you register late, meals are not guaranteed and may not be available (depending on the number of registrations).  Please wait until the end of the buffet line to ensure all on-time attendees get their food.  If needed, there are a few fast restaurants near the Agri-Center, or you may wish to bring your lunch.  In previous years there was plenty of food for everyone, however every year our attendance grows, so please be considerate of others.

The only special meals available will be for attendees who notified us ahead of time (allergies, etc.).  We have attempted to make our meals delicious and healthy for everyone…keeping in mind that tastes do vary and catering services are somewhat limited.  If you have extra-special needs, please make meal provisions on your own.

              Silent Auction

Don’t forget to support registration scholarships for the 2016 Winter School by bringing items for our silent auction.  Items can be checked in Wednesday, Feb. 25, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 26, 7 a.m. – 12 noon.  Please include detailed information of your donated items (including the donor’s name) so they can be better described on the forms.

Please walk through and check out all the silent auction items frequently as bids can come in any time until closing on Friday.  If you are the lucky winner of an item, you can pay for and pick up your item after the final presentation ends at 3:00 p.m. Friday.

Bid High and Bid Often!

New TEMG Gear

This year at Winter School, we will be offering tee shirts and polo shirts embroidered with the new UT Extension Master Gardener logo. Additionally, there will be hot/cold drinking tumblers with the new logo as well as hats, visors, and license plates. All of these items will be available for sale on Thursday, so be prepared!

 Winter School Evaluation Feedback

Please take the time to complete the survey before you leave on Friday and let us know your feedback on the 2015 Winter School. Forms are at the registration desk and once completed, can be left in the box at the registration desk.  This is how we continue to improve the program and select presentation ideas and topics for next year’s sessions, so make your voice count!



 Please visit our website at http://mastergardener.tennessee.edu/, post your question to our Facebook page (Tennessee Master Gardener), or contact your county Extension agent in charge of Master Gardeners.

   Volunteer Assistance

 The TMG Advocacy board gives a HUGE thank you for the wonderful assistance provided by all the TN Master Gardener Volunteers and the Rutherford County Extension service.  We simply could not hold this conference without the long hours of dedicated work from these fine people.

Natalie R. Bumgarner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Residential and Consumer Horticulture
Tennessee Extension Master Gardener Coordinator
Department of Plant Sciences
252 Ellington Plant Sciences, 2431 Joe Johnson Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996
nbumgarn@utk.edu | ag.tennessee.edu


Posted in Announcement