Barron County Master Gardener Volunteers

UW-Extension Announces Master Gardener Volunteer Training

Whether you are an experienced gardener with a “green thumb” or just a beginner with energy and a desire to help others learn more about he gardening, you can become a Master Gardener Volunteer.  Master Gardener volunteer training is being offered in Barron County this fall starting on September 8.  The Master Gardener program is a volunteer program designed and sponsored by University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension to educate community members interested in gardening who, in turn, volunteer to further educate the public and provide community support.

The classes will be held on Tuesday evenings, beginning in September and concluding in November.  The classes will be from 6-8:00 p.m. at UW-Barron County in Rice Lake.  There will be 36 hours of training in all horticultural related subjects including fruits, vegetables, perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs, landscape design weeds, insects, diseases, soil and plant health, composting, wildlife management, natives and invasive, houseplants, plant  propagation and lawn care along with volunteer training.

The classes are delivered using a combination of online and classroom presentations.  University of Wisconsin horticultural faculty and UW-Extension horticultural educators will be teaching the online topics.  Certified Master Gardener Volunteers UW-Extension faculty members, and others with expertise in specific horticultural issues will provide hands-on classroom activities each week to supplement the online training.

The Barron County Master Gardener Volunteers are a strong group with wonderful members passionate about gardening, community service, and education.  We have many projects and activities through out Barron county that help to enrich the beauty of our communities and improve the lives of people in our community.  If you would like to be part of our team, register now for the Level 1 Master Gardener Volunteer training.

Registration materials are available at http// or by calling the Barron County UW-Extension Office at 715-537-6250.  The fee for the Level 1 training class is $125 per person and includes all training materials and handouts.  Registration is open until September 1st.

Once Level 1 training is completed, each participant is required to volunteer 24 hours of community service before you are awarded the status of Certified Master Gardener Volunteer.  To maintain the certification, 24 hours of serviced is required each year along with 10 hours of continuing education.  Most Master Gardener Volunteers achieve this time commitment by simply attending monthly membership meetings, helping out with existing projects and attending a workshop or two.


Mission Statement
The goal of this organization shall be to encourage, foster, support and promote Horticulture
for all Master Gardener Volunteers and residents of Barron County
and to promote the UW-Extension from which we are founded.

Officers and Directors:

President – Carol Kettner

Vice President – Carolyn Swanberg

Secretary – Alice Wardon

Treasurer – Millie Seabold

Directors:  Marilyn Saffert, Karen Schleis, Laura Cutsforth,  Carol Abbuehl – Past President

Other Contacts:

Historian – Carolyn Swanberg

Record Keeper – Laura Cutsforth

Newsletter – Carol Kettner

Sunshine – Jill Keefer

Publicity – Hali Dessecker

WIGMA State Board Rep:  Hali Dessecker, P.O. Box 2, Rice Lake, WI 54868 – (715) 234-0098)

Advisor – Tim Jergenson, Barron County UW-Extension, 335 E. Monroe Avenue, Room 2206, Barron, WI 54812-1540

Phone:  715-537-6250

Fax:  715-537-6814

By Laws for Master Gardeners:

 By Laws Revised October 2, 2014

Master Gardener Program Schedule for 2015

Unless otherwise noted, monthly meetings are held at the Barron County Government Center, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

January 8, 2015 – (no membership meeting) Master Gardener Board Meeting

February 5, 2015 – “What’s going on with Our Service Projects?”

Committee members from the following projects will share their progress:  Barron County Historical Society; Barron County Fairgrounds; Benjamin’s House; Farmer’s Market Plant Advisor.

March 5, 2015 – Rick Rock from Rock Landscaping and Gardens in Baldwin will present a program on landscaping.

March 28, 2015 – Spring Expo- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Conference Center, Rice Lake, WI 54868.

  • Keynote Speaker:  Jeff Epping, Director of Horticulture of Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison for the past 20 years, will present “Creating Spectacular Container Gardens.”  He will guide us through the selection of pots, soil, fertilizers, and of course, plants, to compose beautiful combinations that will be the envy of your neighbors.  Jeff is a graduate of the University of WI-Madison and holds a Bachelors’ and Master’s degree in Ornamental Horticulture.  He also worked at the Chicago Botanical Gardens before joining the staff at Olbrich.
  • Keynote Speaker:  Jeff Epping, second program will be “Sustainable Gardens:  Designs and Plants for Greener Gardens.”  Jeff will present greener garden ideas that he and his staff have created at Olbrich, as well as from gardens across the country.  Green sustainable gardens are good for the environment, and require less time, water and chemical inputs to grow successfully.  Jeff will show us how to have beautiful “green” gardens by carefully analyzing site conditions and utilizing plants that are well-adapted to the conditions in which we plant them.

April 2, 2015 – “What is a CSA?” – Kate Stout owns and operates a Community Supported Agriculture farm (CSA) near Prairie Farm.

May 7, 2015 –  Sue Reinardy, a member of the North Country Master Gardeners, will present a PowerPoint program “Going Native.”  A natural garden isn’t complete without native plants.  Sue will teach us how to cultivate native plants and provide food for butterflies, song birds, hummingbirds and beneficial insects.  she will also talk about phenology, the study of the development of plants and animals as affected by our climate and weather.

May 15, 2015 – Setup for plant sale at the Barron County Fairgrounds.

May 16, 2015Annual plant sale at the fairgrounds in Rice Lake.  Start time for the sale is 8:00 AM.

June 4, 2015 – 6:00 p.m. Potluck and garden tour at Henk Vandenbrink’s garden.  Henk is a farmer’s market grower and manager of the Rice Lake Farmer’s Market.  Henk is from the Netherlands and has lots of unique tricks for growing vegetables.  He offered to demonstrate grafting tomato plants during the tour.

July 9, 2015 – 6:00 p.m.  Potluck and garden tour at Tim Hefele’s Ridgeland home.

July 11-12, 2015 – Put together your own carpool to visit the gardens at the FamilyMeans 23rd Annual St. Croix Garden Tour.  This self-guided tour of 8 gardens around the Stillwater, Minnesota area will be staffed by volunteers and Master Gardeners to answer questions.  Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased each day between 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. from FamilyMeans, 1875 Northwester Avenue, Stillwater, MN 55082.  Maps and garden descriptions will be provided and gardens are open for tours between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

July 13-19 – Barron County Fair

        13 – Monday – Set up

        14 – Tuesday – Jr. Class Judging

        15 – Wednesday – Open Class Judging

        15-19 – Staff the Master Gardener Booth

         19 – Sunday – Clean up

August 6, 2015 – 6:00 p.m.  Potluck and garden tour at our Junior Master Gardener, Lucas West’s Turtle Lake home.

September 3, 2015 – Carol Kettner will present a program on gardens of New Zealand.  She will talk about the different growing conditions and issues New Zealand gardeners deal with, as well as share pictures from the Wisconsin Master Gardener’s Glorious Gardens of New Zealand trip.

October 1, 2015 – “Shade Gardens and Woodland Gardens,” by Nancy Skelley, co-owner of the Potting Shed Garden and Gifts in Altoona.

November 5, 2015 – “New Perennials plus Woodly Plants and Others.”  Dean Carstensen is a hobbyist gardener turned professional.   For the past 20 years, he has been the head grower for Chippewa Valley Growers outside Altoona and has been in charge of selecting the varieties of annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, trees and shrubs for this garden center.

December 3, 2015 – 6:00 p.m. Christmas Party Potluck and Garden gift exchange at the Barron County Government Center.


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