AgCenter shows appreciation to Master Gardeners

Johnny Morgan  |  5/15/2018 9:13:42 PM

(05/15/18) HAMMOND, La. — Louisiana Master Gardener volunteers from across the state were shown how valuable they are at a Master Gardener Appreciation Day held May 10 at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station.

More than 200 Master Gardeners took time to enjoy the beauty of the station’s gardens and to hear presentations from experts.

Led by the AgCenter, the Louisiana Master Gardener Program trains volunteers who help extend research-based horticulture information to the public. Louisiana has more than 2,750 active Master Gardeners, said Sara Shields, the program’s coordinator.

AgCenter associate vice president Rogers Leonard said the volunteers provide an important service.

“Our Master Gardeners take up a lot of the slack from our horticulture agents,” Leonard said. “With our agents taking on more territory, the work of the Master Gardeners becomes even more important.”

Chiquita Briley, director of the AgCenter Southeast Region, thanked the group for their work.

“As I travel around the region, it seems that everywhere I go, I run into a Master Gardener. And that’s a good thing,” Briley said.

The appreciation day included tours of gardens at the station. AgCenter horticulturist Jason Stagg showed the volunteers tea and olive plants being grown in trials.

Attendees also participated in three contests: “What is Wrong with This Plant,” “Name that Weed” and the “Botany Challenge.”

Former AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings discussed some of the work he’s done since retiring last year. Gene Blythe, a research professor at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville, Mississippi, spoke about the All‐America Selections winners.

AgCenter entomologist Dennis Ring talked to the group about insect issues. He encouraged the Master Gardeners to consult AgCenter specialists such as himself if they need help in their work.

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Master Gardeners take in the sights of the gardens at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station during the annual Master Gardener Appreciation Day on May 10. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

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LSU AgCenter agent William Afton discusses plants to be viewed on a tour of the gardens at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station during the annual Master Gardener Appreciation Day on May 10. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

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LSU AgCenter horticulturist Jason Stagg leads a tour of the tea and olive groves at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station during the annual Master Gardener Appreciation Day on May 10. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

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