The Master Gardener Program in Barron County started in 1994. Over 205 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 37 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2016. The UWEX Educator facilitating the MG Program is Ag/ Hort/Natural Resources Agent Tim Jergenson.
Spring Expo Promotes Horticulture
MGVs host the annual Spring Expo to encourage, foster, support and promote horticulture for all residents of Barron County. Topics featured in 2015 included designing container gardens, vegetable varieties for northwest Wisconsin, identifying diseases in vegetables and herbaceous plants, and growing green sustainable gardens. MGVs encouraged the record attendance of 168 people to use the information to enhance the gardens in their yards and throughout their communities.
Plant Doctors Answer Questions
In its second year, MGVs again worked with UWEX to answer questions at the Rice Lake Farmers Market. MGVs were available with resource materials to answer questions on plant problems and diseases. Displays included a sampling of herbs for touch and smell and examples of common diseases. A log book was kept to track concerns in the area. This year a hot spot was available so we had internet access to help answer questions. Many market patrons, knowing the booth was open every Saturday, brought in pictures and samples for easier identification.
Pioneer Village Museum Garden Educates
MGVs annually plant a vegetable garden with a historical theme at the Pioneer Village Museum to teach the thousands of visitors to the museum about their local food heritage and culture. This year’s theme was a World War II Victory Garden— gardens created to produce as much food as possible and to give those at home a chance to do their part for the war eﬀort. In addition, a 1000 square foot rain garden was created with native prairie plants and donated boulders.
Volunteer Service in 2015
|Youth education||153 hours|
|Adult education||343 hours|
|Support services||1509 hours|
Since 2000: 34,982 hours at a value of over $609,136
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $22.24 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual estimates.
Where you can find activities by MGVs in Barron Co.
- Barron County Fair Grounds
- Pioneer Village Museum
- Benjamin’s House, Rice Lake
- Barron Community Garden Park
- Rice Lake Farmer’s Market
- Spring Garden Expo
- Barron Co. MGA Plant Sale