Launch your garden into Spring!
Washington County Master Gardeners will hold their Annual Plant Sale on April 29th at the Hillsboro Armory 848 NE 28th Ave in Hillsboro from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM. You’ll find just what you need to launch your garden into full bloom. Hardy perennials and annuals. Shrubs and berries. Herbs, natives, and drought tolerant plants. While shopping, try your luck with raffles for an assortment of fun and fanciful prizes. See you there!
Temporary Nursery License: For each plant sale held by a Master Gardener Chapter or Master Gardener Association in Oregon, an application for a temporary nursery license must be submitted to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
Congratulations got to:
2014 MG of the Year – Mary Mellard (Benton)
2014 Behind the Scenes – Terri Hoffmann (Clackamas)
2015 MG of the Year – Marcia Sherry (Yamhill)
2015 Behind the Scenes – Alan Wenner (Yamhill)
2016 MG of the Year – Jim Liskey (Marion)
2016 Behind the Scenes – Marsha Waite (Jackson)
What is OMGA™ and what does it do for you?
The Master Gardener™ Program was established by the OSU Extension Service to help disseminate horticultural information to the public. Volunteers are trained in participating counties and serve under the direction and guidance of County Extension Agents.
Many volunteers in OSU’s Master Gardener Program choose to associate themselves as members of their county Master Gardener Association Chapters. Membership in these chapters brings with it membership in the statewide organization, OMGA™.
While OMGA and its subsidiary Chapters were created principally to support and supplement OSU’s Master Gardener Program, OMGA and the Chapters are separate entities, distinct from the Master Gardener Program itself, OSU. OMGA acts autonomously and is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of a State Representative from each of its chapters. OMGA is a tax-exempt organization 501(3)(c) Incorporated in the State of Oregon.
OMGA unifies and supports Chapter programs and helps promote horticultural education by supporting OSU’s Statewide Master Gardener Program. Because of their nonprofit status, OMGA and the Chapters are able to engage in fund-raising and conduct programs of significant benefit to the MG Program and to the gardening public.
The OMGA provides a variety of benefits both to its chapters and its individual members. Your dues provide the funding for many of these activities.
- Annual Gardener’s Mini-College — Sponsoring events jointly with the OSU Extension Service
- Annual Donation to Send A Friend Scholarship—Helping Chapter to send a member of their county to Gardener’s Mini-College
- Karl Carlson Fund grants — Assisting chapters with special projects
- McNeilan Scholarships — Furthering the education of students in horticulture @ OSU
- The Gardener’s Pen newsletter — Keeping members up-to-date on what’s going on with OMGA
- Leadership Day Forum — Promoting leadership within our members
- Web Guidelines publication — Helping chapters keep consistent with OSU of requirements
- Funding development of educational tools — i.e., an OSU Plant ID website
- OMGA History Book — Providing a concise history of the OMGA, its roots and development
- Introducing Marje Luce Search For Excellence programs for Mini-College
- Extension Educator Grants to Chapters — Educating the public about home horticulture and sustainable practices through special chapter projects
- Creating a Tool Kit for understanding of the OMGA and the Master Gardener Programs
- Continuing Education for the OMGA EC and BD (effective leadership, fiduciary responsibilities, etc.)
- Strategic Plan — Providing tools to chapters to understand OMGA, Continuing Education, Fund Raising, and Strengthening OMGA
- Educating the public about home horticulture and sustainable practices through special chapter projects
- OMGA Website — Providing online connections to news and information from OMGA
FINANCIAL SUPPORT of the OSU MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM and CHAPTER ACTIVITIES
- Payment of State Corporate Fees and Professional Tax Reviews to ensure our nonprofit status for OMGA and Chapters
- Payment of biennial Registration Fees to the State of Oregon Legal Entity Registration
- Publications — Funding the distribution of PNW Handbooks to all chapters
- Support of 2017 International Master Gardener Conference & OSU Foundation
- Jan McNeilan Grant—Enabling County’s to interact with OMGA Board of Directors Meetings
These resources were suggested by Jan Even, Central Oregon Chapter
Inexpensive web-based tools you might want to consider for chapter operations
I. Content Management System (for web site publishing)
WordPress.com: Hosting of small sites is free. Search engine optimization is built in. Design templates, called “themes” let you have a professional look without hiring a designer and with no knowledge of programming. Many web design firms develop themes – there are lots of free ones or you can license one for a nominal fee. Most themes have auto-adjust to mobile devices built in (called “responsive design”). Automatic push of posts from web site to Facebook and Twitter can be configured. Technical support available. Various plug-ins offer customizations and upgrades (such as no advertising) at low cost. A limited number of third-party applications are supported.
If you want broader customization capabilities and more third-party applications, Wordpress.org is the toolset for developers, which you would host on your own servers or some other hosting service such as GoDaddy or Hostgator. WordPress.org requires someone with programming knowledge (PHP) and some knowledge of server domain names to set up and is probably overkill for most chapters.
II. Social media
Hootsuite.com: This free service enables you to manage three different social media accounts from one interface. In the Pro version, you can create a team with an admin and several team members so you can see each other’s work and avoid duplication. The free version allows you to have one user (you could share username & password but only one person could be logged into account at a time) and 3 different social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). A Pro plan enables you to have up to 10 users and 50 social media profiles for $10/month.
Shiftboard.com: Enables chapter members to schedule themselves into openings for plant clinic or other projects. Very flexible and configurable, many features. Pricing depends on number of “workers” entered into database and number of months in which shifts occur. In Central Oregon, we use it for shifts that occur April-October so we only pay for 6 months (OSU Extension pays for it, chapter pays nothing). For us it costs $50/mo, would be more for larger chapters with more people.
SignUp.com: Similar purpose, not as full-featured, but it is free.
SurveyMonkey.com: Very simple and easy to use but has some advanced features such as skip logic. Provides good data analysis of results if you structure your questions to avoid free-form text answers. In Central Oregon, we use to survey our members on various topics. Free.
V. Mass mailings
Mailchimp.com: Tool for sending out mass e-mailings, such as to general public who have signed up to receive notification of classes, or to receive newsletter, etc. Supports batch upload via .csv file. Will automatically cull addresses that are no longer valid. Offers many different templates that are highly customizable to design good-looking HTML emails. The email can also be just an image if you want to send a poster to your recipients. Offers extensive data reporting such as telling you what percentage of audience has opened email, clicked links within the email, which links they followed, etc. It is free if you have up to 2,000 recipients in database.
ConstantContact.com: Similar service but not free.
VI. Publishing PDFs
Issuu.com: Tool for publishing multi-page PDFs in a user-friendly way rather than the very large file that a multipage PDF is. Can be used by mobile devices as well as PCs. You upload PDF and Issuu converts it to HTML. It gives you embed code that you can use to insert it into your web site, into an email blast, or whatever. Or, it also generates a link to your publication on Issuu. You can archive numerous publications there. Basic account is free.
Smallpdf.com is another site with powerful PDF management/manipulation tools.
VII. Making slideshows
Slideshare.net: This service is for sharing PowerPoint presentations. Useful if you want to share a presentation with everyone in your chapter, so people who don’t have PowerPoint also can view it.
Photosnack.com: Basic account is free. Use it to create slideshows. Many templates and visual effects to choose from. Very easy to use, just upload the photos and drag and drop them into the slideshow, then choose the template you want to control the look and feel. It will generate embed code to paste into your web site, newsletter, etc. or it can generate a link that you can send out.
VIII. Scheduling a meeting
In a workplace where everyone is on the same calendar program, there is usually a collaboration feature that allows you to set up meetings. But as dispersed volunteers we used to find this difficult, sending out rounds of emails trying to find day/time that works for all. Now we use free service Doodle.com, which supports one admin, so you need to share login/password with everyone who will be scheduling meetings. You can create day/time alternatives, enter the names & emails of the people you want to attend the meeting, and then Doodle sends them a link to go to to indicate whether they are available and which alternative day/time they prefer.
Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Social Media Training Site
Why did we create this national training site?
The Internet, smartphones, tablets and Social Media have added another dimension to how EMGs can communicate with the gardening public.
- Personal schedules make it difficult for clientele to plan for Extension office visits and training during normal office hours.
- The Internet is always “on” and can be accessed from almost anywhere using smartphones and tablets making access to information personal and portable.
- Because of the technological advances we can now provide access to Extension resources in a virtual environment to complement what exists in the physical location.
- Interacting with others with common interests through a social, online setting is fun and promotes informal learning across geographic regions.
Based on a national survey in 2013, we discovered there is great interest in having nationally coordinated online social media training. The survey was distributed through local and state programs and had 1143 EMG volunteer and 107 EMG coordinator respondents.
- 90% of EMG volunteers and 94% of coordinators responding were interested in the training.
- 91% of EMG volunteers and 99% of coordinators responding were willing to use social media in the local EMG program.
- 100% of EMG volunteers and 94% of coordinators responding were willing to participate in a nationally coordinated social media program.
Why should EMG programs use Social Media?
- Social Media provides a unique way to connect with the gardening public.
- Social Media allows for interaction with non-traditional Extension audiences who utilize the internet as a source of information.
- Social Media allows clientele to access Extension resources when, where and how they need it.
- Social Media provides new outreach and teaching venues for EMG Volunteers who are looking for opportunities to enhance their social media skills or who need flexible schedules for fulfilling their program requirements.
- Social media is fluid, flexible and fun!
How can Social Media be used in an EMG program?
- “Learn, Reach and Teach” summarizes what the EMG program is all about. Through the EMG program, volunteers:
- Learn new research-based information about gardening and delivering educational programs,
- Reach out to others who share their gardening interest, and
- Teach based on their knowledge and their resources derived from their connection to the Cooperative Extension system.
In addition to facilitating the exchange of gardening knowledge, social media provides a platform for EMG programs to:
- Share events and announcements
- Share information and photos related to plant diseases, pest outbreaks and other emerging gardening issues
- Provide educational resources in response to questions
- Build the online gardening community
- Strengthen the Extension Master Gardener program
How was this site created?
This training was developed by the Extension Master Gardener Social Media Task Force which consists of Extension Master Gardeners, Extension Master Gardener Coordinators and other Extension Specialists. Please submit your questions to members of the training task force.
Interested in learning more about the social media training site and resources?
Extension Master Gardeners, EMG Coordinators/Social Media Managers, and Extension specialists/agents >>>
The OMGA Mailing Address is now posted to the website. It can be found in the footer on ever page, at the bottom of the Home page, on the Contact Us page, and in this post as well.
2397 NW Kings Blvd
Corvallis OR 97330
This issue of the Gardener’s Pen is themed “What’s Underfoot” and features articles on a number of OMGA programs.
You may also open/print the PDF version here: April 2016 Gardener’s Pen