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RECAP: Communicate to Cultivate

We had almost 140 Georgia MGEVs online on August 21 for part two in the 2020 Regional Leadership Conference (RLC) series. It was great to “see” so many of you! Thank you to our Hall County “virtual” hosts Garrett Hibbs, ANR Agent, and Karin Hicks, Program Assistant. Garrett got us off to a great start with an overview of several signature projects in Hall County, including the Brenau University Garden Society (BUGS), the Wilshire Trails Park Pollinator Garden (how appropriate, since The Georgia Pollinator Census was also happening the same day!), and the demonstration gardens that surround the Extension office in Hall county. Garrett also shared how Karin works with MGEVs to offer “virtual” help desk services to county residents. If you have further questions about Hall County’s projects, you can email Garrett (ghibbs@uga.edu) or Karin (karin.hicks@uga.edu).

We continued the RLC series on communication with a theme of cultivating. We, as gardeners, understand the effort that it takes to build soil and nurture plants.

As gardeners, we also recognize the signs of success resulting from good cultivation.

The same concepts apply to cultivating knowledge of plants and gardening. As MGEVs, you assist the public in cultivating knowledge in skills about plants and gardening. You also devote time to cultivating your personal knowledge and skills. If we are successful in cultivating knowledge of plants and gardens in others, we will certainly see signs, such as :

  • New audiences attending Extension events
  • Repeat visitors or attenders to Extension events
  • Increased visitation of our demonstration garden sites
  • Increased views of social media accounts
  • Requests for more information or activities

We had a lot of fun using breakout rooms in zoom to discuss ways we would cultivate knowledge of water-smart gardening. Great discussion and ideas abounded about cultivating knowledge through joint use of our demonstration gardens, our media teams, and our teams that provide learning opportunities, such as workshops and lectures. Consensus was that when using these teams together, we would see evidence of cultivation!

During the RLC, we also considered how we cultivate our own knowledge and skills. Representatives of GMGA shared about their upcoming virtual conference in November. MGEVs also gain knowledge and skill by attending the RLC or even our monthly Thoughtful Thursday sessions.

Wrapping up our session, we realized that cultivating knowledge in our audiences is as purposeful and intentional as the steps we take to cultivate our gardens. As MGEVs, we should make every step count, using what each team/project group is doing to support overall efforts.

Once again, our time together was short and sweet. Based on the feedback, those who attended appreciated hearing from others and exchanging ideas. We look forward to seeing you at our last RLC on November 6, 2020. Look for registration information in late September.

PS: Advanced Training credit has been entered into MGLOG for MGEVs who attended this two-hour session.

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sdorn

About sdorn

Sheri is the State Coordinator for the Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program and Extension Specialist for Consumer Ornamentals. When she is not traveling about the state of Georgia admiring the work of Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, she spends time in her own (real and virtual) gardens.