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Rhonda J. Ferree

Rhonda J. Ferree
Former Extension Educator, Horticulture

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Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog

Mason County Master Gardeners Recognized for Service

Master Gardeners (MGs) in Mason County were recognized at a program on February 28th at Grandpas restaurant in Havana, IL.

There is one MG intern and 9 active MGs currently in Mason county. Four new trainees will soon join them. MGs must each receive at least 10 hours of continuing education and provide at least 30 hours of volunteer service in an approved MG project to maintain their active status. In 2012, Mason MGs far exceeded the state requirements. They received almost 200 hours of continuing education and volunteered nearly 550 hours of service to others, impacting hundreds of people of all ages.

Just a few of the volunteer activities that Mason county MGs do are fair & 4-H shows, drought education, day trips to gardens, emerald ash borer talks and displays, Gardeners' Big Day, Japanese beetle education, help with MG training, Junior MG leadership, leaf cast workshop, and so much more.

Special recognition went to MG Roger Harfst in 2012. Roger won the Sustained Excellence state MG award that goes to a MG who has previously received the Outstanding MG award. The Sustained Excellence award is given to less than 3% of MGs in the state. Roger received his honor at the 2012 Illinois MG conference in Crystal Lake, IL.

University of Illinois Extension honors MGs with a certificate for years of volunteer involvement, and a pin to honor 5 and 10 year volunteers. Mason county milestones awarded include:
Randy Bell - 10  years
Cheryl Briseno - 4 years
Kristi Darling - 2 years
Glenn Fanter - 10 years
Art Holtman - 2 years
Julie Lerczak - 5 years
Mel Tracy - 4 years
Julia Pryor - 5 years
Kent Tangman, Intern with 50 hours in 1 year (He only needs 60 hours to advance to active status!)

We give a big thanks to the effort and dedication exhibited by these MGs. Thank you all for your service and dedication which "Helps Others Learn to Grow."

Master Gardeners in Fulton, Peoria, and Tazewell counties will be recognized at upcoming events.

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