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Summer 2014
In This Issue
President's Corner
Georgia Master Composter Program
Bi-State Master Gardener Program
Joint Fire Science Exchange Networks
Educating Farmers and Ag Professionals About Invasive Species
Helping to Stop Stormwater Runoff Through Education
Oyster Gardening
JCEP Leadership Conference 2015
Alabama Youth Earn Top Honors
A Word from Your Editor
President's Corner


I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and have had some down time to recover from a busy spring and to rejuvenate for the fall.  We have successfully made it through another great conference year with over 160 members meeting in Sacramento, California.  The highlight of the conference for me was that we were able to recognize over 100 of our members for their great work through the ANREP awards program.  To see who was recognized and what they were recognized for view the 2014 award summary.


I want to thank Rick Standiford and his fellow co-workers for hosting us.  Also we need to remember all of the volunteers it took to make this conference a success.


Our 2016 Biennial conference will be a joint venture with our sister organization the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) in Burlington, Vermont. The conference will be from June 26-29, 2016.  The planning for this conference has begun and as we learn more information we will be happy to share with you.  


Upcoming opportunities for professional development that may interest you include the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) annual leadership conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 11-12, 2015.  This is an excellent opportunity to enhance your leadership skills.  To learn more about the conference or to submit a proposal to present visit the conference website.  JCEP also offers the Public Issues Leadership Development workshop that takes place April 12-15, 2015 in Crystal City, VA.  


We are still looking for volunteers to assist with committees and other needs as they arise. Please consider volunteering, either on a committee or consider taking on a leadership role.  You can volunteer by completing the online form from the link on the right side of the committee page.


Robert "Bob" Bardon

President, 2014


USFS-ANREP Pacific Southwest Station Scholars



The US Forest Service funded ten full registration scholarships for natural resources related college students to the 2014 biennial ANREP meeting in California this year. As part of their program the students met with Dr. Jessica Wright from the USFS-Davis facility and learned about careers in forest service research. The student group is shown here along with Wright and members of the 2014 ANREP Executive Board.  A big thanks to Amy Grotta Chair of the ANREP scholarship committee who helped make this happen!

Georgia Master Composter Program Provides Education and Community Outreach


Over the last eight years Athens-Clarke County Extension Agent Amanda Tedrow was receiving more and more requests for composting education. Garden groups and farmers wanted to create their own soil amendment. School teachers and students were interested in building compost bins to divert food scraps from the landfill. Eco-conscious community members were looking for the best vermicomposting equipment. As the Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent in a county with a population of nearly 120,000, Amanda knew she couldn't fulfill these requests alone. Instead, she decided to collaborate with the Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department to create the Georgia Master Composter Program.

Amanda and Waste Reduction Administrator Suki Janssen designed the Georgia Master Composter Program to have two components: an adult education course and a volunteer commitment for graduates to share their knowledge. The first Georgia Master Composter Program began in January of 2012. Since then, they have facilitated a session each year.

Through a comprehensive nine-week training, participants learn the chemistry and microbiology of composting, types of and reasons for composting, backyard composting techniques and tools for teaching others. Students construct vermicomposting bins and visit composting facilities ranging from backyard and farm systems to a commercial operation. To culminate the course, each student prepares an educational project that he or she presents to the class. These presentations are an ideal opportunity to share ideas, receive feedback and gain teaching experience.

Georgia Master Composters then serve at least 40 volunteer hours within their first year and 20 hours each year thereafter to remain certified. Participants fulfill their volunteer requirement through approved volunteer projects. Master Composters lead composting demonstrations for gardeners, build compost bins at local schools, and staff "Ask a Master Composter" booths at local farmers markets. These market booths have been extremely successful in reaching market patrons, farmers and especially youth, who earn about composting and can even touch a worm. During the last three years, volunteers have staffed over 100 booths at farmers markets and local events. Master Composters have also successfully applied for a grant to provide compost programs for students, staff and faculty at two University of Georgia schools.
Master Composter Lisa Sehannie leads a composting workshop during a community event in Athens.
Master Composter Lisa Sehannie leads a composting workshop during a community event in Athens.

In addition to these volunteer projects, numerous class members have created composting businesses based on the knowledge gained from the program. One of these businesses collects compostable food scraps from homeowners, small businesses and local farmers markets. Another class member sells bokashi fermentation systems to homeowners and plans to collect food scraps from grocery stores, restaurants and cafeterias to ferment through the bokashi process. Yet another student is helping businesses vermicompost their food scraps. These businesses not only divert food scraps from the landfill but also provide composting education and awareness to even more community members.

In addition to education, the Georgia Master Composter Program provides visibility for Extension. Before taking the course, over half of the participants were unfamiliar with Extension. While most participants in similar Extension programs such as the Master Gardener Program are retired, Master Composters range in age from their 20s to 70s and include organic farmers, university students, commercial composting facility staff, entrepreneurs, young parents, and new homeowners interested in vegetable gardening. The program is held in the evenings every other year to accommodate participants' schedules.

To date, the Georgia Master Composter Program has trained over 50 participants. The 2012 and 2013 classes provided over 1,000 volunteer hours and educated 2,280 individuals. In 2014, Master Composters have already served 500 hours and are expected to interact with thousands of adults and children in the greater Athens area before the end of the year.

In addition to facilitating the program and expanding volunteer opportunities, Amanda is now leading presentations at regional and national Extension conferences for other agents to start a Master Composter Program in their area.

Submitted by Amanda Tedrow
Athens-Clarke County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent
University of Georgia Extension
Bi-State Master Gardener Program:  Using Regional Resources Wisely


Muscogee County (Columbus, GA), an urban center of over 175,000 residents, shares the Chattahoochee River with their Alabama neighbor, Russell County (Phenix City) with a population of 32,000 residents. According to needs assessments, the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer program is desired in both communities. Since Muscogee County, GA is a much closer to the campus of Auburn University than the University of Georgia campus in Athens, a partnership of UGA Extension and Alabama Cooperative Extension is mutually beneficial for our region. Combining our unique resources from the two county Extension offices, a bi-state Master Gardener program was offered in the Fall of 2013.

One of the fruits of collaboration was the ability to offer hand-on classes for a variety of Master Gardener topics. Auburn University hosted the Basic Vegetables class at Pater Greenhouse complex where the Master Gardeners got a firsthand look at on-going research. The Auburn University Arnold Arboretum was the location for Plant Propagation and participants learned about turf at the turf unit. The Soils and Nutrition component was followed by a behind the scenes look at the Soil Lab. In Columbus, the participants walked the streets learning about Urban Trees and roamed the Columbus Botanical Garden for the Annuals, Perennials and Herbs class. The program coordinators planned the program to fulfill both states' Master Gardener Educational requirements. Eighteen participants graduated the program's two-month class portion; 14 from Muscogee County and 4 from Russell County.

In a post-post evaluation, participants were asked the question, "Do you think the joint partnership provided a richer learning experience?" 

  • GA/AL MG programs was most definitely a positive educational experience. The knowledge base from both Extension Offices, as well as UGA and AU was incredible. Auburn University provided classroom and hands-on field education that we may not have had the opportunity to experience without the collaboration of both Extension Offices. Having access to so many resources was truly a benefit!       -J.Leonard
  • Kudos to both you and Kerry for working so hard to provide such an outstanding MG program for the 2013 class. It not only provided enhanced educational benefits, but created a great sense of community. I do hope you continue this meaningful partnership for future classes. 
  • University of Georgia, and Auburn University representatives provided up to date information, research,and education. They took the action to coordinate and connect with quality local organizations which provided students an essential grounding in horticultural principles and education on topics that were relevant to our local issues/concerns. The field trips to Auburn University, Columbus Botanical Gardens, Trees Columbus, Oxbow Meadows, were extremely beneficial in providing interesting, hands-on experiences for the student regarding soil testing, turf management, propagation, tree ID, annuals/perennials, pest management that would otherwise be mundane classroom presentations. These field trips were awesome!   -L. Lester

The program participants have now volunteered in both states according to their respective requirements. Master Gardener Extension Volunteers are currently assisting with multiple volunteer projects that include, but are not limited to, afterschool garden programs, Junior Master Gardener and assisting with office administration and providing research-based horticultural advice within the county extension offices. Both organizations look forward to collaboration for the Fall 2015 program.


Submitted by Jennifer Davidson

County Coordinator and Ag and Natural Resources Agent

University of Georgia Extension-Columbus

Joint Fire Science Fire Exchange Networks: Linking Research with Management through Extension and Outreach

An often-heard phrase is "use the best available science". But managers and practitioners often don't know what information is already available nor the quality and applicability of that research to their management plans and projects. Another problem is the research may not be integrated in a context meaningful to management. And while the research may be of the highest quality and peer-reviewed, demonstration of science findings in the field is often lacking.

Everett M. Rogers, author of Diffusion of Innovations (Free Press-Simon & Schuster, 2003) states, "Getting a new idea adopted, even when it has obvious advantages, is difficult. Many innovations require a lengthy period of many years from the time when they become available to the time when they are widely adopted. Therefore, a common problem for many individuals and organizations is how to speed up the rate of diffusion of an innovation."

The Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) goal is to accelerate the awareness, understanding, and adoption of wildland fire science information by federal, tribal, state, local, and private stakeholders within ecologically similar regions. This is being accomplished through the creation of a national network of fire science consortia located across the US. 

Each consortium has assessed stakeholder needs and then designed activities to enhance knowledge exchange about wildland fire science. Regional activities include: 
  • Newsletters & announcements via email, websites, & social media
  • Regionally-focused web-based clearinghouses of relevant science
  • Field trips & demonstration sites
  • Workshops & conferences
  • Webinars & online training
  • Syntheses & fact sheets
  • Networks of experts
  • Continuous evaluation 
To learn about consortium activities and partnership opportunities in your area, please visit the Consortia webpage on the JFSP website.


Submitted by Janean H. Creighton
Oregon State University Extension Specialist &
Administrative Director for the Northwest Fire Science Consortium
Pesticide Training Workshops: Educating Farmers & Ag Professionals about Invasive Species


There is a growing number of important invasive species in Minnesota. Invasive species are found in all landscapes including our rural and agricultural areas. In an effort to educate farmers about the most important invasive species which can affect their income and environment, short presentations were made during the private pesticide applicator workshops for farmers and at the pesticide trainings for agricultural professionals.

These meetings give an update of new pesticide regulations, safety practices and pesticides. The workshops are required for both farms and professionals to update their licenses to apply pesticides and are well attended. We focused on four invasive species affecting rural areas:

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
  • Emerald Ash Borer (affecting Ash trees in windbreaks,
    rural communities and widely planted in farming regions),
  • Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (affecting over 300 plants including apple trees, grapes, corn and soybeans),
  • Buckthorn (a small tree which is host to the over wintering
    Common Buckthorn
    Common Buckthorn
     soybean aphid and found in windbreaks and woodlands throughout the state), and 
  • Oriental Bittersweet (an extremely invasive perennial vine which changes the understory of windbreaks and woodlands). 

Workshop topics included history, life cycle, identification, damage and control. Free ID cards and handouts were available for participants. This program can be replicated in other states. Two PowerPoint presentations were prepared for the farmer trainings, a short version featuring two invasives (buckthorn and brown marmorated stink bug) and a longer version featuring all four invasives.An ag professional PowerPoint was created plus a video presentation. All four invasive species were presented to the ag professional trainings.


In 2014, Extension Educators taught the invasive species lesson in 12 Counties in central MN reaching 467 farmers. There were six Field Crop Pest Management Recertification workshops held in southern Minnesota in January, 2014, and ag professionals participation totaled 717. 

According to the evaluation results from the ag professionals workshops, 61% of attendees reported they were knowledgeable about invasive species prior to the workshop.  At the conclusion of the workshop, 93% reported that they were more knowledgeable.  Most (74%) reported that the information presented during the workshop was new to them.  When asked whether the workshop would result in changes to how they work with invasive species, 70% responded affirmatively.  

Teaching invasive species through the pesticide recertification program is an effective way to educate farmers, ag professionals and rural residents about these pests that will affect rural landscapes. Early detection is key to limiting large environmental and economic damage and crop losses and to target control and management practices. Economic values could be in the millions of dollars.

Team Members
Extension Educators Gary Wyatt, Phillip Glogoza and Dan Martens; Dean Herzfeld, Coordinator Pesticide Safety & Environmental Ed Program; and Tana Haugen-Brown, Extension Educator and Co-Coordinator Pesticide Safety & Environmental Ed Program 


Submitted by Gary Wyatt

Agroforestry Educator

University of Minnesota Extension

Helping to Stop Stormwater Runoff through Education


Existing Extension clients often need information and education when they purchase new property, especially when that new property is a farm with design and layout issues. There are often simple and natural management steps owners can take to benefit horses, wildlife, water quality and the environment. 

A client bought a new, additional property that had flooding and storm water run-off issues in the horse paddocks and farm road ways, much of it coming from the main road, as well as from a poor layout of the property. Education was provided on ways to naturally and effectively manage erosion, runoff and excess storm water in areas that had already been set up, albeit incorrectly, to control the issues. An explanation was given about rain gardens, extensive use of native vegetation and how simply letting areas remain natural and unmowed could help curb runoff through natural uptake of water. Through this education, proper understanding of beneficial practices was realized and appreciated by the client. Ultimately, this enabled much less water runoff and greater erosion control for the property, with the added benefit of constructing areas much friendlier to wildlife. 

This decrease in erosion helped the pastures and farm areas containing manure, helping to also protect water quality. The runoff naturally coming from roads has also now been better controlled to provide additional water quality protection through reduction of excess nutrients (N) reaching the ground and surface waters. The result has been a client thrilled by the improved wildlife and a great decrease in runoff and erosion.

Because the client was so thrilled, she recently wrote mea very nice letter and took some pictures to show how doing things as simple as not mowing areas has improved and decreased her runoff and standing water issues. "Just wanted to show you how pretty these wet lands look since I let them go wild. I've planted 4 different native plants but they're not up yet. Everything has been fenced in and not mowed. The biggest most beautiful Clover grows around these ponds! Thanks for the advice. It's only going to get prettier. The birds have gone crazy and I am seeing a big decrease in standing water." It is still only in the initial stages, so greater improvement will continue with time, more native plantings and improved management practices.

Submitted by Jamie Cohen

Farm Outreach Coordinator
University of Florida/IFAS Extension Marion County

Oyster Gardening for the Indian River Lagoon


The UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County, Brevard Zoo, and Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department are partnering on a Brevard Oyster Gardening program. What exactly is oyster gardening? Oyster gardeners are people who have docks along the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County, FL and are given habitats (page cages) to grow oysters. Oysters are suspended from the docks in their habitats and once a week gardeners weigh their habitats, clean their habitats, check for other organisms, and input data into an online database. The oyster spat (baby oysters) are spawned and set on oyster shell at Florida Oceanographic Society's shellfish hatchery using adult oyster broodstock from the southern end of Brevard County. 
Oyster spat on a shell
Oyster habitat

Training and recruiting of oyster gardeners began in January with 17 workshops offered between January and May. This first batch of gardeners each received 4 habitats to grow their oysters, all the supplies they needed to take care of their oysters, and a manual with all the instructions and additional information. Workshops were approximately 2.5 hours of instruction on assembling their oyster habitats, the importance of oysters, Brevard County projects focused on reducing pollution into the Indian River Lagoon, and expectations of an oyster gardener. There are currently 500 sites that are participating in the oyster gardening program.

A second round of training is occurring between July and October with 10 workshops planned. The goal is to train another 500 gardeners for a total of 1000 oyster gardening sites by October. This second batch of gardeners will only receive 2 habitats since there have been problems with too much fouling on the habitats and oyster shells and the workload has been higher than expected. The current gardeners have been hit with both fouling from sea squirts and barnacles and most sites have oyster shells completely covered with both of these organisms. This has caused gardeners to be concerned that their oysters are no longer thriving and for some gardeners to drop out of the program. Weekly site visits to about 20 oyster gardening sites help gardeners to know how their oysters are doing and give an estimated count of how many oysters each gardener has. It's also a good time to show the gardeners what their oysters look like since many still can't identify oysters (especially with a lot of fouling). This has helped to reduce concerns and also gives assurance to gardeners. Many sites also show natural recruitment of oysters on the shells, proving that oyster larvae are found in the Indian River Lagoon and that the larvae need appropriate habitat in order to set.

These oysters will be used to seed three pilot reefs that will be built in early 2015. Information gathered from gardeners this year will help in choosing appropriate sites for sustaining oyster reefs. Gardeners who wish to continue with the program in 2015 will be given new batches of oyster spat. Because Brevard County was the main funding partner for this program, we were only able to purchase scales for gardeners to weigh their habitats each week in order to gauge the growth of oysters over time. However, because of the large amount of fouling that has occurred over the spring and summer, the majority of the weight is attributed to this fouling load. In 2015, gardeners will receive training on using calipers for measuring a subsample of their oysters and will be asked to count how many oysters they have in their habitats. This will help in providing more accurate data on the sites where oysters grow best.


Submittted by Holly Abeels

Florida Sea Grant Extension Agent

University of Florida/IFAS Extension Brevard County

JCEP Leadership Conference 2015


Make plans now to participate in the JCEP Leadership conference to be held February 11 & 12, 2015 at the Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas, NV.

Who should attend this conference?
  • Professionals seeking a top quality professional development opportunity and leadership development training.
  • State and National leaders of any of the six JCEP (Joint Council of Extension Professionals) member associations.
  • Professionals who are active at the state level and may be ready for a national committee or board leadership.
  • Professionals with a leadership role on the job such as a county director, district or regional director or other administrative position.
Proposals for presentation submissions are being solicited on leadership development topics for the conference. Three submissions will be granted complimentary registration to assist them in participating at the conference. 

In addition to a nationally known keynote speaker, participants will receive updates from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP), and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU). Association time and presentations from the 2014 JCEP team award winners, as well as peer reviewed concurrent sessions related to leadership will be provided. Note that the format for the conference has been changed to include 2 full days rather than spread throughout 3 days. Visit the JCEP conference webpage for more information.

Submitted by Dean Solomon on behalf of Kathleen Olson (MN), JCEP Leadership Conference Chair
Alabama Team Earns Top Honors at National 4-H Forestry Invitational
Angela Nichols (Coach), Gavin Rankins, Seth Rankins, Polly Barron, Lisa Barron, Sherry Barron, Baylor Nichols, and Greg Nichols (Coach) Alabama placed first among 12 state teams that competed in the 35th annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational from Sunday, July 27, through Thursday, July 31. Teams from New York and Georgia placed second and third, respectively. Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia were also represented at this year's Invitational.

The invitational was held at West Virginia University Jackson's Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia. The event is sponsored by Farm Credit System, Plum Creek, The Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc., The Society of American Foresters, West Virginia University Extension Service, The American Forest Foundation, and the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.

While at the Invitational 4-H members competed for overall team and individual awards in several categories. Events included tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, forest evaluation, the forestry bowl and a written forestry exam.

Alabama was represented by Lisa and Polly Barron both from Auburn and Gavin and Seth Rankins both from Cusseta. The team was coached by Greg and Angela Nichols from Lafayette.

Lisa Barron from Alabama received the high point individual award. Second place high individual award was given to Daryl Blough from New York and third place high individual award was given to Seth Rankins from Alabama.

The Joe Yeager "Spirit of the Invitational" award was given to Nathaniel Erwin of Kentucky. This award recognizes an outstanding 4-H contestant at the Invitational. It is presented to the individual who takes initiative, is enthusiastic, and is eager to lead academic and social situations.

4-H is a youth education program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the state land grant universities. More than six million youth, 540,000 volunteers, and 3,500 professionals participate in 4-H nationwide, and nearly 100,000 are part of the 4-H Forestry Program.

Visit the website for more information on the National 4-H Forestry Invitational.
A Word from Your Editor

Hello!  Diana Rashash (thank you!) has "retired" from her ANREP newsletter duties and I have taken on the challenge.  I'm excited to contribute to ANREP by taking on this role, which allows me to interact with a lot of very talented people.  To all those who contributed articles to this newsletter: Thank you!  For those of you who didn't, don't despair.  Articles for the fall issue can be submitted any time up to October 15.


Submitted articles should be roughly 600 words or less in .doc or .docx format.  Photos are greatly desired with caption and photo credit!  This is your chance to let your peers know what you have been doing.  


Speaking of peers, as I was putting this newsletter issue together I noticed that we typically send it out to 500+ email addresses but only about 180 (~35%) are opened.  That's could be better.  I'd like to CHALLENGE you to pass this newsletter on to a few colleagues.  We all do good work and the more people that know about what we do, the better.  Sharing the newsletter not only helps increase our visibility as educators but it also increases ANREP's visibility and potential for growth.  So, share the newsletter far and wide. 

ANREP Newsletter Editor
University of Wisconsin-Extension
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