Over 100 state and county coordinators representing 64% of the US are attending the national coordinators meeting Sept, 25-27 at Washington State University in Spokane, Washington. Located on the Spokane campus along the Columbia River, the focus of this year's meeting is Master Gardener Volunteer Issues including a terrific keynote by WSU Extension's Jana Ferris about trends and issues in volunteer development and how state and local coordinators affect volunteer service. Other topics: collaboration across programs, mentor programs for volunteers, delegating, evaluation, and program planning. Tomorrow will close with sessions on communication strategies and eXtension's Ask An Expert tool.
I always enjoy these meetings because I get the chance to hang out with and pick the brains of my fellow state coordinators from across the country, We all have similar challenges and aspirations for our programs, and the community of Master Gardener coordinators has grown closer as we share tools, programs, curriculum, and ideas across state lines.
This year, our meeting expanded halfway across the world as we were joined by delegates from South Korea. Dr. Wonsuk Lee spoke about how Korea is starting a Master Gardener program and the opportunities for US Master Gardener coordinators to participate and collaborate. Dr. Lee announced the dates of a Master Gardener symposium in Seoul, Korea, in 2014, and invited US coordinators and volunteers to attend.