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Welcome Letter

Dear Extension Master Gardeners and Extension Colleagues,

Welcome to the 27th annual West Virginia Extension Master Gardener Association's Conference. It is great to be able to celebrate this event in person after postponing it once and meeting virtually last year.

This conference has always provided great educational opportunities by addressing many contemporary issues and providing us with the knowledge and tools to best deal with them. 

We have a great variety of topics that are of interest to all of us. We will learn about some new and not-so-new plant and insect invasive species, how to use weather data to predict and prevent disease outbreaks, how to increase biodiversity by incorporating native species to provide pollen and nectar for honeybees, using natural enemies to control pests, hear first-hand experience of growing berries, learn how to preserve heritage by preserving heirloom cultivars before they go instinct, get introduced to some of our backyard wildlife inhabitants, learn all about saving seeds for the next growing season,  hear and learn about unique biological traits in wild tomatoes that could be used in fighting off pests, and so much more. And, I don’t know about you, but I have been interested in photography since I was in elementary school. There is nothing more exciting than seeing a portrait of a bug or a flower up close and personal, so the session on photography should be a special treat.

This year, we have two keynote speakers – Claire Schuchman and Charles Talbott.

Claire Schuchman will share her passion and expertise about landscape design. This fascinating subject requires a combination of vast knowledge of plants and their environmental needs as well as art. To go with the theme of landscape design, we have a couple of talks on using irises in the landscape and placing the right tree in the right place.

Charles “Chuck” Talbott is well-known among us. As a WVU Extension agent and now as a recent retiree, he has been passionately advocating and working tirelessly to introduce children to healthy food choices through garden-based learning. We will get to learn all about the program, goals, aspirations and impacts from the man himself.  

This conference is the result of tremendous efforts and dedication of our Extension Master Gardener volunteers from across the state of West Virginia. It truly is one of our very successful state programs. I would like to express sincere appreciation to all our Extension Master Gardener volunteers who made this conference a crowning jewel in our 27-year anniversary track!

Indeed, it is a pleasure to welcome you to the conference!

Enjoy the program and visiting with friends – some old and some new!

Sincerely,

Mira Danilovich
West Virginia Extension Master Gardener Program Coordinator