Montana State University

Eight Master Gardeners Honored at first annual Montana Master Gardener Conference

December 2, 2010 -- MSU News Service

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Eight Montana State University Extension Master Gardeners from across the state were honored at the first annual Montana Master Gardener Conference in October in Helena. Attending the conference were county Master Gardener Coordinators, state Master Gardeners, guest speakers, and the director of Extension, Doug Steele. Master Gardeners were honored for their dedication to education and for volunteering their time and talents through Montana Master Gardener in their community.

Montana Master Gardener of the Year 2010 was presented to Bob Ford of Cascade County. Known in Great Falls as "Bob the Gardener," Ford radiates the spirit of Master Gardener with his incomparable community involvement. Bob has taught more than 2,000 participants this year through weekly lessons at his place of employment. He assists in bringing Level 1 and 2 Master Gardener courses to the community and has circulated approximately 12,000 Extension MontGuides on gardening and food preservation.

The following Montana Master Gardeners were presented with 2010 Outstanding Master Gardener certificates for their efforts.

Master Gardener Charlotte Beaudry completed the Sanders County Master Gardener course in 2009 and has since been a vital asset to the community. John Halpop, the Sanders County Extension agent commented, "Charlotte has taught clinics, developed well-written news releases and volunteered time at our Farmer's Market." Charlotte also donated her time and horticulture knowledge to Extension for nearly two months while Halpop was on sick leave following a motorcycle accident.

Larry Walby, Master Gardener from Yellowstone County, oversees a garden for the women's correctional center that encompasses an entire city block. Residents learn about growing flowers and produce from Walby, who logged more than 340 volunteer hours in 2009. According to Amy Grandpre, Yellowstone County Horticulturist, "Walby's value and accomplishments at the prison are unsurpassed."

Paul and Sandy Joubert are committed Master Gardeners in Gallatin County. Fixtures at the Bozeman Farmers Market and members of the Gallatin Garden Club, they have been instrumental in creating horticultural additions to the area: a peace meditation garden; community gardens in Belgrade and Manhattan; and assisting with the Belgrade High horticulture and garden club. At their home in Central Park, they grow over 50 varieties of ornamental grasses. "They are an inspiration to Master Gardeners in the Gallatin Valley," said Toby Day, Montana Master Gardener Coordinator.

LaDana Hintz, Lake County Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator, has helped direct demonstration gardens at the Lake County fairgrounds, information displays at farmers markets and county fairs, judging horticulture related exhibits at the Lake County fair and organizing horticulture education for youth programs. During the 2010 Master Gardener program "LaDana utilized both level 1 and 2 programs to enhance her horticulture education, along with helping new program enrollees," said Jack Stivers, Lake County Extension agent.

Steve Johnson of Flathead County is dedicated to serving his community as a Master Gardener and Glacier National Park Volunteer. Pat McGlynn, Flathead County Extension agent said the numbers tell it all. "Steve put in 322 hours, hiked 173 miles and put 1,983 miles on his personal vehicle while donating his time to Glacier National Park." After nine days of noxious weed training, Steve worked for three months pulling and identifying weeds in the park.

Jeanne McCormick is a Master Gardener in Park County. Tracy Mosley, Park County Extension agent said "Jeanne McCormick has gone above and beyond with the Master Gardener Program in Park County." Jeanne volunteered on countless projects in 2010; some include the Lincoln School Pantry, the Livingston Food Pantry Community Garden, the Livingston Memorial Hospital flowerbed renovation, helping with the Extension booth at the Farmer's Market, and assisting with Native Plant research.

To learn more about the Montana Master Gardener Program, visit and follow the Yard & Garden link on the left menu to the Master Gardener Program. For questions about the Master Gardener Program, contact Master Gardener Coordinator and MSU Extension Horticulture Specialist Toby Day at or (406) 994-6523.

Toby Day, Extension Horticulture Specialist, (406) 994-6523 or