By Lynn Kunstman
Master Gardener 2012
This year, we have chosen a team of FOUR individuals to be our JCMGA MG of the Year. Steve Hassen, Bill Elliot, Doug Kirby and John Kobal have worked tirelessly to make our campus and greenhouses the best in the state.
We LOVE them, and wanted to honor all of them.
Steve Hassen developed the Spring Garden Fair layout plan and has organized the laying out of all the booths for multiple years. Besides being a Practicum mentor, Steve helped develop the Greenhouse Monitoring and Mitigation Plan, rewrote and expanded greenhouse hygiene lessons, and led the Herculean effort to upgrade the Practicum greenhouses. He helped with repairing and upgrading the well pump and irrigation system for the gardens, led the effort to move and rebuild the Compost Garden shed, helped build new bins for bulk garden
supplies, and helped rebuild fences in two gardens.
Bill Elliot has maintained all three greenhouses for several years, allowing the Practicum to do its work of growing plants. He installed an automatic watering system in Greenhouse 1 and keeps the heat at the proper temperatures in all three locations. He is on call whenever we need him to adjust something. He attends weekly mentors meetings so he can be aware of and respond to problems. At nearly every meeting he’s the first one to say “I’ll take care of that” when a volunteer is needed for almost anything.
Doug Kirby: In addition to assisting with all the above projects, Doug is in charge of the Perennials Demonstration Gardens at Jackson County Extension, as well as being in charge of all the grounds and irrigation for those gardens. His efforts, in collaboration with our program coordinator, to keep the gardens alive during the Covid shutdown, have been indispensable.
John Kobal was the lead MG on our greenhouse sanitation efforts last year – developing curriculum and protocols for pest management and greenhouse hygiene. He has been a mentor in the Practicum for several years. John is also in charge of educational presentations at our Spring Garden Fair and is a speaker with our speakers bureau, doing ongoing outreach to our larger community.
When you see these guys on campus, be sure to congratulate and thank them for their outstanding efforts!