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JCMGA Board Retreat – January 26 2024

Jackson County Master Gardener Association 

Board Retreat Meeting Minutes 

January 26, 2024 


Board Members Present (In-Person or Via Zoom): 

Barbara Low, President, Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Co-Chair 

Marcie Katz, Past President, Spring Garden Fair WG Co-Chair 

Keltie Nelson, Treasurer 

Regula Pepi, Assistant Treasurer 

Ann Ackles, Membership Secretary 

Pam Hillers, Archivist 

Kathy Apple, Recording Secretary 

Colet Allen, OMGA Representative & Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Co-Chair 

Rebecca Cohn, Member-at-Large 

Lucy Pylkki, Member-at-Large & Spring Garden Fair WG Co-Chair 

Cassandra Toews, Member-at-Large 

Rob MacWhorter, Member-at-Large 

Jane Moyer, Fundraising WG Chair 

Janine Salvatti, Gardens WG Chair 

Grace Florjancic, OSU MG Program Coordinator 


Board Members Absent: 

Ronnie Budge, Community Outreach WG Chair 

Randa Linthwaite, Member-at-Large & Co-Chair Marketing & Technology WG 

Call to Order:  The retreat was called to order at 9:30am by President Barbara Low. 

Agenda:  President Low introduced the agenda for the retreat which included: 

  1. Review and evaluation of the goals set by the Board in January 2023. 
  1. Review and discussion of the recent Member Services survey data and input from the Working groups in order to develop new goals for 2024. 
  1. Discussion on broad goals to be developed into the JCMGA Strategic Plan for 2024. 


President Low provided as resources for discussion the JCMGA goals for 2023, the Member Services Survey Data from November 2023 Survey, and a draft strategic plan that could be used to organize the proposed 2024 goals. 

  1.  Review of JCMGA 2023 Goals: 
  1. Friends of the Garden:  This program concept was approved by the Board in 2023.  A committee has been formed to implement the program with a proposed start date of April 2024.  An article will be published in the Garden Beet and a contest held for a logo for the program. 
  1. Spring Garden Fair:  The SGF was a huge success coming out of the pandemic.  Over $15 thousand dollars were raised in revenue.  The one-day event was held on the Extension grounds for the first time.  The 2024 SPG Working Group is meeting weekly and planning a two-day event that will include more vendors.  Use of the Extension grounds now requires a usage fee for parking, the small classroom, and the auditorium. 
  1. Increase the number of students in the MG class:  The 2023 class had 55 students to start, up from 22 students in 2022.  The 2024 class has 55 students. 
  1. Grant Writing:  One grant was received in 2023 to build an ADA compliant pathway through the Lavender Garden.  The Fundraising Working Group has an ambitious agenda for pursuing several grants in 2024 for projects such as a new lath house, replacement of Greenhouse #1, a new tool shed, and application for the OMGA Karl Carlson grant. 
  1. Practicum:  The Practicum students produced the first plant sale in three years for 2023 which included plants from the Native Nursery.  New Practicum mentors have been secured for 2024.  The priority goals for 2024 are education and fundraising. 
  1. Seed to Supper:   Due to OSU staffing changes in 2023, there were no Seed to Supper programs offered in Jackson County.  For 2024, OSU MG Program Coordinator, Grace Florjancic, has secured three new program sites and three new instructors per site. 
  1. Committees Working Together:  JCMGA has improved communication and collaboration between Working Groups and committees.  Community Outreach, Friends of the Garden, Gardens Working Group, Garden Enhancement Committee, Fundraising Working Group, and Marketing & Technology Working Group, all found common ground on various projects.   
  1. Update JCMGA Website, Marketing, and Data:  The website has been updated.  Membership surveys have collected data on membership needs.  Data will be published in the Garden Beet. 
  1. JCMGA Brochure:  A new updated brochure was developed for public use in 2023. 
  1. Community Education Program:  Due to OSU staffing changes in 2023, there were no programs however OSU MG Program Coordinator, Grace Florjancic was able to secure suggestions for future speakers and conducted a survey for desired topics to be used in 2024. 
  1. Garden Buds:  In 2023 there were 14 Garden Buds.  This group held a meeting to review how the program could be improved and clarified role expectations.  There are 11 Garden Buds for 2024. 
  1.  Grow Winter Vegetables:  This was not accomplished as there was no one available to oversee the project nor was a location for growing the vegetables identified.   
  1. Include other SOREC Program Groups:  SOREC groups decided to not participate in the 2023 Fall Festival.  JCMGA will reach out again for 2024. 
  1. Garden Club Invitation Tours.   Local garden clubs belonging to the Siskiyou District of the Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs were invited to tour the demonstration gardens.  Four tours were held and this garden tour invitation will be repeated in 2024.  Plants from the Native Nursery were sold during the tours. 
  1. Paid Labor:  Paid labor was utilized in 2023 for cleaning gutters.  Additional ideas were brainstormed particularly related to jobs difficult for volunteers to conduct. 
  1. President Low led members through the results of the membership survey regarding what members would like to see added and what JCMGA could improve upon.  Board members underscored the following feedback. 
  1. Provide fun social gatherings coupled with learning opportunities. 
  1. Develop youth involvement particularly elementary school age children. 
  1. Increase engagement with the public such as returning to the Farmers Market. 
  1. Show appreciation to the volunteers. 
  1. Increase communication on community education classes. 
  1. Increase outreach to more diverse communities. 
  1. Continue some of the goals from 2023. 
  1. Be specific to what volunteers are need to do for volunteer activities. 
  1. Hold a reunion/picnic, social gathering with a keynote speaker, and appreciation of volunteers. 
  1. Introduce new SOREC staff at a regular Board meeting. 
  1. In the next survey, add what members would like to see in the Garden Beet. 
  1. Develop Broad Goals for 2024:   President Low led the Board in a discussion for overall strategic goals for 2024 that would also capture prioritized JCMGA activities (objectives).  It was proposed to utilize the concepts laid out in the purpose statements included in the Articles of Association as broad goals.  These concepts include support of the OSU MG program, promoting wide dissemination of information to the public, working with other organizations to promote gardening in the community, and providing scholarships and grants.  Based on the day’s discussion, President Low will draft goals and objectives for a proposed 2024 strategic plan for review by the Board at the February 9, 2024 Board meeting. 

Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 11:30am 

Next Meeting:    Regular Board meeting, Friday, February 9, 2024 from 9:00am to 11:30am. 

Respectfully Submitted by Kathy Apple, Recording Secretary