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WELCOME, Class of 2024

By January 31, 2024Beet 2024 02 February

Fifty-five strong, they arrived for the First Day Lunch on Wednesday, January 24. 2024.  And were they ever SOMETHING!  Enthusiastic from the moment they walked in the door, the Class of 2024 is already being predicted as another invigorating rejuvenating force for the Jackson Co. Master Gardener Association.  But who are they? Where do they come from?  What are their backgrounds?

Twenty-five of them come from Medford while eight are from Jacksonville, seven from Ashland, three from Central Point, two each from Talent and Eagle Point.  White City, Rogue River, Phoenix, and Grants Pass each claim one of these new students.  And, most amazingly, two are braving the wintertime Siskiyou passes to come from Hornbrook, California.  Three or four more may still be joining the class.

Varied backgrounds define this group more than any group in recent memory.  Business owner, supervisor, property manager, one landscaper and three professional gardeners, investor, accountant, and self-employed start the list.  It continues with painter, tour guide, program manager, and project manager.  Eleven associated with health-related fields and five with education comprise the largest groups. Two work for the State of Oregon while one works for the federal government.  Two moms, one real estate agent, one jeweler, one director, one fundraiser, one draftsman, one engineer, one each in HR, telecom, IT, and bookkeeping and the founder of Rogue Creamery complete this oh, so interesting class.

Eighteen of them consider themselves beginning gardeners, thirty-five labeled themselves as intermediate, and one advanced.  So why are they taking the Master Gardener class?  Seventeen want to become better gardeners while another eighteen are interested in gaining more gardening education including learning more about conservation/sustainability, soil, water, and xeric gardening.  Three are here to improve their work skills.  Being new to the Rogue Valley, new to a property, or new to a Mediterranean climate was the driving force for eight.  Fourteen want to help educate others, give back to their community, or just meet other  people interested in gardening.

On behalf of JCMGA, we would like to enthusiastically say, “WELCOME Nicole, Erin, Tracy, Pam and Pam, Susan and Susan, Shanie, Kelli, Karen, Doug, Scott, Mary and  Mary Ann, Grace, Carrie, and Joe!   We are so glad you’re here Janet and Jan, Vivienne, David and David, Tina and Tina, Flavia, Blake, Adrienne, Louise, Johnny, and Michael!  Cody, Cindy, Victoria, Melissa, Lindsay, Bruce, Jody, Kata, Cathy, Deidre, Chris and Chris, Gretchen, Alice, Teresa, and Ed, we hope you’ll stay with JCMGA for years to come!  Once again, WELCOME!