Agent Development and Master Gardener Training

Urban Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) agents must be on top of the latest developments in many diverse, technical areas. They need to be intellectually armed to answer questions on a variety of topics, from kudzu bug infestations, tomato diseases, potential soil contamination, tree care, and water quality topics. It is important for Urban ANR agents to master technology that can help them serve their broad and diverse clientele. They need the opportunity to work collaboratively on complex issues.

Since its inception, the Center has provided a venue at which agents can hone their skills and interact. Two to four Urban Ag Updates are held annually which address these issues and many topics (e.g. the latest research developments, new programs, personnel changes that affect agents, useful applications, handling difficult people and permitting issues).

The most recent Agent Update was held at the Governor’s Mansion in Atlanta. Agents toured the house and the grounds and provided illustrative hands-on examples of tree care, ornamental beds, and unique turfgrass.

Center training efforts have also reached out to include Master Gardener (MG) Extension volunteers. These MG volunteers often handle homeowner questions and concerns in urban Extension offices. They conduct volunteer projects and work with the general public. Center programs have provided advanced training to Master Gardeners in urban water issues, integrated pest management, tree care, and septic system maintenance.

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