Barron County Master Gardener Volunteers

Mission Statement
The goal of this organization shall be to encourage, foster, support and promote Horticulture for all Master Gardener Volunteers and residents of Barron County and to promote UW-Extension from which we are founded.


How to become a Barron County Master Gardener Volunteer:

Attend the Barron County Master Gardener Volunteer Training to be held in the Fall of 2019 on Tuesdays.

DATES: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 and running through November 19th, 2019.

TIME:  6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

LOCATION:  UWEC-Barron County Campus, 1800 College Drive, Rice Lake, WI 54868.

REGISTRATON FEE:  $125.00 per person or $200.00 for two people willing to share printed materials.


For more information and the 2019 Master Gardener Volunteer Training brochure, you can get it here. . .2019 Master Gardener Fall Training Program

To successfully complete the training, you will need to attend most of the training sessions, pass the final exam, and fulfill your community service commitment.  Class size is limited, so register early.   Students will receive 36 hours of training.  In return the students are expected to volunteer a minimum of 24 hours of their time assisting with community project related to horticulture, gardening, or nutrition annually and stay current by completing 10 hours of continuing education each year.

If interested in attending, you will need to:

  1. Complete the Master Gardener Application . . . Master Gardener Application
  2. Sign the Master Gardener Volunteer Agreement . . . Master Gardener Volunteer Behavior Agreement
  3. Read the Procedures for the Required Master Gardener Criminal Background Check . . . Criminal Background Check Procedure
  4. Check or Money Order Made Payable to:  Barron County Master Gardener Volunteers.
  5. Return the Application and Money to:  Barron County Extension Office, Barron County Government Center, 335 E. Monroe Avenue, Room 2206, Barron, WI 54812.

Procedure for Background Checks: You will receive an email from Angela Schultz ( although it will appear as this “ADM-Volunteer Checks New” explaining the mandatory criminal background check procedure required for becoming a UW-Extension Volunteer.  Please watch for this email and read it carefully.  You will then receive an email from the company conducting the national CBC (Criminal Background Check).  This message will include a link to their secure, encrypted website where you will provide your date of birth, current and previous addresses for the last 7 years, and your social security number.

This link will remain active for 5 business days after the message is sent.  For those of you unable to respond within this timeframe, a second message will be sent later.  Applicants without an email address or computer access may complete a paper form.

Each week a different horticulture subject will be explored.  Students will watch video lectures at home, and class time will include hands-on activates and opportunities for further inquiries and knowledge.  Topics include:  Annual, Perennial and Native plants, Houseplants, Landscape Design, Fruit and Vegetables, Weeds, Wildlife, Soils, Insects, Plant Diseases and Low input Lawn Care.


Officers and Directors:

President – Carolyn Swanberg

Vice President – Hali Dessecker

Secretary – Geri Nedland

Treasurer – Millie Seabold

Directors:  Cindy Giguere, Marilyn Saffert, Gene Nelson

Other Contacts:

Historian – Carolyn Swanberg

Record Keeper – Laura Cutsforth

Newsletter – Carol Kettner

Advisor – Becky Schley, UW-Extension Agricultural Agent, (715) 5378-6252

Sunshine – Jill Keefer

Publicity – Hali Dessecker

WIGMA State Board Rep:  Hali Dessecker


Master Gardener Program Schedule for 2019

Unless otherwise noted, monthly meetings are held at the Barron County Government Center, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

January 2019- (no membership meeting) Barron County Master Gardener Officers and Directors Meeting

February 7, 2019 – Kevin Schoessow of Spooner, “Talking about General Pruning of our Trees and Shrubs”

Kevin Schoessow is the Advisor of the North Country Master Gardeners in Spooner will present a program on, “General Pruning of our Trees and Shrubs.”

March 7 – Jay and Leah Margan, owners of the Blueview Greenhouse in Rice LakeThis meeting will be held in the afternoon at 1:00 pm at Jay and Leah Margan’s greenhouse.

Jay and Leah were Barron County Master Gardener Volunteers for a few years.  Jay will give us a tour of the  greenhouses and then demonstrate the techniques that they use when they put together their handing baskets of annual flowers.  We will have a short business meeting at the greenhouse.

April 4 – Carrie Larson will present a program, “New and Exiting Annuals for Your Garden in 2019.”  She will give us a look at the new annuals for containers that will be available for 2019.  Carrie works with McHutchinson Horticultural Distributors out of River Falls, and specializes in annuals.  She travels around the U.S. to conventions learning about those new plants; for example Proven Winners.  She’ll share ideas for successful containers and which annuals will thrive in sun and which ones do best in the shade.

April 6 – Spring Garden Expo- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Conference Center, Rice Lake, WI 54868.

  • Keynote Speaker:  Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture at Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, WI.  Mark has a landscape designer, has a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Illinois. His first presentation is, “Basics of Landscape Design.”  Landscapes, while focusing on beautiful appropriate plants, should also consider form and function in regards to the basics of layout, the anticipated use of the landscape plant placement. This presentation will address the basic considerations regarding assessing the landscape, identifying goals, addressing needs and make some decisions prior to even selecting plants.  Advice will consist of design ideas that will create beautiful setting that coincides with available maintenance and the expectations of the landscape itself.
  • Keynote Speaker:  Mark Dwyer, his second program will be, “Sensational Seasonals.”  This presentation will cover many of the wonderful new annual flowering plants that are available at the garden centers.  Each year brings in new exciting annuals to plant in either containers or directly into the garden.  He’ll share information on shade annuals and also those that thrive in the sun.
  • Our Second Speaker:  Mike Racette, A Farmer’s Market and CSA Gardener from Prairie Farm, will present, “Vegetable Gardening.”  He will explore many vegetables that he has found to be great ones in his Northern Wisconsin garden.
  • Our Third Speaker:  Tim Fehr from Eau Claire, a Hybridizer of Daylilies, will present, “What’s New in Daylilies.”  Tim is a member of the American Hemerocallis Society and was awarded the Helen Field Society’s highest honor.  Tim will speak about the emerging trends in daylilies.  He’ll explore patterns, edges, unusual forms, spiders, minis, and giants.  He’ll talk a bit about prices and availability of the newer daylilies, but also talk about some wonderful varieties that are not brand new, yet are stunning and available.

May 2 – Board of Director’s Meeting at 6:00 pm

May 2 – Jerry Clark, UW Extension Crops and Soils Educator from Chippewa County will present, “Weather and Climate Determines What We Can Grow and How Well it Grows.”  This session will look at changes in weather and climate and how it affects us as gardeners.

May 17 – Friday – Set up for the plant sale at the fairgrounds.

May 18 – Annual Plant Sale at the fairgrounds in Rice Lake,   Start time is 8:00 am.  (Date is tentative, depending on the spring weather.)

June 6 6:00 p.m.  Potluck picnic and garden tour at Carol Kettner and John Peter’s Rice Lake home.

July 11 – 6:00 p.m.  Potluck picnic and garden tour at Gene Nelson’s Rice Lake/Canton home.

July 15-21 – Barron County Fair

        15 – Monday – Set up

        16 – Tuesday – Jr. Class Judging

        17 – Wednesday – Open Class Judging

        18-21 – Staff the Master Gardener Booth

         21 – Sunday – Clean up

August 1 – 6:00 pm.  Potluck picnic at Linda Mullikin’s Rice Lake home.

August 21 – Wednesday, 6:00 pm, We will carpool to a Prairie Farm cut flower farm, Green Light Farms Maggie Sheehan and her husband, Ben, will give us a tour of their flower farm.  They grow only flowers that they cut, sell, and deliver to local florists in Eau Claire, Stillwater and the Twin Cities Metro area.  They also supply cut flowers for weddings and also flowers for parties.  They “flower farm” some acres of annual and perennial flowers, along with ornamental grasses and other plants used in bouquets.

September 5 – Sue Reinardy, A Master Gardener from Hayward, will present, “Summer Bulbs.”  This program will focus on the many bulbs that grow well in our gardens such as alliums, caladiums, calla lilies, cannas, dahlias, glads, lilies irises and tuberous begonias.



October 3 – We will hold this meeting at DragSmith Farms, which is a local CSA business outside of Barron.  Gail Smith, A Master Gardener for many year’s, and her husband, Maurice will give us a tour of their business and greenhouse.  They operate this organic family farm that they started in 1988.  They have 30 acres of certified organic produce, greens and micro greens that they market.  They are a local CSA farm.  Each week from June to November, a CSA members will receive a box that contains salad greens and 6 to 8 organic vegetable items.

November 7 – Marilyn Saffert, Barron County Maser Gardener, will present, “Herbs That Really Rock.”  She will talk about common and unique types of herbs:  Cooking, medicinal, and herbs that have unusual uses.  Hints will be given on how to easily use them and harvest them for later use.

December 5 – 6:00 pm – Christmas Party, at the Barron County Government Center.    Potluck and garden gift exchange.

Advisor:  Becky Schley, UW-Extension, 715-537-6252


2019 Barron County Master Gardener Minutes





2019 Barron County Master Gardener Agendas







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