2022 Junior Master Gardener National Leader Training Conference set Feb. 21-23

2022 Junior Master Gardener National Leader Training Conference set Feb. 21-23

The 2022 Junior Master Gardener National Leader Training Conference will be held Feb. 21-23 at Texas A&M University in Bryan-College Station. The conference will be at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, located at 177 Joe Routt Blvd. on the Texas A&M campus.

2022 Junior Master Gardener National Leader Training Conference set Feb. 21-23
The 2022 Junior Master Gardener National Leader Training Conference will be Feb. 21-23. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

“The goal of this conference is to bring together teachers and leaders from across the nation for formalized training in the JMG curriculum,” said Lisa Whittlesey, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and Junior Master Gardener program coordinator. “It is an opportunity for participants to engage with our Extension institutions and learn about the JMG program.”

Conference participants will learn from AgriLife Extension professionals as well as from their fellow attendees how to cultivate and sustain children’s gardening programs in their respective schools and communities.

Registration options and associated costs can be found at https://tx.ag/JMGNTLC22.  

About the JMG leader training conference

The conference is designed to equip attendees to effectively teach Junior Master Gardener classes or groups through garden-based learning projects, Whittlesey said.

“It will also empower attendees to provide leadership for others in their communities and provide the tools needed to host their own JMG training workshops,” she noted.

Whittlesey said the conference will help turn participants from novice gardening educators to empowered leaders and trainers who can introduce and grow youth gardening into their school or local community.  

To allow flexibility for attendees, the 2022 conference offers a three-day attendance option or a two-day attendance option.

The registration fee includes JMG marketing resource materials, hotel parking, daily breakfast and lunch, and a reception on Monday evening. It also includes a private tour of the Gardens at Texas A&M University.  

For more information on the training, contact Caren Walton with the Junior Master Gardener program at 979-458-4063 or caren.walton@ag.tamu.edu.

The training will include keynote speakers as well as concurrent sessions of educational tracks. Through the conference, participants will learn to:

  • Utilize research-based curricula resources through hands-on breakout sessions.
  • Support academic standards, leadership development, healthy living and nutrition education.
  • Implement best practices and project-based learning.
  • Identify garden types/techniques to create outdoor learning environments.
  • Access group/class registration, recognition and certification options.
  • Involve local county Extension, volunteers and parents in programming.
  • Reach into schools, after-school programs and clubs.
  • Prepare/lead JMG teacher training workshop events.
  • Generate funding to support programs.
  • Build sustainability through community collaborations and partnerships.
  • Utilize program resources and marketing materials.
  • Develop custom JMG implementation plans.
Leader and elementary school youth participating in JMG program
Instructor and elementary school youth working in school garden as part of Junior Master Gardener programming. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

“Through the concurrent sessions, teachers, volunteers, school nutritionists, Extension staff, SNAP educators, administrators and state and national coordinators of successful JMG and youth garden programs will share best practices, motivating highlights and reports from the field,” Whittlesey said.

About the Junior Master Gardener program 

The mission of the Junior Master Gardener program is to grow good kids by igniting a passion for learning, success and service through a unique gardening education.

The JMG program is an international youth gardening program that engages children in individual and group learning experiences that help them develop a love of gardening and appreciation for the environment. It also inspires youth through service learning and leadership development projects, rewarding them with certification and other forms of recognition.

Through the JMG program, children can explore their world through meaningful activities that encourage leadership development, personal pride, individual responsibility and community involvement. 

Paul is a communications and media relations specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Communications. Based in San Antonio, Paul is responsible for writing advances, news releases and feature stories for Texas A&M AgriLife agencies, as well as providing any media relations support needed.