Join us at Master Gardener College for a special Thursday night banquet featuring keynote speaker Becky Heath, who will address the exciting and important role she envisions for Extension Master Gardeners in the future.
Becky Heath is co-owner and President of Heath Enterprises, Ltd., the home of ‘Brent and Becky’s Bulbs’, a wholesale/retail mail order flower bulb business located in Gloucester, Virginia, as well as the current president of GardenComm (or Garden Communicators International).
“Master Gardeners can make a huge impact on the health and sustainability of the Green Industry,” says Heath whose keynote address will focus on where horticulture is now and where it is headed in the future. “Master Gardeners have more of an impact on communities than almost any other group.”
Heath notes that younger generations, like millennials, have a deep connection to the planet but fewer of them are gardeners. It’s important for the Green Industry to cater to this demographic and get them involved in things like growing their own food.
“This is where Master Gardeners can have the most impact,” says Heath. “Everybody starts somewhere. Sometimes there’s a tendency, when an individual grows and becomes an expert, they forget where they used to be. We need to reach back and help other people where they are,” she says, adding that Master Gardeners are well positioned to do this as part of the Green Industry that “gets information out there.”
“‘Brent and Becky’s Bulbs has had a longstanding relationship with the Extension Master Gardener Program,” says Dave Close, State Master Gardener Coordinator. “Becky has a deep passion for getting people excited about gardening and she articulates that extremely well. We’re thrilled to have her at this special banquet and keynote address event.”
In her role at GardenComm, Heath is exposed to a cross section of the Green Industry–including new trends she hopes to share with Master Gardeners during her keynote address.
“Master Gardeners are all communicators in one way or another,” says Heath. “I hope they come away from my talk thinking of themselves as communicators who have the power of knowledge to share.”
Banquet: A first for Master Gardener College!
Master Gardener College 2019 will feature Heath’s keynote as part of a special Thursday night banquet–the first time we’ve offered such an event.
“The banquet will be held at our College venue, The Main, on Thursday night” says Close. “It will feature dinner and is open to all Master Gardener College attendees registered for the full conference.”
The banquet will begin at 6:00 pm with dinner, followed by Heath’s keynote address, and then a Milestone Award ceremony honoring 2018 Milestone recipients.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to offer a new event to College attendees,” says Close. “We’ve always had a milestone ceremony and a keynote speaker on Thursday, but we’ve never combined them into this kind of celebratory banquet before! We’re excited for Becky Heath’s keynote and also for this new event to kick off college!”
For more information on Master Gardener College, please visit our website at: https://www.mastergardener.ext.vt.edu/college/registration/