Speakers & Presentations 2018 Missouri Master Gardner State Conference

We're pleased to announce Crystal Bridges Museum Horticulturalist Cody George will be the keynote speaker for 2018 Missouri Master Gardener State Conference. Although George quips that the plant species he most identifies with is "spicebush…we both enjoy being in the shade, but do fine in the sun. And we both emit a pleasant, spicy fragrance," he's introduced 60 plus taxa of native plants to the Museum's living collection and is responsible for the creation of Crystal Bridges Museum's monthly series Discover the Grounds.

Cody George - Keynote Speaker

We’re pleased to announce Crystal Bridges Museum Horticulturalist Cody George will be the keynote speaker for 2018 Missouri Master Gardener State Conference. Although George quips that the plant species he most identifies with is “spicebush…we both enjoy being in the shade, but do fine in the sun. And we both emit a pleasant, spicy fragrance,” he’s introduced 60 plus taxa of native plants to the Museum’s living collection and is responsible for the creation of Crystal Bridges Museum’s monthly series Discover the Grounds.
Sunday Morning - September 30

Educational Speakers

Sunday Morning – September 30
Nathan is a graduate of College of the Ozarks and is now the manager of the campus greenhouse operation.  The greenhouses have 10,000 square feet under glass and produce about 200,000 bedding plants annually.  He is also responsible for maintaining the college's orchid collection of 7,000 plants.  He is well known for winning awards at orchid shows across the Midwest and is also a judge for the American Orchid Society.

Nathan Bell-Orchids

Nathan is a graduate of College of the Ozarks and is now the manager of the campus greenhouse operation. The greenhouses have 10,000 square feet under glass and produce about 200,000 bedding plants annually. He is also responsible for maintaining the college’s orchid collection of 7,000 plants. He is well known for winning awards at orchid shows across the Midwest and is also a judge for the American Orchid Society.
Earnie is the owner of Persimmon Hill Farm in Lampe, MO.  The blueberry and blackberry crop are major products at the farm in summer with the "Thunder Muffins" being a signature item with restaurant visitors and online shoppers.  He also grows shitake mushrooms and is one of the selected exhibitors at the annual Best of Missouri Marketplace.  Participation in the Marketplace is by invitation only at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.

Earnie Bohner-How to Grow Your Own Mushrooms

Earnie is the owner of Persimmon Hill Farm in Lampe, MO. The blueberry and blackberry crop are major products at the farm in summer with the “Thunder Muffins” being a signature item with restaurant visitors and online shoppers. He also grows shitake mushrooms and is one of the selected exhibitors at the annual Best of Missouri Marketplace. Participation in the Marketplace is by invitation only at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.
Patrick is the Regional Horticulture Specialist with the Webster County office of University of Missouri.  He previously worked in the Greene County office where he was the MG advisor and has been a favorite speaker for many MG events in the region.  He resides on a farm near Fordland and raises elderberries with his family.

Patrick Byers-Fall Bulbs

Patrick is the Regional Horticulture Specialist with the Webster County office of University of Missouri. He previously worked in the Greene County office where he was the MG advisor and has been a favorite speaker for many MG events in the region. He resides on a farm near Fordland and raises elderberries with his family.
As an Extension Horticulture Specialist for the University of Arkansas, Janet works in the Little Rock office.  However, her work as coordinator the entire Arkansas state MG Program takes her to events across the region.  She organizes the annual state MG conference in Arkansas and has also served several times on the planning committee of the International MG Conference.

Janet Carson-Growing Vegetables is Cool Again

As an Extension Horticulture Specialist for the University of Arkansas, Janet works in the Little Rock office. However, her work as coordinator the entire Arkansas state MG Program takes her to events across the region. She organizes the annual state MG conference in Arkansas and has also served several times on the planning committee of the International MG Conference.
Lee and his wife are the owners of Peggy's Flowers of Highlandville, MO.  Although Lee has a special passion for hosta and Japanese maples, he also has developed a great interest in miniature landscapes or fairy gardens.  He teaches classes on making papercrete containers that are perfect for those applications and travels extensively making presentations at regional MG and plant society events.

Lee Coates-New Varieties of Japanese Maples

Lee and his wife are the owners of Peggy’s Flowers of Highlandville, MO. Although Lee has a special passion for hosta and Japanese maples, he also has developed a great interest in miniature landscapes or fairy gardens. He teaches classes on making papercrete containers that are perfect for those applications and travels extensively making presentations at regional MG and plant society events.
With his wife, Amy, Oscar owns Hilltop Gardens near Ash Grove, MO.  Over 30  years, they have developed an iconic nursery known for annuals and perennials that adapt well to Ozark gardens.  Oscar enjoys finding new varieties and tries to offer something unique each season.  Hilltop Gardens was one of the tour stops during the 2013 MG conference.

Oscar Cross-Deer Resistant Perennials

With his wife, Amy, Oscar owns Hilltop Gardens near Ash Grove, MO. Over 30+ years, they have developed an iconic nursery known for annuals and perennials that adapt well to Ozark gardens. Oscar enjoys finding new varieties and tries to offer something unique each season. Hilltop Gardens was one of the tour stops during the 2013 MG conference.
At retirement, Bill and his wife moved to their home on Table Rock Lake, just south of Kimberling City.  Bill has been very active with MG of the Ozarks, serving on the Executive Board and managing several project gardens.  He also frequently accepts invitations to present programs for local groups as part of the MG Speakers Bureau.

Bill Greet-Growing Roses in Missouri

At retirement, Bill and his wife moved to their home on Table Rock Lake, just south of Kimberling City. Bill has been very active with MG of the Ozarks, serving on the Executive Board and managing several project gardens. He also frequently accepts invitations to present programs for local groups as part of the MG Speakers Bureau.
Tom is a MG from Greene County and current president of the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society.  He was also the designer of the hosta garden renovation and the Founders Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens.  Tom and his wife are the owners of Alta Birdsong, their private garden, where they often welcome tour groups.  He maintains the website SWMOgardens.com.

Tom Lakowske-Shade Gardening

Tom is a MG from Greene County and current president of the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society. He was also the designer of the hosta garden renovation and the Founders Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens. Tom and his wife are the owners of Alta Birdsong, their private garden, where they often welcome tour groups. He maintains the website SWMOgardens.com.
Before his retirement, Tom was an entomologist with Louisiana State University.  Now he is an active member of MG of the Ozarks Speaker Bureau and a favorite presenter for all programs on insects.  Tom initiated the local monarch tagging events.  He is also an accomplished photographer and has many of his best shots available as framed pieces or note cards.

Tom Riley-Monarch Butterfly Migration Biology: How You can get Involved

Before his retirement, Tom was an entomologist with Louisiana State University. Now he is an active member of MG of the Ozarks Speaker Bureau and a favorite presenter for all programs on insects. Tom initiated the local monarch tagging events. He is also an accomplished photographer and has many of his best shots available as framed pieces or note cards.
Kathy McFarland is a life-long gardener and a life-long learner.  After a successful 30-year career as a secondary English teacher, she moved back to her home area of the Missouri Ozarks.  In addition to being a full time gardener and sole owner/operator of her farm, she is media and public relations coordinator for Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company in Mansfield, Missouri.  As a dedicated heirloom seed advocate, she enjoys sharing the story of the company that Jere Gettle started as a teenager and has grown into a giant operation.

Kathy McFarland-Story of Heirloom Seeds

Kathy McFarland is a life-long gardener and a life-long learner. After a successful 30-year career as a secondary English teacher, she moved back to her home area of the Missouri Ozarks. In addition to being a full time gardener and sole owner/operator of her farm, she is media and public relations coordinator for Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company in Mansfield, Missouri. As a dedicated heirloom seed advocate, she enjoys sharing the story of the company that Jere Gettle started as a teenager and has grown into a giant operation.
Bill graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia and then worked in the campus landscape department during the time of the campus beautification initiative.  Since 1990, Bill has been the owner/manager of National Nursery Products, a horticultural marketing and consulting company in St. Louis.  He is also actively involved with the Missouri Prairie Foundation Grow Native program.

William (Bill) Ruppert-Using Native Plants in a Garden Design

Bill graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia and then worked in the campus landscape department during the time of the campus beautification initiative. Since 1990, Bill has been the owner/manager of National Nursery Products, a horticultural marketing and consulting company in St. Louis. He is also actively involved with the Missouri Prairie Foundation Grow Native program.
Rachel is a Wild Edibles Educator who hosts walks to share her knowledge about wild plants and their uses.  She is primarily self-taught, spending lots of research efforts to continue learning.  Living in Willard, MO, Rachel is the mother of two young children and often includes them in her foraging trips.  She is employed by the Springfield Community Gardens and shares her passion though Facebook at onceuponaweed.

Rachel West-Wild Culinary Arts

Rachel is a Wild Edibles Educator who hosts walks to share her knowledge about wild plants and their uses. She is primarily self-taught, spending lots of research efforts to continue learning. Living in Willard, MO, Rachel is the mother of two young children and often includes them in her foraging trips. She is employed by the Springfield Community Gardens and shares her passion though Facebook at onceuponaweed.