(pictured left to right: Arlene Brandt-Jenson, Sue White, Liz Gorham, Luann Noeske)
The South Dakota Master Gardener (SDMG) Association is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to provide assistance to SDSU Extension in carrying out their basic mission to disseminate research-based information on ornamental horticulture and gardening to the general public by coordinating the activities of its member Master Gardeners in fulfilling their obligated hours of assistance to SDSU Extension.
The Executive Committee of the association is a communication link among local clubs and individual members and may serve as a liaison between members and SDSU Extension. The SDMG Board does not govern the local clubs, but may serve as a resource. Other functions include assistance with the development of the SDMG annual conference Update, distribution of Endowment Fund grants, selection of Gold Star badge recipients, and overseeing the association finances.
Current SDMG Association Officers
President Arlene Brandt-Jenson, Watertown: I enjoyed getting to meet many of you at the Update. I took the Extension Master Gardener training in Watertown in 2011. Our class formed the Coteau Prairie MGs, with members from several counties, along with some veteran MGs. As the past SDMG VP, I chaired of the Endowment Fund Committee and the Nominating Committee, and have enjoyed working with those committee members, other state officers, and Dave and Aimee.
I was the District Conservationist for Codington County and retired from USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service in October 2011. I direct our church choir, lead children’s music, and serve on the Watertown Concert Association board. I attended the International MG Conference in Council Bluffs last year and hope to attend the IMGC in Portland, July 10-14, 2017.
Vice-President Sue W. White, Spearfish: I have been a Master Gardener since Spring 2011. I am one of the founders and the coordinator of the Northern Hills Master Gardeners (NHMG) since our inception in December of 2012.
My state involvement thus far involves attending all the state Updates beginning in Fall of 2011, and as the leader of the NHMGs, attending the state leaders’ meetings. One of my most enjoyable responsibilities since becoming a Master Gardener is answering questions as part of the Cooperative Extension’s Ask An Expert Program. I love it because I am helping people solve their gardening problems and, at the same time, I am always learning and updating my knowledge. I am retired, which allows me to spend many happy hours working with our very active NHMG group on our many activities. We work at our local Farmers Market, present Gardening Workshops and Tree Seminars, and hosted the 2016 State Master Gardener Update conference.
Secretary Luann Noeske, Pierre: I took the MG course in 1993 in Pierre. After the Pierre MG group was formed (Prairie Potters MG), we conducted workshops, maintained several public gardens around Pierre, became partners with the Arboretum, hosted the 2003 and 2015 Update, and started our annual May plant sale.
I have been Vice President and President of the State MG group and served on the Endowment Fund Committee. I was elected Secretary in 2014 and re-elected in 2016. I was thrilled to receive my Gold Star Badge in 2014. I also have served as Sec/Treas, VP, and President of our local MG group. I especially enjoy our annual plant sale, attending garden tours and Updates.
When I’m gardening at home, I like putting together container flower combinations, plant propagation, and learning which perennials can survive the heat and wind living in the country.
Treasurer Liz Gorham, Brookings: I took the SDSU Extension Master Gardener course in Brookings the year I retired, in 2011, and met my hours requirement in 2013. I attended the state SDMG updates all but one year. I have served as secretary of the Brookings Area MG group for the past three years.
Due to the poor health of my parents in 2000, I moved to Brookings as the State Extension SDSU family resource management specialist. I have now been retired for 5 years, but multiple activities keep me busy in the Brookings community, i.e., AARP Tax Aide counselor; SHIINE counselor for Medicare Information; officer and researcher in the Brookings Area Genealogical Society; counselor at the Brookings Family History Center (genealogical); and volunteer at McCrory Gardens.
Because of my professional training in family resource management, I felt I might be of service to SDMG in the treasurer position, keeping accurate and up-to-date records of income and expenditures and providing reports promptly.