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2019 State Master Gardener Conference

This conference is for master gardeners throughout the state of Oklahoma. For more information on becoming a master gardener, please contact your county extension educator.

Event details


Jun 27, 2019 06:00 PM to
Jun 28, 2019 05:15 PM


Durant, OK

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Conference registration is $45.00 and will include Thursday evening social with light hors d'oeuvres, snacks and lunch on Friday. Registration deadline June 7, no walk-in registrations. Register on-line today!

Location: Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 425 W University Blvd, Durant, OK 74701


Must mention Oklahoma State Master Gardener Conference for rate.

  • La Quinta Inn & Suites Durant, 417 Criswell Blvd, 580-924-2200
  • Double Queen/King rooms – $99.00 plus tax. Mention Oklahoma Master Gardener for rates.
  • Choctaw Casino & Resorts, 1-800-788-2464
  • 15% off the Best Available Rate; use the Promo Code OKMG. Cutoff date for promo code is 6/13/2019.
  • Durant Holiday Inn Express, 613 University Place, Durant, 580-924-9777, $95.00
  • Durant Hampton Inn & Suites, 3199 Shamrock Lane, Durant, 580-924-0300, $90.00
  • Durant Quality Inn & Suites, 2112 W Main St. Durant, 580-924-8881, $79.00

Call hotels directly and mention “Oklahoma State Master Gardeners” to receive above rates. Must reserve by June 6, 2019.

Conference Schedule

Thursday June 27, Evening Social – The Massey Building, 200 W. Main, Durant, OK 74701

6:00-8:00 – Wine sampling from Blue River Valley Winery; refreshments (cheese, meat, crackers, ice cream floats); visit downtown Durant.

Our hosts, the Bryan and Carter Counties Master Gardeners, have planned a wonderful evening on Thursday, June 27, An Evening Social at the Massey Building Event Center.

Located in downtown Durant is the spacious historic brick building that is now home to the city’s event center. The Durant National Bank building is a two-story brick building, with a stone facade. The building is painted white and has been dedicated to John Massey by Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The "Massey Building" as it is known is a popular event center now. The building is the venue for dances, dinners and other community events. This building is a Contributing Building to the Durant Downtown Historic District.

Come enjoy some good old networking and make new friends while you sample some wine from Blue River Valley Winery, cheese, meat and crackers and ice cream floats.

For a truly wonderful experience, come early and enjoy a bit of Oklahoma history! For Attractions and Events in the Durant area go to Durant Area Chamber of Commerce - Attractions and Entertainment in Durant Oklahoma

Friday June 28, Southeastern Oklahoma State University

7:45 – 8:50 am                    Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:50 – 9:00 am                    Welcome!
9:00 – 9:50 am                    Speaker
9:50 – 10:00 am                  Break
10:00 – 10:50 am                Speaker
10:50 – 11:00 am                Break
11:00 – 12:00 pm                Speaker

12:00 – 1:00 pm                  Lunch

1:00 – 1:50 pm                    Speaker
1:50 – 2:00 pm                    Break
2:00 – 2:50 pm                    Speaker
2:50 – 3:00 pm                    Break
3:00 – 4:00 pm                    Speaker
4:00 pm                              Conference Concludes


Lou Anella, Drip Irrigation for the Residential Landscape

Topic Description: How do you keep potted plants looking good all summer without carting around the watering can three times a day? Automated drip irrigation is one possible answer to that question. Different styles of drip irrigation will be discussed along with the importance of filtration, pressure regulation, and how to put the system on a timer.

  • Bio: Lou Anella is Director of The Botanic Garden at OSU and Professor of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. He was raised in the Hudson Valley of New York and developed his love of horticulture while working on his neighbor’s apple farm. He received a BA from Vassar College and his MS and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. In addition to his duties as director of The Botanic Garden he advises students, coordinates the department’s scholarship program, is advisor to the Landscape Management Club, and teaches Woody Plant Materials, Herbaceous Plant Materials, Public Garden Management, Bidding and Estimating, Landscape Irrigation, and Applied Landscape Planning. He lives in Stillwater, OK with his wife Shelley.

Pat Tickle, Understanding Honey Bees in our Gardens and World

Topic Description: Pat will talk about where bees came from, a short history and how they fit into our world.

  • Bio: Pat Tickel became a beekeeper 12 years ago after seeing a swarm of bees rekindling memories of his father having bees as a youth. He currently has about 40 hives of his own, is a member of 4 beekeeper clubs and the Oklahoma and Texas Beekeeper Associations. He teaches beekeeping to new beekeepers and is participating in a Master Beekeepers Program to become a Master Beekeeper.

Andrea Lashley, Insect Hotels: Insect Conservation for the Master Gardener

Topic Description: Come join us as we explore a form of insect conservation that will help you attract pollinators & decomposers while using sustainable practices. Learn exactly what the buzz is about and how to create your own insect hotel from recycled materials.

  • Bio: Andrea Lashley, a senior at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, was awarded the NASA Grant Summer Internship in 2018 for her Insect Hotel project submission. Her insect hotel can be found on campus and includes the first green roof installation at the university. Andrea is a Botany Major/Chemistry Minor actively engaged in research and conservation. She plans to continue her graduate studies in analytical chemistry.

Steve Upson, Sustainable Practices for Home Fruit & Vegetable Production

Topic Description: Sustainable gardening can be defined as a form or philosophy of gardening which utilizes principle based practices that enable the production of fruit and vegetables in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible manner. Class participants will learn about the many gardening practices that promote sustainability to include: People friendly/space efficient garden design, Soil health, Integrated pest management, Climate risk management, Technology utilization, Recycle/repurpose, Resource conservation, Crop/variety selection, and Encourage pollinators and beneficials.

  • Bio: Steve Upson, a native of Tulsa, received a Bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Oklahoma State University and a Master’s degree in horticulture from Kansas State University. Past employment includes serving as a county and district horticulture agent with the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and as manager of a commercial market garden operation near Kansas City, Missouri. For the past 30 years Steve has lived in Ardmore where he is employed as a horticulture consultant with the Noble Research Institute. Steve’s current area of specialization involves researching and demonstrating the benefits of hobby and commercial raised bed gardening and modified environment high tunnel (hoop house) specialty crop production. He has authored numerous publications including ‘Permanent Raised Bed Gardening’ and ‘High Tunnel Hoop House Construction Guide’.

Paula Pierce, Lepidoptera: Moths, Skippers, and Butterflies

Topic Description: This program informs the viewers as to the value of our tiny creatures; as well as, how to spot them, and the dangers they face in today’s world. The material is from extensive research, and I have cited all valuable information.


  • Bio: Paula Pierce has been a Durant Master Gardener for a few years. She lives with her husband in Stringtown. We are active in our community, working with the Stringtown Legacy Foundation. Paula is a member of the Atoka Pink Iris Garden Club and has a passion for all that grows. She is also an educator who presently teaches Technical Writing Workshops for the EPA.

Bill Farris, Landscaping with Natives. Why, How and What not to do.

Topic Description: Prairie Wind Nursery is dedicated to educating the public on the many benefits of planting natives in the landscape.

  • Bio: Prairie Wind Nursery is a family owned nursery located in Norman. Bill and Sally Farris began what was to become Prairie Wind Nursery in the spring of 1990.
  • Bill was raised on a small ranch in southern Oklahoma. His first interest in plants, were the native forage grasses on the ranch. In high school he was a member of the Future Farmers of America where he competed in livestock and soil judging and grass identification contests. He went on to study plant science at Murray State College.
  • Bill and Sally were voted the Oklahoma Greenhouse Growers Association “Grower of the Year” in 1992.
  • Bill is an alumnus of the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program. He has also served as a board member and president of the Oklahoma Greenhouse Growers Association and is the current Vice President of the Oklahoma Native Plant Society.

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