From June to September 2016, UC IPM’s Urban and Community Program conducted four statewide train-the-trainer workshops titled Advanced IPM for UC Master Gardeners, covering issues gathered from a 2015 survey asking what UC Master Gardeners wanted training on most. Topics included invasive pests, Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease, weed identification, and understanding home-use pesticides and their labels.
A total of 272 UC Master Gardener volunteers from 30 counties attended. To compliment the hands-on training sessions, participants were provided with presentation and activity materials such as scripted PowerPoint slides, activity instructions and worksheets, access to loaner collections of empty pesticide bottles, and other supplemental information. Participants were asked to share the information within their local UC Master Gardener programs and communities and to report activities back to UC IPM.
Three months after each workshop, we surveyed attendees to find out what activities they had undertaken as a result of attending the training. From late September 2016 to early January 2017, 45 UC Master Gardener volunteers from 30 counties had shared information from the workshops through both formal and informal trainings, help line interactions, booths, written newsletter articles, and one-on-one interactions. Survey respondents indicated that more than 3,000 people were reached directly, with likely thousands more through radio, social media, and newsletter/newspaper articles. The sharing will continue as other outreach events are planned for the future.