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CCFB News» November 2020

South Suburban Cook County Master Gardeners Receive State Award

11/02/2020 @ 11:15 am

University of Illinois Extension has honored the South Suburban Cook County Master Gardeners with a State Teamwork Award for their development and implementation of their Soil Test Interpretation and Answer Team.


The Master Gardeners (MG) comprising this Soil Test Interpretation and Answer Team are instrumental in assisting the public with a wide range of topics and specializing in soil test interpretation inquiries. As one of Extension’s most common best practices of testing your soil first, these MGs have followed through and provided invaluable information for residents needing assistance with understanding complex soil test results. As a result, clients have saved time and money, as well as protected the environment by not applying unnecessary fertilizers and chemicals.


Partners at Cook County Farm Bureau based in Countryside, IL also credit Master Gardeners for bringing value to the home gardening community with unbiased research driven information and one-to-one assistance, citing there are very few places people can go and get unbiased research driven information about gardening, soils, and best practices.


“We have so many members and non-members seeking guidance on their soil test results and looking to improve techniques for growing better vegetables, trees, landscape plants, and so much more in the world of horticulture throughout Cook County,” says, Bob Rohrer, Cook County Farm Bureau Manager. “These Master Gardeners have provided such an outstanding resource and service for these home gardeners to use at their convenience.”


“It is because of Master Gardeners relaying this message that more home gardeners are recognizing the importance of soil management and are becoming aware of the negative environmental effects of overuse of fertilizers and pesticides,” says Nancy Kreith, Cook County Extension Educator, Horticulture.


To learn more about the Master Gardener training and volunteer certification program please contact Margaret Burns-Westmeyer, at [email protected].


WRITER: Margaret Burns Westmeyer, Extension Program Coordinator, Cook County

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.


Photo by Nancy Kreith. Photo caption: Extension Program Coordinator, Margaret Burns Westmeyer, presents award sign to Deb Voltz, Cook County Farm Bureau staff.

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