Cascade Program Highlight
Level 2 Master Gardener classes are offered in Great Falls. Students learn about binomial nomenclature, fertility, plant growth, trees, entomology, and more. In 2018, Cascade County gardeners volunteered 15,961 hours at community gardens, farmers markets, greenhouses, and the Cascade County MSU Extension office. Vegetables grown by Master Gardeners in community and personal gardens were primarily donated to those in need. Educational programs offered by Cascade County MSU Extension agriculture agent Rose Malisani included Livestock Quality Assurance, Gardening 101, Pesky Pests, Cropping Seminar, Private Applicator Training, Pesticide Effectiveness, Forage Seminar, and Barley Seminar. These programs help participants make informed decisions to better save money and care for their acreage and the environment.
- Livestock Quality Assurance trainings for 4-H members and Great Falls Public School students. Malisani taught 4-H and other youth about caring for livestock and what is produced from livestock.
- Malisani joined with Bundi Gardens to teach a Gardening 101 class, where 12 novice gardeners learned about how to start plants, transplant, grow, and care for a garden.
- Pesky Pests was offered in Cascade and Teton Counties, teaching how to control pests ranging from grubs to deer in gardens and yards; 29 people participated in both classes.
- The annual Cropping Seminar covering the Golden Triangle was held in early January. The program featured MSU Extension specialists Clain Jones, Cecil Tharp, Kate Fuller, and Darrin Boss.
- The Pesticide Private Applicator training reached 56 attendees from Cascade, Chouteau, Fergus, Gallatin, Hill, Lewis and Clark, Liberty, Meagher, Pondera, Teton, and Toole counties. Attendees learned about licenses, laws, pests, safety, labels, calibration, and environment. The program is important to keep pesticide applicators aware of the most current and correct information and safety practices.
- Malisani presented to the Montana Agricultural Business Association on Pesticide Effectiveness. Attendees learned about how unplanned and natural factors can lower pesticide effectiveness and how producers can help increase pesticide effectiveness.
- The Forage Seminar is a popular educational program where producers learned about forage production, testing, evaluation, hay storage, fertilizer use, and weed control.
- The Barley Seminar took place in Fort Benton where producers and industry representatives learned about rotations, marketing, sustainability, and management strategies; more than 75 people traveled icy roads to attend.
Image credit:Cascade County Gardening 101 class. Photo by Rose Malisani/MSU Extension