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The annual state conference for the Louisiana Master Gardeners will be held in West Monroe from April 29 to May 1 at the West Monroe Convention Center.Keynote speakers will include Joe Lamp’l, host of national television shows “GardenSMART” on PBS and “Fresh from the Garden” on DIY Network; Dan Gill, LSU AgCenter horticulturist; and Jenny Rose Carey, director of the landscape arboretum at Temple University in Ambler, Pa., and adjunct professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture.The conference will include five breakout sessions, each consisting of four classroom sessions and one hands-on demonstration. The presenters will include national, regional and local experts on topics ranging from companion plantings and plant propagation to gardening history and wine making.

The event also will offer educational displays, garden-product and plant vendors, two socials, a silent auction, Master Gardener store and an opportunity to visit the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens and the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum.

“This educational conference provides the over-2,000 active Louisiana Master Gardener volunteers an opportunity to network and learn from research presentations and tours, while sharing their ideas and successful programs with others,” said Bobby Fletcher Jr., assistant director for extension at the LSU AgCenter.

“Participation in the state conference has ranged from 150 to 300, and we hope to have high participation this year,” Fletcher said. “I am excited about the opportunity to have this conference in northeast Louisiana and appreciate the support from our agents and volunteers as well as private sponsors.”

The conference is open to all Louisiana Master Gardeners and their guests and is sponsored by the Northeast Louisiana and North Central Louisiana Master Gardener associations.

The registration fee is $150 after March 31 and includes all educational programs, meals excluding breakfast, hospitality refreshments, admission to the vendor/exhibit area and socials.

Registration information is available online at http://www.lsuagcenter.com and typing Master Gardener Conference in the search box. Information also is available from Steven Hotard, area horticulture/forestry agent with the LSU AgCenter, at 318-323-2251 or shotard@agcenter.lsu.edu.

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