Featured Keynote Speakers

Monday, October 17, 2022

Gary R. Bachman
Gary R. Bachman

"The Modern Victory Garden: Potential of Small Urban Farming"

Extension/Research Professor, Mississippi State University, Host of Southern Gardening and Author of Southern Gardening All Year Long
Biloxi, MS

Gary's garden is very unique! Gary and his wife, Katie, are urban homesteaders and operate a “farm” called Heritage Cottage Urban Nano Farm. It is a great example of the modern-day Victory Garden. The Urban Nano Farm (UNF) is designed to be a demonstration garden that highlights how a small footprint garden can yield a plentiful harvest; and can grow an abundance of locally grown, specialty vegetables and produce all year long. With a total of 3,200 square feet, this garden supplied enough produce to our local farmers market 52 weeks a year for five years. Gary's presentation will take us through his backyard gate and show how a small vegetable garden can produce an abundant harvest and promote community through small urban gardens.

A Brief History: Gary spent 13 years with the GTE corporation in Detroit, MI and Westminster, SC. He holds a BS and MS from Clemson University and a PhD., from THE Ohio State University. He previously served on the faculty at Tennessee Tech University and Illinois State University and is currently Extension/Research Professor of Horticulture at the Coastal Research & Extension Center, Mississippi State University.

Most notably, Gary is host of the awarding winning Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Southern Gardening TV, newspaper columns and social media outlets. A Fellow with the American Society for Horticultural Science and Great American Gardener with the American Horticultural Society, Gary is now author of his first book, Southern Gardening All Year Long.

Gary and his wife Katie live in Ocean Springs, MS. They are urban homesteaders prepping for the zombie apocalypse and operate the Heritage Cottage Urban Nano Farm designed to be a demonstration urban farm to grow and preserve an abundance of locally grown specialty vegetables and produce all year long.

Jaret C. Daniels
Jaret C. Daniels

"Butterfly Gardening"

Curator, Florida Museum of Natural History, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, and Professor, UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology
Gainesville, FL

Dr. Daniels is a Curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity and Professor in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida. His lab specializes in insect ecology and conservation with a focus on at-risk butterflies and native insect pollinators.

He has authored many successful field guides, gardening books, and general interest titles on butterflies, insects, wildflowers, native plants, and wildlife landscaping including Your Florida Guide to Butterfly Gardening, Butterflies of Florida Field Guide, Native Plant Gardening for Birds, Bees & Butterflies: Southeast, Backyard Bugs: An Identification Guide to Common Insects, Spiders, and More, Native Plant Gardening for Birds, Bees & Butterflies: Southeast, Wildflowers of Florida Field Guide, Vibrant Butterflies: Our Favorite Visitors to Flowers and Gardens, and Insects & Bugs for Kids: An Introduction to Entomology. He lives in Gainesville, Florida with his wife Stephanie.

Gardening Books
Welcome Social and Book Signing: Meet Gary Bachman and Jaret Daniels

Both Gary Bachman and Jaret Daniels will have copies of their books available for sale and autographs during the social.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

"Share Your Master Gardener Volunteer Story: Help Set Goals for the Future"

Join us for this unique, facilitated session where Linda and Ramona will engage master gardener volunteers to share stories about your experiences in the master gardener program. During this session and throughout the conference, they’ll use a unique approach to gather collective memories, responses, interests, and ideas, evoking the history of our very own master gardener story. We will use this information to inform future decisions and actions that advance and further enhance the Master Gardener Volunteer Program and the communities we serve.

Linda Seals
Linda Seals

Community Resource Development
UF/IFAS Extension
Fort Pierce, Florida

Linda Seals is a Regional Specialized Agent in Community Resource Development for the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Southeast District. Her educational programs focus on teaching Extension faculty and community members how to build community vitality. Linda also provides leadership for the Community Voices, Informed Choices (CIVIC) program, which helps communities address complex issues through deliberative discussions. Linda has a BS and MS in ornamental horticulture from the University of Tennessee.

Ramona C. Madhosingh-Hector, MS
Ramona C. Madhosingh-Hector, MS

Urban Sustainability Agent
UF/IFAS Extension
Plant City, Florida

Ramona Madhosingh-Hector is a Regional Specialized Agent in Urban Sustainability and serves the Southwest District. She develops educational programs that support and advance the district’s commitment to sustainability including programs focused on resource efficiency, community sustainability, and food systems. Ramona has graduate degrees in Urban and Regional Planning and Environmental Science, and a BS in Agriculture from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad, and Tobago.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Kevin Coyne
Kevin Coyne

"Florida Springs and Waters: How You Can Work to Protect and Preserve Them"

Program Administrator
FDEP Water Quality Restoration Program (WQRP)
Tallahassee, FL

Mr. Coyne will discuss how the state is working to restore Florida’s springs and share some local activities we can do that can help protect and restore our valuable springs.

Mr. Coyne has been with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection since October 2014 and is the Program Administrator for the Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) program. Prior to Mr. Coyne’s start at the department, he managed the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Water Quality Standards Program, and he also spent time working on various total maximum daily load (TMDL) and nonpoint source issues in California and Maryland. Mr. Coyne has a B.S. in wildlife and fisheries management, a Master of Public Administration (MPA), and an M.S. from Florida State University, Aquatic Environmental Science Program.

Dr. Nicolas DiLorenzo
Madeline Hooper and Jeff Hughes

"Get GardenFit"

Creators, Producers, and Stars of the PBS TV series GardenFit

Their mission is to spread the word that you don’t have to live with aches and pains from gardening and to demonstrate techniques that enable you to maintain your body while maintaining your garden. Join Madeline and Jeff to explore some of the diverse private gardens they have visited throughout the country, get inspired by the guest gardeners' design approaches, and learn how to treat your body as your most important garden tool.

UF/IFAS Extension

Extension is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public. The University of Florida (UF), together with Florida A&M University (FAMU), administers the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. UF/IFAS Extension encompasses thousands of Extension faculty members, scientists, educators, administrative staff, and volunteers, all working to provide solutions for your life.


OCI stands for the Office of Conferences & Institutes. It is a full service conference planning agency at the University of Florida. OCI was created to support the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) mission to develop knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and to make that knowledge available to people to sustain and enhance the quality of life.

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