Leadership Development Training

row of adults sit at a long table facing in front of them. Some laugh, some look down at papers, one checks a watch. An open laptop sits in front of the table displaying a screen with a map of Virginia.
Participants at 2018 Leadership Development training

Leadership Development Trainings are day-long workshops for EMGs, agents, and coordinators organized by the State Coordinator’s Office each year.

Leadership Development Training workshops offer EMGs throughout the state a chance to expand their knowledge in administrative topics like meeting facilitation, marketing, and group leadership. Leadership Development Trainings are often held in the fall and are announced via Better Impact and the biweekly email.

2022 Virtual Leadership Development Training

October 5: Increasing volunteer engagement and building volunteer leaders with Dave Close

Join VCE Volunteer Engagement Specialist Dave Close as he shares thoughts on increasing volunteer engagement and building volunteer leaders. 

October 12: Happy EMGs and Thriving EMG Units – Focal Points for Good Leadership with Pat Lust

Come learn the results of a recent research project focused on volunteer happiness and what factors can help EMG units thrive. Learn what steps can be taken to make your unit even stronger! Pat Lust is Professor Emerita, Longwood University and Extension Master Gardener Volunteer and author of the 2022 report Happy EMG Volunteers & Thriving EMG Units

October 19: Evaluation Deep Dive with Tom Archibald

This session will lead you through the ins and outs of program evaluation best practices, how tos, and more. Tom Archibald is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education

October 26: Leadership Dialogue

Join your fellow EMG leaders and prospective leaders, EMG Coordinators, and Extension Agents in discussion around relevant topics to your EMG units. Time will be spent discussing challenges, successes, and opportunities around: recruiting new members, retaining members, and building strong community partnerships. Come prepared to share your thoughts on these topics.

Registration will open in September. An email will be sent to Virginia EMGs via Better Impact and an announcement will be made in the biweekly update.

2020 Virtual Leadership Development Series

This year the State EMG Office hosted a virtual series in place of our in person leadership development training. Sessions took place throughout October and all Master Gardeners were welcome to join. If you missed this year’s sessions, watch for similar sessions next fall and please view recordings below!

October 1: Volunteer Engagement in a Virtual World (not recorded)

As trainings and meetings are moved to a virtual platform, how can volunteers build and sustain meaningful relationships within their unit and the greater community? The State EMG Office will facilitate a discussion focused around how units throughout the state are staying engaged in a virtual world. There will be small group breakout rooms for more in depth discussions and brainstorming between participants. 

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October 8: Racial Understanding Dialogues (not recorded)

We welcome VCE’s Coming Together for Racial Understanding Team (Maurice Smith, Thomas Woodson, and Crystal Tyler-Mackey) as they lead discussions on this timely and important subject. We are offering this session to provide a productive platform for dialogue about race-related concerns within the Extension Master Gardener Program. 

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October 15: Programming Pivots: New Program Development during the Pandemic (not recorded)

Join us to hear about three different programs throughout the state that were developed in the midst of the pandemic and our need for virtual programming. Panelists will share about their programs and lessons they learned along the way. After a Q&A session with our panelists, we invite session participants to share new and innovative programming that their unit took on in the past months. Please come prepared to share (no more than 5 minutes, please). 

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October 22: Creating Engaging Presentations (recorded, available here)

Join three Extension Agents as they give you tips and tricks for creating and delivering presentations that will keep your audience engaged. This session will also cover issues of copyright, credits, and branding. 

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October 29: People Problems: Managing Conflict Locally (not recorded)

Join Charlotte Glenn, State Coordinator of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Program, and Dave Close as they share the principles of conflict management, role play various conflict scenarios, and lead small group discussions on the topic.

Session Resources:

2018 Leadership Training

Materials for the Leadership Training Meetings held in early November 2018 throughout the state.

EMG Office Updates Presentation

John Freeborn

News and projects from the EMG State Coordinator’s Office, including strategic planning updates and 2019 EMG College

Project Evaluation Presentation

John Freeborn

Including tips for changing “we’ve always done it this way” projects, plans of work, and project proposal forms

Communications Part 1

Devon Johnson

Including updates on new communications templates and downloadable items

Communications Part 2

Devon Johnson

Including guidelines on managing social media and writing/distributing press releases

2017 Leadership Training

Materials for the Leadership Training Meeting held on November 8, 2017 in Chesterfield, Virginia. View the meeting agenda

Program Updates

Dave Close & John Freeborn

This presentation details recent program updates including changes to tracking volunteer hours, the new coordinator’s handbook, and updates on Master Gardener College.

Cost Recovery

Joyce Lattimer

This presentation, given by Joyce Lattimer covers cost recovery for EMG units and includes key terms used for describing program costs and instructions for using the cost calculation spreadsheets.

Strategic Planning Overview

John Freeborn

This presentation describes the strategic planning process for EMG units and includes examples of goal setting and planning exercises.


Lindsey Nelson

This presentation describes marketing strategies for EMG units and includes links to resources for attribution-free images and online documentation creation.

2016 Leadership Training Documents

Materials from the meeting at Residence Inn Downtown Charlottesville on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. View Meeting Agenda

Transitioning the Vision into Action

Martha Walker

This presentation, given by Martha Walker, walks you step-by-step on how to best take ideas and turn them into reality. It covers: designing a strategic plan, building a plan of work, facilitating the meeting and much more!

Working with Youth

Jeremy Johnson and Tonya Price

This presentation is from the workshop lead by Jeremy Johnson and Tonya Price on working with youth. The objectives of this workshop include: identifying the 4-H guidelines for working with youth programs of Virginia Cooperative, identifying age-appropriate activities for use in the extension educational design process, and how to practice behavior management strategies. for working with youth.

Empowering Volunteers as Agents of Change

Dr. Curtis Friedel

This presentation, given by Dr. Curtis Friedel, will develop an awareness of adaption-innovation theory. It will also explain how the more adaptive and more innovative prefer to work with structure. Finally it will develop guidelines for developing a problem- solving culture among volunteers. Click the image to download the slides from the presentation.

The Extension Master Gardener Program: Update

Dave Close and John Freeborn

Throughout the course of the year, the Office of the Extension Master Gardener Program, has been hard at work to help serve the EMG programs from all across the state of Virginia. Dave Close and John Freeborn present on the new updates from the program including: the EMG Training Handbooks, Social Media, Youtube Videos and much more.

Conflict Resolution

Dan Goerlich

Dan Goerlich, the Central District Director of Virginia Cooperative Extension shared his thoughts on conflict resolution. Dan shares 9 things to keep in mind when dealing with conflict resolution.

2015 Leadership Training Documents

The Extension Master Gardener Program: Basics and Overview

John Freeborn

John Freeborn’s presentation on the Extension Master Gardener Program. From its creation in 1979 the program has grown and developed over the years, but its mission to bring the latest horticulture research from Virginia Tech and Virginia State University to the people of the Commonwealth. This presentation has the most up-to-date information on the program as a whole.

Managing Conflict: Dealing with Difficult Volunteers

Dave Close

There are many things that can lead to / bring about conflict. In his presentation, Dave Close identifies frequent sources of conflict within Extension Master Gardener groups as well as how to navigate through them.

Communication Challenges

Kevin Camm

In this presentation, Kevin Camm shares what he has learned about communication challenges throughout his years of serving as a unit coordinator and extension agent. Kevin looks at some of the hindrances to clear communication and addresses some proven ways to overcome them.

Running Effective Meetings

Scott Baker

Scott Baker presents and extensive talk on how to facilitate meetings at work. He goes into two key components that can make or break a meeting: planning and communication. This presentation provides great insight and practice advice for facilitating a productive meeting. Also included is a sample meeting agenda that can be customized for your next meeting.
Meeting Agenda Template