Keynote Speaker (8:45-9:45):

  • our changing climate - Dr. Mark Seeley

    • In recent decades there has been increasing recognition by scientists that the climate is showing several distinct trends or changes in quantity and in character. In our own Great Lakes Region there are measurable changes going on. Among these are: (1) warmer temperatures (with seasonal and diurnal disparity); (2) higher frequency of tropical-like dew points, especially in the summer months; (3) and an overall increase in variability of precipitation and other hydrologic features, as well as a change in the character of extremes. These climate trends are clearly linked to visible consequences in the landscape. In addition, climate models, validated against three independent sets of climate measurements, suggest our climate will continue to change in the directions shown by these recent trends. There are both quantity and character changes in climate that are important for us to understand if we are to adapt effectively, especially in our agricultural practices.

      Dr. Mark Seeley

      • As a faculty member in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Soil, Water, and Climate from 1978 to 2018, Dr. Seeley participated in thousands of public speaking engagements, meetings, media interviews, and person-to-person interactions where he shared his considerable knowledge of the critical relationship between climate and agricultural production.

        He was hired to the new position of Extension Climatologist at the University of Minnesota in 1978; in 1989 he was awarded tenure with the rank of professor to go along with his title of Extension meteorologist/climatologist. Mark is one of the most widely recognized and respected University of Minnesota faculty members. He has done weekly commentary on Minnesota Public Radio since fall 1992, where he provides weekly weather and climate commentary on Morning Edition as well as writing Minnesota WeatherTalk, a weekly online newsletter with more than 5,000 subscribers. He is the author of Minnesota Weather Almanac and co-author (with Don Breneman) of Voyageur Skies: Weather and the Wilderness in Minnesota’s National Park (Afton Press, 2011), an award-winning book about the state’s only national park.

        Dr. Seeley has been honored with a variety of awards, some of which include: Minnesota Crop Production Retailers Association Outstanding Service Award, December 2017; Minnesota Agri-Growth Council Distinguished Service Award, November 2017; The Siehl Prize in Agriculture for lifetime contributions of knowledge to the agricultural sciences, May 2014; The University President’s Award for Outstanding Community Service, May, 2012; The Scientific Communication and Education Award from Sigma Xi (2001, 2008, 2017); the University of Minnesota Extension Dean and Director’s Award, 2006; the MN/DOT Research Center Partnership Award (for design and use of snow fences), 2003.

Session 1 (10:00-11:00):


    • Soil is a fascinating, living world full of microbes, decay, air, water… and roots! Join Anne to learn more about this essential and literal foundation for gardening. You'll learn how and why to add organic matter, meet some of the microbes who help plants grow, and understand why healthy soil is so important for healthy plants. She'll also talk about how to take a soil test, interpret the results, and select the right fertilizer for your plants.

      Anne Sawyer

      • Anne is a University of Minnesota Extension Educator for On-Farm Food Safety in Horticultural Systems, helping growers to minimize microbial contamination in fresh produce. Anne earned her PhD in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota in 2017, where she studied nutrient management and microbiology in switchgrass grown for bioenergy. She also has a BA in Geology from Carleton College and an MS in Watershed Science from Colorado State University. She has previously worked as a snow scientist with the National Weather Service and as a park ranger with the National Park Service in Utah and Alaska. Anne is also Master Gardener in Rice County, and she's been a market grower, selling produce and managing a small market in Dundas, Minnesota, where she lives with her husband, Joey, 2-year-old son, Asher, their dog, Drake, lots of chickens, and occasional pigs.


Session 2 (11:15-12:00):

  • spring bulbs: Planting magic - terry engels

    • Want flowers from snow melt until June? This session covers selection, cultivation, and design to guarantee beautiful bloom and rebloom in your Spring Garden.

      Terry Engels

      • Terry Engels, a lifetime gardener, became a Master Gardener in 1998. The following year she joined the gardening staff of the City of St. Cloud, serving for a number of years as a supervisor of Clemens Garden. A longtime member of the Garden Writers Association, she enjoys writing and speaking on garden maintenance and perennial design as well as historical garden research.

 Session 3 (12:45-1:45):


    • Perennial gardening is part science and part art. We will explore the nuts and bolts of site selection, soil prep, and plants’ cultural requirements. We will also visit the fun, artistic side to this craft as there is always whimsy and play in our educated choices. As Heidi has always said, “Gardening is not a precise science.”

      Heidi Heiland

      • Heidi Heiland is the Chief Experience Officer for her landscape gardening company, Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens (HLG), whose seeds were planted in 1979. With support from her professional team she creates award winning ecoscapes and nourishing encounters with nature for her customers by bringing them holistic consultation, landscape design, installation plus garden design and maintenance. In 2016, they opened GrowHaus, a garden center on a 5-acre footprint in Corcoran, which is a regenerative hub for growing, learning, and thriving.

        After graduating from the Constance Spry Flower School in England, Heidi continued her education and became a Certified Professional through the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) and is one of only three female past Presidents in their 90+ year history. Beyond these credentials Heidi holds a certificate in Horticultural Therapy through Colorado State University, has her PDC for Permaculture Design, and is a Professional Master Gardener. She has 3 grandkids, a golden retriever dog named Dandelion, and a rescued cat named Clover.

Make and Take (Session 2 or Session 3):

  • Bee Houses - Sharon Tracy & Ann McCormick

    • In this session we will briefly discuss why wild, native and solitary bees are important and how to attract them to our yards. We will then build a bee house and share tips on maintaining them. There will be helpful handouts to take home.