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Arkansas Master Gardener Awards

Honor your outstanding volunteers by recognizing their significant contribution and impact on your MG program and community.


Nominate a fellow Master Gardener!

All nominations are to be submitted by January 15th each year as a digital copy to

Only ONE nomination in each category will be accepted from each AR MG Program.

View the Sample Nomination and Sample MG of the Year Score Sheet for guidance.

Share your county's Master Gardener accomplishments!

By participating, we can learn from each other and elevate our Master Gardener Programs statewide. Join us and be part of our collective growth!


  1. Start early. Check with your MG program to find out your program’s process for submitting to the state level.
  2. Give yourself time to read the nomination criteria, gather information and lots of action images, draft the nomination, check it for errors and word counts, etc., to ensure your nomination qualifies.


Gather Information

  1. Make notes about contributions/achievements/measurable results against goals, etc., of individuals/teams and project(s) all year long. Use statistics to track measurable results.
  2. Take action-oriented photos throughout the year and ID all in each photo and each person’s role. Winners need at least 40 images to make the video look good and representative of the work done.
  3. Invite input from the potential nominee individual/team. Doing so can help create a unique story of your nominee and provide detailed examples you may not have known.


Draft Your Nomination

  1. Think of your nomination as an investigative story record: Who, What, When, Where and How.
  2. The nomination should be a stand-alone document rather than filling in the nomination guidelines. Group ideas for your nomination as outlined in the nomination criteria headings, i.e., Project Start & Evolution, Need, Goals, Hours Worked, Impacts on Intended Audiences, How Evaluated, Stats, etc.
  3. Address all award criteria. Judges notice.
  4. Focus on how the nomination’s contribution/achievement/skill is significant and deserving of recognition, using specific details and descriptions to show nominee’s impact.
  5. Use data (number of people served, money earned, hours worked, etc.) to measure nominee’s impact against goals. Judges want to know evaluation data.
  6. Use action verbs and action photos to tell the narrative. Be a storyteller. Draw the judge in.
  7. Avoid using acronyms or nicknames, especially on first reference. Spell things out for those who may not know us or our state.
  8. Use a standard word processing software in at least 11-point type. Microsoft Word and Google Docs have word count, spelling and grammar features.
  9. Use our standard nomination title, so the judges see consistency across all the nominations:

[Last Year] Arkansas Master Gardener – [Category] of the Year Nomination

[Nominee Name]

Submitted by the [Program Name] Master Gardeners [indicate (50- or 51+ members)]


Revise and Edit Your Nomination

  1. Have “fresh eyes” (i.e., other Master Gardeners) read and critique the document.
  2. Check for word count to ensure it is at or under the limit. Word counts are just for the body of the nomination, not the entire nomination. Therefore, headings, subheadings, footers, page numbers, bullet points/numbered lists, and photo captions are NOT part of the word count. The above-mentioned items help the judges by chunking the nomination into parts rather than one long narrative, making it easier for the judges to read and judge.
  3. Embed fully captioned images as JPEGs at the end of the nomination.


Submit Early

  1. Ensure you have the necessary signatures.
  2. Submit your one-page signed application form (as a PDF or image) and your nomination form with embedded captioned images as 2 separate files in one email packet per nomination to well before the January 15th deadline so that the RRR Project may have time to review your nominations and allow you to make any necessary changes prior to sending your nomination(s) to the judging panel. Judges ONLY receive your nomination document, which is why you need to title your nomination and embed images. The application form is used by AR MG County 76 RRR Project to verify nomination authenticity before forwarding each nomination to the appropriate judges.
  3. County 76 RRR Project prefers each AR MG Program submits nominations electronically via email on the same day to assist with filing requirements.

Please rest assured that Randy Forst, our AR MG State Coordinator & Consumer Horticulture Expert, as well as Julie Treat, Horticulture Program Associate, have access to these files.

The AR MG Awards judging panel is comprised of experienced horticulture experts across the United States, most of whom serve in Randy Forst’s role as their respective state’s MG Coordinator. AR MGs have NO input into the judging panel’s decision.


Don't miss your chance to shine—enter today!

For any questions, contact the AR MG County 76 RRR team at Let's ensure the entire state is represented and recognized.

Join us and be part of our collective growth!

~ Your Arkansas Master Gardener County 76 Recruiting, Retention & Recognition Project Team ~




Master Gardener 2022 Award Winners (awarded in 2023 for program year 2022)

Photo of Colin Hester receiving MG Rookie of the Year Award from Randy Forst and Dr. Bob Scott

Master Gardener Rookie of the Year (50 or fewer) – Colin Hester, Greene Co.


Allen Lindley receiving MG Rookie of the Year award from Randy Forst and Dr. Bob Scott

Master Gardener Rookie of the Year (51 or more) – Allen Lindley, Faulkner Co.


Jim Maclean receiving MG Mentor of the Year award from Randy Forst and Dr. Bob Scott

Mimi Cox Master Gardener Mentor of the Year (50 or fewer) – Jim MacLean, Madison Co.


Michelle Lindley receiving MG Mentor of the Year award from Randy Forst and Dr. Bob Scott

Mimi Cox Master Gardener Mentor of the Year (51 or more) – Michele Lindley, Faulkner Co.


Amy Tallent receiving MG Extension Agent of the Year award from Randy Forst and Dr. Bob Scott

Master Gardener Extension Agent of the Year (50 or fewer) – Amy Tallent, Prairie Co.


Master Gardener Extension Agent of the Year (51 or more) – Ryan Neal, Benton Co.


Kevin Vandiver receiving Friend of Master Gardener award from Randy Forst and Dr. Bob Scott

Friend of Master Gardener-Individual (50 or fewer) – Kevin Vandiver, Store Services Owner, St. Francis Co.


Friend of Master Gardener-Individual (51 or more) – Hesper Hortman, Garland County Conservation District-District Manager, Garland Co.


Lonoke County Community Center receiving Friend of Master Gardener award from Randy Forst and Dr. Bob Scott

Friend of Master Gardener-Business/Organization (50 or fewer) – Lonoke County Community Center, Lonoke Co.


Friend of Master Gardener-Business/Organization (51 or more) – Garland County Detention Center, Garland Co.


Gardening on the Prairie receiving MG Newsletter of the Year award from Randy Forst and Dr. Bob Scott

Master Gardener Newsletter of the Year (50 or fewer) – Gardening on the Prairie, Prairie Co.


Master Gardener Newsletter of the Year (51 or more) – BCMG News, Benton Co.


Excellence in Education (50 or fewer) – Watson Primary School Greenhouse & Garden and Summer Garden Club, Madison Co.


Officers' Garden at Ft. Smith National Historic Site receiving Excellence in Education award from Randy Forst and Dr. Bob Scott

Excellence in Education (51 or more) – Officers’ Garden at Ft. Smith National Historic Site, River Valley MG Program (Crawford and Sebastian Counties)


Master Gardener Project of the Year (50 or fewer) – Madison County Food Pantry Garden, Madison Co.


Faulkner County 2022 MG Plant Sale receiving MG Project of the Year award from Randy Forst and Dr. Bob Scott

Master Gardener Project of the Year (51 or more) – 2022 Plant Sale, Faulkner Co.


Master Gardener of the Year (50 or fewer) – Richard Yeazel, Greene Co.


Judy Dare receiving Master Gardener of the Year Award from Randy Forst and Dr. Bob Scott

Master Gardener of the Year (51 or more) – Judy Dare, Garland Co.


Years of Service List for 2023

See 2023 Award Video of Award Winners (awarded in 2023 for program year 2022)


2023 Janet B. Carson County Scholarship Recipients

Garland County Project: Hot Springs Village Xeriscape at Cortez Pavilion (HSV Xeriscape)

The purpose of the Hot Springs Village Xeriscape project is to enhance the pollinator features of the garden located at Cortez Pavilion, educating the public and involving youth groups from local school and organizations.  Signage with QR Codes will provide more information about pollinators and xeriscape gardening with quick access to information. The pollinator hotel will allow education for Master Gardeners and visitors through understanding of what is needed in the structure, which pollinators visit and their benefits to the garden, which ones will utilize the structure and their habitat needs, and how pollinators are beneficial to our environment beyond the garden. Funds for youth groups will be focused on building small pollinator structures to be utilized in the garden. Pollinator education will be a byproduct of this project.

White County Project: Rose Bud City Hall

In collaboration with the Rose Bud City Council and Master Gardeners of White County, this project is focused on resources working together to beautify the welcoming entrance to the community. The 15' x 60' welcoming garden/bed is located at the entrance of Rose Bud City Hall. In keeping with the red and white theme and logo of the city (red rambling rose), red roses and white crepe myrtles will be the major plants in the bed. Their goal is to work with the small community to promote involvement and pride in the city by all.  All aspects of the community will be involved. The local shop class will be invited to create and weld a large metal sign with the Rose Bud School logo to be placed in the garden. The Rose Bud agriculture department teaches landscape design, and students will be invited to participate in the hands-on development of the garden. Master Gardeners will provide the school with a list of videos of landscape design that are applicable to the project. Master Gardeners will present a program to the local 4H club highlighting the project and inviting the members to tour.

2023 Janet B. Carson High School Scholarship Recipients

Zoe Baucum

Zoe Baucum, Fayetteville High School, Washington County

Zoe has been active in FFA and won many awards, writing an essay in the World Food Prize competition about an underdeveloped country and solutions to their food crisis. Invited to the International conference in November 2022.  She is the owner and operator of Greenburrow Farm, a sustainable lettuce far – till-free, tractor-free and pesticide/fertilizer free.  Last season, she produced 100 lbs/week.  Zoe received a $15,000 Arkansas Grown grant which should increase her production by two-fold.  Zoe has been accepted into University of Arkansas – Fayetteville.

Kaleb Exum

Kaleb Exum, Greene County Tech High School, Greene County

Kaleb plans to complete an associate degree and transition to ASU to complete a bachelor’s degree in agronomy. He has been active in the FFA club since the eighth grade and is also a member of the Greene County 4H.  He is on several shooting sports teams.  He is employed by Bower Farms and is an intern working with their agronomist. Kaleb has been accepted into Black River Technical College.


Collin Galloway

Collin Galloway, Robinson High School, Pulaski County

Collin is already a Master Gardener, working on the Old Mill and Governor’s Mansion Projects in Pulaski County.  In 2022 he was the Rookie of the Year.  He has a small collection of bonsai’s and tropical fruit trees and works at his family’s garden center. He plans to focus on plant and soil science and mycology (study of fungi) and is interested in the potential effects fungi can have on reversing climate change and water/soil contamination. Collin wants to be a kid with ideas – plus the capital, skills, and knowledge to bring them to life.  Collin will be attending Arkansas State University.

Braden Miller

Braden Miller, Marion High School, Crittenden County

Braden was a member of several National Honor Society organizations, earning a spot on the Honor’s List for ASU Mid-South college.  His favorite sport is golf. His love of Plant Soil Science and Agriculture started when he was 15 years old, working as a scout for an agricultural consulting company.  After graduating from UofA, he would like to start his own crop consulting business to work with farmers, educating them on what their fields need to thrive and grow properly.  Braden will be attending University of Arkansas – Fayetteville.