Burlington--Beret Halverson has been hired as the new University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Master Gardener Program coordinator.
In this role she will oversee all aspects of the program, which trains volunteers to provide research-based horticultural information to home gardeners through the Extension Master Garden Helpline and at workshops, field days and other events. Halverson will develop and facilitate the annual Master Gardener course, provide advanced training for certified Master Gardeners and oversee seven local program chapters.
She also will develop outreach opportunities statewide, secure program funding and set program policy in collaboration with national Extension Master Gardener colleagues. In addition, she will coordinate the Vermont Master Composter Program in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to educate Vermonters about backyard composting and the benefits of keeping food scraps out of the waste stream.
Halverson grew up in Keene, New Hampshire, and earned her bachelor's degree in environmental studies from UVM and a master's degree in public administration from Portland State University. She was an undergraduate research assistant for both the Vermont Community Garden Network and the Pitchandiculum Bio-Research Center in Tamil Nadu, India, and worked on several organic farms and garden projects in New Zealand, Vermont, India and Oregon.
Prior to accepting this position, she worked for the Oregon State University Extension Service for eight years, most recently as a faculty instructor and research program coordinator for the Family and Community Health Program in Clackamas County. She was coordinator of the GROW Healthy Kids and Communities, a rural obesity research and prevention program, and a co-founder of the GREEN Corps-Fresh Start youth farm, which provides horticultural job training for young people in the juvenile justice system. She also taught underserved audiences about gardening through the Plot-to-Plate Program.
Halverson can be reached at (802) 656-9562 or Beret.Halverson@uvm.edu.