University of Florida

Manatee County Master Gardener Recognized

Larry Bearse accepting award
Larry Bearse stands with Dr. Millie Ferrer-Chancy, Interim Dean and Director for Extension, at the conference in November.

Larry Bearse was recognized for 30 years of service as a Manatee County Master Gardener during the 2009 Florida Master Gardener Continued Training Conference held recently in Ocala. Larry was one of the inaugural Florida Master Gardener trainees in 1979.

What made you want to become a Master Gardener?

"My wife and I moved to Manatee County in February of 1978," Larry says. "In 1979, we attended a Gardening College at then Manatee Community College and met agent Marlowe Iverson and his assistant Jackie Duray. They informed us of the upcoming Master Gardener Program and we decided to be interviewed for the program."

Describe a time when you felt that you made a real difference in your work as a Master Gardener.

Larry responds, "When a client, either on the telephone or in person, tells you they were pleased and satisfied with past information from a Master Gardener that solved their problem, it defines the mission statement of the Master Gardener program."

Larry and the rest of the 1979 class Larry (middle row, far left) and the rest of the 1979 inaugural class of Manatee County Master Gardeners. (Click image for larger version)

After thirty years of service, what keeps you coming back for more?

"Basically the aim of the program and attempting to be of some service to the community," says Larry. "I like the atmosphere in the office and the people I work with."

Joyce Duckwall and Larry Bearse Larry with Joyce Duckwall in 2004. Joyce was also a member of the 1979 class, and an active Master Gardener up until her passing in September 2008.


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