Missy Gable assumes director role
Gable started her professional career by defining what she loved to do: leadership and horticulture. After completing her master's degree in horticulture at UC Davis, Gable coordinated trainings for the UC Master Gardener program volunteers. The UC Master Gardener program has trained 6,000 volunteers, who now extend research-based horticulture research to new and rising gardeners across 51 California counties. In 2013, Gable transitioned from coordinating the volunteer training to directing the program itself.
"I really had a lot of respect for the Master Gardener program and I got really excited when the [director] position came with an opportunity to assist in overseeing and creating some framework and structure for the Master Food Preserver program," Gable said. "Food preservation is a personal passion and hobby of mine. It has all fit very seamlessly and I feel like I spent my education getting ready for this."
Gable has not slowed down since assuming her role as director of the UC Master Gardener program and co-director of the UC Master Food Preserver program. Gable knows firsthand the impact that the volunteers can make. Not only are they empowering first-time gardeners to grow fruits and vegetables, beautify landscapes, reduce food waste and water use, but the volunteers she leads also empower the public by teaching how to combat food insecurity and do so safely using proven food preservation techniques.
Passion leads to profession
Gable has a passion for preserves! Her formal training and education in horticulture have given her the expertise needed for the UC Master Gardener program, but it is her passion for preservation that pulls together the multidimensional leader in Gable. Gable comments that, “as a gardener there is not a better way to deal with an abundance of what you have in your landscape than preservation.”
Gable has big ideas for the Master Food Preserver program. “We can come in and teach [communities] that, after they practice safe gardening techniques, they can safely preserve their harvest for months.” This has the potential to have significant positive impacts in communities with food insecurity issues. “The Master Food Preserver volunteers are not only educating but empowering their students by teaching people a new skill. That's huge!”
“The researchers are doing incredible, impactful work,” Gable says. “UC agricultural scientists communicate directly with Master Gardeners. We then repackage the information so its easier for the public to digest.”