CORVALLIS, Ore. - Two Oregonians have been selected to receive statewide awards for their work with the Oregon State University Master Gardener program, and 25 individuals have been recognized as county Master Gardeners of the year.

Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who share with the people of Oregon their knowledge of sustainable gardening and OSU resources in home horticulture, according to Gail Langellotto, OSU Extension urban and community horticulture specialist and statewide coordinator of the Master Gardener Program. More than 3,500 people across the state have become OSU Master Gardeners.

Betty Faller from Tumalo is the 2009 Oregon Master Gardener of the Year, awarded for her outstanding and unusual service to the program and her community as a volunteer. Faller has been a Master Gardener 11 years and coordinated the Hollinshead Community Garden for three years. She also established a garden at Healy Heights Transitional housing apartment complex for homeless and low-income families.

She has served as the central Oregon Master Gardener state representative to the Oregon Master Gardener Association and is first vice president.

Rocky Bessette of Redmond received the "Behind the Scenes" statewide award for quiet and unselfish support to the community and local chapter or the Oregon Master Gardener Association as a volunteer. Bessette has amassed more than 4,000 hours of volunteer service over 11 years. She has served as secretary of the Central Oregon Master Gardener Association for seven years, newsletter editor for three years and mentor to new trainees for 10 years.

The awards are sponsored by the Oregon Master Gardener Association in cooperation with OSU Extension's Master Gardener program.

County Master Gardeners of the Year are:

Benton County: Kathy Butler, Kathleen Coleman and Kathi Tucker Central Oregon (Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson counties): Chris Miao Clackamas County: Herb Davis Clatsop County: Jane Donnelly Columbia County: Sheryl Putnam Coos County: Janne White Curry County: Tom Lewis Douglas County: Larry Sutton Central Gorge (Hood River County): Cindy Collins Jackson County: Clarence Wood Josephine County: Craig and Pattye Ingram Klamath County: Starr Cordy Lane County: Dianne Twete Lincoln County: Claudette Schroeder Linn County: Sheryl Casteen Marion County: Carol Horning Multonomah County: Sharon Baker Tillamook County: Jean Scholtz Umatilla County: Annette Frye Wasco County: Charlotte Link Washington County: Anna Stubbs and Carol Ross Yamhill County: Patti Gregory

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Gail Langellotto