Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association Master Oyster Gardener Course

The Master Oyster Gardener Course scheduled for June 6 and 13, 2020 postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19.

Message from Karen Hudson, VIMS


Good Morning,


I sincerely hope this finds everyone healthy and staying sane during this COVID -19 crisis.  VIMS is closed and all that can telework are required to do so. 


I was really hoping we’d be back open and able to hold the Master Oyster Gardeners course but given the latest executive order that keeps our doors shut until June 10, I'm afraid we need to postpone the course.  I don't know if we'll be able to reschedule later this summer or not - we'll have to see how it goes and I will keep you updated. 


Please stay safe and find solace in your oyster gardens.


Take care,


Master Oyster Gardener Course

JUNE 6 and 13, 2020 Virginia Institute of Marine Science Gloucester Point, VA

Expand your knowledge of oyster gardening and become a valuable resource in the oyster gardening community!



Apply online: http://forms.wm.edu/44584

Cost - attendees are asked to pay a modest $40 fee to cover food and beverages. The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund (a.k.a. the License Plate Fund) is covering the cost of course materials.  
Purpose & History - to provide a steady stream of highly trained volunteers who can lead TOGA's outreach mission. The first Master Oyster Gardener (MOG) course was held in 1998 and graduated nineteen enthusiastic MOGs. Nine further courses have been held in subsequent years each with roughly 15 to 20 students.  
What do MOGs do? - MOGs lead TOGA's outreach mission through their dedicated volunteer service.  Opportunities include newsletter or website support, assisting oyster gardeners, outreach events, float building, research projects, special committees and board membership.  


Instruction - is covered by a variety of knowledgeable experts including VIMS faculty and staff, State officials, and experienced  a mix of classroom and hands-on learning with lots of time for discussion.   
Content - generally consists of basic oyster gardening skills; oyster biology and life history; oyster diseases; understanding the various "critters" that live around oyster gardens; and the regulatory and human health issues surrounding oyster gardening.   Attendees will also get a start-to-finish look at the oyster cultivation process at the VIMS oyster hatchery.   
Applicant Criteria  -   Have a VMRC oyster garden permit.  Agree to attend the course in its entirety.   Have been growing oysters for a minimum of one year.    Commit to helping TOGA respond to questions from gardeners.  Be willing to assist with at least 3 TOGA events or activities.  
Interested, curious and have questions?  

 Karen Hudson, VIMS, khudson@vims.edu, (804) 684-7742

 Terry Lewis, TOGA President, lewistmn@msn.com, 804-693-2687

 Doug Schaefer, TOGA VP, subiceguy@hotmail.com, 804-580-1456

 Vic Spain, President Emeritus/Engineer, vicspain@rocketmail.com, 804-642-6764