Madera County
University of California
Madera County

We’ve launched! VMS 3.1 Ready to Soar

While the UC Master Gardener Program has been around since the 1980s, thankfully our technology has changed with the times. Most recently, the Volunteer Management System (VMS) received its long overdue upgrade – we've launched version 3.1! 

VMS 3.1 has a responsive design for tablets and smart phones, making it easier to navigate and enter hours from the field.

Great feedback was collected from volunteers and coordinators to lay the foundation for the new system. VMS 3.1 maintains all the functionality of the old system with up-to-date branding and design. Additionally, VMS 3.1 has many of the new features YOU requested. 

New features and upgrades were added to enhance the system, based on feedback from counties across the state.

Check out what's new!

  • Updated hours display (year and lifetime)
  • User-centric navigation
  • Automatic alerts and reminders
  • Search bars
  • ... and so much more!

It's exciting to have a system designed specifically to meet the needs of the UC Master Gardener Program. Enjoy the new features built just for you! If you have any feedback for future improvements, please submit your comments through the Feedback Survey at

Need help? 

If you have any questions about the new system, help is only a click away. Check out our VMS help page, which includes a new VMS User's Guide and How-To videos for commonly used functions. See for yourself at:

Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 1:09 PM
  • Author: Katelyn Ogburn
Tags: hours (2), master gardener (32), VMS (9), volunteers (8)
Focus Area Tags: Innovation, Yard & Garden


I have 10 tasks pending on my page on which I record volunteer and CE hours: I am requested to record the hours for the completed volunteer activity. However, all the hours I am asked to add are already on the spread sheet. I always include hours when I add a new volunteer or CE activity. This appears to be a mistake in the new system. Please advise, thank you.

Posted by Susan P Lenz on April 26, 2018 at 2:45 PM

Thank you, statewide MG team, for such wonderful support as we dive into the new VMS!

Posted by Susan Gillison on April 27, 2018 at 8:20 AM

Excellent job to the Statewide Master Gardener Office and the IT crew that made this all happen. The new features are great and its very user friendly! Thank you for all of your hard work!

Posted by Marcy Sousa on April 27, 2018 at 10:12 AM

Videos helpful. Question: why are 5/19 events listed under "My Calendar" as well as "All Events"? I didn't sign up for any of them.

Posted by Yvonne Savio on April 28, 2018 at 4:20 PM

Terribly difficult to navigate.

Posted by Tina Paris on April 30, 2018 at 10:43 AM

I may have missed something. From the portal when I click on Mendocino County under the Master Gardener VMS heading. It takes me to the VMS 3.1 test drive.  
Cheers JT

Posted by JT Williams on April 30, 2018 at 11:11 AM

ARGGHHHH! it is not accepting my new hours. Why does the basic process have to change to be "better"? We should be able to enter data as we always have and not have the system reject it~

Posted by Linda Jones on April 30, 2018 at 2:58 PM

Hi JT - When testing the system it appears that you changed your status to "inactive/resigned". We corrected your status and you should now have access again to your counties VMS. Thanks!

Reply by Melissa G. Womack on April 30, 2018 at 3:13 PM

I am so sorry that you are frustrated with entering your new hours. The entering hours process is almost identical to the previous VMS version, it was intentionally designed to be as similar as possible to help make the most common actions the same process. The main difference in VMS 3.1 is that hours can now be connected to events by selecting the event info from a dropdown menu. There is a short video to help walk you through entering hours here: or step-by-step instructions can be found here (section 2.2) Let me know if you need any additional help! Sincerely - Melissa

Reply by Melissa G. Womack on April 30, 2018 at 3:20 PM

You had a VMS that was well designed with a beautiful layout, intuitive, and easy to use both on my computer and my iPhone. Why did you change it for something with no design, poor layout and requires s manual to use? I cannot acces the calendar and when I do I cannot find the dates. I feel like you have return to the 90s and Windows XP!! Totally not user friendly. I won’t waste my time with websites that are not user friendly.

Posted by Sandy L. Starkey on May 1, 2018 at 2:34 AM

None of my volunteer hours are shown, although I have 20. Please reconcile this. Thank you!

Posted by Ruth Shimomura on May 1, 2018 at 3:26 AM

What a change! Especially for my aged brain, but we will all manage. My comment is that under 3.2, the word 'calensar' is 'mispelled'.

Posted by Dorothy M Downing on May 1, 2018 at 11:14 AM

Hi Dorothy, Thanks for catching the typo! We have fixed it. Let us know if you need any help in the new system.

Reply by Melissa G. Womack on May 1, 2018 at 12:03 PM

Hi, Melissa - I am in Nevada County and I manage our website. Where can I find the link to Site Builder? Thanks!

Posted by Ann T Wright on May 1, 2018 at 2:40 PM

I am so frustrated trying to entire my hours, I am giving up .

Posted by Lois Friske on May 1, 2018 at 2:53 PM

We understand that system changes can be frustrating and hope that you don't give up! Here is a helpful link to entering hours: While at first VMS looks very different – the process for entering hours is very similar to the previous system.

Reply by Melissa G. Womack on May 2, 2018 at 9:52 AM

We understand that system changes can be frustrating and hope that you don't give up! Here is a helpful link to entering hours: While at first VMS looks very different – the process for entering hours is very similar to the previous system.

Reply by Melissa G. Womack on May 2, 2018 at 9:52 AM

Where is our local discussion page?  
Also, I can't seem to get past the current week to sign up for the hotline later this month..?

Posted by Peggy Kenney on May 7, 2018 at 8:53 AM

Okay did get past the current week on the hotline calendar but still would like to know how to get to our local discussion page..? Thank you

Posted by Peggy Kenney on May 7, 2018 at 8:59 AM

In VMS 3.1 click on the "messages" tab on the left-hand navigation column, on the top of the page you will see a green "discussions" button. This button will take you to your discussion CT group. You can also find your CT groups/discussions directly from your portal account,, in the right-hand column under "Collaborative Tools 3.0". - Thanks, Melissa

Reply by Melissa G. Womack on May 7, 2018 at 9:20 AM

Thanks , I sent Feedback, but will ask you here about a slight glitch I noticed yesterday. More MGs are allowed to sign up for an event than have been requested causing more work for leads. The event does not announce that it is full and allows more signups than needed.  
Gail Rose Lam

Posted by Gail Rose Lam on May 11, 2018 at 7:04 AM

on the main VMS page "Your Calendar" lists the dates of events with the latest date first and earliest date last... if at all... I'm somewhat nervous that the earliest dates, tasks might be missing.. I want to know what's next... I would suggest it be in chronological order so that it is obvious what is next and what is upcoming after that...  
and I can on other sites move the tasks to various other calendar software other than ical... how about giving us the choice of which calendar I can export VMS events to such as yahoo (which also covers att)... and I'm sure that others might be using Google calendar... and maybe others... I have iPhone but I don't use iCal... mine is all on att/yahoo and has been for many years.  
Pet peeve of mine is the use of gray or faint type on the messages and elsewhere on VMS... considering the average age of MG I would suggest a more dense font vs. anything light. thank You.

Posted by Steve I Morse on May 19, 2018 at 12:24 PM

I hope your day is going well. My start date is wrong and I'm not sure how to edit it. Please let me know how to fix that. Thanks for your time.  

Posted by Bridget A Matz on May 21, 2018 at 9:29 AM

I am having difficulty sending an email to our membership! I clicked "email all members" and then I get a repeated message "You have elected to email all volunteers" when I click "send." I've tried multiple times. What am I doing wrong?

Posted by Marilynne Manfredi on May 22, 2018 at 9:57 AM

In the roster list, if I select to View All and then click a specific name, the back arrow changes the list to just display 10 again.

Posted by Joe Boldt on May 24, 2018 at 12:55 PM

Hi, I appreciate all the work that went into this revision, thanks. I agree with Steve Morse, when I'm on the first page, I see what I signed up for in October but this is only May. I want to see my volunteer commitments in chronological order; the recent dates can need to be scrolled down to and may be forgotten if the list is long enough.  
Thanks, Suzanne Hennessy

Posted by Suzanne D Hennessy on May 25, 2018 at 11:26 AM

Hi Marylynne, Messages has been fixed in the VMS system. Thank you!

Reply by Melissa G. Womack on May 30, 2018 at 9:34 AM

Hi Suzanne, We agree that this order would make more sense for display. It has been added to the list for the programmers to change in the future.

Reply by Melissa G. Womack on May 30, 2018 at 9:35 AM

When I do my Hours Report and create Excel spreadsheet, how do I go about globally removing IA (inactive resigned members). I am in charge of Certification Comm and it is now getting close to reviewing all members hours. I would like to say audit the hours, but auditing is not really the correct term as used in the CPA world. Nanette sent me such as report so it can be done and I need to know how to do it.  
Thank you. call me if you have to. 415-485-1758.

Posted by Lydia Truce on June 1, 2018 at 4:50 PM

I cannot login as it says: "This volunteer is not on any rosters"

Posted by Janet Duncan on June 16, 2019 at 5:20 PM

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