People, Plants and Partnerships – Extension Master Gardener Program

With Spring here and gardening season now underway, we would like to talk about the Extension Master Gardener program through Cooperative Extension that helps Americans of all abilities to plant, grow, and harvest a garden. 

Extension Master Gardener program

In 1972, the Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program was created by the  Washington State Cooperative Extension in response to a high demand for urban horticulture and gardening advice. By the end of the decade, the EMG program had spread across the country.

Master Gardener

Individuals who are passionate about horticulture and serving their communities can take a training through Cooperative Extension to become a certified Master Gardener (MG).  Though each community may have it’s own unique need, MGs across the nation share their time and expertise as volunteers; presenting workshops, answering gardening hotlines, planting demonstration gardens and teaching gardening through research-based information. There are more than 95,000 Master Gardeners nationwide, providing 5,000,000 hours of volunteer service annually.

From National to International

Comprised of MG state coordinators representing five geographical Cooperative Extension regions (Northeast, North Central, Northwest, Southwest, South Central and Southeast) and the directors of nationwide projects, the Extension Master Gardener National Committee (EMGNC) was formed in an effort to provide a national focus and contact point.

In an effort to provide MGs and Extension specialists the opportunity to come together to learn and exchange ideas and concerns, an International Master Gardener (IMG) conference is held every two years.

Junior Master Gardener for Youth

The Junior Master Gardener (JMG) program is an international youth gardening program through Cooperative Extension that was created and managed by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.  Throughout schools and clubs, the JMG program engages youth in hands-on group and individual learning experiences,  providing an opportunity for kids to develop an appreciation for the environment,  find a love of gardening and cultivate the mind. Want to know more about the Jr. Master Gardener program? Check out: http://jmgkids.us/

State Extension Master Gardener Point of Contacts

 

Indiana (http://www.hort.purdue.edu/mg/)

Maryland http://extension.umd.edu/mg)

Minnesota (http://www.mg.umn.edu/)

Mississippi (http://extension.msstate.edu/community/leadership/master-gardener)

New Mexico ((http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/mastergardeners/)

Oklahoma (http://www.hortla.okstate.edu/hortla/mastergardener.htm)

Looking for a different state? You can find your Extension Master Gardener by state HERE.

 

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