About Master Gardeners
Who can be a Master Gardener?
You can if you
- Have knowledge or experience in gardening or landscape management
- Are willing to learn and provide research-based horticultural information to the public
- Can attend all training sessions
- Will volunteer at least 30-50 hours to educational horticulture programs through your local MU Extension Center per year.
What do Master Gardeners do?
The primary responsibility of Master Gardener trainees is to answer questions from area residents about home horticulture, and to help them find environmentally sound solutions to gardening and landscape problems. MU Extension specialists and Advanced Master Gardeners are available to help and advise as needed.
Other opportunities include:
- Master Gardener speakers bureau, giving educational presentations to groups, such as garden clubs, community associations, or school classes
- Work in clinics in the community, helping local residents diagnose plant and insect problems
- Write articles for newsletters, newspapers and other publications
- Staff exhibits a home and garden shows and fairs
- Organize community gardening projects
- Develop youth gardening programs
- Teach gardening classes
- Conduct home horticulture research
- Assist in senior gardening programs
- There are numerous other activities in which to participate, and volunteers may initiate their own projects.
If you are selected for the Master Gardener program, you will take between 30 and 45 hours of classroom horticultural training. Classes are taught by state and regional University Extension specialists, Advanced Master Gardeners, and other horticultural experts. You will learn about plant growth, insect and disease control, vegetables, fruits, flowers, trees, shrubs, soils, and environmental issues. The learning continues during a volunteer internship approximately equal in time to the hours of classroom instruction received. Upon completion of the internship you will be a certified University Extension Master Gardener.
If you wish to continue as an active Master Gardener, you can do so by taking additional classes and volunteering at least 20 hours of horticultural educational service through your local University Extension Center.
A minimal course materials fee is charged for trainging participation. The total fee may vary from site to site. Most programs charge between $110 and $150. Your volunteer time as an intern is considered partial payment for the training received.
How can I become a Master Gardener?
If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, please fill out this web form. Your request for information will be forwarded on to the closest Horticulture Specialist in Northwest Missouri. Or call your local University Extension Center to see if there is a class near your home. Classes are offered periodically, in the fall, winter, and spring. Applications are accepted until shortly before classes begin.