NDSU Extension Master Gardener program seeks applicants
If you love gardening and have a passion for sharing your knowledge with others, apply to become a North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Master Gardener. Convenient, online training starts in 2022 for gardeners ages 18 and older.
“The Extension Master Gardener Program is a nationally-known volunteer service organization that educates citizens about gardening, training and empowering volunteers to teach others through work with adults and youth, growing fruits and vegetables for food pantries, and protecting our natural resources,” says Esther McGinnis, NDSU Extension horticulturist and Extension Master Gardener director.
NDSU Extension is now accepting applications for the 2022 Extension Master Gardener program. Accepted applicants will take a 40-hour volunteer training course designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to complete volunteer projects. Classes will be held weekly from Jan. 28 to April 8, 2022. Classes will not be held on March 18.
Course topics include annual and perennial flowers, tree selection and maintenance, soil health, composting, plant diseases and insects, vegetable and fruit production, houseplants and lawn maintenance. NDSU faculty and Extension personnel teach the classes.
“The 10-week training is designed to be flexible for both working individuals and for those wintering in southern states,” says McGinnis. “Students can participate from their computers in the live Friday classes from 9 a.m. to Noon (CST). Alternatively, students can watch the recorded lectures at a more convenient time. Students in Fargo have the option to be present in the classroom on the NDSU campus.”
Once participants complete the 40-hour training, they are known as Extension Master Gardener interns. They must volunteer 48 hours of time during a two-year period on horticultural projects in cooperation with NDSU Extension. After that, they will be certified Extension Master Gardeners.
Potential volunteer projects include answering gardening questions, assisting with horticultural workshops, managing school and community gardens, growing produce for food pantries, designing and maintaining pollinator gardens and writing articles for the newsletter.
The program fee for the 2022 class is $225 plus an application fee of $35 for those wishing to become a Certified Extension Master Gardener. A non-volunteer option is available for $450.
Twenty-one North Dakota counties will be accepting a limited number of Extension Master Gardener applications. The application deadline is Oct. 25.
Application forms and a list of counties that are accepting applications are available at https://www.ndsu.edu/agriculture/extension/programs/master-gardener. For more information, contact your NDSU Extension county office or McGinnis at firstname.lastname@example.org.