Extension Master Gardener Program accepting applicants through Oct. 25

North Dakota State University Extension
The Extension Master Gardener program trains and empowers volunteers to teach others how to garden, improve their physical and mental health, and to conserve natural resources.

If you love gardening and want to make your communities a better place, apply to become a North Dakota State University Extension Master Gardener. Convenient, online training starts in 2023 offering a great learning experience for adults.

The Extension Master Gardener Program is an internationally-known volunteer service organization that works in conjunction with land-grant universities. The program trains and empowers volunteers to teach others how to garden, improve their physical and mental health, and to conserve natural resources.

NDSU Extension is now accepting applications for the 2023 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. Weekly classes will be held from Jan. 20 to March 31, 2023. Classes will not be held on March 17.

Course topics include vegetable and fruit production, soil health, composting, plant diseases and insects, annual and perennial flowers, tree selection and maintenance, houseplants and lawn maintenance. NDSU faculty and Extension personnel teach the classes.

“The ten-week training is designed to be flexible for both working individuals and for those wintering in other states,” says Esther McGinnis, NDSU Extension horticulturist and Extension Master Gardener director. “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 their convenience. Students in Fargo have the option to be present in the NDSU campus classroom.”

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, organizing horticultural workshops, teaching gardening to children, growing produce for food pantries, designing and maintaining pollinator gardens, and conducting vegetable cultivar trials.

The program fee for the 2023 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-four North Dakota counties will be accepting a limited number of Extension Master Gardener applications. The application deadline is October 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 esther.mcginnis@ndsu.edu.