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Ford County

What is the Master Gardener Program?

lady with shovelThe Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Program is an educational volunteer training program sponsored by K-State Research and Extension. Through this program, individuals are trained and certified in horticulture and related areas. These individuals, in turn, volunteer their expertise and services to help others through horticulture projects that benefit the community.

Once trained, Extension Master Gardeners provide researched based information to the public on many topics including water conservation, regional plant adaptability, yard waste management and the environment. The Master Gardeners work with their local Extension staff to develop educational programs that meet the horticultural needs of their local citizens. Projects may include school programs, demonstrating gardens, speaker's bureau and answering questions on a horticulture hot line.

How did the Master Gardener Program Begin?

Master Gardeners started at Washington State University in 1973 and are now associated with land-grant universities in all fifty states. Each university manages Master Gardener programs differently, but each has the same overall mission of educating the public about gardening. In Kansas, the program is administered by Kansas State University.

Who Can Apply?

Anyone age 18 and over, who has an interested in horticulture is welcome to apply. If you have a passion for gardening and would like to share horticulture information with others, definitely consider joining. If you want to improve your skills and knowledge, as well as work with like-minded people, the Extension Master Gardener program may be for you.

Application Guidelines for Participation include:

  • Be a resident of Ford County.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Possess a broad interest in horticulture.
  • Understand the value of volunteering.
  • Support the objectives of the Master Gardner program of the Ford County Extension Council.
  • Attend the basic Extension Master Gardener Training Course.
  • The first year, return 40 hours of service time on projects that benefit the community and events sponsored by the Ford County Extension Office.
  • Be an active participant in the Extension Master Gardener Program local and state wide.
  • Continue an annual commitment to volunteer at least 20 hours.
  • Continue your Master Gardener education with 8 hours of advanced training, annually.

Why Become a Master Gardener?

Extension Master Gardeners become friends with many interesting and talented individuals. They share ideas with one another. Extension Master Gardeners never stop learning, but continue to grow in the knowledge of garden related issues. Being an Extension Master Gardener volunteer is a fun, interesting and rewarding experience.

Ties to KSRE

The goal of the Ford County EMG program is to support the work of Kansas State Research and Extension in Ford County. All projects of the EMG program will be in compliance with the compliance with the objectives and policies of Kansas State University.

master gardener logo

women with flowers

Master Gardeners often make new friends while participating in volunteer activities.

EMG Volunteers Are:

  • Motivated to share their knowledge and expertise.
  • Accessible to other Master Gardeners horticulture & Extension professionals and the public.
  • Service-oriented to enhance their communities and the environment.
  • Trained by Cooperative Extension in current horticultural practices.
  • Excited about meeting other people who enjoy gardening.
  • Research ambassadors who provide cutting-edge horticulture information to consumers.

What Will I Learn?

The Extension Master Gardener training program provides over 40 hours of classroom and hands-on instruction in horticulture related areas. Classes in the training program include:

  • Basic Botany
  • Soil Science
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Landscape Designs
  • Lawn Care
  • Annual & Perennials
  • Trees & Shrubs
  • Entomology
  • Houseplants
  • Plant Pathology
  • Landscape Maintenance
  • Propagation

hands holding plant

Touch Lives Through:

community landscape
beautification projects
environmental awareness education
school classroom projects
demonstration gardens
EMG Book