The Texas Master Gardener program is a volunteer educational program conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension and is open to people of all ages, regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, handicap, national origin, or veteran status.
Master Gardeners all over the state are members of their local community with a love for horticulture, a willingness to learn and a desire to help others learn more about horticulture. What really sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture. In exchange for their training, persons who become Master Gardeners contribute time as volunteers, working through their Cooperative Extension office to provide horticultural related information to their community.
The Texas Master Gardener program is so popular that there is often a waiting list of people wanting to enroll. The prime requisite for consideration in enrolling in the program is the time, dedication and commitment required of those who complete the program. To help you decide if you should apply to be a Master Gardener, ask yourself these questions: * Do I want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants? * Am I eager to participate in a practical and intense training program? * Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community? * Do I have enough time to attend training and to complete the volunteer service?
The 2013 Permian Basin Master Gardener program will begin with an orientation program on Wednesday January 9, 20013 at 9 a.m. at the Permian Basin Readiness Center at the Midland International Airport. Classes will begin on Wednesday January 16, 2013 at 9:00 am, and will run through the first part of May. For more information on specific dates, times and locations, call the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension at 498-4071. Click [Here] to view 2013 Training Schedule. To become a certified Master Gardener, you must complete at least 60 hours of training, and volunteer at least 60 hours of time by the end of the training year. All applicants for the Master Gardener training must complete and submit a security background check. After certifying, each Master Gardener must complete 6 educational hours of education and volunteer a minimum of 30 volunteer hours per year to remain a certified Master Gardener. A fee of $250 covers the cost of textbooks, supplies and speaker expenses. The option to pay $75 in January and the remainder in February is available. Individuals who desire to become a Master Gardener, but who are limited financially, may apply for assistance through our scholarship program. The scholarship will cover only a portion of the regular fee.
Training includes at least 60 hours of high quality training by field experts across the state. Training topics include lawn care, ornamental trees and shrubs, insects, plant diseases, weed management, soil, botany, vegetable gardening, fruit, flowers, landscape design and water conservation.
In exchange for training, participants are asked to volunteer to their County Extension Program. At least 60 hours of volunteer service during the year of training is required to earn the title “Texas Master Gardener”. The type of service done by Master Gardeners varies according to community needs and the ability and interests of the Master Gardeners. Master Gardeners get to do a wide variety of volunteer activities, such as office work, answer horticulture questions, work in demonstration gardens, plan educational activities, give gardening programs, conduct workshops, assist with numerous horticulture educational events, activities, tours and programs. Master Gardeners are representatives of Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension. In all volunteer work related to the program, Master Gardeners follow the research based recommendations of Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension. They work with youth, through the Junior Master Gardener program and other youth groups, teaching them about plants and gardening skills. They make home, yard and garden visits when deemed necessary. They give garden talks to interested groups, help judge horticulture shows, help conduct tours. They conduct result demonstration work, evaluate variety trials and compile horticulture reports. They plan, organize and implement community beautification projects. They teach and promote environmentally sound educational programs like “EarthKind”, Backyard Composting, "Don't Bag It", Gardening Seminars, Home Landscape School, and landscape water conservation programs that deal with using water in our landscapes.
The title, TEXAS MASTER GARDENER is to be used only by individuals who have completed training and volunteer hours through the Extension service. The title is valid only when the volunteer is participating in the Master Gardener program. The Master Gardener title will not be used for personal or business advancement. When individuals cease active participation, their designation as Master Gardener becomes void.
The Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension is a cooperative system which helps people improve their lives through an educational process using scientific knowledge directed by issues and needs. It emphasizes the philosophy of helping people help themselves by spreading among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects relating to horticulture, agriculture and home economics, and to encourage the application of this knowledge. Assisting the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension in this endeavor is the goal of the Texas Master Gardeners.