James Romer, P&S, Horticulture
The Iowa Master Gardener Program is an educational and volunteer service program of Iowa State University Extension and the College of Agriculture. University faculty and staff in the departments of entomology, horticulture, plant pathology, animal ecology and agronomy and Extension field specialists work with County Extension staff to provide research-based horticultural information to the citizens of Iowa through the volunteer efforts of trained Master Gardeners. This year 600 adults were trained to become Master Gardeners. In calendar year 2005, Iowa's Master Gardeners in 81 of Iowa's counties reported over 74,900 hours of volunteer educational service to their communities. Assuming a value of $11.46 per hour for volunteer time, the Iowa Master Gardener program provided approximately $859,000 of education and service to local communities.
To provide sound horticultural information to participants who will provide that same information to the general public.
One of the innovative training techniques used in the Iowa Master Gardener program is our day long Class-on-Campus. Participants make the journey to Ames from all parts of the state and receive highly-valued, hands-on training in the areas of botany, soils, plant pathology, and entomology.
The Iowa Master Gardener program was one of the first to integrate Macromedia Breeze, a web based videoconferencing method to broadcast seven of the eleven training sessions to local training sites located in county extension offices across the state. This helps us to provide training to more counties than was possible before with the Iowa Communications Network. Several other states have followed Iowas lead in incorporating the Breeze system into their training as well.
146 Consumer Horticulture and Forestry
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November 30, 2006
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