Become A Master Gardener Information

Master Gardener Home Page

Master Gardener Training Locations

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about Master Gardener

Q: What is the Master Gardener Program?

A The purpose of the Master Gardener program is to train volunteers to assist the Lyon County Extension office in carrying out a local horticulture program.  The mission of the Master Gardener Program is to provide current, research-based, home horticulture information and education to the citizens of Iowa through ISU Extension programs and projects. Through their participation in educational activities, Master Gardeners also increase their own personal knowledge in horticulture. Master Gardeners extend Iowa State University Extension’s consumer horticulture education programs through volunteer activity.

Q: What if I have a conflict with some of the class dates?

A: There are weblinks that can be used to view some of the classes.  There is a Saturday class in Ames, which is very important and would be difficult to make up.  If you need t  miss more than one class, we suggest you wait until another year.

Q: When do I pay the fee?

A: After you've been notified of your acceptance. 

Q: What are the fees for?

A: They cover the cost of the reference notebook you receive at the first class and other materials.

Q: Why do I have to return 40 hours of volunteer work after the class?

A: The reason the class is conducted is to train volunteers to assist the Etension office in teaching Iowa State University horticulture information to people in Lyon County.  An instructional or tuition fee is waived with the understandng you'll give back to Extension 40 hours of volunteer service.

Q: How long do I have to give back the 40 hours of volunteer service?

A: Volunteer hours are repaid within one year of your class graduation.  If special problems come up, you'll need to discuss this with the extension office. 

Q: What kinds of volunteer service will I have to do?

A: The first priority of volunteer service is to research and/or answer consumer horticulture questions that come into the Extension office throughout the spring, summer, and fall months.  Other volunteer work is working on or presenting public programs, working in the demonstration garden in Rock Rapids, or other gardens, landscaping, etc. throughout the county. 

Q: Am I a Master Gardener after the classes are complete?

A: After you've completed the classroom and lab experiences, you'll receive a certificate of "Intern Master Gardener". Your title will be Master Gardener Intern, after you've completed the 40 hours of volunteer service you'll will be a official Master Gardener.

Q: What happens after I've completed my required 40 hours of volunteer service?

A: We hope you enjoy your experience enough to continue to serve as an ISU Extension Master Gardener volunteer, but that's not required.  To remain a certified ISU Extension Master Gardener, you need to volunteer a minimum of six hours and get six hours of continuing education on horticulture each year.

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