Master Gardener Course Completed

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach—Montgomery County recently completed the Master Gardener Program course with ten area participants. 
Master Gardeners are members of the community who take an active interest in horticulture.  Trainees attended approximately 40 hours of classes taught by ISU Extension staff and specialists in topics ranging from lawn care; flower and vegetable gardening; ornamental trees and shrubs; fruit crops and houseplants; insect, disease, and weed control; soils; plant nutrition and pesticide safety.  Classes were held via web-based and face-to-face local training and a one-day training session on the Iowa State University campus.
The Master Gardener program is unique both for its community emphasis and because it is based on the broad research-based resources of Iowa State University.  Master Gardeners provide a credible source of information about home gardening across Iowa.
In exchange for their training, participants are asked to volunteer an initial 40 hours of service.  “The service opportunities are wide-ranging, but the intent is to share the knowledge that we gain through the class.  I am excited at all the ideas that trainees shared for how they would be doing their volunteer service, such as 4-H and youth gardening programs, working with new community gardens in our county, prairie plant restoration at museum sites, working with nursing home residents, speaking to local groups, and cooperating with similar minded organizations,” shared Stephanie Langner, Montgomery County Extension Program Coordinator and Master Gardener participant.  In subsequent years to maintain active Master Gardener status, an additional 12 hours of volunteer service and 6 hours of educational updates are required annually.
There are many ways to volunteer, and Master Gardeners can also serve the public as a resource in a variety of ways.  If you think you might like the assistance that a Master Gardener could offer, contact Langner at 623-2592 or slangner@iastate.eduand she can connect you with a local Master Gardener. 
Attached picture  Interns include, front row:  Joe Jardon of Red Oak, Kathleen Keefer of Clarinda, and Stephanie Langner of Farragut.  Back row:  Keith Larson of Red Oak, Lee Haidsiak of Villisca, Brian Langner of Farragut, Molly Gilmore of Clarinda, Kristin Fast of Villisca, and Tracy Bagley of Treynor.  Not pictured:  Michelle Wodtke-Franks of Hastings. 

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