AMES, Iowa -- Extension Master Gardeners are up and running in Floyd County, according to Gary Hall, director for Iowa State University Extension’s Region 3.
The effort started with the Floyd County Extension Council, Hall said. “They were interested in figuring out if they could hold a Master Gardener training program, something they hadn’t done in many years.”
But would people sign up for the program?
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“We asked the public if there was anybody interested, and we had about nine people sign up for the class. Then the challenge was, who facilitates that class?” Hall asked.
He and the council turned to extension volunteers.
“We called on some volunteer Master Gardeners who had gone through the program. Two of them stepped up and said, ‘We’ll facilitate the program.’ So they trained the seven people that actually completed the whole course. Now Floyd County has an off and running Master Gardener program, which is a huge success in empowering volunteers to help with that program and make it work in a county that hadn’t been served in that regard,” Hall said.
The Floyd County Extension Council is pleased with the outcome, and is looking forward to similar programs, he added.
This is one example of ISU Extension’s work in Region 3, covering Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Mitchell and Worth counties, Hall said. He is one of 20 regional extension education directors. The positions were created a year ago as part of ISU Extension’s restructuring plan to facilitate an issue-based approach to delivering ISU Extension programming and resources. Hall works directly with county extension council members to meet their legal obligations as an elected body. Together they are identifying new ways to work across county borders, provide educational programming that addresses significant issues and evaluate the results of multi-county and regional efforts.
To learn more about ISU Extension programs, contact Hall at 641-423-0844 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the ISU Extension website, www.extension.iastate.edu/.