Registration Open for Fall Master Gardener Training in Madison County


WINTERSET, Iowa – The Iowa University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program will hold its core training sessions this fall for individuals interested in becoming Master Gardener volunteers. The ISU Extension & Outreach office in Madison County is offering the program in our area.
The Master Gardener program is looking for people who are passionate about volunteering and gardening. No previous garden knowledge is required. The program equips participants to grow in knowledge about gardening best practices. After the training, Master Gardeners volunteer in their community, making significant contributions such as giving produce to food pantries and keeping Madison County the beautiful place it is.
“Master Gardeners provide volunteer service across Iowa,” said Susan DeBlieck, ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener coordinator. “They are excellent community resources who provide support at school gardens, community gardens, and farmers markets.”
Being offered again in 2018, is the flipped classroom. Lectures that were previously given during classroom sessions are now available to be watched at home, freeing up class time for hands-on activities and tours of local gardens.
“From our experience offering a flipped classroom last year, trainees love being able to watch the course lectures at their own pace,” said Margaret Murphy, horticulture educator and regional food coordinator for ISU Extension and Outreach. “Additionally, receiving hands-on experiences during class increased the level of learning and gave trainees an opportunity to work together and share ideas and experiences.”
Training sessions will also begin September 4th, about four weeks earlier than past start dates, in order to take advantage of daylight for hands-on activities and tours. Training sessions are being held on Tuesday evenings.
The Class on Campus training session will be held on November 3, bringing all Master Gardener trainees together for hands-on workshops with ISU Extension and Outreach instructors.
For more information about Master Garden training, contact your local office:
·         RoxAnn Rhoads-Madison County coordinator- 515-462-2510 or
Those interested in the course can apply at The deadline for registration is August 15, 2018. Training fees are $195.
After completing the course, Master Gardener trainees work as volunteers within the community, volunteering 20 hours per year and building their gardening know-how by participating and 10 hours of continuing education.
Individuals not interested in becoming a Master Gardener volunteer can still receive training. The ProHort program allows individuals to gain knowledge while earning a certificate of completion. Cost for the ProHort program is $550 and does not include any volunteer requirements.
Nearly 2,000 Master Gardeners were active across Iowa in 2017, compiling over 115,000 volunteer hours. Master Gardeners volunteered nearly 60 hours each, significantly more than the 20 hours required. Those volunteer hours are valued at $2.7 million.

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