What is the Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) Training Program?
The UW-Extension Master Gardener Program provides horticultural training to adults who, in turn, volunteer with horticulture-related projects that benefit their local community in support of the County Extension office programming. There is an expectation that MGVs will stay with the program 2-3 years, volunteering a minimum of 24 hours per year and completing 10 hours of continuing education.
How Do I become a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer?
- Attend a Master Gardener Volunteer interview session for acceptance into the program.
- Sign the UWEX Master Volunteer Agreement and consent to the state background check
- Attend the 16 session Master Gardener Volunteer course which runs from late Feb to the end of August. Classes are held approximately every other Wednesday morning.
Pass the open-book take-home exam with a score of 70% or better
- Perform the 24 hours of volunteer service by the end of the six-month course. 12 hours of the 24 total are due by June 30 in order to finish taking the classes.
- 8 hours of the 24 are to be done at the Dane County UWEX Teaching Garden (workdays as a group are on Saturdays or on your own on weekedays)
- 4 hours of the 24 at an assigned school garden
- 4 hours of the 24 at an assigned community garden
- 3 hours of the 24 at an assigned farmers market (These are on weekends; 3 hours is one shift. There are several markets to choose from.)
- 5 hours at a location of your choice from our approved locations handout.
- Attend one Madison Area Master Gardeners (MAMGA) educational session, social event or garden tour during the course
How Do I Keep My Certification Annually?
- Each year, perform 24 hours of volunteer service (volunteer hours timesheets due the 1st of October) after the initial year.
- Complete 10 hours of continuing education due the same date.
- Volunteer for core projects including:
- School Gardens
- Farmer’s Markets
- Community Gardens
- UW-Extension Teaching Garden
- Additional volunteer hours can be completed programs such as Farm Technology Days, Garden Expo, UW Arboretum, Dane County UW-Extension, Olbrich Gardens, or other approved programs.
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MGV Associations Memberships:
- Pay $20 annual dues to MAMGA (the Madison Area Master Gardeners Association)
- Pay $5 annual dues to WIMGA (the Wisconsin Master Gardener Association)