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Become a Texas Master Gardener
By Alice Mussett, Fannin County Master Gardener
Oct 6, 2018
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Who are Texas Master Gardeners?

What sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture. In exchange for their training, individuals who become Master Gardeners volunteer their time, working through their cooperative Extension office, to provide horticultural-related information to their communities. 

Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn and to help others, and able to communicate with diverse groups of people.

In the Master Gardener program for me? 

 

To help you decide if you should apply to be a Master Gardener, ask yourself these questions:

 

         Do I want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants?

         Am I eager to participate in a practical and intense training program?

         Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community?

         Do I have enough time to attend training and to complete the volunteer service?

 

If you are a Fannin County resident and answered yes to these questions, this program could be for you.

 

Training

If accepted into the Master Gardener program, you will attend a 9-week Master Gardener training course. Classes are taught by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists, staff, and local experts.

 

The Fannin County program offers a minimum of 50 hours of instruction following the Texas A&M AgriLife EarthKind practices of landscape management covering soil and plant nutrition, insect, disease, and weed management; trees; vegetable and herb gardening, lawn care, plant selection, composting, and water conservation. We also offer field trips that support the classroom training.

 

The 2019 class will begin on February 6 and end on April 24. Classes meet once a week on Wednesdays (except the third Wednesday of each month) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Attendance at all class sessions is strongly recommended. The cost of the training program is $175 which includes the Master Gardener Handbook.

 

Volunteer commitment

 

In exchange for training, Fannin County participants are asked to volunteer time to their Extension program. Fifty hours of volunteer service, within one year following the training, is required to become a Texas Master Gardener.

 

The type of service done by Master Gardeners varies according to community needs and the abilities and interests of the Master Gardeners. Our current volunteer projects include our annual Garden, Lawn and Home Expo and overseeing development of the beds surrounding the Bonham courthouse square. We also plan half-day programs several times a year on various topics for the community. We offer a help desk on Tuesday mornings to answer telephone requests for horticultural information, and we are putting in a rainwater harvesting system in anticipation of developing a demonstration garden in the area behind the Extension office.

 

Fannin County Master Gardeners are representatives of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. In all volunteer work related to the program, Master Gardeners follow the research-based recommendations of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and utilize “Earth Kind” principles. The title “Texas Master Gardener” can be used by volunteers only when engaged in Extension Service-sponsored activities.  

 

Certification

 

Participants become certified Texas Master Gardeners one year after they have completed the training course. During that year they must fulfill their volunteer commitment. In order to retain the certification master gardeners must volunteer at least 12 hours and attend 6 hours of recertification education.

 

For more information regarding Fannin County Master Gardeners training call the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office at 903-583-7453 or visit our website at txmg.org/fannin.

 

NOTE: The Master Gardener program is an educational and volunteer program offered through the Cooperative Extension Service of the Texas A&M University system. Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas cooperating. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is an equal opportunity program provider. Individuals with a disability needing an accommodation should contact Texas A&M AgriLife Extension at least one week prior to the event.