The Master Gardener volunteer program is a great way to gain horticultural expertise at a low cost, meet other avid gardeners, share gardening experiences, get connected to the community, and belong to a well-respected educational organization. It is an educational exchange program offered through county offices of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Through this program, individuals are trained and certified in horticulture and related areas. In exchange for educational training, individuals are asked to volunteer their time to help county Extension offices with horticulture projects that benefit the local community. Master Gardeners help extend the educational arm of the university to the public by providing horticultural information based on university research and recommendations.
The Master Gardener program is offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and is designed to increase the availability of horticultural information and improve the quality of life with horticultural projects. Goals are implemented through the training and employment of local volunteers. Master Gardeners assist Extension by implementing community projects, answering requests, running plant clinics, and other service projects.
The title “Master Gardener” is to be used only by individuals who have attended the 40 hours of Master Gardener training, passed the examination, and volunteered 40 service hours to Extension. The title is valid only while volunteers participate in the Master Gardener program. When individuals cease active participation, the designation of Master Gardener becomes void.