The Master Gardener Program was originally created by the Extension Service of Washington State in 1972. It grew out of the need to meet increased requests from urban home gardeners for horticultural information. Before the program was started Extension Agents were dealing mainly with farmers and ranchers. Because of the urban and transient nature of the modern American life they also became a resource for answering urban landscape and garden questions, including insect and disease control, plant culture and variety selection. The Master Gardener is a vital part of Extension's ability to provide the community with up-to-date, reliable knowledge so they can enjoy and protect the value of horticulture around their homes.
How Does The Program Work?
Participants attend a series of classes that train them in the latest, research-based, home horticulture practices. There are three levels of the program, each consisting of approximately 16 hours of class time over a eight week period. The cost of the program is a $125 for Levels 1 & 2 - students must also purchase the required course handbook from MSU Extension Publications for $50.
In order to be certified and maintain good standing as a Master Gardener, participants agree to complete a minimiun of 20 hours (for Level 1) or 30 hours (for Level 2) of volunteer service through the Yellowstone County Extension Office.
Master Gardeners are required to donate 20 hours of volunteer service a year, to maintain their Master Gardener status. Volunteer opportunities include: working in the neighborhood garden, giving garden talks to schools, manning Info-Booths, telephone and office work, presenting gardening topics to civic groups, researching and writing grants, fair judging, fund raising, land research, and other opportunities as they present themselves.
For more information on becoming a Master Gardener, those interested in Level 1 classes must contact Amy Grandpre, Yellowstone County Master Gardener Coordinator, by e-mail or phone (256-2828). For those interested in Level 2 classes, please print off the application below and mail with a check to the Yellowstone County Extension Office.
The Level 1 Class is a self-paced course available ONLINE ONLY. Contact the Extension office for details or mail the Level 1 registration with payment to the Yellowstone County Extension Office. An online course link and instructions will be provided after the fee ($125) has been received. The required Master Gardener Course Handbook must be purchased ($50) by visiting the MSU Extension Publications website.
The Level 2 Class will be ONLINE - Via WebEx Broadcasts. There will be eleven sessions scheduled for Mondays & Thursdays at 7pm beginning January 21st.
Level 1 Registration - Introduction to the MSU Extension Master Gardener Program
Soils & Fertility
Plant Growth & Development 1
Growing Food From Your Garden
Trees, Shrubs, Vines and Pruning
Lawns and Irrigation
Yard & Garden Maintenance/Composting
Intro to IPM-Integrated Pest Management
Level 2 Registration - The Role of Master Gardener in Extension
Fertility, Plant Nutrients
Plant Growth and Development 2
Entomology, Plant Diseases and Abiotic Disorders
Vegetable and Fruit IPM
Trees, Shrubs, and Lawn IPM
Advanced Pruning and Woody Ornamental Care
Level 3 Training
Level 3 is a three-day hands-on intensive course offered on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman. Participants must be certified Level 2 Master Gardeners. To learn more about the Level 3 Master Gardener course, contact Dara Palmer, MSU Extension State Master Gardener Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (406) 994-2120.