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?
Master Gardener courses are offered in a self-paced, self-study format. Online instruction is provided by Montana State University-Bozeman Extension Master Gardener Coordinators, utilizing the Academic Technology & Outreach (ATO) Brightspace platform. There is no time limit for completing each course.
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), 30 hours (for Level 2), and 40 hours (for Level 3) of volunteer service through the Yellowstone County Extension Office. Volunteer opportunities include: working in a neighborhood garden, giving gardening presentations at schools and to civic groups, manning Info-Booths, telephone and office work, researching and writing grants, fair judging, fund raising, land research, and other opportunities as they present themselves.
Level 1 and Level 2 Online Courses
To register for a course contact Amy Grandpre, Yellowstone County Master Gardener Coordinator, by e-mail or phone (256-2828). You may also mail the registration form with payment of $125 ($80 for veterans) to MSU Extension in Yellowstone County. An online course link and instructions will be provided after the class fee has been received.
In addition to the class fee, first time program participants must purchase a $50 Master Gardener Course Handbook by visiting the MSU Extension Publications website and pay a new student technology fee of $30 to the online host site (Brightspace).
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.