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Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers

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Since 1979, North Carolina Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers (EMGVs) have been leaders in this internationally acclaimed program, guiding homeowners in making environmentally sound decisions in their landscapes. Trained by NC State faculty and staff, EMGVs provide research-based information about gardening and environmental stewardship to individuals and communities across the state. EMGVs engage the community through education and outreach on a wide variety of subjects and through a broad spectrum of projects, all designed to maximize their impact.

The 2024 Fall Master Gardener Training will take place on Wednesdays from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. For exact dates please read below and download a copy of the 2024 Class Syllabus.

Information Sessions:

Check back at a later time for information sessions. These are held at the Extension Office and around the County at public libraries in the months leading up to the class start.

Enter your email address on the 2024 Master Gardener Interest Form to be notified when the application window opens, dates and times of information sessions, and more!

2024 Class Interest Notification Form

1. Submit your Application

Download a copy or stop by the Extension Office to pick up a copy of the 2024 Extension Master Gardener Application (click to download). Once you’ve filled out and submitted your application you will hear back from the review committee within 2 weeks. Upon acceptance to the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program you have 2 weeks to pay all relevant program fees to secure your spot. Application fees are non-refundable. Applications can be submitted starting November 2023.

Important: Applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis. If the class becomes full then all applications thereafter will automatically be declined. 

2. Pay Program Fees

Upon hearing back from the review committee that your application was accepted you will have 2 weeks to pay the relevant program fees. The fee schedule is posted below for your viewing.

Fee Schedule: 

State EMGV Fee: $50

Textbook: $55

County Fee: $60 (covers refreshments, training materials, etc.)

Total Fees: $165

3. Complete Core EMG Training

Core training classes will be held in the fall and will focus on skills you will need as a volunteer and how to use your knowledge to teach others. We will be using the Extension Master Gardener Handbook, Second Edition as the required textbook for the course. Download the 2024 Class Syllabus for more information on course topics and for the exact dates and times.

Core Training Topics

  • Introduction to Extension
  • Soils and Composting
  • Fruit Production
  • Vegetables
  • Lawns and Organic Gardening
  • Botany and Plant ID
  • Research Solutions for Clients
  • Insects
  • Diseases and Weeds
  • Diagnosing Plant Problems and IPM
  • Ornamentals
  • Final Exam

Part of the Core Training includes a required field trip on a Saturday. We will visit the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh.

4. Volunteer!

Volunteers will complete a 40-hour internship within one year of completing their training. Trainees are encouraged to begin volunteering during the training course by assisting with a class project. The variety of volunteer opportunities available in horticulture education is endless! Master Gardeners will work with their local Extension Agent to determine which opportunities will make the most of their time, interests, and talents to meet the needs of Cooperative Extension’s Educational Programs. Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Diagnosing plant, insect, and disease problems
  • Staffing plant clinics and educational exhibits
  • Creating and maintaining demonstration gardens
  • Giving lectures on gardening
  • Visiting local schools to develop gardens and teach gardening skills to youth

5. Certify Annually and Continue your Education

The minimum requirements for remaining an EMG in Randolph are completing a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer service in Randolph County each year, plus 10 hours of continuing education each year.

Contact Us!

To place your name on a list of those interested in becoming an Extension Master Gardener please contact Cody Craddock via email or phone at 336.318.6003.