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MS Master Gardener Volunteer

Selection Criteria for Volunteers

Individuals accepted into the program will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Agreement that outlines the training and volunteer expectations.

Qualifications

  • Previous volunteer experience
  • Gardening experience and expertise
  • Communication skills (listening, talking, writing)
  • Ability and desire to learn
  • Interest in helping people
  • Willingness to provide unbiased, research-based information
  • Training facility limitations

Responsibilities

  • Enhance county home horticulture on behalf of, and under the supervision of, the Mississippi State University Extension Service, through volunteer work.
  • Represent the Mississippi State University Extension Service in a professional manner.
  • Adhere to the policies of the Mississippi Master Gardeners program.

Examples of Volunteer Service

Upon completing the 40 volunteer hours commitment, volunteers will become certified Master Gardeners. Volunteers are expected to keep a record of their volunteer activities, hours, and contacts.

The 40 hours of volunteer work are to be completed within one year following the last core training class.

  • 4-H presentation coach
  • Answering telephone hotline
  • Exhibits at fair/malls/shows
  • Demonstration/teaching gardens
  • Newsletter editor
  • Master Gardener Volunteer personnel records
  • School gardens
  • Plant clinics
  • Speakers bureau
  • Office work
  • New class coordinator

Possible Projects

  • Staffing plant clinics in the Extension office or other locations
  • Developing, setting up, and staffing educational exhibits
  • Planting and maintaining demonstration areas (turf, flowers, vegetables, water conservation, native plants, etc.)
  • Serving as 4-H horticulture project leaders
  • Teaching 4-H horticulture enrichment units in local schools
  • Speaking to civic groups and garden clubs
  • Conducting horticulture tours
  • Answering horticulture questions that come to the county Extension office by phone, office visitor, and letter
  • Conducting horticulture therapy programs at nursing homes
  • Judging horticulture exhibits or school science fair projects
  • Judging 4-H horticulture demonstrations or illustrated talks
  • Mailing newsletters, publications, and bulletins to noncommercial horticultural clientele
  • Appearing on television or radio programs to discuss home horticulture topics

Individual Activity Report Form - PDF

 

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Publications

News

Warren County Master Gardener Yolanda Horne checks on worms living in a plastic bin on June 13, 2017. The worms were part of an exhibit on composting at the Know Your Roots: Grow Your Business workshop in Vicksburg, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Bonnie Coblentz)
Filed Under: Agri-tourism, Community, Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden June 16, 2017

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Mississippians from a wide variety of backgrounds spent a day thinking of new ways to use landscapes and gardens to bring more profit and better value to agricultural enterprises and historic homes.

Know Your Roots: Build Your Business brought 29 participants together for the daylong workshop June 13 at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. Sandy Havard, Warren County agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, coordinated the event.

Lida McDowell holds an alternanthera plant at her home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on April 27, 2017. McDowell is a member of the Pine Belt Master Gardeners -- one of more than 60 such groups throughout the state that operate under the supervision of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Master Gardener May 4, 2017

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Lida McDowell taught science and math for 30 years at the high school and university levels, and she keeps finding ways to educate while enjoying an interest she had no time to pursue until retirement.

The raised-bed vegetable gardens she and church friend Karen Walker maintain year-round serve as a classroom for a young audience at Thames Elementary School in Hattiesburg.

“What we’re trying to do is get the kids to enjoy nature, be outside and appreciate where their food comes from,” McDowell said.

Lynn McMahan of Vancleave, past president of the Mississippi Master Gardeners, learns about plant diseases from Clarissa Balbalian, manager of the Mississippi State University Extension Service's plant diagnostic lab, during campus tours in 2013. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
Filed Under: Master Gardener October 12, 2016

TUPELO, Miss. -- For more than a quarter century, Mississippians with a love for horticulture have been helping to educate and serve their communities through a nationwide Extension Service program.

Oktibbeha County Master Gardener Charlie Weatherly pauses July 23, 2015, beside some of flowers growing in the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, which he helped establish at the R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center at Mississippi State University. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
Filed Under: Master Gardener July 24, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Long before Charlie Weatherly earned the state’s 2015 Master Gardener of the Year honor, his family roots were dug deep into the Mississippi soil.

Although he retired from Mississippi State University in 1997, Weatherly has not strayed far from the land-grant institution’s campus or mission. How could he? As a child, he frequently came to campus with his father, Ernest, who was a county agent for what is now the MSU Extension Service.

Pine Belt Master Gardeners Gerald Good and Margaret Thomas mark the 100th salad table built by the group during a workday in Purvis June 19, 2014. The table will be donated to the University of Southern Mississippi's Department of Sustainability. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
Filed Under: Master Gardener June 23, 2014

PURVIS – The Pine Belt Master Gardeners reached a milestone June 19.

The group constructed its 100th salad table, which is designated for donation to the University of Southern Mississippi’s Office of Sustainability. It is one of many the group has donated throughout the last year.

When the Pine Belt Master Gardeners built two raised beds for demonstration at the Mississippi State University Lamar County Extension office in 2013, they did not expect the educational project to become so popular.

Success Stories

A male retiree in a plaid shirt and khaki slacks sits in front of a piano. On its soundboard is a picture of his late wife in her wedding gown and gloves.
About Extension, Master Gardener Extension Matters: Volume 3 Number 3

In 2016, Myrtle native Michael Hale was looking for a meaningful, lasting way to remember his late wife, Vicki M. Smith.

 

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