The purpose of the Purdue Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Program is to train volunteers to assist Purdue Extension Offices with consumer horticulture education needs in local communities. Purdue EMG volunteers complete horticultural training in a variety of topics (soils, plant nutrition, plant science, weed identification and control, insect identification and control, pesticide safety and alternatives, plant disease diagnosis, lawn care, invasive species, fruit gardening, herbaceous ornamentals, etc.). The Purdue EMG Basic Training is 13-18 weeks long and is conducted by Purdue Extension Educators in participating Indiana Counties. To become a Purdue EMG Intern, participants must pay the local fees, complete the Purdue EMG Basic Training, and pass an exam over the material presented with a score of 70% or above. In order to become certified, interns are required to complete at least 40 hours of volunteer activity approved by their local Purdue Extension Educator (County Extension Master Gardener Coordinator). Volunteer activities performed by Purdue EMG's fulfill the program's purpose of educating Indiana residents in the area of home horticulture and gardening. Purdue EMG volunteers can earn Advanced EMG levels to be recognized for their work. Purdue EMG's are required to complete a minimum of 12 volunteer hours and 6 educational training hours per year to remain active in the program and continue their training in home horticulture. In 2020 even with a pandemic, Purdue EMG volunteers have logged over 93,000 volunteer hours valued at over $2.3 million.
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Purdue EMG's make a difference in the lives of others by sharing their gardening knowledge and often share personal stories of how participation in this Purdue Extension program has changed their own life. Purdue EMG's across the state have coordinated educational bus tours, held social functions to learn about gardening from each other, taught youth gardening classes, and conducted garden symposiums to educate the public.
People interested in the Purdue EMG Program are encouraged to contact their local Purdue Extension Office https://extension.purdue.edu/about#counties. Just click on the county you live in and then "About" at the top of the page and then "Contact Us" to find their phone number. Or visit https://www.purdue.edu/hla/sites/master-gardener/events/categories/2021-purdue-mg-basic-training/ for more information about a Purdue Extension Master Gardener Basic Training scheduled in a county near them.
Come, be a part of "Helping Others Grow" in your community!
Purdue Extension Master Gardener Website: www.hort.purdue.edu/mg
Become a Purdue Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, HO-184