Historymaster gardener logo

The Master Gardener Program began with the Washington State Cooperative Extension Service in 1972.  It was created to reach the need of home gardeners seeking horticulture information and it is now offered in all 50 states.  It pairs unbiased research based information with community involvement.

How it Works

The program is organized by MSU Extension and taught by Extension staff, state specialist and local gardening professionals.  There are three levels of master gardener.  Level 1 is offered locally and is sixteen (16) hours of instruction on basic yard and lawn care, vegetable and flower gardening, soils and plant biology.  Level 2 is also offered locally, also sixteen (16) hours of instruction and covers more advanced materials including integrated pest management.  Level 3 is an intensive three day training on the MSU campus in Bozeman.  Students are encouraged to network and share their experiences with others in the class.  To become a "certified" Master Gardener, you must pass an exam with an 80% or better.  Classes are offered locally when there is enough interest.

Volunteer Commitment

In return for the training, participants agree to volunteer time in a horticulture related community service activities.  Ideas include answering horticulture questions at the Extension Office, volunteering at the farmers market, writing articles, help install or maintain community flower beds or gardens, teach future Master Gardening classes, applied research or youth gardening workshops.  Level 1 participants volunteer 20 hours and Level 2 volunteers 30 hours.