Volunteering in your community is a great way to connect and give back. Montana State University Extension relies on volunteers across the state to help support Extension programs. MSU Extension has volunteer opportunities for many interests, from aging populations to community development, or with Montana 4-H or Master Gardener.

The Montana 4-H program depends on more than 2,000 certified volunteers to teach youth life skills through 4-H clubs and hands-on projects. Sharing your passion for a hobby or knowledge in areas such as photography, hiking, sewing, cooking, shooting sports, livestock or public speaking can lead to assisting as a 4-H Project Volunteer. Serving as a 4-H Club volunteer requires more time but may have the most impact by acting as a caring adult in the lives of 4-H members.

If time is in short supply, you can still make an impact. 4-H programs host contests throughout the year, with topics ranging from communication, cooking, and baking, to interviews and fair projects. Serving as a contest or fair judge can be a one-day commitment that fills a significant need. Using your professional skills to complete a task or serving on a board or committee is a great way to volunteer if time is limited.

Want to volunteer and learn more about gardening? The Master Gardener program provides an opportunity to apply horticulture knowledge learned through the Master Gardener Program and help others. Volunteering is a significant part of the Master Gardener program with projects that vary by location.


A volunteer and a student.

Photo: Josie Evenson, MSU Extension

When you volunteer, you’re helping the community and can benefit from the experience in a variety of ways.

  • Learning new skills and applying them in the community.
  • Gaining leadership skills and personal skills that can transfer to your career.
  • Meeting new people through networking.
  • Having a higher level of life satisfaction and positive well-being.
  • Enjoying the impacts made in the community.

To start the process of volunteering with MSU Extension, first, decide how much time you want to volunteer. What passion or knowledge do you want to share? Contact your MSU Extension office and ask what opportunities might match your passion, expertise and available time.



Kelton Jensen is the MSU Extension 4-H Volunteer Specialist.


Volunteers are vital to the success of MSU Extension programs. Thank you to all who generously volunteer with MSU Extension.