Anyone with a willingness to learn and desire to help others can become a Master Gardener. Master Gardeners should be interested in horticulture, willing to help people, outgoing, flexible, dependable, unbiased and open-minded. Previous volunteer work and good verbal skills are desirable. As a trainee in the Master Gardener program, you must attend at least 80 percent of scheduled instruction, pass an open-book examination and volunteer for a minimum of 40 hours of service to earn the title of certified Louisiana Master Gardener.
- Represent the LSU AgCenter’s Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service in a professional manner.
- Complete the agreed-upon minimum 40 hours of volunteer time within one year from the end of training.
- Maintain a written record of volunteer activities and provide the extension agent with a monthly activity report.
- Respect civil rights, confidences and clientele information.
- Provide unbiased, university research-based information.
- Follow published Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service consumer horticulture recommendations.
- Refer all commercial horticulture calls to an extension agent.
- Use the Master Gardener title only when assisting at extension-sponsored programs.
- Wear a Master Gardener name badge only at scheduled or approved events.
- Adhere to the policies regarding the Louisiana Master Gardener program.
Examples of Volunteer Service
As a Master Gardener, you have volunteered to do work related to horticulture for your local extension office. This work may consist of a variety of jobs because Master Gardeners bring a wealth of expertise to the program. If you can think of a job that will use your talents, please suggest it to the agent you’re working with. Listed here are various types of volunteer service opportunities available to Louisiana Master Gardeners:
- Advisory committee
- 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 Volunteer Service Projects
- Planting and maintaining demonstration areas (turf, flowers, vegetables, water conservation, native plants, etc.)
- Working at plant clinics in the Extension office or other locations
- Producing a home horticulture newsletter for the local area
- Answering horticulture questions that come to the county Extension office by phone, office visitor, and letter
- Instructing Master Gardener classes and/or labs
- Conducting horticulture tours and contests
- Creating and maintaining youth, community, or school gardens
- Maintaining an office reference library
- Compiling plant lists for specific areas
- Writing and designing educational materials
- Developing, setting up, and staffing educational exhibits
- Assist with 4-H club meetings and programs
- Serving as 4-H horticulture project leaders
- Teaching 4-H horticulture enrichment units in local schools
- Speaking to civic groups and garden clubs
- Producing educational Power Point presentations
- Conducting horticulture therapy programs at nursing homes
- Judging horticulture exhibits or school science fair projects
- Judging 4-H horticulture demonstrations or illustrated talks
- Training horticulture teams for competition at 4-H University
- Mailing newsletters, publications, and bulletins to noncommercial horticultural clientele
- Appearing on television or radio programs to discuss home horticulture topics
- Serve on an extension advisory committee (local or state level)