2024 Spring Master Gardener training offered

TAMA COUNTY – The application window is opening January 15 for the 2024 Spring Master Gardener training cohort, which will be offered in 29 counties or extension regions.

Iowans wishing to become Master Gardener volunteers choose a county to complete training through, participate in online learning modules, and attend at least 4 in-person training sessions organized by the county office. After passing the final exam, trainees put their knowledge to work with a 40-hour internship in their training county.

Applicants have from January 15 to February 12 to apply for the spring session. Counties are seeking participants of all backgrounds and experience levels who desire to grow their horticultural knowledge and serve their communities. Training for the spring session begins February 26. Applications for the fall session will open July 22, 2024. Learn more about the program online or by contacting the county Extension and Outreach office.

The training is a hybrid class with online training modules completed at your own pace, combined with local in-person sessions held at the Extension office for learning with peers. Dates for the four required in-person sessions in Tama county for the spring 2024 session are February 29, March 7, March 28, and April 18, with all sessions beginning at 6 p.m.

“Many people have misconceptions about what the Master Gardener program truly is,” said Alicia Herzog, Master Gardener Statewide Coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The Master Gardener program is about more than just learning how to grow your best garden, although you will learn that as well. Trainees use knowledge gained in training to grow food for those in need, partner with area organizations to design green spaces, and present programs in their local communities.” The Iowa Master Gardener Program is a year-round volunteer service organization that utilizes university-trained volunteers who use research-based horticulture and gardening knowledge and practices to educate people and coordinate projects that promote healthy communities.

Local extension staff coordinators can help anyone with questions about joining Master Gardener training this year, including details of when and where in-person meetings will take place in their county or extension region.

Iowa State has offered Master Gardener training for over 40 years, engaging more than 15,000 people in learning about gardening best practices.

For more information, contact Cheryl Bruene at 641-484-2703.