UGA Extension Office

Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program

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What does it mean to be a MGEV?

Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEVs) are trained volunteers with unique skills and abilities, who share a love of plants and gardens and enthusiasm for learning. They are a variety of ages, personalities, and professions united by a passion for teaching others. MGEVs are volunteer educators who represent UGA Extension.

Our Master Gardener mission statement is: To assist Cooperative Extension by training Master Gardener Extension Volunteers to provide unbiased horticultural information to Georgians through volunteer community service and educational gardening projects using applied research and the resources of the University of Georgia.

Volunteers benefit from the training, networking with other garden enthusiasts, and the opportunity to serve their communities. Master Gardeners say the friendships they make and experiences they have while volunteering together are the biggest rewards of the program.

How do you earn the MGEV title?

Step 1: Application & Selection
This process is handled by Extension Offices since it is the local offices that conduct the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program training course. Included in this step is the completion of a few forms and an interview with the local Extension Office. 

Step 2: Training & Exams
This step prepares selected MGEV Trainees for their volunteer role. MGEV Trainees complete 42 hours of core horticultural training and two exams. 

Step 3: Volunteer Service
Within the first year after training, the MGEV Trainee completes 50 hours of volunteer service. After completing 50 hours on Extension-approved projects that support MGEV program initiatives, the Trainee is recognized as an official MGEV. To remain a current, active MGEV, volunteers give at least 25 hours of volunteer service hours each year and track their accomplishments using an online recordkeeping system.