UGA Extension Office

Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program

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What does it mean to be a MGEV?

MGEVs are absolutely crucial to the work we do in Extension. Volunteers enrich our program with their experiences, talents, skills, and community connections. Volunteer engagement also brings to life Extension’s philosophy that active citizen participation in planning and implementation ensures success.

MGEVs are volunteer educators. They assist UGA Extension with sharing horticultural information to a diversity of consumer audiences. MGEVs can serve in a variety of ways; from answering home gardening questions or giving presentations to working with youth or installing and utilizing demonstration gardens and much more.

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
Fill out and submit the MGEV Program application, which includes a signed Volunteer Agreement Form. Applicants will then attend a short interview with the program coordinators. The PCs will make selections and contact each applicant about their approval status. Selected applicants must comply to and pass a criminal and motor vehicle background check and pay the $275.00 course fee to be fully accepted into the program.

Step 2: Training & Exams
The Master Gardener Training Course prepares selected MGEV Trainees for their volunteer role. MGEV Trainees complete 16 weeks of 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 and receives a certificate of their title achievement. To remain a current, active MGEV, volunteers complete at least 25 hours of volunteer service hours each year and track their accomplishments using an online recordkeeping system.