Applications are now being accepted for the UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County Master Gardener Volunteer Program for the 2023 class. Have you always wanted to be Master Gardener Volunteer? Now is the time to apply through July 15, 2023!
When are Classes and What do we Learn?
Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 9 am to 3:30 pm, September 6 through December 6, 2023, and will be held at the Sumter County Extension Office at 7620 SR 471, Suite 2, Bushnell in Expo 6 or the Dining Room of the Sumter County Fairgrounds. You will get to enjoy hands-on learning opportunities offered in person. Master Gardener Volunteer students will enjoy lectures by experts in their fields, hands-on activities, project, and field trips.
This intensive training covers topics that include basic botany, plant propagation, soils and fertilizers, vegetable and fruit production, citrus, identifying and controlling insects and diseases, identifying ornamental plants, pesticide safety and alternatives, attracting wildlife, and managing nuisance wildlife, and more! Students will also receive Green Industry Best Management Practices certification training as part of testing. One Hundred Percent of trainees who have taken the exam, passed it! All material covered is based on research from University of Florida and includes the Florida Master Gardener Student Manual.
What do Master Gardener Volunteers do?
Master Gardener Volunteers are educators who answer horticultural questions for Sumter County residents, and they share unbiased, research-based information from University of Florida with the public. Master Gardener Volunteers share information by phone, email, at plant clinics and event booths, write newsletter or newspaper articles, develop and deliver presentations for garden clubs, civic organizations and Master Gardener Speaker Series.
They support youth programs, garden in the award winning UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County Demonstration Garden in Bushnell, and host the Spring
Garden and Plant Festival. Each month volunteers attend monthly meetings, learning from experts on a variety of topics. They also have opportunities to gain knowledgeable through advanced educational opportunities including local, state, and international Master Gardener Volunteer conferences.
Master Gardener interns complete 75 hours of volunteer time which includes gardening in the award winning demonstration garden, gain experience answering questions with the public and other Master Gardener Volunteers at the Ask the Master Gardener Plant Clinics, sharing information at event booths or the horticulture show at the Sumter County Fair, and participating in the youth garden.
Certified Master Gardeners annually renew their recertification by completing 35 hours of volunteer time and 12 hours of continuing education. Accepted Master Gardener Volunteer students receive with the registration fee the Florida Master Gardener manual, a soil test submitted to the UF/IFAS Soil Test Lab, and in 2023, attendance at the all day Palm Education Workshop.
Ready to Apply? Or, Do you have questions?
You can download your application from the Sumter County Extension website at https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/sumter/home-garden/master-gardener/. Or if you have questions or want to receive more information you may call Lisa Sanderson with any questions at 352-569-6862, or you may email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.