Washington County IFAS Extension is conducting Master Gardener Volunteer Training for new master gardener volunteers this fall.

In 1972, an innovative Extension Agent in Washington State reasoned that well-trained volunteers could enhance his education program by providing basic horticulture information to homeowners, develop projects to enhance the community and assist him in conducting interactive educational classes and workshops. The Extension agent selected, trained, and certified volunteers as Master Gardeners. They soon succeeded in meeting his desired objectives – in fact they exceeded his expectations. This led to the genesis of the Master Gardener volunteer program.

Since that time, the Master Gardener program has grown and is now active in 45 states. Florida’s began in 1979. The program has been a tremendous success and is now active in over half of Florida’s counties. The Florida Master Gardener Program is sponsored by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) of which the Cooperative Extension Service is a part.

Currently there are 17 Master Gardeners in the Washington County association. The Washington County Master Gardeners have been involved in a variety of projects throughout the community. Projects include the Washington County library entrance landscaping, Washington County Rose Demonstration Garden, and a multitude of educational programs and displays.

As the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County, I would like to extend to the public an invitation to join us and become part of the Washington County Master Gardeners.

So, Do you want to become a part of the Master Gardeners? To help you decide, ask yourself the following questions: – Do I want to learn more about plants, growing things, and gardening? – Am I eager to participate in a practical and intensive training program? – Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community? – Do I have enough time to attend the training and to complete my volunteer commitment?

This year there is room for approximately 15 people to participate in the new Master Gardener training program scheduled to begin on October, 4 2012 and that will take place Every Wednesday through December 12, 2012, with the exception of Thanksgiving week. On the week of Thanksgiving the class will be Monday, November 19th. Classes will be from 10:00am to 3:00pm, with one hour lunch/social break, in the east wing of the Washington County Ag. Center. Field trip days will be added, to be determined by the schedule of the group.


The motto and goal of the Cooperative Extension Service is “Helping People Help Themselves.” Thus, you can see how well the volunteer Master Gardener concept fits into the ultimate objectives and goals of the Extension Service.

In order to be part of this year’s program, you will need to do several things:

1. Complete the application form, which is available at the Washington County Extension Office

2. Send a check made out to Washington County Agriculture Improvement Fund (memo Horticulture) for $150.00 This fee covers the materials you will use during training, including books, and the graduation dinner. Materials will be ordered after the first class. Although checks are due when applying, they will be refunded after the first class should you need to withdraw. After the first class, materials will be ordered, so there are no refunds.

3. Return all forms and your check by October 3, 2012 in person or by mail

To request these forms, please email, call or come by the Washington County Extension Office at 1424 Jackson Ave., Chipley, or click here to go to the Washington County Master Gardener website.

If you have any questions, please contact me, Matthew Orwat at 850-638-6180 or mjorwat@ufl.edu. We look forward to getting to know you in the near future.



Posted: September 25, 2012

Category: Home Landscapes
Tags: Horticulture

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