The Vegetable Garden

Cooperative Extension System Offices Text Version

     

    You might have been told to contact your local cooperative extension at one time or another. If so, when someone recommends that you contact your local office with a gardening question, more than likely you will be talking with a Master Gardener Volunteer although there is usually an agriculture and horticulture agent available. Master Gardener volunteers are interviewed for the program and once accepted, they are trained by Extension and University Staff as well as local horticulture professionals in many facets of horticulture including: taxonomy, plant pathology, entomology, cultural growing requirements, integrated pest management, wildlife control and much more.

    Once a Master Gardener trainee completes their classroom training they are required to volunteer a designated amount of hours back to the program by answering questions on the phone and at fairs and festivals, speaking to groups, participating in display gardens and other projects as needed in their service area.

    What Does Cooperative Extension Have to Offer the Home Gardener?

    Some of the services provided at your local Extension Office, often for free or a nominal charge, are:

    • Soil testing
    • Fact Sheets on cultural requirements, diseases and pests
    • Information on Frost Dates
    • Plant Recommendations by Area
    • Wildlife Deterrent Info
    Most offices also have hours when you can bring in a sample of your plant problem or garden insect for identification. To locate your local Extension office just click on your state on the map above. Most local and regional office now have their own web sites and can tell you what services they offer and maybe even how you can become a Master Gardener for your area.