Master Gardener Program Update

The Master Gardener Program and its Partners, Purposes and Roles

MSU Extension

  • Continues to invest in the long established Master Gardener Program by focusing on what it does best: Education. Both basic Master Gardener training and advanced education opportunities are offered through various training programs throughout the state. (e.g. Master Gardener College, Plants of Distinction, Smart Gardening Conference, and online videos/webinars)
  • Sets the statewide standards for the Master Gardener Program in Michigan.
  • Continues to develop the training manual for basic MG classes with chapters including Introduction, Plant Science, Soil Science, Integrated Pest Management, Diagnostics for Master Gardeners, Annual and Perennial Flowers, Lawns, Woody Ornamentals, Tree Fruit, Small Fruit, Vegetables, Indoor Plants, Household and Nuisance Pests, Gardening Practices to Protect Water Quality, Plant Propagation, Backyard Composting, Wildlife Pest Management, and Natural Shoreline Landscapes. This product is continuing to evolve as we explore new technologies to deliver the manual to trainees and certified Master Gardeners in new ways (e.g. e-readers and DVDs).  Print copies are available in black and white or electronic versions are available in color for EMG purchase during the annual re-certification process.
  • Provides access to the Michigan Volunteer Management System (VMS) that not only tracks education and volunteer hours, and tax-deductible mileage, but also enhances two-way MG communications with MG project managers, coordinators, local groups, MMGA and MSUE educators.
  • Enables for a formal recertification process for Extension Master Gardener volunteers who wish to remain active. The process includes: meeting the volunteer hours (15) and education hours (5) requirement, signing a Code of Conduct Agreement, obtaining liability insurance coverage and paying a $20.00 recertification fee.
  • Gives recognition to EMGs for basic, advanced and certification for Master Gardeners that includes badges, certificates, pins, hour bars, and annual certification cards.
  • Provides targeted volunteer opportunities. (e.g. statewide Lawn & Garden Hotline, diagnostics, Smart Gardening campaign, Ask-an-Expert support, and more)

The Michigan Master Gardener Association, Inc.

  • Serves as a collective ‘voice’ for all Extension Master Gardeners (EMG) as a network of volunteers across Michigan.
  • As a non-profit status (501c3) it can be used for effective fundraising, a Michigan license to solicit donations, and an Employee Identification Number (EIN) and other organizational support for affiliated chapters.
  • Offers a platform for communication and promotion of statewide gardening events and activities (both educational and volunteer opportunities).
  • Maintains general liability insurance coverage for its members and chapters when volunteering as a Extension Master Gardener.
  • Discounts on purchases at local retail businesses.
Local Associations and Chapters
  • Serve as a connection for Master Gardener trainees and EMGs for both social and educational opportunities.
  • Communicate opportunities for volunteering.
  • Host events such as plant sales, garden tours, banquets, special speakers, etc.
  • Provide volunteer management  through county MGP coordinators or VMS Ambassadors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 
Have a question? You can submit your questions and thoughts to, the Consumer Horticulture Team, or MMGA Inc.     

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