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A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.


The Master Gardener Program

The Association is an organization that directly supports and enhances the Montana Master Gardener Program.

The Washington State Extension Service started the Master Gardener Program in 1972. It is now offered in all 50 states. It has become an enjoyable and useful volunteer activity offering participants a sense of community spirit, accomplishment and intellectual learning while providing their community with timely, up-to-date information.

How the Program Works

Association members frequently help with logistics for the Master Gardener classes.

Participants attend a series of classes, which train them in the latest research-based home horticulture practices. There are approximately 32 hours of class time over a 16-week period for Levels (1) and (2).

Class instruction is web cast from Bozeman. PowerPoint presentations are available to view electronically for note taking and review. Cost of the program is $150 and includes a copy of the Montana Master Gardener handbook.

Volunteer Commitment

The Association can provide Master Gardeners with numerous opportunities to fulfill volunteer hour requirements.

In return for the training, participants agree to volunteer time in a horticulture-related community activity. Level (1) participants must volunteer 20 hours and Level (2) participants must volunteer 30 hours. Renewing Master Gardeners, in good standing, must volunteer 20 hours yearly. Placement is based on your knowledge, skills and interests. Once you complete your volunteer hours, you are refunded a portion of your registration fees.

The Cooperative Extension Service

The Association is a link between the many sources of horticultural information and your County Extension Agent.

Part of the tradition of free America is the concept that all people can benefit from education. Our founding fathers were interested in developing a social, political and economic climate that would encourage citizens to learn and to apply knowledge. Legislation in 1862 permitted the establishment of Colleges of Agriculture in all states. In 1887, Agricultural Experiment Stations were authorized and in 1914 the Smith-Lever Act established the Cooperative Extension Service.

The major function of the Cooperative Extension Service is to provide informal adult and youth education, to help people make their lives more satisfying, productive and enjoyable and to help people help them selves. As educators, Montana County Extension Agents represent Montana State University and the United States Department of Agriculture.

The programs of the MSU Extension Service are available to all people regardless of race, color, sex, disability or national origin. Montana State University Extension and the Yellowstone County Master Gardener Association encourage persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of special accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the Extension Office at 406-256-2828 in advance of your participation.

”A primary reason for a Master Gardener Association is financial independence. County Extensions often do not have the available funds needed for specific Master Gardener activities and support. Associations have more freedom to raise money needed through several means...”