The Master Gardeners of Kaufman County are volunteers who provide horticultural information and help to the citizens of Kaufman County through their affiliation with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Last year, forty Kaufman County Master Gardeners contributed over 2,473 hours of volunteer and training time. At the state-determined rate of $22.14 per hour, that comes to $54,752 in benefit to the county.

When the term “Master Gardener” was first coined in the early 1970s to describe a new Extension program in Washington State, few could have predicted it would spread into Texas and blossom into one of the most effective volunteer organizations in the State.  From the Texas Master Gardener home page

What sets Kaufman County Master Gardeners apart from other gardeners is their special training in horticulture. To become a Master Gardener, an individual attends at least 50 hours of instruction in botany, soil science, entomology, plant pathology, turf grass, fruits, nuts, and berries, vegetable gardening and other horticultural topics. Every year after, each Master Gardener must complete an additional 6 hours of continuing education training.

Become a Master Gardener videoDuring their internship year, which follows the 10-week training class, Master Gardener interns contribute a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer time working in the Garden Learning Center and other gardens, answering questions and distributing information at a variety of community events like the Scarecrow Festival and helping with the organization and presentation of horticultural education programs. After their first year, interns become certified Master Gardeners who continue to contribute a minimum of 12 hours of volunteer time each year.