SDSU Extension hosts Master Gardener Training annually in several locations throughout the state of South Dakota. Master gardener training is an eight week course and is offered in three locations in 2017: Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, and Spearfish.
Master gardener training consists of eight 8-hour in-person meetings. Training is provided by SDSU professors, SDSU Extension local horticulture experts & educators and is a combination of face-to-face and online sessions. There are two training options:
- Training with Volunteer Commitment (Most Popular)
Training costs $190 with 50 hours of volunteer service “payback” during the first two years after training. 20 hours of service and 10 hours continuing education is required for each year thereafter to maintain Master Gardener Status. If initial 50 hours is not completed then the balance of the course fee will be charged. The cornerstone of the Extension Master Gardener Program nationwide is to serve our communities and advance knowledge to assist others in beautifying spaces, growing their own food, and advancing knowledge in horticulture/gardening. EMGs are a spirited group that enjoy club activities and service throughout the state. *Please note that participants must complete a Volunteer Work Agreement form and pass a background check to be eligible for this option. Master Gardeners engage in our communities with vulnerable populations and as such, must be background checked. Also, participants will be charged for the FULL class fee if 50 hours of service are not accomplished within two years after completion of the course. Participants successfully complete the course when they pass an open-book exam with a score of 80% or higher and complete service requirements.
- Non-Volunteer Option – Horticulture Trainee Certification
A non-volunteer service training option is available at a cost of $540. However upon completion, these participants will not be considered “Master Gardeners”. This is an option for those interested in learning the content, but not interested in community service. This does not allow one to use the Master Gardener title or to become a member of South Dakota Extension Master Gardeners. That title is held exclusively for Master Gardeners that actively serve our communities as SDSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers and regularly document their time. This is, however, a nice option for those employed with agencies that could benefit from horticulture knowledge or for those that want this knowledge but feel they cannot devote time to community service.
The deadline for registration is May 1, 2017. Visit the registration page to register online.