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Master Gardening For All: A Q&A With Brent Crain From MSU Extension

What is the mission of the Michigan State University Extension Master Gardener program?

The mission of the MSU Extension Master Gardener program — EMG —flows out of the land grant mission of the university. Land was ceded under the Morrill Act of 1862 to establish colleges that would prioritize making academic knowledge accessible to ordinary people. The MSU EMG program exists to train active gardeners in the science of horticulture, and to raise up EMG volunteers who educate the public in environmentally and economically sound gardening practices. Knowledge that was previously locked within the proverbial ivory tower is now made available to everyone.

Who can become a Master Gardener through this program, and what are the requirements?

We have recently redesigned the training program for MSU EMGs. The path to becoming an EMG begins with successful completion of our Foundations of Gardening course. FOG is a

10-week, online course that includes both independent work and weekly live sessions. Previous gardening knowledge is helpful but not a prerequisite for the course. After completing FOG, individuals interested in becoming EMGs can then apply for the MSU EMG program. If selected, they must complete an in-person onboarding session where they are trained to serve as MSU EMG volunteers.

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