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Thank you for being a part of the OSU Extension Master Gardener Program.

We value your contributions to this amazing organization
and are looking forward to a great year together!

This resource site is intended to provide concise information on the program and explain the different elements of it. It provides answers to frequently asked questions and is meant to be a resource to you throughout your time as an OSU Extension Master Gardener.



Your connection with Oregon State University

OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY– The main campus is located in Corvallis, and each county office is an “Extension” of the university. The University has three missions: resident teaching, research, and outreach. As a Master Gardener, you are now a part of Oregon State University’s volunteer staff.


OSU EXTENSION SERVICE— This is the educational outreach arm of OSU that “extends” research and education services of OSU to the citizens of Oregon. As part of the land grant university system, the OSU Extension Service serves both rural and urban dwellers. Extension Service personnel include Extension agents, program assistants, specialists, support staff, and a large number of volunteers like yourself. Extension works in five program areas: 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture, Family and Community Health, Forestry, and Sea Grant (ocean and coastal issues). As a Master Gardener, you are part of the Agriculture area.


OSU EXTENSION OFFICE—Most counties in Oregon have an Extension office staffed by agents, support staff and volunteers. Funding for staff typically comes from a combination of funds from Oregon State University and the local county. The partnership between the counties and the University makes the Extension Service possible. A portion of your Master Gardener volunteer service time will be spent in the local Extension office answering gardening questions.


OSU HORTICULTURE FACULTY AKA “EXTENSION AGENT”—This is a person employed by OSU to extend information and education to the citizens of Oregon. Each agent has a particular area of expertise and an assigned geographic area (one or more counties) and is a faculty member in an OSU department. Most, but not all, Extension agents with Master Gardener responsibilities are members of the OSU Department of Horticulture. Brooke Edmunds is the Extension Agent who provides overall program supervision and support for the program in Benton & Linn Counties.


OSU EXTENSION MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM ASSISTANT – the program assistant manages many aspects of the Master Gardener Program. Elizabeth Records is the Program Assistant in Benton & Linn Counties and supports the Master Gardener Program.


OSU EXTENSION SERVICE MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM STATE COORDINATOR—Gail Langelotto is the State Coordinator and has responsibilities for coordinating the Master Gardener Program on a statewide basis. These responsibilities include helping agents develop teaching programs for Master Gardener volunteers and coordinating activities and needs of a statewide nature.


Master Gardener Classifications


Master Gardener Trainee: a first year Master Gardener in the process of completing the program requirements, which include participating in the training program, passing the final exam, and contributing 66 hours of volunteer service in approved activities (46 of which must be in plant clinics).

Certified Veteran Master Gardener: a veteran Master Gardener who has completed the program, wishes to remain active in the program beyond the initial year and volunteer in an educational role. Certified veteran Master Gardeners are required to recertify each year by completing 20 hours of volunteering, 10 hours of continuing education and submitting the OSU volunteer paperwork.

Veteran Master Gardener (non-certified): a Master Gardener who has completed the program and wishes to remain active in the program beyond the initial year but not volunteer in a direct educational role(s). Non-certified Veteran Master Gardeners are still required to complete the OSU Conditions of Volunteer Service form annually. Non-certified Veteran Master Gardeners are not eligible to provide education to public (presentations, plant clinic, serving as a mentor, any direct education, etc.) until they become certified.


Lifetime Master Gardeners: ‘Lifetime’ is a title bestowed by a Master Gardener Association to a Master Gardener based on their high level of contributions to the good of the Association. Please contact your MG Association for more information.

Associate Member (Benton County only): This is a membership category offered by the BCMGA to individuals who would like to support the work of the Association but are not OSU Master Gardeners.  These members are not considered OSU Extension Master Gardeners (not eligible to participate in Master Gardener programs nor covered by OSU’s liability insurance). Please contact the BCMGA for more information.

County Master Gardener Associations (BCMGA & LCMGA)

Many volunteers in OSU’s Master Gardener Program choose to associate themselves as members of their county Master Gardener Association Chapters.  Membership in these chapters brings with it membership in the statewide organization, the Oregon Master Gardener Association (OMGA™).

While OMGA and its subsidiary Chapters were created principally to support and supplement OSU’s Master Gardener Program, OMGA and the Chapters are separate entities, distinct from the OSU Master Gardener Program itself.  OMGA acts autonomously and is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of a State Representative from each of its county chapters. OMGA is a tax-exempt organization 501(3)(c) Incorporated in the State of Oregon. (adapted from the OMGA website)

Please visit your county Master Gardener Association website to find Association contacts, board meeting minutes, upcoming monthly meetings & social events, governing documents, membership information, forms, and more.



Recording your MG hours

Please enter your volunteer hours and continuing education hours by October 31 each year. Tips and examples for categorizing your hours: Benton County (coming soon), Linn County (coming soon).
We use the Master Gardener Volunteer Reporting System. Please view the info sheets and help guides.


Annual Volunteer Paperwork & MG recertification

Once an individual has completed initial training year, he or she is certified as an OSU Extension Master Gardener. This certification is good for one year (MG year ends on 10/31 . To continue as a volunteer, the OSU Conditions of Volunteer Service form needs to be resubmitted annually.

MG Recertification process: If you are involved in any direct outreach and education to the general public (including teaching classes, serving as a mentor, answering questions at Plant Clinics, etc.) then you will need to recertify annually.

Specifically, to be recertified for the next MG year, volunteers must:

  • Annually complete and file the OSU Conditions of Volunteer Service form
  • Donate a minimum of twenty (20) hours of volunteer service for educational outreach each year, and
  • Complete ten (10) or more hours of approved continuing education.

Master Gardeners who are up to date on their certification requirements are referred to as ‘Certified Master Gardeners’ and receive a sticker to add to their MG badge.


Submission procedure & publication calendar for GROWING

GROWING is a joint print publication offered by the Linn and Benton County OSU Extension services, and is published by the Albany Democrat Herald. GROWING is inserted into the Albany Democrat Herald, Lebanon Express, Gazette Times, Philomath Express and This Week. GROWING is published every other month (January, March, May, July, September, and November).  View archive issues here. 

The Extension Community Horticulture program is allocated a set amount of space in each issue. We welcome horticulture articles, special interest stories, and upcoming MG program/event advertisements.  At least once a year, our program will be the featured in a front page article. Brooke and Elizabeth collect content and edit for clarity. All content is then sent to the editors who make the final decision on the layout.

How to submit your content for GROWING:  Please let us know as soon as possible so we can reserve space.  Please note that submission deadlines are at least a month in advance of final distribution. We may need time to review and edit for clarity and space considerations.

May/June issue   (content due 04/02/2019)
July/August          (content due 06/04/2019)
Sept/October       (content due 08/06/2019)
Nov/Dec               (content due 10/03/2019)
Jan/Feb  2020     (content due 12/03/2019)


Archived weekly MG eNews

Missed an issue of the weekly internal MG eNews? No problem! find the recent archives here:


Social media, Extension website, and public eNewsletter

The OSU MG program staff maintain several public facing electronic communication avenues to share upcoming events and classes, gardening information, and recruit for MG program.


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