Madera County
University of California
Madera County

Apply to Become a Master Gardener

Do you love to garden?

Are you willing to share your knowledge with the community? If so, the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners in Madera County are looking for you! Prospective Master Gardeners complete a 16 week training course and pass a final exam.  Applications for the 2018 training year are being accepted through October 31, 2017.  Training is hosted by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners in Merced County.

The date and details for an informational Meet the Master Gardeners meeting will be posted soon.  It is held at the Madera Community College Center, 30277 Avenue 12, Madera, CA. At that meeting you will learn how you can become part of the team and get all of your questions answered.

Who can be a Master Gardener?

Any Madera County adult resident with an interest in horticulture and public service may apply for the Master Gardener Program. 

You must have the time to complete a 16-week training course (1 class per week). You must have a passion for gardening, good communications skills and be willing to share your knowledge with the public.

What is the training program?

The training will be held in Merced, at the UC Cooperative Extension office, located at 2145 Wardrobe Avenue.  It will be a combined training with Merced County applicants.  Class will begin on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 and run for 16 weeks, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Only one absence is permitted and must be made up. Instructors are University of California Cooperative Extension advisers, horticultural specialists, and community experts. The curriculum provides a practical course in horticulture and plant science. Topics include an introduction to horticulture; soil and plant nutrition; water and fertilizer management; pest identification and control; management of home orchards and landscape trees; home vegetable gardening; plant diseases and diagnosis; composting; weed identification and management; native plants and much more. While in training, students are assigned a Master Gardener mentor, who will support and assist you throughout the training and first 18 months of your tenure. A passing grade of at least 70% on the final exam is required.

Is there a fee for the training? 

The fee to cover training and resource materials for the 2018 training will be $200, payable upon acceptance as a trainee. It must be received in the Madera UC Cooperative Extension office by December 8, 2017, along with completed paperwork and DOJ clearance.

What is the commitment to the program once certification is achieved?

New Master Gardeners are required to contribute 50 hours of hands-on-training during the first 18 months of service. In subsequent years, Master Gardeners are required to contribute 25 hours of volunteer service and 12 hours of continuing education. Continuing education opportunities are provided through the program.

A little more about us...

The Master Gardener concept originated in 1972 in Washington State. With a growing interest in home gardening and an increase in the volume of research-based information available, a group of university extension advisers sought a better way to disseminate information to the public. Thus, the Master Gardener Program was born. Introduced in California in 1979, with pilot programs in Riverside and Sacramento counties, there are now over 40 Master Gardener Programs in California. Madera County has participated since 1989.

If you have additional questions about the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program in Madera County, call 559-241-7535.

On-line Applications Only ~ Must be received by October 31, 2017. 


It is the policy of the University of California (UC) and the UC Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources not to engage in discrimination against or harassment of any person in any of its programs or activities (Complete non-discrimination policy statement can be found at  Inquiries regarding ANR’s non-discrimination policies may be directed to John I. Sims, Affirmative Action Compliance Officer/Title IX Officer, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, 2801 Second Street, Davis, CA 95618, (530) 750-1397. For local inquiries, call UCCE Madera County (559) 675-7879.

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