From press reports
The Choctaw County Master Gardner program graduated three new master gardener interns on August 12, 2013 at the Choctaw County Extension office in Ackerman.
Dolphus and Judith Cooper and Darrell Banks received approximately 40 hours of classroom instruction from January through April by interactive video on topics such as landscaping, vegetable gardening, fruit production, and integrated pest management.
While serving as interns, these individuals donated another 40 hours of community service during the year to become full-fledged Master Gardener volunteers.
After the first year, volunteers are required to return 20 hours of volunteer service and to attend 12 hours of educational training to remain certified as Master Gardeners.
Continuing education is offered to encourage long-term commitments. Most certified Master Gardeners serve five to seven years. The Master Gardener approach helps the local Extension office reach a broader audience than is possible with only one or two agents. It also provides the local office a way to serve the public and, at the same time, develop a supportive clientele group.
Volunteers help extend the educational arm of the university to the public by providing horticultural information based on university research and recommendations.
The Master Gardener Volunteer program is a great way to gain horticultural expertise at a low cost, meet other avid gardeners, share gardening experiences, get connected to the community, and belong to a well-respected and educational organization.
Anyone interested in this training can call the Choctaw County Extension Office at 285-6337.