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Agriculture & Natural Resources Updates for Fannin & Gilmer Counties

(Left to Right) Gilmer County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers Carol Harris and Karen Hyde pictured with County Extension Agent, Ashley Hoppers, during the 2021 Great Georgia Pollinator Census event hosts at the Gilmer County Public Library.

Becoming a Master Gardener Extension Volunteer (MGEV) is a personal goal that many individuals set for themselves. If becoming a certified MGEV is on your bucket list, then you’re in luck. The Fannin and Gilmer County Extension offices are offering a joint training that will be hosted in both Fannin and Gilmer counties this spring. Applications for the course are available now at both the Fannin and Gilmer County Extension offices. You may also request an application through email.

The Fannin and Gilmer County Extension offices offer a MGEV training once every few years. The next program will feature 42 hours of formal education, as well as a field trip that will feature hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. The first class will be held on March 25th and the final exam will be held on May 23rd.

The first five sessions of the training will be hosted in Fannin County with sessions being taught on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The second half of the training will be delivered in Gilmer County on Mondays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The classroom sessions will be taught by County Extension Agents and Extension Specialists from the University of Georgia, as well as veteran MGEVs.

Participants in the course will learn about plants from the ground up. Subject matter includes soil and fertilizers, plant diseases, insect pests, annual and perennials, ornamentals, turf, native plants, backyard habitat, trees, vegetable gardening, water gardening and many other related topics. Even experienced gardeners learn new techniques and develop a deeper understanding of gardening and troubleshooting garden problems.

Participants who complete the training will become MGEV interns. To obtain the certified MGEV status, the interns must complete 50 hours of required volunteer service during their first year. To complete the 50 hours of service, interns will have many opportunities to engage in Extension projects throughout their community.

Some opportunities will be simple, one-time events that provide information to people looking for help with their garden or landscape, while other volunteer opportunities may involve moderate commitments for a specific event, perhaps involving planning, set-up, implementation, and clean-up.

Interns will also find that some projects that MGEVs coordinate are designed around a specific local issue, and go on for several years! With so many opportunities to plug into serving your community, your time will be rich with experience and you will gain satisfaction in partnering with Extension and helping others.

If you would like to learn more about the upcoming Master Gardener Extension Volunteer training or would like an application, call either the Fannin or Gilmer County Extension office. The deadline for receiving applications will be March 1st. The class will involve gardeners from a multi-county area, so we will not be able to accept everyone that applies. A registration fee of $200 will be charged for each applicant that is accepted into the program.

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