The Master Gardener (MG) program operates in conjunction with the cooperative extension service in most states. The training, management, and administration of these volunteers vary widely from state to state. This paper presents a 4-year analysis of the initial cost of training Minnesota MGs and their volunteer hours contributed to the Minnesota Extension Service. The average training cost was $89 / person (based on the total number of volunteers certified 2 years after the training) with an average of 59 ($711 at $12/h) and 40 ($474) hours volunteered or paid back over the first and following years, respectively. In all years, hours volunteered exceeded program expectations of 50 hours the first year and 25 hours thereafter.
- Consumer horticulture
- Volunteer management