Master Gardeners have four major objectives, as defined in the Texas Master Gardener Management Guide:
- to expand the capabilities of Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service to disseminate horticultural information to individuals and groups in the community,
- to develop and enhance community projects related to horticulture, including: horticultural therapy projects, community gardens, and demonstration gardens,
- to develop a Master Gardener network to assist in administration of the local Master Gardener Program,
- to enhance 4-H programs through the establishment of 4-H horticultural clubs and Junior Master Gardener groups.
KCMGA achieves these objective through a variety of activities, described throughout this site, including:
- Distributing horticultural information to the community through:
- Answering questions by telephone and at local events,
- Distributing horticultural literature,
- Organizing local horticultural education events,
- Consulting with local organizations on horticultural issues and
- Showcase the best in horticultural practices by:
- Designing and maintaining demonstration gardens,
- Assisting in design and maintenance of community gardens,
- Participating in garden trials.
Kaufman County Master Gardeners are local volunteers who are actively interested in lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens and in sharing our knowledge with our neighbors. We offer several programs and seminars every year, have information booths at local events and answer specific questions about gardening, landscaping and pest management. We also maintain a Facebook page where we post gardening information, news about plants, diseases and pests and newly-released research findings. We are affiliated with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and sponsored by . In 2020, Kaufman County Master Gardeners contributed over 3,250 hours of volunteer and training time. At the state-determined rate of $25.43 per hour, that comes to $88,385 in benefit to the county.
What sets Kaufman County Master Gardeners apart from other gardeners is their special training in horticulture. To become a Master Gardener, an individual attends at least 50 hours of instruction in botany, soil science, entomology, plant pathology, turf grass, fruits, nuts, and berries, vegetable gardening and other horticultural topics. Every year after, each Master Gardener must complete an additional 6 hours of continuing education training.
During their internship year, which follows the 10-week training class, Master Gardener interns contribute a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer time working in the Garden Learning Center and other gardens, answering questions and distributing information at a variety of community events and helping with the organization and presentation of horticultural education programs. After their first year, interns become certified Master Gardeners who continue to contribute a minimum of 18 hours of volunteer time each year.