The Master Gardener Program in Jefferson County

The Master Gardener Program in Jefferson County started in 1995. Over 220 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 39 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2016. The UWEX Educator facilitating the MG Program is Agriculture Agent Lavern Georgson.

Students Learn in the Kids Garden

As a new and developing after school and community center garden, the Kids Garden in Lake Mills benefited greatly from the addition of tools that were right-sized for them. Under the guidance of MGVs, students started seeds with donated grow lights, experimented with straw bale gardening for a variety of vegetables and learned the benefits of spreading compost in their garden. They harvested a great red and purple potato crop. Sunflowers and Mexican sunflowers were planted to encourage bees and support pollination education.

Programs Offered at Museum

In addition to leading a group of volunteers caring for the grounds, MGV presented a slate of educational programs, free to the public, in and around the Hoard Historical Museum. The highlight of the year was a half day seminar on the herb lavender – its origins, historical uses, modern culinary and household uses, varieties, and care. Other programs included presentations about tools, propagation, and a look at invasive species and their impact.

WE GROW Continues to Grow

This past spring, 60 kindergarten students helped plant pumpkins, a Three Sisters garden and a pizza garden. As first graders in the fall, they harvested their pumpkins and shared them with neighbors around the school. The produce from the gardens was harvested to be cooked and sampled, as well as shared with the student’s families and others. During the summer MGVs completed the handicap accessible portion of the garden. A wheelchair friendly surface and two raised garden tables enable students with special needs to participate.

Volunteer Service in 2015

Youth education 704 hours
Adult education 732 hours
Support services 1481 hours
Total 2917 hours
Value* $64874

Since 2000: 26,886 hours at a value of over $508,865

* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $22.24 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual estimates.

Copy of Master Gardener Symbol - Full Color

Where you can find activities by MGVs in Jefferson Co.

  • Plant Health Advisors at UWEX Office
  • Rotary Park in Jefferson
  • Hoard Historical Museum, Fort Atkinson
  • Jefferson West Elementary
  • St. Joseph 5th grade Aquaponics Class
  • Several local Farmers Markets
  • Seven local church gardens
  • Fort Atkinson Police Department