The Master Gardener Program in Jeﬀerson County started in 1995. Over 236 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 31 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Agriculture Agent Lavern Georgson.
Volunteer Service in 2016
|Youth Education||638 hours|
|Adult Education||645 hours|
Since 2000: 29,965 hours at a value of over $578,069
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $22.48 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual estimates.
Where you can find activities by MGVs
- Rotary Park in Jeﬀerson
- Hoard Historical Museum, Fort Atkinson
- Seasonal Farmers Markets
- Fort Atkinson Police Department
- Jeﬀerson County Fair
- Jeﬀerson Schools
- Rock River Community Garden, Jeﬀerson
- Lake Mills Kid’s Garden
Plant Health Advisors Answer Questions
A group of specially trained Plant Health Advisors work in their own oﬃce at the Jeﬀerson County UW-Extension oﬃce 2 days per week from May through September, for 2 (or more) hours per shift, answering homeowners’ questions about all aspects of gardening. This year, MGVs spent over 140 hours to serve 50 clients who carried in, called, or emailed questions and problems.
Students Learn in Aquaponics Program
This program was facilitated by a MGV at St. Joseph School in Fort Atkinson. Fifth graders demonstrated both plant and animal growth environments in a 10-gallon aquarium. The class grew several small freshwater fish and a variety of plants from lettuce to radishes, onions, houseplants and herbs. When algae started to cloud the water, one of the students suggested the introduction of a cleaning species of fish. The water clarified in several days. Additional plant projects were conducted from “seed to seed” using a four-shelf lighted plant/seed shelf unit.
Educating at Local Farmer’s Markets
MGV’s staﬀed a booth at local winter and summer Farmers Markets to educate the public about the MG Program and our local projects, answer gardening questions, and provide contact information for those who may be interested in upcoming training courses. A hands-on activity on tree identification showed sample branches and cones from diﬀerent species to demonstrate that “All Green Trees are not Pines“. We also showed how to use coir fiber blocks as an alternative to peat moss and other non- renewable materials in soilless planting medium and had coir blocks available for purchase.