Whether your interests include working with kids, your community or plants and flowers, you can volunteer your time with the University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension and make a difference. The mission of both UGA Extension and our volunteer program is to connect the community with research-based, unbiased information with classes, events, and hands-on learning.

There are many ways in which you can engage with Extension as a volunteer.

Master Gardener Extension Volunteers

Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEVs) are trained volunteers with unique skills and abilities, who share a love of plants and gardens and an enthusiasm for learning. They come in a variety of ages, personalities and professions, all united by a passion for teaching others.

You don’t even need horticulture experience to apply. Metro Atlanta applications are open in the fall and if accepted, MGEV Trainees complete 42 hours of core horticultural training, pass two exams and complete 50 hours of volunteer service, before becoming an official MGEV.

Master Family and Consumer Sciences Volunteers

Referred to as “Home Economics” in the past, the Family and Consumer Sciences program provides unbiased information related to health, nutrition, food safety, financial literacy, the family and the home.

Master Family and Consumer Sciences Volunteers (MFACSVs) don’t need experience in these areas to apply. All that’s required is a desire to learn and a passion to teach others through hands-on activities and classes. There is not a set application period, but mandatory training is required.

4-H Youth and Development Volunteers

Georgia 4-H provides experiences for young people up to 18 years old. 4-H’ers complete hands-on projects and attend clubs in our focus areas of Agriculture and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Healthy Living and Civic Engagement.

4-H Volunteers coordinate local community clubs and help to plan and conduct local, regional, state and national 4-H events. Some volunteer leaders work directly with youth and others serve as trainers and mentors.

Volunteers are absolutely essential to Extension’s work. If you’re interested in learning more, please call 1-800-ASK-UGA1, contact your local Extension office or visit extension.uga.edu, click on ‘About,’ then scroll to ‘Volunteers.’

Lead photo by Alturas Homes, courtesy of Pexels