Pasco UF/IFAS Graduates 2017 Master Gardeners

Eleven new Master Gardeners complete intensive volunteer training program

The UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County Office proudly graduated a class of eleven (11) new Master Gardeners on Thursday, August 3, 2017.

The UF/IFAS Master Gardener Program offers an intensive horticultural training for select citizens who then volunteer in their community to teach, conduct research, initiate school gardens, help homeowners solve pest problems, help promote Florida‑Friendly Landscaping and water conservation, give lectures and provide many other important outreach programs.

The Pasco Master Gardener class of 2017 went through a demanding, 13‑week course totaling more than 72 hours of classroom instruction.  New volunteers also completed volunteer service hours at the Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service office in various capacities and have now embarked on a year‑long training program where they must earn more than 85 hours of volunteer service and continuing education credits in various capacities throughout Pasco County.

UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County 2017 Master Gardeners
(Front row, left to right: Pam St. Louis, Barbara DeSimone; middle row left to right: Jim Moll (Instructor), Becky Finley, Heather Moran, Eden Santiago-Gomez, Jeannine Thompson, Judith Crowley, Dr. Whitney Elmore (Coordinator/Instructor); back row, left to right: Diane Whitman, Arlen Strickland, Francisco Cuin, and Jessica Eile Keith)

“Master Gardeners, along with other Extension volunteers, are the grease that keeps the wheels of our Extension mission rolling,” said Dr. Whitney Elmore, UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension Director and Urban Horticulture Agent/Master Gardener Coordinator.  “Without them, our services wouldn’t reach even half of the audience we’re currently serving.  Master Gardeners are well-trained, willing to donate their time and sacrifice as much, if not more than, most employees to ensure the job is done and done with pride.”