Becoming A Purdue Extension Master Gardener

Thank you for your interest in the Purdue Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Statewide Basic Training. Our main objective is to train volunteers to assist Purdue Extension with home horticulture education in local communities. Purdue EMG’s receive training in horticulture to equip them to fulfill this educational role through volunteering in a variety of projects approved by their local EMG County Coordinator (Purdue Extension Educator). The requirements for Purdue EMG certification include acceptance into the training through an application and screening process, payment of registration fee, completion of the EMG Basic Training which includes passing the open-book final exam with a score of 70% or higher, and contributing at least 40 hours of volunteer service approved by the local EMG County Coordinator within two years. Purdue Extension Master Gardeners are also required to complete at least 12 volunteer and 6 continuing education hours every year in order to stay active.

Classes are typically offered twice a year, in Spring and again in the Fall, in person at the fairgrounds.  Class size will be limited, and those on a waiting list will have first priority.  The class is held on a weekly basis, either in the afternoon OR evening (weekdays), for approximately 3 months.

Steps for Participating in the Training

Step 1: Application

Please complete this interest form.  The Hamilton County Fairgrounds Extension Office will notify you of how to officially apply once the next class is scheduled.

Step 2: Registration and Fees (Once your application is approved, you will receive registration and payment information from our local county office.)  Fees are subject to change.

  • $175.00 for an individual registration with print version of Purdue EMG Manual.
  • $270.00 for two people sharing a print version of the Purdue EMG Manual, both will need application approval prior to registering and paying.
  • Information about the availability/cost of adding a digital version of the manual provided soon.

Please read the Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program Policy Guide and complete, sign, and return the Purdue Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Application and Agreement (Form EMG-1) to Courtney Lockwood, for Hamilton County. You may download the policy guide here: or contact the office to receive a copy.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution and is committed to making all programs accessible to participants. If you require auxiliary aids or services, or if you have other program-related concerns, please contact Courtney Lockwood ( at least 2 weeks prior to the program.

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