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Whitney McKeown
Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
550 N Madison
Carthage, IL 62321
Phone: 217-357-2150
FAX: 217-357-3598

Dorothy Welbourne
Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
1301 E Washington
Pittsfield, IL 62363
Phone: 217-285-5543
FAX: 217-285-5735

Jennifer Shelts
Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development
University of Illinois Extension
710 Maple Avenue
Rushville, IL 62681
Phone: 217-322-3381
FAX: 217-322-3382

Unit 14 Master Gardeners

Unit 14 Master Gardeners

Who We Are

If you enjoy gardening and like to learn to share your gardening knowledge, the Master Gardener program may be for you. All you need is an interest in gardening, an open mind, and a willingness to share your knowledge with others.

The task to the Master Gardeners is to share unbiased, reliable, research-based information with home landscapers and gardeners. Another important function is to encourage young people to enjoy the pleasures of flower and vegetable growing.

Brief History

The Master Gardener program is an all-volunteer organization sanctioned by the land grant institution in each state and functions as an extension of the college or university. In Illinois, the program is sponsored by University of Illinois Extension.

Master Gardener Training

We will be offering training in 2019

Attendance at all 11 Master Gardener training classes is required to complete the training. The training series is offered one day a week beginning each year in January and ending in April. Classes normally run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Master Gardeners participate in more than 60 hours of training on botany, vegetables, lawn care, tree and small fruits, diseases, insects, soils, composting, pesticide safety, fertilizers, pruning, trees and flowers. The sessions are taught by University of Illinois specialists and Extension educators. Training is coordinated by area horticulture Extension educators.


There is a fee which includes the Master Gardener manual and any additional training materials used. In return for the training, Master Gardeners give back 60 hours of volunteer time in the 2 years following the training.  After that to maintain active Master Gardener status, Master Gardeners are asked to give back 30 hours of volunteer time each year and 10 hours of continuing education.

 If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener please contact Kari Houle ( for more information.