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NMSU's Master Gardener Programs

Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.

Lauren DeStefano

Image of flowers
Cotoneaster provides winter food source for the birds.

The design of NMSU's Master Gardener Program includes well thought out structure, curriculum, procedures and requirements. Volunteers who complete this program and remain actively involved are committed to helping their county agent more effectively respond and service the needs of the local residents. Participation in the program benefits agency staff, local gardeners, and the landscape they are all working to understand and thoughtfully manage.

Each year's county program produces knowledgeable gardeners who enjoy assisting their local Cooperative Extension Service office in providing accurate, research-based gardening information to county residents. Within the programmatic structure of the Master Gardener Program is a curriculum focused on the fundamentals of good horticultural and biological land management practices. Classes are held at varying times of the year (depending on the county) in an effort to prepare volunteers for service and keep those already trained up to date. Program requirements include necessary procedures and specific activities (some standardized and some unique to the local community's needs). These various projects and volunteer work efforts serve to drive the tangible outcomes of a highly effective program.

A successful Master Gardener Program is dependent on the people that do the work. These include the NMSU specialists, the county agent, and especially the volunteer gardeners who wish to share their expertise with others while being involved in something they enjoy. The NMSU Master Gardener Program began in 1981 in Albuquerque. Today there are over 15 counties in New Mexico with active Master Gardener programs, including an active gardening program on the Navajo Nation. Some counties use Master Gardeners extensively and teach classes annually. Other county agents find that the program is more sustainable if it is taught once every two years. And there are several counties that partner their classes and use technology to deliver the curriculum to the more rural program.

If you are interested in becoming a New Mexico Master Gardener, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service office to find an active program near you. Below are the counties in New Mexico that currently have an active Master Gardener Program. And be sure to check back for continuous updates on this site.

Bernalillo County

To be a Bernalillo County Master Gardener, you need a combination of volunteer and gardening experience, preferably in the Albuquerque area. You must attend a minimum of 40 hours of classes. A minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service must also be completed by October 31.

Bernalillo County Contact Information:
Graeme Davis
(505) 243-1386
Bernalillo County Web Site

Next program begins Tuesday, January 12, 2016.

Chaves County

Chaves County Contact Information:
Sandra Barraza
(505) 622-3210

Colfax County

Colfax County Contact Information:
Boe Lopez
(575) 445-8071

Next program begins Monday, January 11, 2016.

Dona Ana County

Dona Ana County Contact Information:
Jeff Anderson
(575) 525-6649
Dona Ana County Web Site
Dona Ana County Master Gardeners Web Site

Eddy County

Eddy County Contact Information:
Woods Houghton
(575) 887-6596
Eddy County Web Site

Grant County

Grant County Contact Information:
Judy O'Loughlin
(575) 388-1559

Lea County

Lea County Contact Information:
Wayne Cox
(575) 396-2819
Lea County Web Site

Next program begins Thursday, January 7, 2016

Lincoln County

(Joint Master Gardener Program with Otero County)
Lincoln County Contact Information:
Audra Lyon
(575) 648-2311
Lincoln County Web Site

Los Alamos County

Los Alamos Contact Information:
Carlos Valdez
Los Alamos@nmsu.edu
(505) 662-2656
Los Alamos Web Site

Next program begins Tuesday, February 9, 2016.

Luna County

Luna County Contact Information:
Jack Blandford
(575) 546-8806
Luna County Web Site

Otero County

Otero County Contact Information:
Sid Gordon
(575) 437-0231
Otero County Web Site

Sandoval County

Sandoval County Contact Information:
Lynda Garvin
(505) 867-2582
Sandoval County Web Site

Sandoval County Master Gardeners Web Site

Next program begins Tuesday, January 12, 2016.

San Juan County

San Juan County Contact Information:
Bonnie Hopkins
(505) 334-9496
San Juan County Web Site

Santa Fe County

Santa Fe County Contact Information:
Tom Dominguez
(505) 471-4711
Santa Fe County Web Site

Santa Fe County Master Gardeners Web Site

Next program begins Monday/Tuesday, January 25/26, 2016.

Taos County

Taos County Contact Information:
Tony Valdez
(575) 758-3982
Taos County Web Site

Next program begins Wednesday, February 10, 2016.

Valencia County

Valencia County Contact Information:
Newt McCarty
(505) 565-3002
Valencia County Web Site

Valencia County Master Gardeners Web Site

Next program begins Monday, January 11, 2016.