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EMG Volunteer Guidelines

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NC State Extension Master Gardener℠ Program

Transylvania County

I. Purpose

The purpose of the Extension Master Gardener℠ Program of Transylvania County shall be:

  1. To aid in the coordination of NC Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Volunteers in Transylvania County.
  2. To disseminate to Transylvania County’s citizens information on horticultural practices in accordance with standards approved by the Transylvania County Extension.
  3. To provide opportunities for Extension Master Gardeners to meet with others who have similar interests.
  4. To expand Extension Master Gardener Volunteer’s knowledge of and interest in horticulture and related activities.
  5. To support community and public gardens where appropriate.

II. Membership

Active EMG members are graduates of the Extension Master Gardener training program who have completed the annual re-certification on the website and paid the $10 membership fee. (10-2017). On a continuing annual basis, active members shall give 20 hours of volunteer work in the Extension Master Gardener Program projects approved for that year by the Extension Director. Additionally, veteran members are required to get a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education per year. This is in compliance with the minimum hours set by NC State University.

EMG Interns are students that have taken the formal training class and passed the final exam. Interns are required to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours in EMG programs in order to graduate and become a certified EMG. A minimum of six of the 40 volunteer hours are to be earned at the garden clinic held at the Transylvania Farmers Market and a minimum of 20 hours are to be earned at the Gardens of Silvermont. These volunteer hours must be done during the twelve months following the end of the classroom training but preferably before the end of the calendar year in which they took the training class. Interns may not include education hours as earned volunteer hours their intern year. Exceptions may be made for pre-existing commitments and must be discussed with the Extension Agent.

Active members are required to obtain ongoing education on an annual basis. To aid in this continuing education, the Transylvania EMG Program hosts educational programs on a monthly basis from February through November. There are several other areas where educational hours may be acquired through self-paced learning, including but not limited to, NC State-sponsored educational events. The requirement for a program to qualify for education hours is that it is a high quality, research-based programs approved by the Cooperative Extension or other organization of higher learning

Volunteer hours should be entered on the EMG website as soon as possible after volunteering. All hours must be entered by December 30th of the year earned.

In cases of medical and/or personal situations, an inactive status can be requested and must be approved by the Extension Agent. To re-activate in the program, he or she is encouraged to work with the Extension Agent to obtain recertification as set forth in the NC Extension Master Gardener Program Policies dated January 2, 2020.



  1. Extension Master Gardener Volunteers shall elect officers at the membership’s November meeting. The Nominating Committee Coordinators, which are the Immediate Past President and the outgoing Co-President, or his/her representative shall present candidates for the offices. Other nominations may be made from the floor at the November meeting by a voting member of the EMG Volunteers. A simple majority of those present at the November Monthly Meeting shall rule. The elections shall be completed before November 25th of each year. Newly elected officers shall take office and assume duties in December.
  2. Officers shall be elected for one year term except for the co-presidents which will serve two-year staggered terms.
  3. The Extension Master Gardener Volunteers shall elect two Co-Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer.
  4. The duties of the officers shall be as follows:


  • Presides at Advisory Board meetings and EMG Programs and meetings.
  • Appoints chairpersons and liaisons as needed.
  • The outgoing Co-President shall serve as a Nominating Coordinator for new officers.


  • Takes minutes of all meetings of the Advisory Board.
  • E-mails minutes to the newsletter editor for email distribution to all members.
  • Maintains a record of all minutes which are submitted to the Extension Agent at the end of the year.


  • Works with the Extension Administrative Assistant to obtain financial records for the program.
  • Reviews financial records for errors.
  • Provides a monthly report to the Advisory Board.
  • Submits check requests to the Extension Administrative Assistant as needed.
  • Keeps copies of all financial records which are submitted to the Extension Agent at the end of the year.

Advisory Board

The Extension Master Gardener Volunteers work on behalf of and under the supervision of the N.C. Cooperative Extension. A Transylvania County EMG Advisory Board shall be formed to assist in program planning, implementation and evaluation of the Extension Master Gardener Program.

This Advisory Board shall be made up of ten members including: Two Co-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past President, Educational Programs Liaison, Educational Marketing Liaison, Ancillary Support, Volunteer Coordinator and Gardens of Silvermont Liaison. The co-presidents serve staggered two-year terms.

A simple majority of those Advisory Board members present at a board meeting shall rule. The term of office for board members is one year other than the two co-presidents who shall serve staggered two-year terms. The co-presidents shall determine the frequency and time of Advisory Board meetings. Board meetings are to be held at least quarterly. All active members of the Extension Master Gardener Program are welcome and encouraged to attend Advisory Board meetings but do not have voting privileges.

New committees may be created according to need and assigned to a program or committee section. Existing committees are reviewed annually.



Demonstration garden annual budgets drawn from the general EMG budget are:

  • Gardens of Silvermont operating budget of $1000. (7/2012)
  • The Allison Deavor Herb Gardens operating budget of $200 (5/2019)
  • The Pisgah Ranger Station Pollinator Gardens operating budget of $200 (5/2019)
  • The Library Rain Gardens operating budget of $200 (5/2019)
  • Capital projects over $200 will require board approval. (7/2012)
  • The Farmers Market Booth will have a $500 budget for samples, promotion & educational materials(10/2019)

A Speaker’s Fee budget of $500 shall be funded annually. (5/2012)  The honorarium is $100 for all presenters. Any amount over $100 requires Board approval. Government employees are not eligible for the honorarium. (9/2021). The Spring Symposium speaker’s budget will be decided on an individual basis each year. (6-2015)


In the event of the death of an active EMG Volunteer, $50 will be sent to a charity of the family’s choosing. Additionally, beginning in 2018, a plaque will be placed in the Silvermont Memorial Garden honoring the deceased member. For the death of an active MGV’s family member, $25 will be sent to a charity of the

EMG Volunteer’s choosing. In the event of a retired member’s death, a card will be sent to the family. Hospitalized EMG Volunteers will receive a card from the group. (8/2019)

 The EMG Program is governed by the NC Extension Master Gardener℠ Program Policies. These Guidelines are intended to supplement the State Policies. In the event of any conflict, the State Policies shall prevail.

These guidelines may be amended at any time by a majority vote of those present at an Advisory Board meeting. These guidelines become effective beginning February 3, 2022, and replace those in effect since February 3, 2020. The guidelines were reviewed, revised and approved by the Advisory Board as of February 3, 2022.