Training and developing Master Gardeners (MG) on a multi-county basis benefited Extension personnel and clientele in an Appalachian region in Ohio. Rural clientele increasingly expect credible, research-based information on horticultural issues. Agents within an Extension district in eastern Ohio organized the first rural-based MG program in the state and developed a curriculum specific for the region. Cooperative development of MG allowed a number of counties to benefit from trained volunteers responding to horticultural questions. Since 1994, 10,000 hours of volunteer time have been documented with over 20,000 individual contacts made. The first Master Gardener of the Year in Ohio was a member of the first rural MG group.

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