BIG RAPIDS — Michigan State University Extension is offering fall online training courses to become an Extension Master Gardener volunteer.

These 14-session training courses will be available online at various dates and times and are based out of several counties throughout the state. Participants will need high speed internet connection and a computer, phone or tablet with a camera and audio capabilities.

The cost for this 50+ hour course is $325. Partial scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Additional details for the upcoming Extension Master Gardener Training Courses are available at

To find these classes, you may do a google search for MSU upcoming Extension Master Gardener Classes.

According to a news release, this online option is a great way to learn research-based gardening information while interacting with MSU Extension horticulture experts — all from the comfort of your home.

Course topics include plant science, soil science, diagnostics, integrated pest management, fruits, vegetables, flowers, trees and shrubs, indoor plants, lawns and more.

Participants from this past spring’s unanticipated online training courses were overwhelmingly positive. As one participant stated, “I highly recommend the MSU Extension Master Gardener online class. The online format was user-friendly and made me feel more comfortable asking questions than I might have in-person.

“Through the online lessons, we were able to learn practical information from experts in their fields from across the state of Michigan. I learned from experts in woody ornamentals, entomology, vegetables, fruit trees, lawns, diagnostics, and so much more.”

Registration for the Extension Master Gardener Training Course includes a two-step process. The first step involves completing the MSU Extension Volunteer Selection Process (VSP) to become an MSU Extension volunteer. This process consists of providing three to five references, a criminal history check, acceptance of the Volunteer Code of Conduct, and an interview.

Once individuals complete the VSP application, they will receive an email with the EMG Training Course registration link to complete the second step: registering and paying for the course.

Registration deadlines vary by course site so be sure check the deadline for the location being considered. Questions about the registration process may be directed to the contact person for the course site being considered.