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Penn State Master Gardeners to Honor Volunteers

Nov 07, 2017 • by Penn State Extension
Master Gardeners

Senator Judy Schwank will be an honored guest and presenter of awards at the annual Master Gardener banquet taking place at the Berks County Agricultural Center on November 9, 2017.

Senator Schwank, then County Extension Agent and later County Extension Director, established the Master Gardener Program in Berks County in 1982 as one of five charter programs in Pennsylvania.

In addition to celebrating the program’s 35th year in Berks County, the banquet will honor Master Gardener volunteers who have achieved milestone levels of service hours or of years in the program. 

Notable for outstanding achievement are Peg Huffert and Dale Schwoyer, who are marking their 30th years as Master Gardeners; and Fred Jopp, who has accumulated over 6000 hours of volunteer time in his 19-year Master Gardener career.  

Penn State Master Gardener is a job title, describing a volunteer who has trained to educate the public about horticulture and gardening.  To achieve Master Gardener Certification, candidates complete 40 hours of classroom work and donate 50 hours of volunteer time in their inaugural year.  In ensuing years, a Master Gardener must complete 20 hours of volunteer time plus ten hours of approved advanced training to maintain their certification. 

Persons interested in the Master Gardener Program can learn more by contacting the Penn State Extension office at 610-378-1327 or by viewing the website,

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