Thank you for your support of the NC State Extension Master Gardener (EMG) program. We appreciate the time and energy you donate in order to extend educational programs to North Carolina residents. This document clarifies expectations of Master Gardener volunteers (MGVs). A current, signed copy must be on file at the local Extension center in order for the MGV to be covered by NC State University’s liability protection plan. The NC EMG Program Guidelines are available at go.ncsu.edu/emg-program-guidelines. Volunteers not adhering to all items in this agreement may forfeit their ability to participate in the EMG program.
As an Master Gardener volunteer, I agree to do the following:
1. Volunteer a minimum of 20 hours of approved service within the calendar year.
2. Acquire a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education credits.
3. Abide by the following Code of Conduct:
- I will perform my duties with dignity and pride as a representative of NC State University, follow university and county policies, and work under the supervision of an NC State or NC A&T University employee.
- I will respect and interact in a professional manner with paid staff, volunteers, and clientele. I will be a positive role model, refraining from profanity, harassment, disruptive behavior, or abuse of any kind
- I will perform assigned duties without financial compensation or workers’ compensation coverage. I will not accept personal payment for speaking engagements or other activities performed as a Master Gardener volunteer.
- I will provide unbiased, research-based information consistent with NC State University recommendations.
- I will make no recommendations or endorsements of a particular product or place of business. Nor will I use my title as a Master Gardener volunteer for commercial or private business.
- I will provide cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical recommendations to clientele so that they can make an informed decision about integrated pest management.
- I will restrict my chemical pesticide recommendations to only those in the North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual, recent Extension publications, or pesticide labeling. I will encourage clients to read the pesticide labeling themselves rather than providing them with dilution or application recommendations.
- I will restrict my answers to questions within my area of expertise or training. I will not answer questions concerning household pests, commercial horticulture, herbicide damage, hazardous tree evaluation, medical or legal questions, or determining if a questionable plant or mushroom is edible.
- I will submit written materials that I prepare (news articles, news releases, newsletters, leaflets) for review and approval by the Extension agent or the appropriate subject matter Extension specialist or state EMG program coordinator prior to printing.
- I will refer requests for information by newspaper reporters to the Extension agent.
- I will refer possible poisoning cases to the Carolina's Poison Center (800-848-6946).
- I will wear my EMG nametag when doing volunteer work for Extension.
- I will dress in an appropriate and professional manner suitable for the activity or location I am participating in. “Office casual” is appropriate for speaking engagements, indoor plant clinics, and schools. Gardening work clothes are appropriate for working in demonstration gardens and some outdoor events.
- I will maintain a neat and clean appearance that is appropriate for the workplace setting and for the work being performed.
- I will not make copies of copyrighted material for distribution without written permission from the copyright owner.
- I will not sign contracts on behalf of Extension or the EMG program.
- I will not display discriminatory behavior (based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, and sexual orientation), sexual harassment, alcohol or drug use, or carry a dangerous weapon while serving as a Master Gardener volunteer.
I have read and agree to abide by the EMG Program Policies and Code of Conduct regarding my service as a Master Gardener volunteer.
Printed Name: ________________________________________
Publication date: Sept. 14, 2017
Last updated: Sept. 14, 2017
Other Publications in NC State Extension Master Gardener Program Guidelines
- I. North Carolina Cooperative Extension
- II. North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program
- III. North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Training
- IV. NC State Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Policies
- V. North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Procedures
- VI. North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Fund-Raising
- VII. Sources of Additional Information
- Appendix A. Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Position Classifications and Descriptions
- Appendix B. Examples of North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Roles
- Appendix C: NC State Extension Master Gardener Program Student/Intern Code of Conduct Form
- Appendix D: NC State Extension Master Gardener Program Volunteer Recertification Code of Conduct Form
- Appendix E. State and Local Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Associations
- Appendix F. Social Media Policy