Junior Master Gardener


Junior Master Gardener Program 

Welcome to the Junior Master Gardener (JMG) program. The JMG curriculum provides a hands-on approach to learning horticulture, environmental science, leadership, and life skills. This program is committed to helping young people become gardeners and contributing citizens.

Who Can Participate in JMG? 
Everyone! We only ask that the teacher/leader be willing to work with youth! The JMG leader does not have to be a Master Gardener to lead a JMG group. If the leader needs garden resources and information, they can contact the local County Extension Service for support. JMG groups are organized through public/private schools, home school groups, and after-school programs.  Many groups utilize the JMG program in their 4-H clubs, YMCA activities, and Girl Scout/Boy Scout badge work.
JMG Curriculum
The JMG Level 1 youth handbook and teacher/leader guide consists of 8 chapters: plant growth and development, soils and water, ecology and environmental horticulture, insects and disease, landscape horticulture, fruits and nuts, vegetables and herbs, and life skills/career exploration.
Our Golden Ray Series provides youth gardeners the chance to learn in-depth specific areas of horticulture and environmental sciences. The first Golden Ray Series release, “Health and Nutrition from the Garden,” is available now. This curriculum contains hands-on garden related activities to teach gardening basics, growing techniques, thrifty gardens, food safety, ABC’s of healthful eating, and healthful snacks. The variety of activities is sure to excite youth and adults.
JMG Level 2 Operation Thistle: Seeds of Despair, is our newest curriculum. This novel and hands-on module of the JMG curriculum combines the teacher/leader guide with reproducible pages of the youth handbook into one book. Through dozens of activities, students can investigate plant growth & development, take part in service learning projects, and earn certification all while being engaged in an urgent mission to defeat Dr. Thistle!
Become a certified Junior Master Gardener

Certification is the highest level of program participation and includes certification in all eight chapters. To be certified, youth must complete one group and one individual activity in each learning concept. Level One contains 44 learning concepts. Youth must also complete one leadership/service-learning project per chapter. When youth complete these activities, the JMG teacher/leader sends in the completion form that lists the names of the children who have met the program requirements. This form is found in the appendix of the teacher/leader guide. When the JMG office receives the completion form, a completion certificate for each JMG youth will be sent to the JMG teacher/leader. JMG certification medals are a great recognition item for youth and can be ordered through the JMG Shop.


Or . . . Earn a Golden Ray Recognition



Golden Ray recognition is offered to youth that complete a small part of the JMG program. Groups can choose to focus on a chapter or a specific topic. There are two ways to achieve this recognition:

  • Option One: One of the eight chapters in the JMG handbook can be completed as a Golden Ray Series
  • Option Two: Complete one of the Golden Ray Series curriculum. Now available is the first of the series, “Health and Nutrition from the Garden.” Golden Ray Recognition medals are available for youth who achieve certification and can be ordered from the JMG Shop.

Or . . . Nominate your Club for JMG Club of the Month

The Junior Master Gardener National Group of the Month is selected for outstanding efforts in their school and communities. The National JMG Group of the Month is featured on the front page of the JMG website and featured in the JMG National Newsletter.

If your JMG Club has done some great things nominate them for the JMG CLub of the Month by going to http://www.jmgkids.us/index.k2?did=2480&sectionID=2018

How Do I Register?

 To become a registered JMG group:

  1. Have a minimum of five youth in a group
  2. Have one or more adult leaders or teachers for the group
  3. Have a suitable meeting facility (i.e.: classroom, garden area, etc.)
  4. Fill out the enrollment packet that is in the teacher/leader guide appendix (pg. 217) or download it from the web page http://www.jmgkids.us/index.k2?did=2035&sectionID=2017
    • JMG Registration Agreement Form
    • JMG Group Enrollment Form
    • JMG Leader/Teacher FormSend completed enrollment packet to the JMG office
  5. When your enrollment packet is received your group will receive a certificate showing that the group is a registered program. The enrollment packet does not obligate all youth to become registered Junior Master Gardeners. It simply recognizes that youth at a particular site are participating in the JMG program.
 Why Should I Register My Group?
Registering your group is fast and free. You are not obligated to join the Junior Master Gardener program (no annual fees, you aren’t obligated to complete the entire program, etc.) Registering gives us a way of knowing where our program is working and how we can provide program updates and information to you. The greatest advantage to registering your group is that registered groups may submit pictures to be added to their very own web page within the National JMG web site.
The JMG Shop
The Shop is the sole producer of the JMG curriculum along with a variety of JMG materials - including shirts, hats, recognition medals, and much more! Call or go online to order from the JMG Shop:
            Phone: (979) 845-8565
            Toll free: (888) 900-2577
            Online: www.jmgkids.us
What’s In the Junior Master Gardener Trunk?

The Junior Master Gardener Trunk contains supplies to complete 13 lessons from the Junior Master Gardener Level I Manual. Enclosed is the supply list for the 13 activities; the items that are marked with an asterisk (*) are the supplies that you will need to provide yourself; otherwise all other supplies should be included in the trunk. The CD included in the trunk contains awesome resources you can print out locally. * Trunks should be returned the JMG Team via your county extension office.

Utah School and Garden Network

The Utah School and Garden Network website is a good resource for gardening with kids and schools interested in gardening. There are tips for both indoor and outdoor gardens. http://www.utahgardennetwork.org/

 Youth Garden Grants

The National Gardening Association has posted the upcoming garden grants: http://www.kidsgardening.com/grants.asp

Who can I contact for more information?

Contact the Utah State University Extension JMG Team:

Dave Francis - Utah State JMG Coordinator

Dr. Dallas Holmes
Dr. Ralph Whitesides