Loudoun County Master Gardeners operate under the auspices of Virginia Tech and the Loudoun County Cooperative Extension office.
Virginia Cooperative Extension is an educational outreach program of Virginia’s land grant universities: Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, and a part of the national Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. Every state has a Cooperative Extension office and now 48 states have a Master Gardener Program. The Master Gardener Program was established to assist the Extension office in meeting the enormous increase in requests from homeowners for horticultural information and advice.
“Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners (VCE-MGs) are a vital part of Virginia Cooperative Extension with more than 4,000 active volunteers in nearly all counties throughout the Commonwealth. In 2003, VCE-MGs contributed more than 230,000 hours and made more than 350,000 contacts on behalf of VCE and Virginia Tech. The amount of volunteer time provided by VCE-MGs is comparable to 111 full time equivalents and has an economic value of nearly $4.6 million. VCE Master Gardener volunteers are an invaluable and irreplaceable asset to the citizens of Virginia.” David D. Close, State Master Gardener Coordinator, Virginia Tech.