Virginia Cooperative Extension relies on volunteers to accomplish its mission. We believe that active citizen involvement in our programs makes a difference in our success. The work of volunteers at the local level helps us leverage our paid faculty and staff resources into a much greater impact for the people of Virginia.

There are many ways you can get involved with us. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss available opportunities.

Virginia Cooperative Extension relies on volunteers to accomplish its mission.

The two main programs at our Hanover office are the Master Gardeners and 4-H.

 All volunteers are required to pass a background check every 3 years. Volunteers who work directly with Youth may need additional screenings. 4-H volunteers who participate in Junior camp are required to pass a background check every year prior to the start of camp.

The Master Gardener program, offered through Virginia's two land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, provides intensive horticultural training to individuals who then volunteer as Master Gardeners in their communities by working with residents, carrying out projects, diagnosing plant problems, conducting research, and many other projects.

Become a Hanover County Master Gardener through our training program. Master Gardeners are volunteer educators of environmentally sound horticultural practices. They seek to improve the quality of life in their communities through education. Master Gardeners are individuals who

  • are specially trained by Extension
  • love gardening
  • enjoy teaching others
  • feel a strong commitment to community service
  • feel strongly about preserving natural resources

The Master Gardener Program begins with a 60 hour training class that is followed by a 50 hour internship during which volunteer service is performed. The training class covers the basic subjects of soils and nutrient management, basic botany, insects, plant diseases, pruning, propagation, safe pesticide use and integrated pest management, as well as the more specific subjects of landscape design, vegetable gardening, trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, organic gardening, fruits, roses, lawn care and establishment, water gardening, herbs, wildlife management, water quality/conservation, yard waste management, and more. Trainees have the chance to educate and inspire others in their communities through horticultural activities. Volunteer tasks may include visiting elementary schools with gardening demonstrations, creating a horticulture therapy program at a senior center, volunteering at a local plant clinic, or helping a neighborhood homeowner with gardening questions and plant selection. Individuals must contribute a minimum of 50 hours of internship before becoming certified.


Participants become certified Master Gardeners after they have completed the training course and fulfilled their internship volunteer commitment. There are continued requirements yearly to maintain certification: 20 hours of approved volunteer service and 8 hours of approved education and record keeping via the Extension Volunteer Management System.

For more information


Provide your first and last name, phone number and county/city of residence

I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.

A 4-H Club is an organized group of youth (ages 9-19) with elected officers and a planned program that is conducted throughout the year or the majority of the year. Clubs are lead by adult volunteer leaders and may focus on one or more project areas. Club officers conduct monthly business meetings. Members also participate in a variety of learning experiences in their organizational meeting as well as within their project areas. Project meetings may be held as often as deemed necessary, but at least once a month.

Like all 4-H programming, the number and type of clubs is determined by the number of willing volunteers. Did 4-H touch your life as a child?  Help the next generation experience 4-H become a leader or Adult Volunteer.  Contact or 804-752-4309

Leader Training requires a passing a background check every three years, attendance at leader training classes and record keeping via 4-HOnline. Adult 4-H volunteers who participate in Junior camp are required to pass a background check every year prior to the start of camp.

Adult Volunteers are needed to help at various county and district wide events. We will work with your availability if at all possible.


Judges at our communication arts contests held December-March 3-4 hours

Volunteers to help run the County Hippology (horse knowledge) event in December 5- 7 hours

Camp Chaperones at Jamestown Residential Junior Camp  Summer 1-5 days (5 days preferred but we will work with your schedule if possible)

Other 4-H shows and events.

For more information about 4-H please visit the 4-H Youth Development page.