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History of the Master Gardener Program & the UC

The UC Master Gardener Program was created to aid in the dissemination of research-based information to the community backyard growers of California. The Program is part of the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and falls under the guidance of our UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisors. 

A little history on the UC Cooperative Extension and Master Gardener Program...

  • 1862 - MORRILL ACT – established Land Grant Colleges: at least one institution of higher learning in every state (California’s are U.C. Berkeley, Riverside, & Davis)
  • 1887 – HATCH ACT – established cooperation between U.S.D.A./Land Grant Colleges: agricultural research stations to provide technical, practical knowledge to farmers
  • 1914 – SMITH-LEVER ACT – established Cooperative Extension “…development of practical applications of research knowledge and giving of instruction and practical demonstration…to persons not attending said colleges”: local governments & extension offices
  • 1979 – California’s First Master Gardener Programs are started in Riverside County and Sacramento County
  • 1981 – El Dorado County started their First Master Gardener Program
  • 1983 – Calaveras and Tuolumne counties created their first Master Gardener Program