Upcoming Events

2019 Master Gardener Class Open!

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Would you like to become a Master Gardener? Your local County Extension offices are in the process of recruiting a Master Gardener Volunteer class for spring 2019. Classes will begin Tuesday, January 29, 2019 so get your applications in now. The registration deadlines are as follows:


Early Registration ends Tuesday January 15, 2019 with a fee of $125.00


Any applications postmarked after the January 15, 2019 early registration deadline will result in a fee of $150.00.


Registration ends January 24, 2019.


The Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a nationwide Extension Education Program designed for non-professionals with interest in increasing their gardening and landscaping skills and helping others with the knowledge they have gained.


The program will be 1 day a week for 13 weeks of class and hands on training. After completing the courses, the Master Gardener Volunteer interns will be expected to give 10 hours of service to the Master Gardener Helpline and 40 hours of volunteer service to Alabama Extension and their communities. Interns can earn volunteer credit hours by participating in approved local area projects or programs that benefit various members of the community, and are consistent with the goals of Alabama Extension.


The courses on gardening will be taught by specialists, extension agents, and veteran Master Gardeners on subjects such as: Soils and Plant Nutrition, Plant Physiology, Plant Propagation, Care of Landscape Plants, Landscape Design, Lawn Care, Weed Identification, Vegetable Gardening, Herbs, Composting, and many more.


The Master Gardener class will be held on Tuesdays from 9:00-2:00 at 4 locations:  Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah, and Marshall County Extension Offices.


Mandatory Orientation will be held January 29, 2019 at the Sand Mountain Research and Extension Center, Crossville, AL.  All remaining classes will be at the 4 locations listed above. So, choose one of the four county offices that is convenient for you and join in!!


This class is open to all residents 18 years old and older. Stop by your local county Extension office for an application.  Call Eric Schavey, Regional Extension Agent for more information. (Etowah County Annex Building 3200A West Meighan Boulevard, Gadsden, AL 35904, Phone: (256) 547-7936).

Alabama Row Crops Short Course

Row Crops Short Course Graphic

Please mark your calendars for the 2018 Alabama Row Crops Short Course, a 1 and half-day event to provide farmers, crop consultants, and extension agents with cutting edge information on management practices and technologies for increasing production​. ​You can register for free online by December 7th at: http://www.aces.edu/go/946

For more information, contact Brenda Ortiz at bvo0001@auburn.edu or Audrey Gamble at avg0001@auburn.edu

“Learn on your own Turf” to begin January 2019!


picture of brown bag lunches and apples

Presented by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System- Etowah County Office..”We bring the learning to you!”

The Etowah County Extension Office would like to bring on site learning opportunities to local businesses and companies while employees eat lunch or are on breaks.   “Learn on your own Turf” is an informal way for you to receive up to date information on topics that concern you while also being able to ask questions of local Extension staff.  Topics include, but are not limited to:  gardening topics, estate planning basics, healthier lifestyles, nutrition, food safety, fly fishing, forestry, 4-H parent orientation, Beef 101, Swine 101, General animal nutrition, poultry 101, pond upkeep, grass and forages, and many more.  Workshops are free.  If interested in Extension programming coming to your workplace, please have your HR department representative to contact the Etowah Extension Office at 256.547.7936 to get on the calendar.

Farming Basics Online Course Available

logo detailing farming basics

More people than ever are interested in giving farming a try.  In the past, people turned to farming family members for help.  Today, most people are generations removed from farming.

To help budding farmers get started, Alabama Extension now offers a free online course, Farming Basics. Launched Sept. 10, the course addresses critical topics in agriculture.


Alabama Extension director Gary Lemme calls the course a groundbreaking digital effort.


“Anyone who is considering farming but has little to no experience will reap rewards by completing the course,” says Lemme.  He adds that Farming Basics is a valuable tool for experienced farm owners as well.


“Established producers can use the course as a refresher in best practices,” says Lemme.  “Additionally, they can use it to train new employees.”


Jewell and Russell Bean of S & B Farm in Barbour County agree the course is exactly what beginning farmers need.


“Farming Basics is filled with good information,” Russell Bean says. “We recommend it as a resource not only for beginning farmers but seasoned producers as well.”


Farming Basics’ five chapters feature video presentations and additional resources which enhance the course’s content depth. A short quiz at the end of each chapter offers participants the opportunity to review and reinforce content concepts. The course takes about two hours to complete. Upon completion, participants receive a certificate.


Dr. Ayanava Majumdar, Farming Basics project leader, says more than 200 people have already pre-registered for the course.


“Farming is challenging for experienced farmers, and it can be overwhelming to people new to it,” says Majumdar.  “Our goal with Farming Basics is to help new producers develop knowledge and critical skills, enabling them to reduce mistakes and achieve profitability more rapidly.”

The course covers farm management and marketing, pesticide safety, food safety, basic crop production and pest management. Find the course at https://aces.catalog.auburn.edu/.


Farming Basics follows the proven model of Beef Basics, Alabama Extension’s first online agriculture course.


Lemme says these courses serve as the foundation of the organization’s growing commitment to online learning.


“Because of programs like this, we are becoming a nationally recognized leader in digital learning.”


Currently, the Beginning Farmer program provides intense on-farm guidance to more than 60 beginning farmers, including military veterans, women and socially disabled individuals. The advisory service has an 85 percent adoption rate and has increased yields by improving crop quality and reducing insecticide use with pest prevention.


Alabama Extension operates as the primary outreach organization for the land-grant functions of Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities.

Contact your local Etowah County Extension Office at 256.547.7936 for more details.