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Three reasons to volunteer with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Statewide volunteer programs offer a vibrant community of individuals looking to give back

Texas 4-H volunteers serve in a variety of roles to help create success for the Texas 4-H program. (Texas A&M AgriLife)

Every day, volunteers from all walks of life step up to give back to the people, land and natural resources across Texas through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Boasting a robust volunteer network bringing together nearly 83,500 people from across the state, AgriLife Extension offers a variety of opportunities to become engaged with your local community through volunteering in ways meaningful to both yourself and your surrounding community.

“Our volunteers are the backbone of AgriLife Extension’s mission,” said Courtney Dodd, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension associate director for health, youth and families. “Because of them, we are able to connect in even more meaningful, impactful ways with our communities. They are a critical part to our agency, and we could not be more in awe of their passion and selfless service to the state of Texas.”

AgriLife Extension offers four statewide programs that utilize volunteers — Texas Master Gardeners, Texas Master Naturalists, Texas Master Wellness and Texas 4-H Youth Development. These programs and others provide a multitude of unique opportunities for those looking to give back given the agency’s wealth of partnerships and programs.

“We have so many opportunities to volunteer that you can really find one aligned with your personal passions and interests,” Dodd said. “We want our volunteers to be able to build their own experience based on their interests.”

Master Naturalist works to develop volunteers to be dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources. (Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife)

Reasons to volunteer with AgriLife Extension
Become a ‘master’ while you give back
Master volunteers are local people in a community interested in a specific topic and a desire to serve others. These AgriLife Extension volunteer programs provide training to increase their knowledge and skills in their program of choice. After volunteers complete the training for the program of their choosing, they are allowed to teach youth or adults, train other volunteers, or work on projects within their community.

Texas Master Gardener volunteers are trained to provide horticultural-related information within their communities. (Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M AgriLife)

Immerse yourself in an opportunity perfect for you
After completing training for a program, you can continue learning while aligning your volunteer efforts with your interests. The wide range of AgriLife Extension programs offer everything from aligning healthy eating, youth development, environment stewardship and more.

Master Wellness volunteers complete training related to health, nutrition, food safety and other topics. (Courtesy photo)

Find a community of like-minded individuals in your area
Volunteers have an advantage in creating a community within their program whenever partners and other professionals are invited for workshops. They are encouraged to socialize, ask questions and form friendships with like-minded individuals. Building their network and establishing a community within the program allows volunteers to work together to create more opportunities inside and outside their program.

To find out more about the volunteer opportunities in your area, contact your local county AgriLife Extension office.