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Dean Sylvia Yuen, HDOA Russell Kokubun and Russell Nagate, CTAHR Administrator

History of Master Gardeners

Pictured: Dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Dr. Sylvia Yuen, Representative Russell Kokuban, and Russell Nagata, CTAHR Hawaii County Administrator, at Komohana Research and Extension Center.

The Master Gardener Program was initiated by Seattle Extension Agent, David Gibby in 1972. He developed the program to give interested home gardeners reliable horticultural information as well as the training to educate others. The Master Gardener program was so successful in the state of Washington that it has since become established in nearly all 50 states, and in some provinces in Canada. 

The Komohana Research and Extension Center (KREC)

The Komohana Research and Extension Center in Hilo is part of the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).  The campus functions as an educational center for commercial growers and the general public. Along with the extension staff, Master Gardeners work to establish and maintain the site’s landscape, greenhouses, demonstration garden, and apiary. Classroom facilities are available for community workshops and classes.

CTAHR has 8 Research Experiment Stations and 3 Extension/ Research offices located on Hawaii Island. Faculty and staff conduct educational programs and apply their research efforts to increase diversified and sustainable agriculture in the state, to promote safe and healthy food products, control invasive species, enhance environmental conservation, and train adults and youths in leadership and life skills.

Submitted by Sandra Osborne and Jane Simon, Hawaii Island Master Gardeners
Photo credit:  Nancy Hosticka