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Code of Ethics
The title of Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener is a credential granted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension Horticulture Program. Wisconsin Extension Master Gardeners look for opportunities to contribute to their communities through horticulture-related service and education. They recognize that they are not an expert in every subject, but rather a resource for people. If they don’t have the answers, they know where to find them and how best to share information in an unbiased way. Master Gardeners regularly record their volunteer service and continuing education hours in order to document their contributions in horticulture education and activities.
Wisconsin Extension Master Gardeners will abide by the following standards when conducting volunteer activities or obtaining continuing education related to their participation in the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener program:
- Know and follow established program guidelines and policies of the organizations(s) in which they provide community service. They understand that they are considered a volunteer of these organization(s).
- Maintain high standards of integrity, conduct, service, and performance.
- Work cooperatively with others, including Extension staff, program participants, and community members, to further the purpose of the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program and the Division of Extension.
- Accept supervision and guidance from Extension staff or organization(s) they are volunteering for.
- Be courteous, respectful of others and their views, and use effective conflict resolution skills.
- Promote a spirit of cooperation in all activities.
- Act as a trustworthy and ethical resource for other gardeners in the community.
- Use unbiased University research-based information in education and volunteer activities.
- Promote and support the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program.
- Conduct themself in a manner that is in the best interest of the Division of Extension and the organizations(s) for which they volunteer for.
- Take part in training requirements designed to help them be a more effective participant in the program.
- Understand that the credential and participation may be rescinded in the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener at any time for any reason that falls outside of applicable protected bases.
Master Gardeners must not:
- Participate in lobbying, activism, or advocacy for policy change. While these activities are important, they should be completed independently of the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener program.
- Engage in any form of abuse, harassment, neglect, or discrimination.
- Consume or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances.
- Use the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension, and/or the Wisconsin Master Gardener title(s) or logo(s) for personal profit.
A code of ethics is in place to preserve the integrity of the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program. Individuals who do not follow the code of ethics or who misuse the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener title may receive a warning or be removed from the program at any time. Extension has the right to rescind your credential and participation in the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener program at any time for any reason that falls outside of applicable protected bases, https://compliance.wisc.edu/eo-complaint/, identified by the University of Wisconsin-Madison or the Division of Extension for visitors and program participants.