Anyone with a garden, lawn, trees or house plants has a use for compost! Composting is about recycling organic material back to the soil in a usable form. It’s also about reawakening our awareness of the value of healthy soil in the food web. Composting is practical, convenient and inexpensive.
We are now offering TWO TRACKS to the Extension Master Composter program. What's the difference?
- Track 1 is the full certification course: it includes online coursework and a 20-hour volunteer component.
- Track 2 students complete the same online course, but do not need to do the volunteer hours, and cannot receive a certification. Read on to see which is right for you.
Vermont Master Composter Certification (Track 1)
This track is for those who will complete the volunteer service to receive Master Composter Volunteer Certification. As a volunteer, you will be trained in the basic concepts of backyard composting and community outreach and have the knowledge and resources to train and encourage others to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Get support from a growing network of Master Composters, and work with others to plan regional outreach activities.
Track 1 Fee: $50 ( i.e. $12.50 per module)
.Track 1 may be right for you if you are:
- Eager to improve your community and share your knowledge as a community educator
- Interested in Environmental Stewardship and willing to promote environmentally safe composting practices.
- Willing to serve as Master Composter volunteer year to year, and maintain your certification.
- Able to complete the 20 hours of volunteer service within 2 years of taking the course to receive Master Composter Certification.
Track 1 Requirements:
- Complete the online course: six modules, four live online Q&A sessions with instructors, an online manual, quizzes, final exam (70% or better) and additional course materials.
- Participate in a 20-hour hands-on volunteer internship in your local area to earn certification as a Vermont Master Composter.
Track 1 Benefits:
- Receive a course completion letter and intern badge upon completing all course requirements
- Receive a Certified Vermont Master Composter badge and certificate upon completion and reporting of 20 volunteer internship hours by end of the annual term
- Receive the benefits of learning from other Master Composters and giving back to your community
- Receive the benefit of joining our Composter network and listserv, and gives you access to a number of special offers and educational opportunities.
Vermont Master Composter - Online Course Only (Track 2)
Complete this track if you are interested in the course content and if you do not intend to become a Certified Master Composter volunteer, or if you live outside the State of Vermont. For Track 2, no Master Composter Volunteer Certification is awarded, there is no hands-on volunteer service required, and you are not able to use the title, “Certified Vermont Master Composter Volunteer.”
Track 2 Fee: $150 (i.e. $44 per module)
Track 2 may be right for you if you are:
- Not a Vermont resident
- Working full time and/or don't have time to volunteer
- Working in a field related to composting and want to learn more about the science of composting.
- Interested in composting for your own knowledge that you plan to apply to your own composting projects.
- You are not comfortable teaching others about composting
- You would like to use the course completion, " Vermont Certificate of Home Composting" as a professional qualification.
Track 2 Requirements:
- Complete the online course: six modules, four live online Q&A sessions with instructors, an online course guide, quizzes, final exam (70% or better) and additional course materials.
Track 2 Benefits:
- Receive a "Vermont Home Composting Certificate." You will not become a “Master Composter Volunteer.”
Volunteer 20 Hours - Share your knowledge (for Track 1)
A volunteer internship is a way for you to apply your classroom knowledge to real needs in your community through hands-on experience. To complete your internship, you'll:
- Complete 20 hours of approved volunteer community outreach within two years of completing the coursework.
- To maintain active status as a certified Vermont Master Composter, you must complete at least 5 hours per year of community outreach and maintain registration through annual completion of required forms.
Examples of typical volunteer work include running community or school composting projects, giving compost talks/demonstrations to local groups, writing newspaper columns on compost topics, staffing exhibits at fairs or farmers’ markets, or assisting with UVM Extension Master Gardener projects that have a composting component.
Though these programs are separate, Vermont Master Composter volunteer hours can also be applied as Extension Master Gardener volunteer hours.
Is An Online Course Right For You?
Learn what taking an online course entails.
2018 Course Content
Each of the online course modules will require students to read assigned chapters from the course manual, watch a pre-recorded lecture, post 1 discussion question, take module quizzes, and attend or watch the live Q&A sessions, and offer module feedback.
The online courses are offered statewide through the eXtenion campus website.
The text for this course is the "Vermont Composter Manual." The Master Composter Course manual is provided to students in an online pdf format only. Students are welcome to download the document and print it at a local printing company.
The live Q&A sessions are held using Zoom video conferencing. These sessions will allow students to interact with on-screen faculty to ask questions, while course lectures are provided as video recordings. The Q&A sessions are also archived.
The basic course outline is as follows:
Introduction to Composting, Mike Ather, Backyard Wilderness
Soil & Decomposition Ecology, Wendy Sue Harper, Consultant and former UVM Lecturer
Using Compost, Mulch & Cover Crops, Mike Ather, Backyard Wilderness
Site Design and Management, Natasha Duarte, CAV & Athena Bradley, NERC
Reaching and Teaching others, (Track 1 only) Beret Halverson Master Gardener Program
Module 7: Final Assignments Due
Refunds & Accommodations
Tuition fee is non-refundable.
Anyone requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate should contact the Master Gardener Program office - 802-656-9562 - email@example.com
For more information, call the Extension Master Gardener administrative office at (802) 656-9562 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Vermont Master Composter is managed by the UVM Extension Master Gardener program with financial support from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.