No, "Master Gardener" is not a grandiose title I use reflecting an inflated self opinion of my horticultural abilities.
The Pennsylvania State University, like most state land grant colleges, has a Master Gardener program providing training in all areas of horticulture to interested gardeners in exchange for voluntary service. It's an excellent program that helps relieve the load on Extension Agents while providing participants with an outlet for their horticultural interests beyond their own gardens as well as the right to call themselves Master Gardeners.
The Penn State program is operated by each local cooperative extension office. Call your local extension agent for info specific to your county. In Pennsylvania you will receive at least 30 hours of instruction. In return, the first year you agree to provide 50 hours of volunteer service. Your service time will be tailored to your interests and abilities such as answering garden questions, conducting school gardening programs, creating and maintaining demonstration gardens, diagnosing plant specimens, organizing Master Gardener activities, presenting lectures or demonstrations to groups interested in horticulture, producing a newsletter, volunteering as 4-H leaders and many more.
In Warren County the program is small, but growing. If you have any interest in horticulture we will welcome your participation. For more information call the Warren County extension office at 563-9388, or contact me.