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Chris Hilgert

University of Wyoming Extension Horticulture Specialist
Master Gardener Program State Coordinator


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Chris Hilgert


Since joining University of Wyoming Extension in 2011, I have served the entire state as a horticulture specialist and state coordinator for the University of Wyoming Extension Master Gardener program. I have field experience working in commercial fruit and vegetable production, and the commercial landscape industry. I received two degrees from Oregon State University including a B.S. in horticulture emphasizing in turf and landscape management, and a M.S. in horticulture. As a graduate student, I conducted research on organic and synthetic herbicides, turf fertility, and evaluated turf variety trials. My Extension career began in 2003 and I worked as a county Extension educator for 8 years. In my current position I provide horticultural training and resources to home gardeners, Master Gardeners, and green industry professionals. Some of the topics I present include: Turf IPM, Turf and Ornamental Weed Control, Turf Management, Botany, Vegetable Gardening, Pruning Trees and Shrubs, Pruning Fruit Trees, Diagnosing Plant Problems, Introduction to the Master Gardener Program, Growing Strawberries, Growing Mushrooms, and Gardening at High Elevations. 


University of Wyoming Extension Master Gardener Program


Master Gardener trainees receive educational training in horticulture from UW Extension Educators and learn about botany, soils, flowers, trees, shrubs, lawns, vegetables, fruits, entomology, pesticide safety, and diagnosing plant problems. 

After completing the training, Master Gardener interns give back to their communities through volunteer service. Volunteer activities are coordinated at the local level to address local needs and opportunities. Master Gardeners are asked to provide 40 hours of volunteer time in their own communities. Some examples of volunteerism include diagnosing plant problems, public speaking, hands-on workshops, farmer markets, community gardens, plant clinics and information booths. 

Many Master Gardeners continue with the program for years and years. The longer a Master Gardener stays with the program, the more they learn. University of Wyoming Extension Educators and Active Master Gardeners offer advanced education to build on your base of knowledge. Master Gardeners typically enjoy the social aspect of learning together, volunteering together, and helping others. 

If you have an interest in gardening, want to learn more, and want to help your community grow, the University of Wyoming Extension Master Gardener program is for you. Master Gardener programs are offered in 15 counties in Wyoming. 

Contact your local UW Extension office for class schedules and to apply.

Resources for Wyoming Gardeners

Contact Us

Department of Plant Sciences

Dept. 3354

1000 E University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3103


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