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Volunteers are among our most-treasured resources at SDSU Extension. From providing leadership opportunities for youth to advancing the technology skills of older generations, our volunteers help bridge the gap between research and community knowledge throughout South Dakota. With over 800,000 residents to serve, we seek out passionate individuals to help us accomplish what we cannot do alone. SDSU Extension volunteers participate in a variety of service programs through our organization, helping us expand the scope and effectiveness of our mission. In exchange for their service, volunteers receive training on a wide array of topics of interest to them. To learn more, select the program of interest to you below.

Master Volunteers

The term “Master Volunteer” is bestowed upon individuals that complete SDSU Extension training in a specific discipline and make a volunteer service commitment. These master volunteers then use what they have learned to facilitate Extension educational programming in their communities, sharing their expertise and providing services to South Dakota’s citizenry.

All SDSU Extension master volunteers:

  • Must complete a certain number of hours of specialized training in a specialized subject,
  • Be able to lead community education programs in that subject, and
  • Commit to giving at least 40 hours of service in their subject area.

Master volunteers may teach youth or adults, train other volunteers or work on projects, like community gardens.

Master gardener holding a tomato seedling outside a greenhouse.

Master Gardener Volunteer Program

SDSU Extension’s Master Gardener program develops gardening enthusiasts into expert volunteers who share their research-based knowledge with community members across the state.

Home canning supplies and canned vegetables arranged on a countertop.

Master Food Preserver Volunteer Program

If you enjoy preserving food, volunteering and helping your community, SDSU Extension's Master Food Preserver volunteer program may be for you!

Senior woman and health coach looking at a health report in a gym.

Master Health Volunteer Program

A Master Health Volunteer is an earned certification that increases your knowledge in health topics and teaches you to facilitate educational programs for your communities.

"I love working as a volunteer with SDSU Extension as a South Dakota Master Gardener. My mind is stimulated with the up-to-date horticulture information provided which fuels my teaching portfolio which in turn connects me to my community."

— Sue W. White, President, SDMG Association
4-H volunteer talking to a 4-H youth.

4-H Volunteers

Volunteers represent a key component to a successful 4-H Youth Development program in South Dakota. This group of dedicated individuals works with 4-H professionals across the state to carry out projects, programs, club, judging and leadership opportunities for young people.

Learn More