Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Newman, Michael E.

Committee Member

White, Ronnie

Committee Member

Deeds, Jacquelyn P.

Committee Member

Taylor, Walter N.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Agricultural Information Science and Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


The purpose of this study was to describe the current Master Gardener and County Director perceptions of the Mississippi Master Gardener program. Participation for both groups was voluntary and the Master Gardeners were chosen through random sampling. In the final sample, a total of 43 County Directors and 233 Master Gardeners completed the survey. The dependent variable was motivation functions: Understanding, Values, Enhancement, Protect, Social, and Career. The independent variable was group, which included Master Gardeners and County Directors. Results showed that Master Gardener’s highest ranked reasons for volunteering were related to the Understanding, Values, and Enhancement functions. They volunteered to learn more about horticulture and to help others. Data also showed that volunteers were very satisfied with their overall Master Gardener experience. Eleven of the twelve questions ranked above 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 7. Master Gardener’s highest ranked perceptions of the benefits of the program were also related to the Understanding, Values, and Enhancement functions. County Director’s highest ranked perceptions of benefits of the program were related to the Understanding, Values, and Social functions.



Master Gardener||Volunteering||Benefits