First Detector Advanced Training

Advanced Training Program Purpose and information:

The Master Gardener Advanced Training: First Detector program is designed to provide Advanced Training and resources to Master Gardeners and certify them to be part of a state corps of Compost volunteers and educators.

To become a certified Master Gardener Advanced Training: First Detector, Master Gardeners are required to attend the Master Gardener Advanced Training: First Detector training to fulfill training requirements and subsequently meet service requirements described below. This certification does not empower the individual with supervisory or administrative authority within her/his local county programs.

The National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) was established in 2002, to respond to the need for enhanced agricultural security through protecting the health and productivity of plants in agricultural and natural ecosystems in the U.S. The First Detector Training program is a national program established by the NPDN to promote the early detection of invasive and exotic pathogens and pests through education and enlisting the help of citizen “scientists”.

The First Detector program allows for training in some basic observation and surveying skills which are most helpful in the diagnostic process in the volunteer. Additionally, this program aims to train trainers. A Texas Master Gardener Advanced Training: First Detector (TX MGAT-FD) is expected to be able to know what to do when observing a suspected exotic pest or pathogen. The TX MGAT-FD who qualified are encouraged to share the information learned in the training program to others and will have access to scripted PowerPoint to utilize in their presentations.

The Texas MG Advanced Training – First Detector program is a federally funded (Farm Bill), project, enabling Extension to develop and prepare materials for this program.

Participation requirements:

To be eligible for the Master Gardener Advanced Training: First Detector, an individual must possess an up-to-date Master Gardener certification, or be an employee of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Master Gardener applicants must be approved by their local County Extension Agent.

Service Requirements:

Service requirements include, but are not limited to:
• Attending the First Detector Advanced Training
• Volunteer 20 hours above and beyond their county’s current volunteer obligation. This may include plant survey exercises, BMSB trapping/collection exercise, plant health support efforts, outreach education efforts, and others.
• Serving as a local Master Gardener Advanced Training: First Detector resource in the Extension program for a minimum of one year
• Submitting a completed First Detector Advanced Training Volunteer Report Form as directed
• Optional: Submit TMGA Reimbursement paperwork

Advanced Training recognition and certification:
Upon completion of the Master Gardener Advanced Training: First Detector service requirements, the Master Gardener will be awarded a Master Gardener Advanced Training certificate and lapel pin.

Resources Available to the Master Gardener: First Detector:
• First Detector Advanced Training and networking with presenters
• Educational materials on First Detector
• Direct access to Texas A&M AgriLife Program Specialist

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