letters forming the word "volunteer" on a cork board

Volunteering is a great way to get involved with CCE!


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County (CCE Cayuga) is looking for volunteers to help with our ongoing mission of Building Strong and Vibrant New York Communities. CCE Cayuga volunteers help to strengthen the efforts of our paid staff, improve the quality of our work and increase enthusiasm for our programs. Our volunteers can assist in educational programs for the community, play a role in the ongoing growth and development for our 4-H Youth, and serve in policy and advisory roles on our program committees and Board of Directors.

Prospective volunteers complete an application form. All volunteers will be asked to consent to a criminal background screening at Cooperative Extension's expense, as a means of ensuring the safety and security both of our volunteers and of the people we serve through our programs.

Ongoing opportunities appear below, with contact names for additional information. Some programs may require specialized training to participate; upcoming training dates are listed where known.

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

Board At-Large Member

CCE-Cayuga invites Cayuga County residents with diverse backgrounds and interests to apply to serve as At-Large members of its Board of Directors. Board members guide and shape the direction of our organization’s many programs, oversee its finances and operations, select and evaluate the performance of its director, and other duties that help to ensure that our organization effectively meets the current needs of Cayuga County residents.

Full Board meetings are held monthly on the third Thursday of the month beginning at 5:30pm and typically end by 7:30pm. Terms are 3 years, with the opportunity to serve two consecutive 3-year terms. There is no financial commitment required to serve. Board members must be residents of Cayuga County. For more information about this volunteer opportunity, please contact Dan Welch, Executive Director, at (315) 255-1183 Ext. 2871 or dlw56@cornell.edu.

Program Committee Member

We are in the process of re-establishing Program Committees, to be made up of individuals who have an interest or experience in one of our program issue areas ( 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture, and Food & Nutrition) and who choose to share their time and talents with CCE-Cayuga as volunteer advisers. Program Committees meet monthly; individual members generally serve for a term of 3 years, although 2 and 1 year options also are considered. Program Committee members do not need to be Cayuga County residents unless they wish to serve as a representatives to the Board (in which case county residency is required). Learn more about serving as a Program Committee member by visiting our STAFF page and contacting the member who oversees the program that interests you.

4-H Youth Programs

4-H offers youth aged 5-19 from throughout Cayuga County a variety of special interest clubs, short-term enrichment offerings, a public speaking program, summer programs, and an annual youth Fair. There are many short- and long-term opportunities for volunteer involvement, depending upon the skills you care to share and the time you wish to commit to volunteering.

4-H Club & Fair Programs
Share a craft or a special skill with young people, help lead a 4-H Club, or spend a day as an evaluator for 4-H Fair or public speaking competitions. Individuals with knowledge of agriculture, plant science, animal husbandry, entomology, and textile/clothing construction are always welcome, but if you have a different expertise you'd like to share, please contact Erin Humphrey, 4-H Animal Science Educator at (315) 255-1183 Ext. 2872 or emw54@cornell.edu to talk about your ideas! Orientation for new leaders and volunteers is provided, call for upcoming dates.

Master Gardeners

Training is offered in alternate years; call for information. The Master Gardener program, offered throughout the U.S. and Canada, provides avid gardeners with many hours of intensive home horticulture training. In return, they share their knowledge and enthusiasm for gardening with others by volunteering to assist with garden lectures, exhibits, demonstrations, school and community gardening, phone diagnostic service, research, and many other projects. Master Gardener Volunteers at CCE-Cayuga staff answer gardening questions for callers and take part in other community-based activities. Download our 2023 Master Gardener Volunteer Brochure (487kb PDF). For more information, contact Lisa Woodruff, Horticulture Educator, at (315) 255-1183 Ext. 2875 or dlw258@cornell.edu.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County provides equal program and opportunities. No person shall be denied employment on the basis of any legally prohibited discrimination involving, but not limited to, such factors as race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or qualified disability.

Last updated June 5, 2023