Can Multi-state Extension Programming Succeed?

in HortScience
Authors:
Michael L. ParkerNorth Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

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C. Richard UnrathNorth Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

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David LockwoodUniversity of Tennessee

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With the current situation facing land grant universities of declining resources and a portion of federal funding being dependent upon multistate activities, the search for means to successfully address clientele needs may be handled through multistate activity. In the Southeast, the tree fruit programs, both research and extension, have been evaluating areas that could be addressed with multistate programming. To date, most of the tree fruit multistate activities have been informal in nature. The apple program was the first to look at multistate activity because of the heavy concentration of the industry in the mountains of NC, SC, GA, and TN. The formation of the Southeastern Apple Growers Meeting, which combined the annual educational meeting for apple growers in NC, GA, SC, and TN, was the first initiative. It proved to be very successful with the completion of the eighth joint meeting. In addition, the pest management guides for both apple and peach have been combined for many of the southeastern (five states) and southern states (11 states), respectively. Numerous working groups, workshops, tours, and field days are held on a regional scale as well. However, in order for multistate programming to succeed, our experience suggest the need for several key components. The technical competence in the program to be addressed, a supportive university administration, backing of the industry groups, and personnel that are neither territorial nor resistant to change must be present. From our experience multistate programming can be very successful!

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