Focusing Extension Resources to Diverse Clientele

in HortTechnology
Author:
M.P. Garber Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture and Extension, Univ. of Georgia, P.O. Box 1209, Mon. GA 31793.

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Marketing techniques were valuable in the development of an extension and research support program for the diverse Georgia nursery industry. The support program was developed in three stages: 1) needs assessment and development of industry alliances, 2) initiation of a research program based on priority needs, and 3) technology transfer. The needs assessment was facilitated by the development of a distribution channel map for the Georgia landscape/nursery industry. The industry alliances developed early in the project facilitated conduct of the research program and technology transfer. The research component was identified from an informal needs assessment and qualitative information on industry relations inferred from the distribution channel map. The research results support the contention that landscape architects have a significant influence on demand for nursery crops and that nursery operators should treat this group as important customers. The focus for technology transfer is improved marketing procedures and more efficient working relationships between nursery operators and landscape architects. This includes development of new alliances at the industry/association level, improved marketing practices for nursery operators, and positioning extension publications to benefit multiple industry segments.

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