The experience and resources of extension specialists can be used in academic teaching programs within a horticultural managers' seminar for advanced undergraduate students, drawing on production, marketing, sales, and distribution managers to discuss application of horticultural principles in work situations and other complex issues facing agricultural managers. Guest speakers present an overview of their background, work responsibilities, management philosophy, and management practices. Students interact with speakers in this informal seminar and complete written evaluations of speakers and topics for discussion in later classes. This horticultural managers' seminar exposes students to the medley of problems and opportunities facing agricultural managers, uses the resources of extension faculty in academic teaching programs, and reinforces ties between commodity departments and their respective industries.
Ann Marie VanDerZanden and Bob Rost
Video clips are a type of interactive multimedia that are often incorporated in Internet based training, and recent studies have reported examples of how cooperative extension is beginning to use Internet technology, including video clips, as part of delivering educational programs online. A survey was designed to determine if Oregon State University Extension Master Gardener volunteers trained in 2001 were able to access a video clip online. Eighty percent of the recent trainees had access to or owned a computer and 93% of this group had access to the Internet. Yet, when asked to access the video clip online only 37% of the respondents were successful. This disparity suggests the need for a seamless interface between the multimedia component and the software required to access it. If the end user is unable to access the multimedia component, it is difficult to justify the additional resources required to develop these teaching tools.
Thomas E. Marler and Haluk M. Discekici
`Red Lady' and `Tainung #1' papaya plants were grown in nursery trays with cells 5.1 cm in diameter. After 10 weeks, mean height of the `Red Lady' plants was 10.1 cm and that of the `Tainung #1' plants was 9.3 cm. Each of five plants per cultivar was planted between two root observation windows, one at 45 cm and the other at 95 cm. Roots reached the 45-cm observation window in 30 days, when mean height of the `Red Lady' plants was 18.7 cm and that of the `Tainung #1' plants was 13.0 cm. Roots reached the 95-cm observation window in 55 days, when mean height of the `Red Lady' plants was 55.4 cm and that of the `Tainung #1' plants was 40.6 cm. Thus, root extension during these initial 55 days was 17 to 18 mm per day for both cultivars, and stem extension during this period was 8.7 mm·d–1 for `Red Lady' and 5.5 mm per day for `Tainung #1'. Root extension declined for both cultivars to ≈12 mm·d–1 by the initial bloom period, then further declined to ≈4 mm·d–1 during and after the initial fruit set stage. Stem extension increased to about 19 mm·d–1 after the plants were established and remained at this rate until well into the stage of heavy fruit set and growth, when it declined to about 8 mm·d–1. The amount of fruit set influenced root characteristics more than cultivar.
R. Daniel Lineberger
Recent studies by academic, extension, and private foundation “think tanks” have reaffirmed the land-grant philosophy as an important component of American society in the 21st century. According to Bill Campbell's dictum, successful land-grant systems will have more closely integrated educational, research, and extension programs characterized as more ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE, and ACCOUNTABLE than current models. The World Wide Web affords the land-grant professional an information delivery/teaching system that conforms to Campbell's three As. Web technology is evolving rapidly, necessitating continuous and rapid adaptation by information providers. The availability of low-cost, user-friendly Web access through home TVs promises to upset the existing paradigms of extension information delivery through county offices and undergraduate instruction exclusively in the campus classroom. Some land-grant professionals have adopted Web technology as a tool to deliver educational programs and coursework; however, the vast majority have not. Most faculty continue to distribute information in a printed form, citing as justification the very steep learning curve and time involved in formatting materials for electronic delivery. We have emphasized the need for life-long learning to our clientele and students; we must heed our own advice. The transition from a paper-based, county-centered extension delivery system and campus classroom-oriented undergraduate educational system is being facilitated by satellite and compressed video conferencing, and Web server networks. Faculty must develop the ability to integrate appropriate technology into their own programs, since it is clear that the “efficient” land-grant systems of the future will not provide them with the support personnel to do it for them.
G. L. Johnson, K. B. Perry, and D. C. Sanders
A volunteer weather observing network sponsored by the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service has been a valuable asset to horticulturists, agricultural meteorologists, and weather forecasters. Real-time temperature and precipitation data are used to assess microclimates and to compute derived parameters such as chilling hours and growing degree days. The procedures used to establish the network plus an example of its usefulness during a critical frost night are described.
C.D. Safley and T.E. Bilderback
Many universities face tough decisions on how to allocate limited resources to serve a demanding clientele. Industry officials frequently perceive university researchers and extension specialists as losing touch with reality and working on irrelevant problems. In many situations, this perception is a result of the lack of communication among the parties involved. Research and Extension Commodity Overviews conducted by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State Univ. have proved to be an excellent way of improving communications between university personnel and the industries they support. This paper outlines the overview process and shows how this approach benefited the state's nursery industry and the university.
Ann Marie VanDerZanden and Erika Kirsch
The Internet has become a tool used in business, education, and leisure pursuits. Extension has used the Internet in a variety of ways including the training of extension staff and volunteers and the dissemination of information. In 2001, a survey was developed to determine the comfort level, familiarity, and use of computers and the Internet by active Oregon Master Gardeners (MGs). Basic demographic data was also collected. We found that 85% of respondents use computers and are very comfortable with computers and the Internet. This extensive use and comfort level suggests that the Internet may be an acceptable alternative to the traditional face-to-face training method for some Oregon MGs.
Mike Murray, Mike Cahn, Janet Caprile, Don May, Gene Miyao, Bob Mullen, Jesus Valencia, and Bill Weir
University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisors have conducted applied research to quantify processing tomato [Lycopersicum esculentum (L.) Mill] varietal performance, as a coordinated activity, since 1973. Early and midseason maturity varieties are annually evaluated at four to six locations throughout the state. The test varieties are selected in collaboration with seed companies, processors and growers. The growers and seed companies provide financial support for the tests. Most tests are conducted in production tomato fields and are harvested using commercial harvesters. The results are widely disseminated through an annual report to the funding sources, farm advisor research reports, newsletters, production meetings, the California Tomato Grower magazine, and popular media. The information obtained for fruit yield potential, fruit quality and plant horticultural characteristics is used by processors, growers, and seed companies to make variety selection decisions. This regional extension program has proven to be an effective way to generate well-designed replicated information for making intelligent processing tomato cultivar decisions and has been well accepted by the California industry.
Kent D. Kobayashi and H.C. Bittenbender
A computerized personal information management system has been developed to provide information on crop production and industry status to extension personnel and farmers. This hypermedia system, which links interrelated facts, enables the user to browse easily through a mass of information and access specific data rapidly.
L.G. Wilson, M.D. Boyette, and E.A. Estes
Extension postharvest quality maintenance programs in North Carolina were significantly enhanced by engineering inputs and Exxon violation escrow funds. Equipment and storage designs and recommendations have provided tangible results for North Carolina horticultural crops producers and shippers, including “Cool and Ship,” a portable, pallet-size forced-air cooling system, thermal storage immersion hydrocooling systems, and the horizontal air flow sweetpotato curing and storage system. Impacts include: 30% to 50% blueberry and strawberry loss reductions using forced-air cooling; and 20% to 30% sweetpotato packout rate increases when cured and stored with the new system. Useful materials include a video on cooling options, a computer decision aid for precooling, a storage poster, and more than two dozen publications on Maintaining the Quality of North Carolina Fresh Produce.