U.S. agricultural producers are required to provide varying amounts of safety training to their employees depending on the nature of their operation(s). Hand washing is an integral part of several types of safety training including pesticide safety education, the Worker Protection Standard and Microbial Food Safety of Fruits and Vegetables. Generally instructions are to “wash thoroughly,” though some employees are told they should wash for 20 seconds. An easy way to get growers to “buy into” methods that verify hand washing is to include such demonstrations as part of pesticide safety education programs and workshops that grant Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for the renewal of pesticide applicator licenses. It is important that the demonstrations be highly visual so participants actually experience the difficulty in removing a contaminant from hands even though they have performed “thorough” hand washing. It also allows them to observe the ease of cross contamination from soiled hands. Once growers see how easy and inexpensive it is to do this type of training, they are being encouraged to use these demonstrations with various types of employees: mixer-loaders and other handlers, harvesting crews, packinghouse employees, and even field workers who routinely handle plants and may be spreading diseases. Details on different methods of training and grower reactions will be presented.
Mary Lamberts*, Eugene McAvoy, Teresa Olczyk, and Phyllis Gilreath
Robert P. Rice Jr.
California Polytechnic State University's (Cal Poly) learn-by-doing philosophy permeates all areas of the environmental horticultural science curriculum by combining an emphasis on the science of horticulture in lecture sessions and the opportunity to engage in activities similar to those used by industry in the lab activities integral in all courses. The course, Disease and Pest Control Systems in Ornamental Plants (EHS 427), has taken this philosophy a step further by using problem-based learning and allowing students to function as pest control advisors and qualified applicators in the class. This approach has resulted in greatly increased student understanding of pest control, improved student morale, and increased interest in integrated pest management careers and research projects.
David J. Beattie and Lawrence C. Ragan
An interactive spreadsheet program was developed to demonstrate how a landscape bid is estimated. Information from a profit and loss statement, entered periodically, is retained for succeeding bids. Machine and labor costs are determined separately. For an individual bid, inputs include cost of materials, overhead, labor and machine times, contingency, and profit. Labor costs are automatically modified to reflect crew efficiency, and materials costs reflect storage, freight, and other charges. Overhead is based on the relationship between annual direct and indirect costs. The calculations section displays intermediate steps of the final bid estimate. Summaries from calculations include a final bid estimate. A printing option allows the user to selectively print any of the sections, a customer's copy, or the entire bid. The program uses an Apple Macintosh computer, was written for Microsoft Excel software, and uses macro programs. Its concept can be adapted to any electronic spreadsheet and can be protected to allow entry of only certain input data. The program can be used for small landscape businesses, classroom instruction, and/or extension instruction in which higher-order thinking skills are emphasized.
Elizabeth O. Mackenzie and John J. Erett
A Mosaic tour of the Univ. of Delaware Botanic Gardens is available on Internet using the Mosaic server and provides fact sheets about herbaceous and woody plants. Each sheet is a mosaic page with in-lined images that include hyper-links to a sound file of the pronunciation of the Latin plant name and images of the plant, including buds, flowers, fruits, leaves, and other characteristics. A map of the garden identifying the plant's location is provided on each page to orient visitors and students. There are currently over 1500 images in development. The tour uses map images and key words to help students identify and select plants. Composite views illustrating the same characteristic from several plants provide a visual method to aid students in identification of unknown specimens. Database searches provide a method to search for plant information in the tour, and in the future will provide lists of plants with specific characteristics. The Mosaic Tour of the Univ. of Delaware Botanic Gardens can be accessed via URLS:http://bluehen.ags.udel.edu/ugarden.html.
W. Gary Smith
Native plant ecosystems, such as meadows and forests, demonstrate how plant communities are physically organized in response to a variety of natural factors and environmental processes. By visiting native ecosystems and diagramming the spatial patterns of naturally evolving plant communities, landscape design students quickly gain confidence about the variety of spaces they can create with plants. In addition, they develop an understanding that the physical organization of plants can have ecological meaning, deeper than simple utility, function, or decoration.
Mary Lamberts and Adrian Hunsberger
When Master Gardeners first begin a training class, their preconceived notions about concepts such as IPM, pests and pest management are usually very similar to those of the general gardening public. Master Gardeners interact extensively with home owners and are often either the first or the only person from an Extension office with whom an individual speaks. We designated part of their initial training to a module aimed at getting them to understand basic concepts about IPM, pests and pest management. Slides were used to review the different types of pests/pesticides and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles that apply to a) insects and related organisms, b) diseases and c) weeds. These were accompanied by very simple guidelines for each pest group, stressing that pesticides should not automatically be the home owner's first choice. The pesticide label reading portion of this module started with basic information about pesticide labels themselves. From there, Master Gardener trainees were led through an exercise where they had to find specific information on various labels: Sevin, RoundUp, Daconil 2787, Brush-B-Gon, Phyton 27, Dipel, and Amdro. For fruit and vegetable use, they had to find preharvest intervals and any restrictions on planting. For all products, they looked for rates, timing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)—if listed, and noted label variations. Pre-training scores averaged 60% while post-training scores were 90% or higher.
Sandra B. Wilson and Mack Thetford
The science of botany is often daunting to people who are training to become Master Gardener volunteers. However, the range of natural diversity of plants as well as practical information about plant anatomy are essential foundations for other parts of Master Gardener training. I will present a botany module that I have developed over the past 5 years. The module focuses on relevance to the trainee and builds on basic information to examine more complex aspects of botany, all in the space of the 3–6 hours often allotted for basic botany training. It begins with a “tour” of the plant kingdom and plant relatives like algae and fungi, mosses, liverworts, and ferns. I follow this with basic morphology of stems, roots, and leaves; this basic morphology is used to answer the question of how water and minerals move from the soil into and throughout plants, even reaching the height of the tallest tree. A short segment on mycorhizzae reinforces water and mineral transport, while providing a link to the plant kingdom tour. The mycorhizzal section also reinforces or complements training on soils, which is often presented in another portion of the training schedule. Finally, a segment on flowers introduces basic terminology and winds up a discussion of how to recognize monocotyledons and dicotyledons. Several optional hands-on activities help active learners assimilate the information and provide needed reflective time for more traditional learners. The module has been adopted as the official OSU Extension Master Gardener™ Program botany module in Oregon.