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Efforts to build an eXtension community of practice (CoP) for consumer horticulture began in 2005 as part of a funding initiative by eXtension to establish pioneer communities of practice ( Durham, 2008 ; Meisenbach, 2006 ). The community

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114 ORAL SESSION 31 (Abstr. 219-226) Extension: Education

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Botanic gardens, Cooperative Extension, and land grant universities share a common goal of horticultural or plant science education. Many botanic gardens include education in their mission statements. While academic institutions typically offer

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Experiment Station journal series no. R-5658. Project supported by the Univ. of Florida, IFAS, Office for the Dean of Extension and USDA Grant No. 58-319R-3-015.

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44 POSTER SESSION 7 (Abstr. 381–397) Extension/Technology Transfer/Public Education Monday, 24 July, 1:00–2:00 p.m.

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The objectives of this paper are to discuss how to 1) guide technology choices with a priori understanding of the learners, learning objectives, and learning structures (formal, informal, and independent learning); 2) formally engage extension

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administrative skills an IHC needs to succeed, their profile is close to those of an extension agent in the United States Cooperative Extension System. Extension is traditionally considered the organized exchange of information and the purposive transfer of

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EMGs are Cooperative Extension-trained volunteers who teach public horticulture and are active in most states in the United States ( Meyer, 2007 ). Providing up-to-date, high quality training, especially in pest management, is critical for volunteer

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The way extension specialists and educators conduct programs, such as workshops, and transfer information to their designated clientele, including homeowners, professionals, and specialty groups, has changed within the last decade due to merging departments, budget cuts, reduced operating funds, and lack of refilling vacant positions. These factors have resulted in a number of driving forces that influence the way extension specialists and educators perform their duties, such as accountability, regionalization of extension, impact of technology, and expanding expertise. To be accountable under today's standards, extension specialists and educators must document the impact, relevance, and effectiveness of their programs. Required documentation must include economic, environmental, and human development factors. The effect of downsizing in many states has led to regionalization, which involves sharing extension specialists and educators across state boundaries. Although there are concerns, such as funding issues and evaluation of extension specialists and educators among states, regionalization in general has resulted in collaborative efforts to organize workshops and produce regional publications that serve a wider clientele base. Extension specialists and educators need to use computer-based and electronic technology, such as teleconferencing and distance-education, to present effective programs and address a wider audience, which will reduce the amount of required travel time. Finally, extension specialists and educators need to keep abreast of issues, such as invasive species, and develop programs to increase awareness of the economic and ecological impacts of invasive species in order to effectively serve the clientele base. Extension specialists and educators will more effectively serve their clientele, justify the importance of extension programming, demonstrate extension as a valued resource to administrators, and deal with the challenges of financial constraint existing now and in the foreseeable future by documenting impact, using multi-state programming, adopting new technology, and keeping up with current issues.

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