Over 5 million acres of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) are grown annually on the Texas High Plains, providing important resources to local, state and national economies. In recent years, growers have shown interest in farm diversification in order to increase profits. After determining a market, Agri-Gold, Inc. (Olton, Texas; population 2100) successfully diversified from cotton farming by starting with 30 acres of land and 7 canna lily (Canna ×generalis) varieties, but has now grown to produce 500 acres of cannas, 350 acres of irises (Iris sp.) and 100 acres of daylilies (Hemerocallis sp.). Agri-Gold annually markets 75 varieties of cannas, and over 90 iris and 150 daylily varieties while providing important employment opportunities to 50 full-time personnel and 150 part-time seasonal laborers. Crops are grown and marketed for their reproductive structures (rhizomes, bulbs, and crowns) and sold to retail chains throughout the United States. Warm, dry, sunny days and cool nights provide a quality environment for the reproductive growth of these crops. The arid climate and well-drained soils suppress diseases that may occasionally attack, and there are few natural insects that feed on the roots and foliage. Environmentally friendly products such as composted manure (locally produced) and biologicals, as well as integrated pest management (IPM) strategies are routinely included in field management and production decisions. Recent cooperative research efforts between Agri-Gold and Texas Cooperative Extension have evaluated herbicides for control of yellow (Cyperus esculentus L.) and purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus L.), as well as biological treatments for improved root growth and control of winter storage rots.
Russell W. Wallace* and Harold W. Kaufman
Everardo Zamora, Santiago Ayala, Cosme Guerrero, Damián Martínez and Francisco Rivas
The piquin chili (Capsicum annuum L.), a type of high-pungency small-ball chili fruit, is traditional among Sonoran people and is consumed as paprika and dry fruit in some regional dishes. Also, the high prices obtained in domestic and oversea markets every year, mainly through piquin dry fruit sales, have encouraged this small informal and seasonal industry. In some Sonoran Mountain ranges, where piquin chili plants grow wild, a latent, informal industry has been maintained by people who harvest piquin chilies as fresh and dry fruits for sale. Enough precipitation, good environment conservation, and other conditions maintain the natural preservation of this chili plant, so that the piquin chili industry is maintained without cultivation, and has become a natural and ecological chili industry. During harvest time (September through November), low-income people harvest by hand dry piquin chili fruits for sale in several cities in Sonora. After harvesting, fresh red piquin chili fruits must be dried over several days. The fruit is spread out over a fabric during sunny days and removed at nights, and the small piquin red fruits dry in just a few days. Usually dry piquin chili presentations are sold in liter (0.25-lb) or kilogram (2-lb) lots. Throughout the 2005 dry piquin chili harvesting season, sales reached prices close to $18 and $82 (U.S. dollars) per liter or kilogram, respectively. Although the dry piquin chili is exported to the United States, fresh fruit sales are still limited to the domestic Sonoran market. The piquin chili harvesting season offers temporary employment and represents, in part, an important source of family income.
Usha Palaniswamy and Zafar Bokhari
Zafi Beverages, Inc., envisioned energy drinks, mineral natural water, healthy drinks for kids, exotic drinks, flavored drinks, and cholesterol-reducing tea. Emphasis is on non-carbonation and the use of herbal extracts. Consumption of carbonated drinks can lead to reflux, ulcer, and other stomach problems. Zafi Beverages is also developing a unique marketing approach for its products, offering a niche for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Zafi's educational process of entrepreneurship also covers the steps on the road to success: innovative, value-creating, and growth-oriented. Emphasis is also placed on ethical marketing. Small businesses employ 53% of the total private nonfarm work force, contribute to 47% of all sales in the country, are responsible for 51% of the gross domestic product (GDP), produce about two out of every three new jobs each year, and account for over half of United States GDP. Studies report that 40% of the top 1% of the wealthiest Americans got there by building a small business. Interest in small business is increasing, because many Americans believe this is one of the best paths to riches in the United States. About 16 million Americans are in some type of part- or full-time entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurship is attractive to people of all ages. Some unique contributions of small business concepts promoted by Zafi Beverages are to encourage innovation and flexibility, maintain close relationships with customers and community, and provide employees with comprehensive learning experience, develop risk-takers, generate new employment, and provide greater job satisfaction. Zafi Beverages is 2 years old; its growth and challenges in the development of herbal drinks for health and new entrepreneurs are described.
Tigon Woline and Ann Marie VanDerZanden
Problem-based learning has become a popular pedagogical strategy for teaching problem-solving skills as well as subject content. However, implementation of this strategy is time-consuming. Use of the Internet and computer software could aide the creation, use, and maintenance of these teaching tools, encouraging more educators to use them. This study focused on 45 Iowa State University students enrolled in Horticulture 342, Landscape Installation and Maintenance. Students were assigned a series of four online, ill-structured case study problems based in a realistic residential landscape. Results indicated students understood the need for developing problem-solving skills, especially as they relate to future employment opportunities. However, students were concerned with obtaining the right answer, not with developing a strategy for solving problems. Students rated the statement about determining the best solution highest in importance (4.75 in 2007, 4.90 in 2008). Conversely, they rated a statement about determining what standards and judgment criteria should be used to evaluate possible solutions of least importance (3.75 in 2007, 4.20 in 2008). Students identified the value of the solution to the customer/client (4.63 in 2007, 4.80 in 2008), how well the cause of the problem was addressed by the solution (4.46 in 2007, 4.30 in 2008), and any potential negative consequences (4.33 in 2007, 4.40 in 2008) as the important factors that influence decision-making on the job. Students rated the online learning environment as adequate and they rated the overall experience as 3.94. Frustrations were primarily technical, including problems connecting to the system. Students liked the variety of resources available and that case information was consolidated in a single location.
Amy L. McFarland
Research investigating the relationship between physical environments and various aspects of quality of life have found that people who live or work near natural areas have improved health and increased levels of satisfaction at home, work, and with life in general. Research has also shown that workers who performed their job function in offices with windows or interior plants had higher job satisfaction. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship between the use of green spaces and public gardens in the work place on mental well-being, overall quality of life, and job satisfaction. The sample for this study was drawn from participants who were on the contact list of public garden employees and volunteers for a winter in-service training hosted by the Smithsonian Gardens (Washington, DC). Participants were e-mailed asking for their participation in the survey. An incentive of winning a greenhouse tour was used to improve the response rate. A total of 105 usable surveys were received out of 423 invitations that were sent for a response rate of 24.8%. Participants were asked to respond to questions regarding their work environment, mental well-being, overall quality of life, and job satisfaction. Differences were identified based on whether the participant was a paid employee or unpaid worker. Based on time spent outdoors during the workday, the only difference within the overall group existed with regard to how frequently the participant ate outdoors and their reported mental well-being. On the quality of life questions, differences for the overall sample, the paid group, and the unpaid group were found for having window views of plants or nature. On the job satisfaction question, differences were identified in the overall sample and the paid group for having a window in their immediate office or workplace. Several variables did not identify any statistically significant difference, which might result from this sample being already largely connected to nature due to their employment or volunteer work within a public garden.
Moriah Bellenger, Deacue Fields, Kenneth Tilt and Diane Hite
or services involved in the petition, and The employment of the alien in such labor or services will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the U.S. similarly employed. Despite these provisions, both producers and U
John J. Haydu, Alan. W. Hodges and Charles R. Hall
several sources. National-level information on the number of establishments, employment, and sales (receipts) was taken from the 2002 Economic Census Industry Report Series ( U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 ). Sales figures represent total annual revenues from
promoting the U.S. agricultural industry through employment advocacy contributions with the National Canners Association, National Food Processors Association, and later the National Horticultural Society. Dr. Crosby became an ASHS Fellow in 1968, and later
Alan W. Hodges, Charles R. Hall, Bridget K. Behe and Jennifer H. Dennis
technology with labor is measured by looking at trends in employment levels for seasonal and permanent employees. In addition, brokered and contractual sales were examined as well as the level of computerization of different managerial functions. The
Erin M. Silva and Geraldine Muller
growth in the organic marketplace, new employment opportunities arise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for agricultural and food scientists is anticipated to expand 10% in 2010–20, with employment opportunities for