An educational attempt to assist Gila River Indian Community members to return to a sustainable small-farm heritage has shown initial success after 1 year. The project uses horticultural technology to help tribal members overcome severe social concerns. The first phase addressed the needs of youth at risk through a 10-acre farm at the Gila River Indian Community Juvenile Rehabilitation and Detention Center in Sacaton, Ariz. During 1993, the farm operation leveled 10 acres of squash, corn, and watermelons; planted and cared for 200 deciduous fruit and citrus trees; and planted and cared for 150 commercial Christmas trees. Produce was either sold to community members or donated to community food centers at the schools or at homes for the elderly. The youth were led by 14 volunteers who completed an intensive training program and were certified as Master Gardeners by the Univ. of Arizona. They have donated -300 hours of time to the project. The project gave youth at risk an opportunity to learn new concepts and skills, gain exercise, and work off detention time. As tribal leadership observed the initial successes, they gave permission to address health and nutrition as well as other youth-at-risk targets within the community beginning in 1994.
Rick Gibson, Everett Rhodes and Marshall Sunna
Larry Stouse and Charles Marr
Master Gardeners are volunteers who assist local cooperative extension horticulture and related program efforts by receiving training and conducting educational activities and projects. Participants generally receive training and volunteer within a 1-year period. The emphasis has shifted to longer retention of trained, experienced Master Gardeners. There are several advantages in retaining volunteers. Volunteers with established knowledge who “know the ropes” serve as spokespersons for the program to recruit additional volunteers and as mentors for new class members. Since 1980, Master Gardeners in Johnson County, Ran., have served the 300,000 population base of the southwestern Kansas City suburban area through the county extension horticulture program. About 35% of the members of the first classes are still active volunteer participants after 10 years. Retention is encouraged by emphasizing that volunteer time is an opportunity for continued learning, rather than a “payback” for training received. An advisory board and committee structure encourages “ownership” of the program, and an advanced training program is offered to retained volunteers. Developing ideas for quality volunteer activities is continuously stressed. As new volunteers start the program, their abilities and skills in nonhorticultural areas that may be useful are assessed, such as woodworking, photography, speaking, leadership, and art. Applicants are screened to limit class size to 20 to 25 participants.
Dennis R. Decoteau and T. Ross Wilkinson
Public scrutiny about faculty time commitment have brought professor accountability to the front page of the daily newspapers. Many faculty in agricultural colleges at Land Grant Universities have split appointments in either research, teaching or extension. Effectiveness has been traditionally demonstrated in research by listing of publications, grants, graduate students. and presentations; but these measures are not necessarily appropriate measures for teaching. The need to better document teaching is imperative and a simple listing of classes taught and number of student contact hours can no longer be sole measures of teaching effectiveness. The Teaching Portfolio is a factual description of a professor's strengths and accomplishments. It includes documents and materials that collectively suggest the scope and quality of a professor's teaching performance. The Teaching Portfolio is an important tool for all Land Grant faculty, regardless of their teaching responsibilities. As pan of a ESCOP/ACOP Leadership Program at Clemson University, we have been reevaluating how university faculty are evaluated. We will discuss our experiences in introducing and using the Teaching Portfolio as part of a new evaluation process.
Wen-fei L. Uva
The development of industrialized production and global sourcing has changed the marketing structure of the horticulture industry dramatically. The inherent disadvantaged resource base (soils and climate) and high production costs in the northeast United States make it difficult for growers to compete in commodity markets. Exploiting niche and value-added markets are important for the survival of northeast agriculture. Moreover, an emphasis on quality of life has created a movement towards sustainable agriculture. As a result of this movement, many programs have been initiated to promote locally grown products and to support agricultural-based economic development. The common objectives of the “locally grown” programs are to promote agricultural products produced within the region, support the local economy, and develop agricultural markets. Keys to success of a “locally grown” program are a vision, seed funding, a champion, and community, political leadership and technical support. Many innovative regional food and agriculture development programs have been initiated in New York State to support local farmers, revitalize the rural economy, promote local identity and pride, develop agri-tourism, and capture the urban markets. Some examples include the “Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty” initiated by local chefs, “Uncork New York” sponsored by the wine industry, and “Hudson Valley Harvest” and a pilot ethnic market project targeting New York City markets.
Christopher Catanzaro and Enefiok Ekanem
A community tree planting project was conducted on the border of an urban Nashville, Tenn., neighborhood in Autumn 1994. In Jan. 2000, a written survey was developed to assess residents' perception of this site. Responses were gathered voluntarily and anonymously following a community meeting. Photographs of the site taken before the planting and again recently were available to respondents. Descriptions of the site's appearance prior to planting (turf only) included barren, boring, and lacking character. Comments regarding the site with trees suggest that trees provide cover and shade, are aesthetically pleasing, and represent positive human involvement. The average rating of the site's appearance prior to planting was “fair,” while its recent appearance was rated “very good.” Among three tree species included in the planting, Southern magnolia was strongly preferred over Canadian (Eastern) hemlock and Eastern redbud. Respondents valued magnolia's size, unique flowers and leaves, and evergreen nature. Most respondents did not use the area for any specific purpose. Despite that fact, respondents stated that they benefitted from the soothing aesthetics of the landscaped site, and that the site added value to the neighborhood and implied the qualities of belonging and leadership. An unintended outcome of the survey was its educational aspect. Nearly two-thirds of respondents did not live in the area when this site was landscaped, and most of them were not aware that the neighborhood had conducted the project. Nearly one-half of all respondents expressed interest in additional landscaping at this site or nearby high-visibility, high-use sites.
The Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium (SRSFC) was established in 1999 through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by representatives from NC State University, Clemson University and the University of Georgia.
The mission of the SRSFC is to promote the small fruit industry in the south through education, research and outreach by regional collaboration utilizing the expertise of the member institutions. The University of Tennessee joined the SRSFC in 2002. Annual dues for membership in the consortium are $35,000. The SRSFC is governed by a steering committee comprised of university and industry personnel from the four member states. The SRSFC has sponsored 10 agent trainings since 1999 on various small fruit topics involving a total of 233 agents from the member states and adjacent states. From 2001 to 2004, the SRSFC awarded $221,300 to research and outreach projects in the member states. A web site has been established (http://www.smallfruits.org) to provide information on small fruits. The site averaged 2,059 hits per day for 2004.Challenges facing the SRSFC are renewal of the MOU in 2007; equal distribution of research and outreach funds in the member states; continuity of leadership; and recruitment of new members.
M. Haque, M. Baker, C. Roper, C. Carver Wallace, M. Whitmire, S. Zabel, J. Arnold, L. Petty, A. Dabbs, B. Jordan, R. Keydoszius and L. Wagner
The term Ethnobotany describes the study of people's relationships to plants as foods, fibers, medicines, dyes, and tools throughout the ages. Using the student active technique of experiential learning, undergraduate students enrolled in landscape design and implementation classes at Clemson University planned and installed an Ethnobotany garden in partnership with the South Carolina Botanical Garden (SCBG) staff, volunteers, and Sprouting Wings children. Sprouting Wings is an after-school gardening and nature exploration program for under-served elementary school students. College students and faculty working on this service-learning project contributed over 1,000 hours to their community while learning more about both the art and the science of landscape design and implementation. Students enrolled in the landscape Implementation class were surveyed to evaluate their perceptions on a variety of possible learning outcomes for this class. Students indicated that their service learning experience with the Ethnobotany project allowed them to acquire and practice new skills, broadened their understanding of the surrounding community, increased their ability to work in real world situations, introduced new career possibilities, gave students a better understanding of their course work, increased their ability to work on a team, increased their knowledge of environmental sustainability, and allowed them to discover or develop leadership capabilities. In a survey question regarding preference for service learning rather than traditional classes, the majority of students prefer the service learning pedagogy. In addition, most students reported a high degree of initiative for this project in their reflections.
Milton E. Tignor Jr. and Elizabeth M. Lamb
The Univ. of Florida has had off-campus degree programs for over a decade. In 1998, a new program in a major agricultural region of the state developed under unique circumstances. Community driven support, leadership from local politicians, and guidance from academic administrators resulted in the legislative funding of a new undergraduate teaching program in south Florida. The program offers upper-division courses leading to Bachelor of Science degrees in horticultural science and food and resource economics. Another unique aspect was the partnership formed with local universities necessary to offer the degrees. Locally, Indian River Community College provides lower-division courses and Florida Atlantic Univ. offers four upper-division courses to complete the course offerings for the degrees. Funding was allocated for eight new faculty members with 70% teaching appointments, four support staff, and a new $3.7 million teaching complex. In today's academic climate, having eight new faculty members at one time is a rare occurrence that allowed for creative growth on the part of the new teaching program. What was successful and unsuccessful concerning recruitment, advertising, purchasing, advising, collaborative efforts with local colleges, and administration will be discussed. In addition, demographics on the student body will be presented.
John Clemens, Ewen A. Cameron and Richard C. Funt
Calla (Zantedeschia Spreng.) growers were studied as members of an expanding sector in the New Zealand floricultural industry. The calla sector is characterized by diverse-size firms scattered throughout the two main islands of New Zealand. Growers differ in their skill and experience with calla production. Problems are both grower-specific (e.g., control of diseases, postharvest disorders) and sector-wide. Examples of the latter include the prioritizing and funding research, interacting with science organizations and planning sector marketing strategy. Both sets of problems have been exacerbated by the progressive withdrawal of research and extension support services traditionally provided by government agencies. There is competition between the floriculture industry and calla sector-based grower organizations. The leadership role of a strong grower organization, in this case the New Zealand Calla Council (NZCC), is seen as an essential forum for growers, and as the link between growers, exporter organizations, scientists and central government. Good communications between the industry organization and growers is essential to identify and prioritizeproblems and to transfer information to individual growers through workshops, newsletters and manuals. To maintain its effectiveness, the NZCC does not satisfy the needs of smaller growers at the expense of the larger, influential growers. Rather, it seeks to the benefit the latter by upgrading the skill level of the industry, and by undertaking tasks too large for any individual business.
Mary M. Peet
2009, Peet began work as National Program Leader at USDA/NIFA in Washington, DC, in Plant and Animal Systems, with responsibility for organic agriculture. She provides national leadership for state and federal activities relating to horticulture and