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Robert F. Polomski, Kay M. Johnson and Judy C. Anderson

The first prison-based Master Gardener (MG) program in South Carolina was piloted at a minimum security prison for men and women in Columbia in 1991. Since then, 130 inmates have become certified MGs at 7 South Carolina Department of Corrections institutions. Certification is awarded after the inmates complete 40 hours of training provided by grounds maintenance staff, county extension agents, and MGs. Besides offering green-industry job skills, successfully completing the program offered inmates a sense of academic accomplishment and sparked their interest in horticulture.

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Kerrie B. Badertscher* and Carol A. O'Meara

Since the 1970's, the Colorado Master Gardenersm (MG) program in Boulder County has had volunteer opportunities external to the extension office site. Collaboration occurs with various green industry locations via “clinics”. Volunteers are on location Friday through Sunday, April through mid-July to answer questions for the public at large. Due to the length of time this program had been in place, the staff time and resources committed to it, and budget cutbacks, need for a study of impact and effectiveness of this program was identified. A three-year study was conducted to determine efficacy, pertinence and should this system remain status quo. In year 1, a sampling of the general public was conducted to determine: behavioral change as a result of receiving information (such as a diagnosis); was the information delivered in a timely fashion; satisfaction level; pesticide usage trends; continuance of this program and other data points. In year 2, active MG's in Boulder County were surveyed about participation at various facilities, information about clientele activity, and success rate with clients. Additionally, their comfort level on ability to assist clients plus their perception of the value of clinics to the community were surveyed. Data on diagnostics was correlated with weekly statistics. In year 3, partnering Green Industry collaborators were surveyed to gauge satisfaction with clinic service, timeliness of clinic schedule, and value of clinic service to business, and overall benefits to their staff resources. Reports on each survey will be delivered.

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Susan L. Hamilton

Many new plants and varieties are introduced into the market every year. Little information is generally available about the landscape performance of these plants. To take the guesswork out of their landscape performance in the Tennessee region, the Univ. of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) Gardens were established. Started in 1983 as an All-America Selections (AAS) Test Garden, on less than a quarter of an acre, the UTIA Gardens have grown to 5 acres and now include plant introductions from 25 commercial seed and plant companies. An average of 550 summer and winter annuals are evaluated annually in addition to an assortment of bulbs, perennials, herbs, groundcovers, ornamental grasses, aquatics, trees, and shrubs. Because of the volume of plants, evaluation criteria are in conjunction with industry requests and are not always replicated. In addition to university support, the gardens receive revenues from the sponsoring commercial seed and plant companies, the Tennessee green industry trade associations, a “Friends of the Gardens” support group, and gifts. As a result of the herbaceous plant evaluation program, the UTIA Gardens have grown to be a significant resource for the university, community, and green industry. A variety of university departments use the gardens in their teaching; community groups, including schools, tour and use the gardens; and open houses and field days assist commercial growers and landscapers in remaining current on new plant introductions and their performance.

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James Klett

Planttalk Colorado, established in Fall 1997, is a 24-hour toll-free automated phone service available in English and Spanish and website that provides gardening consumers with reliable and timely information on a variety of horticultural and related areas topics. Planttalk Colorado is unique in that it is sponsored by Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Denver Botanic Gardens and the Green Industries of Colorado. Over 450 topics edited and approved by all entities ranging from general gardening to emerging issues, such as new disease and insect concerns. Recent efforts have included translation of a portion of the scripts into Spanish to reach a larger audience and the rising Hispanic population in the state and region. Marketing efforts have evolved to include a website with photos and illustrations along with linkages to other university research-based information. Other marketing tools have included: free incentives, mass media marketing, and tabletop and banner displays for use at educational functions. A review of phone usage vs. web hits will be discussed. Web hits averaged 92,528 monthly in 2004 vs. phone usage averaged 309 monthly in 2004. Consumers have the ability to post comments on both web and phone systems. They can rank the overall program on the web. Funding is a cooperative effort between all three partners. Planttalk Colorado has increased visibility to Cooperative Extension and built partnerships with the Green Industry of Colorado and Denver Botanic Gardens for delivering reliable and accurate information to all citizens of Colorado and beyond.

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Cynthia Haynes, Ann Marie Van Der Zanden and Jeffery Iles

In 2004, the greenhouse and nursery industry was ranked as the fourth largest crop group in the United States based on farm cash receipts (USDA, 2004). The ornamental crop sector was expected to post total sales in excess of 15.3 billion dollars in 2004 (USDA, 2004). Landscape services within the green industry have risen from 28.9 billion in 2002 to 41.6 billion in 2004 (ALCA, 2004). In Iowa, recent surveys of turfgrass and edible food crop production and services have shown a combined net worth of more than 1 billion dollars. However, these surveys failed to include nursery and garden centers, greenhouse growers, landscape designers/contractors, arborists, and florists. Therefore, the objective of this project was to better understand the scope and scale of the ornamental horticulture industry in Iowa. A questionnaire was developed and mailed to 1293 horticulture businesses in Iowa. The survey instrument was developed with input from members of the Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association Research Corporation. Before mailing, it was reviewed by survey professionals and piloted to a select group of green industry representatives and edited per their suggestions. Three weeks after mailing, a reminder postcard was sent. Respondents were sorted as to type and size of business, number of employees, and annual sales. The percentage of gross receipts was categorized by types of plants sold and services provided. Respondents also were asked about the factors that limit their success, their strengths compared to competitors, and their expectations for future growth.

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Scott W. Ludwig, Kelli Hoover and Robert Berghage

. We extend special thanks to Paul Heller and James Sellmer for reviewing earlier drafts of the manuscript. This research was funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Green Industry Grower/Retailer IPM Program and the Bedding

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M.P. Garber, J. M. Ruter, J.T. Midcap and K. Bondari

A 2001 survey of 102 nurseries that were members of the Georgia Green Industry Association was conducted to assess irrigation practices of container ornamental nurseries. Mean nursery size was 64 acres (26 ha) and mean annual revenue was about $3 million. About 50% of the irrigation water was from wells and the other 50% came from surface sources, such as collection basins. Irrigation in smaller containers, including #1, #3, and #5, was applied primarily by overhead methods, while larger containers (#7, #15, #25) made extensive use of direct application methods, such as drip or spray stakes. Frequency of irrigation in the summer growing months was about three times that of the winter season. Georgia nurseries use irrigation practices suggested in Southern Nursery Association best management practices, including collection of runoff water (48%), cyclic irrigation (44%), watering in the morning (92%), and grass strips between the production beds and drainage areas (60%).

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Kerrie B. Badertscher

Colorado currently has no licensure program for landscaping and many people applying to the Colorado Master Gardener program have indicated a desire to seek entry-level training in order to determine if a second career in horticulture is feasible. Alternatively, some each year who complete this basic training go on into the Green Industry either in basic design and/or maintenance. Colorado State University Cooperative Extension came together with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and the Colorado Nursery Association (now CNGA) to create the Rocky Mountain Landscape Design Guide. The purpose of this publication was to inform the general consumer about the landscape design process. A review will be given using this publication with concurrent laboratory activities to Master Gardeners as a continuing education piece.

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David L. Hensley

The Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii was formed in 1987 to bring the landscape professional and trade associations together. The organization's goals are communication between segments of the industry, education, promotion, and legislative action. Current members of the council include: Aloha Arborists Association; ASLA Hawaii Chapter; Hawaiian Association of Nurserymen; PGMS HI Chapter; Hawaii Landscape and Irrigation Contractors Association; HI Professional Gardeners Association; HI Turfgrass Association; and the HI Island Landscape Association. The Council publishes Hawaii Landscape magazine, presents statewide educational programs and trade shows, and works for the common good of the entire green industry. It has been successful in gleaning grant support for several efforts. The Council is on the verge of broadening membership to individuals as well as associations and making significant strides to meet its goals and needs of the Hawaiian landscape industry. The evolution and successes have not been without problems, setbacks, ruffled feathers, and a lot of hard work from a dedicated group of volunteers.

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William Klingeman, Charles Hall and Beth Babbit

Though genetically modified (GM) ornamental cut flowers are already available commercially, U.S. academics and Green Industry growers have not assessed consumer perception about GM ornamental plants for landscape use. Because we must make inferences from studies of GM foods, we risk misunderstanding and alienating stakeholders and clients. If we misjudge the end-user, we jeopardize the market for future GM ornamental plant introductions. To address this gap, we surveyed Tennessee Master Gardener Volunteers in 2004. Respondents (n = 607) revealed that concern and belief about GM ornamental plants parallel U.S. expectation about GM foods. Average Master Gardener volunteer responses predict that GM ornamental plants would provide only slight benefits to both the environment and human health once used in the landscape. Compared with non-GM plants, GM ornamental plants are expected to be about the same or less invasive in the landscape. While all types of GM ornamental plants were expected to provide slight benefits, plant types were perceived differently with male respondents expecting perennials to yield the most environmental benefits and females indicating grasses and turf. Men and women also differed in their relative acceptance of GM ornamental plants, if genes were added from different types of organisms to achieve a genetic transformation of an ornamental shrub. Our results suggest that academic outreach and Green Industry marketing to promote new GM plant products should emphasize attributes of benefit, rather than GM transformation processes. Regardless, about 73% of TN Master Gardener respondents reported interest in buying GM ornamental plants if sold commercially, but the majority advocated a requirement for GM plant product labeling at point-of-sale.