After a survey describing the range of products and services offered by Texas florists and supermarket floral departments, a modified SERVQUAL instrument measured customer perceptions and expectations of floral service quality. Florist customers were 3.2 years older, had a slightly higher household income, bought floral products twice as often from a florist, spent $14.53 more on each florist purchase than supermarket customers; they also made four fewer floral purchases from supermarkets during the previous 6 months. Supermarket customers spent $14.40 more on each supermarket floral purchase than did florist customers. Reliability was the most important and tangibles were the least important of the five service quality dimensions. Although expectations for both groups were similar on 18 of 22 service quality items, florists' customers perceived higher service quality than did supermarket customers. Although customers of both retail outlets had expectations higher than perceptions, florist customers had smaller, less negative gap scores. This result showed that florists better met customer expectations than did supermarket floral departments, a potential competitive advantage.
Wayne A. Becker, Bridget K. Behe, James L. Johnson, Christine D. Townsend and Kerry K. Litzenberg
Christopher D. Ryan, J. Bryan Unruh, Kevin E. Kenworthy, Alexa J. Lamm, John E. Erickson and Laurie E. Trenholm
agreeing that grass requires a lot of maintenance. Conversely, 78% of respondents desired high desert plants and 96% desired trees ( St. Hilaire et al., 2010 ). Although one survey in southeast Michigan found people were willing to pay more for well
Julie H. Campbell, Jason J. Henderson and Victoria H. Wallace
program and survey were approved by the university’s internal review board. The survey consisted of questions relating to personal characteristics of the school grounds manager (i.e., number of years on the job, prejob training, training on the job, types
Sheri Dorn, Diane Relf, Alan McDaniel and Michele James-Deramo
Virginia Cooperative Extension's (VCE) Master Gardener volunteer program in available in 73 of 102 unit offices. The unit programs are managed by MG coordinators who currently include 10 locally funded agents, eight locally funded non-agents, and 26 volunteers. In 1998, the VCE Master Gardener Coordinator Manual was developed for use by coordinators in managing the local MG program. The 12-unit resource book was developed cooperatively with teams of MGs, coordinators, and agents to enhance coordinators' skills. The manual was the basis of four local MG coordinator training sessions conducted in 1998. Before MG coordinator training, local coordinators were asked to complete an eight-page survey about MG program management practices used locally. In addition to basic questions about coordinator status and length of time with VCE, the survey asked about techniques used in recruitment and training; motivation, retention, and recognition; individual and local MG program evaluation; and other topics. Two months after the last training, all coordinators were asked to evaluate the usefulness of the VCE Master Gardener Coordinator Manual, which was the base text for the training. Finally, 6 months following the final training session, MG coordinators were asked to again complete the eight-page survey about management practices used locally. The results of the survey information have indicated areas in which the management of MG programs are strong and can be strengthened in order to provide enthusiastic, qualified volunteer staff to assist VCE in implementing horticultural educational programs in local communities. The results of the survey are helpful in focusing the work of the state Master Gardener coordinator to provide adequate and appropriate training and other resources for local coordinators. The results of the evaluation survey have assisted the finalization of the VCE Master Gardener Coordinator Manual, a useful resource to any state's Master Gardener program management effort.
Rebecca H. Wehry, Kathleen M. Kelley, Robert D. Berghage and James C. Sellmer
consumers by helping them identify specific brands within a retail environment and may provide retailers with a way to differentiate their product offering and ultimately obtain higher profits ( Naab, 2003 ). Two separate consumer-oriented surveys were
Mark M. Bray, John R. Clark and Rose Gergerich
In 2004, two surveys were conducted to assess the presence of four viruses in marketable blackberry nursery stock. The U.S. survey consisted of dormant nursery stock received from 11 nurseries in the southern, southeastern, midwestern, northeastern, and Pacific northwestern regions of the U.S. The second survey was focused only on Arkansas licensed propagating nurseries with samples collected during the growing season. Samples were tested using reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the presence of Blackberry yellow vein associated virus (BYVaV), Raspberry bushy dwarf virus (RBDV), Tomato ringspot virus (ToRSV), and Tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV). Of the total samples in the U.S. survey, there were 9% that tested positive for virus infection. Ninety percent of the positives were infected with BYVaV. Forty percent of these were detected in `Triple Crown', 40% in `Chickasaw', and 20% in `Apache'. The remaining 9% of the total positive virus samples were infected with TRSV and 100% of these were in `Triple Crown'. No viruses were found on any samples of `Chester Thornless'. In the Arkansas survey, 11% of the total samples tested positive for virus. Of these, 50% were infected with BYVaV.
The percent infected with BYVaV was distributed evenly among `Apache', `Chickasaw', and `Kiowa'. The other 50% of the infected samples were positive for TRSV (67% `Apache', 33% `Chickasaw'). There was one mixed infection of BYVaV and TRSV detected in `Apache'. These findings indicate that BYVaV is the most prevalent virus found in nursery stock and that the occurrence of BYVaV is not restricted to a single region or cultivar.
Benedict C. Posadas, Christine H. Coker, Patricia R. Knight and Glenn Fain
The objective of this survey was to determine the levels of liking and willingness to pay for selected garden chrysanthemum (Dendranthema ×grandiflorum) cultivars, and to measure relative infl uence of socioeconomic characteristics on consumer preferences and valuations. The survey was conducted during the 2003 Fall Flower and Garden Fest at the Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs, Miss. Nine garden chrysanthemum cultivars were presented to 579 survey participants in three pot sizes. Respondents preferred `Mithra Maroon', `Venus Purple', `Amory Yellow White', `Adonis Purple', and `Road Runner Bronze' more than `Night Hawk Lemon', `Freya Salmon', `Amata Purple', and `Starlet Ivory'. Of the five preferred cultivars, however, respondents were willing to pay more for `Mithra Maroon', `Road Runner Bronze', and `Amory Yellow White'. Consumers of White or Caucasian origin liked the cultivars less and were willing to pay less for them as compared to other respondents who reported other racial origins, primarily Native Americans and African Americans. The levels of liking for the cultivars were similar for participants of different gender classification, but female respondents were willing to pay more for the cultivars. Respondents who previously bought chrysanthemums reported higher level of liking for the cultivars but were not willing to pay more for them. Participants who were interviewed on Saturday liked the cultivars more but were willing to pay less than those who were interviewed on Friday. Larger-sized households tended to like the cultivars less and were not willing to pay more for the cultivars. Respondents did not like the cultivars in larger-sized pots and were not willing to pay more for plants in larger-sized pots included in the survey.
At least 90% or more of the Oregon nursery industry workforce is composed of Hispanic employees who understand little English, with Spanish their primary language. Currently, most of the technical information available to the nursery industry is in English. A Spanish translation of the OSU/ODA Nursery Newsletter to Hispanic workers began in Aug. 1999. The first newsletter contained a questionnaire to determine the foremost technical topic interests. Surveys were also conducted at the Spanish sessions at the Ornamentals Northwest Seminars and of 40 Hispanic employees during visits to five Oregon nurseries. In total, 340 surveys were conducted with 158 respondents. At the Ornamental Northwest seminars, 57% of those attending the Spanish sessions answered the survey. Eighty-seven percent replied that insect control information was their leading technical information interest, 81% disease and 80% weeds. Other interests were nutrition at 73% and propagation and plant identification, both at 67%. Twenty-one percent of newsletter readers responded to the questionnaire. Like the seminar respondents, newsletter readers indicated pest control information was very important to them; however, 91% found all the information presented of value and 97% wanted to continue to receive future issues. This finding was consistent with responses from nursery visits where respondents indicated their delight to receive technical information in Spanish.
Claims of disproportionate numbers of spiders in certain homes and public demand for non-pesticide means of pest control fostered a closer look at whether landscaping and the manipulation of yards can have an influence on spider migration into homes. Typically, spiders are unwanted houseguests, and homeowner concern over potential contacts with spiders poses challenges to acceptance of these beneficial animals. A 2-year survey was conducted to determine if the complexity of landscaping surrounding a home influences the diversity and abundance of spiders entering houses. The survey consisted of simple and complex landscapes in a regional area. Complexly planted yards had significantly higher numbers of spiders and greater diversity of spider taxa in houses, suggesting a correlation between landscape density and spider invaders. Species data include those that are synanthropic throughout the United States as well as species that are seasonal home invaders. In all, 804 spiders were collected, with 26 species and 31 genera. Results of this 2-year survey will be presented.
Jennifer Campbell Bradley, Dennis McConnell, Michael Kane and Grady Miller
Attracting new students into traditional agriculture programs has become increasingly difficult. Offering a survey course as a means for introducing students to agriculture is a concept with popular appeal. As a recruiting effort, and as a method of introducing students to horticulture, the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida, Gainesville, designed a one-credit course for nonmajors. The course was structured to provide a broad overview of horticulture, emphasizing plant use to enhance interior and exterior environments. The intent was to develop a course somewhat similar to an entry-level course for majors, but with each lecture devoted to a single, self-contained topic. When feasible, hands-on activities were incorporated within the classroom presentation. The course ORH 1030-Plants, Gardens, and You was offered for the first time in Summer 1997. It is now offered every semester. The course has one faculty assigned each semester and various other faculty members, including teaching, research, and extension specialists, participate as guest lecturers. Methods to improve the course are discussed by the faculty presenters and the course coordinator each term. Student response to ORH 1030 has been favorable, ratings are high and enrollment in the course has continued to rise from 30 to our current cap of 100. As a means of ensuring that we are meeting the needs of our students and to aid in targeting potential students, a survey was administered in Spring 2000. Students enrolled in the course were surveyed at the beginning and the end of the semester to gain insight into student demographics, horticulture background and experience, reasons for enrollment in the class, and overall interest in the course.