Current and future plans for reductions in federal and state funding suggest that government supported programs must find ways to reduce costs while maintaining or expanding programs. The current model of extension, with an agent for each commodity in every county is not likely to survive. Furthermore, the days when university-based specialists could afford to make house calls also are probably limited. Yet, the need for extension support in the floriculture industry is as great as ever. Increased chemical costs and regulatory pressure are restricting grower options and making it increasingly important that information dissemination and technology transfer occur in timely and appropriate ways. To try to meet the needs of the floriculture industry in Pennsylvania, we have begun a program to help develop independent greenhouse crop management associations to work with milti-county and university-based extension specialists to improve program delivery to the member greenhouses. The first of these associations has been established in the Capital Region in central Pennsylvania and is providing IPM scouting and crop management services to member greenhouses. Development of associations and linkages with and the role of extension are discussed.
Robert D. Berghage, Alan Michael and Mike Orzolek
John G. Richardson, James Stephenson, Gwyn Riddick, Allen Caldwell and Maurice McAlister
To provide educational opportunities for small and part-time farmers, a project was implemented using selected extension delivery methods. Individual methods or combinations of these were used to meet farmer informational needs. A comparison was made between person-to-person and self-directed (or nonperson-to-person) methods to see which means of receiving extension information farmers preferred. Findings indicated that person-to-person methods were not as useful as the self-directed methods.
Glenn D. Israel, Janice O. Easton and Gary W. Knox
The Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES) teaches residents the importance of proper landscaping practices. FCES offers several educational programs that teach residents how to integrate energy and water conservation, pest management, and waste recycling practices into their home landscapes. In 1997, extension staff and volunteers planned and conducted environmental landscape management (ELM) programs resulting in >800,000 customer contacts. A survey was conducted to measure the adoption of recommended best management practices by program participants and nonparticipants. Results show that, of 39 practices examined, Master Gardener trainees increased the number of practices used by an average of 7.3, while educational seminar and publications-only participants increased by an average of 4.5 and 2.8 practices, respectively. Nonparticipants showed essentially no change. When practices are examined one at a time, the Master Gardeners made statistically significant increases in 28 of the 39 recommended practices. Educational seminar and publications-only participants made similar gains in 31 and 6 practices, respectively, and the nonparticipant comparison group made significant increases in 2 practices and decreases in 8. The results suggest that the publications-only strategy for delivering information to homeowners is less effective than strategies combining educational seminars or intensive training with relevant publications.
Gary Y. Gao, James A. Chatfield, Erik A. Draper and Joseph F. Boggs
The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension Nursery, Landscape, and Turf Team (ENLTT) is an innovative and interdisciplinary team comprised of extension agents, extension specialists, researchers, teaching faculty, university arboretum staff, and research assistants. ENLTT has greatly improved the process of acquisition, delivery, and support of accurate, practical, and timely educational resources through interdisciplinary and industry partnerships. The award-winning weekly electronic newsletter Buckeye Yard and Garden Line (BYGL) has been the focal point of our teamwork since 1993. An ornamental research circular, authored and edited by ENLTT members, remains the most requested publication from the Section of Communication and Technology, Ohio Agricultural Research Development Center, OSU. Strong partnership with the green industry in Ohio has resulted in the financial commitment of more than $230,000 from the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association since 1993. ENLTT members have improved themselves as a result of educating each other through weekly BYGL conference calls from April to October, taking study tours, and conducting joint educational programs. Twenty-two commodity or issue teams, such as, Floriculture Team, Vegetable Crops Team, Tree Fruit Team, Forestry Team, Agronomic Crops Team, Sustainable Agriculture Team, and Dairy Team, have been formed in OSU Extension due to the success of ENLTT.
Suzanne A. Poston, Candice A. Shoemaker and David A. Dzewaltowski
contract awarded by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. The authors thank Carol Fink for her assistance with the Summer 2003 program delivery.
Karen L. Panter
The Commercial Greenhouse Needs Assessment Survey-1991 was mailed to 201 greenhouse firms throughout Colorado in Aug. 1991. One-hundred-twenty-two usable surveys were returned, a return rate of 61%. The survey contained four sections: Educational Programming Topics; Educational Program Delivery Methods; Needs Other Than Classes; and Personal/Business Data. Results of the Programming Topics section indicated that non-chemical pest control was the subject of most interest (70.6% of respondents), followed by chemical pest control (62.2%). Results of the Programming Delivery Methods section showed that greenhouse operators most wanted workshops (77. 1%). A monthly format (54.7%) was preferred, with evenings (41 .4%) the best time. The Needs Other Than Classes section indicated that greenhouse operators across the state expected visits from the Commercial Greenhouse Extension Agent on an as-needed basis (59.6%), and that 39.2% of the survey respondents were aware of services available from the Commercial Greenhouse Extension Agent. The Personal/Business section indicated that most respondents had a bachelor's or master's degree (53.3%), and were wholesale growers (66.9%) with greenhouses < 50,000 ft2 (67.5%).
Arlie A. Powell and Karl Harker
It is always challenging to develop innovative Extension programs delivery methods. The development of a winter chilling model (Modified 45) for Alabama, the evaluation of a growth regulator (Dormex—hydrogen cyanamide) to replace lack of chilling in peaches and the establishment of a computerized weather program allowed us to create a superior expert program for grower application. Access through a personal computer is all that is required to monitor chilling accumulation and determine the most ideal time for application of Dormex (which is very critical). This information (formerly available from NWS) is now accessible through a private weather firm. The development of a chilling hour/heat unit (growing degree hour) for peaches is showing promise of providing growers still another useful product (via their PCs) in improving orchard management via better timing of practices.
Lelia S. Kelly*
In a time of budgetary constraints, reorganization of many extension services and other changes in the educational system, identifying and implementing non-traditional ways to deliver programming is a critical issue if extension is to continue to deliver quality, timely educational programs to clientele. Innovative methods that can be used to efficiently and economically deliver programming would be desirable and beneficial. This presentation will address how Mississippi State Univ. Extension Service, due to the changes listed above, is addressing the lack of extension instructors to teach the basic training curriculum of the Master Gardener (MG) program. In order to continue to meet the public demand for these classes and safeguard the integrity of the instruction, a new process of identifying, training and evaluating “senior” MG volunteers as instructors in the basic training curriculum of the program has been implemented. How this process was initiated and buy-in of administrators, county extension MG coordinators, volunteers and state specialists was established will be presented. The process of selecting, training, and evaluating of these MG certified educators would also be presented. Difficulties encountered with implementing this new system of program delivery utilizing volunteers in addition to the traditional specialist or agent instructor will be presented as well.
James W. Rushing and Christopher S. Walsh
In 1998 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) published formal guidelines for the microbial safety of fresh produce. The guidelines identify and suggest the use of good agricultural practices (GAP) and good manufacturing practices (GMP) for producers and handlers. To extend this important information to international producers and suppliers, an agreement was made to create a GAP and GMP training program through the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN). JIFSAN combined resources of US-FDA, the University of Maryland, and other universities to reach audiences outside the U.S. with food safety information. The program is based on the train-the-trainer concept. Its success depends on the ability of the newly trained program participants to reach key audiences in the target country. We present an overview of the development of a training manual and its content, the selection of a teaching team and target countries, and the methods for implementation of the training. Examples of activities in various countries are summarized. Results of a program review conducted in 2004, following nine program deliveries, are also discussed. Future needs are identified and current programming plans are provided.
Lelia S. Kelly
In a time of budgetary constraints, new strategies have to be developed if we are to continue to meet the demand for home horticulture information. This on-campus event was developed as one of those strategies. The goal of this event was to provide a train-the-trainer opportunity that would equip selected Master Gardeners to assume a larger role in the delivery of home horticulture information. Training needs were determined and included advanced training in insect and disease management, leadership, presentation skills, and computer skills. Educational materials were provided and “graduates” were given the charge of going back to their county groups and sharing what they had learned. Other goals of the event were to provide an opportunity to tour campus facilities, meet key university personnel, and provide recognition and motivation. Sixty-eight Master Gardeners attended this two-day pilot event in May. On-site evaluations were very positive with attendees ranking the educational sessions most beneficial of the activities provided. Year end reporting from the counties indicated that Master Gardeners conducted 82% more public programs in 2004, 49% more home visits and handled 18% more homeowner calls. Part of this substantial increase in program delivery can be contributed to the training these volunteers received at this event. Personal communication with county directors and Master Gardeners indicate that these volunteers are assuming more of a leadership role in the management of the county Master Gardener