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Robert D. Berghage, Alan Michael, and Mike Orzolek

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.

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Mary Hotze Witt

Abstract

The unofficial beginning of Cooperative Extension is traced to 1903, Kaufman County, Texas when Dr. Seaman A. Knapp initiated demonstrations with Mexican boll weevil in cotton. Knapp once said, “What a man hears, he will not believe, what he says, he may believe, but what he does he must believe.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%).

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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.

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Barbara J. Williams and James D. Utzinger

Abstract

Three hundred and one Extension professionals (88.3% response), working in home horticulture educational programs in the United States in 1984, indicated their greatest areas of inservice education needs in program delivery are: 1) increasing expertise in the various subject matter areas, 2) developing skills in plant disorder diagnosis, 3) managing information files for rapid retrieval and dissemination, and 4) developing and implementing innovative programs. Subject matter areas where respondents have the greatest training need are: 1) pest identification and control, 2) diagnosis of plant disorders, 3) weed identification, 4) home fruit production, 5) information on recommended cultivars, and 6) ornamental plant identification. Home vegetable gardening ranked 1st in respondent perception of importance and perception of proficiency needed for job performance.

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Gary W. Knox and Glenn D. Israel

Environmental Landscape Management (ELM), an extension education program, approaches every landscape as a “system” in which cultural practices interact with each other and the environment. ELM guidelines integrate site conditions, landscape design, plant selection, cultural factors, and recycling in a comprehensive, environment-friendly strategy for managing a landscape. Use of ELM practices by Floridians will conserve resources and protect the environment. The ELM program was evaluated from 1992 to 1994 in 10 counties to measure the program's impact on participants' landscape practices and to provide information on ways to improve program delivery and effectiveness. The evaluation was accomplished by comparing pre-program information on the use of ELM practices with that of a follow-up conducted six months after the program. Responses of this Program Group (n = 473) were compared to those of a Comparison Group of randomly selected Floridians (n = 186). ELM training increased the Program Group's adoption of most practices pertaining to pest management, irrigation, and mowing and pruning. ELM training increased adoption of some fertilization practices and a few recycling and wildlife practices. Energy conserving practices were not widely used by respondents. Respondents maintaining their own yards or those without a permanent irrigation system were more likely to adopt a wide range of ELM practices. The Program Group generally had higher initial levels of adoption of ELM practices than the Comparison Group.