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#nexc2012 #716 - Maximizing Programs and Services Without Breaking Our Backs: Satisfying the Growing Demands of Gardeners for Up-to-Date Gardening Information. Using technology as the main thread for ...

#nexc2012 #716 - Maximizing Programs and Services Without Breaking Our Backs: Satisfying the Growing Demands of Gardeners for Up-to-Date Gardening Information. Using technology as the main thread for success, Michigan State University Extension Consumer Horticulture Educators are increasing accessibility to science-based gardening resources. Efforts are cross-marketed/promoted and allow Educators to meet clients' needs without being spread too thin.

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  • MARY: INTRODUCTION Why? Part has to do with the state we’re in Michigan Great Lakes Drive a lot of our initiatives (a lot of water) Number of people According to the NGA 80% of the population is involved in gardening. renewed interest in growing your own produce whether for economic reasons ensure safe, affordable food. Environmental Therapeutic reasons Aesthesic Etc. And, whether it’s growing trees/shrubs in their yards, maintaining a lawn, growing vegetable garden, community garden, or simply growing plants in containers on a deck or balcony, that 80% represents over 8 million MI citizens.   So, with this mass of people, and the fact that agriculture educators are more specialized and focused on commercial production, how does our Consumer Horticulture team of 6 people increase our outreach?   New products, new delivery systems, programmatic changes for reaching this audience with science-based, environmentally sound gardening practices.  
  • MARY -set the stage
  • Could be another option for the previous slide if you don’t like the Freshwater map.
  • MARY Hoping to get a very cool, updated map showing Michigan’s Freshwater…. So would show the entire state and not just Oakland County.
  • 6 component
  • SLIDE 8: MARY: Why? How? Master Gardener Program – signature consumer horticulture program, offered on a national level through land grant universities; in MI since 1978. So, long established program.   2011 and 2012 restructuring the program. (developing a new model; staffing and budget standpoint) Program consists of two components: education and volunteering Educators – focusing solely on education/training of volunteers; focus on education – what we do best. County / community partners – volunteer mgt 2012 – focus on quality and consistence of training (in the past too focused on simply processing people through the program; inconsistence in material taught.) Fewer training sites (7) – taught by CH staff and/or approved instructors (have to go through an application process) Statewide association under development -stay connected, common voice, Plus numerous community outreach efforts focused on Env. Quality, Growing Food in Backyard and Community Gardens, Youth Development through Gardening and Supporting MSUE through various efforts like volunteers help support the hotline, Ask an Expert, Soil testing effort, diagnostics and Ask a Master Gardener. Reduction in staff – fewer resources for teaching; coupled with mandate from adm to apply technology (similanously when gearing up to re-write the curriculum; collided at the same time) re-focus; make the program smaller; shrink in order to grow consistency needed to improve; volunteer mgt was inconsistent Basis for a program to grow Dealing with it the best as possible. It is what it is; moving on. We believe in the program. Developing a new program model. we’re in progress – result of downsizing; gearing up with online (not there yet); better product than what we started with; Statewide We recognize this is a tool; major tool
  • SLIDE 6: REBECCA: MSUE Lawn and Garden Hotline Launched June 1, 2011 Six call centers around the state (Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Genesee, Kalamazoo, Kent) Take calls 9:00 – 4:00 Monday – Friday from around the state Staffed by key volunteers undergoing specialized training Since inception: 6000 clients have had gardening questions answered 65% directed away from use of a pesticide
  • Costs
  • Training for AaE -on how to use system -training for hotline the same Numerous thank yous from people (per Gretchen and Lela). People have stated they had no place to ask questions before and are so grateful. (These are primarily from outstate residents in counties where there’s no consumer hort staff.) Ask an Expert: Launched June 1, 2011 24/7 opportunity for people to connect with gardening experts and ask their gardening questions online through this system. Type in question. (County offices, homeowners) Upload an image if so choose. Questions are routed to MSUE Consumer Horticulture educators and MG volunteers that have been trained specifically for Ask an Expert. Goal: respond to questions within 48 hours. If people don’t know the answer, can re-route to a colleague.   Note that we are also cross promoting the toll free hotline What about numbers?? And our numbers of questions answered by Michigan experts have risen dramatically since we started training people in early 2010 to answer questions in AaE—from 265 in 2009, to 722 in 2010, to 1417 in 2011, to already 1718 this year!!!
  • SLIDE 7: Look for stats from Joy MARY: platform for the gardening information; hub Gardening in MI website ( www.migarden.msu.edu ) Numerous fact sheets, on various gardening topics, approximately 100 videos (featuring online training currently being conducted – fruit), MSUE Home and Garden News (breaking news on garden-related topics)   Videos
  • SLIDE 2: BINDU: - Soil Test Mailer and MSU Soil Test Web site: Stress that this allows us to work smarter, more efficiently, streamline the service, and provide the same or better service to the gardening public. - Huge Need: * In 2010, we had X number of home lawn and garden soil tests submitted. * In Oakland County alone, we have had 800+ soil samples submitted in a 3-month period. * Brief explanation of DGST: This area had an interest, environmental awareness that led us to believe the mailer would be well0-received and in demand to make gardening easier. * Michigan Fertilizer Law- Restriction on P containing lawn fertilizers another timely push that required residents to test their soil before fertilizing…. Wanted to be ready for that rush as the law went into effect December 16, 2010. Home lawn and garden soil testing had to be easier for both the public and the educators and others who prepared recommendations for soil tests. In our initial research , found Clemson had a mailer… Mailer Launched June 1, 2011 Nearly X # of participants to date (Need to update this figure) X # of these mailer samples were processed Soil testing self-mailer is for home lawns, vegetable gardens, flower gardens, trees and shrubs and fruit NOT COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS Access to kits: Pick up MSU Extension offices, online MSUE Bookstore, ultimately retailers – making it convenient for clientele. Process: Take soil sample and mail it directly to the lab on campus. (Decreases turnaround time.) The results are sent back to the homeowner via email further decreasing turnaround time. Making it more convenient for you and provide your results to you faster. This is coupled with……… Interested in the possibility of the mailer and soil test web site being able to be implemented in OTHER states to help make soil testing more convenient and not overload Extension Educators.  
  • SLIDE 3: BINDU: MSUsoiltest.com Interpretation website with customized fertilizer recommendations Interactive web-site with calculator tools Tip sheets Links to the consumer hort website More information can be obtained at the 1-888 #  
  • SLIDE 4: BINDU: MSUsoiltest.com enter a code assigned by the testing lab or type in the numbers on the test report.
  • SLIDE 9: Curriculum development and replication -About efficiency have the staff that do it well -so everyone has access to the same program; stamp out a program and deliver it -veggies 101 – mini grant -plants of distinction MARY: Training Programs Statewide effort to offer specific programs – consistent; replicatable curriculum Plants of Distinction – 2 programs focusing on increased product awareness, especially those that are sustainable plant materials for less inputs Smart Gardening…Saving time, money & water – 3 programs Veggies 101 – 3 locations Home to Market Garden – 3 locations
  • SLIDE 10: REBECCA: Media Outreach – ProActive working with ANR Communications more than we ever have pushing information out Mention Michigan Fresh   Planned and with a purpose Cross institute effort Communications campaign – May 1 – October 31 MSUE resources to help people with their purchasing decisions How to use / grow the products that are purchased Featured product/theme each week Eastern Market and beyond
  • SLIDE 10: REBECCA: Media Outreach – ProActive working with ANR Communications more than we ever have pushing information out Mention Michigan Fresh   Planned and with a purpose Cross institute effort Communications campaign – May 1 – October 31 MSUE resources to help people with their purchasing decisions How to use / grow the products that are purchased Featured product/theme each week Eastern Market and beyond

2012 e xtension presentation  wilson 2012 e xtension presentation wilson Presentation Transcript

  • Maximizing Programs and Services without Breaking our Backs: Satisfy the Growing Demands of Gardeners Ravenous for Up-to-date Information MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Team Members Bindu Bhakta, Bob Bricault, Rebecca Finneran, Hal Hudson, Gary Heilig, Gretchen Voyle, & Mary Wilson
  •  MSUField-basedConsumerHorticultureExtensionEducators Wayne County (Detroit)
  • Freshwater ecosystems: Lakes, streams, & wetlands Michigan freshwaters Lakes Wetlands Streams Image Courtesy of Dr. Kendra Cheruvelil, MSU
  • Master Gardener Program 2012 Restructuring -Focus on quality & consistency -Focus more on education, less on volunteer management -Stronger relationship with community partners (e.g. county funded staff, local MG groups) - Statewide association (501c3) - Fewer basic training -Targeted volunteer efforts
  • MSUE Lawn & Garden Hotline  1-888-MSUE4-MI (1-888-678-3464) Fewer and more focused staff Growing demand for information
  • MSUE Lawn & Garden Hotline  Launched June 1, 2011 Six call centers around the state Staffed by MSUE Master Gardeners Data:  6,000 clients had gardening questions answered (2011)  65% directed away from use of a pesticide. (2011)  Callers from “x” out of 83 counties (2012)
  • Specialized training  Orientation to Ask an Expert Advanced Soils Diagnostics  Lawns  Ornamentals  Vegetables
  • Ask an Expert  Widgets  MG trained  Gardening in MI web  12 site  Key volunteers, hand-  Msusoiltest.com web picked site  Stats  General MSUE web  265 in 2009, site (funneled by Lela)  722 in 2010,  Others ???  1417 in 2011,  1718 (and still growing) in 2012!!!
  • www.migarden.msu.edu
  •   5/15/10 5/15/11 - - 5/14/12 5/14/11Unique 15,777 30,939visitorsPageviews 81,647 136,124
  • Soil Testing  Why?  How?  Large volume of soil  Regional GREEEN test interpretations Grant  Up to 800  PRF  # of participants
  • Soil Testing Self-Mailer  Why? How did we do it?  Acquired 3 grants  Launched June 1, 2011: X # participants  Available online via MSUE Bookstore or at MSUE offices  Crops: • Home lawns & vegetable gardens • Flower gardens, trees & shrubs • Fruits  Client mails soil directly to lab  Result link emailed back to client  Link to www.msusoiltest.com website for: • Customized recommendations • Fertilizer & area calculators • Tip sheets
  • **********(XXXXXX)
  • 2012 Training Opportunities Consistency and Replication  Plants of Distinction  Smart Gardening  Backyard Fruit Series  Veggies 101  Home to Market Garden
  • Media Outreach – PROACTIVE!  Active collaboration with ANR Communications Team  MSUE News  2 articles/month  MI fruit crop /
  • Media Outreach – PROACTIVE!  Michigan Fresh  Screen capture of booth  with the QR code Michigan Farmer
  • Questions?   Thank you!