Important issues, sources of continuous education, information and training utilized by Miami-Dade growers and golf course managers

Rafael Munoz-Carpena, Jonathan H. Crane, Glenn D. Israel

Abstract


As a part of a recent water conservation survey, fruit, vegetable, and ornamental growers and golf course managers in Miami-Dade County were asked about their sources for training and continuous education, the most common methods by which they become aware of Extension activities, and their frequency of computer and internet use. Usable survey responses were obtained from 167 growers in the area across all commodity groups. Background information on survey participants found 55% and 13% of the fruit and ornamental growers were part-time farmers. In contrast, 100% of the vegetable growers and golf course managers worked full-time in their profession. The majority (87-100%) of survey respondents were male. The survey found the University of Florida-IFAS (UF-IFAS) rated as a very important educational source for all crop producers (43-83% of the respondents across groups) and that vegetable producers heavily utilized commercial representatives (67%) and consultants (83%). Golf course managers rated UF-IFAS, USDA-Farm Service Agency, and industry organizations as equally (38%) important sources of information. The most common methods by which producers and managers become aware of Extension programs were newsletters, mailed notices, and word of mouth, in decreasing order of importance. Computer and internet use ranged from 58% by fruit growers, to 75%, 89%, and 100% of the golf course managers and ornamental and vegetable producers, respectively. Only a third of the responding vegetable growers and half of the other groups showed interest in an Extension web site for Miami-Dade programs and information. This knowledge can prove essential for targeting the ever-busier audiences for Extension programming.

Keywords


drought; extension; flooding; ornamental; plant pests; tropical fruit; vegetable; water quality

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283