Improving Field Crop Extension outreach through enhanced growing season communication and outreach
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Waldron, J. Keith; Hahn, Russell R.
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) educators are Cornell University’s front line in helping New York field crop producer clientele with crop production and pest management issues. Keeping CCE personnel informed on the latest information and developments helps us meet Cornell’s high standards for extension outreach and provides clientele with quality, pertinent, timely and user-friendly programs and resources that maximize our educational impacts. Enhancing communication opportunities between CCE county and campus personnel helps strengthen the outreach network, and is an important component of CCE’s professional development. 2014 marked the third and final year of this funded project and seventh year overall of the call series. This season twenty-two conference calls were held between 5/8/14 and 10/16/14 to improve campus and field staff communication regarding field crop pest and crop management issues during the growing season. Each forty-five minute call averaged 13 participants. Conference call participants were better equipped to conduct their outreach efforts and meet the field crop pest management needs of their stakeholders. Enhanced communication among CCE personnel with field crop responsibilities improved effectiveness of outreach efforts regarding timely pest management issues. In addition to direct communication during the conference call, topics discussed were summarized and highlights made available to other stakeholders weekly through on-line NYS IPM Weekly Pest Report blogs available at the NYS IPM Program field crops website. Articles from the Weekly Pest Report are frequently used in various extension newsletters and other media including Facebook and Twitter postings with an estimated outreach of 8,000 subscribers. An end of season evaluation to document feedback, suggestions and potential impacts of the conference call series was very positive. Participants expressed much interest and support to continue the conference call series in 2015.
New York State IPM Program
Agricultural IPM; Field Crops; Communication