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Home Horticulture Articles Appear in Local Papers

The Issue

In bringing information from UC to the home and garden audience, the most efficient method is to make use of local mass media because they reach the largest numbers of clientele.

Newspapers are widely read and as such are an excellent extension method. The objective of the weekly column is to provide to home and garden clientele researched-based information that is up to date and timely.

What Has ANR Done?

Weekly home horticulture gardening columns have been written for the Fresno Bee by UCCE's environmental horticulture advisor for almost 15 years. In 2001-02, 81 articles were published by the Bee and in 2002, distribution was expanded to include two other local papers. The articles are researched, written and distributed via email. The columns are also occasionally printed in agricultural magazines such as Nut Grower as space is available. The articles are currently being archived to faciliate a searchable database on the Fresno County UCCE Web Page.

The Payoff

Horticulture advisor provides local gardeners with UC information

Because this home horticulture column consistently appears in the newspaper, ANR has developed a dedicated local readership that has improved its home gardening skills, become more environmentally conscious of choices in landscape practices and also, incidentally, created a significant support base for UCCE. Surveys have shown that readers of locally-produced garden columns are the primary attenders at home gardening workshops and classes. At least 60% of participants list the local paper as the source of information about the event.

Readership is also gauged by informing readers that if they send in a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) they will recieve helpful and free follow-up information. Twenty-five to 40 requests for free information weekly are not uncommon.


Supporting Unit: Fresno County

Pamela M. Geisel, UCCE Environmental Horticulture Farm Advisor, 1720 S. Maple Ave., Fresno, CA 93702