Sherri Sanders


Sanders, S.*1,
1 CEA-AGRI, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Searcy, AR, 72143

The White County Horticulture newsletter disseminates timely horticulture information and advertises upcoming education opportunities. The research-based information is provided by the Horticulture Agent and University of Arkansas Specialists from horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, plant and soil sciences and other departments, as well as the Plant Disease clinic. The monthly newsletter is distributed electronically and by mail, reaching over 325 people representing 36 counties and 5 different states.  The audience includes homeowners and commercial growers. Additionally, many of the articles are featured on the agent's Facebook and Twitter pages, reaching over 88,000 direct and indirect contacts in 2019. An on-line survey of newsletter recipients indicated that the newsletter has influenced them to: 

• Tested soil and interpreted soil analysis report: 53% 

• Identified insect pests and treated as recommended by Extension: 64% 

• Learned to properly prune fruit/nut trees and ornamental shrubs: 43%

 • Identified plant diseases and treated as recommended by Extension: 73%

 These changes of practice have:

 • Improved the quality of their lawn and garden: 39% 

• Reduced the use of chemicals: 33%

 • Tried a new plant in their vegetable or ornamental garden: 22% 

• Saved money or decreased cost: 17%

 • Added value to my home: 47% 

According to one client, “the newsletter answers timely questions about everything I have in my yard.” Another person commented that they had started a personal reference library with the newsletters. He keeps every issue and refers to them when he has questions.