Best Practices for Communicating about Outdoor Residential Water Conservation

In this photo released from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, extension agent Janet Bargar checks the water flow and direction of a pop-up irrigation system at a home in Vero Beach – Friday, May 25, 2007. Bargar, a water quality expert, suggests residents check with their county extension office about local watering restrictions. She says the ideal time to water is before sunrise and that residents should check irrigation systems regularly to be sure they’re working properly and not watering the sidewalk. Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS File Photo

Extension communication efforts can be made more effective when following a strategic communication plan. To guide a strategic communication effort, it is imperative to have purposeful messaging along with an understanding of your target audience and communication channel. This new 3-page document, published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, presents a synthesis of literature highlighting best communication practices in regard to water conservation efforts. Written by Jacqueline Aenlle and Laura A. Sanagorski Warner.

Using Journey Mapping within Extension: A Tool for Supporting Behavior-Change Programs

A participant fills out a data card during a journey-mapping session.Extension is an important change agency, and Extension professionals use innovative strategies to help target audiences to adopt research-based practices and technologies. Tools from commercial marketing can be applied to behavior-change campaigns, often through an underused approach known as social marketing. Journey maps can be developed with Extension clients to provide insight into their progression and decision-making from one place or state of being to another. A journey can be the steps a person takes when selecting plants for the landscape, the decision-making process used when identifying agricultural business strategies, or the steps a person takes when leaving a workshop and travelling to their home. This new 9-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, written by Colby Silvert and Laura A. Sanagorski Warner, presents possible applications of journey mapping within an Extension context.

Exploring Relationships among Social Norms, Aesthetics, HOA Regulations and Water Conservation

lawn irrigation

In the United States, landscape irrigation often consumes 50% or more of residential water used, and aesthetics may take preference over water-conserving elements in the landscape. Other factors such as perceived social norms and homeowners' association (HOA) regulations also impact water conservation behaviors. Binary logistic regression estimated the impact of aesthetics, perceived social norms, and HOA regulations on water conservation intentions. Findings revealed that when individuals placed a higher-than-average value on aesthetics and perceived stronger social support for conservation, home irrigation users had greater intent to conserve water. This new 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication was written by Amanda D. Ali and Laura A. Sanagorski Warner.

Meeting US Nursery and Greenhouse Growers’ Needs with Water Conservation Extension Programs

A coiled water hose awaits use in UF's Fifield Garden. Horticulture, irrigation, water, maintenance, spigot, lawn care. UF/IFAS Photo: Tyler Jones

This 5-page document presents results of a study designed to understand the knowledge level, adoption rate, and levels of continuance associated with eight water conservation technologies among nursery and greenhouse growers. Written by Laura A. Sanagorski Warner, Alexa J. Lamm, Sarah A. White, Paul R. Fisher, and Peyton N. Beattie and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, January 2019.

Communicating to the Ages: Influence of Age on Florida Residents’ Informational Processing Behaviors

suburban landscape

This 5-page document explores the results of a study in which Florida residents processed video messages about fertilizer best practices, with a focus on how their information-processing behaviors differed by age. Written by Amanda D. Ali, Laura A. Sanagorski Warner, Ashley N. McCleod, Shelli Rampold, and Alexa J. Lamm and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, December 2018.