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Blackwelder column: Get advice on the air, too

Effective communication is part of our everyday lives, driving everything from huge corporations to our personal relationships.
Communication is especially important to Cooperative Extension. whose main mission is to provide pertinent educational and research- based information to its citizens in a timely manner, especially time sensitive horticultural information.
Conveying information quickly can often determine if an azalea will live another day or if a tomato crop can be saved.
In addition to the weekly educational garden column published in the Salisbury Post, Cooperative Extension has recently added a weekly live educational radio program at News Radio WSTP 1490 AM to expand its educational efforts.
Live radio is the perfect way to supplement timely horticultural information for the listening public. The program is also available on Time/Warner Cable channel 7 and on the WSTP Web site http://www.1490 wstp.com/
Every Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m., Master Gardener Volunteer Carole Massey and I talk about various horticultural topics, including insects, diseases and cultural practices. Carole had been involved with Cooperative Extension for more than 10 years, adding information about upcoming events and activities with the Master Gardener Volunteer program as well as the 4-H program with Cooperative Extension.
Kent Bernhardt and Howard Platt moderate the educational program, providing listeners the opportunity to call in with horticultural questions or gardening concerns.
Listeners can call in during the radio show or e-mail horticultural questions before the show. The radio program also features other guest speakers and agents from Cooperative Extension with information about 4-H activities, family and consumer science and community and rural development.
The radio program began sort of as an experiment last year with two programs a month. However, timely information, especially with insects and diseases, can’t wait a couple of weeks, so the educational radio program was expanded to a weekly call-in show.
Radio programs like this cannot exist without financial support. Fortunately, Patterson Farms Inc., N.C. Farm Bureau, Carolina Stalite, James River Farm Equipment, Villa Franca Estates, Steele Feed and Seed, Godley’s Garden Center and Lazy 5 Ranch realized the importance of timely information with generous contributions.
Homeowners and gardeners with questions or concerns are urged to call in to WSTP 1490 radio at 704-636-1231 during the 8:30 am radio program. Massey and I will do our best to solve your horticultural problems.
Darrell Blackwelder is an agricultural agent in charge of horticulture with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at 704-216-8970 or darrell_blackwelder@ncsu.edu.
http://www.rowanmastergardener.com
http://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu
http://rowanhorticulture.blogspot.com/

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