Weekly question-and-answer extension radio show helps listeners adopt environmentally sound horticulture practices.
Cooperative Extension has a long history of using radio broadcasts in educational programming. The Minneapolis, MN-based CBS affiliate WCCO Radio 830AM contacted the University of Minnesota Extension (UMNExt) in 2013 to reinstate an 8:00 AM Saturday live gardening show titled "Smart Garden". After several years of doing the radio show, we wanted to determine the effectiveness of getting information to listeners, what people were doing differently because of what they heard on the show, and how much they used the Extension's resources after listening to the program. After analyzing 410 responses to an online survey, we found 78% of respondents reported they frequently or always learned something new when listening, and 56% reported adopting environmentally important practices, such as pollinator gardens, less chemical use, better lawn care, water conservation, and removing invasive plants. We concluded that this educational programming was making a positive impact on consumer horticulture practices.