Christopher D. Ryan1, J. Bryan Unruh2, Kevin E. Kenworthy3, Alexa J. Lamm4, John Erickson3 and Laurie E. Trenholm5, (1)Department of Environmental Horticulture, CUNY-City University of New York, St. Petersburg, FL (2)Hwy. 182, University of Florida West Florida Research & Education Center, Jay, FL (3)Agronomy Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (4)Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (5)Department of Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
In early 2016, a survey was administered to Florida decision makers at the county and municipal level, where they were prompted to self-identify the sources they would consult when developing lawn and landscape fertilizer-related policy. These short-answer responses were cleaned, coded, and categorized, and a network map was created to highlight how information regarding fertilizer policy is both sourced and disseminated around the state. Further analysis was done to determine categories of influence, whether governmental, conservation, retail, landscaping, gardening, or agriculture, as well as to highlight additional differences between Republicans and Democrats in their place in this social network. These findings have implications for academics, Extension professionals, and conservationists who aim to disseminate particular information related to lawn and landscape fertilizer policy. While outreach work can focus in distributing information within the existing social network, it may be better used to alter the shape of the social network to suit long-term environmental goals.