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The land-grant university extension system is an American success story. The general mission of extension is to be a research-based information broker between the university and public stakeholders. Examples of successful long-term partnerships between extension and industry include agriculture, structural pest control, and the green industry (turfgrass and landscape management). There is, however, the potential for the development of another partnership with the relatively new industry of private sector nuisance wildlife control.
To help inform my thinking on the current status and potential of such relationships, I queried 12 wildlife extension specialists (most with extension positions at land-grant universities), 17 county extension educators in New York State, and 7 private-sector nuisance wildlife control operators (NWCO). I asked them for descriptions of interaction between NWCOs and extension and whether they viewed these relationships as productive. I also asked what were the challenges to successful interactions. Finally, I asked for their perspectives on what NWCOs and extension can do for each other.
They reported to me that many positive interactions already have occurred between extension systems and the NWCO industry. Such interactions included technical and educational support, classroom and workshop speakers, collaboration on research projects, publications review, committ ee service, and referral-making.