The Horticulture and Home Pest News from Iowa State University Extension began as a spin off of the Insect Weed and Plant Disease Newsletter in 1987. Since then, our promise to you -- to provide timely horticultural information -- has been delivered in the same format: a printed newsletter mailed to you through the U.S. Postal Service. In 1993, we began archiving the newsletter on the World Wide Web, where readers could view the latest issue on-line or retrieve articles using either a keyword search or subject matter index.
It is time we change. Subscription income has not kept pace with printing and postage costs and the newsletter is being heavily subsidized by contributing departments and University Extension Educational Materials and Marketing Services.
An all-electronic format will allow further improvements. Article length can be expanded, and we can incorporate color images as appropriate. Both features will contribute to our goal to serve as a reference for horticulturists and Extension staff in Iowa.
Beginning January 2005, the Horticulture and Home Pest News will become a free, web-based newsletter. We will continue to assemble the newsletter at the current times and frequency; that is, weekly through the growing season and bi-monthly or monthly the remainder of the year. Once compiled, the newsletter will go straight to our Web site. Readers can read the newsletter on-line or download and print a text-based version.
E-subscribers will receive an e-mail notification when each new newsletter is published. The notice that arrives in your e-mail box will list the latest edition number, table of contents and the Web site address. Please sign up to receive e-mail notification of new newsletters by clicking on the "Notify Me of New Issues" link on our website and filling out the form.
Notice to Iowa State University Extension Staff: County Extension Education Directors, Office Assistants, and the HortSpec mail list will be automatically included to receive notification when the newsletter is available.
Paper-By-Mail subscriptions are still available, though at an increased cost compared to previous years. Paper-by-mail subscribers who pay an annual subscription fee of $40.00 will be sent a paper copy by First Class U.S. Mail on the day the newsletter is posted to the Web. Paper subscriptions can be requested using the form at the Web site listed above.
We are excited about this new era for our newsletter. As always, your comments and suggestions are encouraged.
This article originally appeared in the 12/12/2004 issue.