With the support of the WSU Tree Fruit Endowment from Washington tree fruit growers, we have created a new website designed specifically for industry personnel. Our hope is that this will be the first place growers come to get unbiased, research-based information to enhance their learning and to enable them to make the best management decisions. The site is simply known as “WSU Tree Fruit” and the web address is: treefruit.wsu.edu.
The project was conducted with a team of experts including the WSU CAHNRS Communications Team, and tree fruit Extension and Research faculty and staff. At each step along the website development process, we worked closely with representatives from the tree fruit industry to ensure that the site would be comprehensive, easy to navigate, intuitive, and provide the most up-to-date information in “as few clicks as possible”. The site is designed to work on computer, tablet and smart phone.
At the home page, the left side-bar has eight major topic headings (e.g., Varieties and Breeding, Crop Protection, etc.) that a visitor can choose from to search for information. Under each major topic there are related sub-topics designed to focus on more specific details. At the bottom of the home page, there are fruit image icons (e.g., apple, pear, sweet cherry, peach) that are clickable to open up crop-specific landing pages where the website content is filtered to include only related information for that particular crop (e.g., apple or pear, etc.). At the top right corner of the home page there is a prominent “Search” box. The search feature will allow site visitors to choose keywords to search for particular content. Once the keyword term or terms are chosen, a new search page will appear. A powerful Google search feature is built into the site to filter search results according to five different criteria designated as tabbed headings on the search page (e.g., WSU only, Other Universities, Trade Articles, WTFRC Reports, and Technical Articles).
The top center of the home page is divided up into three specific categories of information that change as new content is added and featured on the site. Specifically, these are for educational videos, publications and news. By choosing any of these three categories, you are taken to a landing page that includes these resources with the newest and featured content at the top. Currently, there are 23 WSU created educational Videos on the site. The Publications section includes yearbooks, new scientific journal articles, extension publications, etc. The News section includes reports in the popular press or news from WSU, government organizations, etc. that is important for industry folks to know about.
On the right side-bar of the home page there are links to two important WSU sites (WSU-Decision Aid System, or DAS, and the AgWeatherNet). These two sites have research-based decision support tools that fruit growers use routinely. Also, there is a calendar with upcoming events. It also includes an archive of events that occurred in the past.
The site is primarily designed for the commercial tree fruit grower or industry representative in Washington (e.g., apple, pear, sweet cherry, peach, apricot, etc.) but much of the information is suitable for growers in the Pacific Northwest, in general, and even for growers around the world. Some information is also present for the hobbyist or home gardener.
The website will continuously be updated and new content added as it is created. For more information on how to use the website, please visit this short web article at: http://treefruit.wsu.edu/about/ If you have any feedback that you would like to provide us about the site, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org