Winter 1993 // Volume 31 // Number 4
From the Editor's Desk
The Winter 1993 Journal of Extension is the last issue to be published in my editorial term, and the final hard copy issue of this 31-year-old publication. Fortunately, we don't have to mourn the end of a venerable institution, but can celebrate its transformation into an electronic journal that will ultimately be a more useful tool for the Extension System.
Journal of Extension Becomes an Electronic Journal
Beginning in 1994, the Journal of Extension will cease print publication and become an electronic journal. After almost two years of study, the Journal Board of Directors, with the concurrence of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, directed this change be made. ... As part of the change to an electronic journal, the University of Wisconsin Journal publication office will be closed. Both the editorial and technical functions associated with producing the Journal will be rotated among different land-grant universities for two-year terms. Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University will serve as the first host institution for the electronic journal. Michael Lambur will be the editor and Tom McAnge will be technical adviser.
Attracting Youth to Agriculture
A strong commitment to youth development as a priority area by Colleges of Agriculture would be a significant step toward redirecting needed attention and commitment of resources required to meet significant goals of the colleges and the U.S. agricultural industry.
Performance Appraisal. How Extension agents view the system.
Agents are trained professionals and wish to be treated as professionals when they're evaluated on job performance. They want to know what's expected of them, have the system explained to them in advance, and be told in a professional manner whether they're accomplishing the job and supervisory expectations. A well-designed and well-executed performance appraisal system in the CES which includes these elements could lead to greater efficiency, effectiveness, and improved employee morale in the Cooperative Extension System.
Why Programs Aren't Implemented as Planned
Rather than bemoan the seemingly unmanageable situation and berate those who don't accomplish their stated work plans, perhaps we should embrace and strive to better understand the current planning practice as more purposeful and productive in a multi-influence, constantly changing environment....Given the dynamic, multi-influential environment in which learners reside and the educational experience takes place, implementing programs as originally planned may, in fact, be counterproductive to Extension goals.
Expert Panels in Participatory Education
The "expert panel" is a less costly method of developing budget information than on-farm collection of data. It provides more detail on the particular technology and inputs used than is typically found when budgets are developed from financial records programs. It acquires more practical validity than budgets based on experimental farm research and economic engineering.
Improving Small Community Wastewater Treatment
Before making a major decision about sewage facilities in an area without a public sewage system, it's necessary to collect information about the community. This study indicated that trained local officials can collect community information effectively using face-to-face interviews. The response rates achieved by the local officials compare well to those reported by investigators using university researchers or other professionals to conduct the surveys.
To The Point
Public Policy Education: A Path to Political Support
We know we've changed. We know our programs are making an impact on modern problems. We know we've planted the seeds to enhance the status of Cooperative Extension as the most relevant educational institution in contemporary society. But how can we convince others?... We in Extension and all parts of higher education, especially in publicly funded universities, have an awesome responsibility to help preserve our democratic way of life.... Public policy education teaches people how to seek and use specific, relevant facts and information to influence and create public policy in ways that benefit the public good with enlightened self-interest.... Public policy education avoids handing out answers.... Extension is the only part of the university that can provide the leadership to meet the challenge of public policy education.
China's Extension Reform
The first reform was to establish a new type of extension system that combines (1) technology experimentation, (2) demonstration, (3) extension, (4) training, and (5) commercial services (mainly supplying inputs)....A second reform to China's extension system was to implement payment for extension services such as "diagnosis and prescription" (clinical services) and "technology contracts."
Women Farm Workers in Malaysia
Rural women form an important segment of human resources in the rural areas. As such, strategies to increase their access to land as farm workers, despite their limited access to land ownership, should be considered so women, who form about half of rural population, aren't left out. This article's strategies should be of interest to policymakers and program planners who are responsible for Extension work and rural development.
Is Conservation an Endangered Philosophy?
Our urban society's increasing ignorance of its need to obtain necessary goods and services from natural resources is accompanied by a predictable alienation from the underlying philosophy of natural resource management-conservation. The very idea of "use without abuse" for sustained yield of renewable natural resources is becoming increasingly foreign to an urban populace...
Will Cooperative Extension Survive the '90s?
I firmly believe Extension has great potential, but alarms are sounding. If we only respond with more strategic planning, more reorganization, more regionalization, and more reports, we won't survive until the year 2000. If we get serious about new ways of funding, marketing, and delivering our programs, we can rebuild a proactive organization that truly meets the needs of Americans and makes a significant impact on the critical issues facing this country.
Averting the Tragedy: Children's Farm Accidents
A general perception exists among farmers and Extension personnel that safety, while important, is somewhat less of a concern than other issues.
Ideas at Work
Responding to a Food Safety Crisis
Although the University of Maine Cooperative Extension developed the food safety action team specifically to deal with food safety, this model could be adapted to other areas....No matter what the issue, however, having an action-oriented, quick response process in place can make all the difference.
Optimizing the 4-H Exchange
By taking 4-H youth out of their culture and away from their native language, this unique program optimized the out-of-state exchange.
Action Research: A Pilot Program
Action research goes a step farther than the traditional on-farm demonstration, an Extension trademark. It recognizes farmers as capable researchers and innovators, not solely as cooperators, and incorporates their suggestions, observations, and conclusions into recommended management decisions. Action research also expands the knowledge base, while providing practical information to local producers for immediate use on their farms.
Parent Education Through Child Care Providers
Parents often look to child care providers for parenting information. Since so many families with young children use child care, programs such as Tune In to Kids can be an excellent avenue for getting quality Extension parenting information into the hands of parents with young children.
Trading Clubs Teach Commodity Marketing
Understanding how futures and options markets can offer price risk management is essential to commodity marketing. Reaching a "good" understanding of these markets requires more than taking a workshop on the procedures-and learning by experience can be expensive. Also, too little understanding and lack of self-confidence brought on by decision making under uncertainty, increases stress and anxiety.
Research in Brief
Integrated Farm Planning: Environment and Economics
To help farmers evaluate economic and environmental tradeoffs of alternative crop and livestock production systems and practices, the PLANETOR software package was developed...PLANETOR require users to enter detailed data on crop production practices and rotations, costs of production levels and variability, and farm financial transactions and status.
Tools of the Trade
Cue Cards as an Interview Guide
This cue card technique enabled us to better understand relationships important to Extension agents:...Our use of cue cards as an interview guide helped us understand complex relationships Extension faculty had discovered. These relationships, in turn, are becoming a part of Extension in Washington State.