August 2003 // Volume 41 // Number 4
"JOE Is Here to Stay" discusses our policy on permanence
and archiving, and explains where you can find our policy statement. (Authors
preparing P&T materials take note!) "Read Any Good Books Lately?" discusses JOE policy
on book reviews. And "August 2003 JOE" discusses just what
the heading suggests.
Program Evaluation: Use It to Demonstrate Value to Potential Clients
Program evaluation is a powerful tool for demonstrating the value of
Extension education to stakeholders. When presenting the results of evaluation,
it is important to know exactly who the stakeholder is. As programs increasingly
depend on client registration fees, it becomes essential to demonstrate
to clients that they will receive return on their investment. This article
points out an opportunity for Extension to improve programs and marketing
by focusing evaluation to meet the decision needs of business organizations.
Core evaluation articles and reports of successful Extension examples are
The Somewhat Flawed Theoretical Foundation of the Extension Service
Innovation diffusion theory is the foundation of Extension agriculture
outreach methods. The theory predicts that an innovation will initially
be adopted by a small group of innovative farmers and later diffused to
other farmers. Over the past 30 years, the theory has been criticized for
favoring large wealthy farmers and increasing the inequities in rural areas.
By utilizing innovation diffusion theory, have we caused harm to the population
we serve? Because this theory has such an influence on our approach to
outreach, why haven't we kept up with developments in the evolution of
this theory? What can we change to make our application of this theory
consistent with current knowledge?
The New Adult Education: Bringing Peer Educators Up to Speed
Stereotypes about peer educators (farmers teaching farmers, parent teaching
parents) may get in Extension's way. Problems occur particularly when it is
believed that peer educators' "natural" abilities are what make them
great. This article provides an alternative view of peer educators, with a
focus on ways to increase the educational skills of this important Extension
partner. The article summarizes a new approach to adult education (constructivist
and transformative) that was introduced to peer educators in Iowa (farmer cooperators
and pesticide applicator educators) through workshops and support materials.
The article also discusses challenges associated with adoption of new forms
of adult education.
An Assessment of Residents' Willingness to Pay for Green Space and Farmland Preservation Conservation Easements Using the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM)
In recent years, federal and state government agencies have required
larger proportions of funding for environmental programs to be generated
locally. Local officials want assessments of local public opinion in order
to make funding decisions. Extension educators should take the opportunity
to fill this important need. This article presents results of an Extension
study of residents' attitudes toward programs to preserve natural areas
and agricultural lands. The findings, obtained using the contingent valuation
method (CVM), reveal that basic attitudes toward conservation, area of
residence, and income are important predictors of residents' willingness
to pay (WTP) for conservation easement programs.
Watershed Stewardship Education Program--A Multidisciplinary Extension Education Program for Oregon's Watershed Councils
The Watershed Stewardship Education Program (WSEP) is an innovative,
multi-disciplinary program in the Oregon State University Extension Service.
Through educational materials and programs, WSEP helps watershed councils,
landowners, and others work effectively together to understand multiple
components of their watersheds and apply this knowledge to assessments,
project development, and water quality and habitat monitoring. This article
documents the need for and the development of this innovative educational
program and discusses implications for Extension, including the necessity
of multi-disciplinary programming and working with non-traditional audiences.
Intergenerational Programming in Extension: Needs Assessment as Planning Tool
This article presents the findings of a needs assessment study conducted
to plan and develop a statewide intergenerational program. Twenty-eight
Extension personnel, primarily Extension educators in the Family and Consumer
Science and 4-H/Youth Development program areas, noted their preferences
regarding program content and delivery format. Results were subsequently
used in making several key decisions about curricular directions and program
delivery strategies. To further explore ways in which intergenerational
programming strategies can be developed to enhance Extension programming,
it is proposed that additional research be conducted with a broader base
of Extension personnel.
Barriers to Participation in Extension Expanded Foods and Nutrition Programs
Barriers to participation in Extension programs often influence the means
of program delivery and approaches to developing educational programs.
A study of Expanded Foods and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) clientele
in one of North Carolina's poorer rural counties accentuates the difficulties
faced by these limited resource clientele in their participation in the
EFNEP program, as well as challenges to Extension to recognize and overcome
such barriers. The research found that essentially all of this limited
resource audience expressed some level of barriers. These included logistical,
social, situational, and emotional barriers.
Role of an Extension Soil Testing Program in the Development of Best Management Practices: A Florida Case Study
Extension faculty in many states, particularly those involved with soil-testing
programs, are faced with the complex task of developing Best Management
Practices (BMPs) that potentially minimize environmental impacts from inorganic
and organic fertilizers. Experiences gained by Extension faculty at the
University of Florida in developing nutrient BMPs based on soil-test recommendations
are presented with specific applications to the middle Suwannee River Basin
of Florida. The article illustrates practical dilemmas faced and lessons
learned as grower-friendly BMP versions or Interim Measures have evolved.
Scope and limitations of educational information should be documented as
an aid to subsequent regulatory requirements.
Research in Brief
The Changing Landscape of Central Pennsylvania: Agricultural Industry at a Crossroads
Central Pennsylvania's agriculture community is facing increasing pressures
from encroaching urban development and shrinking agricultural support infrastructure.
As medium-sized agriculture seeks to expand and intensify production, pressure
from local residents and townships have increased to keep farming operations
small. A qualitative study identified the perceived barriers and challenges
that agriculture faces in remaining profitable. The farmers appeared to
be expecting a less favorable future, while large agricultural businesses
viewed their future positively. The shortage of agricultural labor was
the one theme that all sectors of the industry viewed as being a barrier
to their future business success.
Distance Education of Pennsylvania Pond Owners
Pennsylvania pond owners represent a large audience with a great need for
educational programming and assistance. Penn State Extension attempted to reach
this audience via a pond management program delivered by satellite. Evaluations
by both program attendees and Extension professionals demonstrated that the
program was successful. However, attendee respondents indicated that they wanted
more in-depth information over a shorter time frame. A relatively small proportion
(10%) of attendees did not favor satellite delivery. This level of dissatisfaction
is quite low and may be improved by focusing on shorter, more focused satellite
programs and by providing videotapes of satellite programs.
Information Sources and Extension Delivery Methods Used by Private Longleaf Pine Landowners
Reaching forest landowners with useful information has become a challenging
task for Extension educators. This task is even more complex when landowners
have differing perceptions about the delivery method and usefulness of
the information delivered. A study was conducted to determine the preferred
educational delivery methods of forest landowners in South Carolina. We
found that landowners do have preferences for educational delivery methods
and believe educators should consider the preferred methods to maximize
program efforts. Further, findings reinforce the need to modify delivery
systems to fit the demographic profile of the intended audience and the
changes occurring in technology.
Improving Urban Tree Care in the Great Plains: Impacts of the Nebraska Tree Care Workshops
Urban and community forests possess many benefits that enhance our quality
of life. The Nebraska Tree Care Workshop is a tree care training program
designed to enhance tree management in urban settings. This article describes
the impacts that the workshop has had on Nebraska's community tree resources.
Data was collected using a survey of past participants. The study found
that creating a large cadre of people, well trained in tree selection and
care, has had a positive impact on community tree resources across the
Why They Come, Why They Go, and Why They Stay: Factors Affecting Volunteerism in 4-H Programs
The 4-H program depends on the work of thousands of adult volunteers.
It seems prudent to understand more about the factors involved in an adult
becoming a leader, factors contributing to the leader having a positive
experience, and, in particular, the factors causing the leader to end his
or her role. In order to better understand the experience of 4-H leaders
and the factors contributing to their success, an exit survey was conducted
with individuals who had terminated their leadership role. Key reasons
for volunteering and leaving are identified.
Volunteerism, Community Service, and Service-Learning by Ohio 4-Hers in Grades 4-12
This study reported here investigated volunteer service by Ohio
4-H'ers ages 10 to 19. The study's population was randomly sampled by each
age category: 66,345 4-H community club members ages 10-14 and 18,233 ages
15-19. Study findings suggest that nearly 100% of 4-H'ers in both age categories
are involved in community service. Respondents spent an equal amount of time
volunteering through school, out of school, on their own, or through 4-H
youth development experiences. The researchers conclude that 4-H youth development
has an impact on 4-H'ers performing service but that it is not the only way
members are helping others.
Extension Educators' Perceptions of Risk Management Training Needs
This article reports selected summary statistics from a survey of county/area
Extension educators from Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Texas. Major
subject categories reported include: characteristics of Extension training,
Extension educators' risk knowledge and evaluation of producers' risk management
knowledge, Extension educators' interest in risk management education,
and evaluation of producers' interest in risk management education. Findings
suggest that Extension educators consider themselves deficient in terms
of preparation in agricultural risk management. Ultimately, if Extension
educators receive better training in risk management techniques, they will
be able to better serve their clientele.
Ideas at Work
GIS and GPS Emergency Response Lessons Learned from the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster
In the wake of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, several key lessons
were learned about large-scale, multi-agency disaster response as it pertains
to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the Global Positioning System
(GPS). This article discusses those lessons and reveals Extension education
opportunities that can greatly streamline local interagency and intragency
emergency response/homeland security efforts.
Hooks and Anchors in Youth Development Program Delivery
Hooks and anchors remind Cooperative Extension educators to engage participants
so they will attend programming and learn. The hook brings them in and sets
the stage for learning. The anchor is the weight or content of the presentation.
Examples refer to Cooperative Extension professionals, volunteers, and youth.
Experiential learning is a hook, and life skills are anchors for youth.
Motivating Change in Horse Owners: The Horse Farm of Environmental Distinction Awards Program
The Horse Farm of Environmental Distinction Awards Program may serve
as a model for other states and is an effective and innovative way to improve
environmental stewardship abilities of horse owners. Changes in environmental
management result when horse owners are educated about best management
practices and offered rewards for their efforts. Winners may be more motivated
to continually improve their practices. Sending additional educational
material, providing on-farm visits, and offering educational workshops
may also strengthen the program and help horse owners become better stewards
of their natural resources.
Tools of the Trade
Participatory Workshops: A Book Review
Participatory Workshops: A Sourcebook of 21 Sets of Ideas & Activities,
by Robert Chambers, is a superb sourcebook for ideas and activities that can
be used to enliven workshops and meetings. The book is organized like a cookbook
and can be used in a similar fashion because it is easy to find specific activities,
techniques, or ideas through both the table of contents and the index. Chambers
presents 441 suggestions (21 lists of 21 items each) that range from the odd
to the outrageous to the ingenious. It is reference book that will be used.
Celebrating Diversity 365 Days a Year: An Educational Calendar for Planning Programs
This article describes the Celebrating Diversity calendar and its uses
in planning community-based Extension programs. The Celebrating Diversity
calendar covers an 18-month period from July 2003 through December 2004.
It serves as a source of information on ethnic celebrations, holidays,
and other significant events. Knowledge of those ethnic observances aid
Extension professionals in planning their educational programs in several
key ways. This article provides a description of the utility of the calendar
as an Extension program-planning tool. Information on how to obtain the
calendar is provided as well.
Building Community: A Tool Kit for Youth and Adults in Charting Assets and Creating Change
Extension workers around the country are discovering a new way to help
communities become more of what they want to be, and link them to extension
resources, through the use of Building Community: A Tool Kit for Youth
and Adults In Charting Assets and Creating Change. Developed by the
Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development with Extension partners,
the tool kit focuses on the gifts that a community brings to their desire
for change--gifts of the past, place, people, and relationships--and has
proven itself to be a powerful tool for sustainable community development.
Using a Retrospective Pre-Post Questionnaire to Determine Program Impact
This article describes how Extension program impact was documented using
a retrospective pretest. The method, employed with 35 economic development
professionals involved in a traditional Extension educational program,
illustrated change in knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior. Characteristics
of this type of program evaluation are discussed in relation to its implementation.
Single Commodity Stakeholder Groups as Valuable Advisors to Comprehensive Extension Programs for Crop Production in New Jersey
Single commodity stakeholder advisory committees are valuable tools in
planning, implementing, and delivering Extension education and research
programs in New Jersey. Crop production is a vast topic area for Extension
specialist and agricultural agents to work in to meet the needs of farmers.
Direct farmer input assists in focusing Extension research and education
to meet key needs for specific crops. Additionally, stakeholder involvement
has increased resources for Extension programs. Participants of these advisory
groups find the processes to be an excellent tool for communication and
cooperation among farmers and Extension personnel.
Dillman states that one of the three most significant advances in survey
technology in the twentieth century is the electronic survey. The other two
are the telephone and random sampling. With such impact potential, Extension
professionals should learn more about Web-based surveys. This article shares
major advantages and disadvantages of Web-based surveys. It lists design guidelines,
as well as tips for conducting Web-based surveys. A comparison of expenses
of a traditional mail-based survey versus Web-based survey is made in today's
dollars. Finally, this article shares examples of the administration of three