August 2006 // Volume 44 // Number 4
Dealing with Rejection
"Dealing with Rejection" describes
a particularly sane and sensible response if your submission is rejected
by JOE or any other refereed journal. "August JOE" briefly
refers to just under half of the fine articles in the issue.
Minnesota Extension's Regional and County Delivery System: Myths and
In January 2004, the University of Minnesota
Extension Service adopted an innovative regional and county delivery system
to handle major cuts in state funding. This article addresses eight misconceptions
that have arisen regarding the new system and concludes that Extension is
having far greater impacts than it would have had without this reorganization.
Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "Minnesota Extension's Regional and County Delivery System: Myths and
Preparing Extension Professionals: The Ohio State University's
Model of Extension Education
Extension systems throughout the United
States require individuals to have college degrees to work as Extension professionals.
This article shares The Ohio State University's approach to Extension Education
in the Department of Human and Community Resource Development. A model is
presented for preparing Extension professionals in an academic setting. Based
on the research literature, competencies for success in Extension are matched
with courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels of instruction. By
sharing our approach, we hope to encourage dialogue and discussion that will
help us and other academic programs to offer the best possible curriculum
for preparing Extension educators.
Strengthening Community Engagement Toward Sustainable Local
Perspectives of Extension educators
relative to local food system (LFS) issues are examined. These educators
perceived consumer food safety, viable ag-related businesses, land use planning,
farm land preservation, loss of family-owned farms, and access to quality
foods as important issues. Extension educators viewed county Extension directors,
regional directors, and program advisory boards as the strongest supporters
for the local LFS. Lack of program resources to support and carry out LFS
programming was identified as a barrier. Significant differences were also
found between Extension educators' demographic and program characteristics
and important LFS issues.
Exploring Tribal Leadership: Understanding and Working with
The article provides
important educational information for Extension professionals who work with
Native American audiences. It is based on findings from observations, conversations,
and interviews with tribal people. Educational information about tribal leadership
and culture, developed from the research, is provided for Extension professionals.
Tribal leadership is a shared leadership, organized by the clan system, guided
and sustained through the teaching of language and telling of stories. The
article provides interpretations, implications, and recommendations for Extension
administration and educators when considering partnerships and program development
with tribal populations.
Running Successful Extension Camps for Hispanic Children: From
Program Planning to Program Delivery for a 1-Week Day Camp
To address the increasing
Hispanic population in Illinois and to follow the mission of the University
of Illinois Extension, educators must find ways to reach this population.
To serve the Hispanic population with non-bilingual staff, it is necessary
to address how to plan and deliver a camp, what support is need for non-bilingual
Extension personnel, and whether Extension can meet the needs of this population.
An evaluation of a summer camp for Spanish-speaking children was conducted.
The results of this evaluation demonstrated that Extension programs could
be effectively carried out in Hispanic communities with little modification.
Cooking with a Chef
Cooking with a Chef was created to promote
healthy eating behaviors among caregivers by teaching basic nutrition and
food preparation skills. A chef/dietitian team collaborated on lively, interactive
cooking lessons emphasizing culinary skills and hands-on learning. Lessons
were conducted in 2-hour weekly sessions for 6 consecutive weeks. Data were
collected pre and post intervention using a 24-hour Food Recall, Food Behavior
Checklist, and program evaluation. Cooking with A Chef had a positive effect
on food-related behaviors of caregivers, suggesting that this model program
is an opportunity to reach low-income families. A long-term follow-up evaluation
Potential for Carbon Storage and Technology Transfer in the
Southeastern United States
As the concern over global warming grows,
interest in sequestering carbon in terrestrial ecosystems is expected to
intensify. Nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners in the southeastern
United States can play a major role in sequestering atmospheric carbon. Sequestering
carbon through reforestation/afforestation incentive programs requires participation
by university Extension personnel to effectively communicate knowledge to
landowners. This article discusses above and belowground carbon sequestration,
carbon sequestration programs available to nonindustrial private forest landowners,
and activities university Extension personnel may engage in to facilitate
the implementation of such programs.
Agricultural Environmental Programming in Pennsylvania: Increasing
Visibility and Relevancy of Extension
Penn State Cooperative Extension Dairy
and Livestock Nutrient and Environmental Education Days (NEEDs) is a multi-disciplinary
collaborative educational program for government conservation professionals
working with producers. The objective of this program is to provide participants
with an understanding of the links among community concerns, agricultural
air and water quality impacts, changing policy, and farm-level environmental
management tools. This article describes the development of the NEEDs program,
evaluation results, and future program plans. As Extension's role evolves
to address the educational needs of conservation professionals, evaluation
results indicate the use of a multi-disciplinary approach can serve as an
effective educational method.
Research in Brief
Avoiding the "Rut" in Program Development
and Delivery: Improving Our Understanding of Learning Style Preferences
A better understanding of learning style
preferences can help us to avoid developing and delivering our educational
programs from the perspective of our preferred learning style alone. A study
of community development educators found most preferred to learn in a social
context; take energy from the surrounding environment; gather information
using the senses; make sense of this information using logic and objectivity;
and orient themselves in an ordered, structured manner. Results have implications
for planners of professional development activities, for administrators charged
with forming and managing programming teams, and for Extension professionals
motivated to better meet clientele needs.
Self-Perceived 4-H Leader Competencies and Their Relation to
the Skills Youth Learn Through 4-H Youth Development Programs
This article reports the results of
a statewide survey to assess the influence of perceived 4-H volunteer leader
skills on the life skills 4-H youth learn. Results indicate the most important
skill a volunteer leader possesses is to ensure the physical and psychological
safety of 4-H members. This includes keeping youth from hurting each other's
feelings; keeping youth from bullying each other; managing conflict between
youth; making sure that the facility where 4-H youth meet is safe. These
results emphasize the importance of the careful recruitment, screening, training,
and management of 4-H volunteer leaders.
An Exploratory Study of Adolescents' Motivations for Joining
and Continued Participation in a 4-H Afterschool Program
Youth development professionals are
interested in how to attract and retain participants in after-school programs.
In open-ended interviews and a focus group, seven adolescents in an urban
after-school youth development program provided rich descriptive data regarding
their participation and potential barriers. There were many reasons why adolescents
joined and continued to participate. Themes of caring adults, homework assistance,
program environment, program opportunities, fun, learning, friends, character
development, and life skills emerged from the data. Although these themes
are consistent with those from past research, the process of soliciting youth
input is itself important. Implications for youth programs are discussed.
Evaluation of the People Empowering People Program Within a
The People Empowering People (PEP) Program
was administered to an incarcerated population. The PEP program teaches life
skills and empowerment with the goal of improving personal life skills, parental
and family relationships, and community engagement. The results of an evaluation,
based upon a pre-test, post-test, and follow-up survey design, indicated
that participants reported significant changes in all three targeted domains
following completion of the program.
Land Use Planning and Zoning in Ohio Townships
The study reported here examined the
use of zoning for growth management in Ohio townships. Data were obtained
from a survey of 252 township officials. The results showed that 59% of townships
are using zoning, primarily due to citizen support. Zoned townships are using
a variety of zoning techniques to assist in managing land use change and
growth. Those townships without zoning cite a lack of growth and citizen
interest as reasons for not using zoning.
Home Canning: Pressure Gauge Testing
Nebraska Cooperative Extension provides
dial gauge testing for pressure canners as part of educational programs on
safe home food preservation. Results of dial gauge testing, conducted in
a multi-county area over 25 years, demonstrate the need for annual dial gauge
testing for accuracy to produce safe home processed food. Gauge testing provides
Extension educators a "hook" to position themselves as the local
food safety experts.
Assessing an Extension Plant Pest Diagnostic Center for Commercial
Clients: Satisfaction, Savings, and Success
The descriptive-correlational study
reported here sought to assess the effectiveness of the Extension Plant Pest
Diagnostic Center (PPDC) for Tennessee's commercial clients. These clients
are served through one-on-one consultation regarding their individual plant
or household and structural pest problems through submitted samples. The
results from a mailed questionnaire showed that the majority of PPDC clients
felt that the information was quick enough for their needs. While one-third
of the 61 respondents stated that the PPDC recommendations saved them money,
only one in 10 estimated the amount of money they saved. Suggestions for
future PPDC evaluation studies are discussed.
Ideas at Work
A Spanish Language Milker's School for Idaho Dairy Employees
Educational opportunities for Hispanic
employees are consistently one of the top Idaho dairy industry-identified
needs. Consequently, University of Idaho Extension Faculty developed a Spanish
language Milker's School. The Milker's School provides Spanish-speaking dairy
employees with an opportunity to improve their knowledge and understanding
of the entire milking process, including the importance of their role in
the process. The Milker's School provides an educational opportunity for
a traditionally underserved group, and narrows the language and culture gap
that exists between English speaking dairy owners and Spanish speaking employees.
Milking and Calf Care Schools for Hispanics in Cache County
Dairy producers hire employees to handle
the daily demands of the business. Many employees are Hispanic, with limited
experience working with dairy cattle. A quarterly Milking School has been
organized to train Hispanic workers. Participation has increased with each
seminar. Handouts and videos are available in English and Spanish. An Extension
Dairy Specialist, who speaks fluent Spanish, serves as translator. Training
at the university milking parlor demonstrates proper milking procedures and
shows ways to respond to potential problems. At the conclusion of the training,
students enjoy a meal and receive a Certificate of Participation entitling
them to free English classes.
Emotional Intelligence: A Pathway to Self-Understanding and
Improved Leadership Capacities
In 1995, Goleman wrote his book, Emotional
Intelligence, based upon Salovey and Mayer's (1990) work. Since then, emotional
intelligence (EQ) has become one of the hottest leadership topics in corporate
America and has filtered into the not-for-profit and educational arenas as
well. It is through an individual's emotional intelligence that he/she will
be able to deal with life and lead others in a more positive manner. This
article described the successful incorporation of emotional intelligence
training in Ohio State University Extension's leadership training.
Innovative Online Curriculum Writing: A Practical Approach
for Multiple Authors/Multiple Locations
The technology-based writing method
described here enabled collaboration from distant locations. A comprehensive
and well-integrated 4-H quilt curriculum was the goal. Seven writers used
an electronic activity template based on 4-H Cooperative Curriculum System
standards. A hyper-linked spreadsheet was developed. Each writer input their
writing from the template to their separate sheet, which was hyper-linked
to the master spreadsheet. Using FTP client software, all writers had access
to updated materials on the master spreadsheet at all times. The writer/editor
could see all work, monitor duplicate efforts, and put writing into one voice.
A 284-page coherent and comprehensive curriculum resulted.
Optimal Aging and the Use of Action Plans
In southern Oregon, Extension-sponsored
symposia have repeatedly provided health-related information to older adults.
In the most recent symposium, an action-planning component was incorporated,
asking each participant to use the knowledge acquired during a day of informal
training to specify a health-related behavior they wished to change. The
participants were asked to commit, in writing, to changing an identified
behavior. Eighty-seven percent of individuals attending the symposium who
completed action plans and were reached by telephone 2 weeks to 3 weeks following
the date of the symposium reported they were successful in changing specific
Weber Water Fair: A Partnership for Water Conservation Awareness
for Fourth Grade Youth
Weber Water Fair engages 4th grade youth
through hands-on learning to explore water conservation and quality issues.
Development and evaluation of a water education experience that meets the
needs of state education standards is described. The Water Fair experience
is easily adapted to meet the need for hands-on learning about water for
public schools in a variety of geographic areas.
Extension at the
Wildland-Urban Interface: A Case Study of Community Fire Planning
The recent nationwide emphasis on community
fire planning provides an important new opportunity for Extension. This article
presents a case study of Extension involvement in neighborhood fire planning.
We describe how intensive neighborhood outreach, design, and delivery of
educational programs and facilitation of a steering committee have improved
neighborhood cohesion and interagency coordination in addressing wildfire
issues in a 250,000-acre watershed.
Tools of the Trade
Developing Youth Voice in Service Learning Projects
A qualitative study was conducted
to collect information on youth and service learning to provide a template
for educators' use when incorporating service learning activities into their
curriculums. Findings included that teens were able to articulate a definition
of service learning and identify service activities. Most felt they had a
voice in planning and implementation and saw adults as key in evaluating
projects. However, some felt that adults have too great a voice in the planning
stages. Recommendations include professional development for adults on working
with teens and evaluating current programs to make certain that youth voice
Student Focus Groups Reveal Impacts of 4-H Program
As Extension professionals, we need
to evaluate programs to know that what we're doing is making a positive and
productive impact. This article summarizes how student focus groups validated
perceived program strength for 4-H Wildlife Stewards (4-H WS). 4-H WS promotes
science learning and environmental stewardship among youth. Sustainable wildlife
habitat sites are created on school grounds through a partnership of 4-H,
trained volunteers, and school staff. To evaluate the effectiveness of the
program, students at six participating schools were interviewed. They reported
improved attitudes and increased knowledge of science as a result of having
Keeping Teens Involved Through State 4-H Exchanges
A University of Idaho study shows youth
who participated in 4-H are significantly better at avoiding risky life style
choices. Creative programs that keep teens involved in 4-H encourage individuals
to have a positive self-identity and give them the confidence to become positive
role models for younger children. Teen exchange programs in 4-H are a great
opportunity to experience life in a different part of the nation or even
the world and keep teens involved in 4-H. Teens who become involved in the
Minidoka County 4-H Teen Association continue to be active members until
they graduate from high school.
Altering Adult-Based Beef Quality Assurance Curriculum for
Quality Assurance training for youth
has focused on avoidance of drug and chemical contamination and placed little
emphasis on carcass defects such as bruising. In order to reduce the incidence
of carcass defects, youth need an understanding of animal behavior and how
it is affected by the animal's environment. Two hundred seventy-three youth
completed pre- and post-program tests of knowledge as it relates to animal
behavior and handling. Pre-test results showed that participants had prior
knowledge of the impacts of improper animal handling. The post-program test
indicated increased knowledge and understanding of the environmental effects
and inherent behavior of livestock.
Culture and Parenting: A Guide for Delivering Parenting Curriculums
to Diverse Families
As the population becomes increasingly
diverse, family support programs must be prepared to address diversity in
parenting practices. The University of California Families with Young Children
Workgroup conducted a review of parenting curriculums and interviewed collaborators
to determine how to best address this need. As a result, Culture and Parenting:
A Guide for Delivering Parenting Curriculums to Diverse Families was developed
to supplement commonly used parenting curriculums. The guide encourages educators
and practitioners to evaluate their work with families by delivering research-based
information on how culture influences parenting goals and tips for educators
to consider when working with diverse audiences.
Building Trust in Local Community Organizations: Where Do We
Start, and How Can We Make a Difference?
Trust is the glue that binds organizations
and communities together. Building trust in local community organizations
has been identified as a viable strategy for the economic development of
organizations, communities, and regions. In this article, we identify how
Extension professionals can begin working with local boards (of any type)
to promote the building of trust among members. We develop the board member
accountability and expectations (BMAE) tool, which can be used to more clearly
identify new board member expectations. More clearly identifying board member
expectations is one of many steps that local boards should take to build
trust among members.
Evaluation of an E-Learning Online Pecan Management Course
In February 2004, an online pecan management
course was launched to educate pecan growers and assist them with decision-making.
The interactive course was designed for both experienced pecan producers
and first-time pecan producers. Since the inception of the course, only 24
persons have paid the registration fee. Several potential problems underlie
the poor registration numbers, including low level of computer literacy,
limited access to the Internet, download times, previous grower experience,
cost, and awareness. Low registration numbers indicate that a more active
approach to improve enrollment is needed to increase awareness.