October 2004 // Volume 42 // Number 5

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Editor's Page

Accentuate the Active
"Accentuate the Active" explains that it's okay to use active voice and even--yikes--first person in JOE articles. "October 2004 JOE" points out how three articles resonate with each other and how much JOE reviewers contribute to JOE and to all of us.


Scholarship: Shout About It
Smith, Keith L.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "Scholarship: Shout About It"

Integrating Ecology and Relating Natural Systems to Agriculture: An Increased Priority for Extension Agricultural Programming
Cecil, Kyle
Extension must modify its historical agricultural educational emphasis from one addressing primarily the production of food to one that addresses the production of food in a system encompassing the goals of individuals, society, and the environment. In the search to incorporate more ecological rationale into agricultural production, Extension educators should develop a deeper understanding of the nature of agroecosystems and the principles and processes by which they function. A contemporary Extension agricultural program that understands agroecology and believes in the need for a more sustainable production system will lead the way toward a more profitable and environmentally friendly agriculture.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "Integrating Ecology and Relating Natural Systems to Agriculture: An Increased Priority for Extension Agricultural Programming"

Feature Articles

Intelligent Consumption: Addressing Consumer Responsibilities for Natural Resources--and Beyond
Simon-Brown, Viviane
As population, economic, and consumption pressures on natural resources increase, educating consumers about their responsibilities becomes a new and necessary expansion of Extension programming. Intelligent consumption education must incorporate ethics-based methods to be successful. Since 1998, the Sustainable Living Project at OSU has been offering intelligent consumption programming to typical American adults and older youth. By taking a thoughtful approach to understanding cultural, economic, and environmental ethics, considering the barriers to living sustainably, examining national trends, and determining personal priorities, participants create an ethical foundation for intelligent consumption decision-making.

Strengthening Environmental Policy Education Through Qualitative Research: Experience with Pennsylvania's Nutrient Management Act Regulatory Review
Dodd, Alyssa; Abdalla, Charles
Recent research documenting Pennsylvania stakeholders' views concerning nutrient management policy illustrates the opportunity for Extension to provide timely and useful information to decision makers and other audiences. Responses from 28 personal interviews provided insight into policy challenges, program performance indicators, and future policy directions. This article describes the qualitative research methods used to document stakeholders' views, presents key findings, and summarizes the demand for and utility of the findings. Finally, the article concludes with practical advice for Extension educators looking to strengthen their public issues education programs on environmental policies.

A Training Program for Cooperative Extension Agents: Implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Virginia Public Schools
Miller, Dini M.
A School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) training program was provided to Extension agents in Virginia. The training was designed to teach agents how to promote IPM programs for structural pest control in schools. Training focused on promoting the concepts of IPM and reducing indoor pesticide use. Post-training evaluations indicated that agents had received sufficient information to promote IPM in their counties. Twelve of the agent participants hosted School IPM training within their local school district(s). These local programs have resulted in 9 districts adopting IPM and thus improving the environmental quality of for 23,813 school employees and 166,319 students.

Entertainment Media Violence: Roles for Extension Professionals
Greder, Kimberly; Charania, Amina
This article highlights research findings and practical applications shared with over 1,800 professionals, volunteers, and parents during a national cooperative extension satellite series focused on entertainment media violence. Participants increased their awareness and understanding of the potential negative effects of entertainment media violence, as well as identified and took specific steps to address the issue locally. Extension is positioned well through its vast network and technology to deliver high-quality, timely, and cost-effective professional development to community partners.

Perceptions of the Cooperative Extension Service: A Community Resource for Youth and Family Programs

PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) is a prevention partnership involving the Cooperative Extension Service (CES), local schools, and community agencies. PROSPER collaborative teams were formed in 14 communities in Iowa and 14 in Pennsylvania to address risk reduction, competence-building, and positive youth development. The study discussed here examined perceptions of CES personnel compared to other PROPSER team members regarding the CES: as a source of youth and family programming; its commitment to fostering school and community-based prevention programs; and as a leading force in improving the lives of youth and families.

Leadership Life Skills Demonstrated by State 4-H Council Members
Bruce, Jacklyn A.; Boyd, Barry L.; Dooley, Kim E.
The study discussed here examined the demonstration of leadership life skills by former State 4-H Council members. A purposive and snowball sampling technique was used to identify former council members. Traditional qualitative research methodologies were used to collect and triangulate data. The major finding was that State 4-H Council members demonstrated a command of the seven leadership life skill categories. Recommendations include developing a training method to expand the council members' decision-making abilities and the opportunities for them to develop as a group, implement training in personality types and working with different types, and employ new ways of improving communication.

Establishing a 4-H Research Base of Graduate Studies
Scholl, Jan; Munyua, Catherine
The study discussed in this article located graduate (or terminal degree) theses and dissertations about the 4-H program in order that a research base might be established to further research and improve 4-H programming. Nearly 1,550 studies were located, representing the years 1911 to 2002, from 130 institutions worldwide. Ten major categories of study were determined through qualitative content analysis.

Evaluating Software Development: A Case Study with Pasture Land Management (PLMS) Grazing Software
Galbraith, John M.; Groover, Gordon E.; Bruce, Franklin A., Jr.; Stone, Nicholas D.; Benson, Gordon B.
A process for evaluating and improving public domain software is presented for agents and faculty who author software and Web-based training. Extension, education, and conservation employees participated in workshops to learn about a Pasture Land Management System software program that enables farmers to experiment with alternative grazing methods. Users were questioned at initial workshop training and again 6 months later. The workshop evaluation showed concern about the software complexity. The follow-up questionnaire revealed the respondents' priorities for technical improvements. The authors used the participants' feedback to evaluate existing problems and prioritize improvements in the usability and functionality of the software.

Research in Brief

Are All These Rules Necessary? Extension Pesticide Programming with a Regulatory Purpose
Bricker, Jimmy T.; Martin, Andrew G.; Janssen, Cheri L.; Whitford, Fred
Indiana's private applicator recertification program includes state-required, pesticide regulatory topics. This article explores the relationship between Indiana private applicators' dual attitudes towards pesticide handling practices and the pesticide regulations that mandate those practices. Newly recertified private applicators in northwest Indiana were surveyed by a mailed questionnaire. Respondents valued responsible pesticide management practices, but were collectively undecided about regulatory oversight of their pesticide handling activities. These results suggest that Extension pesticide safety educators involved in compliance education may improve their training curriculum by including material on the underlying benefits, personal and social, of pesticide regulation.

Demonstrating a Perimeter Trap Crop Approach to Pest Management on Summer Squash in New England
Boucher, T. Jude; Durgy, Robert
Perimeter trap cropping (PTC) involves using a trap crop, and possibly other border defenses, to encircle and protect the main cash crop like fortress walls. Six growers in Connecticut used PTC to protect commercial summer squash plantings from cucumber beetles and bacterial wilt damage. Grower surveys were used to compare PTC program results to the conventional "multiple-full-field-spray" system formerly used on the farms. Most growers using PTC stated that this system improved and simplified pest control, reduced pesticide use (93%) and crop loss, and saved them time and money compared to their conventional program.

Priority Water Issues in the Pacific Northwest
Mahler, Robert L.; Simmons, Robert; Sorensen, Fred; Miner, J. Ronald
We developed and conducted a region-wide survey to collect base line information documenting public awareness, attitudes, and priorities about water issues in the Pacific Northwest. The vast majority (over 90%) of survey respondents considered clean drinking water, clean groundwater, and clean rivers very or extremely important issues. Over two-thirds of survey respondents considered having enough water for economic development, prevention of salmon extinction, wetland protection, watershed restoration, water for power generation, and water for agriculture to be high priority issues. The results from this survey will be used to target our regional programming efforts over the next 5 years.

Healthy Living in the Pacific Islands: Results of a Focus Group Process to Identify Perceptions of Health and Collaboration in the U.S-Affiliated Pacific Islands
Davison, Nicky; Workman, Randall; Daida, Yihe Goh; Novotny, Rachel; Ching, Donna
A focus group process was used to gather data on perceptions of health and community collaboration within 6 U.S. affiliated Pacific Islands as part of a process to encourage a community-based participatory approach to addressing community health issues and planning. The focus groups revealed Pacific Islanders' perceptions of health and key local health issues and elements of collaboration. The results were applied to a community-oriented planning process, resulting in the creation of a broad planning framework within which islands could implement their own activities. This approach shows potential for initiating future activities in which communities collaborate in the planning process.

Body-Image, Self-Esteem, and Nutrition Concerns of Parents of 6th- and 7th-Grade Students
Dunn, Carolyn; Kelsey, Kristine; Matthews, Wayne; Sledge, L. Melissa
To fully address the issues of self-esteem and body image, parents, teachers, and students must be involved in creating meaningful solutions. The study discussed here sought to ascertain concerns of parents related to their children's body image, self-esteem, and nutrition. Parents with children in the 6th or 7th grade were surveyed regarding factors that influenced their child's perception about their body, how satisfied their child was with their body, and methods to reach children and parents with body image messages. Results will be used to assist in the development of Extension programs for parents and children that address body image.

Parents' Perceptions of Life Skills Gained by Youth Participating in the 4-H Beef Project
Boleman, Chris T.; Cummings, Scott R.; Briers, Gary E.
Does participating in the 4-H beef project help develop life skills in youth? Randomly selected parents of youth were mailed a survey asking them to determine if 13 life skills were enhanced as a result of their child participating in the 4-H beef project. The rank order for the top five mean scores were: "accepting responsibility," "setting goals," "develop self-discipline," "self motivation," and "knowledge of the livestock industry." A Pearson product moment correlation coefficient also revealed a low-to-moderate positive relationship for life skill development and years of participating in the 4-H beef project.

Family Violence Education in Public Waiting Rooms
Day, Patrick; Latham, Molly; Leigh, Geoffrey K.
Accepting the premise that video instruction is a powerful tool for American audiences, the project discussed here explored the feasibility of using television and videotapes to provide education relevant to family violence and violence prevention to waiting room audiences. Using commercially available videos, volunteer coordinators played the videos to clients of a large social services agency in Las Vegas, Nevada over a period of 18 months. At the end of each viewing, a survey measured the impact of the videos on the audience. Results of the surveys supported the efficacy of this instructional method in providing education to large groups.

Machinery Cost Estimates for Amish Farms
James, Randall E.
Agricultural enterprise budgets are helpful for modern farms. However, the lack of machinery costs for horse-drawn farms makes it difficult for Extension workers to adapt these budgets to Amish farms. A 2002 study estimated machinery costs on Amish farms in Geauga County, Ohio. Data was collected directly from groups of Amish farmers. The article also introduces the concept of including "horse days" in the total cost estimate. Extension workers in any of the over 30 states with Amish settlements could use information in this study to customize enterprise budgets into realistic educational tools for Amish farms.

Ideas at Work

Extension and Research Professionals Join Forces to Address a Critical Nutrition Issue
Nitzke, Susan; Kritsch, Karen; Lohse, Barbara; Horacek, Tanya; White, Adrienne; Greene, Geoffrey; Georgiou, Connie; Betts, Nancy; Boeckner, Linda
The land-grant mission of combining research and outreach efforts to address problems and needs of society was exemplified in the design and development of a randomized treatment-control pre-post, multi-state intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intakes of low income, young adults. Collaborative arrangements were established in 10 states to accomplish the project's multiple goals. These unique partnerships established an innovative model, paving the way for future multi-state research and Extension collaborations.

Taking Spanish-Speaking Countries to the County Through School Enrichment Programs
Scheer, Scott D.; Wolford, Gwen; Robinson, Deborah Wilburn; Conrad, Judy
Many youth today do not have an opportunity to explore the Spanish language and culture. This article shares and explains how a new 4-H school enrichment program can bring the Spanish culture and language to children in elementary schools. A curriculum activity example is given, along with the results of an evaluation conducted with the children who participated in the program. This program provides Extension systems the opportunity to bring foreign language and culture to youth who would otherwise not have an opportunity for this type of experience.

Training Public School Teachers to Teach CHARACTER COUNTS!
Donaldson, Joseph L.
Through training, program planning, and evaluation in several states, 4-H has been a partner in the National CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition. This article describes the results of one new approach to character education, training for public school teachers through their in-service education requirement. The instructional approach satisfied all six process standards of the National Staff development Council. The results of a post-test only questionnaire showed that the participants viewed the training as helpful, with the majority planning to include at least one new character education technique in their teaching repertoire. Implications, including the need for additional teacher training, are discussed.

Building Character Through 4-H School Partnerships
Nickles, Sherry; Reed, Vicki; Cropper, Rebecca J.; Cox, Kathryn J.
Since 1997, Ohio 4-H has participated in the Ohio Partnership for Character Education (OPCE) and conducted successful 4-H school character education programs. Three programs are highlighted in this article, along with four recommendations for future 4-H school character education partnerships: youth character education should be a priority need in communities served by the partnership; schools should be open to partnerships with community organizations; the wealth of character education curricula should be reviewed to select resources which meet local needs; and funding for the continuation of successful pilot programs should be secured early.

ParentNet: A Community Response to Parenting Education
Malley, Cathy
This article describes the creation and implementation of an ongoing parenting education initiative in Danbury, Connecticut. It includes information about community needs, coalition building, and a curriculum and process for community-based parenting programs. It describes the important role that Cooperative Extension Educators can take in providing leadership in building and maintaining coalitions that help parents, children, families, and communities.

Volunteer Horse Patrol Provides Needed Assistance in Difficult Economic Times
Nadeau, Jenifer; Ciano, Diane
Connecticut Horse Council's Volunteer Horse Patrol can serve as a model for other states interested in starting their own volunteer horse patrols. Duties of a volunteer horse patrol can include monitoring trail use, assisting with trail maintenance, and providing many other services to public trails and parks. A volunteer horse patrol can assist overworked state agencies so valuable services can be provided to the people of the state even in difficult economic times.

The Executive Institute for Commercial Producers Program
Ehmke, Cole; Gray, Allan
As the business environment changes, the long-term success of farming operations requires farm managers to develop better business management skills. The Executive Institute for Commercial Producers (EICP) program provided a comprehensive management curriculum of strategy, finance, business marketing, and human resources. The multi-session workshop stimulated commercial farmers to think about their business from a strategic perspective and make decisions about how to take advantage of business strengths. To further expand the educational outreach, teaching materials were converted into a Web-based format that includes text resources explaining and applying the concepts to today's farm business, annotated PowerPoint presentations, and exercises.

Tools of the Trade

What Cooperative Extension Professionals Need to Know About Institutional Review Boards
Weigel, Dan; Brown, Randy ; Martin, Sally
Increasingly, Cooperative Extension professionals are required to have their projects approved by their university Institutional Review Boards. For many, this can be an intimidating task. In this article we provide information that we hope will help ease the confusion and frustration that can sometimes accompany the process. We also present several tips for helping the process go more smoothly.

Communicating Impacts
Zotz, Karen L.
This article addresses the need to share Extension program impacts with our constituencies and groups that fund our programs. The article reviews the literature surrounding the need for communicating impacts with decision makers. It also identifies two reporting mechanisms used in one state, County Narrative Reports and the Extension Accountability Reporting System (EARS), that are successfully working to share program impacts with county commissioners, legislators, and the general public. The success of these two reporting systems is based on level or increased funding we have received at the county and state level since the implementation of these two systems.

4-H Experiential Education--A Model for 4-H Science as Inquiry
Bourdeau, Virginia D.
Science education can be improved by immersing learners in the process of using scientific knowledge to "do" science at their 4-H club or school outdoor learning center. In Oregon school-based 4-H programs, the 4-H Science Inquiry in Action model assists volunteers and teachers in moving away from "cookbook experiments" toward learner-centered experiential programs. Using the 4-H Inquiry in Action model, 4-H Agents, leaders, and schoolteachers can make any pre-scripted activity more engaging for youth learners.

Best Practices for Environmental Field Days: Structuring Your Event for Fun and Learning
Blair, Robert B.; Meyer, Nathan; Rager, Amy B.; Ostlie, Karen; Montgomery, Kent L.; Carlson, Stephan
Six "Best Practices" for environmental field days will help you deliver a clear message at almost any non-formal educational event involving schoolchildren, natural resource professionals, and volunteers. Based on research and experience, the guidelines form a practical foundation for field-day planning focused on understanding participants' needs, developing concise goals, and communicating goals effectively. The practices will ensure better learning for the hundreds of thousands of students who attend such events around the country every year.

Using Technology to Provide Financial Education
Oleson, Mark
Financial education is an area that in recent years has garnered increased attention and publicity. This article examines how an Extension specialist has used technology as a way to provide financial education to a large and diverse audience. Samples of feedback from three primary audiences (students, non-students, and Extension educators) are provided.

Forest Landowner Workshops--Combining Traditional Forestry Field Days and Short Courses
Londo, Andrew J.
Forest landowner short courses have long been the main programming method for the forestry Extension program at Mississippi State University. While short courses provided training in concentrated areas, participant evaluations indicated the need for more specialized training in specific areas. To address these training needs, forest landowner workshops were created. Workshops combine the classroom training found in short courses with the more hands-on activities associated with field days. This article explains what the workshops are and how they can be used in other programs around the country.

Fieldmen's Luncheon Program Benefits Agriculture Industry
Salisbury, Steven E.
A significant part of the agriculture industry is made up of crop consultants, fieldmen, agronomists, company representatives, and agriculture lenders, all of whom need continual education to stay abreast of new knowledge and information. The Magic Valley Fieldmen's Luncheon program is conducted annually to provide timely education and an information network that benefits the individual and the industry as a whole. Concurrent years of program evaluation data indicate that this Extension program is an effective approach to providing professional development to the target audience and timely information to agriculture professionals and producers via networking.