Showing papers in "The Journal of Extension in 2012"
TL;DR: The differences between Lkert-type and Likert scale data are discussed and recommendations for descriptive statistics to be used during the analysis are provided and once a researcher understands the difference, the decision on appropriate statistical procedures will be apparent.
Abstract: This article provides information for Extension professionals on the correct analysis of Likert data. The analyses of Likert-type and Likert scale data require unique data analysis procedures, and as a result, misuses and/or mistakes often occur. This article discusses the differences between Likert-type and Likert scale data and provides recommendations for descriptive statistics to be used during the analysis. Once a researcher understands the difference between Likert-type and Likert scale data, the decision on appropriate statistical procedures will be apparent.
TL;DR: A food safety training program was developed in English, translated into Spanish, and administered to 1,265 adult learners as discussed by the authors, and scores concerning food safety knowledge and food handling behavior improved dramatically when training was conducted in the native language.
Abstract: Challenges arise when teaching food safety to culturally diverse employees working in meatpacking and food manufacturing industries. A food safety training program was developed in English, translated into Spanish, and administered to 1,265 adult learners. Assessments were conducted by comparing scores before and immediately following training. Scores concerning food safety knowledge and food handling behavior improved dramatically when training was conducted in the native language. Impressive gains were noted for Spanish-speaking participants who averaged 96.60% on post-training scores, demonstrating that identical food safety training programs are most successful with both Englishand Spanish-speaking individuals when presented in their native languages.
TL;DR: Dillman et al. as mentioned in this paper designed, pre-tested, and implemented a survey on climate change with Extension professionals in seven Southeastern states followed the Dillman guidelines and resulted in response rates of 62% to 79%.
Abstract: We review a popular method for collecing data—Web-based surveys. Although Web surveys are popular, one major concern is their typically low response rates. Using the Dillman et al. (2009) approach, we designed, pre-tested, and implemented a survey on climate change with Extension professionals in the Southeast. The Dillman approach worked well, and we generated response rates as high as 79%. However, the method was not problem-free. We share several lessons learned and recommendations for increasing response rates with Web-based surveys and draw attention to the importance of personalized and repeated contact for improving survey response rates. Introduction and Background Web-based (online) surveys, typically involving email requests with Web survey links, are popular for collecting data on program evaluation and attitudes. There are several benefits to online surveys, including low cost, wide availability of survey design and implementation tools, ease of implementation including reminders, and built-in features that facilitate data cleaning and improve the survey experience for Increasing Response Rates to Web-Based Surveys http://www.joe.org/joe/2012december/tt7.php?pdf=1[12/17/2012 12:49:32 PM] respondents and researchers (Dillman, Smyth, & Christian, 2009; Boyer, Adams, & Lucero, 2010; Israel, 2011). Participation in online surveys is thought to be easy for frequent computer users (Israel, 2011) and those with high-speed Internet access (Archer 2003). However, one major concern is online surveys' typically low response rates (Archer, 2008; Miller & Smith, 1983; Wiseman, 2003). On average, online survey response rates are 11% below mail and phone surveys, and rates as low as 2% have been reported (Petchenik & Watermolen, 2011). A variety of factors, like poor survey design, excessive survey length, and lack of interest hurt response rates (Dillman et al., 2009). For example, needs assessments tend to get lower response rates than evaluations (Archer, 2008). Several strategies can increase response rates to online surveys. Our recent survey of Extension professionals in seven Southeastern states followed the Dillman guidelines and resulted in response rates of 62% to 79%. We describe the survey implementation and provide suggestions about using online surveys. Our Process We designed and pre-tested our survey with Extension professionals (n=32) according to Dillman et al. (2009). Our objective was to assess Extension perceptions about climate change. Based on pre-test feedback, we refined the survey to be completed in about 15 minutes and emphasized confidentiality of responses. The Dillman approach relies on personalized, repeated contact to boost response rates, which can be facilitated with online surveys. To implement our survey online, collaborators from each state's Extension system were recruited to provide email lists, administrators' support for the survey, and logos for their system(s) and to review their state's survey. Collaborators received a copy of their state's survey, an implementation timeline, our approved IRB protocol, and drafts of expected communication to respondents. We personalized the survey implementation by (1) using messages to each person by name (e.g., \"Dear Sam\"), (2) tailoring each survey with state-specific introductory information, logos, and demographic questions, (3) including collaborators' and Extension administrator names on all communications and the survey, and (4) including contact information for collaborators and project organizers. The survey also explained how responses will benefit the state and Increasing Response Rates to Web-Based Surveys http://www.joe.org/joe/2012december/tt7.php?pdf=1[12/17/2012 12:49:32 PM] regional Extension program. For repeated contact, we included: (1) an introductory email informing potential respondents of the upcoming survey; (2) an email with a personalized survey link; (3) reminder emails, with personalized links, to partialand non-respondents over a 4-week period; and (4) two reminder emails sent by Extension administrators to their list at about weeks two and four of implementation. The introductory email was sent using MS Word's mail merge tool, and other messages were sent via SurveyMonkey with personalized links or via Mail Merge with static (non-personalized) survey links for those who \"opted out\" of SurveyMonkey contact. Respondents completing the survey were no longer contacted and partial respondents were reminded they could continue where they left off. The personalized and repeated approach was successful, with one respondent commenting, \"How did my boss know I hadn't filled out your survey yet?\" Lessons Learned Our approach worked well, and we learned important lessons. First, personalized links allow tracking of respondent status (e.g., partial respondent), but if they are forwarded and more than one person responds to a link, responses can be overwritten. This is handled by adjusting SurveyMonkey's settings to prevent multiple responses to personalized links. Second, we observed a gradual increase in responses overall, with the administrators' reminders causing a noticeable and important bump in responses (Figure 1). Third, a small percentage in each state (0 9%) opted out of receiving SurveyMonkey messages. To overcome this, we identified opt-outs and relied on Mail Merge and static survey links to reach them. Fourth, a small percentage (6%) of potential respondents contacted us at the email address we provided for feedback and questions. Some complained about the content of the survey, while others offered additional information. Less than 1% of the respondents expressed concerns about completing an online survey. Finally, our ability to contact potential respondents was influenced by the quality of email lists. It is critical \"to know exactly whom a mailing list does or does not include, and to develop different ways of dealing with any deficiencies\" (Dillman 2009:50). There was little consistency in lists from state to state. In some cases, 1862 and 1890 Extension faculty were in separate lists; in others, staff who do not actively engage in Extension programming were included along with faculty, specialists, and agents. Increasing Response Rates to Web-Based Surveys http://www.joe.org/joe/2012december/tt7.php?pdf=1[12/17/2012 12:49:32 PM] Figure 1. Response Rate from Georgia; Red Bars Denote Reminder Messages Recommendations for Increasing Online Survey Response Rates Determine if an online survey is a viable option and whether accurate email addresses are available, preferably with names. This enables you to send personalized reminders and follow up with respondents or non-respondents as needed (e.g., to assess survey bias). Relying on an organization to forward your survey link hinders the personalized/repeated approach, which reduces response rate. Ask respected leaders (e.g., Associate Dean for Extension) to allow you to use their names on the \"from\" and signature lines of messages and to send their own messages encouraging responses. Introductory alerts increase response rates (Dillman et al., 2009); an authority figure sending this email is even more powerful. Make sure your survey works well with your population. Pilot test it online to identify problems with question mechanics, formatting, question language, skip logic, viewing it in different browsers, and with survey length. Dillman (2000) famously suggests \"there is no other method of collecting survey data that offers so much potential for so little cost\" (p. 400). Using this tool effectively and in a way that generates adequate response rates could be a Increasing Response Rates to Web-Based Surveys http://www.joe.org/joe/2012december/tt7.php?pdf=1[12/17/2012 12:49:32 PM] significant improvement in our ability to understand needs and evaluate programs. References Archer, T. M. (2003). Web-based surveys. Journal of Extension [Online], 41(2) Article 4TOT6. Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/2003august/tt6.php Archer, T. M. (2008). Response rates to expect from Web-based surveys and what to do about it. Journal of Extension [Online], 46(3) Article 3RIB3. Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/2008june/rb3.php Boyer, C. N., Adams, D. C., & Lucero, J. (2010). Rural coverage bias in online surveys?: Evidence from Oklahoma water managers. Journal of Extension [Online], 48(3) Article 3TOT5. Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/2010june/tt5.php Dillman, D. A. (2000). Mail and Internet surveys: The tailored design method, Second edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons Dillman, D. A., Smyth, J. D., & Christian, L. M. (2009). Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, Third edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons Israel, G. D. (2011). Strategies for obtaining survey responses for Extension clients: Exploring the role of e-mail requests. Journal of Extension [Online], 49(3) Article 3FEA7. Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/2011june/a7.php Miller, L. E., & Smith, K. L. (1983). Handling nonresponse issues. Journal of Extension [Online], 21(5). Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/1983september/835-a7.pdf Petchenik, J., & Watermolen, D. J. (2011). A cautionary note on using the Internet to survey recent hunter education graduates. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 16(3): 216-218. Wiseman, F. (2003). On the reporting of response rates in Extension research. Journal of Extension [Online], 41(3) Article 3COM1. Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/2003june/comm1.php Copyright © by Extension Journal, Inc. ISSN 1077-5315. Articles appearing in the Journal become the property of the Journal. Single copies of articles may be reproduced in electronic or print form for use in educational or training activities. Inclusion of articles in other publications, electronic sources, or systematic largescale distribution may be done only with prior electronic or written permission of the Increasing Response Rates to Web-Based Surveys http://www.joe.org/joe/2012december/tt
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors presented a workshop series that covered a comprehensive set of issues pertaining to this topic and found that using a large, multi-state, mult-agency planning committee enabled them to tap into numerous clientele networks, reach many people new to Extension, recruit expert speakers from many organizations, and spread tasks so that individual
Abstract: Effective wildlife management on private lands can supplement and diversify income by providing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and ecotourism. We offered a workshop series that covered a comprehensive set of issues pertaining to this topic. In the process, we found that using a large, multi-state, multi-agency planning committee enabled us to tap into numerous clientele networks, reach many people new to Extension, recruit expert speakers from many organizations, and spread tasks so that individual
TL;DR: Learn more about a promising follow-up, participatory group process designed to document the results of Extension educational efforts within complex, real-life settings.
Abstract: Learn more about a promising follow-up, participatory group process designed to document the results of Extension educational efforts within complex, real-life settings. The method, known as Ripple Effect Mapping,
TL;DR: The effective evaluation of both program impacts and evaluation can provide Extension educators with a more holistic perspective of their programs and an increased ability to identify and disseminate best program practices.
Abstract: While the importance of evaluation program offerings is acknowledge by Extension educators, less emphasis is given to understanding program implementation. Simply assessing program impact without a clear understanding of the degree to which a program was actually implemented can result in inaccurate findings. The effective evaluation of both program impacts and evaluation can provide Extension educators with a more holistic perspective of their programs and an increased ability to identify and disseminate best program practices.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explore the level of evidence of impact collected through program evaluation (outcome studies) by Extension as published in JOE, and find that 88.5% of the articles documented evidence above a level of participation and almost two-thirds were measuring outcomes; however, only 5.6% documented long-term outcomes.
Abstract: Research was conducted to explore the level of evidence of impact collected through program evaluation (outcome studies) by Extension as published in JOE. Articles reviewed were those listed under the headings of "Feature Articles" and "Research in Brief" in 5-year increments (1965-69, 1975-79, 1985-89, 1995-99, and 2005-09). The design used a form of quantitative content analysis. The data indicate that 88.5% of the articles documented evidence above the level of participation and that almost two-thirds were measuring outcomes; however, only 5.6% documented long-term outcomes. The findings have implications for improving Extension's public value through documented evidence of impact.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors conducted a survey with a random sample of Extension agents to determine barriers and effective educational strategies to develop Extension agents' professional competencies, and found that increased workload and lack of time and funding were the most constraining barriers of extension agents acquiring competencies.
Abstract: The study reported here determined the barriers and effective educational strategies to develop Extension agents' professional competencies. This was a descriptive survey research conducted with a random sample of Extension agents. Increased workload and lack of time and funding were identified as the most constraining barriers of Extension agents acquiring competencies. Extension agents identified the face-to-face small group training workshop as the most effective educational delivery method for acquiring desired Extension competencies. This implies the need for using small group face-to-face training programs close to the work place as a viable alternative for achieving desired results.
TL;DR: Ideas are provided that address three problems that Extension staff face with EBPs and that Extension agents and specialists can use either to test or enhance an evidence-based programming program.
Abstract: Extension agents and specialists have experienced increased pressure for greater program effectiveness and accountability and especially for evidence-based programs. This article builds on previously published evidence-based programming articles. It provides ideas that address three problems that Extension staff face with EBPs and that Extension agents and specialists can use either to test or enhance an
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that we also need to become better storytellers by learning how to craft and strategically communicate stories that capture important truths about the public value, meaning, and significance of our work.
Abstract: Deep budget cuts, increased accountability, and the growth of anti-government and anti-intellectual sentiments place Extension systems in a defensive position. In response, we're engaging in organizational change exercises, restructuring, regionalizing, rewriting mission statements, and developing strategic plans. We're spending considerable time counting and measuring our efforts to defend the public impacts and value of our work. In this article we argue that we also need to become better storytellers by learning how to craft and strategically communicate stories that capture important truths about the public value, meaning, and significance of our work. Deep budget cuts, calls for increased accountability, and the growth of anti-government and anti-intellectual sentiments in the United States have combined to place those of us who work for Extension in a defensive position. In response, we're engaging in organizational change exercises. We're restructuring and regionalizing. We're rewriting mission statements. We're developing strategic plans. And we're spending a good deal of our time counting and measuring inputs, outputs, and outcomes to document, assess, and defend the public value and impacts of our work. In this article we turn people's attention to a few other things we can and should be doing in this context of challenge and change. We need to improve our understanding of the power and importance of storytelling. We also need to learn to be better storytellers. More specifically, we need to learn how to craft and communicate stories that capture important yet underappreciated truths about the public value, meaning, and significance of our work. We begin by explaining why we need to cultivate the art and discipline of storytelling in Extension. We then identify and briefly illustrate three kinds of stories we must learn to tell better. We conclude with a few cautions about the development and use of stories in Extension work.
TL;DR: Christensen, Horn, and Johnson as mentioned in this paper argue that disruptive innovation is revolutionary, not evolutionary, and needed for organizations to survive dynamic and complex markets and uncertain economic situations, increase competitive advantage, and prevent organizational decline.
Abstract: Extension has been considered change adverse by some scholars and practitioners, and they claim this inhibits organizational growth and relevance. Pockets of individuals and teams across the nation have worked independently as entrepreneurs to enhance Extension's relevance by introducing organizational processes and programs that greatly differ from past practices. However, every Extension system, team, and worker has a role to play in the disruptive innovation process. This may include exploring, implementing, or evaluating disruptive organizational innovations, or removing barriers, resourcing, or supporting a culture of innovation to enhance relevance and sustainability. Extension has been considered change adverse by some scholars and practitioners, and they claim this inhibits organizational growth and relevance (McDowell, 2001; Oliver, 2011). Pockets of individuals and teams across the nation have worked independently as entrepreneurs to enhance Extension's relevance by introducing organizational processes and programs that greatly differ from past practices specifically driven by budget reductions (Morse, 2009, 2011). However, every Extension system, team, and worker should explore, implement, and evaluate disruptive Extension's Future: Time for Disruptive Innovation http://www.joe.org/joe/2012april/comm1p.shtml 1 of 7 4/27/12 12:05 PM organizational innovations to enhance relevance and sustainability (Coates, 2004; King & Boehlje, 2000) Disruptive Innovation Christensen, Horn, and Johnson (2008) believe this type of innovation, \"disrupts the trajectory of traditional improvement\" and \"changes what constitutes quality attractiveness to nonconsumers\" (p. 46). They suggest disruptive innovation addresses root causes by concentrating on one or two underlying problems often addressed by autonomous or spin-off units of an organization. Disruptive innovation must provide new value through affordability, accessibility, capacity, responsiveness, simplicity, or customization of a process or product (Christensen, Anthony, & Roth, 2004; Christensen, 1997). Assink (2006) believes disruptive innovation is revolutionary, not evolutionary, and needed for organizations to survive dynamic and complex markets and uncertain economic situations, increase competitive advantage, and prevent organizational decline. Disruptive innovation, if successful, becomes a sustaining innovation that can directly contribute to organizational sustainability (Christensen, Horn, & Johnson, 2008). A disruptive innovation usually conflicts with the current way of operating (Charitou & Markides, 2003; Christensen, 1997) and takes place at the individual, functional, company, or industry levels (Assink, 2006). Exploring disruptive innovation requires an outside-in analysis of how particular innovations can change an organization or industry. This requires examining resources, processes, values, nonconsumers, barriers to innovation, actions to overcome barriers, emerging developments on the fringe, and specific customer circumstances (Christensen, Anthony, & Roth, 2004). Employees and organizations must observe the world differently through a circular process of probing, learning, and examining feedback (Assink, 2006). Kanter (1999) finds that organizations with successful disruptive innovations have (1) a clear business agenda, (2) strong partners committed to change, (3) investment by both parties rooted in the user community, (4) links to other organizations, and (5) commitment to sustain and replicate results. Specific barriers to disruptive innovation include not providing funds early enough to support the exploration process, not cultivating an outside perspective, and jumping the gun rather than allowing for natural innovation (Gilbert & Bower, 2002). Other barriers include the inability to unlearn old ways of thinking, failing to move away from a successful dominant concept, a risk-averse organizational climate, too much senior management turnover, a lack of process to integrate the innovation into the organization (Assink, 2006), and the lack of competencies to embrace change in the organization (Henderson, 2006). For disruptive innovation to succeed, an organization needs internal passion to explore radical new ideas and solutions, and to leverage internal and external resources accordingly (Assink, 2006). Adult educators have studied the concepts of disruptive innovation at the individual level as part of transformative learning theory. They often describe it as a personal disorienting dilemma (Mezirow, 2000). Franz (2002) found in Extension faculty and staff that transformation was spurred by disorienting dilemmas from critical events such as: (1) joint writing projects; (2) receiving significant grant funding; (3) personal crises; (4) change in job status; (5) interactions with others at workshops and work teams; (6) unexpected changes in projects; (7) leadership roles, opportunities, and Extension's Future: Time for Disruptive Innovation http://www.joe.org/joe/2012april/comm1p.shtml 2 of 7 4/27/12 12:05 PM connections; (8) discovery of a particular gap/niche in their work; or (9) serendipity. These personal critical events led to personal transformation of the Extension worker and innovations for the teams they worked with and their Extension system as a whole. Organizational Leadership and Disruptive Innovation Disruptive innovation needs to be projected as a threat and an opportunity to get attention (Gilbert & Bower, 2002). Managers are key to bringing innovations to senior leadership. Christensen, Anthony, and Roth (2004) believe managers of disruptive environments operate with a lot of uncertainty, discover seemingly unattainable knowledge, experiment and locate unanticipated customers, follow theory and intuition rather than data, don't need a lot of money to solve problems, build innovative teams from scratch based on the skills needed to handle the task, and fund and harness processes to quickly get the right thing done. Nurturing curiosity is key to fueling disruptive innovations (Assink, 2006). The roles of senior leadership in developing disruptive innovation include (1) bridging the interface between disruptive growth and mainstream business; (2) designating the appropriate resources and processes for the innovation process; (3) creating and shepherding a disruptive growth engine that starts early, providing oversight, and engaging an expert team of well-trained movers and shakers; and (4) sensing when the context is changing and training others to recognize the signals (Christensen, & Raynor, 2003). Upper level organizational leaders also need to know what type and how much change their organization can handle (Christensen & Overdorf, 2000). Disruptive innovations in Extension are infrequent. In fact, some Extension work specifically 4-H, tends to offer more services than most consumers prefer, overshooting customer needs (i.e., a long list of 4-H projects and activities on the assumption that more services are better rather than meeting the specific needs of today's families) (Christensen, Anthony, & Roth, 2004). External innovations such as the Internet or private companies taking over Extension services more conveniently or cheaply has put us at risk of organizational decline. So why does Extension fail to create and embrace disruptive innovations? From our observations we suggest the following reasons: An organizational culture that supports the status quo and discourages innovation A funding entitlement mentality that has created over dependence on past sources of funding and lack of urgency to innovate A lack of diversity in customer base and staffing Strong linkage to academia, known for its bureaucracy and historic slowness to react to change rather than operating with a business mindset A 100-year history of operating in an expert model paradigm rather than collaborative paradigms with clients Extension's Future: Time for Disruptive Innovation http://www.joe.org/joe/2012april/comm1p.shtml 3 of 7 4/27/12 12:05 PM Over reliance on rural customers A lack of customer management/tracking over time We believe that if Extension can overcome these barriers to innovation, organizational decline can be stemmed. Extension's Disruptive Innovations In spite of the multiple reasons preventing Extension from embracing disruptive innovation, innovations have been taking place in some areas. The first innovation focuses on revenue generation. As public funding sources shrink, new revenue sources are needed to sustain and grow the organization. A major disruption takes place as fees are levied for programs, staff and faculty are expected to successfully win grants and contracts for educational programs, and sponsors are secured for educational events and products where this activity did not exist or exist fully in the past. Entrepreneurship and creativity are encouraged, the public funding entitlement mentality is challenged, and ways are found to more quickly address rapidly changing client needs. This original disruptive innovation has now become a sustaining innovation. A second disruptive innovation found increasingly across Extension systems includes the closing of county Extension offices. Again, this disruption is fueled by decreased funding by state and local government. In some states, urban county offices have failed to maintain funding. In other states, regional offices have replaced county offices. This has resulted in more creative programming to meet clients across a wider geography, more diversity in staffing and customers, and less reliance on rural customers to maintain the organization. The closing of county offices has become more common but is still disruptive to some Extension systems. Finally, a decline in public funding for Extension has resulted in a disruptive innovation created by the public value movement in Extension (Franz, 2011; Kalambokidis, 2004). Educators and administrators are finding they ne
TL;DR: This paper provided a practical review and critique of 16 major parenting educational programs using three review criteria (program readiness, strength of scientific base, and empirical evidence of program effectiveness) to determine which parent education program is best for their clients.
Abstract: There are many parent education programs available for Extension professionals. How does a busy Extension professional decide which is best for his/her clients? This article provides a practical review and critique of 16 major parenting educational programs using three review criteria—program readiness, strength of scientific base, and empirical evidence of program effectiveness. Best programs included STAR Parenting, Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14, Systematic Training for Effective Parenting, and Triple P-Positive Parenting Program. The parent education field utilizes a multitude of curricula, making it difficult for Extension professionals, Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE's), parent educators, and parents to choose a series of effective, research-based activities that will meet specific clientele needs for their parenting program. How does a busy Extension professional decide which parenting program is best for his/her clientele who may include incarcerated parents, churches, military, kinship caregivers such as grandparents, mandated parent education for divorcing parents, children who end up in juvenile courts, etc. A review and critique of many of the major parenting curricula and available programs could potentially assist parents and professionals in implementing a program with confidence. Methodology We begin with Extension's mission—in this case to provide research-based information and empirically effective parenting education programs. Three criteria were used to evaluate each curriculum, and each program's ratings are included in Table 1. Knowing how busy our Extension agents are and how pulled they are to address the spectrum of clientele needs, the first criterion was a very practical one—the readiness of the curriculum to be used in the field. Ratings ranged from 0 (A parent educator would have to spend a great amount of time creating program materials prior to teaching the curriculum) to 5 (After studying and becoming familiar with the curriculum, an educator could teach the curriculum without having to prepare additional teaching materials). The second criterion was evidence/science-based. We live and work in an era of information overload and in an era where we experience increased pressure from federal, state, and local
TL;DR: In this article, the authors introduce a framework for U.S. Extension educators to measure the extent of food access at any scale when information about food carried by retailers is limited, and create a baseline for the Ohio Food Policy Council so that work to increase food access in rural areas will have a benchmark to measure success.
Abstract: The purpose of our article is twofold. First, we introduce a framework for U.S. Extension educators to measure the extent of food access at any scale when information about food carried by retailers is limited. Second, we create a baseline for the Ohio Food Policy Council so that work to increase food access in rural areas will have a benchmark to measure success. Three broad aspects of food accessibility—physical, economic, and healthful—are considered. Lack of larger supermarkets, lack of competition, and high concentrations of nearby fast food alternatives are three issues that deserve attention in rural Ohio. Introduction Access to affordable and nutritious food by low-income and rural communities has long been a concern to advocates, policymakers, and the general public. In the past, these concerns led to the creation of programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) and the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Despite the advent of these food assistance programs, some low-income rural communities are still lacking adequate access to nutritious food, and residents live in food deserts. Recently, increases in obesity and chronic diseases associated with poor diets have led to concerns that some low-income and rural communities still lack access to affordable and nutritious foods. These concerns led the U.S. Congress, in the 2008 Farm Bill, to request that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) conduct a study of these food deserts. Published in June 2009, the USDA study concluded that: 2.3 million (2.2% of all) U.S. households live more than a mile from a supermarket AND do not have access to a vehicle; 3.4 million (3.2% of all) U.S. households live between 0.5 to 1 mile AND do not have access to a vehicle; 4.4% of U.S. households in rural areas live more than 1 mile from the supermarket AND do not have access to a vehicle; and 22% of U.S. households in low-income urban areas live 0.5 to 1 mile from a supermarket with no access to a vehicle. Likewise, the Ohio Food Policy Council became interested in understanding the extent of food deserts in rural Ohio for the purpose of recommending methods to reduce inadequate food accessibility and to establish a benchmark from which future policy success can be measured. To Identifying and Measuring Food Deserts in Rural Ohio http://www.joe.org/joe/2012june/a6p.shtml[6/25/2012 11:10:18 AM] this end, we conducted a study of Ohio rural food deserts. The Ohio Food Policy Council was established by Governor's Executive Order #27S by Governor Strickland in August of 2007. Its mission is to: 1. Collect and analyze information on the production and processing of food in Ohio as well as the patterns of food consumption. 2. Protect Ohio's valuable farmland and water resources by encouraging the growth of food products in Ohio. 3. Provide those in need with greater access to fresh and nutritious foods. 4. Assist Ohio farmers and businesses in marketing their food products inside and outside the state. 5. Develop strategies to link producers and consumers in local food systems. What Are Food Deserts? The language in the 2008 Farm Bill defines a food desert as an \"area in the United States with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly such an area composed of predominantly lower income neighborhoods and communities\" (USDA, ERS, 2009). Accordingly, the methods we chose for identifying food deserts in the study reported here use three broad aspects of accessibility—physical accessibility, economic accessibility, and healthful accessibility. Food deserts have traditionally been discussed in an urban context, but can exist in both urban and rural areas, as supermarkets continue to move towards newer suburban developments characterized by higher incomes and greater buying potential (Gallagher, 2006). This is important for Ohio, a state that features several substantial urban centers, but is also home to a significant rural population (nearly 43% of Ohio households). Further, in order to restore the land-grant mission, we argue that practical work such as food desert identification should be part of Extension services. In fact, such work will promote the land-grant mission by allowing Extension educators to engage in catalytic work for food system revitalization (Colasanti, Wright, & Reau, 2009). Measuring Food Accessibility Various approaches have been used to measure the size of food deserts. In Chicago, Gallagher (2006) estimated the impact of food deserts on public health by approximating a \"Food Balance Score\" that was done by dividing distance of every city block to the nearest fresh food outlet over distance to the nearest fast food restaurant. Rose et al. (2009) used a 1 km radius to estimate service areas of supermarkets in New Orleans. Apparicio, Cloutier, and Shearmur (2007) used three measures of accessibility to food outlets to identify food deserts in Montreal, Canada: proximity (distance to the nearest supermarket), diversity (number of supermarkets within a distance of less than 1000 meters), and variety in terms of food and prices (average distance to the three closest different chain-name supermarkets). Several other studies were undertaken in California, Missouri, Texas, Mississippi, and many other states using similar methods with slight adjustments (Algert, Aditya, & Douglas, 2006; Baker, Schootman, Barnidge, & Kelly, 2006; Berg & Murdoch, 2008; Blanchard & Thomas, 2008). The study reported here framed food accessibility in rural Ohio along the three axes of accessibility introduced earlier. 1. Physical accessibility measures food accessibility by estimating vehicle travel time, walking travel distance, and public transportation accessibility. In other words, physical accessibility identifies households that are able to efficiently and easily access a food outlet via private and/or public transportation. 2. Second, since households' demand for food is a function of income and price, economic accessibility measures food accessibility by estimating median income and poverty rate Identifying and Measuring Food Deserts in Rural Ohio http://www.joe.org/joe/2012june/a6p.shtml[6/25/2012 11:10:18 AM] and calculating the level of local competition between supermarkets, which determines local price levels. 3. Finally, the healthful accessibility aspect measures food accessibility by identifying households faced with nutritional challenges compounded by high concentrations of nearby fast food alternatives on one hand, and less nutritional food alternatives at the store on the other hand. Unlike previous approaches, our framework can be applied at any scale with or without a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment. However, almost all of our analysis was conducted in a GIS environment, using ESRI's ArcGIS software. We combined a visual and a statistical approach to measure the size of food deserts and the impact on rural Ohioans. We considered \"rural\" Ohio to be those areas of the state designated as not urbanized in the 2000 United States Decennial Census. Using ArcGIS, we overlayed the Census TIGER urbanized area shape file
on to the state boundary to \"mask\" out all urbanized areas in the state. The demographic data was estimated for 2008 using block group spatial data with associated demographic data from ESRI's ArcGIS Business Analyst extension. We estimated that a total of 5,209,819 Ohioans are living in rural areas (1,979,561 out of 4,627,893 households). In the study, we focused on households as opposed to individuals because that is the standard set by the USDA ERS (2009) study. We assumed that most rural Ohioans purchase their fresh and nutritious food from retail food outlets (USDA ERS, 2009). The retail grocery store spatial and descriptive data was also provided by ESRI's Business Analyst, which is originally sourced from InfoUSA. Each business location has a North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). We used the 4-digit NAICS code 4451 for supermarkets and other grocery and convenience stores. We added in large super-centers (NAICS code 4529) that carry a full line of grocery products among other lines of products, such as WalMart. We refer to both of these types of stores as \"retail grocery stores\" in general. Therefore, retail grocery stores entail all sizes of outlets from corner stores to super-centers. When we refer to large supermarkets, we narrow down grocery stores to include only those stores with 40,000 square feet or greater. The median square footage of a supermarket was 47,500 in 2007, with big boxes over 100,000 square feet. Later, when calculating healthful food accessibility, we use location data on fast food restaurants (NAICS code 72221). Because the study analyzed all of rural Ohio, it was necessary to use secondary data. Therefore, we focused only on retail grocery outlets as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and not on all places that rural Ohioans obtain food. Geographical Accessibility We measured physical accessibility in three ways: via driving, walking, and, to a much more limited extent, public transportation. To capture the first segment of geographic accessibility, we identified the location of every retail grocery store in rural Ohio and those located near the border between Ohio and its bordering states (Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania). Using ArcGIS Network Analyst, we calculated a 10-minute drive distance along the road network to these outlets (again, outlets ranging in size from a corner store to a supercenter). Using block group data from the census, we estimated the number of households living in and out of a 10-minute drive along roads (Figure 1). We also used the demographic data to estimate the number of rural households with and without access to a vehicle. The use of drivetime at t
TL;DR: The 2010 Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOPP) as discussed by the authors discussed the need for an organizational cultural transformation, aligned with an opportunity for creativity and innovation, in order to adapt to rapidly changing social and economic environments.
Abstract: How can Extension thrive, not just survive?" This question, posited by the 2010 Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (p.1), echoes the literature addressing change within Extension. In this literature, prominent themes emerge reflecting the need for an organizational cultural transformation, aligned with an opportunity for creativity and innovation. Today's rapidly changing social and economic environments oblige Extension to re-conceive the future through creative thinking and innovative action to reduce barriers to success. Embracing the process of creativity and innovation in our everyday organizational practice will unlock a vast number of new opportunities for Extension.
TL;DR: A Look Inside: Self-Leadership Perceptions of Extension Educators as mentioned in this paper found that self-talk, evaluation of one's beliefs and assumptions, and visualization of successful performance contribute to the self-leadership perceptions of extension educators.
Abstract: Extension educators are often considered influential community leaders. Still the question remains—how do educators motivate themselves to success? Does this contribute towards their self-leadership perceptions? Specialists from three universities administered a survey to look at the "self-leadership" of Extension A Look Inside: Self-Leadership Perceptions of Extension Educators http://www.joe.org/joe/2012october/a3.php?pdf=1[10/29/2012 12:52:34 PM] educators. Results indicated Extension educators use a variety of motivation strategies; however, there was a lack of awareness of how their thought processes contributed towards leadership success. Ultimately, future Extension professional development curriculum and trainings should be focused on developing motivational strategies such as how to successfully "self-talk," evaluation of one's beliefs and assumptions, and how to visualize successful performance.
TL;DR: People now expect to access information and education using mobile computing devices (smart phones, tablets, etc.), and this includes Extension clientele, and the case for using mobile technologies is even more apparent for audiences for whom Extension programs seek to expand their penetration.
Abstract: Mobile computing devices (smart phones, tablets, etc.) are rapidly becoming the dominant means of communication worldwide and are increasingly being used for scientific investigation. This technology can further our Extension mission by increasing our power for data collection, information dissemination, and informed decision-making. Mobile computing applications (apps) with relevance for Extension can be divided loosely into three categories—information delivery, collaborative research/participatory sensing, and self-assessment. Examples can be found in all Extension fields of inquiry, from agricultural production, pest management, natural resources management to youth science literacy and managing nutrition and fitness. This article is part 1 in a series on the use of mobile computing applications for Extension work. Upcoming articles will discuss mobile applications for participatory science and tools to develop and use mobile applications for Extension. Reaching Extension Audiences Through Mobile Computing Mobile/cellular (cell) phones are rapidly becoming the dominant means of electronic communication worldwide (SSI Knowledgewatch, 2012). As of Dec. 2011, there were over 330 million wireless connections in the United States, representing 106% of the nation's population (CTIA The Wireless Association, 2012). The Pew Research Mobile Applications for Extension http://www.joe.org/joe/2012october/tt1.php?pdf=1[10/29/2012 12:23:20 PM] Institute estimated that by May 2011, 83% of American adults owned a cell phone and 51% used their phones to readily access information (Smith, 2011). Almost half of mobile phone subscribers in the U.S. own smart phones with built in computing power and access to the internet (Neilsen, 2012). It is estimated that by 2015, accessing the Internet via a mobile device will be more common than using a traditional desk-top computer, and providing information via mobile devices is now a priority for the U.S. government (White House, 2012). People now expect to access information and education using mobile computing devices (smart phones, tablets, etc.), and this includes Extension clientele (LaBelle, 2011). For example, in a recent survey of farmers, 94% of respondents had a cell phone, and over 70% said they access agriculture-related information and services on their phone (Walter, 2011). The case for using mobile technologies is even more apparent for audiences for whom Extension programs seek to expand their penetration. Groups that have traditionally been on the other side of the "digital divide" such as minorities, young adults, and those with low household incomes are more likely to use smart phones as their main source of internet access (Zickuhr & Smith, 2012). As a whole, however, Extension programs have been resistant to embracing new technologies (Diem, Hino, Martin, & Meisenbach, 2011). Mobile computing devices are increasingly used for scientific investigation (Nature Methods, 2010) and for delivering scientific information. Mobile devices allow users such as landowners, growers, students, trained volunteers, and the general public to contribute and analyze data and provide a sense of investment in scientific research and monitoring. This technology can further the Extension mission by increasing power for data collection, information dissemination, and informed decision-making. These tools can: be applied to issues such as environmental monitoring and evaluation (Connors, Lei, & Kelly, 2011) to increase public and decision-maker understanding of land change and to help landowners conserve biodiversity; allow for early detection of invasive pests; disseminate science-based information to growers about new technologies and marketing methods; identify ways to conserve water and improve water quality; and increase scientific literacy. A Typology of Mobile Applications Mobile computing applications (apps) with relevance for Extension can be divided loosely into three categories—information delivery, where information developed at the university is made available to end users; collaborative research, where the user collects data that is shared with researchers and/or other participants in the study; Mobile Applications for Extension http://www.joe.org/joe/2012october/tt1.php?pdf=1[10/29/2012 12:23:20 PM] and self-assessment tools that guide user collection of data that are not shared but rather used in a decision-support tool to provide tailored recommendations. Information Delivery For information delivery, mobile devices offer the ability to access information where and when users need it—for example, a grower or pest control advisor can look up an identification guide for soy pests while in the field using the North Plains Integrated Pest Management Guide app from South Dakota State University Extension. For the general public, there is the opportunity to provide information where and when they are interested in getting it. Apps may be more engaging and interactive than print materials, even holding the attention of youth clientele such as the We Grow It—Do You Know It game app from University of Nebraska Extension. On the down side, mobile app users may or may not invest the same amount of time and concentration to information delivered in this way.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors focus on current consumer trends and participation levels in Iowa agritourism activities and find that a majority of Iowans believe they have at least some understanding of agriculture and food production and have participated in agritouring activities, but were relatively unfamiliar with agricultural-related tourism terms.
Abstract: As the agritourism industry grows and develops in Iowa, it is important to identify the knowledge and participation levels of prospective agritourism consumers. This article focuses on current consumer trends and participation levels in Iowa agritourism activities. The results revealed a majority of Iowans believe they have at least some understanding of agriculture and food production and have participated in agritourism activities, but were relatively unfamiliar with agricultural-related tourism terms. The results can be used by Extension educators, state agricultural and economic development organizations, and the agritourism owner/operator to create a consumer profile and understand their prospective audiences.
TL;DR: This paper investigated the impacts of participation in 4-H on young people's interest and participation in science and found that participation in the program is associated with a greater number of science classes and higher-level science coursework.
Abstract: The study reported here investigated the impacts of participation in 4-H on young people's interest and participation in science. Survey data were collected from relatively large and ethnically diverse samples of elementary and high school-aged students in California. Results indicated that although elementary-grade 4-H members are not more interested in science than other youth, by high school, participation in 4-H is associated with a greater number of science classes and higher-level science coursework. These results suggest that the 4-H program may have the ability to influence science interest and participation in the long term among its members.
TL;DR: The objective of the research project reported here was to evaluate the effectiveness of an agricultural training video by determining the food safety knowledge acquired by participants as a result of viewing the training video.
Abstract: A training video was produced and evaluated to assess its impact on the food safety knowledge of agricultural workers. Increasing food safety knowledge on the farm may help to improve the safety of fresh produce. Surveys were used to measure workers' food safety knowledge before and after viewing the video. Focus groups were used to determine workers' views of the video and identify areas that could be improved. Results indicated a high level of food safety knowledge, but some significant improvements were observed. The project provides a framework for assessing videos as training tools and suggestions for further research. 2/27/12 Using a Training Video to Improve Agricultural Workers' Knowledge of On-Farm Food Safety 2/8 www.joe.org/joe/2012february/a6p.shtml Introduction Fresh fruits and vegetables are generally perceived as safe to eat by many North Americans (Sagoo, Little, & Mitchell, 2003). However, examples of foodborne outbreaks traced to fresh fruits and vegetables can be found worldwide (Sewell & Farber, 2001). As consumers' health consciousness increases, so does the quantity of fresh produce consumed, thus increasing the related risk of foodborne illness (Lin et al., 2003; Sagoo et al. 2003; Sewell & Farber, 2001). Although produce can be contaminated at any point along the food chain from farm to fork, there are often few opportunities to introduce interventions to combat contamination risk. Preventing contamination on the farm and during packing or processing could reduce the potential for produce-related outbreaks (Lynch, Tauxe, & Hedberg, 2009). Hygiene and food handling practices by farm workers have been suggested as possible sources of produce contamination (Brackett, 1999). Increasing food safety knowledge on the farm may be an essential step in improving produce safety. The objective of the research project reported here was to evaluate the effectiveness of an agricultural training video by determining the food safety knowledge acquired by participants as a result of viewing the training video. Published research has demonstrated that instructional videos are useful educational resources (Martin, Knabel, & Mendenhall, 1999). Videos can address issues related to literacy, language, and equipment (Martin et al., 1999), potentially making them valuable tools for on-farm training. Materials and Methods
TL;DR: A series of innovative statewide workshops involving 97 agents and Extension directors from 100 counties in North Carolina answered the question "There's got to be a better way to . . . " with overarching themes including: invest in yourself and your career.
Abstract: Job burnout and stress begin with day-to-day frustrations, roadblocks, and unmet expectations. These can transform job satisfaction and, ultimately, career choices, affecting the quality of programs, expense to universities, and relationships with the community. A series of innovative statewide workshops involving 97 agents and Extension directors from 100 counties in North Carolina answered the question "There's got to be a better way to . . . " with overarching themes including: invest in yourself and your career; focus, delegate, organize, network, shine, and be efficient.
TL;DR: In this article, an evaluation of a woody biomass education program developed by Extension Forestry at North Carolina State University (NCSU) aimed at assessing landowners' knowledge, attitudes, and aspirations with regard to wood biomass utilization for renewable energy.
Abstract: Non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners are often not included in discussions of emerging woody biomass markets for energy, yet they will likely be principal suppliers of the resource. Surveys administered to 475 forest landowners before and after an Extension Forestry education program in 10 counties across North Carolina indicated that landowners have low knowledge levels of woody biomass. However, as a result of participating in the training, landowners increased knowledge, had more positive attitudes, and developed aspirations to harvest woody biomass on their land. Extension professionals can use our training model to develop similar woody biomass educational programs. Introduction In recent years, the Cooperative Extension Service in the United States has expanded its educational focus to include woody biomass harvesting for energy (Grebner, Perez-Verdin, Henderson, & Londo, 2009). Already a variety of resources such as training guides and websites have been made available for Extension professionals to utilize when planning educational events (e.g., Ashton, McDonell, & Barnes, 2009; Hubbard, Biles, Mayfield, & Ashton, 2007; Gan et al., 2008; Monroe, McDonnell, & Oxarart, 2007). Some of Extension's woody biomass outreach is targeted at non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners, the dominant forestland ownership group in the United States (Butler, 2008; Demchik, Zamora, & Current, 2009). Nationally, 11 million private forest owners make management decisions for 56% of the forestland in the United States (Butler, 2008). In North Carolina, where an estimated 479,000 private individuals or families own 65% of the state's forestland (Brown, New, Oswalt, Johnson, & Rudis, 2006), forest landowners mirror the national trend in ownership patterns, demographics, management effort, and reason for ownership (Butler, 2008). This highlights the significance of reaching this audience with needed Extension programs. Extension Forestry initiated an educational program to raise awareness of emerging woody biomass markets among forest landowners and timber-growers. However, there has been no published evaluation of a successful woody biomass education program for forest landowners, making the development of such a new Extension program a challenging task. The limited research available suggests that many NIPF landowners are unaware not only of the social, Landowners' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Aspirations Towards Woody Biomass Markets in North Carolina http://www.joe.org/joe/2012august/a9p.shtml[8/27/2012 4:29:16 PM] political, and environmental context, but also very basic information about woody biomass (Williamson, 2007; Xu, Li, & Carraway, 2008). Therefore, the current study addresses this research gap and can serve as a reference on how to design a woody biomass energy education program that best fits NIPF landowner needs. It also illustrates North Carolina NIPF landowners' thoughts about their participation in emerging markets for woody biomass energy. Objectives The research study reported here was intended to be a thorough evaluation of a woody biomass NIPF landowner educational program developed by Extension Forestry at North Carolina State University (NCSU) aimed at assessing landowners' knowledge, attitudes, and aspirations with regard to woody biomass utilization for renewable energy. Data on marketing Extension programs and preferred methods of delivery was also analyzed. The results presented here will help Extension professionals and other educators to develop effective woody biomass educational programs for forest landowners, with the goal of supplementing landowners' knowledge and informing their attitudes toward and aspirations for woody biomass markets. The research was designed to answer the following questions with regards to woody biomass education. What Extension marketing strategy was the most effective in reaching this audience? What delivery method do landowners prefer? What was the program's impact in terms of changing knowledge, attitude, and aspirations of participants? Were landowners satisfied with the information presented? Were any concerns or questions not addressed? Methods Ten woody biomass landowner trainings entitled \"Utilizing Woody Biomass for Renewable Energy in North Carolina: What it Means for Forest Landowners\" were conducted between September 2008 and February 2009. We stratified the sample to include one county from all but one of North Carolina's six Extension districts in order to represent landowners from different regions. The counties where woody biomass trainings were held were Alamance, Edgecombe, Halifax, Harnett, Lenoir, Pender, Rutherford, Stanly, Wake, and Wilkes. Training locations exhibited potential for emerging woody biomass markets and had an interested county agent to help organize and market the meeting. We also worked with community groups in three of the counties to boost minority representation. The 2-hour training consisted of presentations given by four Extension Forestry professionals from NCSU. The presenters used a variety of teaching methods from PowerPointTM presentations to flip charts, but as much as possible made the same presentation at each meeting. Topics included renewable energy legislation, market information, and potential environmental and social impacts of woody biomass harvesting. Afterwards a question-and-answer discussion gave participants an opportunity to query presenters on specific points needing clarification or to voice their concerns. The meetings were conducted on a weeknight, and dinner was served (with the exception of one weekday morning and one Saturday meeting). Follow-up activities such as enhancement of a website
are ongoing. One of the main objectives of the program was to raise NIPF landowners' awareness of the role of woody biomass markets in their future forest management plans. Educators highlighted woody biomass harvesting as a \"tool\" by which other management objectives, including those associated with the production of commercial timber, could be obtained. The focus was on increasing knowledge, but NCSU Extension Forestry also hoped for changes in attitudes and intended behavior. The evaluation instrument was designed in consultation with the program planners and included rank-order, forced choice, five-point and four-point Likert-scale, open-ended, close-ended, and partially close-ended questions. Demographic information on sex, age, ethnicity, education level, years of experience, and acreage owned was collected. Participants were asked how they found out about the training and the reason for attending—useful information for Extension agents looking to market similar woody biomass programs in the future. Because woody biomass energy is a new topic, questions on the participants' preferred method of receiving information were also asked (Roucan-Kane, 2008). Ten true and false questions were included to test what landowners knew and how well they understood the topic. To document changes in knowledge, the same set of questions was asked before and after the educational session. Similarly, 10n statements with a five-point Likert scale were used to record changes in attitudes. In the post-test, four questions were included to determine the likelihood that participants would apply what they learned. Because learning environment can contribute to changes in knowledge, attitudes, Landowners' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Aspirations Towards Woody Biomass Markets in North Carolina http://www.joe.org/joe/2012august/a9p.shtml[8/27/2012 4:29:16 PM] and aspirations, participant satisfaction was also documented with this program (Terry & Israel, 2004). While not a large component of the research, responses to open-ended questions and participant observation at the meetings supplemented the quantitative survey data. We collected observation data by watching, listening, and documenting reactions and behavior of participants at the meetings. Data were then sorted by content, categorized, and coded by common themes (Patton 2002). In coding the data, the study applied emergent rather than preset categories. The evaluation instrument was assessed for validity by a panel of four NCSU faculty with expertise in research methods, Extension forestry, and evaluation. Points of confusion or misunderstanding were corrected before the printing of the final instrument. To test for reliability, a pilot test of the evaluation was conducted in Chatham County, North Carolina. Eight local landowners, consulting foresters, and other natural resource professionals participated. Results indicate a Cronbach's alpha of 0.60 for the 10-item attitudinal scale used in the study, which is acceptable for exploratory study (Nunnally, 1970; Santos, 1999). Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software (version 17.0) was used to analyze the quantitative data with descriptive statistics, t-tests, and Pearson's correlation coefficient. Results and Discussion Four hundred and seventy-five participants attended the meetings, a mean of 42 per meeting, representing 60 of North Carolina's 100 counties. Of the total 475 surveys administered, 395 partly or fully completed questionnaires were returned and entered into the final data set. This comprised an overall response rate of 83.2%. Demographics of Respondents Sixty-nine percent of the participants were male. Of the respondents, 88% were Whites (Non-Hispanic), 11% were African Americans, and 1% were multi-racial people. The majority (97%) of the respondents were a well educated group of people, with 19% having a graduate degree, 28% having a Bachelor's degree, 31% having an associate degree or some college education, and 19% having a high school diploma or equivalent. The age of respondents ranged from 21 years to 93 years, with the mean of 61 years. In average, the respondents own 180 acres of forestland. The mean of the years of forestland owner
TL;DR: In this paper, a conceptual process model for delivering Extension programs designed to enhance youth achievement in the sciences is proposed to improve understanding, skill development, and reasoning abilities to achieve broader impacts of improved science comprehension.
Abstract: Improving youth science comprehension in the United States is imperative to reverse current trends in student achievement and to meet an expected shortage of scientists in the future. This lag in achievement scores and need for future scientists is a problem. One challenge is to link inquiry-based learning and experiential education with curriculum designed to improve understanding, skill development, and reasoning abilities to achieve the broader impacts of improved science comprehension. The authors propose a conceptual process model for delivering Extension programs designed to enhance youth achievement in the sciences.
TL;DR: Extension is experiencing a trend toward closer alignment of its programs serving families and youth, notably Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H Youth Development as discussed by the authors, and projects are more multidisciplinary and comprehensive than in the past.
Abstract: Extension is experiencing a trend toward closer alignment of its programs serving families and youth, notably Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H Youth Development. Projects are more multidisciplinary and comprehensive than in the past, and, in many states, FCS and 4-HYD are also becoming more administratively integrated. Several reasons for this shift are recent developments in social science
TL;DR: The history of its development, outcomes achieved over a 5-year period, system features, and the strategies that have led to the growth of the online system are described.
Abstract: Extension Online is an Internet-based online course platform that enables the Texas AgriLife Extension Service's Family Development and Resource Management (FDRM) unit to reach tens of thousands of users across the U.S. annually with research-based information. This article introduces readers to Extension Online by describing the history of its development, outcomes achieved over a 5-year period, system features, and the strategies that have led to the growth of the online system. In 2011, over 77,000 online courses were completed through Extension Online, demonstrating that technology can be successfully used to dramatically enhance Extension's outreach capabilities.
TL;DR: In this article, a study involving interviews across a state Cooperative Extension Service (CES) paint a picture of organizational learning in Extension, focusing on the application of a model for organizational knowledge creation and the characteristics of transformational organizational learning.
Abstract: Our complex and rapidly changing world demands a more nimble, responsive, and flexible Extension organization. The findings from a study involving interviews across a state Cooperative Extension Service paint a picture of organizational learning in Extension. Four key dimensions of learning surfaced. Of particular importance are the application of a model for organizational knowledge creation and the characteristics of transformational organizational learning for innovation. Recommendations focus on actively supporting organizational learning, developing ways to tap the vast knowledge and skills of Extension professionals, and institutionalizing means to transfer learning. The changing nature of state and local budgets, the need to be responsive and proactive in a rapidly changing and increasingly complex environment with a widening diversity of constituents, the increasing competition from other education organizations worldwide, and the expectations of accountability and engagement demand that the Cooperative Extension Service be able to learn as an organization. Like any mature organization, Extension's vitality, flexibility, creativity, and capacity to meet these challenges diminishes unless we are able to learn as an organization (Garvin, 2000). Former Dean and Director of Oregon State University Extension Service, Lyla Houglum said, \"We have to be willing to change. No, we have to enjoy change—and be ready to change again and again\" (2003, para. 28). Extension leaders and workers today must be skilled at working in a constantly changing environment and \"evolve as the needs of the people evolve\" (McDowell, 2001, para. 29). Organizational learning is essential to achieving and sustaining change and engagement in higher education and Extension (Boyce, 2003; NASULGC, 1999, 2002). Organizational learning has its own challenges and characteristics within Extension. Extension focuses on non-traditional, and usually non-credit, learners and seeks to integrate the research and teaching functions within land grant universities. The scope of Extension includes many disciplines, and the organization is literally spread across the geography within a state. With this unique make-up, research looking specifically at the factors contributing to organizational learning in Extension has been limited (Franz, 2003, 2007; Ladewig & Rohs, 2000; Rowe 2010; Venters, 2004). Purpose and Methods The nature of organizational learning within the Extension Service of a major Midwestern land-grant university was explored through qualitative analysis of semi-structured individual The Nature of Organizational Learning in a State Extension Organization http://www.joe.org/joe/2012june/a1p.shtml[6/25/2012 10:52:35 AM] and focus group interviews (Morgan, 1998; Patton, 2001) involving 68 Extension professionals and 11 State Extension Council members. The study occurred in the midst of a transition following a consolidation of the organization's administrative structure. Table 1 provides a summary of the participants in the study. Phase I involved gathering perspectives from top leaders—both former and those in new roles—and mid-level leaders. Phase II involved interviewing state and local specialists and the State Extension Council. The specialists were identified through descriptions of organizational learning obtained in Phase I and by snowball sampling. Table 1. Overview of Organizational Participants in Study Extension Groups Interviewed PHASE 1 PHASE 2 Top Leaders Program Directors Regional Directors State Specialists Regional Specialists State Extension Council Number of Participants 8 5 8 22 25 11 Type of Interviews Individual Individual Two focus groups Four focus groups and one individual Five focus groups and one individual One focus group Representation Current and immediate former top leaders All except Community Development All All program areas except CD; included several other campuses All program areas except CD; all regions of the state All invited Mode Face-toface Face-to-face Face-toface and Centra® Face-toface Centra® Face-toface Centra® is a web-based meeting technology. Transcribed interviews were coded and analyzed for patterns and themes, using nVIVO 2 software and constant comparative analysis to develop concepts to explain the nature of learning in the organization. Several methods were used to check the credibility, consistency, and trustworthiness of the data (Merriam, 1998). These included comparing the interview data from various participants, comparing interview data with organizational documents, and the researcher reflecting as an organizational participant, using a nonExtension peer to also code data for comparison, presenting the data to participants for accuracy checks, and maintaining an account of the entire process. Findings The Nature of Organizational Learning Participants' perspectives of organizational learning were not defined by their position in the organization or by their academic discipline. In general, they noted that organizational learning is a shared process of learning that intricately links individual learning with collaborative learning as a whole. Participants attributed the purposes of organizational learning as to carry out the mission of the organization, maintain its culture and history, and deal with internally induced and externally imposed changes in order to survive and thrive. Participants described organizational learning with terms, including \"mental models,\" The Nature of Organizational Learning in a State Extension Organization http://www.joe.org/joe/2012june/a1p.shtml[6/25/2012 10:52:35 AM] \"teamwork,\" \"experimentation,\" and \"communication.\" Analysis of their descriptions revealed four key dimensions of organizational learning in Extension (Figure 1). Figure 1. The Sphere of Organizational Learning: Four Key Dimensions The Directional Dimension Key differences were noted about the composition of the organizational positions held by those involved in the group learning process. Horizontal learning occurred within program units, regions, or teams through peer-to-peer experiences such as in-service education, the self-organized breakfast meetings of program directors, and program teams consisting of regional faculty or state faculty. Vertical learning occurred across the organization's hierarchy, with learning from the top down noted most often. Examples cited included faculty meetings consisting of interaction between leaders and faculty, and opportunities that engaged Extension council members interacting with leadership. Multi-directional learning included horizontal and vertical aspects. However, the context made a difference, as one participant noted how organizational learning requires all aspects. You can't just share with your co-workers at the specialist level, and it [new concept or way of doing] really becomes a statewide change in program. It has to be shared laterally, and . . . . it may not be straight up and down. It may be a zigzag path of learning. The Formality Dimension Informal, experiential learning consisted of hallway conversations, socializing at meetings, mentoring, and other casual information sharing. Formal organizational learning included annual conferences, planning meetings, task forces, program development teams, and inservice education programs. The Nature of Organizational Learning in a State Extension Organization http://www.joe.org/joe/2012june/a1p.shtml[6/25/2012 10:52:35 AM] The Focus of Learning Dimension The focus of the organizational learning encompassed processes, the organization's mission, and culture (Martin, 2002), and the educational content itself delivered as part of the organization's mission. Some learning was program specific, while other learning was specific to an Extension region or to the whole organization. Regardless of learning locus, there was equal or more emphasis on the knowledge creation processes than the specific content of the learning. Like Von Krogh, Ichijo, & Nonaka (2000), some participants noted the most critical transfer of learning across the organization was a process, such as that of specific ways for engaging people in decision-making and collaborative learning; however, formal processes to transfer such knowledge did not really exist. The Orientation to Dealing with Change Dimension The most commonly cited adaptive learning entailed making adjustments to processes and programs such as altering curricula, changing a conference venue, or modifying new employee orientation. Participants described adaptive learning as \"being reactive,\" \"adjusting to change,\" and \"having feedback systems and being able to listen to those systems and adjust accordingly.\" However, the transformative learning was marked by thinking outside the box, challenging the underlying assumptions or status quo, and regenerating ways of doing business. One leader said it means, \"to step back and view what is going on from the outside and look in\" with a different set of eyes. Another participant said, \"We can't be the way we used to be. We can't think the way we used to think. We can't perform the way we used to perform and succeed.\" Another participant cited eXtension as a key example that shows a radical shift in way of thinking. Transformative Organization Learning Like Franz (2007), Extension professionals in the study reported here noted how transformational organizational learning is crucial for dealing with the multiple changes and demands of the world and for creating breakthrough solutions. At the same time, they noted the difficulty in fostering transformative organizational learning. Not surprising, the examples that stood out as transformative learning were limited but provided a context for developing a richer understanding. Examples of the rare, but rich transformative organizational learning that were frequently mentioned included the grass-based dairy program, the State Extension Leadership Development Program, the
TL;DR: The overall goal of a collaborative, community-based project was to improve the health literacy, health outcomes, and overall well-being of rural elderly in four small, rural communities.
Abstract: The demographic and socioeconomic impacts of the baby boomer generation turning 65 in 2011 will be magnified in rural areas where elderly are already disproportionately represented. The overall goal of a collaborative, community-based project was to improve the health literacy, health outcomes, and overall well-being of rural elderly in four small, rural communities. The methodology involved implementing four documented interventions working with Extension agents, senior center directors, librarians, and public health nurses in the communities. Extension can play a critical leadership role working with other key community stakeholders in improving health literacy, health and well-being of rural elderly.
TL;DR: For instance, the authors found that individuals enjoy participating in agritourism activities to spend time with family and friends while supporting local farmers and placed considerable importance on the availability of fresh produce, on-site restrooms, and a convenient location.
Abstract: The study reported here sought to ascertain the agritourism attraction preferences of Iowa consumers based on population category. Respondents were asked questions regarding their motivation and preferences related to participation in agritourism activities. The results revealed that individuals enjoy participating in agritourism activities to spend time with family and friends while supporting local farmers. They placed considerable importance on the availability of fresh produce, on-site restrooms, and a convenient location. The information regarding consumer motivation and preferences may be used by Extension educators, state organizations, and the agritourism owner/operator to create a consumer profile and target market prospective audiences.
TL;DR: Three key strategies for educators to increase program success with low-income adults are highlighted, including the need for adequate time and facilities as well as identifying GED programs as potential partners for recruiting and retaining adult participants.
Abstract: Experiential cooking classes for low-income adults can help improve healthy nutrition behaviors. However, nutrition educators and Extension professionals can face challenges in successful implementation of these programs such as difficulties recruiting and retaining participants. Drawing upon lessons learned from a cooking intervention with low-income adults, this article highlights three key strategies for educators to increase program success with low-income adults. These strategies focus on the need for adequate time and facilities as well as identifying GED programs as potential partners for recruiting and retaining adult participants. Experiential Cooking Programs for Low-Income Adults: Strateg... http://www.joe.org/joe/2012april/tt5p.shtml 1 of 4 4/27/12 12:13 PM
TL;DR: The objective was to identify knowledge gaps in sustainable soybean management and help direct useful insect management extension programming in Iowa and help to produce high-quality research that is directly applicable to soybean growers.
Abstract: In 2009, Iowa soybean growers were surveyed about current insect pest management practices. The purpose was to better understand how often growers were scouting and what they perceived as the primary pests in Iowa soybean. Soybean aphid is the primary pest throughout the state. There was a 1423% increase of insecticides applied to soybean since 2000. Respondents indicated they are regularly scouting for soybean insects to make treatment decisions. Iowa growers are getting pest management information via Extension and industry. The soybean aphid is the most economically important soybean pest in the North Central Region (Ragsdale et al., 2007). This aphid is an invasive species first confirmed in North America in 2000 and now has the potential to infest 80% of the total U.S. crop each year because of its migratory potential and adaption to North American soybean (Venette & Ragsdale, 2004). During outbreaks, soybean aphid can cause more than 40% yield reduction in soybean (Ragsdale et al., 2007); however, the population dynamics of this aphid have been highly variable between fields and years. An economic threshold based on estimating aphids per plant has been determined to be 250 from bloom through seed set and is widely adopted throughout the North Central Region (Ragsdale et al., 2007). To protect yield and increase overall production profits, growers could incorporate regular scouting and make timely treatment decisions (Johnson et al., 2009). Alternatively, a binomial sequential sampling plan, Speed Scouting for Soybean Aphid, can make treatment decisions (Hodgson et al., 2007). There were only occasional pest issues in soybean in the North Central Region before 2000 and less than 0.1% of soybean fields treated with insecticides (USDA-NASS). But the damage potential of soybean aphid has resulted in a 130-fold increase of insecticide applications in less than a decade (Ragsdale, Landis, Brodeur, Heimpel, & Desneux, 2011). Most commercial applications are based on the presence of aphids and are necessary to regulate outbreaks, but some are used in a prophylactic manner to reduce the risk of yield loss. Needless applications reduce overall profit, increase exposure to non-target organisms, and can accelerate genetic resistance to major insecticide classes (Pedigo & Rice, 2009). Soybean pest management in the North Central Region has dramatically changed with the arrival of soybean aphid. Our objective was to evaluate Iowa soybean growers' current pest Assessment of Iowa Soybean Growers for Insect Pest Management Practices http://www.joe.org/joe/2012august/rb6p.shtml[8/27/2012 4:43:51 PM] management practices and better understand how stakeholders are getting information. Our goal was to identify knowledge gaps in sustainable soybean management. We asked growers which specific soybean insects they encounter, how often they are sampling for pests, and how they receive information. The results of the study reported here will 1) help direct useful insect management extension programming in Iowa and 2) help to produce high-quality research that is directly applicable to soybean growers.
TL;DR: The Michigan State University Extension case study described in this article presents a field-tested and reliable survey to measure evaluation competencies of Extension professionals in three domains (situational analysis, systematic inquiry, and project management).
Abstract: Evaluation of public service programming is becoming increasingly important with current funding realities. The taxonomy of evaluation competencies compiled by Ghere et al. (2006) provided the starting place for Taxonomy for Assessing Evaluation Competencies in Extension. The Michigan State University Extension case study described here presents a field-tested and reliable survey to measure evaluation competencies of Extension professionals in three domains (situational analysis, systematic inquiry, and project management) as well as indicates opportunities for professional development training themes to enhance the evaluation competencies of Extension academic professionals.