April 1995 // Volume 33 // Number 2

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Cooperative Extension: Its People At Risk
Braun, Bonnie
Constancy of change and the accompanying unsettling effect on people is causing distress throughout the CES system as salaried and volunteer staff are "at risk" of not becoming all they can be. The purpose of this article is to encourage readers to ponder the situation and dialogue with concerned others to collectively find ways to reduce risk and increase the likelihood that CES can be sustained well into the coming century. The ideas contained in the article were developed by a group who used its own resources to explore concerns and seek a common vision through the leadership of Chuck Lofy.

Feature Articles

Everybody Wins: Involving Youth in Community Needs Assessment
Israel, Glenn D. Ilvento, Thomas W.
This article presents a strategy for integrating community service learning with community development. It builds upon two methods in rural development: needs assessment and incorporating public schools in the development process. The strategy provides a way to conduct a valid needs assessment using survey research methods, while keeping costs low and involvement of local people high. It also provides an opportunity for students to have classroom and experiential learning on community development and needs assessment. This strategy has been tested in Florida and Kentucky.

Understanding and Changing Iowa State University Extension's Management Culture
Broshar, Don Jost, Mark
It is one thing to understand and alter the structure of an organization and the technology it uses; it is quite another to understand and alter the culture of an organization and the relationships that characterize it. Iowa State University (ISU) Extension's Human Resources Unit assessed ISU Extension's existing culture and then compared that culture to the conditions necessary to create competence. According to the findings, if ISU Extension wants to create an organization that fully taps the competence of its staff, the administrative team must change its management culture from patriarchy to one of competence.

TQM in Extension's Crystal Ball
Patterson, Thomas F., Jr.
This article explains Total Quality Management (TQM) and makes a case for its adoption by Extension. The history of TQM and its major components are discussed, and a future TQM-Extension scenario is depicted. Potential public sector pitfalls are addressed. Why Extension is particularly suited for TQM is also addressed.

Evaluation: An Afterthought or an Integral Part of Program Development
Bush, Connee Mullis, Ron Mullis, Ann
This article describes an emerging framework for Extension service program evaluation called program theory. Program theory has been defined as "a set of propositions regarding what goes on in the black box during the transformation of input into output." Black box evaluations are those which consider what goes into a program and what comes out of a program without considering what goes on inside a program. It is no longer enough to know that certain objectives were met. Processes occurring between input and output must be assessed using theory-based measures in order to fully use evaluation as a tool in educational improvement.

Using Community Access Cable in an Extension Parenting Education Program
Dennis, Steve A. Lee, Thomas R. Jenson, Glen O.
Broadcasting parent education programs via community access cable channels can be an effective means of reaching parents with information. Utah State University Extension formed partnerships with community groups and local cable providers to develop and air programs on teen sexuality and substance abuse prevention. A follow-up survey found general community support for the broadcast format and program content. The findings also suggest a successful broadcast must be preceded by extensive advertising. Community collaboration to create local productions can strengthen support, build community ownership, and improve the overall effectiveness of this type of educational effort.

"The Impact of the Poultry Industry on the Environment" National Satellite Videoconference
Buck, Sue
"The Impact of the Poultry Industry on the Environment" National Satellite Videoconference is a method of delivering public policy education through distance education. Its success is based on a network of people concerned about this environmental issue and the dialogue generated during the videoconference. Over 90 people participated from around the country. Collaborators included Extension personnel, League of Women Voters, environmentalists, and the poultry industry. This is a "satellite town meeting" model for future Extension public policy education programs. The Extension System needs to be prepared for the multi-media revolution in distance education.

Research in Brief

Dealing With Endangered Species Issues On Private Lands
Thigpen, Jack
Timely and accurate information about landowner environmental issues provided by Extension enabled the Travis County Commissioner's Court to make better informed decisions regarding the impact of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Data were collected using a mailed survey instrument addressing concerns about the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan as an area-wide habitat conservation plan in Texas. This survey found that most respondents classified their land as agricultural. Respondents also expected a large decline in the amount of land used for agriculture, and an increase in the amount used for endangered species preserves and wildlife habitat. Most respondents were interested in educational programs about endangered species, but few thought they would need permits to comply with ESA.

Community Coalition for Tobacco-free Youth: Results of a Needs Assessment
Radhakrishna, Rama B. Snider, B. Alan
Needs assessments were conducted in six Pennsylvania counties to ascertain their needs for developing a grass-roots community coalition to address issues relative to youth tobacco use. Descriptive survey research methodology was used to collect data. A total of 355 of 511 individuals responded (70%). Respondents identified alcohol, teenage pregnancy, and cigarettes as most serious problems faced by their communities. Peer counseling and support, enforcement of current laws on tobacco sales to minors, and elimination of tobacco products in schools were identified as important activities. Parents and families, youth, and mass media were the groups identified as having the greatest potential to address youth tobacco use issues.

Targeted Workshops Improve Marketing Knowledge and Skills
Flaskerud, George
Workshops improve marketing knowledge and skills when they target producers having similar expertise. This article describes the characteristics of workshop participants and explains the methods used to identify changes in producer marketing knowledge, attitudes, skills, and practices. Results are based on inventories completed during the workshop and a follow-up survey. Results indicated that the workshops were effective, and that a refresher workshop may be needed to make producers comfortable with some marketing techniques.

Ideas at Work

Adding an Educational Component to Strategic Planning
Thomas, Jerold R.
Most strategic plans are started without properly educating the participants about the subject matter. A case study involving a strategic plan for community economic development is used to show how using an educational component can benefit the entire strategic planning process.

Measuring Local Economic Development with Pull Factors
Lloyd, Mike
Pull factors can provide Extension professionals with an easily calculated tool to assist communitites in gauging their economic health. Using a simple ratio formula and data readily available from the census or state agencies, pull factors provide a snapshot of a community's economic condition. Data obtained by the analysis can assist communities to develop action plans to improve local conditions.

One Stop Shopping Education
Gregerson, Donna M. Schmall, Vicki L.
Consumers want one stop shopping education, and Cooperative Extension staff members needs to plan their programs from this perspective. This article shares ways in which the Benton County office of the Oregon State University Extension Service incorporated the one stop shopping concept into the planning and execution of their Aging Family Members Conference.

Trust the Experts, Not Chicken Little
Chenoweth, Kathryn K. Gaydos, Beth D.
Based upon questions from Extension clientele, this program was developed to: inform consumers about facts related to nutrition issues that frequent the media; provide enough research-based information to allow consumers to make decisions about controversial issues; and provide research-based answers to nutrition myths. A pre-post opinion survey was administered to measure change in attitude about nutrition issues. Following the program, participants felt more informed about nutrition issues and had a better understanding about controversial issues.

Tools of the Trade

Developing Computer-Verified Training Tutorials for Urban Pest Control Training
Fasulo, Thomas R. Koehler, Philip G.
Computer-verified training tutorials can provide excellent, continuous training for urban pest control professionals. These tutorials, developed by area experts at the university level in cooperation with industry, can help alleviate the increasing demand placed on Extension specialists and agents. While this article emphasizes urban pest control, these tools can be used in all areas of Extension. In fact, one program included in the table is a knowledgbase about whiteflies, which are primarily vegetable pests. Such tutorials and knowledgbases can help in distance learning and provide basic information, allowing Extension professionals to concentrate on more difficult issues.

A Mobile Demonstration Platform for Yard Waste Management Educational Programs
Freeman, Marion Boggs, Joseph F.
A mobile cost-effective demonstration platform for teaching principles involved in effective yard waste management is described. The platform, which consists of a custom-built trailer, has produced a 45% reduction in labor associated with composting presentations and has yielded a net savings to the program of $3,977.80 over 84 demonstrations.

Fishing for Cleaner Waters--An Environmental Education Tool
Lichtkoppler, Frank R.
To help adults use angling as a tool to teach youth about the aquatic environment, six "Fishing for Cleaner Waters" posters were developed by the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. Each 12" by 18" polyethylene poster has a different environmental message, a line drawing of a popular sport fish, angling tips, and information on the fishes' habitat and spawning habits. Species covered include walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, crappie, and sunfish. Evaluations indicate that the posters were useful in helping youth learn more about fish and the aquatic environment.