June 1995 // Volume 33 // Number 3

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Editor's Page

Editor's Page

Feature Articles

Applying Total Quality Management in Cooperative Extension
Fredendall, Lawrence D. Lippert, Robert M.
This article examines the use of Total Quality Management (TQM) to increase customer satisfaction in South Carolina's Agriculture Service Laboratory. First, a TQM model commonly used in service industries is explained. Then the techniques that were applied in the laboratory and the resulting outcomes are examined and discussed. The central theme of this article is how to increase the laboratory's focus on the customer.

Overcoming Resistance to Issues-Based Programming
Yang, Raymond K. Fetsch, Robert J. Jenson, Glen O. Weigel, Randy R.
Issues-Based Programming (IBP) has been both useful to and resisted by Extension personnel. This article describes steps that could help overcome resistance to IBP. It suggests 10 practical, field-tested steps that state, district/area, and county Extension systems can use to involve the public in identifying issues critical to all of Extension's subject matter areas; to build system-wide ownership and use of the results; and to focus programming efforts on issues of public importance.

Using Focus Groups to Check Youth Perceptions of Agriculture
Holz-Clause, Mary Jost, Mark
What comes to your mind when you think of a farmer? According to results from a series of focus groups, Iowa middle school students often think of an old man, dressed in overalls, smelling dirty, and chewing on a straw. Though farmers were considered important by urban and rural participants, urban youth had little interest in agricultural careers. In fact, all participants equated agriculture with farming rather than the wider industry. These results, though not statistically representative, indicate that those who wish to communicate with Iowa youth should not assume a wide base of awareness about or interest in agriculture.

Working with High-Risk Youth: A Collaborative Approach
Smith, Marilyn Hill, Dr. George C. Matranga, Dr. Myrna Good, Alice
The results of a qualitative investigation into factors contributing to a highly effective collaborative youth-at-risk program between Nevada Cooperative Extension and several rural schools are presented. Responses and findings were grouped into six general areas: (a) local support provided by Cooperative Extension, (b) targeting a specific population of need, (c) community partners in the program, (d) low budgetary impact of the program, (e) program flexibility, and (f) giving schools program ownership. Methodology is discussed as well as implications for the findings. The research was conducted to help Cooperative Extension professionals that work with local schools.

Implications for Extension Educators Regarding the Juvenile Justice System
Filbert, Laura Thronburg, Kathy R. Mumford, Judy A. Leonard, Kimberly Kempf
The juvenile justice system, which requires the state to function as a parent in meeting the needs of youth, has more obscure goals than its criminal justice counterpart. Several national-level panels have made recommendations on improving of the juvenile justice system and minimizing inequities. This synthesis combines individual panel recommendations on the topic of juvenile justice with recent empirical research that supports the recommendations. The data should be useful to national, state, and local elected officials and policy makers.

Research in Brief

Florida's Organic Farmers: A Profile
Swisher, M.E. Monaghan, P.
A survey of Florida's commercial organic vegetable and citrus producers was undertaken to characterize their production practices and problems, identify production practices that could potentially be applied by conventional producers, and identify areas where researchers and Extension programs could serve the needs of both organic and conventional producers. Survey results indicated that organic and conventional producers do share some common problems. Continued interchange between Extension and organic producers can be useful for organic and conventional producers.

Extensionists as Adult Educators: A Look at Teaching Style Preference
Seevers, Brenda S.
This article presents the results of a survey of Ohio Cooperative Extension educators about their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to teaching adults. The Principles of Adult Learning Scale (PALS) was used to measure employees teaching style preference as either teacher-centered or learner-centered. Also assessed were knowledge levels of general adult education principles and attitudes toward being an adult educator. Overall, OCES employees exhibited low levels of knowledge related to basic adult education principles and practices. Attitude toward being an adult educator was slightly positive. Scores on PALS indicated respondents were more teacher-centered in behavior than the norm for the instrument. As a result of this study, in-service opportunities were designed for faculty and program staff of the Ohio Cooperative Extension Service.

Computer-administered Surveys in Extension
Kawasaki, Jodee L. Raven, Matt R.
The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using a computer-administered survey to gather data from Montana Extension Service (MES) personnel. The electronic survey did not adversely effect the return or responses. A majority of surveys in this study were returned via e-mail. However, one-third of the respondents were uncomfortable with the electronic survey despite prior e-mail training. Computer-administered surveys are a cost effective, speedy, and highly accurate method of collecting data that should be utilized by the Cooperative Extension Service.

Ideas at Work

Organizational Renewal in the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service
Jelinek, Suzette M. Johnson, Martha R. Sauser, William I., Jr.
This article reflects the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service's (ACES) considerable efforts to enable its organization to meet the changing needs of the citizens of Alabama today and tomorrow. After an arduous process of reevaluation, prompted by Auburn University's president, ACES created an internal document specifying goals and strategies to be used as a guideline to better serve the citizens of Alabama. This article reflects the importance of organizational renewal and commitment necessary to change for Extension to survive in the 90s.

Building External Linkages for Extension Programs
Lafontaine, Kenneth R.
Building a successful partnership with a private university outside the land-grant system has provided excellent educational programming opportunities for two Extension 4-H professionals. By developing working relationships with other academic institutions, Extension can expand its resource base and find help in meeting some of the new demands placed on it. Extension staff at all levels should look at the opportunities that exist to build relationships with other academic institutions. These can provide both short- and long-term benefits as professionals work to meet the needs of an expanding clientele.

Looking for More Than New Knowledge
Steele, Sara M.
Programs contribute to participants in other ways than just providing new knowledge. This article suggests some of the other contributions that should be looked for when programs are evaluated.

Garnishing Watermelon Enhances Promotions and Educational Programs
Dangler, James M.
Garnishing can be used to increase the effectiveness of watermelon promotions and educational programs. The manuscript describes sources of training materials such as kits containing plastic tools ideal for children, professional tools for adults, and stencils that can be used to acquire a general knowledge of garnishing. Combining garnishing with recipe cards, watermelon with different rind patterns and flesh colors, and information on harvesting and storing watermelon are suggested for obtaining maximum impact on targeted audiences.

Tools of the Trade

First Things First
Blum, Kristin Gamon, Julia A.
"First Things First," by Steven Covey et al., is an encouraging book with useful ideas for people who want to put their lives together. In today's fast-paced society, it is great to have a book that finally places life, love, and leaving a legacy into the sometimes confusing subject of time management. Periodic reality checks, real-life situation, and time quadrants make this a "hitting-home" kind of book. It should be on every "busy" person's list of to-read books!!

A Gauge of Success in Public Issues Education
Long, James S. Mark, Jo
A technique was developed and tested to estimate the extent to which Extension education helped citizens progress through the issue cycle on public ballot measure. The clock-like gauge proved to be useful, but the field test suggested improvements.