December 1997 // Volume 35 // Number 6

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Editor's Page

Editor's Page


Fundamentally Flawed: Extension Administrative Practice Part 1
Patterson, Thomas F., Jr.
The first of a two-part series addressing Extension administration, this commentary challenges traditional Extension administrative practice, arguing that current techniques are fundamentally flawed and inappropriate in the modern work place. The classical school of management is defined, and its underlying foundational assumptions are examined and ultimately rejected.

Feature Articles

4-H Classroom Science Programs Enriching the Learning Environment
Horton, Robert L. Konen, Joseph
This study addresses the role of 4-H Classroom Science Programs as a catalyst for enriching the learning environment of students. Convinced that 4-H could have an impact on the quality of science education in the classroom, researchers from The National Center for Science Teaching and Learning and the National 4-H Network for Action in Science and Technology set out to establish a model approach for the delivery of 4-H classroom science programs. The model put forth in this program shows great promise in guiding the science enrichment efforts of 4-H professionals across the country. Clearly, 4-H can play a role in the initiating and nurturing effective science learning environments.

Encouraging Marketing Research
Larson, Ronald B.
Some business people are unfamiliar with the need for or the benefits from marketing research. One tool for communicating the value of marketing and marketing research is regional sales indices. These indices can help highlight market heterogeneity, illustrate marketing complexities, and encourage the use of regional events. They can also be used to help identify potential marketing partners, guide test market selection, and assist with volume forecasting. By including analyses of these sales development indices in presentations to business groups, greater interest in conducting marketing research and in supporting marketing programs may be generated.

Designing Educational Programs for Minority Entrepreneurs
Pride, Michelle L. Stoffel, Bruce van Es, J. C.
The study analyzed why minority contractors were not bidding on federally-funded jobs. The objectives were to find out why, what were their needs and to design an educational program. Data included a survey completed by 22 minority contractors. Literature was reviewed and local resource persons were interviewed. Conclusions were that minority contractors faced racial discrimination, lacked successful role models and a networking system, had little training in business skills, and lacked knowledge concerning banking. They lacked capital, equipment, workers, insurance and bonding. Recommendations were for professionals to receive diversity training and host a reception to meet minority contractors. Contractors should attend educational workshops to enhance their business and management skills. Formation of a coalition for minority contractors was also recommended.

Locality-Based Programming: Virginia Tech's Powell River Project
Zipper, Carl E. Rockett, Jonathan S.
The Powell River Project (PRP) is a Virginia Tech program that applies the land-grant research-Extension model to non-traditional program areas. PRP sponsors research and education programs to benefit the people of Virginia's coal-producing region. Funding is provided by industry, the University, and the state. A Board of Directors establishes priorities and allocates funds, a staff solicits research proposals and disseminates research results, and University personnel conduct sponsored activities. A variety of factors indicate program success, including influence on industry environmental protection practices and regulatory standards. Keys to success include local involvement, a multidisciplinary approach, and strong research-Extension links.

Integrating Extension In Natural Resources Graduate Education
Jones, Stephen B. Finley, James C.
Traditionally graduate education is defined by a research project and is often complemented by classroom or laboratory teaching experience. Too infrequently, graduate educators do not capitalize on promising opportunities associated with the university's Extension mission. The nature of informal education often draws Extension faculty to contentious and timely issues that are characterized by either technology voids or awareness/knowledge shortfalls. Using case studies the article characterizes the research that is appropriate, describes the type of graduate students who may be attracted to this kind of project, and suggests a strategy for partnering and grantsmanship.

The Journal of Extension Goes Electronic: Results of a Subscriber Evaluation Survey
Lambur, Michael
In an effort to gain feedback about the new electronic Journal of Extension, an electronic subscriber's survey was conducted. E-mail surveys were sent to all electronic ID's on the Journal subscription list as of September, 1996 (N=2,037). Five-hundred fifty-four individuals responded to the survey. Results indicated that access of the Journal is equitable by job responsibility and location, a variety of electronic means are used to access the Journal, and the Journal is a useful publication for Extension work.

Ideas at Work

Implementation of a Statewide Poinsettia IPM Educational Program in Connecticut
Pundt, Leanne S.
This describes the development of a Poinsettia IPM program in Connecticut. The program emphasizes hands-on training at growers' greenhouses. This provides growers will the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to reduce reliance on pesticides while maintaining or increasing crop quality by applying IPM methods. The ultimate benefits of IPM are cost savings to growers and lowered impact to the environment and ground water.

North Carolina Swine Evaluation Station: Adapting to Meet the Needs of a Rapidly Changing Industry
See, M. Todd
To meet current and future demands for information needed by specialized and technically advanced pork producers the focus of the North Carolina Swine Evaluation Station was changed. The new program was designed to assist in the definition of production potential and goals, development of least-cost feeding and management strategies, and to provide a rapid response to identified research needs. Data collected on growth performance, carcass merit, and economics have been used to develop mathematical models to help identify and meet production and financial goals while emphasizing the production of a healthy pork product that is desirable to the consumer.

Tools of the Trade

School Enrichment: What Factors Attract Elementary Teachers to 4-H Science Curriculum?
McNeely, Niki Nestor Wells, Betty J.
Today's teachers are busy people. They teach class, grade papers, attend assemblies, work lunch, hall and bus duty, and complete many other job assignments. Extension professionals have an opportunity to build partnerships with classroom teachers through the 4-H Science curriculum and programs. Most lessons from the curriculum require fairly common materials and not much preparation time, making it ideal for teachers with limited resources.

Using Database Software for Natural Resource Extension Education
Cloughesy, Michael J.
Three new computer programs have been developed by a forestry Extension agent and a volunteer to help small woodland owners and foresters make better forest management decisions. Two of the programs were designed to perform the calculations necessary to estimate volume and growth of timber stands. A third program is designed to perform economic analysis of forestry investments. The programs have been well received by the clientele. Anecdotal evidence has shown that using the software has led to improved decision making capacity for small woodland owners.

Creativity Challenge: A Community-Based Approach to Enhancing Creative Action
Domaingue, Robert
We could all benefit from the wider application of creative action in addressing problems in our communities. Creativity in individuals can be enhanced and harnessed for improving our communities. The Creativity Challenge is one approach for accomplishing this. It provides training and motivation for individuals and teams to develop personal and group creativity and apply those skills to relevant problems at work and in the community. An enjoyable culminating event allows individuals and teams to test their creative abilities while dealing with significant social problems.