December 1998 // Volume 36 // Number 6

Previous Issue Back Issues Next Issue Toggle Abstracts On or Off

Editor's Page

Editor's Page


What is Extension's Itinerary for Information Superhighway Travel?
Donaldson, Joseph L.
In this commentary, the author uses a hint of satire and his potential educational needs as a small, diversified farmer to pose important questions about Extension's itinerary for information superhighway travel. Without a plan for the use of information technology, Extension only contributes to the widening chasm between the rich and poor. Extension educators must lead the social consciousness debate on the role of information technology in our lives and find significant ways to enfranchise the poorest communities.

The First Fifty Years of the 4-H Program
Van Horn, Beth E. Flanagan, Constance A. Thomson, Joan S.
This article is the first of a two-part series to address the history of 4-H and identify the changes and challenges of the future. The first installment reviews the achievements during the first 50 years that includes the history of 4-H club work, volunteer leadership development, funding support, and response to society's needs during the war years. This historical perspective will demonstrate how 4-H has changed to meet societal needs while remaining true to the original mission.

Feature Articles

Examining "Empowerment": A How-To Guide for the Youth Development Professional
Huebner, Angela J.
This article describes the role of the youth development professional in incorporating an "empowerment" process into program planning. For purposes of this article, "empower" is defined as "promoting the self actualization or influence" (Webster, 1998). The empowerment process is described through the use of community examples and a step by step "How-To" section. While the examples in the article focus on youth, it is important to note that the empowerment process is useful for adult volunteers as well.

The Healthy Heart Program Lowers Heart Disease Risk in a Rural County
Anderson, Jennifer Nixon, Jan Woodard, Jennifer
The purpose of the Healthy Heart study was to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of a community nutrition education program on lowering heart disease risk. Nine intervention sessions were offered with three follow-up assessments. Subjects participated in classes covering topics related to nutrition and heart disease risks. Several positive changes in participants' attitudes, knowledge and behaviors were maintained over time, suggesting that community nutrition education programs may be influential in reducing heart disease risks. The results of this study provide support for the important role of Extension agents in teaching community programs and in working with health professionals in such programs.

Trials and Triumphs of Expanded Extension Programs
Leavengood, Scott Love, Bob
This paper discusses the background and experiences of a recently expanded Extension program. Discussions include initial challenges of a new program and tactics that were not wildly successful. Also discussed are tactics that have proven successful, some of which are tried and true Extension methods while others are relatively new. The tried and true methods include personal coaching, building partnerships, and providing a high level of service. The newer methods include database marketing

Keys to Building Successful Training Programs for Hispanic Family Day Care Providers
Warrix, Marisa B. Bocanegra, Margarita
Hispanic women have shown the most rapid gains in labor force participation since the 1980s. Ohio State University Extension in Cleveland, Ohio targeted training programs to Hispanic family day care providers. The article outlines critical factors for success. They include understanding the importance of Hispanic culture, values, and attitudes; becoming familiar with personalism and familism, using day care as an employment strategy for Hispanic women, and developing culturally relevant nutrition lessons.

The Stork's Nest Program Benefits At-Risk Mothers and Their Babies
Viegas, Swarna Betterley, Connie
This article describes the impact of a collaborative intervention designed to promote prenatal and infant health. Classes on nutrition and other topics were held once a week for high-risk pregnant women and new mothers. Using a pre-test-post-test evaluation design, quantitative and qualitative approaches were used to assess program impact. Findings revealed statistically significant pre-test-post-test mean score differences in knowledge relating to prenatal and infant nutrition. Participants reported that as a result of the program, they started to eat healthy foods, compare food labels, reduced or stopped smoking, and decreased consumption of alcohol.

Research in Brief

Culinary Herbs as Alternative Cash Crops for Small Scale Farmers in Southern Ohio
Gao, Gary Bergefurd, Brad
Agricultural and horticultural Extension agents are faced with challenges of coming up with viable cash crops for small scale farmers. Fresh herbs are high value crops. There is a good potential for small scale farmers to generate a substantial amount of income from limited acreage by growing culinary herbs. A survey of the members of The American Culinary Federation of Greater Cincinnati shows that popular herbs in demand by chefs in the Greater Cincinnati Area are basil, dill, French tarragon, mints, oregano, rosemary, chives, parsley, and thyme. The value of various basils ranged from $6,160 to $11,280 per acre at Hillsboro farmers' market, Hillsboro, Ohio. However, growers need to have buyers and markets established before attempting herb production.

Ideas at Work

Extension Service and Healthy Families
Robertson, Jo Fulton, Arlene Buck, Marilyn S.
This article describes the process of developing collaborative partnerships for the purpose of providing parent education and support services for new parents in Oklahoma. Through partnering, the Oklahoma Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service have expanded Healthy Families from a pilot site to fourteen programs within three years. Experiences in Oklahoma suggest that collaboration, while bringing additional resources and supports, takes time, effort, and new ways of thinking and interacting.

Mars and Venus in Extension Classes: Overcoming the Challenge of Gender Differences in Parenting Education
Rochford, Marilou
Extension educators responsible for strengthening families through parenting education. To be effective, they must work to bridge gender differences to include and encourage fathers' participation. Adapting examples from John Gray's popular text, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, the author offers practical applications for female educators working to build fatherhood groups and deliver parenting education across gender lines.

A Management Approach to County Extension Programs
Cropper, Rebecca J.
Local Extension programs can be enhanced by applying basic principles relating to business management. Stronger programs can be created by paying attention to the interrelationships among planning, organizing, staffing, and directing. The three elements of a plan are discussed. Then the relationship of the plan to the organizational structure, staffing needs, and directing function are illuminated. These concepts are defined and explained within the context of Extension programs. The article concludes with a brief illustration of these principles in practice.

Partnerships for Progress: Summer Youth Nutrition Programs
Guion, Lisa A.
The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service 4-H EFNEP program, in collaboration with Out For Lunch, implemented youth nutrition programs in nine counties during the summer of 1997. These experiential programs were designed to provide limited resource youth with information on the fundamentals of proper nutrition and contribute to their personal development and overall well-being. Collaboration played a large role in the success of all the programs, both internally among Extension professionals, and with external partners. External partners provided various types of resources that enabled the program to serve a total of 1,469 youth in the nine counties. In the article, examples of collaboration from the successful summer nutrition programs are provided which can spark ideas as to potential collaborators for other Extension program endeavors. The article concludes with a discussion of the most common problems that arose during collaboration and ways in which to deal with those issues.

5-A-Day Roadside Market Project
Mader, Sharon L.
The 5-A-Day Roadside Market project was the outcome of a survey conducted by a county Extension staff to provide information requested by customers at local roadside markets. Twenty roadside market operators agreed to participate in the project and received 40,000 free fact sheets to distribute to their customers and 5-A-Day posters to display in their markets. This project was a marketing technique to increase consumer awareness of eating five servings of fruits and vegetables to help prevent health problems.

Tools of the Trade

Book Review: Rapid Problem Solving with Post-it (TM) Notes
Scholl, Jan
Jan Scholl reviews the recent edition of "Rapid Problem Solving with Post-it (TM) Notes" which contains information not only to solve problems but shows how to organize "chunks" of information for program planning and development purposes. Special sections in the book speed reading and rapid application of concepts.

Community Interest Survey to Plan Utah Botanical Center
Olsen, Shawn Amundsen, Debbie Anderson, Dave Guy, Stan
A community interest survey provided valuable information in planning a new educational Botanical Center. Master Gardener volunteers were vital in conducting the survey of 500 community residents. Survey participants favored a mix of continuing some existing Extension programs and adding new programs. New programs suggested included native and drought tolerant plants, water conservation, and reducing landscape maintenance costs and time. The survey showed public support for an entrance fee that was used exclusively for development of the Botanical Center.