December 2000 // Volume 38 // Number 6

Previous Issue Back Issues Next Issue Toggle Abstracts On or Off

Editor's Page

Editor's Page


Land Use Is the Issue, But Is Land Grant the Answer?
Arnold Jr., Chester L.
Local land use decisions are increasingly important to the health of our resources and communities. The Land Grant University/Extension network is the only national system with the structure, mission, and track record to deal with local land use issues, but, as a system, we're not doing it. There are a number of reasons why we're not doing it and even more reasons for why we must begin.

Walking the Mile Barefoot
Marsden, Anne-Michelle
A 15-year Extension professional finds the ultimate diversity training while working with the Mopan and K'ekchi' Mayan in the rainforest of Southern Belize. Needing to reach a culture so foreign to her, she reexamines diversity basics and, for the first, time understands the real charge of a change agent as well as the impact that the cultural lenses we wear have on our capacity to serve.

Feature Articles

A Profile of School-Age Care Programs
Vandenbergh, Barbara; Locklear, Eddie
This study provides a profile of school-age care (SAC) programs in North Carolina. The purpose was to determine the characteristics of school-age care programs and staff. A survey instrument of 22 questions was mailed to 3,052 school-age care providers in North Carolina; 486 surveys (16%) were returned. Responses were received from 89 of the 100 counties in North Carolina. Major characteristics identified by the study include sponsoring agencies; number and ages of children served; staff size, educational level, and income; and operational functions of the programs. School-age care programs can be improved through a partnership of parents, communities, employers, and various levels of government. Areas needing the greatest attention are staff qualifications and training opportunities, better salaries for staff, improved staff to child ratios, and standards that help describe best practices.

Impact Assessment and Participant Profiles of Extension's Education Programs for Agricultural Chemical/Seed Retailers and Crop Advisors
Schmitt, M. A.; Durgan, B. R.; Iverson, S. M.
Developing and maintaining ag education programs for agricultural product retailers and service providers can be an important niche for university Extension programs. Extension programs at the University of Minnesota have targeted this audience for several years and conducted a survey to learn about this audience and Extension's impact. Results from this specific audience indicate that Extension programs have positive agronomic and environmental impact, but that all programming issues are not superior to programs offered by other organizations. Respondents indicated that their attendance was determined based on topics and speakers, whereas specific sponsor and cost of the program were the lowest rated factors. Extension programming, especially by state Extension faculty, can have its greatest educational impact when its creators partner with companies, associations, and agencies to target ag professionals who will be able to best use or transfer the information.

Planning Educational Volunteer Forums: Steps to Success
Culp III, Ken
Both volunteer and paid staff devote considerable time, energy, and resources to developing, planning, and staging local, area, district, state, and regional Volunteer Forums or Conferences. This article proposes five "steps to success" that can help ensure the success of these educational volunteer events. These steps include: Constructing the Steering/Planning Committee; Contracting Facilities; Planning the Program; Arranging for Food, Meals, and Catering; and Developing the Budget. Each of these five steps is explained in detail. By focusing on these five steps, conference planners can coordinate a successful Forum or Conference while avoiding being bogged down in detail management.

The Educational Needs of Small Business Owners: A Look into the Future
Muske, Glenn; Stanforth, Nancy
A significant growth element in the U.S. economic expansion has been small businesses. Continued growth will depend on that trend continuing. Many of the future owners are today's college students. This article reports on a study examining the entrepreneurial plans of students. The study found significant numbers of students anticipate starting their own business. The students indicated that they would use future nonformal educational programs to help them start and run the business. Cooperative Extension has played a significant educational role in helping business owners be successful. This article suggests that the demand for such help will remain strong in the future.

Research in Brief

Implementation of a Web-Based, Self-Scoring Version of the Family Assessment Device (FAD) for Parent Education
Peterson, Rick; Prillaman, Janet
The article reports on the implementation of a Web-based, self-scoring version of the Family Assessment Device (FAD) in parent education for needs assessment and evaluation purposes. The FAD measures overall family functioning and six key areas of family functioning. Results of the analysis of each subscale indicated that participants increased their level of family functioning with respect to problem-solving, communication, affective involvement, affective responsiveness, roles, behavior control, and general functioning. Paired t-test results indicated that a statistically significant change occurred on five out of the seven measures. Implications of the application for needs assessment and outcome purposes are discussed.

The Oregon Master Woodland Manager Program: Comparison of 1991 and 1998 Questionnaire Results
Bowers, Steve
Comparisons of a 1991 and 1998 questionnaire were performed to determine whether Oregon's Master Woodland Manager (MWM) training program continued to adequately assist participating woodland owners in meeting the demands placed on them in the management of their woodland property and in successfully performing volunteer service. Results indicated an increasing amount of volunteer service per MWM, and, while the adequacy of training and materials was deemed satisfactory, there was an increasing demand from MWMs for expanded training in several areas. Results of the questionnaire revealed that lack of knowledge remained the primary barrier in managing woodland property, thus indicating the growing importance of the MWM program as a vital link in OSU's Forestry Extension programs.

MONEY 2000™: Feedback from and Impact on Participants
O'Neill, Barbara; Xiao, Jing; Bristow, Barbara; Brennan, Patricia; Kerbel, Claudia
This article reports results of the first comprehensive study of MONEY 2000™ participants. The study obtained feedback and impact data from MONEY 2000™ program participants in New Jersey and New York. The sample of 520 MONEY 2000™ respondents had a higher income and educational level than average Americans. The two main reasons that participants enrolled in MONEY 2000™ were to reduce debt and to increase financial knowledge. The most helpful aspect of MONEY 2000™ was the quarterly newsletter, followed by tips/ideas/information, Extension publications, and workshops/classes/conferences. The least helpful aspect was none/nothing, followed by workshops/classes/conferences. Since enrolling in MONEY 2000™, three of every four respondents both increased their savings and decreased their debt and 80% indicated that MONEY 2000™ had an effect on their financial situation. The article also discusses 10 implications for Extension financial educators.

Tools of the Trade

Assessment Technology: Its Use in Improving Leadership and Management Performance
Gunderson, Gail J.; Haynes, Bill R.
Assessment centers are one of the most effective selection, promotional, and training tools ever developed. Many organizations use them today, including a large percentage of Fortune 500 corporations and federal, state, and local government agencies. Assessment centers offer immediate and targeted application supporting leadership, assessment, and development for managers. Both participants and practitioners value assessment centers for their content validity, predictive accuracy, objectivity, and relevance to the job. Ohio State University Extension is successfully using assessment centers to identify and evaluate the supervisory, managerial, and leadership capabilities of its professional staff.

A Technique to Measure Opinions, Skills, Intentions, and Behaviors That's Different-Even Fun
Kiernan, Nancy Ellen; Brock, Gwen
This article introduces a fun and graphic approach to measuring opinions, skill levels, intentions for practice change, and knowledge--a step scale. You can use the approach with youth, adapt it for low literacy and non-English speaking audiences, and use it to collect data at more than one point in time. The article describes construction of the scale and analysis of data and provides examples from an actual program.

The Revolving Client Pool: One Solution to Value-Added Programming Challenges
Kraenzel, David G.
A growing Extension audience segment is interested in value-added businesses that pose new challenges for program planning, design, and delivery. How can Extension provide more specialized training, education, and instruction to individual clients at critical times during the agribusiness development process? The Revolving Client Pool (RCP), combined with the powerful technique of forming a mentoring relationship, offers one effective "Tool of the Trade" to address this programming need.

Developing a Farm Newsletter for Better Communications Between Tenant and Landowner
Parcell, Joe; Wells, J. Bob
It is not uncommon for a tenant seldom to have contact with the landowner outside of the customary rental settlement. Agriculture is an evolving industry that has had to deal with technological adoption and the realization of the term "economies of size" during the past 10 years. A combination of increased competition for land to benefit from economies of size and more landowners not understanding production agriculture technology adoption has caused communications between tenants and landowners to become crucial. One method Extension farm management specialists can recommend to improve communications between tenants and landowners is for the tenant to develop a farm newsletter. This article describes such a newsletter.

The Value of a Toolkit
Monroe, Martha C.
Toolkits are collections of flexible and adaptable educational program resources that target one issue or one audience. This article presents tips for creating a toolkit and an example budget for constructing a set of kits.

The Happier Way - A Film Review
Scholl, Jan
The article discusses The Happier Way, a circa 1920s, 20-minute, black and white silent film about Extension. The author describes the film as an Extension "home movie," recounting the plot and addressing the film's historical significance. The author hopes that anyone with more information about the film will contact her.