December 2003 // Volume 41 // Number 6

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Editor's Page

Editor's Page
"JOE Commentaries" celebrates the fact that the "Commentary drought" appears to have abated, makes special mention of the two challenging Commentaries in this issue, and asks for more. "December 2003 JOE" points out a few common themes.


Doorway, Doormat, or Doghouse? The Challenges Facing 4-H Youth Development Scholarship in Land-Grant Universities
Astroth, Kirk A.
Beginning with establishment of a 4-H professional research and knowledge base in 1986, to the recent launch of an on-line master's degree in youth development by a consortium of land-grant universities, to the implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor's certificate in youth development, youth development has attained recognition as a discipline with an identified academic base. Land-grant universities should join the effort to enhance the scholarship of 4-H youth development professionals, not stifle it. The challenge is to identify appropriate standards and definitions of scholarship. This article presents some of the challenges facing 4-H youth development scholarship in land-grant universities.

Where Is Extension Scholarship Falling Short, and What Can We Do About It?
Alter, Theodore R.
The author outlines six challenges to Extension or outreach scholarship that, in his opinion, reflect where current scholarship is falling short. He suggests three fundamental responses to these challenges: action, leadership, and graduate education reform.

Feature Articles

Community Service Versus Service-Learning: Which Is Best for 4-H?
Stafford, Jill; Boyd, Barry; Lindner, James R.
In 1999, the National 4-H Council (2000) reported that some 271,146 4-H members participated in service activities to their communities. These activities were categorized as volunteerism, community service, and service-learning--three distinctly different activities. To examine which activity is best in teaching leadership life skills, a randomized post-test only control group experiment utilizing a control group and two treatment groups was conducted to determine the effects of service-learning. This article distinguishes service service-learning from the other two activities, presents the results of the study, and discusses the implications of service learning for Extension.

CAYDO: Connecting the Gaps of Community Youth Assessments
Jones, Kenneth R.; Perkins, Daniel F.
Community-based assessments can be strategies that aim to work in partnership with individuals and organizations to empower communities. Often identified as a comparable alternative to needs assessments, Community YouthMapping has been developed to include youth in the community youth development process. However, the authors note significant gaps in Community YouthMapping and offer a new assessment technique that includes an adapted youth mapping process, Comprehensive Assessment of Youth Development Opportunities (CAYDO). This article takes an investigative look at the relevance of including this procedure as a needs assessment tool in the program planning and community development process.

Comprehensive Model for Sustaining Community Projects
Carroll, Jan; Gross, Mary; Leist, Robin
Local sustainability is a goal from any community-based project's first day. A family literacy project team conceptualized a comprehensive model for sustainability that includes six strategies. The two community sites are documented as successful beyond the term of federal funding. They are housed, staffed, and funded for program delivery to clients. The site directors share their knowledge, experience, insights, results, and recommendations. The best results have come from community investment and grant writing. The biggest challenge has been local fundraising. Marketing, fee-for-service, and 501(c)(3) status have contributed positively.

Using Social Marketing to Plan a Nutrition Education Program Targeting Teens
Snow, Gwenn; Benedict, Jamie
Using focus group interviews, information was gathered from teens describing their perceptions about the benefits and barriers of consuming select nutrient-dense foods, such as dark-green leafy and deep-yellow vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy foods, and whole grains, and their preferences for learning about foods and nutrition. The article demonstrates how social marketing was used to gather, assess, and use descriptive information to plan a nutrition education program targeting teens. While the content was specific to nutrition education and teens, the concepts presented are appropriate for Extension Educators, and applicable to a broad range of health behaviors.

Guidelines for Reaching Out and Counseling Low Income Monolingual Latino Clients
Delgadillo, Lucy
In light of the growth of the U.S. Latino population, a model to outreach, serve, and counsel low income, monolingual immigrant Latino clients is proposed. It is suggested that the marketing strategy of educational programs for this particular group is different than for higher income, bilingual Latino groups or other ethnic groups. Traditional market strategies must be combined with less traditional approaches. Guidance and recommendations to help financial counselors maintain a culturally attuned position with their clients while guiding them toward their financial goals are provided.

Research in Brief

Using Multi-Site Methodology to Evaluate 4-H Youth Leadership Retreats
Arnold, Mary E.
This article explores the possibility of using a multi-site evaluation method to evaluate 4-H youth leadership retreats in 5 different geographical locations. Using multi-site methodology enabled the researcher to gather a larger, more representative sample than would be possible by evaluating only one retreat. The strategy for planning and implementing the multi-site evaluation as well as the results of the evaluation are presented.

Life Skill Development Through 4-H Clubs: The Perspective of 4-H Alumni
Fox, Janet; Schroeder, Debra; Lodl, Kathleen
It is becoming increasingly important to document the impact of 4-H programming. In order to do this, a mixed model survey was administered to 264 4-H alumni. The purpose of the study was to determine if 4-H alumni perceived themselves as having gained life skills through the 4-H Club experience. Results showed that 4-H Club membership did have an influence on the development of all 32 life skills identified. These findings can be used to share 4-H program impact and how club participation plays a role in the development of youth.

Practitioners Put Research into Practice Strengthening Community-Based Pregnant and Parenting Teen Programs
Gong, Elizabeth J.; Johns, Marilyn J.; Moncloa, Fe
The United States teen birth rate remains the highest of any industrialized nation. Although nationally the rate is declining, the problem remains complex and significant. Cooperative Extension staff in three San Francisco, California Bay Area counties partnered with six community-based teen pregnancy program site practitioners to adopt a new best practice to improve their programs. This article reports on the process, the implementation, and outcomes for both pregnant and parenting teen participants and programs. Male involvement, family involvement, and youth development/participation in sports and exercise were the best practices chosen for implementation.

Factors Affecting Food Choices of Men in Production Agriculture in Kansas
Rundus, Tandy S.; Barrett, Betsy
With 86% of American farms individually or family operated, farmers' health becomes imperative to sustaining profitability. This research collected data on food choices of farmers in Kansas to determine potential gaps in nutrition knowledge that could be addressed by Cooperative Extension programs. Participants (N=147) attended nine K-State Research and Extension Agricultural Profitability Conferences in November 2001, completing the Block Brief Questionnaire and eating behavior and demographic questions. Results indicated subjects were overweight and food choices did not meet dietary guidelines. Cooperative Extension should capitalize on its extensive history with this population to provide one-on-one nutrition education materials targeting producer diets.

County Agent Views About Facilitating Public Education and Discussion of Genetic Engineering Use in Agriculture
Brown, J. Lynne; Kiernan, Nancy Ellen; Smith, Elaine S.; Hughes, Luanne
We conducted seven focus groups with Extension agents from three northeast states in Spring 2000 to learn what agents knew about genetic engineering (GE) applications in agriculture, their view of Extension's role in public discussion and education, and the training needed to assume such a role. While participating agents together knew a fair amount about their target audiences' perceptions of GE, they felt unprepared to deal with the challenges of public issues education in light of the current public debate, the publics' low science literacy, and their own science background. Their expressed training needs reflected these challenges.

Ideas at Work

Shifting the Focus of 4-H Record-Keeping from Competition and Subject Matter to Youth Development and Life Skills
Diem, Keith G.; Devitt, Annette
Youth can gain a lot of valuable knowledge and skills in 4-H, especially through 4-H clubs and long-term projects. But they typically don't recognize what they learn while participating. Record-keeping can help them realize more of the value of their involvement in clubs, camps, projects, and other educational activities. And record-keeping can also help Extension staff document the impact of their 4-H programs. A new format for record-keeping developed in New Jersey incorporates key elements deemed needed in a contemporary 4-H record book, including goal setting and reporting of life skills and S.C.A.N.S. workforce competencies.

Assessing the Cultural Dimensions of the Los Niños Bien Educados Parenting Program
Ortiz, Henry J.; Plunkett, Scott W.
A focus group evaluation was conducted on the Los Niños Bien Educados parenting course to investigate how a cultural frame of reference used in parenting classes for Latinos affects the experiences of the parents who attend them. The findings suggested that a cultural frame of reference in parenting courses for Latinos results in increased motivation to continue attending the classes, stronger connection to the course and information, improved parent-child relationships, improvement in cultural adjustment to the U.S., and improved learning of parenting skills.

A Farm Demonstrations Method for Estimating Cotton Yield in the Field for Use by Extension Agents and Specialists
Goodman, Bob; Monks, C. Dale
This article describes a programming possibility for Extension agricultural agents working in cotton production. It describes methods by which scientific estimates of cotton yields may be performed by agents in the field and educational opportunities that may arise as a result of the estimation process. These programs have been very popular and successful in Alabama.

Developing a Comprehensive Business Planning Extension Program
Bennett, Blake K.; Bevers, Stan
The Tomorrow's Top Agricultural Producer program was developed to assist agricultural producers in planning. Through the use of highly intensive classroom lectures, a case study reference guide, and mentor committees, the program assists agricultural producers in the development and implementation of a complete business plan.

Encouraging Entrepreneurship in Rural Communities: The University of Kentucky Entrepreneurship Initiative Program
Scorsone, Eric
Entrepreneurship is a critical tool in rural economic development. The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is developing a new program designed to stimulate community support for existing and potential entrepreneurs in rural communities. This program is designed to interact and learn from existing entrepreneurs in order to meet their needs to create profitable and sustainable businesses. At the same time, the long-term objective is to use existing business information to develop programs to encourage potential entrepreneurs to start new businesses.

Tools of the Trade

Using a Family Memory Book to Strengthen Families
Torretta, Alayne
The Family Memory Book is a useful tool designed to facilitate communication among family members. It is an ideal supplemental activity for family-strengthening programs. Many parents and grandparents today want their families to bond or simply get along better. One of the ways families can give themselves a "gift of bonding" is to make a family memory book. Because the book is a collection of pictures and feelings, it is a powerful, lingering statement of the strengths of the family. Putting these thoughts and feelings in an attractive book gives the family a precious keepsake.

Colorado Distance Horse Bowl Tournament
Walls, Lindsay L.; Denniston, Dave
Horse bowl is one of the most popular activities among Colorado 4-H horse project members. To participate in the traditional program, youth must travel to the contest's host county. Our goal was to create an online horse bowl program to allow youth to participate wherever access to the Internet was available. The Web-based program WebCT was used to implement the Colorado DHBT. Youth participated as individuals or on a team in three separate contests, constituting one tournament. After the tournament, participants were asked to complete an online survey to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.

Reaching the Hispanic "Green Industry" Workforce: Experiences and Practical Tools for Extension Professionals
Martinez-Espinoza, Alfredo D.; Fonseca, Marco; Chance, Willie
There are approximately 500,000 Hispanics living in Georgia. The Green Industry (turfgrass, ornamentals, and landscape sectors) is one of the fastest growing industries in the state. Close to 90% of all Georgia Green Industry companies employ Hispanics as their primary labor force. Language and cultural barriers hamper productivity, efficiency, and safety in the industry. The need to develop training programs in Spanish is widely recognized. We present relevant information and tools to take into consideration when implementing training programs for the green industry's Hispanic workforce.

Worksheets That Work for Measuring and Assessing Farm Financial Performance
Barnard, Freddie L.; Boehlje, Michael
An Extension program uses four worksheets to take data from beginning and end-of-year balance sheets, Schedule F, and, if needed, a Form 4797 and prepares an accrual-adjusted income statement. That information is then used to calculate the financial ratios recommended by the Farm Financial Standards Council. The worksheets enable Extension clientele and borrowers to analyze their agricultural businesses and lenders to evaluate loan requests.

Tractor Safety Using the SC ROPS Program
Privette, III, Charles V.; Cole, Henry P.
The South Carolina ROPS Program was developed to increase awareness of safety issues associated with tractor rollovers and tractor-vehicle collisions, provide education on the safe operation of tractors, and determine if the program developed at the University of Kentucky could be adapted to other states. The project used and evaluated agricultural safety programming material that was developed by the University of Kentucky's Community Partners for Healthy Farming ROPS Project. The project had an impact on the participants in that many adopted safer working practices.