February 2003 // Volume 41 // Number 1

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Editor's Page

Editor's Page
"JOE by the Numbers--2002" reports on submission, readership, and review rates for 2002. "JOE Needs Good Commentaries" talks about why we need Commentaries and calls attention to some good examples.

Feature Articles

Integrating Development of Extension Materials and Formative Informal Evaluation: Land Application of Sewage Sludge as a Case Example
Krogmann, Uta; Gibson, Virginia
Due to the controversial nature of land application of sewage sludge (biosolids), the development of an Extension program and Extension materials to provide agents and farmers with information on this topic was stalled in its initial stages for several years. Informal evaluation techniques (semi-structured interviews, meeting evaluations, peer-reviews, pre-testing) enabled a consensus-building process with frequent opportunities for constructive feedback, without which technical guidelines and fact sheets might still not exist. One novel aspect of our Extension program and materials related to land application is that they attempt to address social and legal issues in addition to technical issues.

The Oneida County 4-H Conservation Field Days Conflict
Brown, Stephen C.; Vonhof, Sarah; Kelley, Alicia
In its 30-year history, New York's Oneida County 4-H Conservation Education Field Days program generated no known controversy. That trend changed radically when a citizens group shot undercover video footage portraying the event as "children being brainwashed into thinking guns, hunting and trapping are okay." The video aired statewide and resulted in a national controversy. Oneida County 4-H responded by trying to build consensus among the organizations involved, but discovered that this was not possible. This article relates the events that precipitated this conflict, and examines the various perspectives on the conflict held by the three major organizations involved.

University Extension and Urban Planning Programs: An Efficient Partnership
Kotval, Zenia
Community-university partnerships have taken many forms as higher educational institutions assess their "engagement" while at the same time communities attempt to tap academia for needed resources. This article describes and evaluates the partnership developed between Extension and Urban and Regional Planning Program at Michigan State University, Urban Planning Partnerships. It is a model that provides an opportunity for a university to strengthen its links to communities throughout its state. It is a partnership that facilitates the experiential 1eaming needs of urban planning students while assisting urban Extension staff with capacity-building resources.

Graduation: From National Initiative to Base Program
Betts, Sherry C.; Peterson, Donna J.; Roebuck, James C.
The Cooperative Extension System supports base programs and national initiatives that provide direction for educational programming across the country. This article presents results of a study of the graduation of the CYFAR National Initiative into base programs. The Organizational Change Survey, designed to document the current state of and changes in a state's ability to develop and sustain effective programs for children, youth, and families, was first conducted in late 1997 to mid-1998 and was repeated in late 2000 to mid-2001. Results are presented from 22 states that participated both times. Implications for the implementation and graduation of other national initiatives are discussed.

A Facilitated Prioritization Process: An Application in the Forest Sector in Honduras
Dunn, Michael A.; Vlosky, Richard P.; Chavez, Arturo
This article describes an application of an Extension-oriented facilitated goal prioritization process conduced for national forest sector development in Honduras. The process can be employed in many settings that require stakeholder input. This article describes the consensus ranking of priority actions and generation of most doable actions. The results of this project will be used as an input in national forest-sector strategic planning in Honduras.

Program Development in a Political World--It's All About Impact!
Diem, Keith G.
Impact is the difference we make in people's lives as a result of programs we conduct. To be effective, they must ultimately change people's attitudes or behavior, or benefit society in other ways. Measuring impact is part of evaluation, and it must be considered while a program is being developed, not after-the-fact. Most Extension staff are already experts in conducting outstanding programs but don't always take the final steps to evaluate, summarize, and market the impacts of such outstanding programs. This article presents a process for developing and promoting Extension educational programs that yield impact.

Research in Brief

Employees and Food Safety: Is Training Important to Food Service Managers?
Hine, Susan; Thilmany, Dawn; Kendall, Pat; Smith, Ken
A sample of food service managers were surveyed regarding the value they placed on food safety training: whether they would provide higher pay or bonuses for trained new workers or pay a fixed amount for current employee training. They were also asked how important public image was to their business. Approximately 72% indicated they would be more likely to hire food safety trained workers, and 50% would be willing to pay higher wages to those trained. Finally, given tight labor supplies for this sector, 93% were willing to hire trained Welfare-to-Work participants. However, other barriers to hiring these participants remain.

Beef Quality Assurance from Farm to Fork: Development of a Pilot Program in Farm to Table Food Safety
Lardy, Gregory P.; Garden-Robinson, Julie; Stoltenow, Charlie; Marchello, Martin J.; Lee, Lisa
The goal of the project described here was to develop an interdisciplinary 3-day food safety training program. Course material for this program included content focused on food safety issues at the pre-harvest (farm, ranch, feedlot), post-harvest (slaughter and fabrication), and consumer (foodservice, retail, home) level. A pre-and post-test were given to each participant to assess the impact of this training program. Pre-test scores averaged 62%, while post-test scores averaged 87%. The 3-day interdisciplinary food safety course was effective at increasing constituent knowledge of food safety issues related to beef production and consumption from farm to fork.

Dishwashing and Water Conservation: An Opportunity for Environmental Education
Emmel, JoAnn M.; Parrott, Kathleen; Beamish, Julia
Technological advances have continued to improve the cleaning and water efficiency of automatic dishwashers. However, research indicates consumers waste water and energy during the dishwashing process through their actions and decisions. To gain more current information on consumer dishwasher usage, a major university conducted a kitchen usage study that asked questions about dishwashing. The study found that consumers use water unnecessarily by pre-rinsing dishes at the sink before placing them into the dishwasher. Numerous factors underlie this behavior. It seems clear that consumer education about proper dishwashing procedures is needed.

Educator Beliefs Regarding Computer-Based Instruction
Swann, D. LaDon; Branson, Jr., Floyd; Talbert, B. Allen
The purpose of the mixed quantitative/qualitative study discussed here was to ascertain the beliefs Purdue Extension Resources have regarding Computer-Based Instruction (CBI) for in-service training. Seventeen educators participated in the in-service training using two of five technical sections from an aquaculture CD-ROM tutorial. Educators completed pre-training questionnaires, content assessments, post-instruction evaluations, and follow up interviews. Educators participating in this study had favorable views toward the use of CBI for in-service training programs. The ability to spend less time out of their county and to review materials after the training were two of the key CBI benefits cited by educators.

Newsletters: Treasures or Trash? Parenting Newsletter Series Results in Positive Behavior Changes
Garton, Martha; Hicks, Kelly; Leatherman, Miriam; Miltenberger, Margaret; Mulkeen, Patricia; Nelson-Mitchell, Lorella; Winland, Carol
The study discussed here was designed to learn if parents of kindergarten children would report a change in parenting behavior based on reading parent education newsletters. The study was done in a rural area where valued face-to-face parenting education is often impossible, given the current norm of parent's lifestyles and the climate of Extension cost restrictions. The study used a post and then pre questionnaire with a sampling of parents. The study concluded that parents of kindergarten children read the newsletters and changed parenting behavior practices, thus validating the use of newsletters as a parent education tool for this audience.

Effect of Integrating a Sportfishing Curriculum into a Camp Program on the Knowledge, Awareness, and Attitudes of Participating Youth
Koupal, Keith; Krasny, Marianne
We evaluated the effect of incorporating a sportfishing and environmental curriculum into a short-term summer camp program on participating youths' knowledge of fishing and biology/ecology, awareness of ethical behavior, and attitudes concerning fishing and saving the environment. Using a pre-/post-survey of camp participants, we determined that the program was successful in developing youth knowledge related to fishing skills and biology/ecology, but did not affect ethical behavior awareness or attitudes of participants. Although longer-term programs may be needed to affect youth attitudes, camp programs offer the opportunity to increase knowledge among a large number of youth with a minimal investment in staff time.

Ideas at Work

Serving Rural Asian American and Latino Families and Their Communities: A Call for a Rural Paradigm Shift
Viramontez Anguiano, Ruben P.; Kawamoto, Walter T.
The United States rural cultural tapestry continues to be redefined as the country begins a new millennium. In particular, the Asian American and Latino family populations have burgeoned over the last 10 years as the first and second fastest growing populations in the country. This article discusses a working paradigm that illustrates how Extension family consumer scientists and other family specialists can work collectively with rural Asian American and Latino family to promote family and community life.

Designing Nutrition Education Programs to Reach Mexican American Populations
Robinson, Sharon F.; Anding, Jenna; Garza, Bertha; Hinojosa, Ileana
Over 6 million Mexican Americans live in the state of Texas. Hispanic women have a higher incidence of diet-related birth defects than the general population. To address this health disparity, an education outreach program was developed. A culture-centered approach consisting of the formation of a culturally diverse working team, client focus groups, materials development, pilot testing by trained paraprofessionals, and a day-long workshop for professional and lay educators was employed. This program used content specialists and local faculty to develop a relevant education program for a specific population.

Electronic "Ask a Master Gardener" Answers Gardening Questions
Hockenberry Meyer, Mary; Jarvis, Beth R.
After 7 months, a new electronic system of answering e-mail gardening questions from the public had received 1,042 questions. Thirteen Master Gardeners throughout Minnesota access the questions and respond to clients within 48 hours. Answers are posted on a WebBoardTM at the site for anyone to read. Questions are similar to the traditional gardening questions handled on the phone hotlines, with trees and perennials being the most popular topic. The public appreciates the flexibility and convenience of the program.

Pennsylvania Gardener Selects Plant Evaluation Program
Sellmer, James C.; Berghage, Robert D.; Michael, Alan H.; Bilik, Toni
The Pennsylvania Gardener Selects (PGS) program represents a unique educational, evaluation, and marketing program that expands the opportunities for Master Gardener input and activity while benefiting the green industry and gardeners statewide. Through the PGS program, Master Gardeners have learned to evaluate plants, develop educational programs for the general public, and participate directly in the selection and marketing of superior plants for the consumer and commercial marketplace. The PGS program has been warmly received by the industry. Since 1999, the PGS program has grown to include 44 gardens in 39 of the 67 counties of Pennsylvania.

Strategies for Successful Retirement: A 5-Part Series Teaching People How to Plan for Retirement
Jones, Kurt M.
The approach to teaching investment and retirement classes described in this article was spread out over a 5-week period. The series of classes includes four classroom sessions and one individual consultation with a certified financial planner. Of those participants surveyed after 5 months, 57% had made changes, and 28% more still planned to make changes in their investments. Participants also appreciated the individualized financial plan developed during the course and used it to make financial decisions.

Something Different: Forestry Training for Land Trusts
Rickenbach, Mark G.
Increasing public interest and awareness about the use of forests provide an opportunity for forestry Extension to reach new learners. Given their growing role in land conservation and protection, land trust members and staff have a growing impact on forests and their use. This article describes our experience in providing educational programming to these new learners and how they differ from our "traditional" learners. The article provides Extension faculty, forestry or otherwise, with three recommendations to consider when offering Extension programs to land trusts members and staff.

Tools of the Trade

Public Issues Education Projects: Meeting the Evaluation Challenges
Grudens-Schuck, Nancy
Evaluating and monitoring routine Extension projects is hard enough. Programs that feature concepts like public issues education (PIE), public dialogue, or civic engagement are even more challenging. Familiar "rules and regs" of good evaluation still apply, but hints, warnings, and new resources can help. After 10 years of Extension PIE initiatives, there are also examples of evaluations of PIE that can guide planning.

The Plant Management Network: A New Online Source of Applied Plant Science Information
Ash, Cynthia L.; Moore, Kenneth J.
The Plant Management Network (PMN) is a new online, multi-disciplinary, plant science network of peer-reviewed journals and applied plant information serving as an important resource for Extension professionals and their audiences. PMN is designed to extend Extension research and information out to growers, advisors, and the Extension community. In addition to the journals, partner publications, and image gallery--presently searchable on the site--new features are being prototyped, including scripted PowerPoint presentations, online posters, and continuing education modules. Articles are published on PMN within 1-3 weeks of acceptance, without charge. Individuals and partner organizations support the PMN through annual subscriptions.

A Web Site for Interpreting Drinking Water Quality Analyses
Walker, Mark; Moore, Robert
Owners of private domestic wells submit samples to analytic laboratories to determine whether their water supplies are safe to drink. Reports from such analyses present a wide range of information, some of which has human health implications, and some of which does not. We developed a Web site that corresponds with a commonly used suite of analyses that reports 27 chemical and physical characteristics of water samples. Our Web site helps to interpret the results by offering brief statements and clear graphics related to existing standards and guidelines after Web site visitors add information to a sequence of forms.

Tools for Cooperative Extension's Efforts in Historic Preservation
Tremblay, Jr., Kenneth R.
Historic preservation is important to community development as well as architectural history. Cooperative Extension's efforts in the historic mining town of St. Elmo are described, focusing on the tools used in the project. A book was produced that was donated to and sold by the local property owners association to raise matching money for a preservation grant proposal. A coordinated effort between Cooperative Extension and community members to write a grant was rewarded with funding to restore the historic town hall. These efforts should result in the preservation of historically significant buildings and an increase in tourism.

Integrated Pest Management Poster for Farm Markets
Infante-Casella, Michelle; Nitzsche, Peter; Ingerson-Mahar, Joseph; Holmstrom, Kristian
Unlike organic producers, who widely advertise their produce as organically grown, very few farmers using IPM practices advertise their produce as IPM grown. An IPM poster was developed for farmers asking for help in educating their customers. The posters were displayed in 10 farm markets in New Jersey. The posters and accompanying fact sheets stimulated public interest. Additionally, the poster was well received by the participating growers, and there have been many inquiries about further distribution or availability. The poster is general enough to be used in other states and is available through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Office of Pest Management.

Cowboy Obstetrics--A Calving Primer
Hawkins, James N.; Zollinger, William A.; Williams, Shannon K.
Dystocia plagues cattle producers throughout Idaho. A team of Extension educators and specialists designed a curriculum and conducted calving schools to teach dystocia management principles and demonstrate methods to reduce stress during birth and enhance the potential for calf survival. Over 300 ranchers and ranch employees attended the intensive, 1-day schools. Pre- and post-tests showed a 47 to 58% increase in attendees' knowledge about dystocia and dystocia management practices. Follow-up telephone surveys conducted 9 months later indicated attendees retained at least a portion of the information taught and saved an average of 1.6 calves per ranch.