August 2004 // Volume 42 // Number 4

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Editor's Page

Editor's Page
"August 2004 JOE" focuses on the Tools of the Trade articles in an excellent issue. "Why I Reject Articles" explains that it isn't enough that article submissions have implications for Extension. They must discuss or allude to them.


Latino Outreach Programs: Why They Need to Be Different
Hobbs, Beverly B.
As Extension reaches out to first- and second-generation Latinos, changes must be made in the design and delivery of programs. These changes often cause concern among existing audiences and some staff who wonder about the need for them and their impact on programs and Extension's future. Part of the challenge of Extension outreach includes bringing concerned participants and staff along to understand the cultural characteristics of diverse community members and how these affect programming. New approaches do not mean the mission of Extension has changed; they mean that Extension is becoming more capable of serving all audiences.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "Latino Outreach Programs: Why They Need to Be Different"

From Potluck Suppers to On-line Seminars: The Evolving "Face" of Social Interaction
Burkhart-Kriesel, Cheryl; Caine, Brenda
As our culture evolved, so did the methods used to facilitate social interaction in adult education. This article highlights what social interaction is and why it is important. It briefly reviews a few tools that have been used by educators in the past and highlights new ways to use social interaction with the emerging availability of on-line seminars.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "From Potluck Suppers to On-line Seminars: The Evolving "Face" of Social Interaction"

Feature Articles

Creating Inclusive 4-H Environments for People with Disabilities
Stumpf-Downing, Mitzi; Henderson, Karla; Luken, Karen; Bialeschki, Deb
The purpose of a 4-year 4-H Inclusion Project conducted in North Carolina was to create intentionally inclusive 4-H environments and engage communities to address the needs of people with disabilities. In year one an experiential curriculum, "Shine Up and Step Out," was developed for youth ages 9 to 12 years. In the next 3 years, selected counties used the curriculum and developed training and resource opportunities. A summative evaluation showed how the county projects were successful and offered recommendations about the curriculum, statewide inclusion opportunities, program and policy, community involvement, and ongoing implementation and evaluation.

Profiling Economic Capacity
Connell, David J.; Wall, Ellen
This article presents a method for creating economic capacity profiles based on assessing the resources available to support local economic development. Each profile incorporates four features of the local economy: entrepreneurship, infrastructure, human resources, and business environment. These four variables are evaluated through 20 indicators related to location. Both qualitative and quantitative scoring methods are used for representing the indicators, which become the basis for creating the profile. The outcome is a "snapshot" of the economic capacity of the area under investigation. These profiles are highly useful to Extension professionals wanting to improve economic development in local areas.

Cooperative Extension Responding to Family Needs in Time of Drought and Water Shortage
Bosch, Kathy R.
This article examines the impact of drought on family relationships and how Extension has responded to the needs of farm, ranch, and rural families. Information was based on a literature review and interviews with farmers, ranchers, and professionals working with rural issues. Rural families who experience economic hardships have been found to suffer stress and relationship tensions. However, more research is needed to understand how families cope in drought conditions. Extension has responded to the drought issue using various delivery methods to gather and disseminate information to provide support to farmers, ranchers, and professionals working with rural families.

Enhancing Public Understanding of Water Resources Issues: A Community-Based Short-Course for the Pacific Northwest
Laughlin, Kevin; Szogi, Ariel; Burris, Frank; Mahler, Robert L.; Loeffelman, Karen; Steele, Valdasue; Alderson, Lynn
A "hands on" 15-hour "community based" water quality and monitoring short-course was delivered to citizen groups at six locations in the Pacific Northwest in 2000. The University of Idaho, Washington State University, and Oregon State University Cooperative Extension Systems, USDA-CSREES, and the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute (IWRRI) partnered in design, development, and delivery. This short-course increased participant understanding, awareness of water issues, and improved water-monitoring skills. A 17-module guide and an evaluation model were developed. This learning experience dramatically improved learners' understanding of complex water resource issues and prepared them to plan, monitor, and assess local water issues.

A Case Study on Marketing the Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Alberts, Carol A.; Wirth, Ferdinand F.; Gilmore, Kerri K.; Jones, Sam J.; McWaters, Chad D.
This case study focuses on the development of future marketing opportunities for the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, as seen from the possible perspective of IFAS Administrative personnel. The case study focuses attention on the current activities and impacts of IFAS/Extension, as well as future program focus areas, and uses that information to develop a marketing plan for growth and public recognition. The data included for student analysis come directly from IFAS reports and publications. The accompanying teaching notes are provided to assist readers/users in drawing conclusions based on the data and information presented.

Targeted Recruitment of 4-H Volunteers Involves Understanding Who Currently Volunteers and Why
Smith, Sanford S.; Finley, James C.
Targeted recruitment of volunteers appeals to volunteer managers who desire to increase both their program scope and the efficiency of their outreach efforts. This article describes a Pennsylvania study looking at who currently volunteers to teach youth about natural resources (forestry, wildlife, and water) through 4-H, for the purpose of better identifying and finding more volunteers. A telephone survey with 4-H agents and semi-structured interviews with 4-H volunteers depict the current natural resources volunteers and suggest three promising groups of potential volunteers. Important characteristics to look for among the members of these groups and a direct recruitment approach are presented.

Looking Beyond the Empirical Data: A Discussion About Out-of-School Youth-Centered Tobacco Prevention Programs
Gibbons, Cynthia; Mark, Cynthia
4-H Extension launched an out-of-school smoking cessation initiative aimed at high-risk youth in Michigan. Adults and youth were given educational tools and resources to help prevent smoking in their communities, and youth were offered "hands on" programs to make better decisions about their use of tobacco products. While there were no significant differences in youth knowledge from start to end of select pilot programs, programs reached a large number of people at a relatively low cost and were well received within communities. Of particular importance were the "lessons learned" and subsequent discussions about best practices for future programming.

Research in Brief

Measuring Impacts with Young Audiences: Adapting a Life-Skills Instrument for Use with Third- to Fifth-Grade Youth
Loeser, Doris M.; Bailey, Sandra J.; Benson, Rae Lynn; Deen, Mary Y.
Capturing the impacts Extension programming has on younger school-age audiences is often difficult, yet staff are increasingly asked to document program effectiveness. The limited literacy skills and concrete reasoning of young school age children make the use of written evaluations challenging, yet observations and interviews are time consuming and costly for programs. This article discusses how an evaluation instrument was adapted for use with third to fifth grade 4-H youth. The system was piloted with 65 youth who attended a 4-H camp. Implications and suggestions for others adapting written evaluation instruments are offered.

Physical Activity Behavior, Dietary Patterns, and Nutrition Knowledge of Third- and Fourth-Grade Students in Western Massachusetts
Huang, Hui-Wen; Volpe, Stella V.
Our Extension project assessed physical activity patterns and nutrition behavior and knowledge in elementary school students in a low-income community. Dietary patterns were similar to many large-scale studies, which have shown a trend of lower fat consumption; however, these children were unfamiliar with certain nutrient terms and categories. Most physical activities were performed in PE classes; however, community organizations and family played important roles. This survey provides a basis of children's nutrition knowledge and physical activity behavior. From this project we plan to develop appropriate nutrition and physical activity programs for children of similar age and socioeconomic status.

Illinois Extension's Readiness to Address Children, Youth, and Families at Risk
Wiley, Angela; Mbassa, Andre; Zwilling, Al
The study described here evaluates existing preparedness of Extension unit leaders in one state to meet the needs of children, youth, and families at risk. Survey findings of a representative sample include how leaders perceive at-risk audiences and how they assess their own experience, knowledge, and interest in serving them. We report the specific audiences needing programming in local communities and the programming that currently exists for them. Findings also include the programming leaders would like to offer given unlimited resources. We discuss existing strengths and propose ways to further support these professionals in areas relevant to at-risk audiences.

Using Focus Group Interviews to Identify Needs for Stepfamily Education
Foote, Ruth Anne; Clark, Lois; Recker, Nancy
This article describes information on perceptions about stepfamily living uncovered in several focus groups in Ohio. Focus group participants were asked seven questions about their stepfamily experiences. Results provide insight for development of educational programming in an area in which there are few available resources.

Refining Outreach to Woodland Owners in West Virginia--Preferred Topics and Assistance Methods
Magill, Daniel J.; McGill, David W.; Fraser, Rory F.
Four hundred and fourteen private forest landowners in West Virginia responded to a questionnaire assessing their forest management assistance topics and delivery methods of interest. Logistic regression was used to analyze 39 independent variables in relation to the dependent variables of wanting a specific topic of forestry assistance or not. Ownership of property for investment, cultivation of wildlife food crops, and receiving assistance from the West Virginia State Division of Forestry were recurrent significant variables characterizing landowners wanting a specific assistance topic. These results can be used to develop forestry assistance programs that achieve landowner objectives and good forest management.

Determining Adoption of Integrated Pest Management Practices by Grains Farmers in Virginia
Malone, Sean; Herbert, D. Ames, Jr.; Pheasant, Susan
This article describes the results of three integrated pest management (IPM) surveys of corn, soybean, and small grains farmers in the coastal plains region of Virginia. Farmers identified their weed, disease, insect, and animal pests, and the reasons they use (or do not use) IPM practices for those pests.

Factors Contributing to Success of Small Farm Operations in Tennessee
Muhammad, Safdar; Tegegne, Fisseha; Ekanem, Enefiok
Small farms that are numerous and diverse have been facing various challenges. There are only few studies examining critical factors that would promote success in their operations. This article uses survey data from Tennessee to address this issue. Analysis of the data shows the importance of the following for success: 1) production strategies based on diversification and cost control; 2) financial plans that keep debt low and good record keeping; and 3) marketing strategy aimed at achieving the highest possible profit. The results are expected to be useful for farmers, Extension personnel, policy makers, and groups working with small farmers.

Ideas at Work

Super Nutrition Activity Program
Brown, Barbara; Hermann, Janice
Children's health, especially related to nutrition, food safety, and lack of physical activity, has become a national priority. The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Super Nutrition Activity Program (SNAP) was designed to increase knowledge and application of proper nutrition, food safety, and physical activity behaviors among children, grades 3-5. The SNAP program was effective in improving school-age children, grades 3-5, total SNAP Check scores and individual question scores.

Development of a "Canons of Practice" Policy at Washington State University
Fiske, Emmett P.; Wandschneider, Philip R.; Haaland, Kay E.; McDaniel, Robert H.; Roberts, Susan B.; Faas, Ronald C.
Public policy educators, researchers, and administrators at Washington State University developed the Canons of Practice to guide faculty and staff engaging in contentious public issues. The need for such a document became evident when existing university policies and procedures lacked a suitable mechanism for resolving external criticism of public policy education and research. The Canons of Practice sets parameters for involvement in public policy research and education, provides guidelines for faculty and staff conduct, defines expectations of citizens and stakeholders, and establishes "due process" as the core of administrative response.

Intermountain Beef 3910 Workshop--Collaborating with Industry in Extension Education
ZoBell, D. R.; Chapman, C. Kim; Bagley, Clell; Heaton, Kevin; Whittier, Dick
A 2-day hands-on workshop was developed in collaboration with industry partners. The objectives are to provide participants with a basic understanding of the beef grading system and Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and to demonstrate how these principles relate to them and the beef industry as a whole. Each workshop is limited to 20 participants, with sponsorship from various industry groups, including the Utah Cattlemen's Association. Participants are taken through various exercises, including live animal and carcass evaluation and fabrication of carcasses into wholesale and retail product. Tours and seminars supplement the workshop, with speakers from all segments of the beef industry.

Clientele Impact for Beef Producers from a Grass-Roots Style of Extension Programming
Sanders, Cindy; Place, Nick T.
The Alachua County Master Cattlemen program is developed for small beef producers to help increase profitability. Because small beef producers are at a disadvantage in marketing truck loads of cattle and retaining ownership, educational programs relating to beef cattle management are used to give producers tools to manage their cattle in order to become more profitable. As a result of these programs, a small beef cooperative has been formed to take advantage of marketing alternatives. This cooperative has shown a significant increase in price per pound received, and this has resulted in a cumulative economic impact of $42,500.

A Model for Testing New Seed Technologies
Thomison, Peter R.; Elmore, Roger W.; Roth, Greg W.; Lauer, Joseph G.
Extension specialists from several North Central states recently proposed a new approach to expedite and facilitate evaluation of new genetically modified organism (GMO) hybrids through multi-state testing. As an example of this approach, newly released GMO glyphosate tolerant (GT) corn hybrids were evaluated at multiple locations across five states in 1999 and nine states in 2001. This cooperative testing effort demonstrated that powerful sets of data across a range of production environments could be generated with a minimal amount of input and resource allocation for the individual states.

Development of Educational Programs for Retail Stores That Sell Pesticides
Czapar, George F.; Cloyd, Raymond A.; Kalnay, Pablo A.; Curry, Marc P.
Although homeowners usually purchase pesticides from home and garden centers, previous surveys have shown that store employees often do not receive adequate training in pest management and pesticide safety. Educational programs were conducted for retail store employees in Illinois. Topics included pest identification, integrated pest management, pesticide safety, pesticide toxicity, and emergency spill response. Evaluations suggested a high level of satisfaction with the training. Evaluation comments also indicated concern over the high turnover of seasonal employees, the wide range of employee understanding of pest management, and time constraints that may prohibit small retail stores from participating in educational programs.

Tools of the Trade

Good Intentions, Muddled Methods: Focus on Focus Groups
Allen, Beverly Lundy; Grudens-Schuck, Nancy; Larson, Kathlene
Are focus groups abused, misused, or overused in Extension? We responded to the challenge of getting Extension focused on the art and science of high-quality focus groups through an educational project. This article describes contemporary challenges of focus group practice and presents the first phase of an educational initiative, which includes a series of educational briefs.

Tips for Designing Publications for Underrepresented Audiences
Ingram, Patreese D.; Dorsey, Marney H.; Smith, Sanford S.
The article presents a number of practical tips on designing publications for underrepresented and non-traditional audiences. The process of designing an effective publication requires the incorporation of cultural preferences of the target audience. Incorporating design principles that consider culture in the areas of formatting written content and selecting images, graphics, and pictures that are representative of the target audience are important. Other tips, such as using local resources to ensure the product is a quality publication that incorporates language and images reflective of the intended audience, are also useful.

Teaching a Forage Crops Course to Extension Agents via Distance Education
Twidwell, Edward K.; Venuto, Bradley C.
An opportunity arose at Louisiana State University (LSU) to teach a forage ecology and management course over distance education to 30 Extension agricultural field agents. Many of these agents had not taken a college-level course in several years. All of the agents performed well in the course. While the distance education technology worked reasonably well in this course, the majority of the agents indicated that they would still rather take courses in a conventional classroom setting. Results of this teaching experience indicate that distance education technologies provide unique opportunities but that maintaining direct student-instructor interaction can be a challenge.

The Internet as a Tool for Long-Term Program Evaluation: Locating "Lost" Individuals
Bryant, Brenda K.; Raskauskas, Juliana L.
Long-term evaluation of Extension programs, including 4-H programs, can be elusive because of the difficulty of locating former participants. The Internet is a tool that makes feasible this task of locating former participants. Guidelines for original record keeping are provided to further later success in locating individuals. Web sites are identified that were used in one completely successful search for 168 adults who had participated in a study as children roughly 25 years earlier. Strategies for using the Web sites are included because the process of using the Internet is not always straightforward.

A Web Site to Help Farm Families Communicate About Farm Transfer
DeVaney, Sharon A.
A Web site was developed to help farm families learn about communication strategies that can be used when there are sensitive issues relating to farm transfer. The site, Who Will Get Grandpa's Farm? Communicating about Farm Transfer, features six scenes filmed on a farm near Delphi, Indiana. The family members in the scenes include a farmer and his spouse, father, son, and a brother. Each conversation between family members shows examples of direct control, indirect control, and no control. An interactive quiz helps users distinguish between the three communication strategies.

Use of Personal Digital Assistants for Extension Program Record Keeping
Vergot, Pete, III; Zazueta, Fedro S.; Beck, Howard
This article describes the use of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) in Extension program record keeping, focusing on the recent deployment of handheld computers by University of Florida IFAS county Extension faculty. The project aimed to reduce the excessive workload on county Extension agents due to reporting requirements. A pilot to assess effectiveness in the use of handheld computers by Extension faculty was initiated in the fall of 2000. Adoption rate had reached 87% penetration by 2002.