December 2004 // Volume 42 // Number 6

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Editor's Page

Editor's Page
"JOE On-Line--All of It" announces just what the heading suggests and reflects on how things have changed--and haven't. "December JOE" points to articles whose topics wouldn't even have been on our radar screen when the first JOE issue was published and to Commentary articles that ask the same question and challenge us with their different answers.


Is Extension an Idea Whose Time Has Come--and Gone?
McDowell, George
Extension and its funding are in deep trouble all across the country. Some influences on our situation are in the society and beyond Extension's control. Other influences are within Extension's control and include broadening our support base, controlling our own self-destructive behavior, making sure we are knowledge based, and collecting institutionally for the good things we do. If we cannot accomplish these we may be an organization whose time has come--and gone.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "Is Extension an Idea Whose Time Has Come--and Gone?"

Is Extension Relevant for the 21st Century?
Bull, Nancy H.; Cote, Lawrence S.; Warner, Paul D.; McKinnie, M. Ray
As a 90-year-old artifact of the days when an agrarian economy dominated society, is it possible for Extension to still be relevant? As the primary outreach and public service function of land-grant universities, the relevance of Extension is tied to the perception and reality of the relevance of these host institutions. Did the recent ECOP report A Vision for the 21st Century and other ECOP statements address whether Extension remains relevant to the 21st century context? Extension educators are assisting communities of place and of interest and involving more university and agency colleagues in responding to changing citizen education needs.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "Is Extension Relevant for the 21st Century?"

Feature Articles

Smith Lever 3(d) Extension Evaluation and Outcome Reporting--A Scorecard to Assist Federal Program Leaders
Hoffman, Bill; Grabowski, Barbara
The Government Performance Results Act requires that federal agencies and programs set goals and measure outcomes (USGAO, 1996); however, program managers find it difficult to make the transition from measuring program outputs to developing outcome-related measures (USGAO, 1997). The Hoffman EEOR Scorecard was developed to help federal Smith Lever 3(d) program leaders with this problem by blending the LOGIC Evaluation Model with the utilization of Extension evaluation and outcome reporting (EEOR) ideal practices. The utility of this question-based scorecard for all Smith Lever 3(d) programs is exemplified through its use with the CSREES Extension Integrated Pest Management Implementation Program.

Moving Towards Ecologically Based Pest Management: A Case Study Using Perimeter Trap Cropping
Boucher, T. Jude; Durgy, Robert
Despite almost a half-century of IPM research and Extension efforts, pesticide usage continues to rise. Scientists and policy-makers have criticized IPM for a continued dependency on chemical solutions. They argue that long-term solutions will only be found by restructuring the crop system to incorporate preventative ecological measures that keep organisms from reaching pest status. Extension and IPM risk losing credibility on environmental issues concerning pesticides and risk losing funding to organizations that are willing to develop ecologically based pest management solutions. Perimeter trap cropping is presented as one example of an ecologically based solution.

A Profile of Female County Agricultural Agents in Today's CES
Seevers, Brenda S.; Foster, Billye B.
Female county agents with agricultural program responsibilities consist of only about 11.4% of the total population. The study discussed here created a profile of women employed by the Cooperative Extension Service with agricultural program responsibilities at the county level. A mail questionnaire was sent to a census of the population (N = 488). Despite a high level of job satisfaction, almost 60% of the women felt they had experienced barriers and challenges in their profession as a result of gender.

Agent Performance and Customer Satisfaction
Terry, Bryan D.; Israel, Glenn D.
To fulfill its mission, Extension must develop programs that are relevant and high quality, and improve the lives of clients. Customer satisfaction surveys are used in Florida to collect data about these attributes. It is also important to understand how employee performance affects customer satisfaction. Our findings show that customer satisfaction was not significantly influenced by agent performance and that Florida Cooperative Extension benefits from the experience of its workforce. Given the importance of customer satisfaction as Extension's performance measure for the Florida Legislature, we suggest that administrators should emphasize customer satisfaction as a major factor in employee performance scores.

Improving County-Based Science Programs: Bringing Out the Science Teacher in Your Volunteer Leaders
Smith, Martin H.; Meehan, Cheryl L.; Enfield, Richard P.; George, Jeannette L.; Young, Jane Chin
4-H programs can play an important role in increasing children's exposure to, and interest in, science. To be effective, however, specialized training for volunteer leaders is needed. A method of training adult volunteer leaders to train 4-H teens to be cross-age teachers of an inquiry-based science program was designed and evaluated. Key components of this method were specific scaffolding strategies, including modeling, coaching, effective questioning, promoting group interactions, and encouraging independent investigation and thinking. Data from focus group interviews and quantitative measures showed improvement at all levels of project involvement: Adult volunteer leaders, 4-H teens, and participating 4-H youth.

Motivations of Resource-Based Tourism Operators in North Dakota
Schroeder, Tim
Many rural areas are rich in natural resources that lend themselves to development of tourism enterprises that assist with economic diversification. The study discussed here explored the motivations of small resource-based tourism operators in North Dakota. Data were collected from 27 tourism operators and analyzed using qualitative methods. Operators' motivations were diversification, personal recreational interests, taking advantage of environmental opportunities, helping keep children in the area, civic mindedness, and personal relationships with customers. Significant financial success was not a major motivation of the operators, so Extension personnel should develop ways to work with the non-business motivations found in the study.

Agricultural Landowners' Lack of Preference for Internet Extension
Howell, Jennifer L.; Habron, Geoffrey B.
Extension providers need to improve the communication of watershed conservation practices. In order to determine landowners' communication preference a survey was mailed to a random sample of landowners from four selected watersheds in Michigan. Four hundred three landowners from four agricultural watersheds completed the survey. A majority (77%) expressed support for written communication media, while a minority (19%) supported the Internet. Younger, more educated, more affluent landowners with home Internet access expressed more support for using the Internet. Results suggest that Extension staff need to provide more Internet training and experiences if the Internet is to contribute to watershed conservation.

Evaluating a Domestic Violence Task Force: Methods to Strengthen a Community Collaboration
Cranwell, Michele R.; Kolodinsky, Jane M.; Anderson, Kym; Schmidt, Frederick E.
A domestic violence collaborative was surveyed to evaluate and make recommendations for strengthening membership, structure, and cohesiveness. The article presents the evaluation methods, key findings, recommendations, and the outcome of their implementation. Areas identified for improvement include: membership diversification, membership-driven agenda, improved sub-committees, and increased community involvement through outreach. A revised meeting format, agenda setting strategy, sub-committee parameters, and the addition of quarterly meetings were recommended and implemented. This model received positive feedback as a method to strengthen collaboratives. The case study demonstrates how evaluation research can be linked to practice to make real improvements to a community collaborative.

Research in Brief

Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals Membership Survey: Results and Implications
Jackson, Ben; Hubbard, Bill; Habecker, Mindy; Kroenke, Mike; Reichenbach, Mike; Simon-Brown, Viviane; Traaholt, Sarah
A survey of the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professional (ANREP) members indicated two primary reasons for joining: the need to belong to a professional Extension association focusing on natural resources and the opportunity to network with other professionals in this issue area. Three issues members wanted addressed were: training and professional development opportunities, identification of national natural resource issues and strategies to address them, and interstate collaboration. Most respondents were satisfied with what ANREP had done since they became members. Other Extension organizations could adopt this survey methodology as a means to involve their members in their strategic planning process.

Survey of Extension Professionals' Skill Levels Needed to Practice Public Issues Education
Singletary, Loretta; Smith, Marilyn; Hill, George; Corcoran, Patrick
The study discussed here examines Extension professionals' perceived skills to practice Public Issues Education. Extension professionals who responded rated their skills moderately, regardless of years of experience. This is true for all experience levels, with each level of experience having certain skill strengths that might benefit others. Those designing Public Issues Education trainings and curriculum for Extension professionals should not presume that tenure or experience in Extension guarantees high skill levels to effectively practice Public issues Education. Further assessments are needed to determine more precisely what skills and what skill levels are to be included in future trainings.

Leadership Training for Transforming the Community: A Participatory Approach
Tackie, Nii O.; Findlay, Henry J.; Baharanyi, Ntam; Pierce, Atheal
The study described here examined the effects of the leadership training workshops on selected residents in Clayton, a rural Alabama city. Data were obtained from 40 participants by a survey questionnaire administered 6 months after the workshops. The results showed that the workshops were well received and that many participants are using the information gained for community development. The participatory approach to training has sound philosophical and practical implications for effective community development. When participants are involved in identifying their needs and are included in planning of the training process, they are more likely to receive and use information provided.

Making a Case for Engaging Adolescents in Program Decision-Making
Olson, Jonathan R.; Goddard, H. Wallace; Solheim, Catherine A.; Sandt, Lisa
The study discussed here examined the degree to which adolescents believe they are involved in community decision-making and examined discrepancies between adult and adolescent perceptions of common youth problems. Perceptual data were compared to adolescents' self-reported behavioral data to determine if perceptions diverge from reports of actual behaviors. Results indicate that many adolescents do not believe that their thoughts are considered valuable by decision-makers. However, differences in perceptions among adults and youth suggest that adolescent perceptions should be considered. Specifically, adults were particularly aware of adolescent behaviors with observable consequences, but adolescents were more aware of internal psychological problems.

Personal and Life Skill Development Through Participation in the 4-H Japanese Exchange Program
Arnold, Mary E.
This article presents results of a national evaluation of the 4-H Japanese exchange program. The evaluation looked at the impact of participation in the program on personal and life skill development in youth who travel to Japan or serve as a host to an international youth visiting the United States. The results indicate that participation in the program has significant impact on personal and life skill development in youth, whether they travel to Japan or serve as host. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed few significant differences in development between youth who travel to Japan and youth who serve as host.

Minimizing Farm Business Succession Risk in New England: Delivery of Transferring the Farm Workshops
Heleba, Debra; Parsons, Robert; Sciabarrasi, Michael
To minimize the risks associated with farm business succession among New England farmers, Transferring the Farm workshops were held in March 2003. The workshops introduced farm families to elements of transfer planning, including current estate tax laws, methods to transfer farm assets, and determining family and farm goals. More than 200 farmers and others participated in the workshops. Participation was balanced across age and gender, and represented a diversity of farm enterprises across New England. There was a statistically significant increase in participant knowledge gained at the workshop and strong satisfaction with all aspects of the program.

Exploring Cooperation Between Secondary Agricultural Educators and Livestock Extension Agents: A Case Study
Grage, Kristina D.; Place, Nick T.; Ricketts, John C.
Due to the common goal of youth leadership development, there is the opportunity for Cooperative Extension's 4-H clubs and Agricultural Education's FFA chapters to be more effective through cooperation. The qualitative study discussed here used focus groups to explore the level of and perceptions regarding cooperation among agricultural educators and Extension agents. Major themes that positively influenced cooperation were identified as: the relationship between the agricultural educator and Extension agent, the awareness of the other profession, and the understanding and perceptions of cooperation. Findings of this study indicated a lack of collaboration between disciplines.

Effectiveness of an SPAT Educational Program
Renchie, Don L.; Larke, Alvin, Jr.; Jones, Wash A.
Regulatory agencies have been given extensive powers to address public concern about the use of pesticides. To receive a pesticide applicator license in most states, individuals must pass certain federal and state certification examinations (Farm Chemicals Handbook, 1996). Training programs may or may not be effective in preparing individuals to pass federal and state required certification examinations. The study discussed here examined the effectiveness of a pesticide training program conducted under federal law. Data collected from course providers and license applicants reveal that this educational program substantially improved the performance of license candidates and should be continued and expanded.

Ideas at Work

Gardening in the Zone: A Collaborative Effort Between Iowa State University Extension and Mass Media Outlets
VanDerZanden, Ann Marie; Haynes, Cynthia
A collaborative project among the Iowa State University Extension Service, a regional gardening magazine, and regional television stations has resulted in a new avenue to deliver educational programming related to horticulture. Gardening in the Zone is a series of 26 2-minute segments that are broadcast weekly from April through September during the evening news. These segments provide research-based information to a large audience that traditional Extension programming methods might not otherwise reach. It also provides a new venue through which to disseminate the Web address for the ISU Extension Web site with links to a number of educational publications.

The Pendleton Community Garden Project--More Than Just Planting Seeds
Voluntad, Alice; Dawson, Patricia; Corp, Mary
The Pendleton Community Garden Project is more than just planting seeds. It is about planting ideas, growing skills, and nurturing leadership and self-esteem in participants. Extension Family and Community Development, 4-H, and Agriculture faculty provided leadership in bringing together 22 local agencies to work with at-risk youth and senior volunteers. Thirty-five at-risk youth and over 100 seniors and community volunteers turned a vacant lot into a community garden that supplied fresh produce to local food bank recipients and homebound seniors. Both seniors and youth benefited from this intergenerational partnership, thus strengthening Extension's leadership role in forging partnerships for sustainable communities.

Getting the "Yes" to Sponsorships
Galloway, Robin
Extension programs and events can be expensive to operate. This article covers innovative ideas to attract business sponsors. Learn how to find decision-makers, create successful requests for funding, and satisfy sponsors before, during, and after events. Effectively marketing Extension programs as a desirable commodity to businesses is an academic and practical endeavor. Businesses need to advertise to attract customers. Most retail stores receive cooperative advertising funds from their suppliers. The implication is that businesses can leverage their dollars by sponsoring your events. By understanding managers' motivations, the outcome will be "yes" when you ask for a sponsorship.

Active Assessment for HACCP Training: Integrating Pedagogical Reasoning with Primary Trait Analysis
Lo, Y. Martin; Fukushima, Kazuko; Rippen, Thomas E.; Gdovin, Susan L.; Hahm, Tae-Shik
An active assessment mechanism based on Primary Trait Analysis (PTA) and the six aspects of a pedagogical reasoning model was developed to leverage the effectiveness of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) training. By integrating critical thinking into the design of problem scenarios, students are expected to go through five different levels of learning, starting with comprehending science content and available resources, transforming the information for accomplishing the task, and implementing into the target process and ending with evaluating and reflecting on various outcomes of the situation. Students are thereby are expected to develop new comprehension of the topics.

Maintaining Healthy Boundaries When Working with At-Risk Audiences
Torretta, Alayne
At-risk clients' needs may burn out the most diligent of people. To be most effective in making positive, healthy changes with at-risk audiences, Extension professionals must remember to maintain and reinforce healthy boundaries. This article reviews three types of boundaries, physical, mental, and emotional; describes healthy and unhealthy boundaries; and explains what to do if Extension professionals recognize unhealthy client boundaries.

Developing a Heritage Festival
Brzuszek, Robert F.
The remarkable shift in the U.S. from rural to urban life does not come without social consequences. Many of the learned skills and trades associated with farming and rural life are now becoming lost to the majority of the U.S. population. One way of continuing traditional knowledge and skills is by offering hands-on demonstrations through a community heritage festival. This article describes Mississippi's community-based Piney Woods Heritage Festival.

Development of a Task Force to Provide Education and Leadership to an Emerging Industry
Fisher, Jeff; Nye, L. Tony; Mangione, David
The Ohio Meat Goat Task Force is a model for engaging resources and building leadership capacity to generate income and enhance sustainability of farm businesses. The collaboration of multi-disciplinary faculty, producers, allied industry, ethnic cultures, and various agencies combines expertise and leadership with applied experience to foster entrepreneurship. Grants have been secured to research ethnic market preferences, processing infrastructure and capacity, and economically viable production systems. Education provides farm businesses capacity to build leadership, share knowledge, and network resources to capture value-added marketing opportunities.

Tools of the Trade

What Cooperative Extension Professionals Need to Know About Institutional Review Boards: Recruiting Participants
Brown, Randy; Martin, Sally; Weigel, Dan
As more Cooperative Extension professionals conduct evaluations, needs assessments, and research that is professionally published and presented, there is a need to better understand the process for navigating the university Institutional Review process. This article examines challenges associated with recruiting participants and is the second in a series providing tips for preparation of IRB proposals and the implementation of more sound and productive studies.

3D Visualization in Community-Based Planning
Suen, I-Shian; Borich, Timothy O.
A new wave of recently developed Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software provides for higher levels of analysis, modeling, and visualization for community development and planning. Beyond the typical 2D static map produced through most GIS software, more recent developments allow for much more detailed 3D visual graphics. CommunityViz allows for predictive modeling, data integration, and 3D visualization. It is the utility of this last capability that is examined in an Extension pilot program in an Iowa community. Based upon this application, the potential of this type of software for Extension education is discussed.

Total Resource Management: A Successful Professional Development Program
Fox, William E.; Carpenter, Bruce
The Total Resource Management Program provides an example of how professional development programs can implement participatory approaches to professional development. The pilot project of the Texas Cooperative Extension and collaborators provides opportunity for natural resource management professionals to participate in training exercises relating the principles of strategic management to natural resource management while interacting in a multi-disciplinary training workshop that allows for not only learning from the instructors, but also from their colleagues and peers. The Total Resource Management program is one of the Natural Resource Education & Management Flagship Programs for the state of Texas.

Why Should 4-H Horse and Pony Youth Wear Certified Equestrian Helmets?
McKee, Katherine; Brady, Colleen
This article reviews literature that pertains to the use and function of equestrian helmets. It provides health reasons that may be used to justify the use of equestrian helmets. The article covers equestrian injuries, helmet wearing habits, head injuries, and equestrian helmets. The authors use the information provided to advocate the use of helmets and to recommend that Extension professionals promote helmet use among youth equestrians.

The Self-Guided Horse Facility Analysis: A Proactive Safety Education Tool for Equine Facilities
Greene, Elizabeth A.; Trott, Josephine F.
Extension professionals who work with horse owners, barn managers, and other equine clientele often encounter resistance to new management ideas. There are several faulty theories that horse people often rely on with respect to safety in equine facilities. Exposing these flaws facilitates convincing horse owners to adopt safer standard operating procedures. The Self-Guided Horse Facility Analysis is a checklist-driven booklet designed to help clientele recognize the potential hazards in their facilities and to make a proactive change before an accident occurs.

Bringing People with Common Interests Together at a Trade Show
Khan, Mohamed F. R.
The International Sugarbeet Institute was developed as a "one-stop" meeting place for growers and providers of goods and services required for sugarbeet production. Growers are provided with the opportunity to discuss their needs and requirements with providers. For 2 days, individuals and companies make available all the machinery, equipment, technology, and services required by the sugarbeet industry. Popular national figures inform growers of issues that affect the industry. Participants share and discuss ideas on how to improve sugarbeet production and maintain a viable sugarbeet industry. Trade shows like the International Sugarbeet Institute are a great tool for Extension educators.

Soil Aggregation: A Practical Exercise for Crop Producer Education
Wortmann, Charles S.; Brubaker, S. Corey
The importance of soil physical properties to crop growth is often under-estimated by producers. Simple tests are needed for demonstration of variations in soil physical conditions due to soil properties and management. Tests that can be used by producers in their fields are preferred. A test of wet aggregate stability of soil is described that can be used in teaching crop producers about soil physical properties. The test requires little equipment and less than 10 minutes of teaching time. The test is also appropriate for use by producers to diagnose problems and monitor trends on their fields.