August 2005 // Volume 43 // Number 4

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Editor's Page

Some JOE Style Points: Capitalization & et al.
"Some JOE Style Points" talks about how to use "et al." and capitalization in JOE articles. "August JOE" highlights the two Commentaries in the August issue, a Tools of the Trade article, and the range of other topics covered.


Extension's Response to an Un-Natural Disaster: Enlisting Your Support for Military Youth and Families
Ferrari, Theresa M.
The situation created in families and communities by deployment of active duty, National Guard, and Reserve military service members demands immediate attention. The author shares her experiences as a 4-H Military Liaison and encourages readers to become involved with Operation: Military Kids efforts in their states.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "Extension's Response to an Un-Natural Disaster: Enlisting Your Support for Military Youth and Families"

A Diversified Portfolio of Scholarship: The Making of a Successful Extension Educator
Adams, Roger G., Jr.; Harrell Reginal M.; Maddy, Deborah J.; Weigel, Dan
In today's academic environment, universities expect that Extension educators will engage in scholarship. Academic leaders have attempted to define the scholarship of Extension for two decades, but confusion prevails about the specific accomplishments required to meet the expectations. The time has arrived for the Extension system to set the standard of excellence in scholarship as well as performance. This commentary proposes that a diversified portfolio of scholarship can assist in establishing and sustaining the standard for scholarship and advocates creating a culture for scholarship continuity and consistency across the system.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "A Diversified Portfolio of Scholarship: The Making of a Successful Extension Educator"

Feature Articles

Organizational Evolution: Applying Genetic Principles to the Management of Extension Systems
Winder, John A.
Insight into organizational management can be gained by looking at natural systems. Ideas in Extension organizations are analogous to the genetic makeup of populations of organisms. Genetic makeup determines the chemistry, size and behavior of these populations. Similarly, ideas in organizations determine the future size, activities and effectiveness. This article first examines the principles of population genetics and how these principles drive genetic change. This concept is then extended to Extension to demonstrate how ideas appear to follow similar laws. Finally, this concept is used to derive suggestions for improving effectiveness of organizations.

Demographic Differences of 4-H Volunteers, Agents, and State Volunteerism Specialists: Implications for Volunteer Administration
Culp, Ken, III; McKee, Renee K.; Nestor, Patrick
A national study explored the demographic similarities and differences among volunteers, agents, and state specialists in the 4-H Youth Development program. All three groups are primarily married females, in their 40's, who work full-time. Agents were both significantly younger and had volunteered fewer years than either volunteers or state specialists. Volunteers worked with fewer adult and teen volunteers than did agents or specialists. Both 4-H participation and level of education were linear, with state specialists having the highest 4-H membership rate and educational level. Volunteers were more actively involved in volunteering for other organizations besides 4-H than either agents or specialists.

Wonderwise 4-H: Following in the Footsteps of Women Scientists
Spiegel, Amy N.; Rockwell, S. Kay; Acklie, Deanna; Frerichs, Saundra Wever; French, Kathleen; Diamond, Judy
Wonderwise 4-H: Women in Science Learning Kits, recently included in the National 4-H Curriculum Collection and widely tested by 4-H leaders, have positively affected youths' perspectives on science, scientists, and scientific work. Adult leaders who used the multi-media, inquiry-based Wonderwise 4-H kits completed a Web survey describing the impact of the kits on youth. It indicated that the kits increased youth's interest and understanding of science, broadened their view of scientists, and opened their eyes to the possibility of science in their own futures. More information about Wonderwise 4-H and downloadable activities are available at <>.

Idaho 4-H Impact Study
Goodwin Jeff; Barnett, Cyndi; Pike, Michele; Peutz, Joey; Lanting, Rhea; Ward, April
A study measured the impact that the 4-H experience has on the quality of life of young people. Data were collected from 5th, 7th, and 9th grade students in Idaho. Students were selected from four randomly selected schools in each of the 16 randomly selected counties across the state. There were 3,601 surveys returned from 53 schools. Youngsters who have participated in 4-H for 2 years or more are less likely to engage in "at-risk" behaviors such as drinking alcohol, shoplifting, drug use, damaging property, or smoking cigarettes than their non- 4‑H classmates.

Underserved Forest Landowner Workshops: Opportunities for Landowners and Extension
Hughes, Glenn; Measells, Marcus K.; Grado, Stephen C.; Dunn, Michael A.; Idassi, Joshua O.; Zielinske, Robert J.
Sixteen workshops were conducted in 2003 for underserved forest landowners in the south-central U.S. An underserved landowner was defined as one who has not recently utilized various federal, state, or local resources. Workshop topics included: 1) Landowners Perspective, 2) Ownership Issues, 3) Marketing and Environmental Issues, and 4) Economics of Forestry. Workshop attendance averaged 81 participants and was directly related to the number of letters mailed to landowners. Participants owned 107,153 acres of forestland and estimated the value of information received at $6.8 million. This workshop format can serve as a regional and national model for reaching underserved forest landowners.

Public Law 106-393 (Title III) Forestry Extension Programming in Mississippi
Londo, Andrew J.; Bales, Don; Grace, Laura; Traugott, Timothy; Dicke, Stephen; Hughes, Glenn; Kushla, John; Carter, Robert C.
The passage of Public Law 106-393 (PL 106-393), the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act in 2000 provided the Forestry Extension program at MSU with an unprecedented opportunity to secure long term funding for programs in select counties across the state. During fiscal years 2002 and 2003, over 1.1 million dollars have been received. This paper will discuss PL 106-393 and its' impact on the Forestry Extension program at MSU. The applicability of the MSU approach to obtaining to other states around the country will also be discussed.

Barriers to Change: Farmers' Willingness to Adopt Sustainable Manure Management Practices
Battel, Robert D.; Krueger, David E.
Manure management is important in Michigan. There is need for better understanding of why farmers do not sustainably utilize manure nutrients. Some livestock farms could benefit if neighboring farmers used their manure. A study explored the potential for manure transfer from livestock farms to fields of neighboring farms. A mailed survey was used to collect data. Surveys were analyzed to determine frequencies of responses among respondents. Comparisons were also made between livestock and nonlivestock farmers. Results suggest neighbor complaints and odor represent significant barriers to manure exchange. Concerns about spreading weed seeds and economic issues are also significant barriers.

Research in Brief

Preparing Extension Educators for a Global Community
Selby, Kelli A.; Peters, Jerry L.; Sammons, David J.; Branson, Floyd F.; Balschweid, Mark A.
What amounts of international involvement, including travel, language, and programming experience do Purdue Extension educators in Indiana possess? What types of training do Extension educators feel they need in order to develop international related programming and to work effectively with diverse clientele? How do Extension educators want to learn about international aspects of Extension? What will Extension educators identify as the most significant barrier for integrating an international perspective into future Extension efforts? The study described here reports the findings from 171 Purdue Extension educators in Indiana regarding their staff development needs and international Extension.

Assessing the Educational Needs and Interests of the Hispanic Population: The Role of Extension
Farner, Susan; Rhoads, M. Elena; Cutz, German; Farner, Barbara
Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the United States and face unique problems concerning language and citizenship. However, institutions do not yet know how best to deliver services to this group or understand what services are needed. Although many programs designed for Hispanics exist, especially in urban areas, there is little documentation that they have been evaluated and are successful in serving the population they target. The focus group study described here was conducted to better understand what kind of information Hispanics in an urban setting are seeking and how best to disseminate information to them.

Consumer Knowledge and Perceptions About Organic Food
Raab, Carolyn; Grobe, Deana
Oregon food shoppers' knowledge and perceptions about organic food were assessed in a statewide phone survey conducted 3 months after adoption of USDA's National Organic Program standards. Of the 637 interviewees, 77% reported household purchase of organic food in the past 6 months. Those with household members in environmental organizations were significantly more likely to purchase organic food frequently. About two-thirds gave positive word associations with "organic." Forty percent were aware that the USDA standards had gone into effect. Trust in the accuracy of the USDA organic label varied. Environmentally minded consumers are a potential organic market if trust is maintained.

Using a Nutrition Web Site as a Resource for County Educators: Evaluating Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service's Experience
Hermann, Janice; Carson, Amber; Muske, Glenn; Keim, Kathryn
The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Nutrition Web Site was evaluated by Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service County Extension Educators in terms of Web site characteristics, information sections, information formats, and uses of the information immediately after and 6 months after an in-service training on the Web site. Immediately after training, educators appeared to be most interested in quickly using Web site information in educational programs. Six months after training, educators appeared to begin to use the Web site as a source of current information that could be used to address immediate consumer questions and be used for news releases.

Manure Use Planning: An Evaluation of a Producer Training Program
Wortmann, Charles S.; Koelsch, Richard K.; Shapiro, Charles A.; Deloughery, Richard L.; Tarkalson, David
A training program for producers in manure use planning was evaluated. The potential for runoff nutrient loss to surface water can reduced and the value of manure increased through better planning of manure use. Training was conducted throughout Nebraska in 2002 and 2003. Livestock producers who attended evaluated the event at the end of the last class. The need for and impact of the training was greater for continuing operational and maintenance skills of manure utilization that are regularly needed for strategic planning skills. We recommend that training focus primarily on operational and maintenance skills.

Risk Factors Affecting High School Drop Out Rates and 4-H Teen Program Planning
Lamm, Alexa; Harder, Amy; Lamm, Dennis; Rose, Herb, III; Rask, Glen
The drop out rates of teens in high school is of great interest to educators across the country. An analysis has been done to identify the risk factors related to high school drop out rates. Those risk factors are then related to what educators can do to improve teen programming efforts as well as decrease high school drop out rates. Analysis of several databases was performed to compare drop out information. By determining high school drop out risk factors and relating these data to 4-H programming, we can begin to draw conclusions and plan strategies.

Implementing a Needs Assessment for Long-Term Strategic Planning in 4-H Horticulture Programming
Phibbs. Elizabeth; Relf, Diane; Hunnings, Joseph
A needs assessment was implemented for long-term strategic planning in 4-H horticulture programming. 4-H agents, Agriculture and Natural Resource agents, and Master Gardener Coordinators were surveyed regarding horticulture programs, areas for new programming, and available resources and resource needs. Interviews were conducted with staff of public gardens in Virginia indicating potential for programming partnerships. Directors of 4-H camps expressed interest in curriculum modified to their time constraints. Results identified areas for growth and needs for improved communication and resource sharing. A Web site was developed and new position recommended.

Ideas at Work

Autobiography Workshop: Personal Narrative as a Wellness Tool for the Elderly
Collins, Claudia
With the growth of the aging population, Extension is trying to provide meaningful educational programming for seniors. The University of Nevada, Cooperative Extension created the Senior Autobiography Workshop to help older adults write about their lives in a way that can enhance social and family networks and improve seniors' self-esteem, important factors in maintaining physical and mental well-being. Both the process of life review and the autobiographical final product can produce great mental and emotional benefits. Workshop attendees report having gained insight on the value of their life within the context of their family structure.

Effectiveness of a Program to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
Cason, Katherine L.
Americans do not ordinarily consume the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, thereby placing them at risk for the development of chronic diseases. EFNEP and the South East Produce Council implemented a program designed to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables by low-income audiences reached through EFNEP. Pre-program surveys provided a profile of the families' fresh produce purchases and consumption level. Post-program data indicates that the program participants made a significant increase in their consumption of fruits and vegetables.

What Is Forestry: A Multi-State, Web-Based Forestry Education Program
Wheeler, Robert; Szymanski, Marcella
The What Is Forestry: Connecting Communities project promotes forestry education and connects students to a greater appreciation of local and national forests and their cultural connections with communities. Through integrating activities including science, photography, arts, music, math, and Internet computer technology, students were challenged to observe and explain the forests in which they live and communicate this understanding to students in a sister school in another state. The analysis of the pre- and post-evaluations indicated that there were significant changes in student opinions about forestry.

Use of a Cattle Feeding Profitability Prediction Contest in Beef Extension Programming
Parish, Jane A.; McKinley, W. Blair
A beef cattle feeding profitability predication contest was established in conjunction with the Mississippi Farm to Feedlot Project, an 11-year-old program similar to many cattle feeding Extension programs offered across the nation. This contest was initiated to demonstrate the value of knowing the genetic and profit potential of calves prior to deciding to feed these animals or market them at weaning or after stocker grazing. It also stimulated renewed interest in the Mississippi Farm to Feedlot Project and expanded the audience reached by this educational effort. Results of this contest indicate that it was successful in achieving its objectives.

Demonstrating Manure Spreader Calibration at Field Days
Mancl, Karen M.; Slates, J. Dean
Calibration of a manure spreader was demonstrated at field days. Data collected showed limited capability of farmers to estimate manure application rates just based on their experience and the importance of calibration. Only 13% estimated at or near the actual application rate (±1 ton). Some (22%) estimated high rates, with two estimating four times the actual application rate. Most (65%) underestimated the rate, with 50% estimating less than one-half the actual application rate. The tendency to underestimate manure application and therefore over-apply manure reinforces the need to calibrate spreading equipment as a part of a manure management plan.

Tools of the Trade

More Tips: What If a Cooperative Extension Professional Must Work With Two or More Institutional Review Boards?
Betts, Sherry C.; Peterson, Donna J.; McDonald, Daniel A.
This article focuses on working with more than one IRB at a time regarding one project. It is a follow-up to a series of four recent articles designed to help Extension professionals navigate the university IRB process. The authors use their experience with a project funded by a federal government agency to illustrate some of the issues and tips for success.

Voices from the Past, Wisdom for the Present and Future: Capturing and Learning from Oral History
Phelps, Lisa
"What is oral history?" and "How can capturing oral history enhance Extension program development and impact reporting?" are two of the questions explored in this article. In addition, the process and steps for completing an oral history project are outlined.

Selecting Recipes to Enhance Educational Programming--Application of Formative Research Methods
Robinson, Sharon Francey; Wong, William; Rodgers, A. Shanna Wright; Bielamowicz, Mary Kinney; Konzlemann, Karen
Recipe demonstration often accompanies educational programming. Formative research methods can be used when selecting recipes to enhance an educational experience. The use of recipes and food demonstrations should be consistent with identified educational goals. Our process resulted in a stepwise culling of recipes and the identification of recipe categories that supported our learning goal. We enabled input from peer educators, agents, and clients by soliciting informal and formal feedback through methods such as survey instruments, informal discussions, and structured interviews. This and similar approaches to recipe selection may engage educators in the judicious use of recipes to augment educational programming.

An Affirmative Approach to Parental Involvement in Youth Programs
Torretta, Alayne; Bovitz, Laura
In youth development programs, it is preferred that any involvement of parents be child oriented. Adults stuck in parent-oriented behavior inhibit their child from having a positive experience in the program. This article demonstrates how adults showing parent-oriented behavior can be motivated to shift to child-oriented behavior within the boundaries of the program. New Jersey 4-H Leader Training Series provides tools needed for professionals that result in positive relationships among volunteers and parents. This holistic approach views all the attributes of parents, whereby professionals can spin negative behaviors positively to support the program.

Agriculture Environmental Management System Baseline Protocols
Harrison, John D.; Toney, Aditya H.
The evaluation of agriculture environmental programs and the subsequent acceptance by the agriculture industry will only have credibility if they are based on the collection of comparable information of known quality backed up by vigorous analysis and research. To this end, Utah State University Extension Agriculture Environmental Management Systems (AEMS) has adapted a common framework for collecting AEMS design and performance information. The article is to describes this framework.

An Extension Perspective on Monitoring Pesticide Resistance
Petersen, John L.
Appropriate application of pesticides should include regular measurement of target insect susceptibility. This article reports outreach activities, emphasizing Web-based communications, with Florida mosquito control programs focusing on measuring the response of mosquitoes to pesticides. The benefits of this approach are reduced reliance on chemical control by considering alternatives such as larviciding and source reduction, as well as economic savings, when mosquito control programs use pesticides at minimum rates that give maximum control.

Using a Poster Contest to Educate Children About Radon
Tremblay, Kenneth R., Jr.; Vogel, Michael P.; Drennen, Nancy H.
This article presents a strategy to involve children in radon education through a poster contest. This educational effort completed its third year, sponsored by the Healthy Indoor Air for America's Homes program in collaboration with government partners. The contest is directed at middle school children with goals that include fostering coalitions between local radon partners and state radon programs, creating local publicity and awareness about radon, increasing radon testing, and publicizing Radon Action Month. Student posters are judged on accuracy, visual communication of topic, and reproducibility. The two national winners are recognized in Washington, DC.