February 2005 // Volume 43 // Number 1

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Editor's Page

JOE by the Numbers 2004
"JOE by the Numbers" reports on the 2004 acceptance rate, submission rate, and readership rate and announces a new kind of JOE number--the article number. "February JOE" points to two themes that seem to run through a number of the articles: the need for leadership and tradition as a possible constraint.


A Call for Visionary Leadership
Fehlis, Chester P.
A bright future for Extension depends upon having leaders selected for their visionary thinking and guided by nationally defined standards for excellence. Visionary leadership is essential at all levels of the land-grant university system. Just as important is a vision for Extension's potential, unconstrained by limited experience with Extension or knowledge only of Extension's past accomplishments. The development of a clear vision, along with accepted metrics for excellence, will enable our 76 land-grant institutions to successfully advance into the future as a system.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "A Call for Visionary Leadership"

An Extension Role in Foreign Trade
Youmans, David
A distinct thrust toward internationalizing Extension has been Washington State University's innovative intervention in foreign trade. An Extension trade specialist led numerous colleagues in enhancing the movement of many agricultural products and commodities to offshore markets. Foreign trade is and will continue to be central to American agriculture, and this example demonstrates Extension can be the glue that brings that together.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "An Extension Role in Foreign Trade"

Feature Articles

Extension as a Delivery System for Prevention Programming: Capacity, Barriers, and Opportunities
Hill, Laura Griner; Parker; Louise A.
Implementation of programs that have demonstrated effects on risk and protective factors offers the best chance for documenting long-term program impacts and, in turn, for obtaining sustained funding. Our study explored the capacity of Extension to serve as a delivery system for best practice programs. In a statewide survey of Family Living and 4-H personnel, we assessed perceptions about such programs and Extension's role in delivering them. Results indicate that Extension has significant strengths as a delivery system for best practice programs. Capacity will be enhanced by reducing the perceived dichotomy between "prevention" programming and "traditional" Extension programming.

Youth-Led Community Building: Promising Practices from Two Communities Using Community-Based Service-Learning
Camino, Linda
Little research exists about how youth voice and engagement in community building can be successfully implemented. This article discusses promising practices from an evaluation study of community-based service-learning, sponsored by 4-H/Youth Development. The practices are those that the programs used to promote youth and engagement and voice while also providing service in the form of community building to the communities. The data indicate that youth can lead community building. Implications for Extension include offering guidance on youth-led, asset-based community building, offering an additional model of service-learning, and offering a broad framework for documentation and evaluation to help explain such work.

Strategies for Engaging Scientists in Collaborative Processes
Hinkey, Lynne M.; Ellenberg, Kristy T.; Kessler, Brianne
Scientists are often reluctant to get involved in collaborative efforts to address natural resource issues because of potential professional repercussions. As agents for change, Extension professionals can help to bring scientists into these problem-solving efforts. In this article, collaborative and scientific processes are compared and contrasted to provide one way for Extension professionals to communicate the role of scientists in collaborative problem solving. Extension activities can be instrumental in efforts to move scientists from experts outside of the problem-solving process to scientists as key players and full partners in the process.

Building a Collaboration for Youth Development: The "Club-Within-a-Club"
Ferrari, Theresa M.; Sweeney, Laurie Beth Hartzell
This article describes the experiences of Ohio 4-H Youth Development and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus, Inc. to incorporate 4-H clubs within the Boys & Girls Clubs setting. The purpose of the study was to inform the continued collaboration of the two organizations. Staff and youth interviews, participant observation, and review of program records were conducted to gain insight into program implementation. Benefits, challenges, and keys to success were derived. The authors conclude that perception of benefits, compatibility of missions, and the new audience for 4-H outweigh the challenges. Communication through regular meetings is deemed essential.

A Snapshot of the Change Agent States for Diversity Project
Ingram, Patreese D.
The Change Agent States For Diversity is a consortium of seven states dedicated to supporting greater cultural diversity in land-grant universities. The overall goal of the project is to build the capacity of land-grant universities to function inclusively and effectively in a multicultural world. The purpose of the study described here was to evaluate the progress of the project. This article reports selected findings from key administrator interviews and offers implications for increasing the movement of Extension toward a more inclusive system.

Extension Staff Response to Increased Programming for At-Risk Audiences
Klemme, Diane; Hausafus, Cheryl O.; Shirer, Karen
The study described here examined individual and organizational assumptions that contribute to or inhibit Extension staff's work with at-risk audiences. Three focus group interview sessions were conducted with Extension staff. Analysis of emerging themes identified a number of individual and organizational assumptions that inhibit the organization's ability to change. For example, the study showed that staff lacked clarity about the meaning of the term "at-risk" and staff questioned if the organization valued at-risk programs efforts. The study demonstrated that to create meaningful and sustained change in an organization, individual and organizational assumptions need to be exposed and alternative scenarios developed.

Getting the Word Out in the Last Green Valley: Integrating Digital Video, Direct Mail, and Web-Based Information for Specific Target Audiences
Westa, Susan P.; Broderick, Stephen H.; Tyson, C. Benjamin
A direct mail mini CD-Rom was developed to bring attention to the Green Valley Institute's (an Extension Partnership Program) new Web site. A quasi-experimental survey design with random assignment to either a treatment or control group was employed to assess the effectiveness of the CD-Rom. The study revealed successes as well as limitations to this approach. Nearly a quarter of the recipients did not recall receiving it, but those who received and viewed the CD were significantly more familiar with the organization's programs and goals, considered the Web site more useful, and had greater intentions to contact the organization for additional information and/or assistance in the future.

Research in Brief

Iowa Producers' Perceived Benefits and Obstacles in Marketing to Local Restaurants and Institutional Foodservice Operations
Gregoire, Mary B.; Arendt, Susan W.; Strohbehn, Catherine H.
Local Iowa producers were surveyed to determine perceived benefits and obstacles in marketing to local restaurants and institutional foodservice operations; 195 (35%) responded. Results indicated that only 25% of producers currently were selling to foodservice operations. Benefits cited were: support for local farmers; fresher food; food traveling shorter distances; better quality food; and knowledge of food source. Year-round availability, lack of dependable market, and inability to change pricing were greatest obstacles. Extension educators can help facilitate linking local growers with foodservice operations to increase direct sales of local products to these operations.

Will Tennessee Soybean Producers Support a Biodiesel Cooperative?
English, Burton C.; Jensen, Kim; Menard, Jamey
Adding value to agriculture products to create jobs is one means to achieve rural development. Tennessee soybean growers' views on both biodiesel and the formation of a biodiesel cooperative are evaluated. Results from a mail survey suggest considerable interest from farmers in selling their soybeans to a biodiesel production plant. Some producers are willing to provide funding and purchase shares in a cooperative. This study provides Tennessee Extension agents a means to evaluate farmers' perceptions of the development of a "new generation" cooperative and to help provide advice on cooperatives and how this might affect the farmer's bottom line.

County-Level Extension Programming: Continuity and Change in the Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Robinson, Laura; Dubois, Mark; Bailey, Conner
Production agriculture is no longer a dominant feature of Alabama's rural life. Forestry and natural resource issues have emerged as significant concerns expressed by County Advisory Boards designed to help shape county-level Extension programming in Alabama. Our findings indicate that county-level Extension programming continues to put greater emphasis on traditional agricultural programs than on forestry and natural resources even though County Advisory Boards considered the latter issues to have greater priority. We examine the potential causes for the continued dominance of traditional programs in Alabama and conclude that initiatives to change program priorities are unlikely to begin at the county level.

Private Forest Landowners: What They Want in an Educational Program
Downing, Adam K.; Finley, James C.
The objectives of the study reported here were to understand what private forest landowners (PFLs), who are more likely to attend educational opportunities, want in an educational program and to profile these forest owners as different program audiences. Time issues are important to PFLs, depending on their occupation. PFLs desire active learning methods, practically oriented and useful, related to forestry and wildlife management. Occupation, among other demographic characteristics, sometimes distinguishes PFLs in terms of what they want in an educational program.

Assessment of Negative Economic Impacts from Deer in the Northeastern United States
Drake, David; Paulin, Joseph B.; Curtis, Paul D.; Decker, Daniel J.; San Julian, Gary J.
We conducted a survey and literature review to identify affected stakeholders and gauge economic impacts from unwanted deer-human interactions in the northeastern United States. We estimated an annual economic impact from deer-vehicle collisions and deer depredation to select high-value agricultural, grain, and nursery crops, and residential and commercial landscaping for 13 northeastern United States at nearly $640 million. Our results can be used by Extension and wildlife professionals to inform and involve stakeholders participating in deer management decisions, tailor management strategies to mitigate deer-human conflicts, and assist policy makers when weighing the benefits against the negative impacts from deer.

Parents Forever: Evaluation of a Divorce Education Curriculum
Dworkin, Jodi; Karahan, Aysem R.
Parents Forever is an educational program developed by the University of Minnesota Extension Service for families experiencing divorce. It was designed to help parents: a) eliminate parent conflict in front of the children; b) keep the children out of the middle of parent issues; c) provide access to both parents; and d) put the best interests of the children first. Eighty-nine parents were interviewed via telephone after completing the course about the impact of Parents Forever on parental behaviors. Analyses revealed that Parents Forever is effective in meeting its four objectives. Implications for divorce education programming are outlined.

Assuring Youth Raising Livestock for Food Produce a Quality Product
Fassett, Jamie L.; Nold, Rosemarie A.; Rockwell, S. Kay
The Nebraska 4-H Assuring Quality program was developed to help youth producers understand responsibilities of raising livestock for food, increase technical knowledge of quality assurance practices, and implement those practices. Participants' knowledge, attitudes, and practices were determined by surveying parents using a post-then-pre method. Mean retrospective pre-scores showed that youths significantly increased their knowledge, positively changed their attitudes, and implemented better quality assurance management practices in each of the five subject areas taught: (a) quality assurance concepts, (b) feeding and watering, (c) animal identification, (d) housing and facilities and (e) prevention of problems.

Ideas at Work

Social Marketing: Meeting the Outreach Challenges of Today
Skelly, JoAnne
Social marketing uses traditional marketing strategies to create social change by maximizing audience response. The social marketing framework holds great promise for extending Extension's outreach to new audiences on new and old issues. Extension professionals can greatly benefit the communities they serve by employing some simple, but strategized marketing techniques. Six simple tools are shared to develop a social marketing toolbox.

Incorporating Parental Goals in Parenting Programs Through Collaborative Relationships with Parents
Fox, Glenn E., Jr.
This article makes a case for including parental input, specifically parenting goals, in parenting programs. Research indicates goals directly influence parenting practices. Collaborative discussion about parent goals can better involve parents in the parenting education process, and, through the connection with practices, improve outcomes. Three categories of collaboration are described.

The 4-H Summer Cultural Arts Day Camp: Bringing The World to "My World"
Brandt, Jeanne; Arnold, Mary E.
This article describes a community-based 4-H Cultural Arts Day Camp designed to address the out of school time needs of youth in a rural, isolated area. The camp was conducted in collaboration with several local agencies and the Oregon State University Extension Service, and is intended to provide intercultural awareness through the artistic exploration of various world cultures. An evaluation of the camp in 2003 concluded that participating youth were actively learning about other cultures. The camp clearly meets an important need, both in terms of raising intercultural awareness and providing much needed summer opportunities for rural youth.

Using a Welcome Wagon Approach to Reach Out to Woodland Owners in Appalachian Ohio
Apsley, David; Bagley, Scott; Samples, David
A welcome wagon approach was used to provide new forest landowners in southern Ohio with information to help them make informed decisions about the management of their forest resources. New forest landowner information was gathered from county auditor records, and landowners were provided with contact information for agencies and organizations to consult for assistance and an invitation to pick up a woodland owner resource packet containing a wide array of materials and information to help them with the management process.

Water-Wise Plant Recognition Program
Heflebower, Rick; Cerny-Koenig, Teresa; Waters, Molly; Ward, Ruby
A cooperative program to recognize water-wise plants for the Utah landscapes was developed by 10 horticulture and water organizations. Representatives from the organizations developed a plant list of species that were attractive in the landscape, water conserving, adapted to the climate, and available in the industry. A yellow tag with "water- wise plant" outlined by the state of Utah identified the plants. A survey conducted at the end of the first season gave favorable results. The Water-Wise Plant Tagging Program is a model of how universities, governmental agencies, and private businesses can work together to accomplish a common goal.

Nitrate QuikTest for Rapid Detection of High Nitrate Levels in Forages
Cash, S. Dennis; Hager, Julie; Keddington, Linda; Carlstrom, Ron
The Nitrate "QuikTest" Program was implemented in 2000 to assist Montana livestock producers in dealing with toxic levels of nitrate in drought-stressed forages. A certification program similar to that for pesticide applicator licensing was developed for safe use and interpretation of the test. All training materials and examinations are now posted on an interactive Extension Web site. Since 2000, 110 users in 50 counties (89% of Montana counties) have been certified to conduct the Nitrate QuikTest, and 6,615 samples were evaluated. This has been a high-impact, timely program to educate and serve our livestock producers.

Tools of the Trade

What Cooperative Extension Professionals Need to Know About Institutional Review Boards: Risks and Benefits
Weigel, Dan; Martin, Sally; Brown, Randy
More and more, Extension professionals are being asked to first run their needs assessment, program evaluation, and applied research projects through their university's Institutional Review Boards. For many, this can be a confusing task. This article is the third in a series providing tips for preparing IRB proposals and discusses the potential risks and benefits involved in research projects.

Extension Professionals' Ever-Changing Roles when Working with At-Risk Clientele
Torretta, Alayne
Extension's role is to educate participants of its programs and measure impact upon clientele. While Extension professionals are educators, the at-risk clientele have many issues that supersede education. Therefore, a framework from which the Extension professional can operate in order to clarify roles and visualize outcomes for clientele is necessary. Extension professionals can use the Cooperative Extension At-Risk Service Model as this framework. This will assist them in moving clients to adopt improved practices while maintaining boundaries in the professional relationship.

Non-Traditional Extension Education Using Video Conference
Nudell, Dan; Roth, Beth; Saxowsky, David
This article describes Extension efforts to connect clients in remote rural areas to a wide variety of educational opportunities. This includes improving access to the land-grant system for people who live a great distance from campus as well as establishing new relationships with educational providers that are not a part of our traditional offerings. We describe some success stories in delivering non-traditional programming to new clients and discuss some of the issues arising from this new venture.

Promoting Biosecurity in the Equine Community: A New Resource for Extension Educators and the Equine Industry
Ather, Jennifer; Greene, Elizabeth A.
For biosecurity practices to be effective in the equine industry, they must be tailored to the unique challenges faced by horse owners (e.g., close animal contact, manure handling, and reliance on heavy visitor traffic). The Tools For Promoting Biosecurity in Vermont's Equine Industry CD-ROM will help Extension educators with limited equine background answer questions regarding horse housing, health, and management. The CD-ROM also enables horse owners to evaluate their facilities in terms of how much risk of infectious disease they face and helps them design preventative plans to make their facilities safer for both animals and clientele.

Using a Contest to Attract and Disseminate Innovative Production Practices
Khan, Mohamed F. R.
Sugarbeet growers have always been innovative. The Grower Idea Contest was initiated to attract and disseminate ideas that led to innovations resulting in improved production efficiency. Ideas were willingly shared and adopted by many growers. Adoption of ideas generally resulted in higher yields, economic savings, improved safety, and better quality of life for the growers and their communities. Extension educators in many fields can use such contests to encourage development and dissemination of innovative practices.

Ropes Course Builds Confidence and Teamwork in Teens
Spoto, Kenneth; Bailey, Beverly R.
4-H delivers programs that help develop many of the behaviors that ropes courses were designed to instill, especially leadership and teamwork. During the spring of 2004, 17 teenagers were recruited by the advisory committee, Extension agents, and other individuals to spend a weekend on a ropes course, aptly named "challenge outdoor personal experience" (C.O.P.E). Findings from an evaluation of the weekend indicated the activities built teamwork, confidence in oneself, and confidence in the group.