August 2006 // Volume 44 // Number 4

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Editor's Page

Dealing with Rejection
"Dealing with Rejection" describes a particularly sane and sensible response if your submission is rejected by JOE or any other refereed journal. "August JOE" briefly refers to just under half of the fine articles in the issue.


Minnesota Extension's Regional and County Delivery System: Myths and Reality
Morse, George W.
In January 2004, the University of Minnesota Extension Service adopted an innovative regional and county delivery system to handle major cuts in state funding. This article addresses eight misconceptions that have arisen regarding the new system and concludes that Extension is having far greater impacts than it would have had without this reorganization.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "Minnesota Extension's Regional and County Delivery System: Myths and Reality"

Feature Articles

Preparing Extension Professionals: The Ohio State University's Model of Extension Education
Scheer, Scott D.; Ferrari, Theresa M.; Earnest, Garee W.; Connors, James J.
Extension systems throughout the United States require individuals to have college degrees to work as Extension professionals. This article shares The Ohio State University's approach to Extension Education in the Department of Human and Community Resource Development. A model is presented for preparing Extension professionals in an academic setting. Based on the research literature, competencies for success in Extension are matched with courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels of instruction. By sharing our approach, we hope to encourage dialogue and discussion that will help us and other academic programs to offer the best possible curriculum for preparing Extension educators.

Strengthening Community Engagement Toward Sustainable Local Food Systems
Thomson, Joan S.; Radhakrishna, Rama B.; Maretzki, Audrey N.; Inciong, Liberty O.
Perspectives of Extension educators relative to local food system (LFS) issues are examined. These educators perceived consumer food safety, viable ag-related businesses, land use planning, farm land preservation, loss of family-owned farms, and access to quality foods as important issues. Extension educators viewed county Extension directors, regional directors, and program advisory boards as the strongest supporters for the local LFS. Lack of program resources to support and carry out LFS programming was identified as a barrier. Significant differences were also found between Extension educators' demographic and program characteristics and important LFS issues.

Exploring Tribal Leadership: Understanding and Working with Tribal People
Hart, Jeff G.
The article provides important educational information for Extension professionals who work with Native American audiences. It is based on findings from observations, conversations, and interviews with tribal people. Educational information about tribal leadership and culture, developed from the research, is provided for Extension professionals. Tribal leadership is a shared leadership, organized by the clan system, guided and sustained through the teaching of language and telling of stories. The article provides interpretations, implications, and recommendations for Extension administration and educators when considering partnerships and program development with tribal populations.

Running Successful Extension Camps for Hispanic Children: From Program Planning to Program Delivery for a 1-Week Day Camp
Farner, Susan; Cutz, German; Farner, Barbara; Seibold, Sheri; Abuchar, Viviana
To address the increasing Hispanic population in Illinois and to follow the mission of the University of Illinois Extension, educators must find ways to reach this population. To serve the Hispanic population with non-bilingual staff, it is necessary to address how to plan and deliver a camp, what support is need for non-bilingual Extension personnel, and whether Extension can meet the needs of this population. An evaluation of a summer camp for Spanish-speaking children was conducted. The results of this evaluation demonstrated that Extension programs could be effectively carried out in Hispanic communities with little modification.

Cooking with a Chef
Condrasky, Marge
Cooking with a Chef was created to promote healthy eating behaviors among caregivers by teaching basic nutrition and food preparation skills. A chef/dietitian team collaborated on lively, interactive cooking lessons emphasizing culinary skills and hands-on learning. Lessons were conducted in 2-hour weekly sessions for 6 consecutive weeks. Data were collected pre and post intervention using a 24-hour Food Recall, Food Behavior Checklist, and program evaluation. Cooking with A Chef had a positive effect on food-related behaviors of caregivers, suggesting that this model program is an opportunity to reach low-income families. A long-term follow-up evaluation is needed.

Potential for Carbon Storage and Technology Transfer in the Southeastern United States
Cason, John D.; Grebner, Donald L.; Londo, Andrew J.; Grado, Stephen C.
As the concern over global warming grows, interest in sequestering carbon in terrestrial ecosystems is expected to intensify. Nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners in the southeastern United States can play a major role in sequestering atmospheric carbon. Sequestering carbon through reforestation/afforestation incentive programs requires participation by university Extension personnel to effectively communicate knowledge to landowners. This article discusses above and belowground carbon sequestration, carbon sequestration programs available to nonindustrial private forest landowners, and activities university Extension personnel may engage in to facilitate the implementation of such programs.

Agricultural Environmental Programming in Pennsylvania: Increasing Visibility and Relevancy of Extension
Ishler, Virginia; Dodd, Alyssa; Abdalla, Charles; Martin, Gerald; Meinen, Robert J.; Mikesell, Robert E.; Weld, Jennifer L.
Penn State Cooperative Extension Dairy and Livestock Nutrient and Environmental Education Days (NEEDs) is a multi-disciplinary collaborative educational program for government conservation professionals working with producers. The objective of this program is to provide participants with an understanding of the links among community concerns, agricultural air and water quality impacts, changing policy, and farm-level environmental management tools. This article describes the development of the NEEDs program, evaluation results, and future program plans. As Extension's role evolves to address the educational needs of conservation professionals, evaluation results indicate the use of a multi-disciplinary approach can serve as an effective educational method.

Research in Brief

Avoiding the "Rut" in Program Development and Delivery: Improving Our Understanding of Learning Style Preferences
Davis, Gregory A.
A better understanding of learning style preferences can help us to avoid developing and delivering our educational programs from the perspective of our preferred learning style alone. A study of community development educators found most preferred to learn in a social context; take energy from the surrounding environment; gather information using the senses; make sense of this information using logic and objectivity; and orient themselves in an ordered, structured manner. Results have implications for planners of professional development activities, for administrators charged with forming and managing programming teams, and for Extension professionals motivated to better meet clientele needs.

Self-Perceived 4-H Leader Competencies and Their Relation to the Skills Youth Learn Through 4-H Youth Development Programs
Singletary, Loretta; Smith, Marilyn; Evans, William P.
This article reports the results of a statewide survey to assess the influence of perceived 4-H volunteer leader skills on the life skills 4-H youth learn. Results indicate the most important skill a volunteer leader possesses is to ensure the physical and psychological safety of 4-H members. This includes keeping youth from hurting each other's feelings; keeping youth from bullying each other; managing conflict between youth; making sure that the facility where 4-H youth meet is safe. These results emphasize the importance of the careful recruitment, screening, training, and management of 4-H volunteer leaders.

An Exploratory Study of Adolescents' Motivations for Joining and Continued Participation in a 4-H Afterschool Program
Ferrari, Theresa M.; Turner, Cassie L.
Youth development professionals are interested in how to attract and retain participants in after-school programs. In open-ended interviews and a focus group, seven adolescents in an urban after-school youth development program provided rich descriptive data regarding their participation and potential barriers. There were many reasons why adolescents joined and continued to participate. Themes of caring adults, homework assistance, program environment, program opportunities, fun, learning, friends, character development, and life skills emerged from the data. Although these themes are consistent with those from past research, the process of soliciting youth input is itself important. Implications for youth programs are discussed.

Evaluation of the People Empowering People Program Within a Prison Population
Czuba, Cheryl; Anderson, Stephen A.; Higgins, Shirley
The People Empowering People (PEP) Program was administered to an incarcerated population. The PEP program teaches life skills and empowerment with the goal of improving personal life skills, parental and family relationships, and community engagement. The results of an evaluation, based upon a pre-test, post-test, and follow-up survey design, indicated that participants reported significant changes in all three targeted domains following completion of the program.

Land Use Planning and Zoning in Ohio Townships
Evans-Cowley, Jennifer S.; Gough, Meghan Zimmerman
The study reported here examined the use of zoning for growth management in Ohio townships. Data were obtained from a survey of 252 township officials. The results showed that 59% of townships are using zoning, primarily due to citizen support. Zoned townships are using a variety of zoning techniques to assist in managing land use change and growth. Those townships without zoning cite a lack of growth and citizen interest as reasons for not using zoning.

Home Canning: Pressure Gauge Testing
Plate, Carol; Albrecht, Julie A.
Nebraska Cooperative Extension provides dial gauge testing for pressure canners as part of educational programs on safe home food preservation. Results of dial gauge testing, conducted in a multi-county area over 25 years, demonstrate the need for annual dial gauge testing for accuracy to produce safe home processed food. Gauge testing provides Extension educators a "hook" to position themselves as the local food safety experts.

Assessing an Extension Plant Pest Diagnostic Center for Commercial Clients: Satisfaction, Savings, and Success
Donaldson, Joseph L.; Hale, Frank A.; Bost, Steven C.; Windham, Alan S.; Stebbins, Thomas C.; Cook, David L.
The descriptive-correlational study reported here sought to assess the effectiveness of the Extension Plant Pest Diagnostic Center (PPDC) for Tennessee's commercial clients. These clients are served through one-on-one consultation regarding their individual plant or household and structural pest problems through submitted samples. The results from a mailed questionnaire showed that the majority of PPDC clients felt that the information was quick enough for their needs. While one-third of the 61 respondents stated that the PPDC recommendations saved them money, only one in 10 estimated the amount of money they saved. Suggestions for future PPDC evaluation studies are discussed.

Ideas at Work

A Spanish Language Milker's School for Idaho Dairy Employees
Dalton, Joseph C.; Jensen, K. Scott
Educational opportunities for Hispanic employees are consistently one of the top Idaho dairy industry-identified needs. Consequently, University of Idaho Extension Faculty developed a Spanish language Milker's School. The Milker's School provides Spanish-speaking dairy employees with an opportunity to improve their knowledge and understanding of the entire milking process, including the importance of their role in the process. The Milker's School provides an educational opportunity for a traditionally underserved group, and narrows the language and culture gap that exists between English speaking dairy owners and Spanish speaking employees.

Milking and Calf Care Schools for Hispanics in Cache County
Israelsen, Clark E.; Young, Allen J.; Boman, Ronald L.
Dairy producers hire employees to handle the daily demands of the business. Many employees are Hispanic, with limited experience working with dairy cattle. A quarterly Milking School has been organized to train Hispanic workers. Participation has increased with each seminar. Handouts and videos are available in English and Spanish. An Extension Dairy Specialist, who speaks fluent Spanish, serves as translator. Training at the university milking parlor demonstrates proper milking procedures and shows ways to respond to potential problems. At the conclusion of the training, students enjoy a meal and receive a Certificate of Participation entitling them to free English classes.

Emotional Intelligence: A Pathway to Self-Understanding and Improved Leadership Capacities
Merkowitz, Rose Fisher; Earnest, Garee W.
In 1995, Goleman wrote his book, Emotional Intelligence, based upon Salovey and Mayer's (1990) work. Since then, emotional intelligence (EQ) has become one of the hottest leadership topics in corporate America and has filtered into the not-for-profit and educational arenas as well. It is through an individual's emotional intelligence that he/she will be able to deal with life and lead others in a more positive manner. This article described the successful incorporation of emotional intelligence training in Ohio State University Extension's leadership training.

Innovative Online Curriculum Writing: A Practical Approach for Multiple Authors/Multiple Locations
Vigna, Diane C.; Fairchild, Patricia J.; Donaldson-Fassett, Jamie
The technology-based writing method described here enabled collaboration from distant locations. A comprehensive and well-integrated 4-H quilt curriculum was the goal. Seven writers used an electronic activity template based on 4-H Cooperative Curriculum System standards. A hyper-linked spreadsheet was developed. Each writer input their writing from the template to their separate sheet, which was hyper-linked to the master spreadsheet. Using FTP client software, all writers had access to updated materials on the master spreadsheet at all times. The writer/editor could see all work, monitor duplicate efforts, and put writing into one voice. A 284-page coherent and comprehensive curriculum resulted.

Optimal Aging and the Use of Action Plans
Johnson, Sharon D.
In southern Oregon, Extension-sponsored symposia have repeatedly provided health-related information to older adults. In the most recent symposium, an action-planning component was incorporated, asking each participant to use the knowledge acquired during a day of informal training to specify a health-related behavior they wished to change. The participants were asked to commit, in writing, to changing an identified behavior. Eighty-seven percent of individuals attending the symposium who completed action plans and were reached by telephone 2 weeks to 3 weeks following the date of the symposium reported they were successful in changing specific health-related behaviors.

Weber Water Fair: A Partnership for Water Conservation Awareness for Fourth Grade Youth
Francis, David William; Rothlisberger, Darrell
Weber Water Fair engages 4th grade youth through hands-on learning to explore water conservation and quality issues. Development and evaluation of a water education experience that meets the needs of state education standards is described. The Water Fair experience is easily adapted to meet the need for hands-on learning about water for public schools in a variety of geographic areas.

Extension at the Wildland-Urban Interface: A Case Study of Community Fire Planning
Bennett, Max; Perrotti, Gail
The recent nationwide emphasis on community fire planning provides an important new opportunity for Extension. This article presents a case study of Extension involvement in neighborhood fire planning. We describe how intensive neighborhood outreach, design, and delivery of educational programs and facilitation of a steering committee have improved neighborhood cohesion and interagency coordination in addressing wildfire issues in a 250,000-acre watershed.

Tools of the Trade

Developing Youth Voice in Service Learning Projects
Bruce, Jacklyn A.; Webster, Nicole S.; Hoover, Tracy S.
A qualitative study was conducted to collect information on youth and service learning to provide a template for educators' use when incorporating service learning activities into their curriculums. Findings included that teens were able to articulate a definition of service learning and identify service activities. Most felt they had a voice in planning and implementation and saw adults as key in evaluating projects. However, some felt that adults have too great a voice in the planning stages. Recommendations include professional development for adults on working with teens and evaluating current programs to make certain that youth voice is present.

Student Focus Groups Reveal Impacts of 4-H Program
Galloway, Robin; Peterson, Kenneth; Dalton, Michael
As Extension professionals, we need to evaluate programs to know that what we're doing is making a positive and productive impact. This article summarizes how student focus groups validated perceived program strength for 4-H Wildlife Stewards (4-H WS). 4-H WS promotes science learning and environmental stewardship among youth. Sustainable wildlife habitat sites are created on school grounds through a partnership of 4-H, trained volunteers, and school staff. To evaluate the effectiveness of the program, students at six participating schools were interviewed. They reported improved attitudes and increased knowledge of science as a result of having schoolyard habitats.

Keeping Teens Involved Through State 4-H Exchanges
Gillespie, Donna R.
A University of Idaho study shows youth who participated in 4-H are significantly better at avoiding risky life style choices. Creative programs that keep teens involved in 4-H encourage individuals to have a positive self-identity and give them the confidence to become positive role models for younger children. Teen exchange programs in 4-H are a great opportunity to experience life in a different part of the nation or even the world and keep teens involved in 4-H. Teens who become involved in the Minidoka County 4-H Teen Association continue to be active members until they graduate from high school.

Altering Adult-Based Beef Quality Assurance Curriculum for Youth Education
Yost, John; Boyles, Stephen
Quality Assurance training for youth has focused on avoidance of drug and chemical contamination and placed little emphasis on carcass defects such as bruising. In order to reduce the incidence of carcass defects, youth need an understanding of animal behavior and how it is affected by the animal's environment. Two hundred seventy-three youth completed pre- and post-program tests of knowledge as it relates to animal behavior and handling. Pre-test results showed that participants had prior knowledge of the impacts of improper animal handling. The post-program test indicated increased knowledge and understanding of the environmental effects and inherent behavior of livestock.

Culture and Parenting: A Guide for Delivering Parenting Curriculums to Diverse Families
Ontai, Lenna L.; Mastergeorge, Ann M.
As the population becomes increasingly diverse, family support programs must be prepared to address diversity in parenting practices. The University of California Families with Young Children Workgroup conducted a review of parenting curriculums and interviewed collaborators to determine how to best address this need. As a result, Culture and Parenting: A Guide for Delivering Parenting Curriculums to Diverse Families was developed to supplement commonly used parenting curriculums. The guide encourages educators and practitioners to evaluate their work with families by delivering research-based information on how culture influences parenting goals and tips for educators to consider when working with diverse audiences.

Building Trust in Local Community Organizations: Where Do We Start, and How Can We Make a Difference?
Barnes, James; Haynes, Sheila
Trust is the glue that binds organizations and communities together. Building trust in local community organizations has been identified as a viable strategy for the economic development of organizations, communities, and regions. In this article, we identify how Extension professionals can begin working with local boards (of any type) to promote the building of trust among members. We develop the board member accountability and expectations (BMAE) tool, which can be used to more clearly identify new board member expectations. More clearly identifying board member expectations is one of many steps that local boards should take to build trust among members.

Evaluation of an E-Learning Online Pecan Management Course
Stafne, Eric T.; McCraw, B. Dean; Mulder, Phil G.
In February 2004, an online pecan management course was launched to educate pecan growers and assist them with decision-making. The interactive course was designed for both experienced pecan producers and first-time pecan producers. Since the inception of the course, only 24 persons have paid the registration fee. Several potential problems underlie the poor registration numbers, including low level of computer literacy, limited access to the Internet, download times, previous grower experience, cost, and awareness. Low registration numbers indicate that a more active approach to improve enrollment is needed to increase awareness.