October 2006 // Volume 44 // Number 5

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Editor's Page

JOE Reviewers Rock
"JOE Reviewers Rock" talks about the reviewing and writing contributions of JOE reviewers. "A 'Freebee' for Extension Professionals" shows that George McDowell has not stopped contributing. And "October JOE" does just what you think.


Extension Education About Healthy Weight: A Case Study Emphasizes Need to Find the Target Audience
Lohse, Barbara; Stotts, Jodi L.
Developing educational materials about weight management requires accurate content and sound phrasing. However, our recent experience with healthy weight education using traditional Extension recruitment strategies revealed that attention to reaching the target audience is vital when resource management and educational impact are considered. Delivery of a theory-based healthy weight educational program that missed its mark (reaching fewer than 30% of the intended learners) for Extension audiences serves as a basis to call for examining Extension recruitment practices and allocation of program resources for weight education.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on "Extension Education About Healthy Weight: A Case Study Emphasizes Need to Find the Target Audience"

Feature Articles

The Change Agent States for Diversity Project: The Catalyst Team Approach
Ingram, Patreese D.
The Change Agent States for Diversity is a consortium of several states dedicated to supporting greater cultural diversity in land-grant universities. The overall goal is to build the capacity of land-grant universities to function inclusively and effectively in a multicultural world. This study reported here evaluated the progress of the project. This article reports findings from interviews with project coordinators in each state and focuses on the value of the Catalyst Team approach. Conclusions suggest that efforts of the Catalyst Teams are strengthening the capacity of the individual state organizations to create change around issues of diversity.

Conflict as a Form of Capital in Controversial Community Development Projects
Zacharakis, Jeff
Without conflict there would be little passion and interest in most community initiatives. Conflict within controversial community development projects is capital that can be reinvested and serve as a positive source of energy that benefits the project. To illustrate this point, this article looks at a composite of three actual sub-watershed projects in Iowa's Maquoketa River Basin and analyzes how the different levels of conflict affected these projects.

Pfiesteria Hysteria, Agriculture, and Water Quality in the Chesapeake Bay: The Extension Bridge over Troubled Waters
Terlizzi, D. E.
Public fear of environmental problems from toxic chemicals to toxic microbes can lead to overreaction in consumer behavior and public policy. When the dinoflagellate Pfiesteria piscicida became synonymous with water quality degradation in the Chesapeake Bay and was linked to human health concerns, the agricultural and environmental communities were polarized. Public fear in spite of relatively low risk led to the passage of the Water Quality Improvement Act in 1998. An Extension education program to reduce public fear and clarify the science is presented as a case study of Extension education in the midst of conflict over environmental issues.

Integrated Farming Systems and Pollution Prevention Initiatives Stimulate Co-Learning Extension Strategies
Getz, Christy; Warner, Keith Douglass
Increasing environmental regulatory pressure on agriculture is stimulating increased attention to integrated farming systems and more participatory forms of Extension. Agro-environmental partnerships, which have become the primary strategy for agricultural pollution prevention strategies in California, demonstrate the potential of alternative pest management strategies. We argue that the organizational structure of these partnerships, which facilitates co-learning strategies and greater participation, has been key to their success. The shift from a "transfer of technology" model to participatory co-learning and decision-making making support could improve Extension's service delivery and serve as an important strategy for Extension to engage a broader client constituency.

Whole Systems Inquiry: Designing Large Educational Events
William, Ray D.; Engle, Molly; Goodell, Peter B.; Koplinka-Loehr, Carrie
Whole systems inquiry (WSI) helps people see complex topics as functional activities with inputs, outputs, interactions, and performance of the system over time. The authors used WSI to design a national symposium with 800 attendees who responded to two questions at the end of 70 topical sessions. Responses were aggregated onto a mega-map, synthesized into themes, and drawn as an emerging system. Work groups compared emerging themes with national priorities while individual participants evaluated utility in their disciplinary programs. We conclude that large meetings can be designed as functional systems with participation, synthesis, and evaluation of intentional learning.

Training Extension Professionals from Developing Countries Through Educational Workshops Conducted in the United States
Hanson, James C.; Johnson, Dale M.; Miller, Raymond J.; Adams, Darlene C.
Many opportunities exist for conducting stateside professional improvement workshops to train Extension professionals from developing countries. To conduct a successful workshop it is important to understand the needs of the partner country and identify participants who can use their workshop training to address those needs. An effective workshop will have high-quality field trips, practical classroom instruction, and opportunities for cultural exchange. Pre-workshop planning and close attention to logistical issues are essential to the success of the workshop. Good evaluation of the workshop is important to measure the impacts of the workshop and provide input for improving future workshops.

An Evaluation of Retinal Imaging Technology for 4-H Beef and Sheep Identification
Rusk, Clinton P.; Blomeke, Christine R.; Balschweid, Mark A.; Elliott, Stephen J.; Baker, Dan
The study reported here evaluated retinal imaging technology as a means of permanent identification of 4-H beef and sheep. The OptiReader» Device was used to capture digital images of 491 beef and 220 sheep during 4-H enrollment. A total of 317 beef and 159 sheep were re-imaged. The on-site visual verification rate was 96.2% for beef and 100% for sheep. A visual verification exercise showed that individuals could identify a pair of retinal images as a match 98.6 % of the time for beef. Retinal imaging is a viable method for enrolling beef and sheep.

Research in Brief

Distance Education: Perceived Barriers and Opportunities Related to Extension Program Delivery
Dromgoole, Darrell A.; Boleman, Chris T.
A Delphi study was conducted to determine obstacles, advantages, and potential topics that could be developed related to distance education as perceived by Extension educators. Respondents suggested that clientele connectivity, clientele lack of technology, and lack of competencies associated with technologies were major obstacles for distance education utilization. Respondents identified savings in travel time and travel expenses, reaching new audiences, and opportunities for multiple delivery systems as major advantages of distance education. Respondents said programs focused on lawn, ornamental, household gardening; general horticulture; and pesticide usage were highly valued and could be successful with clientele.

A Comparison of 4-H and Other Youth Development Organizations in the Development of Life Skills
Maass, Sarah E.; Wilken, Carolyn S.; Jordan, Joy; Culen, Gerald; Place, Nick
The article briefly describes the results of a study on the influence of 4-H and other youth development programs on the development of 36 life skills including critical thinking, goal setting, communication, decision-making and community service. Respondents (n=223) were high achieving 4-H alumni who participated it the Oklahoma 4-H Program between the years 1969 and 1998. Results suggest that while respondents credited 4-H with influencing the development of the majority of the identified life skills, other youth organizations were also identified as having some influence on the development in different life skills. Recommendations for 4-H programming are offered.

Perceptions of Youth Risk and Safety Education: A Survey of Farm Safety Day Camp Participants and Their Parents
Arnold, Glen; Jepsen, Dee; Hedrick, Jason
Farm Safety Day Camps are popular educational formats for teaching safety awareness to rural youth audiences. Surveys were administered to 3rd graders and their parents following a safety day camp program to determine the amount of exposure the youth had to six identified rural hazards. Data showed that students are capable of self-reporting their exposure rate and risk of injury and that they are capable of following safety rules 91.8% of the time. Most parents (80%) revealed that the program was a beneficial experience for their children and reported a preference to general safety topics as opposed to farm-related topics.

Educational Needs of Southern Forest Landowners
Measells, Marcus K.; Grado, Stephen C.; Hughes, H. Glenn; Dunn, Michael A.; Idassi, Joshua O.; Zielinske, Robert J.
South-central United States forest landowners were surveyed to determine their forestry-related educational needs and appropriate methods for promoting effective programs covering desired topics. The majority of respondents had not participated in past educational programs because they were unaware of their existence. Therefore, forestry professionals and university Extension personnel should inform and encourage nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners to take advantage of available opportunities. They should also use tax rolls to develop forest landowner databases. Once developed, newsletters, pamphlets, brochures, or letters should be mailed to increase forest landowner knowledge and awareness of forestry-related educational programs and activities.

College Women and Their Food Preparation Ability
Soliah, LuAnn; Walter, Janelle; Antosh, Deeanna
College women may be losing their fundamental food preparation ability. The study reported here identified specific foods that college women could or could not prepare and the reason(s) they did not prepare these foods. The two dominant reasons for being unable to prepare most foods were they had never been taught and they had no interest in learning. Insufficient time and inadequate kitchens were contributing, but minor, reasons for their inability to prepare certain foods. Extension professionals have access to young people and are thus in a favorable position to influence the youth regarding the importance of acquiring food preparation abilities.

Goats: A Tool for Controlling Spotted Knapweed
Williams, Shannon; Prather, Tim
Spotted knapweed has invaded a number of habitats, and some of those habitats have restrictions on the tools used for control. An experiment was designed to examine the effects of grazing spotted knapweed with goats. The study explored the utilization of spotted knapweed by goats, the effects on plant cover, plant counts, and seed head production. Three years of study determined that goats would consume spotted knapweed, reducing plant cover, plant density, and seed head production. An extensive education outreach program has assisted with adaptation and recognition of goat grazing as a viable tool for noxious weed control.

Awareness and Intended Compliance of Beef Cattle Exhibitors in the National Animal Identification System
Patent, Keisha; Roe, Brian; Fluharty, Francis
The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) will soon require compliance from all cattle producers. Using data gathered in Ohio and Kentucky, we analyzed awareness of and intended compliance with the NAIS by a producer segment posing significant disease risk--beef cattle exhibitors. Participants with larger show strings and extensive show-related travel are more aware of the NAIS. Heightened respondent awareness and use of computerized records are positively correlated with intended compliance. Respondents who attend multiple shows and expect additional record keeping under the NAIS report lower intended compliance. The potential role of youth organizations in promoting NAIS compliance is discussed.

Ideas at Work

Value of Good Foods for Good Health Community Partnership
Angell, Deborah L.
County partnerships are always an asset to Extension but can be especially important during challenging budget times. During these times, partnerships with the local Parks and Recreation Department, and county General Health District have made offering monthly Good Foods for Good Health programs possible. These programs emphasize healthy food choices and safe food handling practices. Determining the dollar value of these partnerships provides valuable information to share with stakeholders and illustrates how all partners involved benefit when we work together instead of in competition with each other.

Effective Use of Community Partnerships to Maximize Impact
Greene, Elizabeth A.
Through collaboration with community partners, UVM Extension has been able to reach and have an impact on a large audience at Everything Equine, a statewide educational equine event and consumer tradeshow. By partnering with Champlain Valley Exposition and others, UVM Extension is a major player in an event that would be time/cost prohibitive and virtually impossible to produce alone. All partners bring different strengths and resources to the event, resulting in a well-rounded 2-day educational and shopping experience for Vermont horse industry members. This event has also brought positive attention at the state level to this growing agricultural industry.

Practical Strategies for Extension Agents to Partner with Mental Health Professionals in Providing Family Consultation to Farm/Ranch Families
Fetsch, Robert J.
Access to trusted, skilled mental health providers is often limited in rural settings. Cooperative Extension agents can use 13 research-based questions to identify mental health professionals and family consultants with the skills to work effectively with farm and ranch families. When informed Extension agents collaborate with family consultants and mental health practitioners in innovative ways, they can provide ranch and farm families with family consultation that reduces their stress and depression levels and enhances their native self-sufficiency.

Enhancing Mosquito-Borne Disease Surveillance in Florida
Rutledge-Connelly, C. Roxanne; Day, Jonathan F.; Ross, Gregory K.
The University of Florida, IFAS, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory developed online graphic visuals to assist Florida mosquito control districts and health departments in maximizing the potential of their individual surveillance programs for mosquito-borne diseases through a better understanding and interpretation of surveillance data. Using data generated by the Florida Department of Health, we developed Geographic Information System (GIS) based maps with animation (video) to bring surveillance results "to life." Our GIS video is the first of its kind in mosquito-borne disease surveillance and will aid in refining the science of preventing mosquito-borne diseases outbreaks.

Using Updates to Educate Policy Makers About Water Programs at Land-Grant Institutions
Mahler, Robert L.; Simmons, Robert; Sorensen, Fred; Cochrane, Michael; Andrews, Gail Glick
We developed a regional two-page color newsletter called PNWWATER UPDATE that focuses on specific water resource issues in the Pacific Northwest to meet the needs of our stakeholders. This newsletter is distributed to our congressional delegation and all state legislators serving on education, environment, or agriculture committees. Fifty-seven policy makers on our mailing list for the last 2 years evaluated the value of this newsletter. In general, policy makers found the newsletter to be of high quality, timely, and informative, and thought that it addressed the water quality priorities in the region.

Using Robotics as an Educational Tool in 4-H
Barker, Bradley S.; Ansorge, John
Although America is the world leader in science and technology innovation, the educational system is not preparing enough science and technology workers to maintain leadership. In an effort to prepare youth for the 21st century, Nebraska 4-H conducted a 2-day workshop using robotics to teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts. A subsequent competition was held at the State Fair to debut robots to the community. The competition was popular with fair-goers and let youth experiment with their robot designs and programming. To engage more youth, Nebraska will pilot the 4-H CCS curriculum and expand the State Fair competition.

Animal Feeding Operations and Water Quality--Resources and Livestock in Balance
Hudson, Tipton D.; Harrison, Joe H.
This article describes an education program that was developed to provide conservation district staff an understanding of state and federal water quality rules and guidance on when to recommend specific best management practices to livestock producers to protect water quality. Real farm case studies were used to teach site-specific conditions that would place a livestock owner at risk of having a significant negative impact on surface or ground water quality. Specific outcomes were case studies in PowerPoint presentations, best management fact sheets, and a livestock-influenced water quality risk assessment tool.

Tools of the Trade

The Determinants of a Healthy Board: A Tool for Extension Professionals
Barnes, James; Haynes, Sheila; Woods, Mike D.
Board governance is a critical factor that affects the development of people and businesses in rural America. In this article, we explain how the health of a board can be measured based on a set of performance indicators from the board governance literature. Extension professionals can use these determinants as a tool for evaluating a board's health before engaging in more specialized educational programming assistance.

Online Conferencing--Tips and Tricks for Effective Use
Coppernoll, Susanna; Jahedkar, Jennifer; Murphrey, Theresa Pesl
Texas Cooperative Extension (TCE) continues to look for ways to extend professional development opportunities to employees through the use of technology. The most recent technology employed is online conferencing. This article describes programs that have been conducted using online conferencing, discusses specific teaching methodologies used to deliver these learning events, and shares lessons learned.

25 by '25: Extension's Role in Rural Energy Development
Fortson, Leigh
With oil prices so volatile, Cooperative Extension agents can play an important role in the evolution of America's new power source: agricultural producers who have an entrepreneurial spirit and the resources to create renewable energy. By acting as information brokers to farmers and ranchers, we can help them learn how to create and sell energy from wind, corn, sunflowers, soybeans, manure, and more. Government agencies are urgently adopting measures to provide funding and support the renewable energy industry. Extension's contribution is a critical link in the chain of events that will lead to profitable ventures and energy independence.

Timber Harvest Management Workshop
Landefeld, Mark; Schumacher, Stephen
This article describes a forestry program designed to increase woodland owners' knowledge and promote sustainable management practices. Each year uninformed individuals allow timber to be harvested from their property, receive fewer dollars than the timber was worth, and have no management plan for their woodland. Workshops were conducted in the classroom and in the field to address these issues. Surveys were conducted to determine knowledge gained and economic impact of the educational efforts. Results showed that significant knowledge was gained and participants who subsequently marketed timber received more income from their sale due to information learned at the workshops.

Project WILD: A Tool That Provides Camp Counselors with Leadership Opportunities While Managing Risk
Bourdeau, Virginia D.; Knutz, Mike
Camps can create a culture that supports youth staff, ages 15-18, in making a valuable contribution to the education program, thereby increasing the quality of the camp's educational impact while at the same time decreasing incidents and accidents during "un-programmed" time. Project WILD, a nationally available interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program, provides tools to help counselors turn un-programmed time into learning opportunities. In addition, when youth counselors use their skills to lead Project WILD activities, they achieve respect and autonomy, and success in the leadership roles that they seek.

Become an International Ambassador with People to People
Sundermeier, Alan
An international Extension experience can be maximized by being part of a professional delegation with the People to People Ambassador Program. Founded by President Eisenhower, People to People promotes his belief that ordinary citizens of different nations, if able to communicate directly, would solve their differences and find a way to live in peace. This program is an opportunity for Extension educators to gain an understanding of global issues that require local action and local issues that have global impact. It is a rewarding experience being part of a professional delegation sharing knowledge and culture, one person at a time.

Livestock-Influenced Water Quality Risk Assessment Tool
Hudson, Tipton D.; Harrison, Joe H.; Koelsch, Rick
This article describes a livestock-influenced water quality risk assessment tool that was developed to assist livestock producers with conducting a self-assessment of their operation and management relative to a facility's risk of negatively affecting water quality. The tool focuses on factors likely to influence designation of the operation as a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation by a permitting authority and was also designed to be used in cooperation with a technical service provider to make a site-specific assessment. The tool is available in paper format and an interactive Microsoft ExcelTM spreadsheet version.