The Journal of Extension -

April 2013 // Volume 51 // Number 2

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Editor's Page

JOE at 50

In "JOE at 50," I talk about the journal's 50th anniversary, about some of the milestones that have occurred along the way, and about recent changes in the JOE site's look, function, and content. In "April JOE," I point to eight articles, just skimming the surface of an issue full of articles worth reading.


Sustainable Aquaculture in the North Central Region U.S.—A Review of Perceptions and Recommendations from the Aquaculture Community
Weeks, Chris
Aquaculture remains the fastest growing food commodity in the world and is expected to have an important role in food security in the future. However, for the aquaculture industry to grow, it must do so in a sustainable manner. From an Extension standpoint, this presents many challenges. This article discusses the concept of sustainable aquaculture and how it is perceived regionally and presents a model that allows for increased focus towards three principle components: environmental conservation, social benefits, and economic viability. This article seeks to help further dialogue towards sustainable aquaculture and other industry development in the U.S.

Participate in the JOE Discussion Forum on “Sustainable Aquaculture in the North Central Region U.S.—A Review of Perceptions and Recommendations from the Aquaculture Community”

Ideas at Work

Effectively Communicating Science to Extension Audiences
Robinson, Patrick
This article discusses the concept of "framing" within the context of relevant communication and psychological research and considers its potential applicability to Extension science communication. Examples of research-based support for the framing of scientific issues are presented, along with a literature-based discussion of the potential benefits. The article suggests that Extension practitioners should consider framing scientific information in a manner that is important and relevant to stakeholders. Doing so can lead to improved stakeholder engagement in the information exchange process and create the potential for greater utilization of scientific information.

Creating Research-Based Videos That Can Affect Behavior
Joseph Cone
To engage recipients of Extension science-based video programming involves understanding what behaviors and decisions the recipients may be considering that can be affected by the programming. Such understanding may be developed through interviews, focus groups, and surveys, which should provide guidance for elements of the style and content of the video production. The success of the video in assisting viewers' decision-making should then be evaluated, for example through a survey, as described here. The approach presented draws upon and twines models from two different strands of communication research: nonpersuasive communication (Fischoff, 2007) and behavioral prediction (Fishbein & Yzer, 2003).

Leadership Institute: Building Leadership Capacity Through Emotional Intelligence
Argabright, Karen J.; King, Jeff; Cochran, Graham R.; Chen, Claire Yueh-Ti
Given the changing dynamics of society and the pressures on Extension organizations to adapt, leadership effectiveness has become a crucial element of success. The program presented here is designed to enhance individual emotional intelligence. Through in-depth engagement of the participants, they learn to apply dynamics of emotional intelligence, enabling them as leaders to inspire commitment, motivate others, and build lasting relationships for the continued success of their organizations. An evaluation of this professional development program documented enhanced individual emotional intelligence.

It's the Latest, It's the Greatest, It's [Financial Education] at the Library
O’Neill, Barbara
In recent years, libraries have become increasingly involved in financial education, and Extension educators are collaborating with them to deliver programs for their staff and the general public. Benefits to Extension educators include increased visibility, access to new audiences, having program logistics and marketing provided by others, access to grant subcontract funding for the development and delivery of financial education workshops, and new collaborative partnerships for future programs after the funded financial program ends. This article describes the author's experiences with development, delivery, and evaluation of financial classes for two libraries that received financial education funding.

Improving Generation Y Volunteerism in Extension Programs
Andrews, Kevin B.; Lockett, Landry L.
Members of Generation Y have many positive attributes that make them attractive to Extension volunteer administrators as a potential source of labor. However, they think differently, have unique needs, require new management styles, and have less tolerance for unpleasant working conditions than previous generations. Additionally, they are engaged primarily through the use of technology. This article gives strategies for recruiting and managing this group of hard-working, self-assured, team-oriented, capable, and creative group of volunteers through technology and other means.

A Partnership Model for Training Episodic Environmental Stewardship 4-H Volunteers
Young, Jane Chin; Alexander, Janice; Smith, Martin H.
The Marin Environmental Stewardship pilot project demonstrates the potential for a partnership model that brings together external and internal collaborators to recruit and train episodic 4-H volunteers to meet environmental education needs within a community. The clientele served by the volunteers trained through the project was at-risk, urban youth. In this model, the University of California Cooperative Extension provided project design and leadership, youth development professionals, and natural resources expertise. The community partner provided volunteers, training facility, transportation for field trips, community sites for service, and support material for program delivery. The resulting framework provided a strategy for other professionals.

Connecting Volunteers and Agents: A Social Constructionist Perspective
Dillivan, K. D.
Extension volunteers benefit from participation in training activities. Furthermore, Extension personnel are best positioned to provide volunteers with relevant training. However, trainers neglecting relationship building and failing to attend to the communicative process may achieve unsatisfactory results. Social constructionism, a theoretical model for knowledge construction, offers a viable approach for relationship enhancement between agents and volunteers. Social constructionism frames a collaborative learning environment in which dialogue is the principal mode of discourse.

Organizing a Community "Biggest Loser" Weight Loss Challenge
Jensen, Kirstin D.
The program described here shows how Extension can be a strong collaborative partner in a rural setting in improving the overall health of the community by organizing a three month "Biggest Loser" Weight Loss Challenge. A pre-and post-fitness assessment and bi-weekly weigh-ins were administered. Three healthy lifestyle educational programs were provided, and a 3-month follow-up behavior change survey was collected. The program has been a tremendous success, with 588 participants losing 2,357.2 lbs. over the past 3 years.

The Art and Science of Rain Barrels: A Service Learning Approach to Youth Watershed Action
Rector, Patricia; Lyons, Rachel; Yost, Theresa
Using an interdisciplinary approach to water resource education, 4-H Youth Development and Environmental Extension agents enlisted 4-H teens to connect local watershed education with social action. Teens participated in a dynamic service learning project that included learning about nonpoint source pollution; constructing, decorating, and teaching families about rain barrels; and selling the barrels at the county fair. The program resulted in significant knowledge increase among the teens. Furthermore, rain barrel installation rates were higher than the average rates of similar Extension programs. This program, while small in scale, illustrates the potential of employing teens as teachers in interdisciplinary Extension programs.

Tools of the Trade

Application of Crossover Design for Conducting Rigorous Extension Evaluations
Jayaratne, K. S. U.; Bird, Carolyn L.; McClelland, Jacquelyn W.
With the increasing demand for accountability of Extension programming, Extension professionals need to apply rigorous evaluation designs. Randomized designs are useful to eliminate selection biases of program participants and to improve the accuracy of evaluation. However, randomized control designs are not practical to apply in Extension program evaluation. This article explains how to use the crossover design as a practical tool for evaluating Extension programs rigorously. This design can be used to evaluate any Extension program with two or more curricula presented to client groups in multiple counties.

Encouraging Rain Garden Installation with a Smart Phone App
Dietz, Michael; Dickson, David
A smart phone mobile application (app) has been created to assist landscapers, contractors and home owners in designing, installing, and maintaining rain gardens. It seeks to address water quality issues by taking advantage of the rapidly increasing use of mobile devices to access educational information and complement existing in-person educational efforts to address water quality issues. In addition to a series of tutorials, the app includes several interactive tools to help users size their garden, evaluate their soils, and select proper plants. The initial version of the app is focused on Connecticut, but a national version is planned.

Caught with Your Plants Down? There's an App for That!
Beckerman, Janna L.; Sadof, Clifford S.
With or without pesticides, effective management of pests of trees in urban landscapes depends upon an accurate diagnosis. We describe how the Purdue Tree Doctor I-phone app was developed for use by homeowners and landscape professionals to diagnose tree problems and identify solutions. We then discuss how this resident smartphone app can be used in users' moment of learning need to provide diagnostic and management solutions to plant health problems.

Breaking the Code: The Creative Use of QR Codes to Market Extension Events
Hill, Paul; Mills, Rebecca; Peterson, GaeLynn; Smith, Janet
The use of smartphones has drastically increased in recent years, heralding an explosion in the use of QR codes. The black and white square barcodes that link the physical and digital world are everywhere. These simple codes can provide many opportunities to connect people in the physical world with many of Extension online resources. The challenge is change. Extension faculty must use QR codes so that a savvy public will try something new.

Improving Interactive Workshops: A Case Study of GIS Workshops
Guevara, Corina; Swett, Robert; Monroe, Martha C.
Traditional training in geospatial technologies consists of lecturing for up to 45 minutes, giving a demonstration, and then assigning a hands-on software exercise. This educational approach, however, can be improved upon to increase learning and retention by adults. In this article, a more active learning design is presented that was used to improve Geographic Information System training workshops for university faculty, staff, and students.

Sustaining Members, Volunteers, and Leaders in Community Organizations
Culp, Ken, III
Community organizations must be self-sustaining in order to remain active, viable, and strong. The three primary steps involved in sustaining members, volunteers, and leaders include evaluate, recognize, and either retain, redirect, or disengage. A volunteer performance evaluation will determine whether individual and organizational goals are being met. Whether formal or informal, recognition helps volunteers feel they are making a meaningful contribution to the organization and its programs and clientele. The final step in Sustain includes one of three options: retain, redirect, or disengage. At the conclusion of the cycle, a volunteer may enter only one of these three steps.

Externships in Sustainability Program as an Outreach Tool for Extension
Apel, Mark; Mostafa, Ayman; Brandau, Bill; Garfin, Gregg
In 2011, Arizona Cooperative Extension implemented Externships in Sustainability, a program in which undergraduate students conduct community-based sustainability projects. In contrast to internships, in which students shadow a professional, externship students apply their skills to community outreach. Extension faculty proposed projects and recruited undergraduates from within their communities to execute the projects. Students were given responsibility for planning, implementation, and Extension. Agents, students, and communities have benefited from improved relationships between the university and communities, and through rainwater harvesting, community gardens, and other projects to increase resilience. Extension programs in other states could adopt this model to reap similar benefits.

Dollars Works 2: The Evolution of a Financial Literacy Program
Petersen, Cindy M.; Heins, Rosemary K.; Katras, Mary Jo
Dollar Works 2 is a comprehensive personal financial education program to help individuals and families strengthen their skills, better manage their personal finances, and make sound decisions about money. This article chronicles the evolution of a curriculum to enhance and modify materials to improve learning and meet the needs of multiple audiences resulting in effective programming.

The Wildlife Habitat Education Program: Moving from Contest Participation to Implementation
Allen, Kevin ; Elmore, R. Dwayne; Harper, Craig
Do members participating in the Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) apply knowledge gained by implementing wildlife management practices at the local level? 4-H members who participated in the National WHEP Contest from 2003 - 2005 and 2007 - 2011 completed an evaluation at the end of each contest. The evaluation asked participants if they implemented wildlife management practices. Results suggest that participation in WHEP has a positive influence on the implementation of wildlife management practices at the local level.


Nutrition Education Brings Behavior and Knowledge Change in Limited-Resource Older Adults
McClelland, Jacquelyn W.; Jayaratne, K. S. U.; Bird, Carolyn L.
A prospective, controlled, randomized, crossover design was used to examine a nutrition education curriculum's effects on knowledge and behavior of 463 limited-resource older adults in 13 counties. Counties were randomized to begin with the treatment or control curriculum and then the remaining curriculum. Participants completed a pre-test before beginning, a post-test at the completion of the first curriculum, and another post-test at the completion of the remaining curriculum. Significant results provide an evidence base for this intervention's effectiveness. The study reported here provides factors that can contribute to Extension outreach to limited-resource older adult audiences and to Extension scholarship.

Information Needs and Challenges Faced by Adult Child Financial Caregivers of Aging Parents
Swanson, Patti C Wooten
The exploratory study reported here examined needs and challenges faced by "financial caregivers" for aging parents. Focus group interviews revealed how caregivers (N=22) assisted their parent(s) and financial information needed. Findings indicated most caregivers needed information about later life financial products and processes, and some needed basic financial literacy skills. Caregiver challenges included concerns about adequacy of parents' resources, difficulty communicating about finances, finding/organizing parents' records, accessing parents' accounts, and selecting/financing long-term care. The author concludes caregivers need and could benefit from financial education. She recommends segmenting the caregiver population and targeting subgroups with appropriate methods and messages.

The eXtension Employed Family Caregiver Survey: Highlights from Data Gathered from Wisconsin Employees and Employers in 2010 and 2011
Nordgren, Peggy; Zuege-Halvorsen Teri; Malek, Faye; Barber, Clifton E.
Given longer life expectancy, family care of impaired adults has become increasingly common. Frequently, this care is rendered by individuals who are also employed. To collect information on employed caregiving, guided by the objective of making employers more aware of employed caregiving issues, a team of Wisconsin Extension educators developed the Employed Family Caregiver Survey available on the national eXtension website under the auspices of the Family Caregiving Community of Practice. This article reports highlights of survey data from 1,009 employees during 2010 and 2011, and describes the findings of follow-up interviews with six Wisconsin employers who were survey participants.

Serving the Needs of Separating and Divorcing Families: A National Survey of Extension Parenting Education Programs and Resources
Mulroy, Maureen T.; Riffe, Jane; Brandon, Denise; Lo, Yi-An; Vaidyanath, Harini
An online survey was developed to map Extension's presence in divorce education initiatives and to catalogue the amount, type, and availability of resources that each state has dedicated to meeting the needs of this parent audience. Requests for participation were sent to members on the National Extension Human Service listserv and resulted in representation from 48 out of 50 states and one U. S. territory. Results document a national presence, outline the nature and expression of Extension divorce education programs, and suggest a direction for future collaboration related to this topic.

Extension-Led Economic Development Model—A Recipe for Success
Bowen-Ellzey, Nancy; Davis, Greg; Romich, Eric; Lloyd, Mike
Staffing, funding, and sustaining collaborative economic development organizations that provide the full range of programming require resources and cooperation. Extension-led economic development organizations, because they are tied to university resources grounded in research and education and without local jurisdictional bias, can build public trust and cooperative partnerships that help to broaden funding support for economic development programming.

Community Garden Information Systems: Analyzing and Strengthening Community-Based Resource Sharing Networks
Loria, Kristen
Extension professionals play an increasingly central role in supporting community garden and other community-based agriculture projects. With growing interest in community gardens as tools to improve community health and vitality, the best strategies for supporting these projects should be explored. Due to the importance of inter-personal networks in providing informational, material, and human resources for community garden projects, the analytical tool of information system analysis is potentially useful for Extension efforts in this field. The evaluation reported here can be used to inform Extension and other community-based programming to articulate and strengthen such community garden networks.

Perceptions of Food Animal Welfare in Extension: Results of a Two-State Survey
Cantrell, Randy; Lubben, Bradley; Reese, Duane
Food animal welfare has become a contentious issue, pitting agricultural producers against an array of animal advocacy groups. The stakes in this debate are large both economically and culturally. Extension is likely to find itself squarely in the middle as it attempts to reconcile decades of research aimed at increased productivity with initiatives demanding changes in well-established production practices. Extension's reputation as a source of unbiased, research-based information will depend in part upon personal opinions that faculty bring to the debate. A survey of Iowa and Nebraska Extension faculty demonstrates that variation in opinion with implications for educational efforts.

Educating Immigrant Hispanic Foodservice Workers About Food Safety Using Visual-Based Training
Rajagopal, Lakshman
Providing food safety training to a diverse workforce brings with it opportunities and challenges that must be addressed. The study reported here provides evidence for benefits of using visual-based tools for food safety training when educating immigrant, Hispanic foodservice workers with no or minimal English language skills. Using visual tools along with hands-on training improved knowledge scores of foodservice workers about thermometer use and cleaning and sanitizing procedures. Extension personnel can use similar educational tools along with accommodation for cultural differences for effective training of immigrant Hispanic workers employed in foodservice and lodging operations, farms, and meat processing plants.

Using a Reverse Auction Approach to Promote Indoor Water Conservation
Bakacs, Michele E.; Obropta, Chris; Rossi, Elaine; Barnett, Katie
Encouraging water conservation among residents is important even in high rainfall regions. Rebates are often used to encourage upgrades to water-efficient fixtures and appliances. The study reported here used a reverse auction approach to examine the amount of compensation needed for residents of water-rich regions to install water saving technology in their homes. Results showed that on average a 30% rebate was needed for residents to upgrade their fixtures and appliances. Lessons learned from the study can assist other Extension programs in implementing an auction-based approach for encouraging adoption of improved environmental practices in a community.

Barriers to Utilization of Municipal Biomass Residues for Bioenergy
Fratanduono, Megan-Beth L.; Steelman, Toddi A.; Peterson, M. Nils; McHale, Melissa; Fratanduono, D. E.
Municipal biomass residues (MBR) are plentiful in the southeastern U.S. Despite favorable economic and policy contexts, few cities generate bioenergy from MBR. We hypothesized that the perspectives of the actors managing MBR have hindered implementation. We conducted interviews among stakeholders in Wake County, NC to investigate MBR use. Barriers that prevented stakeholders from adopting MBR to energy programs included lack of economic incentives for key practices, lack of credible enforcement for MBR use regulations, and poor communication. We discuss opportunities for Extension specialists to facilitate stakeholder interactions related to MBR utilization and bioenergy.

Research in Brief

A Phenomenological Look at 4-H Volunteer Motives for Service
Schrock, Jessalyn; Kelsey, Kathleen D.
Volunteers play a vital role in 4-H programs. Without their service, many programs would not be possible. Understanding volunteer motives provides Extension educators with tools for finding high-quality volunteers. The research reported here used McClelland's (1985) framework for motivation (affiliation, achievement, and power) and phenomenological research design to discover what motivates volunteers to serve as leaders for a 4-H club. The findings support McClelland's description of the need for affiliation and achievement. It is recommended that Extension volunteer leaders select volunteers that exhibit a high need for affiliation and achievement to serve the 4-H organization.

Youth Motivation to Participate in Animal Science-Related Career Development Events
Lancaster, Kendra; Knobloch, Neil; Jones, Amy; Brady, Colleen
The explorative study reported here describes youth participants in three animal science-related career development events from 2010. Variables included students' self-efficacy, task value motivation, career interests, and to what extent they utilized resources in preparation. It was concluded that all three groups were self-efficacious, interested in animal science-related careers, and were intrinsically task value motivated. The top five resource materials were judging workouts, invitational contests, videos/DVDs, coach-created materials, and websites.

Creating a Minnesota Statewide SNAP-Ed Program Evaluation
Gold, Abby; Barno, Trina Adler; Sherman, Shelley; Lovett, Kathleen; Hurtado, G. Ali
Systematic evaluation is an essential tool for understanding program effectiveness. This article describes the pilot test of a statewide evaluation tool for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education (SNAP-Ed). A computer algorithm helped Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) build surveys specific to their varied educational settings and curricula. The algorithm determined whether a written evaluation survey was appropriate for audiences and provided a selection of questions based on key nutrition messages presented. Feedback from CNEs regarding the evaluation tool-building process with pre-existing questions indicated that, with revisions, there was value in implementing it on a statewide basis.

Mid-Atlantic Consumer Purchasing Behavior and Knowledge of Locally Grown and Seasonal Produce
Chamberlain, Amy J.; Kelley, Kathleen M.; Hyde, Jeffrey
Mid-Atlantic urban consumers were surveyed on their fruit and vegetable purchasing behaviors and their knowledge of produce grown in the region. Consumers were generally unaware of what produce is grown in the mid-Atlantic and during what months they are harvested. Additionally, differences pertaining to number of produce items purchased were exhibited based on demographic characteristics. Extension educators are advised of these trends as a basis to develop marketing and consumer educational efforts.

Growers' Perceptions and Adoption Practices of Integrated Pest Management in West Virginia
Vommi, Hari K.; LaVergne, Douglas D.; Gartin, Stacy A.
Integrated Pest Management implementation continues to be an important topic among growers. Although the continuing concerns over the residual effects of pesticides have prompted government regulations to encourage environmentally friendly approaches to pest management, adoption levels remain stagnant. The study reported here investigates the perceptions and IPM adoption practices of corn growers in West Virginia. Respondents agreed that repeated use of herbicides and insecticides with the same mode of action leads to herbicide-resistant weeds and insecticide-resistant insect pests. Additionally, scouting was the most commonly used IPM practice for insect, disease, and weed control. Recommendations for practice are also discussed.

Public Preferences for Water Resource Topics and Information Sources in the Southern United States
Borisova, Tatiana; Smolen, Michael; Boellstorff, Diane E.; McFarland, Mark L.; Adams, Damian
In a 2008-2009 regional survey, one in six respondents indicated that s(he) received water resource information from Extension. Respondents were most interested in learning about protecting drinking water and fish and wildlife water needs. The interest in other topics depended on respondents' residence inside or outside city limits and involvement in agricultural activities. Respondents preferred learning about water resources from television coverage, newspaper articles, printed materials, or websites (for younger respondents).

Using Impact Analysis to Document a Forest Products Sector's Contributions to Ohio's Economy
McConnell, T. Eric
Economic impacts are often determined by input-output analysis using IMPLAN software. IMPLAN can provide valuable information to producer groups and community leaders, and Extension is well positioned to offer this service through applied research programs. Sawmilling and wood preservation (SWP) is a key sector in Ohio's forest economy, and its impacts were modeled for 2009. The SWP directly employed 1,700 citizens and produced $364 million in industrial output. Total impacts amounted to 4,500 workers being employed because of SWP activities, with industrial output totaling $724 million. This information has raised awareness of SWP's importance in communities and assisted with policymaking decisions.

Characteristics of Extension Demonstration Gardens
Glen, Charlotte D.; Moore, Gary E.; Jayaratne, K. S. U.; Bradley, Lucy K.
Extension agents across the country are using demonstration gardens to teach a variety of horticultural principles and practices. Descriptive data about the physical and management characteristics of gardens maintained for Extension programming in North Carolina were gathered from 35 horticulture agents. Gardens were found to most likely be developed at the county Extension center, be less than 0.5 acres, display a combination of edible and ornamental plants, and occur in counties with populations over 100,000 where Master Gardener Programs include at least 25 active volunteers. Master Gardener Volunteers emerged as the major source of funding and support for these gardens.