December 2013 // Volume 51 // Number 6 // Editorial // v51-6ed1
JOE—50 Years & Counting
In "JOE—50 Years & Counting" I call attention to the support JOE enjoys from Extension Directors, highlight the first Commentary, and describe the last observance of JOE's 50th anniversary celebration, the Outstanding Feature of 2013 Award, to be announce next February. In "December JOE" I call attention to just eight of the 36 fine articles in the issue, which, together, make a fitting end to another good year and a great 50 years.
JOE's 50th anniversary year is drawing to a close. It's been another good year, one of many good years to come. A big reason that JOE has been and will continue to be such a resource for Extension is the support the journal receives from Extension Directors across the country. See JOE's homepage <http://www.joe.org> for an explanation and some well-deserved thanks.
Please also see this issue's first Commentary, "Celebrating JOE's First 50 Years: A Public Good" <http://joe.org/joe/2013december/comm1.php>. Author Joan Thomson not only celebrates JOE's first 50 years, but also presents a challenge for us and for JOE's future. She asks, "Do we, today's Extension educators, understand and practice engaged scholarship?" She declares, "The Journal of Extension must contribute to this evolving process."
JOE's authors surely practice engaged scholarship. And our final 50th anniversary observance will recognize this by bestowing the Outstanding Feature Award of 2013 next February. Distinguished judges have been hard at work evaluating the many fine Features that have been published thus far this year, as they will evaluate the 10 that appear in this issue. The award will be $500.00 dollars distributed to the authors, with no restrictions on how it must be spent. Look for an announcement of the winner in my February 2014 Editor's Page.
The second Commentary in this issue is "Initiating and Sustaining Conversations Between Organic Farmers and Extension" <http://joe.org/joe/2013december/comm2.php>. In it the authors explain that, to engage organic farmers, the "agent as facilitator" must "facilitate knowledge sharing through collaborative, experiential learning instead of relying solely on instruction and diffusion of current 'expert' knowledge." The first Tools of the Trade <http://joe.org/joe/2013december/tt1.php>, "Recommendations for Establishing Extension Programming for Organic Farmers" complement this article.
The sentiments expressed in the second Commentary are echoed and validated in the first Feature, "Transformative Learning in Practice: Examples from Extension Education" <http://joe.org/joe/2013december/a1.php>. The author calls for and cites examples of "better tools to foster interactive dialogue and understanding," of " new ways of interaction, ownership of the learning process, and action."
The second Feature, "African-American Land Loss and Sustainable Forestry in the Southeast: An Analysis of the Issues, Opportunities, and Gaps" <http://joe.org/joe/2013december/a2.php>, explains how "African-Americans' connection to the land is rapidly disappearing" and what Extension can and should do to stem and reverse this loss.
The first Research in Brief asks, "Does Evaluation Competence of Extension Educators Differ by Their Program Area of Responsibility?" <http://joe.org/joe/2013december/rb1.php>. According to the study reported in this article, it does.
Two Ideas at Work articles, "College Readiness for Rural Youth Initiative: Creating a Climate for Success" <http://joe.org/joe/2013december/iw2.php> and "Community Leadership: A New Academic Major" <http://joe.org/joe/2013december/iw3.php>, describe innovative ways to ready rural young people for college and an innovative new academic major they can pursue when they get there, respectively.
That's what? Some eight articles out of 36 that are all well worth reading. A fitting ending to a good year and a great 50 years.