The Journal of Extension -

August 2018 // Volume 56 // Number 4 // Editorial // v56-4ed1

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Upcoming JOE Special Issue and August JOE Highlights

In “Upcoming JOE Special Issue,” the first section of the Editor’s Page, I announce a special issue of JOE that will be published next month. In “August JOE Highlights,” I identify several offerings in this issue that feature or relate in some way to the concept of connectivity and preview just some of the wide range of topics addressed in the issue.

Debbie Allen
Editor, Journal of Extension

Upcoming JOE Special Issue

Next month, we will publish a special issue on innovations in Extension. We are excited to share with JOE readers inspiring and inventive initiatives their colleagues are undertaking. The issue will showcase innovations related to organizational direction, professional development experiences, Extension audiences, delivery methods, uses of today’s technologies, and more. As is noted in this issue’s Commentary "Coming to Grips with the Way the World Works," a conversation on innovation and change is taking place within Extension at a national level and associated action throughout the organization must occur. Next month’s special issue will contribute substantially to this conversation and provide inspiration for actions that will characterize Extension’s future.

August JOE Highlights

A watchword for this issue of JOE might be connection. The issue is replete with articles discussing successes stemming from collaborations and other cooperative endeavors. For example, the Feature "Community Development in the Digital Age: Role of Extension" describes an approach to generating change through rich, methodical partnering with members of the communities Extension serves. Several articles describe efforts in varied subject matter areas that center on collaboration within Extension or across university entities. These include the Feature "The Role of Extension in a University’s Response to a Natural Disaster," the Ideas at Work articles "Crossing Lines: Integrating Law and Economics in Farmland Leasing Workshops" and "Using Speed Meetings to Connect Extension Experts with University Health Researchers," and the Tools of the Trade contribution "Data Parties I Have Known: Lessons Learned and Best Practices for Success." Still other articles, such as the Ideas at Work entry "Applied Research Engages Extension Master Gardener Volunteers" and the Tools of the Trade article "Increasing Extension Visibility by Involving Undergraduates in Research," describe ways to facilitate Extension research and gain other benefits by working with volunteers or students. Additionally, connection is an underlying theme of the work or concepts presented in many articles beyond those mentioned here.

Of course, the issue contains valuable content on a multitude of other topics as well. The Feature "Exploration of Engaged Practice in Cooperative Extension and Implications for Higher Education," the Ideas at Work entry "Surfing Waves of Change: Building Organizational Capacity in Extension Through Leadership Programs," and other articles suggest directions for Extension as an organization. Agricultural topics are the focus of the Research in Brief contributions "Defining Mob Grazing in the Upper Midwestern United States" and "What Extension Personnel Should Know About Midwestern Goat Producers" and the Tools of the Trade entry "Graphically Communicating Hay Test Results—A Tale of Two Nutrients." The authors of "RELAX to Relajarse: A Framework for Culturally Adapting Educational Programming in Extension," in the Tools of the Trade category, document a well-thought-out process for converting existing curriculum for use with ethnically diverse audiences. Other articles addressing Extension’s engagement of underserved groups include the Feature "Gender and Racial Disparities in a Youth Urban Agriculture Workshop," the Research in Brief entry "Latinos Living Well—A Diabetes Education Program for Rural-Residing Latinos," and the Tools of the Trade article "Strategies for 4-H Program Planning and Recruitment Relative to African American Male Youths." The issue is rounded out with articles addressing varied other findings, concepts, and perspectives of significance to JOE readers.