Characteristics and barriers impacting the diffusion of e-extension among Texas Cooperative Extension County Extension agentsHarder, Amy Marie 15 May 2009 (has links)
The overall purpose of this study was to understand the influence of selected factors on the adoption of eXtension by Texas Cooperative Extension County Extension agents. Specifically, the study looked at how the relationships between stage in the innovation-decision process, characteristics of agents, characteristics of the innovation, and barriers to adoption affect the diffusion of eXtension. A random sample of 237 agents was selected for participation in the study. A majority of agents reported they were in the knowledge stage (52%); 31% had no knowledge of the innovation; 8% were in the implementation stage; 3% were in the persuasion stage; 3% were in the decision stage and 2% were in the confirmation stage. Respondents had positive perceptions of relative advantage, compatibility, complexity and trialability as those characteristics related to eXtension. They had the most positive perceptions of complexity. They did not perceive eXtension to have a high degree of observability. Agents perceived at least five barriers existed to the adoption of eXtension. Reducing or eliminating these barriers, particularly the barrier related to concerns about time, would be expected to positively affect the rate of adoption. Agents’ perceptions of complexity and compatibility significantly differed by primary agent role and gender, respectively. The differences may be attributable to varying job experiences based upon role and gender. Agents’ perceptions of a lack of eXtension incentives significantly differed by education. Significant relationships existed between selected characteristics of eXtension and potential barriers to the adoption of eXtension. Based on the findings, offering monetary incentives may increase the rate of adoption, and decrease agents’ financial concerns. Significantly more respondents reported they were in the “no knowledge” stage in the innovation-decision than would be expected to occur by chance. Agents may have ignored repeated messages about eXtension because it was not perceived as consistent with their attitudes and beliefs. This implication should be noted by those hoping to increase the diffusion of eXtension. On a broader level, these findings support expanding the model of the innovation-decision process to include the “no knowledge” stage.
An Analysis of African American Farmer Participation in Virginia Cooperative Extension: An Emphasis on the Small Farm Outreach and Technical Assistance ProgramSmith, Maurice Devoe Jr. 25 January 2013 (has links)
This research study examined African American farmer participation in Virginia Cooperative Extension as a step toward fully understanding the role participation plays in supporting African American farmers as legitimate learners within the Cooperative Extension system. This study, therefore, focused on exploring participation in African American farmer programs through the single case of Virginia Cooperative Extension\'s Small Farm Outreach and Technical Assistance Program. This program, which is housed at Virginia State University, aims to support minority farmers who have limited access to benefits from USDA programs. Historically, limited resource farmers have been challenged to gain full access to programs offered by Cooperative Extension. <br />Using a qualitative case study design, individual interviews were conducted with African American farmers, extension specialists, small farm agents, and the program administrators. Two focus groups were conducted with the Small Farm Program agents and another with African American farmers that participated in the program. A review of the findings indicated that the Small Farm Outreach and Technical Assistance at Virginia State University provide various educational opportunities to African American farmers. The program provides one-on-one technical assistance, distribution of information, USDA loan application assistance, workshops and conferences, and networking. Participants stated that agents being "hands on" was a great way to talk and effectively provide assistance to them. The findings for the study characterized barriers relaying from challenges in the program to communication between program and farmers. Family motivation, technology, and the USDA were other unknown barriers that were revealed in the study. <br />The data suggest improvements for the program; first, the involvement of more farmers in the program planning of educational opportunities at Virginia State University would increase participation. Second, the current evaluation of strategies should be continued as a method of usage. However, a pre and post survey should be conducted to analyze and discover farmer\'s usage in modern to traditional communication systems. Third, providing additional technological advancement training to agents, specialists, and director to be more advance in the new age, and lastly at conferences and/or workshops, construct more engaging informative discussions on adult learning and farm family motivation factors. / Master of Science in Life Sciences
Jenke, Sarah Lynne
30 September 2004
This project is designed to determine the impact that Texas 4-H shooting sports has on its youth and the State of Texas using research from a study done 1991 and another study done in 2002. The purpose of these two studies was to analyze the amount of life skills gained by youth through their involvement in the Texas 4-H shooting sports program, to see how much parents are willing to spend to have their children participate in this program, and also to evaluate if the state of Texas incurs some economic gain due to the amount of money spent by parents. This study uses existing data from two surveys that were completed in 1991 and 2002 at Texas 4-H shooting sports state competition(s). The target population for both of the surveys consisted of youth participants and parents. These two surveys are the same in their attitudinal structure, but are different because the 2002 survey also includes cost analyses. The major findings were as follows: 1.)Involvement in the Texas 4-H shooting sports program does have a positive impact on the life skills gained by youth. 2.)Money being spent on youth by their parents to be a part of the Texas 4-H shooting program helps the state of Texas incur some economic gain due to travel and shooting expenses being made in the state 3.)Youth representing Texas shooting sports are also having a national impact due to the amount of money they are spending traveling and shooting in other cities. 4.)Youth representing Texas shooting sports are having a competitive shooting impact not only in Texas, but on the nation as well. 5.)Youth involved in the 4-H shooting program are spending more quality time with family members and practicing more with supervised instruction. 6.)The state of Texas is spending close to $55,000 per year to keep one juvenile delinquent housed in a correctional facility when it cost $4,000 a year to participate in 4-H shooting sports.
An analysis of selected human relations factors relative to county personnel in the Nebraska Cooperative Extension ServiceLoewenstein, Duane Evan, January 1961 (has links)
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Wisconsin--Madison, 1961. / Typescript. Vita. eContent provider-neutral record in process. Description based on print version record. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 134-137).
Arizona Cooperative Extension strives to address community issues and needs through a research based educational process. The specific foci of the Extension agent gradually changed over time. Today's Arizona Extension agents should have good communication skills as they work to identify community resources, form community partnerships, and develop educational materials, among other things. The study sought to describe how Arizona Extension agents utilize nine communication technologies: cell phones, Smartphones, tablet computers, wikis, blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Greater than half of the participants utilized each mobile device included in the study (cell phones, Smartphones, and tablet computers). Facebook was a widely used social media tool. The researcher suggests that funding and professional development may play key roles in Arizona Extension agent technology adoption. Communication technology use should be considered within Cooperative Extension work in order to help agents better serve the clientele.
The Attitudes of Extension Faculty Toward Globalizing Extension Programs: A Case Study of Virginia Cooperative ExtensionLewis, Edwin C. 18 April 2006 (has links)
Over the past several years, many state Cooperative Extension Services have taken inventory of their engagement with international issues, including barriers (real and perceived) to active participation in globalizing programs as well as staff needs for effective communication with diverse audiences. While Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) has actively involved 4-H youth in international exchange programs, they have not engaged in a coherent and proactive effort to globalize all program areas. The study purpose was to assess attitudes of VCE faculty toward globalizing their programming efforts. Also examined were information related to VCE facultyâ s current involvement in globally-focused activities and barriers to globalizing programming efforts. The survey instrument combined various sections of two surveys developed and employed by Barbara Ludwig in studies on Ohio Cooperative Extension. The web-based survey included four sections: 1) Employee Profile, 2) Involvement in International Activities, 3) Perception towards Global Issues, and 4) Perceived Barriers to Globalizing Extension Programs. The target audience included all VCE faculty members (N = 332). Two hundred six faculty members completed the on-line survey. This represents a return rate of 62%. Data revealed that 92% of the respondents were involved in international efforts within the past five years. On a scale of one to four, with four representing the highest level of engagement, campus administrators (mean = 2.66) and specialists (mean = 2.13) were the most involved in international programming effort; the least involved were the district directors (mean = 1.21). â Exchanged ideas with colleagues from other countriesâ and â hosted an international visitorâ were the top two activities performed by faculty. Data also revealed an attitude mean score of 2.9 on a scale from one to four, with four being the most positive. Campus administrators (mean = 3) were the most positive of the four position categories; agents were the least positive (mean = 2.86). Furthermore, the top two barriers to globalizing VCE programs, as identified by respondents, were â lack of financial supportâ and â not a programming priorityâ . Respondents also selected â Lack of timeâ as a major barrier. / Ph. D.
Dorn, Sheri T.
17 April 1999
Master Gardener (MG) volunteers are nonpaid, education partners with Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE). VCE MGs have assisted Extension agents in meeting VCE's educational goals and mission by following the Sustainable Landscape Management educational program objectives within the VCE Plan of Work. Local MG volunteer programs must be managed appropriately so that volunteers are prepared for their work, complete their volunteer jobs, and remain an active part of the local program. Prior to 1996, local agents trained and managed MG volunteers and supervised the projects in which MGs volunteered. Budgetary actions in 1996 transitioned management from state-funded agents to a system of local MG coordinators consisting of locally funded agents, locally funded non-agent coordinators, or volunteers willing to take on additional responsibilities. In order to provide consistent, state-level direction and leadership to this less experienced group of local coordinators and to prepare them for their jobs as MG program managers, current management materials were extensively revised and expanded and new resources were developed. These efforts to ensure that everyone understood the purpose and focus of the VCE MG program resulted in revision of MG program policies; development of new volunteer management materials, VCE publication 426-699 Welcome to Virginia Master Gardenering! Guide to Educational Programming and Resource and Reference Guide; establishment of a MG planning and work team; new management guidelines, the VCE Master Gardener Coordinator Manual; in-service training for coordinators; an administrative website at http://www.ext.vt.edu/vce/specialty/envirohort/mastergard/master.html; the VCE-MGC electronic discussion "listserv" specifically for direct communication with coordinators; and the Virginia Master Gardener Leadership Development Newsletter, the state MG newsletter refocused on the role of Master Gardeners as community leaders and educators. Evaluation of the VCE Master Gardener Coordinator Manual, a 14-chapter resource book developed cooperatively with teams of Master Gardeners (MG), coordinators, and agents to enhance coordinators' skills in managing the local VCE MG program, identified areas for enhancement prior to final publication. It showed that coordinators are using the manual. They are adapting the suggestions and samples to fit their local programs despite the fact that more planning time is often required. Use of the manual has also resulted in increased understanding of VCE goals and the role of the MG by MG volunteers, coordinators, and other paid VCE staff; a slight increase in leadership skills of MGs; and increasing interest and demand for information on training MG to design and implement strong educational horticulture programs for Virginia communities. An assessment of current MG management practices in Virginia measured the adoption of new VCE MG volunteer management guidelines. Results indicated that the MG management practices among local VCE MG coordinators have changed to that of a more professional, long-term relationship that is committed to nurturing the volunteer, the MG program, and VCE educational programming. These changes were noted in areas of volunteer management, such as the role of the local coordinator, use of job descriptions, recruitment, volunteer evaluation, public relations, reporting and record keeping, and retention of volunteers. Although the improvements in management practices were slight, they were encouraging and they indicate areas where state MG management must provide additional training and support to local coordinators. Annual assessment of local MG program management practices will continue to document the progress of local coordinators and determine necessary changes and training needed to achieve more professional, well-managed MG programs. / Master of Science
Development and initial assessment of Texas Cooperative Extension's white-tailed dear management moduleBedgood, Mark Andrew 17 February 2005 (has links)
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the development and initial use of Texas Cooperative Extensions (TCE) White-tailed Deer Management Module (WDMM) delivered over the Internet. The results of this study will provide suggestions about future online wildlife management modules. Data were collected from two populations using questionnaires. A sample of six county Extension agents (CEAs) and four Extension specialists were selected by an Extension wildlife specialist who perceived them to be professionals in the fields of wildlife and range management. This first sample is also referred to as change agents. The second sample, also known as early users, consisted of 27 anonymous CEAs and landowners within TCEs District 10. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect and analyze data. The results are as follows: Thus, the development of WDMM was the responsibility of the Extension specialist and researcher. The Extension specialist and researcher did seek professional opinions on content and layout information. Results suggested that CEAs and Extension specialists agreed the WDMM would be a beneficial educational tool for new landowners. Overall, WDMM was perceived to be user friendly, visually appealing, and provided useful content. Although most change agents responded positively to most questions, there were a few that would like to see more educationally challenging questions. For example, there were a few questions that respondents felt were of the elementary and kindergarten level. They would like more questions concerning management. The majority of early users were in support of WDMM. Data gathered from the WDMM Feedback Questionnaire agreed with data gathered from change agents. In general, most early users said that they were pleased with the WDMM. Recommendations were made based on these findings to expand the WDMM. Some of these include: 1) Expanding WDMM; 2) Replicating this study using random sampling; 3) Collecting computer knowledge and skills and demographics on future studies; 4) Developing similar modules to see if they gain the same positive response.
Relationships of personal value systems to a measure of job satisfaction among personnel of the Florida Agricultural Extension ServiceKing, Emily. January 1961 (has links)
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Wisconsin, 1961. / Extension Repository Collection. Typescript (photocopy). eContent provider-neutral record in process. Description based on print version record. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 91-94).
Factors influencing participation in the beef quality assurance program of the West Virginia Cooperative Extension ServicePeacock, Sara D. January 2003 (has links)
Thesis (M.S.)--West Virginia University, 2003. / Title from document title page. Document formatted into pages; contains vii, 58 p. Vita. Includes abstract. Includes bibliographical references (p. 37-38).
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