Skip to main content

UF/IFAS researchers’ Extension paper honored

David Diehl.  Family, Youth and Community Sciences. Glen IsraelAlexa Lamm.  AG-AG ED AND COMMUNICATION

Cutline: UF/IFAS faculty members co-wrote a paper that the Journal of Exention named as its Oustanding Feature for 2013. Pictured from left are co-authors David Diehl, an associate professor in the department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences; Glenn Israel, a professor of agricultural education and communication and Alexa Lamm, an assistant professor of agricultural education and communication and associate director of the Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources at UF. The reseach asked extension agents in eight states to report how they study and evaluate the long-term outcomes of their best programs.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Three University of Florida/IFAS researchers have been honored with the 2013 Outstanding Feature Award for their study, published in the Journal of Extension.

As part of its 50th anniversary, the journal recognized the article, “A National Perspective on the Current Evaluation Activities in Extension.”

Alexa Lamm, an assistant professor of agricultural education and communication and associate director of the Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources; Glenn Israel, a professor of agricultural education and communication and David Diehl, an associate professor in the department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences co-authored the paper.

The UF/IFAS study surveyed 1,173 county-based Extension agents in eight states ─ Florida, Arizona, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina and Wisconsin. Researchers asked the Extension professionals how they collect and report their evaluation data to measure short- and long-term outcomes while also evaluating their best Extension program.

Specifically, respondents reviewed the methods and outcomes for what they considered their “best” or “most important” Extension program.

Reviewers commended the feature article for addressing evaluation, a critical area for Extension programming nationwide.

For this honor, reviewers rated articles on several criteria, including whether the article expanded or updated Extension practitioners’ research and knowledge base. The reviewers also considered the articles’ usefulness, and implications for a wide audience of Extension professionals.

In addition, reviewers examined how well the articles captured and held readers’ attention and whether the authors used easy-to-understand language.

“I ranked the article highly because it addressed a highly relevant issue applicable to all of Extension, while also modeling a methodology to address that issue ─ survey and quantitative analysis,” said Doug Stienbarger, county director at Washington State University Clark County Extension. “I also found the article well-written and concise. I have seen many in Extension struggle to assess and document behavior change.”

The Journal of Extension started publishing in the spring of 1963. It has evolved throughout the past 50 years, but the feature article has been a mainstay of the publication from the beginning, said Julie Garden-Robinson, a professor in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences and an extension specialist at North Dakota State University. Garden-Robinson also is on the Journal of Extension Board of Directors.

Visit www.joe.org/joe/2013february/a1.php to read the 2013 outstanding feature article.

By Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu

Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, 701-231-7187, Julie.garden-robinson@ndsu.edu