This article outlines meaningful strategies to overcome the program evaluation challenges that early-career Extension professionals face. The strategies outlined in this article are grounded in the experiences of Extension professionals in three states (Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania) and center on providing solutions to the challenges that newer Extension professionals felt were the most important to address, in order to provide a manageable framework for agents to use. This new five-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication was written by John Diaz and Laura Warner.
National trends indicate that school gardens are positioned to become fixtures in primary and secondary education. This 4-page document outlines key outcomes identified through expert consensus that can be used by Extension professionals to develop a logic model for the school garden program. Written by Susan Webb, John Diaz, and Catherine Campbell and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, September 2018.
Research has found that youth involvement in school gardens leads to numerous benefits. However, teachers and support organizations must overcome barriers for garden sustainability. This 4-page document discusses barriers for school garden success and how Extension faculty can help education professionals overcome them. Written by Susan Webb, John Diaz, and Catherine Campbell and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, August 2018.
Florida Extension agents play a vital role in assisting community members to start and sustain community gardens through site visits, workshops, and educational events. This 3-page document discusses the results of a Delphi study conducted in order to create a picture of the barriers, challenges, and obstacles to starting and sustaining community gardens in Florida. Written by Susan Webb and John Diaz and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, March 2018.
Extension clientele often contact agents for expertise on starting or maintaining a community garden; however, agents’ ability to collect meaningful data from these activities can be a challenge. This 3-page publication discusses a statewide study that was conducted by the author to identify community garden outcomes. Written by Susan Webb and John Diaz and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, January 2018.
The use of program plan development models within Extension has a long history of application based on environmental context, interest, and perceived value. The purpose of this 6-page article is to articulate a comparative overview of the various program planning models designed and employed by Extension professionals in education contexts. Written by John Diaz, Cody Gusto, and David Diehl and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, January 2018.
For over a century, Extension programs have used specific program development plans to create or refine services for clientele. This 6-page article seeks to provide an overview of fundamental tenets within program planning, how a planning process informs a development plan, and why these components are integral to Extension services. Written by John Diaz, Cody Gusto, and David Diehl and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, December 2017.
Extension agents serve as a valuable resource in providing teachers with in-service training and technical education to increase their ability to effectively use gardening as an instructional tool. This three-page document provides an outline of important resources to help in the development and sustainability of a school garden program. Written by John M. Diaz and Erin Elsberry and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.
Increasingly, gardeners receive attention for the educational, environmental, health, and social impacts that their projects facilitate within schools and communities. Garden associations allow Extension to play a vital role in providing technical information to support new and existing gardens. This three-page fact sheet outlines the framework used by a pilot garden association program in Polk County, Florida. Written by John M. Diaz, Susan Tyler Webb, and Erin Elsberry and published by the Department of Agriculture Education and Communication.
This four-page article outlines a practical framework built upon best practices that can be used by those considering the development of cross sector partnerships to address environmental and social issues.Written by John M. Diaz and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.