Considering Participants’ Personal Wellness in Conservation-Based Extension Programs: Opportunities for Integrative Development and Evaluation

Energy efficient living, or living green, is becoming increasingly popular. Thanks in part to UF/IFAS Extension faculty, this home and others are being built to high energy efficiency standards designed to conserve energy, lower heating and cooling bills and increase comfort, as well as save on water use both inside and outside. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

Extension organizations are at the forefront of water resource issues, using educational programs to drive participant behaviors towards water conservation. The effectiveness of these efforts centers on designing programs with considerations of the factors that will change relevant decisions and behaviors among residential landscape water users. We conducted a statewide study to explore the concept of wellness and well-being, and these characteristics’ relationship to water conservation behaviors. Our results show that psychosocial measures influence current and future residential landscape water conservation behaviors differently. Perception of well-being is the more consistent predictor for both current behaviors and future intentions. These results demonstrate an opportunity for those focused on environmental behaviors to pair and embed programs focused on personal well-being to empower communities to work toward achieving conservation goals.

Conducting the Needs Assessment #2: Using Needs Assessments in Extension Programming

Duval County Extension Agent Anita McKinney teaches a "Smart Money" course at the Jacksonville City Rescue Mission in Jacksonville, Florida.

This second publication in the Conducting the Needs Assessment series provides Extension educators and other service providers with a foundational underpinning of how the needs assessment fits within the program planning process. Both formal and nonformal educators seeking to develop and deliver an educational program must first be informed of what their audience lacks in order to develop the right curriculum or training, and therefore conducting a needs assessment is a priority in the program development process. This new publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication was written by Matthew Benge and Laura Warner.

School-Based 4-H Programming: Incorporating Family Engagement into Your Program

family sillouhetted against horizon

Family engagement in 4-H programs allows family members, youth, and the community to become more aware, cohesive, and invested in youth development. This 4-page fact sheet, written by Vanessa Spero-Swingle and published by the UF/IFAS Florida 4-H Youth Development Program, discusses how to incorporate family engagement into your 4-H school programming. For the purposes of Florida 4-H, a school-based program can be defined as school enrichment (offered to groups of youth, taught by Extension staff or trained volunteers, and designed to support the school curriculum), an in-school club following a more traditional club approach during school hours, or an after-school club operating directly after school hours.

School-Based 4-H Programming: Middle and High School-Age Youth Programs

Transparent image of 4-H'ers sharing academic project details with adult. Statement in foreground reads, "4-H School Enrichment: A series of well-planned experiences – a minimum of six hours – during regular school hours. (Background image credits: USDA)

All youth, regardless of age, are at risk for engaging in negative behaviors that can get them into trouble during the afterschool hours when parents and other family members are at work. Middle and high school-age youth are at an age where they can most benefit from increasing opportunities to participate in programs with a positive adult role model, gain necessary life skills, and increase their knowledge of accessible opportunities. Middle and high school programs have the potential to support graduation rates and increase post-secondary school success. This 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Florida 4-H Youth Development Program provides strategies for success in developing these programs in your community. Written by Vanessa Spero-Swingle.

School-Based 4-H Programming: Working with Partners Effectively

Two people during an interview. (UF/IFAS photo by Marisol Amador)

Partnerships open a world of possibilities. Partnerships provide an opportunity for multiple organizations to address community challenges while benefiting at the same time through shared resources, funding, personnel, and expertise. Desiring to partner with a school-based site is beneficial, but not always easy to implement. Being professional in your collaboration, prepared in your assessment, and intentional about your needs are ways to increase the likelihood of a successful partnership. This 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Florida 4-H Youth Development program offers tips and strategies to build healthy, mutually beneficial partnerships in your program. Written by Vanessa Spero-Swingle.

Developing a Mentorship Program in Higher Education Institutions

Founder of The Heritage lab and Wikipedian Medhabi as mentor

Higher education institutions are currently tackling a growing number of organizational challenges that have forced departments to evolve their business practices. Administrators faced with the need for more diverse programs must decide whether to develop talent internally or recruit new qualified candidates. Given the great cost of faculty searches and the perceived diminishing availability of talented applicants, it is imperative that administrators understand the value of mentoring relationships to fill openings with qualified candidates. However, formal mentoring programs have been slow to develop in higher education institutions. This new 4-page publication defines mentorship, explains the value of mentorship, and describes how mentoring programs can be established. Written by Jonathan M. Orsini, Matthew P. Benge, and Hannah S. Carter, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.

Stakeholder-Identified Barriers, Challenges, and Obstacles in Community Gardens

Community Garden

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.

How Do Floridians Perceive Their Role in Protecting Water Quality and Quantity Through Landscape Practices?

suburban landscape

Florida is faced with challenges in protecting both water quality and quantity; the state’s incredible number of home landscapes can positively or negatively impact water depending on how landscapes are managed. In 2016, Florida residents with irrigated landscapes were surveyed in order to create more effective Extension programs regarding landscape best management practices. This 4-page document discusses the results of this survey. Written by Laura A. Sanagorski Warner, Alexa J. Lamm, and Anil Kumar Chaudhary and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, January 2018.

Overview of Extension Program Planning Models

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.

Repackaging as a Strategy to Increase Efficiency in Extension Programs

Figure 1. A representation of the potential reach of the research invested in one email when repackaged for various audiences.Repackaging is a way to reuse the research and writing one has done on a particular topic by formatting it in multiple formats for several audiences. It can be used as a strategy to reach a greater variety of audiences with fewer resources. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Laura A. Sanagorski, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, October 2013.

Finding Grant Opportunities to Support County Extension Programs (WC134)

hands hold sunlightThis 3-page fact sheet presents information about where to look for grant opportunities, what to look for when reviewing grant opportunities, and how to determine if the opportunity fits your idea. Written by Amy Harder, Alexa Lamm, and Sebastian Galindo, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, December 2012.

What is an Extension Program? (WC108)

This 3-page fact sheet provides a definition for the term program and discusses the primary components included in a program. Written by Glenn Israel, Amy Harder, and Cheri Winton Brodeur , and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, May 2011.

WC089 Planned Behavior Change: An Overview of the Diffusion of Innovations

WC089, a 4-page illustrated by Amy Harder, is designed to provide an overview of how the principles of diffusion can be applied to facilitate planned behavior change in Extension clientele. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, July 2009.