Resiliency and Leadership of Tobacco Producers in Greene County, TN: A Qualitative Study

Melody Rose, Carrie Stephens, Ralph Brockett, Christopher Stripling, & Baylee Jarrell
The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions of current Greene County burley tobacco producers in a declining global tobacco industry. The central research question was “How have you maintained your leadership and resilience in burley tobacco production in Greene County?” Ten Greene County producers participated in this study through an interview conducted utilizing a series of 33 questions aimed at determining specific themes regarding resiliency in their communities, as well as the individual producers’ adaptive leadership styles. Data collected from interviews were synthesized to correlate perceptions of current tobacco production in Greene County from the inception of the tobacco program to present-day regarding cultural norms and economic impact, while simultaneously providing…

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Evaluating Public Perceptions of Agricultural Water Use by Regions to Guide Extension Programming

2018 Outstanding Article
Alexa J. Lamm, Peyton N. Beattie, & Melissa R. Taylor
Agricultural water use accounts for a large portion of water withdrawal in the United States (U.S.). The agricultural industry has recently come under public scrutiny as increased droughts across the nation has led to competition for water. The added pressure has led to an increase in policy aimed at curbing agricultural water use in many parts of the U.S. At the same time, public perception of agricultural water use was at an all-time low with little recognition that agricultural water needs differ depending upon geographic location. The purpose of this study was to evaluate public perceptions of water use across the nation to assist extension educators in the development of programs focused on educating about diverse agricultural water needs. The findings revealed respondents generally trust farmers when it comes to water use and believe farming practices have a positive effect on the natural environment…

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4-H Wildlife Habitat Education Program: A Qualitative Study in Career Exploration

Ronnie L. Cowan, Carrie A. Stephens, Christopher Stripling, Craig Harper, Baylee Jarrell, & Shelby Brawner
Previous studies have documented the Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) builds life skills of 4-H participants. Furthermore, youth education and development of life skills are enhanced through 4-H educational efforts that provide hands-on learning projects and concepts that ultimately assist in career development (Bandura,Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 2001; Bourdeau, 2004. The purpose of this study is to describe WHEP participants’ perceptions of careers in wildlife management after the completion of the annual program. The centralresearch question guiding this study was how do 4-H members view careers in wildlife management after participating in WHEP? A focus group comprised of nine WHEP participants was conducted at the Tennessee 4-H Wildlife Judging contest to determine participants’ perceptions of careers in wildlife management after completion of the annual program…

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An Analysis of Rural North Carolina Superintendents’ Views Regarding the Presence of Future Ready Graduate Attributes within the Instructional Environment

Chastity Warren English, Antoine J. Alston, Anthony Graham, & Frank Richard Roberts
The purpose of this research study was to determine the extent to which future ready graduate attributes are found within the instructional environment of North Carolina’s rural public-school districts, as perceived by their respective superintendents. In relation to the teacher awareness of future ready graduate attributes, it was recognized by Superintendents that teachers appeared to be aware of the majority of the attributes, with the only exception being the attribute of multi- lingual being found to have limited awareness by teachers. Regarding teachers’ reinforcement of the future ready graduate attributes in the instructional environment, the attributes of multi- lingual, health-focused life- long learner, and self-directed responsible worker, were noted to be reinforced “to a limited extent”…

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Integrating Food Science into High School Agricultural Education in Tennessee

John C. Ricketts, Sandria Godwin, & Paula E. Faulkner
One in six Americans is affected by foodborne illnesses, but agricultural education can reduce such instances. Raw and undercooked poultry and eggs are often associated with foodborne illnesses. Educating consumers about the safe handling of poultry and eggs is an important component of reducing foodborne illnesses. Secondary agricultural education can help with this issue. In Tennessee there are a number of pathways and courses integrating food safety/science in high school agricultural education programs, and a new pathway, Food Science and Safety. It is important to assess teachers’ integration of food science and their desire to teach in the new pathway. It is also important to understand teachers’ current food safety knowledge. We assessed teachers’ reported importance ratings and ability levels for certain food safety practices to identify potential training priorities.

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Impact of a Poultry and Egg Food Safety Education on 4-H Youth

M. Beaty, J.C. Ricketts, & S. Godwin
This study sought to evaluate a poultry and egg food safety education intervention for 4-H youth. Materials developed and shared with students were infused with key content stemming from microbiological research findings associated with this project and a content analysis of other key findings in the field that consumers ought to know and apply to reduce instances of food-borne illness and death. With financial support from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the Poultry and Egg Education Project (PEEP) accomplishes this goal for families and communities by evaluating knowledge, attitudes, perceptions and intentions of implementing lessons learned during a workshop on poultry and egg food safety. Among a convenience sample of 4th-6th grade 4-H youth attending various 4-H camps (n = 190), post-test knowledge scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores…

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A Reason to Reason: Motivations Influencing Youth Participation in 4-H State Horse Judging

Jamie Brianne Putnam, Alexa J. Lamm, & Brittani G. Kirkland
Assessing the motivational factors driving youth to become engaged and devoted to a state 4-H horse judging program will assist in allowing extension professionals to better facilitate programs geared towards promoting higher levels of achievement, life and career readiness, and professional success. Using the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as the theoretical framework, this study used a questionnaire administered to a purposive sample of the 2016 Colorado, Florida, and Texas state 4-H horse judging contestants facilitated by Colorado State University, the University of Florida, and Texas A&M University (n = 71). Intrinsic motivation was found to be the highest motivator followed by extrinsic motivation and perceived confidence. The top four intrinsic items that most strongly influenced respondents were wanting to learn something new, liking horses, being interested in learning about horses, and desiring to gain more confidence speaking in public.

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Identifying a knowledge gap of blueberry health benefits: The role of education, income, generation and gender

Shuyang Qu, Tori Bradley, & Joy N. Rumble
Lower socioeconomic groups may not learn as quickly or retain as much knowledge as higher socioeconomic groups because higher socioeconomic groups often have easier access to the relevant resources. With many health benefits associated with blueberry consumption, this study examined consumers’ knowledge level of blueberry benefits, and investigated whether a knowledge gap existed among high and low socioeconomic groups and among different demographic groups. An online survey using non-probability sampling was distributed to grocery shoppers from 31 states in the United States. Post-stratification weighting of data was used to adjust the bias resulted from non-probability sampling…

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Needs Assessment for Prospective Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers

Baleshka Brenes Mayorga, Robert L. Williams, Leah Wickersham, & Teresa Duch-Carvallo
The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify the needs and interests of prospective Hispanic farmers and ranchers in the target counties in order to improve outreach programs. The results will help outreach programs to mitigate the barriers identified by study participants and focus on the needs of Hispanic farmers. The methodology used was basic qualitative research using focus group interviews, observational analysis, and literature review of previous studies. Three focus group interviews with 6-14 people in each group were used for data collection. Interviews were conducted in Spanish and recorded. Comparisons were made within groups and among groups. The information was analyzed to identify patterns or trends in discussion. The categories found included family support, education, culture, communication, economic stability, immigration status, services, agriculture, fear, language, vision and opportunities, how to start and maintain a business, and community opinion leadership.

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Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Infusing Mathematics in the School- Based Agricultural Education Curricula

Nathan W. Conner, Sarah Greer, Nathan Ollie, Christopher T. Stripling, & Carrie A. Stephens
Mathematics knowledge is a critical component of natural and agricultural sciences, and school- based agricultural education is expected to support core academic instruction. Therefore, preservice agricultural education teachers must be prepared to teach mathematical concepts.
This study explores preservice agricultural education teachers’ perceptions of mathematics in the school-based agricultural education curricula. Five preservice teachers consisting of 4 females and 1 male participated in this qualitative study. Data were collected through individual semi-structured interviews that were approximately 30 minutes, and thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Audit trails, triangulation, member checking, and thick description were used to achieve trustworthiness. Five themes…

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