EXTENSION EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM: Reinventing extension as a resource—What does the future hold?1
- M. A. Mirando*,
- J. M. Bewley†,
- J. Blue‡,
- D. M. Amaral-Phillips†,
- V. A. Corriher§,
- K. M. Whittet*,
- N. Arthur‡ and
- D. J. Patterson 2
- *Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, Division of Animal Systems, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250-2241
†Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546-0215
‡Truffle Media Networks, Indianapolis, IN 46254
§Texas AgriLife Extension, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Overton 75684; and
#University of Missouri, Columbia 65211
The mission of the Cooperative Extension Service, as a component of the land-grant university system, is to disseminate new knowledge and to foster its application and use. Opportunities and challenges facing animal agriculture in the United States have changed dramatically over the past few decades and require the use of new approaches and emerging technologies that are available to extension professionals. Increased federal competitive grant funding for extension, the creation of eXtension, the development of smartphone and related electronic technologies, and the rapidly increasing popularity of social media created new opportunities for extension educators to disseminate knowledge to a variety of audiences and engage these audiences in electronic discussions. Competitive grant funding opportunities for extension efforts to advance animal agriculture became available from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and have increased dramatically in recent years. The majority of NIFA funding opportunities require extension efforts to be integrated with research, and NIFA encourages the use of eXtension and other cutting-edge approaches to extend research to traditional clientele and nontraditional audiences. A case study is presented to illustrate how research and extension were integrated to improve the adoption of AI by beef producers. Those in agriculture are increasingly resorting to the use of social media venues such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter to access information required to support their enterprises. Use of these various approaches by extension educators requires appreciation of the technology and an understanding of how the target audiences access information available on social media. Technology to deliver information is changing rapidly, and Cooperative Extension Service professionals will need to continuously evaluate digital technology and social media tools to appropriately integrate them into learning and educational opportunities.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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