ERIC Number: ED234974
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Information Developer-User System Linking Roles of Education Assistants in the Missouri Small Farm Family Program. Research Bulletin No. 1042.
Lionberger, Herbert F.; Wong, Tso Sang
A 1977 study of education assistants' linking role in the University of Missouri's Small Farm Family Program (intended to favor small farmers in providing extension information) focused on conditions influencing ability of education assistants to serve as University information-user system linkers on behalf of small farmers. All Missouri education assistants that year received questionnaires about personal characteristics, contacts with University information resource systems, relationships with small farmers and ways of working with them, and assistants' opinions about the program (operation, problems, achievements); 34 assistants (95%) responded. Results showed assistants were like small farmers in respects essential for effective communication and exercise of personal influence in adviser-client relationships: all had been farmers and 85.3% still were, and their relationship with small farmers was empathetic, interactive, and highly satisfying. Assistants indicated their strongest rewards were from helping clients with problems and from opportunities to learn while they worked; important roles were identified as listening to farmers and expressing recognition of their achievements, and making clients aware of help available through extension channels and government agencies. Assistants regularly used linkages with the University resource system (in-field subject matter specialists, College of Agriculture publications, campus-based faculty specialists) and other resources (agricultural agencies, commercial sources, and large and small farmers). (MH)
Descriptors: Adult Farmer Education, Change Strategies, College Faculty, College Role, Delivery Systems, Empathy, Extension Agents, Farmers, Information Dissemination, Information Sources, Linking Agents, Network Analysis, Paraprofessional Personnel, Performance Factors, Publications, Rural Extension, State Universities
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Missouri Univ., Columbia. Agricultural Experiment Station.
Identifiers: Missouri; Small Farmer Family Program MO