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ERIC Number: EJ871227
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1042-0541
Evaluation of Agricultural Professionals' Perceptions and Knowledge on Sustainable Agriculture: A Useful Step in the Development of an Online Extension Program
Menalled, Fabian D.; Grimberg, Bruna I.; Jones, Clain A.
Journal of Agricultural Education, v50 n4 p86-97 2009
This study assessed needs, knowledge, and interests of agricultural professionals who were likely to enroll in an online extension course in sustainable agriculture. The objectives of the study were: to (1) describe their demographic characteristics, (2) identify their concerns and interests related to farming, (3) evaluate participants' knowledge and adoption of sustainable farming practices, and (4) use the evidence to implement a distance education program in sustainable agriculture. A questionnaire was distributed electronically through mailing lists and Web sites. Responses were analyzed using a text analysis and a Chi-square test to evaluate the existence of associations between interests and knowledge in sustainable agriculture. Despite the study participants' diverse professions and backgrounds, they identified similar constraints impeding the adoption of sustainable farming practices. They further proposed solutions, many of which are supported by current agroecological research, indicating a vast knowledge base regarding sustainable farming. The findings were used to develop and deliver an online extension program in sustainable agriculture. This study highlights the importance of understanding the levels of knowledge, concerns, and interests of the targeted audience. Incorporating this understanding into an extension program through peer-to-peer collaboration in discussion forums and electronic mail could facilitate the dissemination of innovate education approaches to teach sustainable agriculture. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
American Association for Agricultural Education. P.O. Box 7607, Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, Raleigh, NC 27695. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A