From the mailbag

Write us! When the topics may be of interest to a number of our readers, we may include them in the next issue of the newsletter. Direct your comments and inquiries to Cynthia Crawford at crawfordc@missouri.edu or 109 Whitten Hall, Columbia MO  65211.

Email 1

I am interested in knowing …

1. What, if any, new program delivery methods are being implemented by extension faculty and which extension programs and being delivered by such methods and the success of that delivery so far. For example, I notice that Moodle classes are frequently being offered to faculty. Also, are webinars being used for programs offered to the general public?
2. What strategies are being used to attract new and younger audiences? For example, I understand some county extension offices are using Facebook. How are they using it? How is the target audience being engaged and what signs of success have been observed so far?

Thanks!
S.G.

 

When I began in my new position, one of the directives was to promote non-credit online classes. After research and listening to faculty — we rolled out procedures and guidelines last September. We have had hands-on Moodle training as well as some funds to use toward course preparation. It takes about a year from the beginning of the gathering of class materials through development, peer review and having it ready for an online course. We have both internal offerings for our personnel and external classes. We are working on 4-H Volunteer training, Extension New Employee Orientation, Master Gardeners, Build Your Board training, Equine Hind Limb Gait Abnormality and Fire and Rescue Training courses. We are also looking at doing “blended” classes with both online instruction and face to face classes. We continue to have webinars regarding extension issues or other best practices, but I am unfamiliar with webinars being used for the general public from MU Extension.

4-H uses social media extensively as well as other groups of individuals. I know there are agriculture (topic-specific) blogs and Facebook pages (for content-specific and county-specific) for a variety of interests and offerings (everything from events, news, recognizing people, to practical information). Our organization also tweets.
I hope this answers some of your questions. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Best,

Joy L. Millard
Interim Assistant Vice Provost for MU Extension

Email 2

One-hundred years is exciting — but there were some counties that could have celebrated last year, and maybe one the year before. Farm Bureau was organized in several (most) counties, and MFA in a few, to be the county sponsor for extension. Buchanan County was one of the few that started in 1913. I used to have the data on the others. I don’t have it now, or can’t find it. Anyway, I think you will find staff assigned here in that year. Just a note to encourage someone to check out that history. Hopefully, my recollection is correct.

E.T.

 

Thanks for your email. You are right, county extension efforts were established in Missouri on various dates. The 100th celebration was based on May 8, 1914, when the Smith-Lever Act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson that established Cooperative Extension.

Cynthia Crawford
Director of Donor Education