Environmental degradation, erosion of rural communities, loss of small family farms, and inadequate conservation of fragile lands have made agricultural sustainability a significant concern. The aim of sustainability in agriculture is a healthy and ample food supply for both the present and future generations through the wise utilization of natural resources. Agricultural Service Providers (ASPs) are facilitators of sustainable agricultural risk management activities; they are expected to know more, and meet the increasing demands of a diverse farmer population. Dealing with conflicting norms, values, and interests associated with sustainability requires improvements in the competencies of ASPs. ASPs must receive continuous in-service training in line with their training needs about sustainability if they are to improve their on-the-job effectiveness. In-service training needs assessments are essential to determine and prioritize training needs, so that training resources can be efficiently utilized.
This poster highlights outcomes of the WV Sustainable Agriculture Needs Assessment. It focuses on the differences in knowledge, interest, and adoption of ASPs versus producers with regard to sustainable agriculture programs; determines what the targeted audience already knows/believes, and what gaps still exist, so we can design effective future sustainable agriculture educational programs; and determines what methodologies we can employ to make extension programs more accessible, acceptable and useful to our clientele.
Since the urgency to address agricultural sustainability is great, this study had broad applicability to general ASPs and producers nationally, and to University Agricultural Education Programs, as they prepare their students to be the next cadre of ASPs.
|Conference||2015 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|