---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 1995 10:44:30 -0500
From: Judy Green <email@example.com>
Subject: On Extension Training
Nancy - your comment on the failure of sustainable ag advocates to value
and make good use of the practical knowledge and experience of Extension
personnel is extremely well taken. Thanks for the insightful comparison to
our attitudes towards farmer-based knowledge.
>Re: the recent posts on Extension training and sus ag
>from Bill Liebhart, Ed Harwood, Judy Green and Don Voth --
>I often think that it is easier to include farmers in
>participatory ways than to include extension staff in
>the same way, when we 'educate for sustainability'.
>As I see it, the sustainable ag community, as it were,
>tries to consciously to value farmer local knowledge,
>and to value the idea of including farmers in
>generation of research, etc. (farmer field days,
>farmers on research committees, MISA, etc). We may not
>always succeed in including farmers, but we at least
>say that it is important.
>But it strikes me that we (or maybe I should just
>make that 'I') do less well in valuing extension
>staff knoweldge. It's almost as if some of us see
>extension as a mere conduit, e.g. USE them to get
>the right sus ag info from Researchers to Farmers,
>and Farmers to Researchers. Or Extension is the
>'practical arm', so we have to get them 'on our side'.
>And we sometimes use a heavy (educational)
>hand to get there. It seems to me that the JAA
>article, as well Bill, Judy, Don and Ed highlighted
>the idea of the downright displeasure sus ag
>extension trainings can have for extension staff.
>I'm not thinking of any program in particular
>that displays a 'heavy hand' - perhaps I am
>thinking foremost of programs that I myself had
>a hand in organizing! Do any of you know of
>programs for Extension staff that seem to
>capture the (probably confused) statement above
>about programs that value extension staff for
>what they can uniquely offer, and what they
>bring to our understanding of sus ag?
>I have seen some 'visioning processes',
>e.g. strategic planning-tupe exercises work well.
>And in NY I have heard of an extension staff
>network that works well. Any extension folks
>have thoughts on this?
>Thanks for getting my gears moving,
>Nancy Grudens Schuck
>Nancy Grudens Schuck
>Department of Education
>Kennedy Hall, Cornell University
>Ithaca, Ny 14853
Judy Green Phone: 607-255-9832
Coordinator Fax: 255-9984
Farming Alternatives Program Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dept. of Rural Sociology
Ithaca, NY 14853-7801