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Agricultural Science and Education IMPACT


 Agricultural Science and Education IMPACT

Impact Grading Exercise

The following are impact statements of varying quality. Read through them and assign a grade to each according to the scale:

A= High Impact (Social, Environmental, Economic)(Anecdotal)
B= Moderate Impact (Nice information to know; potentially high)
C= Low Impact (No obvious benefit)
D= So What?

Once you're done, check your answers against the grades given to these statements by the impact experts.




Flux--Range Management -- Impact Statement 1


Issue (Who cares and why?): Flux forage producers need to be able to produce quality hay at a profit. Alfalfa hay is in great demand by livestock producers, but Flux farmers found it hard to produce yields high enough to make alfalfa profitable to grow.

What has been done?: A University of Flux agronomist's studies revealed that by applying gypsum on the field before planting alfalfa, the yields double after the second year. Gypsum is found to neutralize the subsoil in the field as well as the toxic levels of aluminum. That, in turn, allows the roots of the plants to flourish and reach deep into the soil to find water even in severe drought.

Impact: As a result, hay farmers in Flux can now grow alfalfa at a profit. The state's cattle benefit, too, with a growing supply of quality alfalfa hay.




Denial-Children and Youth Development -- Impact Statement 2


Issue (Who cares and why?): Most school-age children are taught proper table manners, but few are given the opportunity to practice proper table etiquette.

What has been done?: In an effort to educate students and avoid social embarrassment, county agents in Alpha, Beta, and Upsilon counties presented an educational three-course meal for their 4-H'ers. The students' tables were set with fine china, stemmed crystal and flatware, including bread spreaders.

Impact: As a result of the program, students will no longer dread awards banquets--at least not for fear of using the wrong fork.




Grace--Healthy, Well Nourished Population -- Impact Statement 3


Issue (Who cares and why?): Good nutrition is important to every citizen. It can mean healthier workers who spend less time out sick and happier, more alert students in the classroom. Good nutrition is also important to the state's economy. It can help reduce money in lost production and medical expenses to name just a few benefits.

What has been done?: The Nutrition Education Program (NEP) is directed at citizens receiving food stamp assistance or who are eligible to participate. NEP uses a lesson-based program taught by program assistants to cover a variety of nutrition topics. Some of these include good meal management, sound food safety practices, food shopping strategies to reduce cost without sacrificing good nutrition and ways to enhance family meals.

Impact: NEP reached nearly 200,000 Gracians in 41 counties in 1998.




Hope--Competitive Agricultural Systems in a Global Economy -- Impact Statement 4


Issue (Who cares and why?): Hope farmers struggle annually with how to earn the most money for their crops. The ability to run a profitable farm business is vital if farmers are to remain in business.

What has been done?: Twenty farmers participated in an intensive five-week short course on marketing options. The short course covered such topics as goal setting, planning for profits, market planning, hedging and the use of commodity future options. In addition to learning more about these areas, farmers also participated in a number of exercises to increase their skill and confidence levels in using these options.

Impact: Efforts to assist farmers' increase their profitability are vital to the continued health of agriculture in Hope and these efforts are paying off. One of the participating farm families reported to Extension that two months after the seminar the family had made a profit of $10,000 in the futures market as a direct result of the knowledge gained at the seminar.




Panic--Competitive Agricultural Systems in a Global Economy -- Impact Statement 5


Issue (Who cares and why?): Six Panic nurseries rank in the country's top 100 in terms of sales, with one in the top five. Panic produces a nursery crop with a value four times greater per acre than the per-acre crop value in the number one nursery state in the US. Nursery and landscape businesses recognize the need to seek employees with strong working knowledge of the landscape plant species used in the Northeast.

What has been done?: A new web site developed by Extension specialists at the University of Panic is now available for use by industry personnel which describes 80 landscape plant species (http:// www.abcdefg.hij/plants/galore/) for use by industry and landscape companies.

Impact: Presentations and articles about the site have resulted in strong interest by industry for use in education and referrals.




Prosperity--Risk Management -- Impact Statement 6


Issue (Who cares and why?): In this era of tough economic times for Prosperity farmers, it's vital to their continued operation that they be the best business managers possible and make the most sound financial decisions possible.

What has been done?: Farm Analysis specialist wrote and distributed more than 700 newsletters on topics including income taxes, marketing, and estate planning. They met with more than 1500 individuals and visited more than 475 farms to help farm families better understand the options available to them and to improve their overall farm management techniques. Extension specialist worked with a number of cooperating organizations such as the Prosperity Cattlemen's Association, the Prosperity Farmer's Federations, and the Prosperity Banker's Association among others on this effort.

Impact: This Extension educational program helped farmers save approximately $900,000 through income tax management on the farm. Individual counseling of farmers on major business decisions affected an estimated $4.2 million in farmer investment during the year.




Madness--Competitive Agricultural Systems in a Global Economy -- Impact Statement 7


Issue (Who cares and why?): To remain competitive, horticultural professionals need educational programs to learn about and use the most advance production and marketing information. Since there are few books written about garden center management, the best way to learn about new practices is to visit successful garden centers.

What has been done?: University of Madness and Delirium State Cooperative Extension systems cosponsored a tour of four highly successful garden centers in south central Delirium. Owners and personnel at each garden center gave tours. After each tour, participants critiqued the business regarding two aspects that impressed them, two aspects they would change, and offered two new ideas, which resulted in valuable exchange of ideas among professionals.

Impact: Tours like this provide many new ideas that participants can implement in their own businesses, including new production, marketing, merchandising, sales training, and management practices and ideas.




Joy--Competitive Agricultural Systems in a Global Economy -- Impact Statement 8


Issue (Who cares and why?): The context of agriculture is changing rapidly, with greater use of hired labor to work larger tracts of land, with more sophisticated equipment. Farmers need to learn new skills to cope with these changes.

What has been done?: A paper-and-pencil simulation exercise developed by the University of Joy agricultural economists depicts the tough decisions of a farm family as they cope with work safety, expanding farm size, production questions, and labor shortages. This exercise was administered to 34 farmers who judged it as authentic and helpful in teaching them relationships among workload, stress, economics, and safety.

Impact: Respondents reported that the exercise convinced them to make safety a larger issue in their management.




Anxiety--Nutritional Needs of Consumers -- Impact Statement 9


Issue (Who cares and why?): A significant number of urban dwellers and Native Americans in Anxiety face serious nutrition and health problems because of low income and insufficient education on good nutrition and smart shopping.

What has been done?: The University of Anxiety Extension Service administers the USDA's Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) at seven locations in Anxiety. There were 586 families enrolled in Anxiety EFNEP programs in the last fiscal year. The goal is to help improve both the diets and food budgets of people with limited resources. Clientele often lack basic cooking, shopping, and meal planning skills. The program features one-on-one teaching, mass media efforts and classes and demonstrations organized at the request of homemakers, various agencies and schools. Nutrition education assistants work with staff from Women Infants and Children, Head Start, and Food Stamp program offices to identify participants and convince them to enroll in the program. Participants learn about nutrition for adults and children, meal planning, food budgeting, food buying skills, food safety, and food preparation.

Impact: Follow-up studies indicate that 78% of homemakers participating in EFNEP programs improved their meal planning, shopping skills, and other food resource management practices. Some 88% improved one or more nutrition practices such as making healthy food choices, preparing food without salt, and reading nutrition labels. And, 62% improved their food safety practices.

One participant bought almost every meal separately before participating in the EFNEP program. Now she plans a week's menus and buys groceries just twice a month. She estimates she is saving 50 percent on her food bill.

Another frequently bought large amounts of chips, pop, and candy for her children's snacks. After taking the classes, she now plans their snacks and purchases juices, fresh fruits, vegetables, raisins, peanuts, milk and other healthy snacks. Her children are now getting their daily requirements of vitamins and other nutrients.

"I am counting how many fruits and vegetables I eat each day--5 a day! It's hard being a pregnant teen, but I know EFNEP has helped me choose better choices of food," said one participant...




Stress--Nutritional Needs of Consumers -- Impact Statement 10


Issue (Who cares and why?): Thousands of low resource Stressors are stretching their limited food dollars by learning smarter ways to budget and shop for nutritious food, and to prepare and eat a grater variety of foods. University of Stress Cooperative Extension nutrition programs provide them important life lessons that boost confidence in other areas of their lives as well.

What has been done?: SU Cooperative Extension teams with federal programs such as the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) and Head Start, the Stress Department of Health and Human Services, local food pantries and food banks, family resource centers, after-school programs and housing authorities to offer nutrition programs that help low-resource Stressors. About 7,200 adults in 14 Stress counties and 5,400 second through sixth graders around the state participated in 1998 alone.

Impact: One client, who started the Nutrition Education Program as an unemployed mother receiving government assistance, food stamps, and child support, has credited the program with helping her make better lifestyle choices and becoming more self sufficient. After participating in the program, she landed a job, bought a car, and has improved what she and her pre-school son eat.




Lunacy--Nutritional Needs of Consumers -- Impact Statement 11


Issue (Who cares and why?): Heart disease and diabetes are among the leading causes of mortality in the United States. The Native American has an incidence of diabetes at 2.4 times the rate for all races in the U.S. and 2.6 times higher than that of Caucasians. The average life expectancy for a Ute Tribe member is 47.

What has been done?: Ute Wellness Project, a six-week education curriculum provided through the Ute Tribal Council and Lunacy State University Extension, was produced to reach youth members of the Ute Tribe.

Impact: Twenty-three Ute Tribe youth increased nutrition knowledge during the first two years of the program; 23 youth increased physical activity during those same two years.




The Art--Water Quality -- Impact Statement 12


Issue (Who cares and why?): Runoff from farms in Western Stanislaus County carries sediment into the San Joaquin River. Scientists found that DDT still in the soil was moving into the river and causing problems with wildlife in the river and the adjacent Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

What has been done?: UACE farm advisor Hank Kimball headed up the West Stanislaus Hydrologic Unit Area Project. Scientists involved in the project determine that suspended fine clay particles were the carriers of the residues in drainage water. They found the use of polyacrylamides to settle out suspended solids in irrigation successfully reduced the residue going into the river. Polyacrylamides can be applied in its granular form directly to irrigation water using a commercial granular applicator. Also, 25 to 30 other best management practices can be used, including the use of sediment ponds and irrigation water management.

Impact: Since 1991, more than 720,000 tons of sediment and 1,300 pounds of DDT isomers have been saved from offsite impacts. Implementation of management practices to reduce the sediment flow into the river has taken place on about 68% of the farmland in the hydrologic unit area, 91,000 acres.




Fear--Water Quality -- Impact Statement 13

Issue (Who cares and why?): Fungicides have a strong potential to cause environmental problems if they're not managed properly. Although fungicides make up less than 10% of all the pesticides in the United States, they are frequently used on golf courses. A 1993 study of golf courses in Iowa found that in one season, 54,000 pounds of the active ingredient of a particular fungicide were applied. Such heavy use in a small area led to concerns that the fungicides might be running off into surface water or seeping into the ground water. Prompted by these concerns, the U.S. Golf Association asked University of Fear researchers to study the fate of fungicides...

What has been done?: In a series of laboratory and field experiments, U of Fear researchers examined the fate of fungicides. They discovered that the fungicides don't wash off into the surface or ground water. About 90% of the fungicide remains on the grass leaf blade, where it tends to be absorbed by the plant in about 48 hours. From there, the plant degrades the chemicals internally. The remaining 10% of the fungicide is caught up in the thatch layer, a narrow band of organic material on top of the soil, where there is active plant growth.

Impact: People concerned about pesticides in drinking water can turn their attention away from properly managed golf courses and can focus efforts at cleaning up other sources of water pollution.