Ruff, G.1; Smith, S.2
1Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Napoleon, OH, 43545
2Program Assistant, The Ohio State University, Lancaster, OH, 43130


The Extension Beef Team is one of the longest standing program area teams within Ohio State University Extension. Recently the team has experienced turnover and losses of county Extension Educators and state level personnel who specialize in beef cattle production. These staffing changes made 2019 an opportune time to gather feedback from stakeholders and producers to evaluate team outputs and future programming needs. The outputs evaluated include the weekly produced Ohio Beef Letter, annual Ohio Beef School webinars, and the initial offerings of in-person Beef Quality Assurance (BQA®). In April of 2019, an online survey was developed and distributed via Qualtrics to 4,904 subscribers to the Ohio Beef Letter. Of those who received the survey, 567 respondents completed it.To gauge impact of the Ohio Beef Letter, respondents were asked to self-identify with the segment of the beef industry they best represent, how many head of cattle they market annually, and to estimate a dollar value of the Ohio Beef Letter to their beef cattle enterprise on an annual basis. In addition to the Ohio Beef Letter, survey participants also evaluated the overall value of the Ohio Beef Schools and BQA® Trainings that they attended using a 5-point Likert Scale. Respondents rated the Beef Letter 62.6% and Ohio Beef Schools at 77.4% Very/Extremely Valuable. BQA® trainings were rated at 83.3% Good/Excellent.  Lastly, in order to evaluate future programming needs participants were also asked to rank seven production content areas: Genetics, Reproduction, Nutrition, Health, Marketing, Forage Production, and Economics from most to least important with regards to their beef cattle enterprises. Content areas were then ranked by mean score. This survey provided valuable insight to the diversity of Ohio beef producers, how they currently value beef cattle programming, and their educational needs. As a result, educators who are part of the Ohio State University Extension Beef Team can build upon past success and tailor future programming toward the betterment of the state’s beef industry.   

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