Marrison, D. L.1


When an Agricultural Extension Educator is hired to serve a County, it is critical for the Educator to get to know their agricultural community and to determine what the most pressing educational needs are. This poster will share how a two-page assessment was developed to gauge the educational needs of the 1,191 farmers in Coshocton County, Ohio.  The assessment was conducted from October 2018 through October 2019 with 142 producers responding.  Respondents were asked to indicate which types of Extension Programs would be of interest to them.  A variety of topics were provided in the areas of crop management, commercial horticulture, consumer horticulture, farm management, livestock management, and natural resources.  Four of the top five topics were from the crop production area with nine of the remaining fifteen topics from the farm management area.  The top five overall topics were forage, hay & pasture at 65.5%, fertilizer & nutrient management at 57.7%, weed, insect & disease management at 55.6%, beef cattle production at 54.2%, and row crop production at 45.8%.  Respondents were also asked to cite their preferred time for programs.  Forty-six percent (45.8%) responded they would prefer evening workshops with 30.3% reporting it did not matter when programs were held.  With regards to the day of the week for programs, 50.7% responded that it did not matter the day of the week which a program was held.  For those who selected specific days, Tuesdays was most preferred at 26.1%.  Respondents were also asked to indicate the different manners in which they would like to receive management information and details on educational workshops and events. Two preferred manners emerged with 64.1% choosing to be notified by email and 55.6% via direct mail. The responses of the needs assessment are being used by the Educator and his Agriculture Advisory Committee to develop a five year education and research plan.

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