Growing Agricultural Service Providers’ Program Outcomes with Producer Co-Educators

Project Overview

WPDP22-001
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2022: $84,995.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2024
Grant Recipient: Oregon State University
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Mary Halbleib
Oregon State University
Co-Investigators:
Colette DePhelps
University of Idaho Extension

Commodities

No commodities identified

Practices

No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

This project will provide agricultural service providers (ASPs) with the experiences and support necessary to develop successful learner-centered educational programs through utilizing an outcome-based design approach with producers as co-educators. Outcome-based education is an instructional design framework that begins with asking what skills or knowledge learners must have to address an expressed need or opportunity in their lives or work. The project will support 10 ASPs across Oregon to engage with producers throughout the educational planning and design process to ensure the resulting programs will meet the needs of the participating farmers and ranchers. ASPs accepted into this project will begin the learner-centered design process by identifying a sustainable agriculture issue or topic around which to design an outcome-based educational program. To explore their existing teaching philosophy, the ASPs will participate in a Real Colors® temperament workshop and complete a personal learning styles assessment. ASPs will also investigate the core principles of adult education and how to implement effective teaching and learning strategies. To create content, participants will be provided with an educational design and planning workbook that includes guidance and templates for instructional design, engaging with farmers as co-educators, teaching and learning plans, and program evaluation. Throughout the project, ASPs will receive mentoring from the farmer-educators and have extensive opportunities to engage directly with one another to share information, practice new skills, and provide feedback to increase the opportunity for learning. Each ASP will design and implement at least two outcome-based sustainable agriculture educational programs with producers as co-educators. At the conclusion, participants will share insights from their evaluation data and self-reflections on their learning experiences. This project will result in a professional development process with transferable resources that can be used by others working with ASPs to further promote the implementation of effective sustainable farming and ranching practices.

Project objectives from proposal:

  1. To increase ASPs knowledge and skills to create instructional designs that will enable producers to achieve relevant, authentic learning outcomes and therefore be able to make the desired changes in their lives and work increasing the sustainability of their farm and ranch operations.
  2. To expand ASPs skills to more effectively facilitate adult learning experiences through having ASPs teach in project meetings using the practices outlined in Sustainable Agriculture Through Sustainable Learning (Bell and McAllister, 2021)
  3. To enhance ASPs ability to engage with producers throughout the educational planning and design process to ensure the resulting programs will meet the needs of the participating farmers and ranchers.
  4. To support ASPs in exploring how personality tendencies and perspectives on learning influence their approaches to program design and teaching with producers.
  5. To expand ASPs program evaluation skills to create instruments to gather valuable feedback from producers to improve future programs and document behavior change.
  6. To enable ASPs to gain the skills to conduct cost recovery that includes funds to compensate producers as experts and educators.
  7. To empower farmers and ranchers in seeing themselves as co-educators and value their time through being paid as consultants.
  8. To engage ASPs in understanding the larger effects of doing outcome-based, co-taught programming with producers to capture community-level impacts. ASPs will also experience the power of Ripple Effect Mapping and be able to do employ this approach in their programs.
  9. To articulate a professional development process and create transferable resources that can be used by others working with ASPs to further promote the implementation of effective sustainable farming and ranching practices.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.