2022 Poster Abstracts
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101 - Pros and Cons of using a Faculty Rotation during an Italian Study Abroad in Agriculture
University of Tennessee at Martin
During the Fall of 2021, a study abroad emphasizing Agriculture was completed in Siena, Tuscany, Italy. Six Faculty rotated two at a time for approximately one-month stints sharing teaching responsibilities for three Agricultural courses. The 30 students could also select from nine additional courses in Business, Food & Nutrition, Humanities and Arts offered by partner institutions €“ the Society of Dante Alighieri Siena and the University of Siena. The anticipated advantage of doing a faculty rotation was that it would allow faculty to maintain some home campus responsibilities, thus not overburdening the academic and service needs of the home campus; faculty could either cover the teaching and service responsibilities for each other or teach online the month away online and attend meetings remotely. All in all, this high-impact, international learning opportunity was a very positive experience for both students and faculty. Our hypothesis did prove true; however, this rotation system was not without challenges. These challenges included: 1) Faculty abroad experienced an extra workload teaching online at home, face-to-face in Italy, as well as dealing with issues unique to students traveling abroad; 2) Students in Italy were apprehensive about having a new instructor each month, and preferring one faculty to teach their courses throughout the semester; 3) Students at home did not always adjust well academically to having a different instructor or by having their class move online format for one month; and 4) Faculty at home covering for their colleagues abroad experienced moderately increased workloads relating both to teaching and other university-related responsibilities. In the future, although we think a faculty rotation system for a study abroad has merit; modifications, additional planning, and improved communications with students needs to be implemented to overcome the identified challenges.
102 - Global Learning in Agriculture: A Framework for Scholarship Advancement
The Pennsylvania State University
According to Asia Society, 'global competence is the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance" (2022). There have been repeated declarations of need by critical stakeholders (i.e., government agency, non-government agencies, private sectors, etc.) for a globally competent workforce. Practitioners across all contexts of our education system have the task of preparing graduates with the ability to analyze complex global challenges, collaborate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, and to take responsible local action. This requires that our students are equipped with the knowledge skills, and dispositions that enable them to engage in a rapidly changing and interconnected world. As we review the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a case can be made of connections to food, fiber, and natural resources in each of the 17 SDGs. As we look to our task as institutions of higher learning to provide high impact practices that help our students and graduates develop these skills, it should be noted that we will achieve this beyond just study abroad. As we work in an environment in higher education where resources of either time or money are often limited, it is critical that we systematically evaluate the return on investment of different interventions through scholarly evaluation. This study is the result of review of literature and scholarship to develop a guiding framework for study of global learning in agriculture in diverse education contexts. The researchers will share on three core areas that will guide a multi-sector, interdisciplinary research agenda going forward including: (1) Exploring effective communities of practice for educators in diverse contexts around global issues in food, fiber, and natural resources; (2) Effective professional learning for educators around global competency and global learning development and (3) Pedagogical Content Knowledge around instruction in and about global agriculture issues.
103 - Implementation of Project-based Teaching Method at St. Beda's Bukaya Secondary School
The Ohio State University
Empirical evidence suggests that project-based learning is an effective method for engaging students in agricultural education. Instructors have used projects to teach technical skills, tool usage, and problem-solving since the profession's inception (Howell, 2003; Diise et al., 2018). The project method is a collaborative effort mediated by the educator in which students learn and practice skills for identifying and solving real-world problems through long-term research projects (Howell, 2003). Boateng and Kumbol (2018) purport that most agricultural educators in African countries focus more on theoretical aspects of agricultural education. Consequently, learners graduate with insufficient fundamental skills to engage in agricultural production (Boateng & Kumbol, 2018). Njura et al. (2020) also contend that most Kenyan high school graduates lack requisite agricultural skills, limiting their effective participation in agricultural production. Therefore, as an agriculture educator at St. Beda's Bukaya Secondary School in Mumias West Sub-County, Kenya, the researcher taught agriculture using the project method and collected qualitative data through open-ended evaluative questions. This qualitative study provided lessons used to upscale the technique for subsequent years. Projects allowed learners to work with the teacher to launch food crop production projects from land preparation to post-harvest handling practices. Furthermore, the projects allowed students to experiment with problem-solving techniques that mirrored real-world problems in a controlled environment. 'I took this concept home and taught my parents a little bit about what I was growing at school," one student said, 'and I am happy because I can put some food on the table." Another student remarked, 'This was very simple! I was able to complete all crop management practices...I had a bountiful harvest." Using a project-based approach to teaching agriculture influenced students' acquisition of basic crop production skills required for food-secure communities. Project-based teaching better prepares learners with hands-on experiences ready to take on agricultural production.
104 - Study Abroad: Understanding Student Motivation and Perceived Constraints
Study abroad can provide impactful and transformative student experiences, and employers value the skills, including intercultural competency, that can be acquired through participation. However, according to NAFSA, less than one percent of all college students enrolled at institutions of higher education in the US studied abroad during the 2019-2020 academic year. Using results from a survey administered in January 2022 to all 2,610 undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University, this study examines motivations to study abroad and perceived constraints to participation. Of 447 students completing an online survey (17.1% response rate), the majority (51.8%) indicated they had traveled internationally prior to college. Of the 79.6% of respondents who indicated that they participated or planned to participate in a study abroad program, short term summer (29.9%) and Spring Break (27.7%) were the most desired program lengths. Primary motivations for considering study abroad included cultural learning (44.7%), personal improvement (17.3%), and visiting a specific location (14.7%). More than half of all students interested in studying abroad (55.8%) indicated moderate or extreme concerns related to expenses (55.8%), while considerably fewer indicated COVID-19 or other health concerns (35.0%). Of the 20.4% of students who indicated they do not plan to study abroad, 64.4% were moderately or extremely concerned with expenses related to participation and 38.9% cited employment or internship obligations. Results update previous studies of student study abroad motivations and experiences, and improve our understanding of constraints, especially cost, that institutions of higher learning will need to address to create conditions that encourage and facilitate inclusive student participation.
**105 - Adapting to Pandemic Challenges and Fostering an International Collaboration: LSU-mendel Food Symposium
LSU AgCenter; Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness
Higher Education institutions continually adapt and adopt strategies to better tackle the needs and challenges of globalization, internationalization and inclusion. The recent pandemic brought to light new challenges in engaging students in a learning environment that fosters research and education opportunities, intercultural knowledge, and transversal skills. LSU, US and Mendel, Czech Republic, through a strategic partnership, offered a symposium in an effort to address the hiatus in international collaboration and student engagement during the pandemic. The symposium was adapted from an in-person to a virtual format. The inaugural year was 2021 with more than 400 students and faculty registering and more than 300 attending the symposium. The majority of the attendees were students. The second symposium is scheduled for March 2022. The common theme for both symposia is the Food System including presentations and teaching related activities from the food science, nutrition, economics, and agribusiness disciplines. The focus of this presentation is on demonstrating the key aspects of the strategic partnership, data, and information collected from the two symposia, and lessons learned. We believe that this presentation will be of benefit to faculty and administrators attending the NACTA conference. The LSU-Mendel strategic partnership represents a model that can be translated, adapted, and incorporated into international program partnerships among HE institutions and can serve as an example for at-home internationalization. In particular, for US institutions that want to build a sustainable comprehensive partnership with any international university, and vice versa, the LSU-Mendel partnership can serve as an example and point of reference.
**106 - Liberian Teachers' Intention to Implement Student-Centered Instruction Post-Training
Oregon State University
Post-war setbacks and Liberia's historical dependence on foreign aid have caused this country to face different struggles. Among these are job shortages, a fragile economy, and a rise in a poor and at-risk youth population. These socio-economic conflicts have potentially negative implications for the future of Liberia. One solution is to transform Liberia's economy into one based on agriculture. Yet, to make this transition effective, there is a need to instill agricultural knowledge in the population. Using Roger's diffusion of innovations theory, AgriCorps, a non-governmental organization, designed and offered a teacher training in four Liberian counties. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the intentions of the 158 teachers who were trained for six days to implement student-centered instruction strategies into their SBAE program. Specifically, we seek to measure teachers' intention to use information about student-centered instruction, identify the factors that influence teachers' intention to use student-centered instruction, and identify the specific strategies teachers plan to implement. The statistically analyzed data showed that teachers would use the student-centered instruction information provided in training (M = 4.8, SD = 0.5), with 82.5% (n = 127) responding that they definitely will use it. The only factor that influenced the intention to use student-centered instruction was their attendance at previous training (Î² = .41, p < .001). Finally, teachers (n = 133) indicated they plan to use interactive activities and activities to develop leadership skills. The results revealed evidence that teachers have the intention to implement student-centered strategies. However, with attendance at previous training being the only factor influencing teachers' decisions, we find it necessary to provide continuing education and professional development opportunities. Following these recommendations, two upcoming trainings focusing on agricultural innovations, school demonstration farms implementation, and home entrepreneurship projects will be offered.
107 - Bridging the Linguistic Gap for a United Agriculture: Developing a Spanish Language Course for Agricultural Undergraduates
University of Florida
The intersection of the Spanish language and U.S. agriculture is of great relevance in the 21st Century due to the large role that Hispanic personnel play in U.S. agricultural production, the growing impact of Latin American agriculture in the Western Hemisphere, and increased interest in intercultural communication among young professionals. As such, communicating in Spanish presents U.S. agriculturalists with the opportunity to meaningfully engage with Spanish-speaking agriculturalists both domestically and abroad in the spirit of practicality and cultural competence. This poster presentation will outline an undergraduate course that is designed to provide introductory Spanish language instruction as well as an overview of Latin American agriculture and the history of the U.S. Hispanic agricultural workforce to learners who wish to pursue careers in agriculture following graduation and who anticipate a high degree of interaction with Spanish-speakers. In addition, recommendations for the design of course timelines as well as sample cornerstone assessments, rubrics, and lesson plans, in accordance with standards set down by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, will be highlighted. Furthermore, a program evaluation model for the course based on Kirkpatrick's Model will be presented. Thinking about the implications for a Spanish course for agricultural undergraduate students, it is believed that such language instruction grounded in both history and current events will provide learners with the appropriate context for utilizing the target language, resulting in greater productivity at work, more effective and meaningful intercultural communication with Hispanic colleagues, and greater unity among the global agricultural community.
108 - Diffusion of the SBAE Model in Liberia: A Model for Agricultural Education
Oregon State University
Education in rural areas is considered a fundamental catalyst of increased growth and agricultural productivity, particularly regarding the adoption of new methods and technology. In Liberia, 48% of the population lives in rural settlements and approximately 80% of the population earns their livelihood from agriculture. Using Rogers' diffusion of innovations theory, the goal of this evaluative study was to determine the likelihood that agricultural teacher training participants would implement the school-based agricultural education (SBAE) model at their school. We sought to measure the likelihood of SBAE implementation by participants and identify factors that predict the likelihood of participants to implement SBAE in their schools. A modified four-part SBAE model (classroom agriculture instruction, home-centered entrepreneurial projects, school gardens, and leadership development through 4-H) was presented to 158 teachers at a six-day training in four Liberian counties in 2020. This first study is part of a larger study that explores the long-term economic outcomes of SBAE implementation. We found participants intended to use the information (M = 4.79, SD = .506) with 80.4% (n = 127) responding that they definitely will use the SBAE model information from the training. Likewise, none of the variables (prior workshop attendance (p = .059), years of teaching (p = .555), and level of schooling (p = .086)) were found to be statistically significant. Our findings indicate teachers intend to use the information presented in the training through SBAE model implementation at their schools. However, our data did not provide overwhelming evidence for any factors that predict the likelihood of SBAE implementation. Further exploration into how participants implement the SBAE model and the factors that influence implementation is warranted.
201 - The power to choose and its impact on student perception and performance
University of Florida
Autonomy, as a construct of Self-Determination Theory (SDT), suggests that learners are more motivated when they can exercise choice regarding their learning within a supportive structure. The purpose of this research was to explore student perceptions, satisfaction, and performance on an assignment when provided some autonomy of choice. Two sections of a team leadership course analyzed the development of a team in film. One section (AC) was given autonomy to choose their film, while the other section (NC) was assigned a film. All learners wrote an analysis of the team in the film they viewed and responded to questions measuring their satisfaction with and perception of the assignment. A majority of students from both sections had not undertaken an assignment of this type previously. Findings indicate that learners who chose their own film were generally satisfied with the autonomy of choice and learners who were assigned a film were equally satisfied with their lack of autonomy of choice. Overwhelmingly, students from the AC section indicated a preference for retaining such autonomy in future assignments. Likewise, the majority in the NC section indicated a preference for the film to be assigned; however, their reasons were unclear. Conversely, the AC participants supported their preference indicating they felt that autonomy of choice was more helpful in identifying the stages of group development and made the assignment more fun and easier to engage in. This aligns with previous SDT literature. Recommendations for future research include exploring why no autonomy of choice is an enticing prospect in a leadership film assignment and investigating the impact of learners' familiarity with the film on their ability to focus on the assigned concept. Regardless, all learners expressed enjoyment with learning through film.
**202 - Preparing Career-Ready Students in a Post-Pandemic World by Helping Them Build Effective Virtual Team Skills
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
As the food industry is becoming more globally connected, it is essential to provide Food Science students with experience working in virtual teams before they enter the workforce and need skills in distance communications. Working in teams virtually brings extra challenges due to a lack of face-to-face interactions. FSHN 230, Professional Issues in Food Science (asynchronously online), provided students the opportunity to practice virtual teamwork skills. Low, medium, and high dosage team projects allowed for experiential learning and practice in teamwork. The low dosage project included an ice breaker and individual assessment using CliftonStrengths lasting two weeks. The medium dosage project included individual projects with peer evaluations lasting four weeks, and the high dosage project was a team-based project lasting eight weeks. Team performance was closely monitored using self and team evaluations. Team effectiveness (psychological safety, dependability, structure and clarity, meaning and impact) and students' learning were assessed for those students consenting to the study using responses to select course assignments (self and teammate evaluations), the individual and team reflection activities, and a survey at the end of the instructional period. Results show that students identified an increase in team performance skills over the course of the semester. Across all teams and through both team evaluations, the effectiveness principle the teams were least likely to experience was finding the work meaningful. As higher education continues to create real-world simulations to teach skills such as virtual teamwork, more effort may be needed to help students connect classroom activities and career-ready skills.
**203 - What Factors Influence Students' Decisions to Pursue Agricultural Degrees at Non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture?
Illinois State University
Recently, enrollments at numerous American universities have been trending downward. At many universities, this downward trend has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such occurrences have led to an increasingly competitive atmosphere for attracting new students, thus creating the need to better understand why students ultimately attend their chosen university. Prior research has explored factors that influence students to pursue agricultural degree programs at land-grant universities. However, there is limited research addressing why students opt to study agriculture at non-land-grant colleges of agriculture (NLGCAs). The purpose of our study was to describe the factors influencing students' decisions to pursue agricultural degrees at our NLGCAs. During the Fall 2021 semester, we distributed a valid and reliable survey instrument via Qualtrics to all first-semester (i.e., first-semester freshman and transfer) students enrolled at our NLGCAs. We used multiple e-mail contacts and in-class reminders about our study to improve response rates. We collected data from 119 students. Regarding enrollment factors, we found that: (1) students most frequently used degree program information on a university website (f = 97; 77.6%) to help make their enrollment decision; (2) cost of attendance was most frequently cited as an Influential or Very influential (f = 97; 81.51%) university-related factor; (3) a parent or guardian was most frequently cited as an Influential or Very influential (f = 61; 51.26%) individual-related factor; (4) career opportunities available for graduates was most frequently cited as an Influential or Very influential (f = 89; 74.79%) major selection-related factor; and the (5) availability of student organizations was most frequently cited as an Influential or Very influential (f = 54; 45.38%) social interaction-related factor. We recommend that our respective NLGCAs use these data to strategically plan student recruitment efforts. We also recommend that our study be replicated at other NLGCAs to further explore this topic.
204 - Helping Students Become Certified Crop Advisers Through Improved Course Design
Ohio State University
The Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program is an external credential individuals can earn showing evidence of agronomic knowledge and a commitment to making ethical recommendations. Application consists of passing two knowledge tests (one international in scope, one more localized) and then submitting the application paperwork. The international exam typically has a 55-60% passing rate for general test takers, whereas the local exam pass rate for Ohio ranges between 30-40%. In Spring 2016, a course at Ohio State University was introduced to help students prepare for the CCA exams. Two preparatory exams were offered within the class, one focusing on nutrient management and soil and water management, the other on integrated pest management and crop management. Beginning in Spring 2019, a major change in instructional method was implemented that introduced the use of pre-tests (in addition to post-tests given at the end of instructional periods). Change in student performance on pre- and post-tests was tracked, and changes in CCA exam performance was measured. Student scores increased by 11-31% on the two post-tests as compared to their pre-test scores in 2019-2021 (average pre-test scores ranged from 46-66%). Scores of 2016-2018 students (n=27) were higher than other test takers on the international CCA exam (n=3978) but were generally equal to or below those of other local CCA exam test takers (n=784). Students from 2019-2021 (n=21) saw their scores improve over general test takers for both the international (n=2330) and local (n=419) exams. The general population saw 1-5% declines in performance for each assessment category in 2019-2021 compared to 2016-2018, but the student group saw gains in most categories of 2-6%. These results suggest the modification of course instruction coincided with student performance gains, and may have contributed to improved performance.
**205 - The Value of Pre-Experience and Post Experience Learning Activities
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Experiential learning is focused on providing learners an opportunity to experience learning and to reflect over the experience. This study focused on the perceived value of pre-experience learning activities and the perceived value of post-experience learning activities that that were centered around an agricultural leadership seminar in South Africa that the [state] FFA officers participated in. Data was collected through open-ended questions upon completion of the agricultural leadership seminar and served as an post-experience learning activity. There were 12 participants in this qualitative study. Thematic analysis was used to identify the themes, which include, (a) impact, (b) relationships, (c) purpose, (d) value, (e) adaptation, (f) knowledge, and (g) process. The participants had a wide range of emotions before departing for South Africa based on differences in culture, agriculture advancements, interactions, distance, learning opportunities, and leadership abilities. The participants recognized that the pre-experience learning activities allowed them to create a better understanding for the culture and gave an insight on what to expect before traveling to South Africa. By creating an understanding of how students perceive the value of pre-experience and post experience activities, we are better able to determine what activities are more valuable to strengthen the learning opportunities for students using the experiential learning theory. Pre-experience and post-experience learning activities are also a way to extend the learning opportunity for the learner and to help make learning more valuable and meaningful. Future research should be conducted to evaluate the impact pre-experience and post-experience learning activities have on learning outcomes.
**206 - Power of self- reflection: reflective learning in an animal science internship course
Texas A&M University
Learning requires reflection and reflective learning provides opportunities to think through the learning process especially in a non-guided experiential learning course where students themselves need to focus on learning outcomes and course objectives. The purpose of this study is to explore students learning experiences by examining reflections of university students participating in internships in the animal science industry during the summer semester of 2021 while taking coursework at the university. A total of 12 bi-weekly reflections collected and a qualitative thematic analysis was conducted with strengths, struggles, skill development, and disposition development as major theme categories. The reflections were coded in MAXQDA and network maps were created with Girvan-Newman cluster analyses in the UCINET and NetDraw software. We identified 5 clusters(Q=0.613) from correlations of the reflection codes at p<0.01. The goal was to associate strengths and weakness of the program with skills development and disposition development. Students associated internship activities with networking opportunities, gaining new perspectives, observation of experts working in context, and problem-solving. Students associated skill development, experiential learning opportunities, and collaborations with productive failure indicating that they learn from trying and making mistakes. Students' perceptions of career advancement, mental stamina, and work ethic were correlated with reduced confidence in their new work environment. Students' experience was also correlated with their development of marketing skills, sense of self, responsibility, and time management. Although the internship program enhanced the students' knowledge and skills, a structured instead of open reflection is recommended to gain a better understanding of the overall experiences.
**207 - Veterinarian Attributes: Perceptions of Students in Veterinary Medicine
M. E. Betsy Garrison
University of Arkansas
For students to be successful in their careers, they should understand the attributes that contributed to that success. As part of a larger project, the purpose of the study was to examine the perceived importance of the attributes of veterinarians by students in veterinary medical school (DVM). Student data from an online survey were collected from a single, mid-south state university in fall 2020. Ninety students responded, for a response rate of 22%. Most of the respondents were either in their third year (32%) or first year (25%) of veterinary school. Their ages ranged from 21 to 35, with a mean of 25 years. Not surprisingly, most of the respondents were white females. Veterinarian attributes were measured by an existing 20-item instrument with a 5-point response scale that ranged from 'not important at all' to 'very important.' Attributes included personal characteristic, soft skills, and subject matter expertise. Students indicated that 13 of the attributes were 'very important' and that none were 'not important at all.' They ranked Knowledge about Veterinary Medicine as the highest in in the very important category, followed by Good Communication Skills and Recognizes own limitations and knows when to seek advice. Six attributes were rated as 'important' more than 'very important': Professional Appearance, Decisiveness, Cleanliness, Likeable Personality, Good at Explaining Technical Terms, and Clear about the Cost of Treatment. The attribute that received the most 'indifferent' (middle category) score was also a Likeable Personality. Generally speaking, these results are comparable to those from previous studies of veterinarians. Unlike DVM students, practicing DVMs ranked Good Communication Skills as the most important attribute of a veterinarian. Based on the results, current veterinary students believe that they should be able to be effectively communicate with clients, but above all, be well-informed about animals and their care.
208 - Agriculture faculty to student gender reflection
Understanding baseline information regarding gender diversity in agriculture STEM faculty is essential to the development of initiatives to address diversity within the land-grant system. The Food and Agricultural Education Information System (FAEIS) is a nationwide survey of student and faculty data from approximately 230 institutions. In an effort to augment response rates to faculty within the FAEIS survey the FAEIS team used an automated program to collect 22,369 faculty and staff records with rank, name and department from public directory websites in 98 colleges of agriculture and 713 of their departments. Student workers applied gender codes to faculty records based on an inspection of the name and photograph associated with the directory listing. This case study of faculty data collection is correlated by college and department with FAEIS student survey data. Faculty gender ratios observed across the system are 55% male, 39% female. Student genders reported in enrollment across the same set of colleges are: 36% male, 63% female. Other studies indicate that students may identify faculty as role models more readily when gender matched and thus choose to pursue similar instructional careers as those faculty, effectively persisting the gender dominance in that field. Gender composition is compared between undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty in common department types. The effect of single-gender dominated departments on resupplying the workforce with same-gender qualified personnel is observed.
209 - Measuring Student Satisfaction in Asynchronous, Online Horticulture Courses
University of Arkansas
Instructors can have a difficult time connecting with students in asynchronous, online courses. This study examined the relationship between students’ perceptions of their instructor, engagement, and course satisfaction in online, asynchronous horticulture courses offered through the Alliance for Cooperative Course Exchange in the Plant Sciences (ACCEPtS). The population (N = 78) consisted of students enrolled in four asynchronous, online ACCEPtS courses in spring and fall 2020. Three separate scales were used to measure instructor perception (α = .96), student engagement (α = .89), and course satisfaction (α = .94). All items were measured on a 1 - 5 Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree). Students reported positive perceptions of instructors (M = 4.09, SD = 0.81), engagement (M = 3.80, SD = 0.96), and course satisfaction (M = 4.10, SD = 0.77). Significant (p < .001) positive correlations were found between perceptions of the instructor (r = .78) and engagement (r = .66) and course satisfaction. Perceptions of the instructor and perceived engagement were also highly correlated (r = .80, p < .001). A linear combination of perceptions of the instructor and engagement explained a significant portion of the variance in course satisfaction, F(2, 58) = 53.90, p < .001, R2 = .64, with both predictors being significant (p < .01). Results indicate perceptions of the instructor and student engagement, though related, make independent contributions to course satisfaction in asynchronous, online courses. Further, research should examine the nature of the relationship between perceptions of the instructor and student engagement, especially in asynchronous, online courses.
210 - Predicting Academic Achievement in Large Enrollment Undergraduate Agriculture Courses
University of Arkansas
Predicting academic achievement and, ultimately, graduation is an ongoing concern in colleges of agriculture. This study examined gender identity, self-efficacy, self-reported GPA, and course level as predictors of final course averages for students in three freshman/sophomore (n = 248) and three junior/senior (n = 146) agriculture courses in fall 2021. Following IRB approval, students completed a survey at the beginning of the semester and provided permission for instructors to report their final course averages at the end of the semester. A majority of students identified as female (62.9%), had a mean self-reported GPA of 3.48 (SD = 0.39), and a mean course-specific self-efficacy of 3.98 (SD = 0.66) on a 1 (Not at all confident) to 5 (Very confident) summated scale. Course level (r = -.18), gender [r = -.23 (females coded as 0 and males as 1)], GPA (r = .52), and self-efficacy (r = .11) were all significantly (p < .05) related to final course averages. Intercorrelations among predictors were non-significant or low, with the highest being r = .25 (GPA and gender). Course averages were regressed on a linear combination of predictor variables and the model was statistically significant, F(4, 317) = 36.34, p < .001, explaining 31.4% of the variance in course average. Course level, gender, and self-reported GPA were all significant (p < .01) in the model, but self-efficacy was not (p = .98). Results indicated females, students in junior/senior courses, and students with higher GPAs tended to earn higher averages in undergraduate agriculture courses.
211 - Strategies and Success: Learning Behaviors In the iGeneration
North Dakota State University, Department of Plant Sciences
Lifelong use of technology has influenced the learning patterns and expectations of today's students. The purpose of this study was to identify prevalent information and learning behaviors among genetics students, and to analyze if these behaviors differed between high-achieving and low-achieving students. Our survey instrument comprised statements organized into two behavioral areas (information sources and learning strategies) and one course perception area. Students evaluated these statements with a Likert scale of 1 (never) to 7 (always). Frequently-used information sources were Class Materials (6.32) and Google or Internet Search (4.96) while use of the textbook was low (2.72). Students reported greater frequency of learning from peers (4.47) than of teaching peers (3.57). Self-reported usage was grouped into low usage (1 to 4 on the Likert scale) and high usage (5 and higher on the Likert scale). Students were grouped into high achievers and low achievers based on mean exams score (median split). A Chi-square test of independence was performed to examine the relationship between the usage of each behavioral and perception statement and students' achievement level. Significant differences were found for two information sources: Google and Internet Search (p<;0.01, highly used by 75% of low achievers and 51% of high achievers) and Two or More Peers (p<0.01, highly used by 44% of low achievers and 19% of high achievers). Significance was also found for Teaching Peers (p<0.01, 12% of low achievers, 33% of high achievers), Topics Interesting (p<0.01, 51% of low achievers, 79% of high achievers), Topics Important (p<0.05, 67% of low achievers, 86% of high achievers), and Topics Easy (p<0.01, 9% of low achievers, 32% of high achievers). Other behavioral differences suggested meaningful trends, but were not significant. These results underscore the connection of effective learning strategies with successful learning outcomes. (IRB Protocol #AG20003)
212 - Implementing inquiry-based learning levels in an introductory animal science course
Inquiry-based learning is a student-centered teaching technique which encourages students to take initiative in self-guided learning and problem-solving. In comparison to traditional classroom activities, inquiry-based learning promotes engagement through higher order thinking, collaboration, and creativity. This study examines how the implementation of inquiry-based learning levels affects students' interest, motivation, and self-perceived engagement. Three primary inquiry-based learning levels (traditional, structured, and guided) were implemented in an introductory animal science laboratory session on three different timepoints. One hundred sixty-nine students participated in this study and were divided among five laboratory sessions. Within each laboratory session, students were randomly divided into six groups using a Latin square arrangement. During each timepoint, students completed a 20-minute case scenario activity which corresponded to one of the three levels of inquiry. Each of the levels of inquiry were differentiated in the case scenarios by differing amounts of instruction, information, and supplies. Immediately following each session, students completed online questionnaires measuring their situational interest, situational motivation, and engagement on a Likert scale. At all inquiry levels, students experienced a high level of attention demand, identified regulation, and personal effort. There were no significant differences between the three levels of inquiry. Although limited to one course, our findings suggest that inquiry-based learning activities promote increased situational interest, engagement, and motivation among students, which could generate prolonged student interest and investment in course content. Future research should juxtapose inquiry-based learning and traditional teaching methods to further examine the impacts in additional settings such as lecture or virtual classrooms.
213 - To Improv or Not to Improv? Comparing How Group and Paired Role-Play Discussions Effect Agricultural Communications Students' Empathy Development
Texas A&M University
Empathy is one of the most essential skills agricultural communicators need when communicating about contentious public issues. We used a quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest control group research design to explain the effect of role-play on students' empathy. Our sample consisted of agricultural communication students enrolled in sophomore and senior seminar courses (N = 66). The pretest and posttest instrument included Reniers et al.'s (2011) Questionnaire of Cognitive and Affective Empathy. During four classes, we delivered a lecture to the control group pertaining to relevant skills needed to meet industry demands (i.e., brand assimilation, consumer engagement, public relations, content marketing). We facilitated a group discussion after students read publications supporting opposing perspectives of real-world agricultural case studies demonstrating lecture topics. We delivered the same lecture to the treatment group. Then students in the treatment group found a partner, and each partner read publications supporting one perspective of the case studies. They adopted the perspective they read about and engaged in role-play prior to discussion. We received 28 usable pretest and posttest responses and conducted a descriptive analysis. Students in the control group demonstrated a small increase in total empathy (pretest, M = 3.05, SD = .38; posttest, M = 3.10, SD = .39) and cognitive empathy (i.e., perspective-taking ability; pretest, M = 3.02, SD = .47; posttest, M = 3.15, SD = .49). Students in the treatment group also demonstrated a small increase in total empathy (pretest, M = 3.09, SD = .28; posttest, M = 3.15, SD = .30) and cognitive empathy (pretest, M = 3.20, SD = .35; posttest, M = 3.30, SD = .33). Neither group demonstrated an increase in affective empathy (i.e., emotion contagion). The nature of the discussion (e.g., recognizing and affirming opposing perspectives) seemed to increase students' empathy more than the format of the discussion.
**214 - Student Performance and Perceptions of Exam vs. Quiz Based Assessment in Animal Science
Colorado State University
Although educational research supports the use of formative assessments, there is a lack of implementation and empirical data to demonstrate its effect in the classroom. Furthermore, students often report cramming as the primary method of studying in the summative exam classroom, and more temporally spaced assessments may provide better regulated learning. Thus, our objective was to investigate differences in student performance and perceptions of learning with various instructional strategies across two semesters of an undergraduate animal genetics course. Performance on two units of course content was evaluated for this study. Mastery of material in the first semester was assessed by two exams (semester 1, n=131) while the same topics were assessed by eight weekly quizzes in the second semester (semester 2, n = 66), using the same questions. Additionally, student perceptions of learning were collected in semester 2 using two nearly identical surveys at mid and end-of-semester, comprised of Likert-scale and free response questions. Student performance did not differ between semester 1 and semester 2 assessments (79.7 ± 0.09 vs 76.0 ± 1.29, respectively) for the first evaluated unit. In the second evaluated unit, performance was ~3.7% greater (P < 0.05) in semester 1 (exam-based) compared to semester 2 (quiz-based). Thematic analysis of survey data indicated an overwhelming preference (~97% of students) for the quiz-based classroom. Students reported an ease on mental health, increased preparation and study efforts, as well as improved application of knowledge within the quiz-centered semester. Moreover, ~84% of students agreed that weekly quizzes adequately demonstrated their knowledge. These data indicate that formative assessment with quizzes may serve as a potential alternative to the traditional exam classroom to effectively gauge student learning and enhance the student experience.
215 - Students' perceptions on what makes a great student
Sam Houston State University
Many university students move through their college careers without making the most of the opportunities set before them. Others never even graduate. Who can be considered a great student? Which behaviors and attitudes align with the essence of a great student? This presentation reports on a portion of the Great Teacher – Great Student research project that analyzes the students’ views of what constitutes a great student. Through a survey developed from a class brainstorming session, students reported on their perceptions of the qualities and characteristics of great students. The survey returned 117 usable responses from a pool of 194 agribusiness students (60.3%) at a Texas regional university. Analysis consisted of descriptive statistics, as well as Least Squares Regression on the 5-point Likert-type items relating to importance of the qualities. Respondents perceived that the most important characteristics of great students were Respect for others (mean=4.76), Willingness to learn (mean=4.66), Responsible (mean=4.62), Honest (mean=4.61), Able to apply logic (mean=4.59), Strong work ethic (mean=4.58), and being Teachable (mean=4.57), with a gap before the remaining qualities. While faculty generally believe that Club involvement is an important development activity, students ranked it dead last of the 22 items, even after Ability to memorize. Regression results indicated that eleven of the 22 characteristics were significantly influenced by at least one predictor variable. Age, Gender, Major, Classification, GPA, and Hours of employment were the predictor variables used in the regression analysis. Regression analysis also showed that while women valued being respectful to others more, men placed more value on research-orientation for a great student. GPA was significantly associated with six of the 22 characteristics, indicating that higher-performing students were differentiated from lower performers. Higher GPA was positively and significantly correlation with most important characteristics showing that good students seem to know what makes for great students.
216 - Understanding Motivation of Students Majoring in Agriculture and Natural Sciences as Compared to Other Majors: What Can We Learn?
Increasing the number of individuals prepared to work within agricultural industries is a critical need. Accomplishing this objective requires an understanding of how motivation can impact our students to acquire relevant knowledge and skills. Motivation is required to initiate and sustain activities toward goals in all situations, including learning. Whether the learning environment is formal or informal, motivation is needed for students to engage, persist, and perform. Extrinsic motivation involves participating in a task for recognition or avoiding negative judgements by others while intrinsic motivation is participation for reasons such as challenge, curiosity, or mastery of the task. Research over the decades has shown that engagement and persistence in learning are higher in those students with greater levels of intrinsic motivation while those with higher levels of extrinsic motivation are less likely to seek challenges or make progress toward learning goals. The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated stress has made the learning environment even more challenging. Our research measures student perceptions related to motivation and learning with the intent of providing guidance for instructors. Undergraduate and graduate students nationwide (N = 535) were recruited via social media to participate in an online survey focused on motivation and stress related to learning. Of these respondents, 167 represented agriculture and natural science majors. Statistically significant correlations were found between intrinsic goal orientation for learning and major and extrinsic goal orientation for learning and major. Overall, agriculture majors report lower intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as compared to other majors. Thus, we need strategies to address this in our classrooms. Our research provides insight to allow us an opportunity to rethink how we approach our teaching and how we can assist our students.
217 - Making the Transition: Using Non-Intellectual Traits to Predict First-Year Student Success
Oklahoma State University
Previous academic performance and standardized test scores are commonly utilized to predict first-year student success in their transition from secondary to post-secondary education. Despite these measurements, some first-year students still struggle to successfully complete introductory coursework in their program of study. This raises the question, is there more to consider than assessing first-year college students based solely on previous academic performance? The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of non-intellectual traits as indicators of student performance and success of first-year students. A 53-question Likert-type survey and a 16-question demographics questionnaire was administered to first-year students enrolled in the Introduction to Animal Science course (n=227) at Oklahoma State University during the second week of the Fall 2021 semester. The Likert-type survey consisted of six scales: Grit, Perceived-Stress, Self-Control, Ambition, Passion, and Mindset. Students were categorized into three groups: students making an A (n=89), students making a B or C (BC) (n=107), and students making a D or F or withdrew (DFW) (n=31). The Self-control scale [1= no self-control; 5= extreme self-control] was significant (P < 0.05) in distinguishing differences between A (3.74), BC (3.26), and DFW (3.11) students. The Grit scale [1=not at all gritty; 5=extremely gritty] was significant (P < 0.05) in distinguishing differences between A (3.71) and DFW (3.44) students. The Perceived-stress scale [Low= (0 €“13); moderate= (14-26); high= (27-40)] was not significant as all students fell within the moderate range of perceived stress; A (16.72), BC (18.69), and DFW (19.10). In addition, measures for the Ambition, Passion, and Mindset scales were shown not to be significant. If used as a preliminary measure, these non-intellectual traits may provide educators with the ability to better identify and aid students who may experience more difficulty when making the transition from the secondary to post-secondary educational system.
218 - Overview of Undergraduate Student Engagement in Research Activity
University of Florida
Preparing the next generation of agricultural economics is critical for the innovation and discovery of solutions to the numerous challenges faced within agriculture. While engaging undergraduate students early in their higher education careers fast-tracks their growth and experience with research, there is limited understanding on why and how faculty incorporate undergraduates in their research programs. To examine this issue, it is important to establish a measure on the prevalence of undergraduates involved in research activities across the United States (US). Thus, a study was conducted with three primary objectives (1) assess the current status of undergraduate research in agricultural economics, and to identify (2) the benefits and (3) challenges that faculty research mentors/advisors experience working with undergraduates on research projects. An online survey was distributed to elicit responses from faculty researchers across the US at universities with a high degree of research activities. Results provide a perspective of the prevailing undergraduate student research models being employed along with the core objectives of research mentors. This study also highlights the motivations among faculty researchers for providing opportunities for undergraduates as well as shed light on the perceived positive externalities to the field of agricultural economics. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations may also play an important role in the degree to which faculty researchers are inclined to provide these research opportunities for undergraduates. Additionally, focus is placed on the areas which institutional bodies can alleviate the difficulties researchers face when engaging undergraduates thereby increasing the overall cooperation between faculty and students in agricultural economics research.
219 - Lecture Notes, Assignments, and Quizzes Were Perceived as Being More Beneficial for Student Learning Than Lecture Recordings for in-person, Online, and Flipped Versions of an Animal Physiology Course.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in widespread instructional changes. While some modifications were only temporary, other adjustments were instructionally beneficial and thus, were retained in subsequent semesters. Prior to the pandemic, the graduate/professional-level Animal Physiology I course was taught in-person but was moved online in the fall of 2020. For 2021, components of the in-person and online courses were merged to achieve a flipped classroom. Student feedback was analyzed to assess instructional method efficacy. Items were evaluated on a Likert scale (0=did not utilize, 1=not very helpful, 2=somewhat helpful, 3=sufficiently helpful, 4=extremely helpful) and each student indicated the method they found most beneficial. For the in-person course, the highest scoring methods were weekly in-class quizzes (3.42), in-class group assignments (3.38), and in-class lecture reviews (3.12). In addition, in-class group assignments and in-person lectures were perceived as the most beneficial for 38.5% and 30.8% of students, respectively. For the online course, the highest scoring methods were lecture notes (3.81), online homework assignments (3.65), weekly online quizzes (3.08), and Zoom lecture reviews (3.08). Lecture notes and online homework assignments were considered the most beneficial for 65.4% and 23.1% of students, respectively. For the flipped classroom, lecture notes (3.46), online practice quizzes (3.21), and in-person lecture reviews (3.17) were the highest scoring methods. Furthermore, lecture notes, in-class group assignments, and in-person lecture reviews were reported as the most beneficial for 37.5%, 25.0%, and 20.8% of students, respectively. Interestingly, lecture recordings (in-person = 2.15, online = 2.42, flipped = 1.33) were not considered as helpful as other instructional methods, even in the absence of in-person lectures. Overall, these findings reveal it is important to provide students with a comprehensive set of learning materials (e.g. class notes) and multiple means of actively engaging with the material (e.g. assignments, quizzes, interactive review sessions), regardless of course delivery.
220 - Perceived Value of Experimental Mentor Program in Landscape Contracting Design Courses
Pennsylvania State University
The purpose of this study was to explore the growth of student mentees within the junior and senior design courses in the Landscape Contracting program, Penn State University during a new mentor program. The mentor program was implemented for the junior design course during fall 2020 and repeated fall 2021 and followed with the senior design course in spring 2022. At the end of each course data were collected through surveys of 30 mentees and 18 mentors with a response rate of 80%. (Spring data not yet available). Preliminary findings illustrate that mentoring relationships enable mentees to build skills and develop a community of practice. Responses showed a correlation between frequency of meeting and satisfaction. Students perceived the feedback they received as highly beneficial (90%) and mentors perceived their input as moderately helpful or extremely helpful (78%). Both mentors and mentees indicated that future design classes should include a mentoring component (78% for both), although students were unsure if the mentor program should be expanded to include other core landscape contracting courses. Mentor feedback on the master plan was perceived as helpful by 90 % of student respondents and 66% felt the interaction was helpful in the development of the client presentation. Neither mentors or mentees thought it likely the mentor relationship would continue.
301 - Student Feedback on Use of Breakout Rooms
North Dakota State University
The widespread use of Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom and other video platforms has enriched and expanded options for synchronous learning for students attending class remotely. These platforms also support use of breakout rooms as a venue for peer-to-peer discussion when not all students are in the classroom. Although groups have been used in face-to-face classes for many years and there exists abundant research on the benefits of groupwork, research on the use of breakout rooms as a venue for group work including students not physically in the classroom is scant. We address this gap. An end-of-term survey was administered to students in two classes taught using a HyFlex system where the instructor was physically present in the classroom with some students while others participated remotely (protocol #IRB0003973). The survey asked students for their thoughts about breakout rooms In general, questions were open-ended (e.g., what do you like about the use of breakout rooms?). Primary characteristics students liked about breakout rooms are that they facilitate student-to-student interaction, especially important during the pandemic, allow peer-to-peer learning, and keep student attention and interest. Primary characteristics noted as those disliked include that sometimes other students do not participate, instructors often do not provide the right amount of time for the assignment task, and discussion can be awkward when students do not know one another. Students found breakout rooms most productive when instructors provided clear guidance, students were held accountable for the conversation held in the breakout room, and all students participated. This poster will present detailed findings and recommendations.
**302 - Development of geology labs for online instruction: changes in best practices over time
University of Tennessee at Martin
Even before the pandemic, online education was a rapidly growing phenomenon for lab science teachers. While online science courses have adapted to the online classroom in content delivery and written assessments, finding virtual equivalencies or scalable approaches to at home lab components proved problematic. A 2007 study, 'Learning Science Online: A Descriptive Study of Online Science Courses for Teachers," found that in online science courses: 'Technology was used primarily for communications such as discussion boards, email, and chat, but there were very few other computer-based tools used within the courses." More recently, virtual labs have begun to find their way into online course curricula but still are fraught with problems including poor design and expense of the labs along with students' inability to complete virtual labs due to lack of access to necessary technology tools and inadequate internet service. This presentation will share best practices in course and lab design over the last 10 years in online geoscience courses using scalable, lab kits sent to students' homes.
303 - Interactive Technology Utilized in an Online Crop Science Course
Michigan State University
With high numbers of online courses, representing a wide range of content and instructors, in addition to formats and timeframes, there is not a one size fit all content design, however, there are several design considerations one must take into account to promote active participation of learners. In an online crop science, Rise, an online course authoring software was utilized, in additional to discussion forums, to create an interactive course learning experience. Rise takes the passive way of only watching lecture recordings to learn content and promotes self-learning though directed activities. By creating 25 unique content modules, students were able to explore content driven interactive activities to aid in learning the subject material. Students, armed with provided note taking guides, explore the content modules through text, video, labeled graphics, scenarios, process steps, flashcards, sorting activities, and knowledge checks. They then use these notes to answer discussion forum prompts that encourages connections to the student's life and major. Currently 203 students enrolled in the course represent 57 majors and certificate programs. Past students have expressed their overall enjoyment of the course material and appreciation of course organization. Future pedagogy research will include understanding which design aspects of interactive courses are most conducive to content retention and how students apply learning in this course to future endeavors.
**304 - Use of Verbal Assessment Through Video Conferencing Software During the Pandemic
University of Tennessee at Martin
The COVID pandemic presented many issues when it came to types of assessment completed in courses. One of the main challenges was assessing students' knowledge in a meaningful way and have it reflect mastery of the material through grades. To deal with this challenge, the use of a 30-minute verbal assessment by way of video conferencing software was implemented during semesters where instruction was conducted exclusively online. This type of assessment was used as the final exam in two upper division veterinary health technology courses. Student grades on the final exam and for the course with online instruction were compared to the pre-pandemic semesters and the semester when in person instruction resumed. Student scores on the final exams with online verbal assessment were significantly lower than the pre-pandemic semester. However, the overall average grade for the courses during the time of online instruction was higher. Some of the advantages of online verbal assessment included being able to ask students questions directly, observe for mastery of material and signs of cheating, and give students quick and direct feedback. The disadvantages included connection issues, the large amount of time required to complete all assessments, and student anxiety. While this method proved to be a good form of assessment, more work could be done to understand the variables resulting in the lower scores in the course with online verbal assessment.
**305 - Perspectives on in Person Exams Administered Through Learning Management Software
University of Tennessee at Martin
Prior to the COVID pandemic many courses still used paper exams as their main form of assessment. During the pandemic, an abrupt switch to remote, online learning made that type of assessment very difficult to continue. Both students and faculty had to quickly adapt to the variety of tools available to them through their often-underutilized learning management software (LMS). The purpose of this study was to determine if LMS software is beneficial for in person courses. Benefits realized by students were immediate test results, ease of correcting mistakes, feeling more comfortable, and a reduced environmental impact. Negative student feedback included not having a paper copy to mark up, having to remember to bring a laptop or tablet to class, having issues with questions showing properly, and having correct answers counted as incorrect by the LMS. Most students said they would rather take an in person class with exams conducted through a LMS than a class using written tests. From a faculty perspective, it takes more time to prepare the LMS exams initially but once completed the test banks can be used in creating multiple new exams. Other advantages include a reduction in grading time, the ability to easily create questions using different forms of media, and being able to stay more organized. Students in today's educational environmental are more connected and comfortable with technology than any prior generation. This form of conducting exams seems to be more in line with what students would like to do and that sentiment is only likely to increase in the future.
306 - Using Virtual Reality to Practice Tractor Safety
The Ohio State University
Given the hazardous situations that can occur on machinery during training, educators believe that Virtual Reality (VR) can be used as an alternative training tool (Kizil et al., 2001). VR can be an efficient tool for K-12, colleges, and universities to provide their students' knowledge, skill of complex mechanisms, and theories (Lee, 2012). Currently VR is used as a training method in the Army, Air Force, surgical training, industrial safety training, and pedestrian safety training (Aggarwal et al., 2006). As agriculture continues to show fatal injuries and events to youth, VR can be an educational tool that will allow youth to practice in an immersive and safe environment. This virtual reality program was developed from the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP) driving and skill course. The research team developed the content, and a grant partner developed the experience. This VR experience has three areas, one to find safety information about tractors, a virtual driving course, and a virtual skill test. High school agricultural education students and teachers were given a survey on their user experience. The results from this study found that student and teacher users had a positive user experience from the VR program. Results show promising use of virtual reality use in the classroom. Future research should be conducted with other virtual reality curriculums in agricultural education at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Research should be conducted to examine educators perceptions of using virtual reality in the classroom.
401 - Survey by Agriculture Advisors of FFA Virtual CDE Judging Contests Versus In-Person Contests.
Career knowledge and leadership skills play a critical part in student success for future career endeavors. Organizations like FFA stress student development and career preparedness by competing in district, regional, state, and national CDE judging contests. Lincoln University (LU) in Jefferson City, Missouri, has been hosting the annual FFA Judging Contest for 39 years. The event chair organizes twelve (12) areas campus wide, overflowing onto the LU research, George Washington Carver and Alan T. Busby farms. The FFA Judging contest years, 2018 to 2020, hosted an average attendance (M = 845.33) and number of participating schools (M = 36.33) for the day's activities. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual judging contests were developed to replace the in-person contests. The online contest format allowed fewer contest areas being offered for students. Even with reduced areas available, the FFA contest saw an increase to 1,205 students and participation of 85 schools. Post-event FFA agriculture advisors were surveyed to gage response to virtual contest options versus the traditional in-person contests. 54% of advisors indicated this was the first virtual CDE experience for their students. The survey results also indicated that students may have participated in different contests due to the virtual options. Advisors rated the overall KNOWLEDGE portion of area CDE's and 61.5% felt that there were no differences between virtual and in person options. Of the surveyed schools 62% were returning participants of the Lincoln University CDE Judging contest.
501 - A Career Matrix Amplifies Community College Advising and Career Development in Agriculture
NC State Univeristy
Community college students are a prime audience for the 60,000 highly technical agriculture job opportunities yearly in the United States. Importantly, community college is an enabling experience for many low-income or otherwise disadvantaged students who may not be aware of the rich career opportunities in the food and agricultural sciences. To connect potential community college transfer students to agriculture, agriculture academic programs, and careers, we launched an online career matrix. The matrix aligns three primary sources of online information: (a) Holland's six occupational themes (Realistic, Investigating, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional); (b) O*NET occupations specific to food and agricultural sciences; and (c) academic programs at NC State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. O*NET is a free database that contains occupational information, including skills, work activities, required credentials, and more for approximately 1,000 jobs in the United States. Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment based on Holland's six occupational themes, illuminates students' specific interests for work, leisure, and learning; personal work preferences (such as working alone or with others); and career opportunities. Undergraduates may complete the Strong Interest Inventory® to understand themselves and build career management skills. Created as part of a career development program for community college students, the career matrix represents a valuable tool for advising undergraduates and helping them bridge college and career. Additionally, the matrix provides sufficient background information to use successfully without the formal Strong Interest Inventory®. Students can review the themes to understand work preferences while discovering academic pathways in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and their alignment to various O*NET careers. The major implications of this work are the matrix's contributions to both undergraduate academic advising and to community college students who gain valuable knowledge of food and agricultural sciences careers.
502 - The BIs that PIs Promise: Identifying Broader Impact Activities proposed in abstracts for competitively funded agricultural science research.
The Pennsylvania State University
In a competitive landscape, new federal funder review criteria alter how principal investigators (PIs) propose research. Broader impact (BI) activities related to funded research that are more specific are more likely to come to fruition and thus considered more impactful. Past studies have focused on understanding how researchers meet National Science Foundation (NSF) proposal criteria, this study examined broader impact activities evident in the abstracts of agricultural science research proposed to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), and NSF at one land grant institution. Theory of Change and Program Logic Model provide a framework and coding scheme that describe the audience, engagement and resources included in funding proposal abstracts. The framework organizes content analysis in three outwardly expanding rings of audiences and five levels of engagement. Analysis visualizes how far beyond academia and how deeply stakeholders are involved in the research and science that lead to societal benefit. Mapping code co-occurrence revealed that though agriscience research frequently proposes extension-like activities, Extension is seldom mentioned by name. As PIs develop funding proposals, the framework presented provides a model for considering new opportunities to engage diverse audiences in research itself, both in activities directly related to the specific research project, and in activities complementary to the research project. The developed rubric provides PIs with a gauge to assess the broader impact of proposals before submittal, regardless of funder. Further study is recommended to understand PI perceptions of their own broader impact identity, to conduct a comparison of funded and unfunded proposal abstracts, and to survey resources available to PIs as they develop their broader impact narrative and budget for research proposals. A systematic approach to understanding broader impact can support researchers, prioritize infrastructure investments and encourage partnerships to deliver broader impact activities.
503 - Factors Influencing Students Towards Choosing a New Course
University of Florida
Developing new, innovative, and engaging college-level courses requires significant faculty time and effort. Because course selection may shape a student's academic future, higher education institutions invest resources to guide students through the selection process. However, for some new course offerings, few students register, resulting in course cancellation, lost opportunities for students, and wasted faculty effort. The aim of the study, based on the theory of planned behavior, was to explore the attitudes, social norms, and perceived behavioral control factors influencing students' decisions to register for a new course. A Qualtrics survey using 7-point Likert-scale ratings, from strongly disagree to strongly agree, and open-ended questions was distributed by email to undergraduate students (< 18 years) enrolled in Fall 2021, through department academic advisors within a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Of the 97 responses, 11 were incomplete and excluded. Regarding attitudes, the factor most often reported to influence a student's decision to enroll in a new course was "the course will help me complete the requirements for my major" (90% agreed or strongly agreed). In the context of social norms, the most influential factor was 'my friends have said positive things about the professor" (59% agreed or strongly agreed). Lastly, the element within perceived behavioral control that most impacted the student's course selection process was 'the course will help me meet my graduation requirements" (90% agreed or strongly agreed). In conclusion, faculty may want to consider the influential factors impacting students' new course selection when undertaking course development.
**504 - Factoring Experience into Student Success in an Upper Division Animal Science Course
University of Tennessee at Martin
To be successful in a university course, there are many factors. One of those is prior exposure to the topic through a previous course or personal experience in the subject area. One upper division animal science course at UT Martin, Farm Animal Health, has no course prerequisite and about a 75% pass rate. In order to understand what is making some these students successful while many of their peers are not, a survey was conducted of the class in the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022 (n=104). Factors such as major, previous animal science courses, personal experience with livestock, and if the course was being repeated were surveyed. The majors represented in the class were Vet Science and Technology (68.6%) with an average final grade of 77.3, Animal Science (7.8%) with an 87.8 final grade, and Ag Business (15.7%) with a final average of 73.2. Students attempting the class for the first time (94%), had a final average grade of 78.0. Students repeating the course (6%) had a final average grade of 75.3. Students with no previous experience with livestock (27.5%), had an average final grade of 74.6. Students with no previous course in animal science (6%) had an average overall grade for the class of 61.9. The data indicates that the most important factor to student success in the course is having completed an animal science course previously. This seems to be more important than practical experience with livestock or major.
505 - A Delphi Study Assessing Life Skills Attained While Participating on an Agriculturally Based Collegiate Competitive Team
West Texas A&M University
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between participation on a competitive team and life skills either developed or enhanced from this experience. This study divided life skills into three categories of measurement: interpersonal, academic, and employability skills. This study utilized alumni of a state university that were participants on agriculturally based competitive teams during their time in college. These teams included four evaluation teams (horse, meat, livestock, and agronomy) along with performance-type equine teams (equestrian and ranch). The Delphi Method was used to determine a consensus on the skills developed from participation on a competitive team. The survey was sent out in three rounds, with the first round used to determine what skills participants found were most important, using three open ended questions. The study was then followed by rounds two and three using a Likert scale for each skill mentioned in round 1. Among the group, there was a consensus in most all interpersonal, academic and employability skill categories. In the interpersonal skill category communication skills, accountability, and responsibility met 100% consensus, while critical thinking was the only skill that met 100% consensus in the academic skill category. Decision making skills met 100% consensus in both interpersonal and employability categories. Public Speaking, study skill enhancement, empathy, and flexibility were the skills that did not meet consensus in the third and final round. With the evidence of positive experiences, it is recommended to continue to encourage support for these programs at the university level. Further studies will need to be made with a broader audience, including multiple current team members from various universities around the United States.
**506 - School of Agriculture and Natural Resources Covid Adaptions to Learning
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
What can we learn from this event and how did this push an institution and faculty to incorporate an online environment during the health emergency? What challenges did students face where selection of their post-secondary institution was based on face-to-face and hands-on instruction? This census study (N = 31) of ANR faculty from an institution sought to 1) understand the faculty perceived experience due to emergency; 2) determine faculty and instructors' perception related to teaching online; 3) compare attributes of faculty through levels of anxiety and resilience. The theoretical framework used to guide this study was Fishbein and Ajzen's theory of reasoned action. This led to the purpose of the study which was to investigate the perceptions and experiences of faculty whose classes moved to an online format because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Steps to change course mid-semester was swift and faculty assisting each other. Positive attitudes and resilience brought faculty together and create stronger bonds. Level of anxiety was high for the course development and working with and reaching out to students. Anxiety was lower for grading due to the support of administration to promote academic freedom in working with students and for course evaluations. Efficacy toward the use of technology prior was rather low and increased. It was noted that administrative support and technology support was believed to be high. Faculty noted they perceived that over one-third of the students struggled in the online environment, over 50% of students had family responsibilities as they were living at home, and over 40% had no high-speed internet. Faculty reported they believed over 75% of their students were resilient and it created a better face-to-face student that had a higher appreciation for in-class meeting once face-to-face classes resumed the following semester.
507 - Identifying opportunities for multi-species contact in Virginia Tech's Animal and Poultry Sciences curriculum
Virginia Tech Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences
The Animal and Poultry Sciences (APSC) department at Virginia Tech allows students to choose a species to focus their studies on. Within the APSC curriculum there are four species emphases available: Companion and Lab Animals, Equines, Livestock, and Poultry, as well as three major options: Production, Science, and Pre-Veterinary. Additionally, many students choose two species emphases. The curriculum is designed for student customization; however, data from a multi-year survey project has revealed that a majority (64%) of students are disconnected from species outside their species emphasis. Therefore, the objective of this project was to review the APSC curriculum to identify opportunities for multiple species contact within courses. This review identified 15 courses that did not indicate a species focus: 3 are not currently being offered, 5 are part of the APSC core and 7 courses are suggested electives. The syllabi were collected and reviewed for information about species content and classroom activities. Only 2 of the courses had dedicated laboratory activities, and 1 of those courses was a stand-alone laboratory that was required for Livestock-Production students. As expected, all of the core APSC courses had content relating to multi-species, but only 1 had laboratory activities. The majority of the reviewed courses covered multiple species, but frequently poultry was not mentioned. This review suggests that the APSC curriculum is presenting multi-species content material to students but the lack of dedicated laboratory activities with multiple species may be causing students to avoid gaining further experience outside their species emphasis.
508 - Science Literacy of the 21st Century Undergrad: Comparing Science Literacy between B.S. and B.A. Seeking Students
The Pennsylvania State University
The National Academies of Science defines science literacy as the understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity. Science literacy is thus vital for future generations to think critically and make informed consumer decisions pertaining to agriculture. The purpose of the study was to measure students' science literacy gains from a diverse audience of students in an undergraduate course experience. Students from seven colleges enrolled in a three-credit, general education, course titled 'Science Literacy and Policy in the 21st Century". Students (n = 86) were asked to complete a science literacy test developed by Gormally et el. (2012) based on the nine skills of science literacy in a pre/post design. Data was collected over four iterations of the course through the fall semesters of 2018 to 2021. A paired samples t-test revealed a significant science literacy score gain of 16% between the start and end of the course (t = 49.715, p < .001, d = 4.800). Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree (n = 54, M = 17.80) earned a higher pre-test score compared to students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree (n = 24, M = 15.83). However, both groups of students received a mean score of 21.75 on the post-test. As a result, students pursuing a B.A. had a significantly higher gain score (M = 5.92) than those pursuing a B.S. (M = 3.96, t = -2.109, p = .038. d = 3.776). An overwhelming majority of students (84%) saw an increase in science literacy scores. It is concluded that this integrative studies, general education course is particularly beneficial to those without a science background to improve their critical and analytical thinking skills in science.
509 - Needs Assessment Process for a Value-added Beef Extension Program
Iowa State University
A major area in the Extension program development process is implementing a needs assessment. With this being a major part of Extension personnel responsibility, it is critical to teach future Extension personnel how to create a needs assessment, distribute the needs assessment, analyze the data, and apply it to the future program. This poster focuses on the process of utilizing a needs assessment instrument. The research-based instrument assesses a value-added beef extension program's competencies compatibility, complexity, and delivery method preferences for beef producers that plan on participating in a new value-added beef extension program. In addition, there is guidance on how to implement the assessment and analyze the data. Though this needs assessment example focuses on value-added beef production, the processes can be adapted to any needs assessment. The core process and lessons are critical to teaching future extension personnel in a program development and evaluation course using a case study approach. Program development and evaluation courses are typically taught in Agricultural Extension Education programs. Teaching future extension educators in a formal education setting, will assist in building their foundation when they are out creating new extension programs. When students are taught about the process of needs assessments prior to starting an extension career, it will impact how they align their programs with the audience's needs to maximize effectiveness of their program.
510 - Working with Beef Industry Stakeholders for a Future Value-Added Beef Extension Program
Iowa State University
The training of students considering Extension careers needs to include working with stakeholders. A Delphi method was implemented to identify competencies for a future value-added beef extension program and what challenges beef producers are currently facing regarding alternative production and marketing. The experts came to consensus that 21 competencies and 12 challenges should be included in a new value-added beef extension curriculum. The competences were categorized into four modules: Business and Marketing, Foundations of Value-added production, Foundation of Beef production, and Tools. In addition, the challenges the experts identified were categorized into six categories: beef industry structure, monetary, marketing, consumers, resources, and regulation and labeling. The competencies should be incorporated into Extension education programs as well as undergraduate or graduate courses. In addition, the results from the Delphi study, could be incorporated into undergraduate animal sciences courses as this curriculum is created for individuals wanting to learn foundational knowledge about value-added beef production and marketing. These specific competencies could be integrated in a beef management course for students to learn about different marketing and production strategies. Whether students are in Extension education courses or animal science courses, it is important to teach and showcase the connection between working with stakeholders and achieving the outcomes identified by individuals in the field.
511 - Influencers in the Industry: Agricultural Communication
Agriculturists are among the many groups of individuals that can utilize social media to share innovations in the field with their peers. For researchers in the field, their findings can provide insight and correct misconceptions of agricultural or even environmental issues, benefiting those inside and outside the industry. Consequently, agricultural organizations and associations, focused on the task of connecting and uniting those in the industry, have reserved spaces for themselves on social media platforms. This research was conducted using one objective: to ascertain organizations in the field who qualify as an influencer in agricultural education, communications, and leadership on Instagram. The study considers the distribution and circulation of information and ideas among a large audience. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations as well as Social Network Analysis (SNA) were employed as theoretical underpinnings. Rogers' theory provides guidance on how to identify influencers, or rather, early adopters. Social network analysis takes into account the multitude of nodes within social media and their connections. Therefore, to determine agricultural communication influencers on Instagram, a search for widely known and well-established agricultural communication organizations and associations was conducted. Government organizations, non-profit organizations, and companies in the field of agriculture were also collated and compared to see if any connections were mutual. Within the parameters of Instagram, AgWeb and AFA were determined to be primary influencers in the field of agricultural communication. A deeper objective for future research could be to locate specific individuals on Instagram rather than organizations. A method that could accompany this objective could be to survey freshman agricultural communication majors at various universities to determine who they follow as well as who they recommend to their peers.
512 - Graduate Program Reviews: Process, Outcomes, and Implications
The Pennsylvania State University
Graduate Program Reviews (GPR) are essential to the development, growth, and sustainability of graduate programs and are key components of [College] strategic plan. The goal of GPR is to: 1) ensure the quality and rigor of graduate programs offered, 2) improve the training and educational experience of graduate students, 3) enhance the learning outcomes, and 4) ensure that students are optimally prepared for careers in their field. The purpose of this abstract is to describe the process used to carry out the reviews, including comprehensive data collection, measures developed to document outcomes, development of a rubric, and external evaluation. The overall review process went fairly smooth because buy-in from all graduate program heads, directors of graduate studies and faculty was sought for the reviews. Second, description of detailed data collection (enrollment trends, graduation and placement rates, curricula, program satisfaction, etc.) and why such data are important were also discussed. It is very important to emphasize how the data collected and reviews will be used to objectively assess the programs. Post program reviews, we communicated the review outcomes to graduate program leaders and to determine a plan of action in the coming years. Overall, the GPR was very successful. Although it had some initial resistance to do the reviews due to the comprehensive nature of data collection and the time it required to collect data, the reviews were worth the effort. External reviewers who reviewed the documents were very appreciated of the process used and commented positively (especially the rubrics) in their reports. Several graduate programs are making changes as a result of the reviews which included revising of curricula, creation of degree options, develop targeted strategies for recuring underrepresented minorities and pool resources to identify a funding stream to enhance graduate student enrollment.
**513 - Integrating professional development and experiential learning into a first-year food science course
Food Science (FS) 162 Introduction to Food Processing is an introductory undergraduate course intended to explore food chemistry, processing, quality, and safety historically through lectures and coordinated laboratory exercises. Student groups design a food product or process considered a challenge or opportunity for the food industry. Recognizing an opportunity to improve student professional engagement with the private sector, FS 162 was redesigned with enhanced experiential learning tailored to Gen Z interests and learning styles. We hypothesized that more comprehensively integrated experiential learning would promote critical and creative thinking, deeper learning, and immerse first-year students in academic-private sector partnerships. The Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) was invited as a private sector partner; ISA's interest in expanding the marketability of novel soy-based foods was used as the theme for group projects. Teams were designed to integrate domestic and international students for weekly labs and final projects. Quizzes, lab reports, and degree of engagement with invited guest lectures were used to measure academic learning and progress. Facilitated class discussions and weekly surveys assessed student interests, instruction quality, and course redesign. Students reported that guest lectures and panel discussions complemented with experiential learning (e.g., lab experiments) deepened their understanding of foundational food science themes. Students valued career opportunities shared through engagement with ISA and the Indiana Institute of Food Technologists Spring Networking Event. Novel soy-based products were produced by each group; students indicated that group projects and peer assessments better prepared them for future opportunities (e.g., internships) and allowed them to explore potential careers in product development. The course instructor was able to use continuous student feedback to refine teaching methods to support student learning and engagement. Experiential learning and early career development opportunities should be integrated into FS 162 long-term to promote Gen-Z learning styles while encouraging entrepreneurship and supporting career goals.
514 - Understanding and Evaluating Undergraduate Transformational Experiences
Millions of college students across America are told that certain extracurricular activities are necessary to put themselves ahead of their peers whether entering the workforce or continuing their education after college. What undergraduates are not told is which activities set themselves apart from their peers. These activities, which range from study abroad experiences to internships, club leadership, and beyond, are referred to as Transformational Experiences. This study uses data collected from college seniors along with a survey of recent graduates to analyze a variety of things including, but not limited to, recruiting, advising, and funding decisions. The College of Agriculture at Purdue University has collected and analyzed data on each graduate since 2019 with the ultimate goal of having 100% of students completing an experience by 2026. Along with this data, an alumni survey will be conducted to gain intel on whether or not graduates thought certain experiences set themselves apart from their peers in job readiness or when furthering their education. Thus far, the College of Agriculture has found that the top transformational experiences included jobs/internships, study abroad trips, undergraduate research, and participating in a Learning Communities at Purdue, while very little of students' time was spent completing certificate programs and completing in club leadership. For instance, approximately 25% of Purdue graduates in 2020 held a job or internship, while only 3% participated in certificate programs or club leadership. Additionally, data has been broken down by department to see which experiences are most common among specific majors. Overall, this study is being conducted in order to help students, staff, and faculty understand which areas are most beneficial for students to spend their time in. This data could also be used to help departments understand which programs have the most value and can be used to make funding decisions.
515 - Innovative Internship Experience: Combining Scholarship with Practice
University of Maryland Department of Animal and Avian Sciences
Learning through authentic work in a specific discipline is a goal of the scholarship in practice general education requirement at the University of Maryland. Building upon this structure, an internship course was developed that allows students to gain advanced academic training in combination with authentic work experiences. Students enrolling in this course obtain an internship where they work 6-20 hours each week for one semester. Each student designs and completes an academic project that coincides with work completed at the worksite. Each project is tailored by the student, department internship coordinator, and site supervisor to be something authentic to the field in which the student is working. Projects require the use of primary literature, giving students more practice selecting and critically evaluating sources. Writing of the final product of their project is done through an iterative process and includes instruction and guidance in revising and refining their work. Students also meet biweekly in person to share their experiences and to discuss soft skills that are necessary for success in the work world. LinkedIn Learning courses are utilized to help students gain more insight into important career development skills. Sixty-four students have completed the program to date. Through informal evaluations, students report that the course structure and activities had a positive impact on their success at the internship site and on their ability to connect their coursework to real-life situations. Many students also appreciate the flexibility to select a project that most fits their interests. Students have demonstrated growth in evaluating literature and revising and refining their academic projects through the course of the semester as indicated by their ability to revise and refine their written work. The scholarship in practice internship course in Animal Science has been an excellent way to help students connect their academic training with careers.
516 - Leading Student Organizations Post Covid-19 Campus Shutdowns
North Carolina State University
Like many students across the country, North Carolina State University (NCSU) students lacked a 'normal" college experience in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused campus closures throughout the United States. Since returning to campus, encouraging participation in student organizations has proven challenging for advisors and organization leaders. The purpose of this presentation is to identify ways that advisors can aid student officers in leading campus organizations following extended COVID-19 campus shutdowns. A qualitative case study was conducted with the NCSU Horticulture Club due to the organization's rapid increase in active membership following the return to campus in fall 2021. A Zoom interview with the officer team and document/digital material collection were utilized. This case study indicated that students are more likely to engage with an organization that is goal oriented, organized, and communicative. Each of these findings are actions that are the main responsibility of the officer team, but often need reinforcement by the club's advisors. Unfortunately, many current student officers have been elected during all-virtual meeting formats and have not experienced a 'normal" year for the organization. Advisors need to be aware of these obstacles and support the officer teams in becoming team leaders by assisting in the creation of valuable experiences for members of the organization and assisting in member recruitment and retention. Through the leadership of the advisors and officers, student organization membership has the potential to increase, however, the club must focus on meeting the needs of the members by engaging in goal setting, facilitating organized meetings, and using multiple means of communication.
517 - Utilizing High Impact Domestic Immersion Experiences: Improving Current Student Capacity and Creating Future Students in Agriculture
The University of Idaho
High Impact learning experiences can come in many variations, but the best utilization of these practices when taking into consideration the finite resources of both finance and faculty time is when they achieve multiple purposes to advance the mission of the institution. This project describes a pilot of the USDA NIFA funded proposal to take students from underrepresented populations with career aspirations in agricultural education and provide them a domestic immersion experience to advance those career goals. Selected participants (N=16, 8 from each institution) were selected to participate in preparation course work on global food security including an immersion experience at the Borlaug Dialogues hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation in October in Des Moines Iowa. This fall knowledge and disposition development was followed by a Spring course experience focused on a domestic immersion over the university spring break to delivery food security education to secondary students in in communities with high density of different marginalized populations. The intent was to leverage a learning experience of current enrolled students to increase interaction and interpersonal engagement with future potential students to increase the secondary students' sense of self-efficacy that higher education in agriculture was an obtainable and desirable goal. The traveling university students were provided instructional materials as well as university recruitment materials to leave with the students, high school faculty, and administration. Example schools were Miami-Dade in Florida, Nelson County in Kentucky, and Raleigh, North Carolina. Objectives of the project included 1. expanding experiences of the pre-service teachers to other cultures and backgrounds, and 2. recruiting non-traditional students to their colleges of agriculture. For the pre-service teacher participants, they were selected using criteria for underrepresented minorities. All students in the program were given access to funds to pay for their travel to a high school.
518 - Agriculture Workforce Stakeholders Highlight Importance of Durable Skills and Networks
As America's workforce changes, so does the nature of the work and skills necessary for success. Employers are increasingly in need of a workforce that effectively engages in collaborative leadership. Educational opportunities, such as community college and two-year degree programs, need to include collaborative leadership learning experiences to help build workforce readiness. Debuting findings at NACTA 2019, APLU researchers identified 11 employability skills that were most important to stakeholders and had the largest gaps in terms of readiness. Indeed, the Christensen Institute recently identified "investing in durable skills and durable networks," as one of the "5 Education Innovation Trends Worth Watching in 2022."Also, America Succeeds (2021) reports on "The High Demand for Durable Skills." Findings from three years of action research reveal insights on employability and durable skills for collaborative leadership. Expanding beyond four-year degree programs, project stakeholders include agriculture faculty from nine community colleges and one two-year degree program. These agricultural educators are bridging the gap by refreshing existing workforce development curricula to meet 21st century agricultural industry needs; they are designing, developing, and evaluating leadership curricula for technical and community colleges to prepare the agriculture workforce for effective leadership in an increasingly diverse environment. The study used a semi-structured protocol with two focus groups. Participants, affiliated with agricultural workforce preparation programs, surfaced six key themes: (1) Agreeing with APLU employability skills report, (2) Finding positive benefits in completing internships, (3) Strategizing to build problem-solving skills, (4) Addressing 'soft skills" assessment challenges, (5) Prioritizing verbal communication skill enhancements, and (6) Learning how to accept faults and mistakes. The relevance of this topic in today's climate cannot be understated. This action research approach, with stakeholders from multiple institutions, can serve as a model for expanding educational networks to exchange knowledge and share leadership curricula.
601 - Cross County Partnership for Interactive Volunteer Education Through Online Systems
University of Florida
The University of Florida Master Gardener Volunteer program (MGV) is in 50 counties in Florida. Trained MGVs assist the County Residential Horticulture Agent (Agent) in providing educational content to the public. Training has historically been in person with a large hands-on component to the educational experience. These hands-on sessions allow participants an opportunity to establish relationships with volunteers and the Agent. With the challenges presented by Covid-19 in 2020-2021, a new method was needed to conduct these educational training events. Proper selection and use of digital technology resulted in effective interactive online experiences. To combat Covid limitations, four Central Florida Counties collaborated to develop and disseminate online MGV training. While some counties had offered hybrid trainings in the past, this was the first time these counties disseminated the MGV training entirely online. Using Microsoft TEAMS, Agents collaborated to plan and develop the program. Video meetings and chats enabled Agents to easily communicate from a distance. Classes were disseminated via the University of Florida Canvas system. To facilitate a sense of community within the respective counties, each county met live on zoom weekly for additional instruction, games, and to have casual conversation. The online format shift had several positive outcomes. Over the 12-week course, participants were able to watch lectures and complete homework assignments over the course of a week. The convenience of this in-home training allowed Agents to provide more information than would normally be available during the in-person classes. Additionally, participants had the opportunity to learn from 19 experts across 5 Florida counties. At the conclusion of the course, 100% of surveyed participants agreed that the course was a valuable experience. At the start of the planning process a volunteerism rate of 60% was deemed a successful program. In under a year the volunteerism rate across counties was 69%.
602 - Attitudes of College of Agriculture Students Toward People with Disabilities
The 2019 American Community Survey of the US Census Bureau revealed that more than 41 million people (12.7%) were living with a disability in the US. Similarly, a 2018 survey also revealed that 12% of the US farm population has a disability. Significant efforts have been made by The Americans with Disabilities Act, and in agriculture organizations such as AgrAbility to make the workplace more inclusive. The objectives of this study were to: 1) Describe attitudes of college of agriculture students about people with disabilities (PWD), and 2) Describe contact between students and people with disabilities. The population included junior and senior students (N = 1,113) in the Clemson University College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, which yielded a response rate of 10% (n = 116). Attitudes of students were measured using the Attitude to Disability Scale (ADS), developed by the World Health Organization. The ADS measures four domains: inclusion (M = 13.2), discrimination (M = 9.49), gains (M = 12.2), and prospects (M = 13.7). The summed total for all four domains using the ADS was M = 48.5 (scale ranges from 16 to 80). In general, lower scores on the ADS reflect positive attitudes (i.e., better inclusion, less discrimination, and better prospects). Scores from this sample indicated that agriculture students had mostly neutrally positive attitudes across domains; however, students also had strong negative attitudes regarding people with disabilities being a burden on their families and society, and that they should not be optimistic about their futures. Regarding student's contact with PWD, 42% reported family members with disabilities, 34% had close friends with PWD, 39% had monthly contact with PWD, and 60% of students worked with PWD. Discussion with students regarding their responses to open-ended questions may provide greater depth into their attitudes toward PWD.
604 - Farm Business Management and Benchmarking: Learning Experiences
Texas A&M University-Commerce Associate Professor of Agribusiness
The Texas Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Education and Outreach Alliance targets agricultural producers in the state of Texas through an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional alliance. The partnering universities focus on counties in Northeast and West Texas where there are many dairies, forages, pasture, grain crops, and livestock operations. The overall goal of this project is to contribute to the well-being of agricultural producers by providing them with the knowledge, skills, and tools to conduct financial benchmarking and increase their profitability and competitiveness. The project provides consulting services, trainings, and assistance, including the use of use of financial software like FINPACK and IFSaM. Agricultural producers benefit by comparing the benchmark of their agricultural practices with the agricultural practices from other producers in their region or in the leading states. The projects also supports regional agriculture, agricultural reach, educational institutions, and communities. Our poster presentation summarizes our experiences over the last two years to secure project participation, including attending many producer conferences and collaborating with groups of independent producers and agribusinesses, regional Extension Service agencies, Farm Service Agencies, credit institutions, and similar outreach programs. It also discusses university-farmer collaboration, effective use of social media, and recruiting strategies for increasing participation in financial benchmarking programs and finding solutions for sustainable agricultural practices. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, farm agencies and institutions have limited in-person contact; agricultural producers have also limited communication to emails and phone calls. Our recruiting efforts indicate response rates of 12.86% via email and 8% via phone calls. Our presentation will help interested institutions and researchers have a better understanding of this NIFA-USDA funding opportunity. It will also generate a discussion about best practices and strategies.
603 - Assessment of County Extension Coordinator's and County Extension Administrative Assistant's Perceptions of Leadership
University of Georgia
The purpose of this research project was to (1) describe County Extension Coordinator's current perceptions of their leadership practices and (2) describe the County Administrative Assistant's perceptions of leadership practices currently being used by County Extension Coordinators. This was a quantitative study for statistical analysis. The survey used in this study was the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) and the MLQ rater form. The results from these surveys would provide Extension administration the data and opportunities to develop leadership trainings that could potentially aid in the improvement of leadership practices being utilized by County Extension Coordinators. Overall, the average scores for transformational leadership skills between County Administrative Assistants and County Extension Coordinators were not drastic. However, the largest difference between scores was on the individualized consideration factor. Individualized consideration is, 'representative of leaders who provide a supportive climate in which they listen carefully to the individual needs of followers" (Northouse, 2013). This is a very important difference in scoring to note, such that, County Administrative Assistants feel as their voices are not being heard and their needs are not being met. If follower's needs are not being met, then a leader cannot successfully lead their respective county offices and achieve common goals in Extension programming efforts. It is imperative that Extension administration develop training opportunities that address the individualized consideration aspect of transformational leadership. This again demonstrates that the County Extension Coordinator position is not just managerial in nature, but a leadership position. County Extension Coordinators need the training and resources to learn how to effectively develop meaningful relationships among their staff.
**605 - College of Agriculture Student's Perceptions of Early Intervention and Suicide Awareness Prevention Resources
The rate of suicide in the United States has gradually increased over time. The CDC identified 10.6 million adults contemplated suicide and 1.4 million attempting suicide in 2017 alone. For years, farmers have been some of these statistics, often due to stress-related issues. A 2020 Farm Bureau study identified that 66% of farmers and farmworkers indicate that COVID-19 impacted their mental health. College students are one group that works closely with farmers and could possibly detect stressors that could impact mental health, thus possibly leading to suicide. However, is this group adequately trained to detect the stressors in farmers? This exploratory, descriptive research study aimed to identify the awareness of farm-related stressors of students at Clemson's College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences (CAFLS). A census approach was taken as emails were distributed to 1,723 undergraduate and 390 graduate students in CAFLS. The researcher-developed survey questionnaire was comprised of four sections including demographics, awareness and observations of agricultural stressors, warning signs of suicide, and future training interests. Two-hundred and seventy-seven students currently enrolled in CAFLS participated in this study, with the majority (76%) not having participated in suicide training, although the mean scores of 21 agricultural suicide stressors ranged from a low of 3.31 (somewhat to moderately aware) to a high of 4.31 (Moderately to Extremely aware) on a five-point scale of agreement. Additionally, nearly half of the participants (47%) observed agricultural suicide stressors caused by bad weather and problematic livestock or crops. Less than one-third (28.9%) of the participants were against participating in suicide stressor and prevention training. Therefore, it is imperative to consider the known stressors and develop purposeful training for college of agriculture students on how to identify and respond to such stressors, ultimately aiming to mitigate the continual increase in mental health amongst agriculturalists.
**606 - Engaging Dairy Producers in the Development of a Curriculum for Selective Dry Cow Therapy
SUNY Cobleskill, Animal Science Department
Providing opportunities for dairy producer engagement in new management practices can enhance their interest in the topic, encourage long-term participation, and lead to the development of educational materials for other farmers to utilize. The practice of Selective Dry Cow Therapy (SDCT) has emerged in recent years as a tool to ensure the judicious use of antibiotics in dairy cattle at the end of their lactations (dry-off). SDCT identifies and treats only dairy animals with a current intramammary infection or at higher risk for mastitis as opposed to treating all animals at the end of their lactations. The goal of the project was to promote the implementation of SDCT and increase the number of farms using the techniques. Dairy producers in central New York (n = 10) were recruited to participate in the project based on herd size, interest in the topic, and current mastitis culture enrollment. The project team members worked with dairy producers and herd veterinarians to help them develop SDCT plans that worked for their individual farms. The team developed a curriculum and website for dairy farmers, veterinarians, extension agents, and educators based on feedback obtained from the participating producers and input from other experts and stakeholders. Initial qualitative feedback about the curriculum has been optimistic and next steps will involve the assessment of producer satisfaction in utilizing the curriculum and website. It is hoped that these strategies can serve as a model for similar educational guides developed to implement novel on-farm practices. Additionally, the curriculum materials will be very useful in getting producers across the state involved, and making SDCT the 'new norm."
607 - An Alarming Issue: A Content Analysis of Farmers Mental Health Magazine Coverage
The Ohio State University
The subject of farmers' declining mental health has been highlighted in recent years as a hot-button issue in the agricultural community. With the added stressor of the COVID-19 pandemic, a downward trend in the mental health of these farmers can be expected, but how is this issue represented in the agricultural media? This qualitative content analysis examines the output of six Ohio agricultural magazines from March 2020 until December 2021 with the objectives of identifying and understanding the frames through which media represents the mental health of Ohio farmers. Preliminary results suggest that farmers' mental health is a relatively frequent occurrence across the sources and, when mentioned, is often framed through the mention of available resources, addressing and combatting stigmatism, and fear as an underlying source of mental health struggles. In summation, farmers' mental health across Ohio agricultural media sources has been established as a subject of increased coverage and framed in ways that indicate a desire to assist in mental health struggles and break through ingrained stigmas surrounding mental health in agriculture.
608 - Virginia Tech Food Access and Wellbeing
Across the US, food access on college campuses has become a growing concern and has been shown to have an impact on students' performance in school and their overall wellbeing. In the spring of 2021, the Virginia Tech Food Access and Wellbeing Study was launched to understand how food access and the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected students at Virginia Tech. The online survey received 2,116 complete responses averaging a ~6% response rate. Students were given the opportunity to share additional feedback at the end of the online survey, and approximately 176 students responded. The feedback collected was then analyzed to provide insight into what challenges students were facing during the school year. The prevalent themes addressed in the feedback were food access, housing security, mental health, and graduate stipends. The concerns of students involved the need for healthy and culturally-sensitive food options, overall wellbeing, financial stressors, and conditions being exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If students at Virginia Tech face these concerns, it is likely that other colleges and universities experience similar challenges. Implementing programs such as The Market at Virginia Tech, a food assistance initiative started in 2021, has shown to have life-altering improvements, especially for students with a disability. Virginia Tech is working toward addressing food access on campus, but more work needs to be done. By administering the VT Food Access and Wellbeing Study, we hope to support the voices on campus and provide avenues for students to excel at Virginia Tech.
**609 - Growing Wellness Project: Connecting Students to Plants and Their Benefits
Kansas State University
A cohort of faculty and staff across multiple departments and programs at Kansas State University (KSU) implemented the Growing Wellness Project in spring 2021. The project objective was to provide KSU community members an opportunity to grow and appreciate plants and greenspaces surrounding them, including personal living spaces, public spaces, and surrounding landscapes. Considering the amount of stress students endured through the pandemic, including mental and physical health, our goal was to use horticulture therapy as a method to reduce and combat stress to improve their well-being. The project was voluntary, and 24 students and 5 instructors participated over a period of 8 weeks. Graduate and undergraduate students from multiple colleges and majors. Participants were provided with an interior plant to grow and observe over the spring semester. the program included virtual, hybrid, and in-person activities organized to provide support and wellness learning opportunities for the students, including guided tours of the KSU Gardens and Greenhouses, Throckmorton Greenwall, and the KSU Prairie. Students were given an introductory survey with questions regarding their perceptions on plants and greenspaces. Of the 16 respondents 12, indicated having previous garden experience and plant care. Ten students grew up with houseplants, while six did not. Nearly all the participants (81%) were eager to learn more about indoor and outdoor green spaces accessible in the campus community. Ongoing program feedback has been helpful in modifying the program. The program has been implemented and expanded to include additional KSU student groups for spring 2022.
610 - Bridging the Gap in Agricultural Literacy: a Case Study of Food Pantry Clients
Agricultural literacy is important, and it is essential to have more people possess agricultural literacy. Not many people possess agricultural literacy. There is a gap between those that possess disciplinary literacy and those that do not and how to better share their knowledge in ways that the public is able to understand. A general population possessing agricultural literacy, people can better understand their food, the process it goes through, and where it comes from. This in turn creates awareness for food and those involved in the agricultural value chain. The purpose of this study is to observe the attitudes of food pantry recipients and the potential problems they face in understanding food labeling from a low agriculturally literate background. In this study, we sought to shed light on areas in which people are or are not agriculturally literate. The population of this study consisted of 100 food pantry recipients who ranged in age from 35-81. The majority being over 65 on a fixed income and using the pantry as their primary source of food. A major finding of this research is that the general public does not have knowledge of some of the foods such as labeling and nomenclature. Conversations with people lasted 5 minutes to 20 minutes. The questions asked by recipients were logged. This was an opportunity to increase the level of agriculturally literate people. It may prove effective to have workshops in communities educating them. One on one encounters such as the food pantry may be an effective avenue to educate the public. More research is needed such as questionnaires to determine further if people increased their agricultural literacy.
611 - Perceptions of Livestock Shows on Future Career Choices
Livestock shows allow youth to get firsthand experience in handling and taking care of animals, and other life skills such as responsibility, time management, hard work, and leadership. However, the relationship between participation in livestock shows and future career choices has not been clearly established. A questionnaire survey was developed to gather information from students, agriculturists, and agricultural professionals in an attempt to answer the above question. The questionnaire reached 14 land-grant universities, five animal agriculture related companies, and over 27,000 people on social media. 516 respondents competed the 19-question survey. Respondents were divided into four regions (Sothern 1; Northeast, 2; Mid-west, 3 and West, 4). Data collected on binomial variables were analyzed using Probit analysis to determine regional and gender differences. Chi square tests of independence were used to test the association of selected categorical variables. All analyses were conducted using SAS (SAS Inst., Inc., Cary, NC). Significantly, more females (48.2%) considered community outreach as a benefit out of participating in youth livestock shows compared to males (31.9%). Fewer individuals in the southern region (24.1%) viewed financial management as a strength of participation compared to other regions (‰ˆ 38%). Males were much more frequently members of Future Farmers of America (70.1%) compared to females (53.3%). The regions 2, 3, and 4 showed significantly (P< 0.05) higher levels of participation in 4-H (90%) compared to region 1 (69%). The results provided many useful information related to youth livestock shows but did not demonstrate a clear relationship between participation in livestock shows and future career choices.
612 - Show Me the Money! Cultivating Millennial Alumni into Lifelong Donors.
University of Arkansas
Higher education institutions depend upon alumni support (Gaier, 2005). Understanding how to communicate with alumni about financial giving is necessary. Brand community, an idea formed through social relationships amongst consumers of a common brand, regardless of location (McAlexander et al., 2006; Muniz & O'Guinn, 2001), can contribute to behaviors such as donations and engagement. Exploration of this concept was conducted in relation to young alumni (those graduating from 2008-2018). Fifty-four Millennial alumni participated in the study. The methods of communication that respondents ranked as their top two choices were 'E-Mail" and 'Links to Online Giving" (n=27). Most respondents (n=28) said they consumed department social media at least once per month and were at least somewhat willing to financially give to the department. Twenty-one participants said that the department was in their top three philanthropic priorities regardless of social media engagement. Eighteen respondents said the department was in their top three priorities or their top priority. Most participants were somewhat dissatisfied with their extra-curricular activities as a student (n=28). Of the respondents who were somewhat dissatisfied, 14 were somewhat willing to give to the department. Most respondents had low involvement or no involvement in extra-curricular activities (n=35). Of those 35 participants, 20 were somewhat willing (n=15) or extremely willing to give (n=5). Most participants reported they could currently donate less than $100 (n=29). 29.63% of respondents said they could currently donate $100 - $499. This study provides insight into the communication preferences of Millennial alumni and the impact of brand community on financial giving.
701 - Farm to Classroom: Making agriculture accessible to K-12 educators
Mississippi State University
With advances in science and technology, knowledge of the agriculture industry is declining. Scholars of agricultural education have argued the importance of incorporating agriculture into the K-12 classroom; however, teachers report a lack of confidence in teaching agricultural topics, a lack of agriculture-related resources, and pressure from administrators for their students to meet specific outcomes not directly related to agriculture. These factors prevent teachers from incorporating agriculture into their classrooms. In an attempt to promote agricultural literacy in K-12 classrooms, we developed a website where teachers can access information about state and national curriculum, field trips, farm tours, events, and camps related to agricultural literacy all in one easy to use location. The website also contains information about professional development opportunities for teachers interested in learning more. Moreover, contact information is listed on the website for teachers who serve as Ag Literacy Ambassadors across the state. These teachers actively incorporate agricultural concepts into their classrooms and serve as a local resource to others looking to add agriculture into their own classrooms. The Farm to Classroom website was launched in October 2020 and promoted through word-of-mouth and on social media. We used Google Analytics to assess the reach of the website thus far. We do provide national resources, but the majority of the content is focused on Mississippi agriculture. In just over a year, the website has 338 users (N = 338) in 31 states, with 219 users (n =219, 65%) in Mississippi and 38 (n = 38, 11%) returning multiple times. Although user-growth has been slow, we are seeing an increase in traffic as word spreads. Providing a user-friendly website with materials and familiar faces, in the form of Ag Literacy Ambassadors, provides support to teachers interested in teaching agriculture topics, but might not know where to begin.
702 - Raising Awareness of Food Security through Service Learning
The Ohio State University
The Virginia Governor's School for Agriculture is a month-long summer residential program for gifted and talented students hosted at Virginia Tech. During the 2021 Governor's School program, one of the two focus areas was food security. Food security is a necessary means for people to have an active and healthy life, with low food security impacting the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of students. Food security is also an essential facet of agriculture, as producers and researchers seek innovative solutions to provide all people with safe, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food. Therefore, to increase awareness of food security during the 2021 Virginia Governor's School for Agriculture, we partnered with The Market at Virginia Tech to implement a service-learning project. The Market at Virginia Tech provides food assistance for college students via weekly bags of pre-packaged food. Fourteen Governor's School students helped sort and pack two weeks' worth of bags during a two-hour experience. Students engaged in discussion with Virginia Tech staff from VT Engage: The Center for Leadership and Service Learning about food security and how to enact change to ensure a safe food supply for all people. All students indicated that they benefited from the experience and were inspired to help with food assistance and awareness of food security in their communities. The service-learning experience was beneficial in increasing the awareness of food security for high school students.
703 - The Impact of CLASS: Assessing the utility of professional development in climate change science education from current secondary educators.
The Pennsylvania State University
The Climate Literacy for Agriculture and Sustainable Societies (CLASS) conference was launched to empower educators in Tennessee, Kentucky, and the surrounding states to both build curriculum resources and receive coaching to utilize novel curriculum resources to prepare students to address issues in climate change science. The University of Tennessee Martin in partnership with the Global Teach Ag Network at The Pennsylvania State University launched the CLASS initiative. Funded by a grant through the United States Department of Agriculture, content presented during CLASS was tied to UN Sustainable Development Goal #13: Climate Action. Participants in CLASS attended sessions with climate change science experts who shared perspectives and dialogue on where the state of climate change science education is and where educators at the secondary level fit into the role of advancing climate change science education. The conference presented two significant opportunities for the agricultural education profession, (1) evidence for potential of building an open access library of resources from educators with diverse perspectives in climate science and agriculture through the culminating curriculum challenge, and (2) increasing the relevance of regional issues for motivating engagement in global issues. A post-conference impact survey was sent to the participants (n=10) to assess the utility of the resources and techniques offered during the conference as well as the effectiveness of the professional learning community that formed during the conference and specifically during the culminating curriculum challenge. Participants cited moderate use (m=2.63, SD=.99), relatively low collaboration (m=1.71, SD=1.03), and every respondent stating that they would be either 'maybe" or 'definitely" be interested in attending a future professional development opportunity focused on climate change science education related to agriculture and applied STEM fields. Future work will include more attention to emerging practices in applied STEM and continued effort on cultivating professional learning communities in regional conferences like CLASS.
**801 - Contemplative Writing as a Central Component of a Student Orientation Course
Regular contemplative writing is used as a central organizing principle in a Penn State course introducing students to the Community, Environment and Development (CED) major. The one-credit course is taken by all students new to the major, and helps students identify their own personal values, goals and passions, learn about career paths within the major, and construct a personal career development plan for their time in college. Most class sessions during the semester include ten minutes of in-class quiet reflection and journal writing focused on a daily prompt related to that class session's focus, followed by small or large group discussion. The daily prompts include reflection on personal values, goals and passions, student's cultural background and identity, and major questions they have related to what they're learning. Example prompts include 'In what ways do you want your job to enhance your life? What does that look like to you?", 'What types of personal experiences have you found most valuable for learning life & other lessons? What was it about these experiences which helped make them so valuable to you?", and 'How do you want to be impacted by what you do?" Students spend several class sessions reviewing the totality of their reflections, identifying major themes and other elements of importance in their reflections. Homework assignments build on these reflections, helping students draft their path through their time at college. Student feedback has been overwhelming positive, with comments such as 'This class really helped develop my idea of what I want to do moving forward with the major and my life" and 'The daily journal writings were extremely helpful in helping me to understand what was actually a priority for me in a career."
802 - The Role of 24/7 Presentations for Technical Communication in Animal Science: A Two-Fronted Approach
University of Findlay, Ohio
The objectives of the 24/7 presentation method are to provide a unique opportunity for practicing technical communication skills in the field of animal science and agriculture, while engaging the whole classroom. Research has shown that utilizing student presentations is a successful strategy for stimulating student learning and promoting involvement with the academic material. However, students traditionally rate presentation assignments unfavorably, finding the experience to be stressful and decreases the quality of their learning environment. Additionally, with recent larger enrollment in courses, it often can be harder to create meaningful opportunities for student presentations as well proper utilization of course time for the instructor. Each student is required to explain their topic twice: first is a complete, technical description in 24 seconds, and second is a clear summary that anyone can understand in 7 words. Two adaptations of the 24/7 presentation were utilized; one allowing students to select their own topic, and the other assigning topics to students. Additional variations include peer evaluation, reflection and discussion, and pairing an image with the presentation. Implementing these criteria challenges the students to efficiently identify and succinctly convey the most important information in a way that encourages engagement from the entire class and presents an opportunity for each student to display enthusiasm during an oral presentation. Feedback in course evaluations widely displayed favorable ratings regarding the assignment.
803 - Preparing Graduating Seniors for the Job Interview
Sam Houston State University
Work-force readiness of college graduates is a goal of employers and faculty. Agricultural Sciences at Sam Houston State University offers a required, senior-level course, Professional Career Skills. Fall of 2017 (n=48) and 2018 (n=37) animal science seniors were team-taught by animal science faculty. Students were required to apply for an animal science-related position, complete a mock application with a cover letter and resume. Additionally, each participated in a telephone and face-to-face interview, conducted by faculty. Students also received lectures on effective cover letters, resumes, and professional dress. Graduates from this course were surveyed to identify if the course was beneficial in acquiring their position. Of the 23 students replying to the survey, 78% were employed and 65% were hired for the position they were seeking with 39% hired before graduating, while 22% were hired less than one month, 34% one to eight months, and 9% two years or more after graduation. A majority (57%) agreed that the course helped them acquire the position while 18% responded 'maybe". When asked to rank (1-5) the class assignments as it related to obtaining their job, most students ranked the outcomes with 4 or better for resume building (87%), face-to-face interviews (83%), and telephone interview (74%). Comments included, "took away so much from the course!", "most valuable college course I completed", "course met its objectives in preparing students for interviewing", "face-to-face interview helped me to stay calm and answer questions". This positive feedback validates the course objectives in preparing students with job interview skills. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions regarding this submission.
804 - Interdisciplinary Approach to Experiential Learning in Agriculture Through Workforce Development
Virginia Polytechnic and Institute State University
Cyber biosecurity and workforce development in agriculture and the life sciences (ALS) is one weak spot in the curriculum at land grant institutions. Students that pursue majors related to ALS often don't include training in cyber-related concepts or expose the 'hidden curriculum' of seeking internships and jobs. Exposing students through course work and preparing them for internships to provide experiential learning opportunities to bridge the two is one area this project aims to fulfill. The objectives of this work are 1) to learn about data security in ALS through class activities and 2) to understand how students apply the knowledge gained participating from the classroom to prepare them for their internship experience. The course provided concrete learning activities with reflection and discussion in areas of professional development as well as agricultural processes related to cybersecurity and data management. Students worked together to promote learning and engagement from peers of different majors. The instructor provided reflection questions at the end of each class meeting based on the activity for that day. Experiential learning is a method of teaching that has been shown to create transformative learning experiences for students. Over the course of the class, students developed technical and professional skills related to the field, followed by an eight-to-ten-week internship with a variety of industry partners. This study is intended to enhance the growth of the cyber biosecurity field, provide students with applicable skills that are transferable between the classroom and workforce, and be used as a valuable educational tool various organizations and institutions can utilize as a model to best develop their own educational experiences through experiential learning.
**805 - A Qualitative Investigation of Agriculture Teachers' Experiences of How Well the Tennessee FFA Veterinary Science Contest Influences Participant's Career and University Choice
University of Tennessee at Martin
The National FFA Organization structures competitive events known as Career Development Events (CDEs) so students can experience and develop career specific skills. If colleges and universities host such events, it can potentially serve as a great recruiting tool for specific academic programs and discipline-specific career areas. There are currently 26 FFA CDE events that represent many agriculture disciplines exposing students to many career and university options. Agriculture educators often serve as the FFA advisor and facilitate student participation in these CDE events. The purpose of this study sought to qualitatively measure the perceived effectiveness of the Tennessee FFA Veterinary Science contest hosted at the University of Tennessee at Martin for exposing students to veterinary careers, helping students select veterinary careers, preparing students for veterinary career entry, and ultimately attending UT-Martin. Of 328 Tennessee agriculture teachers, a convenience sample was identified at an annual teacher's meeting. Using open response questions, teachers were asked to share their perceptions of how well the state FFA veterinary contest introduces students to veterinary science careers, how well the event helps participants select a veterinary science career, and how well the event prepares students for veterinary careers. Generally, agriculture teachers perceive the event as an effective 'exposure experience" to potential veterinary careers. However, these educators also perceive the event as having 'little impact" on preparing students for career entry. Many teachers believed that students ultimately attend UT-Marin because they are exposed to the university's veterinary facilities and faculty. Participating teachers indicated the Veterinary Science CDE could be improved to fully reach its mission. This study focused on the perceptions of the teachers; a replication of this study with the actual student participants across multiple years to track their college degree and career choice could provide further information on if these events truly have career preparation implications.
806 - Initiating the Rural Cyberbiosecurity Workforce Pipeline Through Empowering Agricultural Educators and Supporting Middle School Girls the Rural Cyberbiosecurity Workforce Pipeline Through Empowering Agricultural Educators and Supporting Middle School Girls
Agriculture is becoming increasingly dependent on digital information and therefore subject to a growing threat to its data and intellectual properties. This threat provides an opportunity to decrease the gender gap in agricultural STEM careers while meeting the rising challenges of the digital world. Agricultural career opportunities in STEM are growing, especially within computer science and biosecurity, but the number of women in STEM fields is not increasing. The goal of this ongoing project is to develop a support structure for formal and nonformal agricultural educators through evidence-based strategies that have been shown to effectively engage middle school girls in STEM learning. Specifically, the efforts of this project emphasize the incorporation of cyberbiosecurity topics in middle school curricula. Cyberbiosecurity is a budding field focusing on addressing the vulnerabilities associated with biological intellectual properties and infrastructure. This project approaches its goal in the following ways: creating professional development opportunities and ensuring access to educational resources. Fostering working relationships among a multidisciplinary team of stakeholders ensures that instructors have a strong and informed support structure to develop new curriculum ideas. Developing open educational resources on cyberbiosecurity topics will increase accessibility to reliable information and provide a collaborative space. Stakeholder engagement has been facilitated between a multidisciplinary advisory board, science team, and formal/nonformal educators through a series of meetings culminating in a design summit. The efforts underway with this project will help introduce formal and nonformal educators to cyberbiosecurity topics and curriculum methods to engage an underrepresented population in the field. This work is supported, in part, through the CCI Southwest Virginia Node Cyberbiosecurity Seed Grant program and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields (WAMS) Grants Program, award #2020-38503-31950.
**807 - Art of Teaching: Small Groups
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
The "Small Group Teachings" concept began in the fall of 2021 with our senior cohort. This teaching design allowed students to teach in pairs at middle and high schools throughout southwest Georgia. A unique feature of this process was that all students received the same lesson outline titled "Defining Career Success." The challenge was to take the lesson outline and prepare their specific group lesson plan. The objective of this new concept within our program was to allow students to apply current pedagogical knowledge obtained during their teacher preparation semester and assess their teaching performance along with their fellow peers. During the visits, each group taught their lesson while fellow peers and two college supervisors observed from the back of the classroom. All reviewers were provided with open feedback sheets to record notes and comments while observing each group's teaching. After the teaching performance, groups received feedback sheets, and each teaching group debriefed their experience. College faculty facilitated the discussion and allowed the teachers and fellow peers to exchange ideas. Throughout the experience, students repeatedly commented how much they enjoyed incorporating the teaching practices they were learning and applying them in an actual classroom setting. It was unique to experience every student teaching and observing their fellow peers. Providing such an opportunity is not readily available during the student teaching semester. Another takeaway was the ability for all observers to see that teaching is a true art as no group taught their lesson the same way. An additional outcome was the ability to give back to our cooperating teachers. The teaching groups came in and taught classes for an entire Friday. Our cooperating teachers have given so much to our program, and we were happy to provide them with this incredible experience.
808 - Increasing Diversity in Cooperative Extension by Improving Diversity in the Pipeline Through Cross-institutional Course Offerings
A primary issue limiting diversity in US Cooperative Extension organizations identified at the 2020 National Extension Directors Association annual meeting was the lack of diversity in the pipeline of prospective students. A Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science diversity grant program provided an opportunity for Virginia Tech and Virginia State University to explore development of a cross-institutional course to introduce more students to Cooperative Extension across both 1862's and 1890 Land Grants as a way to diversify and strengthen this pipeline therefore creating a Cooperative Extension system that better reflects the diversity of the communities it serves. This presentation highlights the results of this initial exploration which has resulted in a cross-institutional course being offered and supported across the two institutions in Fall 2021. The course is an overview of Cooperative Extension as it applies to non-formal education for citizens and communities. Major areas discussed include history, organization, functional areas, responsibilities of agents, employment in Extension, and program planning. The course premise is that all students have the opportunity to be involved in Extension either professionally or as a stakeholder post-graduation. The course will provide a strong background and basis for further development of understanding of what Cooperative Extension is, benefits it provides and challenges it faces as well as the role community members play in enabling the development of strong educational programming tailored to meet local or regional needs. Resources and partnerships between both 1890 and 1862 Land Grant Universities are leading the way in introducing a more diverse group of students to Extension as a viable career and academic pathway. Through the session we will share lessons learned and plans for the future based on outcomes identified through course assessment as well as student focus groups at the conclusion of the course.
**809 - Trauma-Informed Teaching Strategies
University of Florida
Almost 85% of people have experienced at least one lifetime traumatic event by the time they reach college-age. In addition, the pandemic has triggered significant emotional, physical, and economic issues for many individuals. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual's functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being. Trauma is centered on the individual's experience. While trauma-survivorship is an invisible identity, it can negatively impact students' ability to learn and manifest in different ways such as feelings of hopelessness, hypervigilance, and emotional overwhelm. Students may have difficulty keeping track of changes in the course, maintaining motivation to study, prioritizing assignments, managing their time, and engaging with classmates and class material. It is important to take steps to create a trauma-informed learning environment. Attendees learn about the prevalence of trauma and will be able to explain how trauma can impact learning. Attendees will also learn trauma-informed teaching strategies.
810 - What Does an Entomologist Look Like? Instructor Gender Influences Student Drawings of Scientists
Oklahoma State University
Multiple 'Draw-a-Scientist' studies have been conducted and when asked to draw or describe a scientist, many students depict the stereotype of a middle-aged man wearing glasses and a white lab coat. While the number of female scientists drawn by students has risen over the last fifty years, it is still significantly less than the number of male scientists drawn by students. Research also shows that women scientists are underrepresented in professional STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields and many entomology positions in academia and the federal government are filled by males, despite females currently representing between 40 and 50% of doctoral graduates. If students do not observe women as entomologists, males may not consider that females can become entomologists and females may not see their future selves as entomologists. In this study, we sought to determine if instructor gender impacted student drawings. In multiple sections of a non-majors entomology course we asked students to draw an entomologist. We then compared the drawings from classes taught by a male instructor to those taught by a female instructor. We discovered that the number of female entomologists drawn by both female and male students was greater in the section taught by the female instructor than the section taught by the male instructor. We hope the results of this study show the importance of raising the visibility of female role models in agriculture STEM fields, including entomology.
811 - Successes and Challenges of an on Campus and Community Based Service Dog in Training Puppy Raising Group- a Case Study
Pennsylvania State University College Of Agricultural Sciences
Since 2014, Pennsylvania State University has partnered with Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD, Grantville, PA) to run a student and community-based puppy raising group on campus. Puppy raisers live with, care for, and attend weekly to bi-weekly training classes with their Service Dogs in Training (SDiT) on the Penn State campus. When the dogs are 18-24 months of age, they return for advanced training at the SSD kennel to learn specific cues and be matched with partners with disabilities. Since starting with three student raisers and three puppies in training, over 60 undergraduate students, 13 community members and numerous local 'sitters" have worked together to raise over 80 puppies for further training with the support of SSD staff and volunteers. Students participating in the program report increased patience, confidence, problem-solving and community engagement. As one student stated, puppy raising is an 'intense experience" and they also experience frustration, stress, heartbreak, and difficulties. Student raisers from our program have gone on to diverse careers, including those in health and human services, dog training, zookeeping, the military, and veterinary medicine. This talk will outline the puppy-raising process, information on how the program was begun, and the importance of working at the college, university, and organizational level for success. The challenges, benefits and learning opportunities of a college based puppy raising program will be discussed.
812 - Illuminating Agricultural Extension and Education Career Opportunities for STEM and Liberal Arts Undergraduate Students
The United States is facing historical shortages of agriculture extension agents and teachers. With fewer undergraduates pursuing agricultural career opportunities, the shortage will likely continue and magnify. This project aims to illuminate career opportunities for STEM and liberal arts majors at two land-grant universities in the Appalachian region of the United States. Focusing on food safety, health, and nutrition, it will address a need in Appalachia and internationally in Senegal, a feed-the-future nation in West Africa. The project will utilize a unique combination of existing curricula in leadership training, education, food safety, food preparation, and food preservation to illuminate extension and agricultural education careers for undergraduate students. The curriculum will address program development and evaluation issues, agricultural careers, leadership theory and applications, Senegalese history and culture. They will also improve youth leadership programs they intend to deliver in Appalachia and Senegal. The Virginia Tech and Tennessee State University undergraduates will be trained in safe food handling, preparation, and preservation. Each of the four selected cohorts will provide extension programming in food safety, preparation, and preservation to household members responsible for the health and nutrition needs in Appalachian and Senegalese homes. Extension agents in Virginia and Tennessee will mentor students and ensure they are prepared for the task. Additionally, the project will involve five faculties from multiple disciplines and two institutions. It will be a collaborative effort between staff and students from the faculties in the two learning institutions. The faculty staff and extension agents will continue to mentor the students throughout and beyond the program. They will travel with the students for domestic and international extension programming to offer guidance and assist where needed. Moreover, they will directly get involved with the students as they seek to learn and make a difference in other people's lives.
**813 - Hybrid Learning: Bracing Challenges and Creating Opportunities
Teaching and learning have adapted through various delivery methods during COVID times. Hybrid learning environments are becoming a popular method to teach students through uncertain times, with the goal to maximize student learning while maintaining classroom community. The objective of this presentation is to explore a case study of hybrid learning: how hybrid learning can be adaptable yet challenging to optimize the learning experience of students and create an extraordinary learning community. Hybrid delivery consists of teaching through a combination of face-to-face (F2F) and online components. However, how the actual hybrid delivery is carried out is dependent on individual instructors, curriculum, and institutions. In other words, it can have various presentations and has the potential to be messy. A hybrid delivery model was implemented in a first-year introductory animal agriculture course. The initial delivery method for the course was F2F, which was no longer possible after sudden changes in COVID protocols and policies during the second week of classes in September 2021. Enrollment began at 116 students and dropped to 89 students over the course of various sudden and strict changes. The hybrid model was implemented through synchronous lectures and various assessments using new technology to best accommodate students and their learning needs. The hybrid model created opportunity for students to choose how to engage in the course according to their unique learning needs and personal situations. There were challenges throughout the term regarding the logistics of the hybrid delivery to achieve course competencies, outcomes and overall academic success for the students while maintaining a positive and encouraging learning environment. Students valued and appreciated the hybrid delivery as it allowed for continuity and successful learning. Valuable learning opportunities presented to both students and the instructor which strengthened the practice of hybrid delivery in the teaching and learning context.
814 - Writing with Reason
North Carolina State University
Written communication skill enhancement is a common curricular goal among collegiate programming. Writing assignments come in many different formats across courses, but a common theme remains that the assignment is only class deep. Therefore the objective was to develop a practical and meaningful writing assignment to enhance student's written communication skills and synthesize course content. This assignment was one component of the multifaceted communication assignment that promoted written, oral, and visual presentation skills, 'Have You Herd," in a Junior/Senior level livestock management course. The assignment consisted of writing articles for publication in a regional trade journal and/or extension bulletin. Students were able to select from a provided list of disciplinary topics of interest provided by state extension specialists. The student articles were reviewed throughout the semester for accuracy of content and written communication guidelines. Students felt inspired and took the assignment more seriously knowing that their work could be made publicly available (with their permission) instead of only serving as a grade in the course. Quality of writing and content was greatly improved compared to previous written assignments that were only submitted for instructor review (80 ± 11% before publishing option and 89 ± 2% post publishing option). Therefore, finding an outlet to publish student work so that they are writing with a reason improves content knowledge and written communication skills.
815 - Pathways to General Education: An Integrated Application in a Hybrid Agricultural Communication Class
Pathways programs have been extensively researched and applied in higher education curriculum as a supportive and experiential component of teaching and learning. Approved at Virginia Tech in 2015, the Pathways General Education (PGE) curriculum reflects best practices in pedagogy. Consisting of three components; integration, inclusivity, and real-world relevance, the VT PGE engages students in ethical reasoning, intercultural and global awareness, and inclusively addresses the needs and challenges of diverse students in an inclusive classroom experience. We randomly sampled 25 students using the VT Pathways Assessment in a hybrid agricultural communication class for this study. Data were collected for one core concept (Discourse) and one integrative concept (Intercultural and Global Awareness). We utilized the pathways rubric developed by the Virginia Tech office of general education as well as the course rubric to determine students' learning outcomes. Our findings enabled us to determine core aspects of the course that required restructuring as well as areas that students excelled in. We present our findings in the form of descriptive statistics and also discuss the application of the Pathways curriculum and its impact on student learning outcomes. We also present critical reflections on the mentor-mentee relationships and results of student engagement with the course materials. Overall, the pathways rubric and curriculum prove to be an integral aspect in improving course content in higher education.
816 - The Successful Team Project in Complex Instructional Settings
The Ohio State University
Team projects can offer rich life-experiences and needed skills to student learners, but often student disdain for team projects clouds the effectiveness of the experience. Add complexities to the experience, like technology and students being at different locations, and the hesitations can mount. The objectives of this poster are to 1) offer tips for team project success in complex instructional settings 2) share lessons learned 3) share evidence of success from student reflections. In a video-linked, and hybrid, class between two campuses, I facilitated a successful team project that was met with much reflective growth and little grumbling. Each team was predetermined, assigned roles, and given meeting space and time. The team project had multiple parts with 1-2 students being responsible for completing and submitting each part of the project. Students were encouraged to collaborate with their team and gain team feedback before submission. The project components were designed to contribute to course content, thus providing added responsibility and purpose. Student reflections and feedback identified personal and professional growth in skill development, team management, and appreciation for others in a team environment. Some students referenced this being the best team experience in a classroom and others referenced role identification as a key piece to team success. Some students mentioned the role structure eliminated the tendency for one person to dominate the team and/or others to not contribute to the team. Additionally, several students mentioned being pushed outside of their comfort zone to complete tasks they normally would not have volunteered to do. Students reported not wanting to let their team down and valued learning from each other. In a complex instructional setting, it can be easy to navigate away from team projects, but with purposeful and strategic project design students can gain valuable experiences and life-long skills.
817 - Enriching Curriculum & Improving Active Learning through Multidisciplinary Team Projects
Sam Houston State University
Active learning (students engage in the activity that forces them to reflect upon ideas and how to use them) has been shown to promote more meaningful learning. The objective of this project was to improve student learning and enriching the curriculum through multidisciplinary collaborative team projects. These projects incorporated undergraduate research into two courses [Game Animal Management (WMGT; n = 27) and Farm and Ranch Management (AGBU; n = 30)] using the elements of Team-Based Learning and Project-Based Learning and by creating a structured collaboration between these teams. The interdisciplinary projects incorporated elements of both wildlife management and business aspects of the management plan. The professor for the WMGT course provided a lecture for the AGBU course on conducting surveys, what tools are needed, and what data is collected. The AGBU professor conducted a lecture for budget analysis for the WMGT course. Students from the WMGT course were divided into groups of 4-5 members and tasked to collect population survey data on 6 key aspects of wildlife (fish, white-tailed deer, ducks, nuisance species, non-game species, and timber) at the school's ranch. Student teams in the AGBU course used these census reports to compose enterprise budgets. These teams presented their findings in a group poster presentation at the conclusion of the semester. Although, non-overlapping course meeting times and inflexibility of the group schedules created some issues, the students remarked that they gained a more holistic picture of the management plan with both technical and business elements addressed at the same time.
818 - Teaching Precision Agriculture using a Collaborative, Co-teaching Approach
Researchers have defined co-teaching as 'two or more professionals delivering substantive instruction to a diverse, or blended group of students in a single physical space." This definition was used as a guideline by faculty members from a community college and a university as they collaborated to create a curriculum that allowed students from each institute the opportunity to interact while participating in hands-on experiences in a 'Precision Agriculture Systems" class. This collaborative approach allowed faculty to utilize resources and community based assets to deliver a high quality cohesive curriculum that fit the needs of both student bodies. Faculty used the Parallel teaching method as described in Friend and Bersuck's research. This approach states that 'Two teachers divide the class and provide simultaneous instruction of the same content. The goal is to increase student participation and allows for differentiation of instruction." This thought, coupled with recommendations that co-teaching in higher education should create opportunities for modeling different approaches to teaching, helped faculty highlight areas that were important to their individual student base and also allowing them to collaborate on common topics including; sampling techniques and variable rate applications while community speakers or off site hosts were asked to speak with one group of students rather than two smaller groups at different times. This approach had many challenges, the largest being the ability to line up schedules for everyone involved. This proved to be a learning experience for everyone and plans to continue this collaborative effort in the future are being made.
819 - A Summer Research Experience for Community College Students Enhances Career Development in the Agricultural Sciences
North Carolina State University
Community college empowers many traditionally underrepresented, under-served, and marginalized populations. Unfortunately, community college students often lack opportunities to explore the richness of careers in the agricultural sciences. Furthermore, community college students need greater experiential learning opportunities to explore agricultural career pathways and build workforce skills. To connect community college students to agricultural academic programs, research, and careers, we launched an 8-week, summer residential agricultural research program. The program, called REACH, was offered to students from Tennessee's 13 community colleges in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Selection of program participants, known as REACH Scholars, prioritized students with outstanding performance in chemistry, biology, and/or engineering who were economically disadvantaged, racial/ethnic minorities, and first-generation college students. Over three years, REACH engaged 26 students as research assistants with agricultural faculty at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Additionally, REACH Scholars participated in weekly workshops to develop workforce essential skills such as teamwork, career adaptability, and leadership. The program was evaluated using a concurrent mixed methods design that involved focus group interviews, the Student Assessment of Learning Gains questionnaire, and the Perceptions of Agriculture and Agricultural Careers questionnaire. Focus groups and other assessments occurred on the first day and last day of the program to compare student achievement to benchmarks. REACH Scholars developed more specific career plans and more favorable perceptions of agricultural careers during the program. Scholars reported being more likely to attend graduate school and study food science, microbiology, and plant pathology due to their REACH experience. Regarding workforce essential skills, assessments showed that scholars increased abilities to select appropriate mentors and accept advice; identify and analyze problems; and think strategically. This program demonstrated an effective evaluation strategy for evaluating undergraduate research. The major implications of this work were that community college students' career development and research acumen were affected by agricultural research and mentoring.
820 - Applying Instructional Design Principles to Food Science Education
North Carolina State University
Higher education institutions aim to provide quality education in an effort to produce graduates who will improve and strengthen the nation's food, agricultural, scientific and professional workforce. Developing curriculum with relevant and updated content, proper pedagogical application, and use of instructional delivery systems and principles assist faculty in providing such education. While most food science departments do not have an assigned instructional designer or curriculum developer, this partnership is critical to both faculty and student success. This project describes how courses can be created efficiently as part of a Food Science program curriculum using instructional design principles, dedicated instructional designer, and a committed faculty member/subject matter expert. Having an instructional designer trained in education and instructional design principles working along food science faculty allows a curriculum to be created that addresses any gaps in curriculum and/or changes in industry standards and practices so students are fully prepared to work in industry once they complete their degrees. Following a standardized process using rigorous course design standards ensures students receive a seamless learning experience that integrates best practices, aligns assessments and course materials to course objectives, and measures student learning. Therefore, this project addresses a significant issue in food science education, which is training and preparing the next generation of food scientists by developing courses using instructional design principles. As new knowledge and technology becomes available, food science curriculum and courses must be updated and new courses developed. Instructional design tools can be used effectively and efficiently to update and create food science courses, allowing faculty to create engaging, informative, and accessible courses that can be easily evaluated, resulting in programs that produce higher-quality graduates. Ultimately, institutional capacity is strengthened and the quality of education improved by creating innovative, updated, and standardized curriculum for food science.
821 - Developing Workforce and College Ready Students in the Mountains of Appalachia through Constructive Objects of Agricultural Learning (COALs)
West Virginia University
West Virginia ranks last in the country for undergraduate educational attainment. A little of 21% of the state population has a bachelor's degree. Access to opportunities to advance a school system's ability to prepare students for the workforce in the food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences (FANH) with extremely limited resources will require innovation and willingness to change. The purpose of this project was to incorporate scientific research into already existing curriculum standards to help youth prepare for, attend, and graduate from two-year and four-year colleges and universities in food, agricultural, natural resources, and human sciences (FANH). The theoretical underpinning for this project was the Constructive Objects of Agricultural Learning (COAL), based on Kolb's (1984) Experiential learning model. COAL is a visual presentation of students' project methods and procedures at a research colloquium. Results revealed that a total of fifty students developed seven COALs in the 2020/21 school year and presented their posters at a virtual colloquium in May 2021. Four faculty members from various disciplines in the College of Agriculture assisted the students in producing and evaluating COALs in the schools. As a result of the project, fifty-four high school students took college courses. The project has improved understanding among students in grades six through twelve about opportunities to work and pursue degrees in FANH. The project has increased the number of college-ready high school graduates and enhanced critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. This project gives high school students from rural communities the opportunity to familiarize themselves with life as university students. Their presence on campus and relationship with faculty members encourage them to pursue post-secondary education.
822 - Faculty and Staff Award Recipients' Perceived Value of a PK-12 Awards Program
Awards can provide incentives to motivate faculty and staff. Using the Faculty Engagement Model, three dimensions (institutional, professional, personal) can be used to study why faculty are motivate to engage in activities based on what their institution values. The purpose of this study was to describe previous award recipients' perceptions of the perceived value of a PK-12 Awards Program. Twelve of 18 recipients completed an online questionnaire. Of the 12 respondents, seven were faculty and five were staff. On a 5-point anchored rating scale, participants responded they were in 'quite a bit" agreement to the benefits of the PK-12 awards. The top benefits were as follows: (1) increased overall perceived value of PK-12 Engagement Program, (2) increased recognition of recipients' PK-12 excellence and impact, (3) increased dissemination of PK-12 activities and outcomes, (4) improved existing PK-12 activities and (5) strengthened collaborations for PK-12 engagement. The benefits reported as being 'somewhat" beneficial were: (1) increased recipients' PK-12 impact on participants, (2) started a new idea (innovation) for PK-12 engagement, (3) expanded relationships for PK-12 engagement, (4) increased PK-12 reach (number of participants), (5) provided evidence for promotion and merit increases, (6) increased scholarship of PK-12 engagement, and (7) provided professional development for individuals and teams. Additionally, participants shared the awards program provided program support, networking, and career benefits and they used the funding for program engagement; presentations, workshops, professional development, and student activities; and, project and program development. Collectively, 20,815 PK-12 students, 1,895 parents, and 2,008 educators were reached by award recipients annually (1,892 students, 237 parents, 183 educators per award recipient annually). Future research should explore the challenges, barriers, risks, and negative consequences of the award program, and semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews should be conducted to better understand more specific stories regarding impact of the awards program.
823 - Empowering Learners in a Capstone Course: Student Development of Business Plans for a New Ag Center
Student empowerment has been shown to be integral to the learning process. When students feel empowered, they feel more competent in their learning activities, find these activities more meaningful, and feel they have an impact on the learning process. One innovative way in which student empowerment can be implemented is through the direct engagement of students in the planning and utilization of campus facilities. In the fall of 2020, a new on-campus Agricultural Learning Center with an outdoor classroom and a 130' by 30' greenhouse was funded at [Name] University, a small, residential, private university with a growing agricultural enrollment. The spring 2021 agricultural capstone course was comprised of nine graduating seniors and focused upon the development of enterprise plans for the new Ag Center through a Team-Based Learning approach. Students were given specifications related to the physical layout of the Ag Center and greenhouse and divided into committees and teams to research and make business planning decisions related to their implementation in the ensuing academic year. Three team business plans were developed which each included a minimum of three distinct enterprises. Individually, students completed and presented a peer-reviewed, strategic issue analysis of nine exclusive enterprises. Anecdotally, students shared that they enjoyed the opportunity to work in committees to research their plans, valued teamwork in their coursework and business plan development, and they felt pride in leaving a legacy for future students. Students also felt empowered as learners through the learner-centered engagement approach implemented in the capstone agriculture course.
824 - Mentoring3: Developing a Win-win-win Scenario Through a Collaborative Public-private School Partnership
We recently implemented an innovative project to address some of the challenges inherent to preservice teacher development and recent concerns related to the Work-Based Learning component of School-Based Agricultural Education programs commonly known as Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). A three-stage mentoring framework was used as a model to meet the goals of the project. Morningside University preservice agricultural education teachers mentored secondary agricultural education students from an urban Career and Technical Education Career Academy that serves three high schools in a community of 86,000 in the development of foundational and immersion SAE projects. Most of the urban students lacked access to traditional agricultural facilities but were able to utilize the university’s new agricultural learning center and greenhouse to develop school-based enterprises. Preservice teacher candidates were mentored by the Career Academy instructor, while the teacher educator provided mentorship for the SBAE instructor. Mentoring3 allowed for observation of each other’s teaching, collaboration between university faculty and the secondary instructor, the secondary instructor and the preservice teacher candidates, and the preservice candidates with the university faculty member—all while assisting SBAE students to develop immersive SAEs in a state-of-the-art agriculture center. Anecdotally, participating preservice teachers identified several areas of skill development that included enhanced agricultural content knowledge, pedagogical implementation, lab management, and SAE integration opportunities for urban SBAE students. The SBAE instructor and faculty teacher educator also shared new learning experiences from the collaborative efforts. Future project plans include adding an internship mentoring program for university students and continued SBAE student summer SAE projects.
825 - Outlining the Untold Story: Using Evaluation Impact Statement Writing Guides to Teach Soft News Writing Skills
New Mexico State University
One of the most daunting tasks for students and entry-level communications professionals is the ability to tell a powerful story. Without a widely adopted outline to aid in crafting a compelling soft news story, students often report concerns about fallible writing styles and a lack of writing proficiency (Ryan, 1993). Writing apprehension is further amplified in scientific fields, such as agriculture, food, and natural resources. To address this need, we used Lupis' (2017) framework for writing program evaluation impact statements to help students ease writing apprehension and develop feature story outlines in an advanced agricultural and scientific publications course at [University]. These story outlines helped students 1) identify the unique, untold story; 2) frame how the story should be crafted; and 3) identify elements to bind the story together. Each outline also provided the relevance of the story to [University's] research priorities, an explanation of the impact of the story, and a brief public value statement (Lupis, 2017). To develop these outlines, we first asked students to share their concerns regarding soft news writing. Students then identified intriguing aspects of soft news storytelling examples observed in everyday life. Discussion about impactful storytelling led students to identify the facets of compelling, succinct writing and the importance of accompanying visual elements and design. Next, using well-crafted stories from industry-relevant publications, students identified commonalities in storytelling themes. Posed with the question, 'What is the untold story," students curated a list of potential, pertinent story topics and selected one to create their story outline. Students expressed an interest in reconciling their fear of storytelling. Students also stated how helpful outlining elements of 'impactful" stories was when selecting a story. One student stated the framework removed the 'ambiguity" of selecting topics, which helped ease their anxiety of later needing to write a compelling story.
826 - Experiencing Cultural Diversity through the Production and Sale of Ethnic Vegetables Using Hydroponic Grow Towers
Small and midsize cities in the US are becoming very culturally diverse with the existence of many cultural groups. Within these groups, food consumption differs because of cultural values, tastes, and preferences. Today, students are intensively exposed to cultural diversity in many courses where they learn the concepts of global awareness and how culture influences consumer behavior. Some of these students experience these concepts either by traveling to different locations or by participating in service learning projects in different communities. During summer of 2021, members of our faculty and students successfully planted and harvested the experimental amaranth legume, a staple in many African countries, in one raised bed. Most of the harvested amaranth was donated to the members of the local African Community. The positive summer experience led students to enroll in a senior level class and explore amaranth demands in the city as a term project. They visited African food stores where consumers purchased ethnic food. During those visits, the students discovered the increasing demand for amaranth. With the use of hydroponic grow towers installed in the campus greenhouse, students planted, harvested, and sold amaranth in the surrounding areas. This presentation shares how the experiential-learning based project increased student's interest in cultural diversity. Students indicated that researching the amaranth provided new and fascinating insight; food consumption diversity across demographics exists in their community; hydroponic grow tower, a new technology, can be used to grow amaranth legume during the winter, and globalization exists in their backyard at a low cost.
827 - Increasing Literacy of Agricultural Sustainability Through Implementation of Soar Program
Auburn University was awarded a USDA Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy Grant through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative for the Sustaining Our Agricultural Resources (SOAR) Program. The SOAR Program creates sustainable professional development and continuing education for science and agriscience teachers. This program addresses content areas which are typically less common to receive formal training in, making this program of great importance to teachers and their continuing education. Educators who participate in this three-day professional development program will receive a participation stipend, curriculum, materials, and lab experience in targeted content areas which will be taken back to their classrooms to increase student literacy of sustainable agriculture. Year one of the SOAR Program was completed in July 2021 and consisted of seven agriscience teachers who participated in a three-day professional development conference focusing on soil science. Participant feedback will be presented and examined to improve the future years of the SOAR Program. Years 2-4 will consist of 50 Alabama science and agriscience teachers per year and will address soil science content during three days of focused professional development. The SOAR Program will branch out to other content areas of professional development beginning in year five. With the introduction of new content areas, including non-point source pollution, precision agriculture, food borne pathogens and disease, animal welfare, and food insecurity for urban and rural populations. Teachers who have participated in SOAR will have access to a web portal containing materials relating to the professional development they participated in. Using the SOAR web portal or gaining readmission in new onsite opportunities will be available by charging user fees to support the continued operation of the program. Implications are that the SOAR Program will have a major impact on agricultural sustainability education in Alabama through focused professional development and formal training efforts.
828 - Leveraging High School Dual-enrollment Initiatives Within Rural Alabama to Create College Ready Agriscience Students
Wallace State Community College
Dual-enrollment initiatives have long been a pursuit of administrators within Pike County Schools. These initiatives have allowed numerous students the opportunity to receive college credits, short-term certificates, and even associate's degrees at no cost to the student. The endeavor began in 2007 with the founding of the Pike County Agriscience Academy. Dual enrollment programs began in 2015. Through this program, students can receive an associate's degree in Science with a concentration in Agriscience. This was created as part of a partnership that was forged by Pike County Schools through Enterprise State Community College and Wallace State Community College. Through this program, students receive face-to-face instruction through Wallace State Community College in the area of Agriscience. Students receive general education courses through the in-district institution, Enterprise State Community College, the program's degree-granting institution. This compromise was created due to the in-district institution not offering an agriscience program. The two agriscience teachers within Pike County Schools serve as adjunct instructors for Wallace State Community College within this program. These instructors provide instruction in the courses of Introduction to Animal and Dairy Science, Career and Professional Development in Agriscience, Introduction to Horticulture, Fruit and Vegetable Crop Production, Landscape and Nursery Production, Agricultural Mechanics, and Floral Design. The associate's program is typically utilized by students intending to continue after their secondary schooling to pursue further education within the field of Agriscience. This program has adapted throughout the years, with students now having the option to pursue a short-term certificate program through Wallace State Community College rather than completing a full Associate of Science program. This provides options for students who struggle with the testing associated with entering the complete dual-enrollment program due to state testing regulations. By providing these programs, Pike County Schools remains a leader within rural education by providing students with opportunities to succeed within their future post-secondary endeavors.
**831 - Lessons Learned from Teaching Through the Pandemic: Integrating Successful Practices from Remote Instruction and Social Justice Considerations into Agricultural Engineering Design
Penn State University
Our Land-Based Waste Disposal course focuses on the analysis, design, and management of recycled agricultural, municipal, and industrial wastes. In Fall 2021, we decided to transform this traditional lecture-based course into a student-centered format. Guided by student feedback from a year of remote teaching/learning, we incorporated best practices from remote instruction to improve the in-person experience. This included: using segmented lectures, team activities, workshopping, low stakes checkpoints, gamification, case studies, and in-class polling. An anonymous end-of-semester survey used open-ended and 6-point Likert scale questions to assess preferences and perceived effectiveness of these practices. Students reported that the approach(es) used kept them motivated, was enjoyable, was effective in supporting their learning, and that the delivery of the course kept them more engaged than their other courses. They also felt confident in their ability to meet the 3 major learning objectives. Given recent increased awareness of social justice issues, we wanted to incorporate social justice and ethics into the design process. This module focused on environmental justice (EJ) and included pre- and post-surveys, an introductory module, case study, videos, and reflective writing. EJ subtext was woven into the design project narrative and open-ended questions and a post-submission survey were used to assess whether EJ played a role in the student's design process. Although <80% of the students said they had prior coursework in EJ, the pre-survey found that <30% of the students had a clear understanding of EJ principles. In the end, however, student response to the module was overwhelmingly positive with students noting the effectiveness of the module and the importance of EJ in the design process. Although not included as part of the required design criteria, students indicated that they did consider EJ and would continue to think about EJ in future design and policy decisions.
832 - Individuals' Perceptions and Attitudes About a Diversified Community Garden
Providing healthy food options can help to decrease obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and high cholesterol in low-income minority populations. These communities often struggle with the accessibility and availability of nutritional foods, example in [CITY], a small community in central Alabama. A community member expressed an interest in starting a community garden. A community garden in this area has the potential to increase mental and physical health, provide a sense of community, and more food stability. Agricultural experiences such as community gardening can impact the attitudes and behaviors surrounding fruit and vegetable consumption. The purpose of this study was to understand the perceptions and attitudes of adults in [CITY]as it relates to the development of a community garden. A questionnaire comprised of summated scale questions via Qualtrics was emailed to residents who expressed interest at a community meeting. The instrument was grouped into three major themes; respondents' willingness to participate in a community garden, time available to participate, and types of crops they would like to grow. The majority (N=41) of residents are interested in a community garden to learn about growing foods from other countries and can dedicate 1-5 hours a week (N=44), and were willing to travel more than 5 miles to participate (N= 23). The respondents also expressed an interest in learning more about other cultures via growing diversified foods, and were interested in establishing a community garden from surrounding areas with similar demographics to [CITY]. Further research is needed to draw more in-depth conclusions.
**833 - AGricultura Y TÚ: Preparing More Effective and Trained Teachers
University of Puerto Rico
There is a need for preparing agricultural education teachers that can educate knowledgeable people for the demanding food supply, especially in an island with 37.5% farms lost after Hurricane María, affecting the island's food security. Empirical research has demonstrated that new students who enter the Agricultural Education program at the University of Puerto Rico need to acquire more experience related to tropical agriculture and related practices. We have found that further preparation in these areas is necessary for these teachers to provide effective instruction. Innovative ways were implemented to motivate Puerto Rico’s prospective teachers to study agricultural education and provide them with required skills. AGYTÚ, a curricular project integrated into three core courses was implemented where prospective teachers can use the agricultural and teaching theory learned through coursework in real settings. Throughout this project, students are responsible for reviewing the literature, creating educational materials, delivering creative lessons, and performing their teaching in real scenarios from the beginning of the project. AGYTÚ project also brings bilingual educational materials related to tropical environments and addressing Hispanic students available to educators. The requirement is that the lessons be dynamic, use hands-on methods and involve active student learning. Introducing this project into teacher preparation courses has resulted in more enrollments and motivated teachers with better agricultural skills. We will continue running this project to prepare more skilled and knowledgeable students. We encourage other departments to adopt similar practices where they offer students experiences in real agricultural education settings.
**834 - Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Pre-service Teachers Immersion Experience to Learn About Diversity
Oregon State University
The population demographics of the United States are changing in composition, and these changes are reflected in the nation's classrooms. There are currently 5 million culturally and linguistically diverse students (CLDs). However, most teachers still need more tools to support them academically. This is because there is no national consensus on the requirements that mainstream teachers should possess when teaching CLDs. Responding to the need for better-prepared teachers, we created an immersion experience where student teachers experience the feeling of being in a diverse classroom and learn instructional strategies to address the learning needs of this population. The class is divided into two parts, and the first part is usually offered in a language that the student teachers are not familiar with, for example, Spanish. In the first part, we discuss basic agricultural science topics that presumably all students already know (e.g., the parts of plants and their functions). During this section, student teachers are asked to participate and answer questions as they would normally do in a class. Student teachers then have the opportunity to ask questions about what was taught. Those questions are answered in Spanish. Once the student teachers have experienced being in a diverse classroom, in the second section of the class, they learn about teaching techniques that are effective in teaching CLDs. These techniques are language content integration, cooperative learning, scaffolding, and audiovisual tools. These immersion experiences have resulted in student teachers contributing to their student's academic success, valuing diversity, and implementing the practices learned even with non-CLD students. We encourage other preparation programs to integrate similar lessons so student teachers can start developing their sociolinguistic consciousness and implement appropriate instructional practices with CLD students.
835 - Food Science Fellows
North Carolina State University
In North Carolina the need for food scientists is tremendous as our food and beverage industry is the second-largest economic sector of North Carolina's economy. Of the 200,000 students enrolled in agriculture or family and consumer science courses, only 375 completed the food science course in 2018-19. Our model of teacher professional development + student engagement + industry-teacher internships is a novel approach to increase career interest and preparation in an under-enrolled major. In summer 2021, phase 1 kicked off with 10 teachers participating in the eight-day CASE Food Science and Safety (FSS) Virtual Institute. Teachers were provided materials and curriculum to integrate food science into their courses. During FSS, food professionals shared real-world applications. Curriculum crosswalks between FSS and existing curriculum were provided. To enhance support for teachers, a Facebook group was created to focus on food science. Monthly Zoom meetings were held to connect teachers with food science faculty to allow teachers to ask questions and share experiences teaching food science. Teachers can apply for $500 grants to purchase supplies and materials for integrating FSS. In the April 2022 phase 2, high school food science students will be invited to participate in a science fair to demonstrate inquiry projects in food science. The summer 2022 phase 3 will include teachers being selected as Food Science Fellows. Fellows will be provided a stipend to engage with local food businesses for internships and develop modules focused on food science careers where they interned. These will be curated on the Taste Food Science website and made available for all teachers interested in food science careers. We will gather data about students' interest in food science careers and teachers' needs related to preparing to teach food science, integrating food science, and developing student interest in food science careers.
836 - Engaging Students with the Syllabus Through Social Annotation
The Ohio State University
Faculty utilize a course syllabus to share course expectations and university policies and resources. Universities often provide guidance for the course syllabus requirements as it is an important document used to communicate between instructors and students. The importance of students becoming familiar with the syllabus content increases when a course involves a non-traditional grading approach, multiple delivery modes, or other distinctive elements. However, it can be challenging to ensure students read the syllabus and understand the contents. Therefore, we implemented a social annotation activity during the first days of class to increase student engagement with the syllabus. Social annotation uses collaborative technologies that allow students to add notes to a document in a shared environment. Students annotate the syllabus using the comment function in a shared document (i.e., Google Docs). They are directed to either ask clarifying questions or provide reactions via a comment to specific parts of the syllabus. The annotated syllabus activity can be completed in various formats, whether during an in-person class or online and via synchronous or asynchronous formats. After the students add their comments, the instructor will highlight essential pieces of the syllabus and attend to questions and comments. This activity allows students to clarify class expectations in a low-stakes environment and shows that the instructor values students' thoughts. Additionally, instructors can gauge student interest and experience with the course content. Student feedback was positive as students enjoyed the activity, especially the opportunity to ask questions and gain clarification at the beginning of the term.
**837 - Relationship Between MSLQ and Final Grades in Distance Animal Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory
Kansas State University
Distance courses are in high demand, post-secondary institutions are being pressured to offer more. Some studies have found distance science classes to be as effective in content and student success, as on-campus courses. This study used the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), to examine the relationship between motivation, self-regulated learning, and academic achievement in an online animal anatomy and physiology laboratory. Students' self-efficacy scores have shown to be the strongest predictor of performance and academic achievement. The Motivation section of the MSLQ is intended to assess value, expectancy, and affect as reported by students. The Learning Strategies section is intended to assess use of cognitive, metacognitive, and resource management strategies. Construct mean scores were correlated with end of lab grades. End of course grades and intrinsic goal orientation have a substantial relationship (.665). Additionally, end of course grades and self-efficacy for learning and performance are highly correlated (.762). End of course grades and students seeking help are substantially related (.683). Organization strategies have a substantially high correlation, as well as critical thinking and metacognitive self-regulation had moderately high associations with end of course grades. Taken together, the results of our study offer support for the essential role of self-efficacy, intrinsic goal orientation and several learning strategies in predicting academic achievement.
838 - Innovative Teaching Practices in the Agribusiness Classroom: a Holistic, Interdisciplinary Approach
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
Agribusiness is interdisciplinary by nature -- you cannot separate the parts, 'agriculture" and 'business," without misrepresenting the whole. Similarly, economic study must consider a holistic or macro viewpoint given the multitude of variables that impact the economy. Isolating a singular catalyst or change agent within an economic model is challenging, especially for entry-level college students. The inherent risks associated with agricultural production further compound the challenge for agribusiness. As a result, the study of agricultural economics and agribusiness lends itself perfectly to consider both the 'worm's eye view" and the 'bird's eye view" to effectively grasp the concepts presented. Our baccalaureate degrees' 'diversified agriculture" roots further promote the likelihood of a diverse mix of majors within a given course section to facilitate classroom interests and discussions. This report will highlight the results from 10 years of experience in the agribusiness classroom. It will examine the application of this innovative teaching approach given the various delivery methods required to reach an array of class sizes, ranging from one student in a special topics course to more than 150 in summer internships, across 15 different courses. Finally, it will review the broad range of topics and methodologies required as an incomparable opportunity that has provided a holistic view of our specific agribusiness courses and the interwoven threads among our courses, disciplines, and degree programs within the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Furthermore, student success in the classroom will be examined when a holistic, interdisciplinary approach is adopted. As an example, to organize a budget or compare the cost of production for a specific enterprise, an interdisciplinary and holistic viewpoint is considered. The student who understands the production aspects of soil chemistry, weed, pest, or irrigation management has a greater appreciation of the aspects of enterprise record-keeping or marketing decisions managers face.
839 - Cooking Show Inspired Final Lab Projects
University of Wisconsin - River Falls
Three cooking shows were used to develop final lab projects in two different food science related courses. The projects required students to apply skills learned during the semester. The two classes were a 100 level introduction to food science lab course and the lab component of a 200 level meat processing course. The three shows were The Great British Baking Show, Nailed It!, and Chopped. In the introduction to food science lab teams of 2 -3 students were given basic yellow cake and sugar cookie recipes. They had to bake a cake and cutout cookies and then decorate the cake with a winter scene incorporating at least two cookies. Three staff members judged the students' work and selected the winning creation. In the meat processing lab teams of 3 students had to make a processed meat product using ground beef, chicken breast, a fruit, and a vegetable. A selection of fruits and vegetables were provided to pick from. The taste and texture were evaluated by a group of students and staff to name a winner. Both projects were very successful. They provided a fun, low stress way for students to demonstrate the food processing skills they learned. The low stakes competition element added excitement and motivation with low stress.