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Agricultural Education and Communication

Agricultural Education and Communication

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Non-Thesis Projects

This page is an archive of AEC master's students non-thesis projects. Each entry credits the student, year in which they graduated, the title of the project, abstract, and supporting resources and materials.

Fisheries in Focus: Improving Distance Education in STEM University Courses Using Cased-Based Learning Videos

As teaching pedagogy shifts to student-centered learning opportunities and college students desire online and/or hybrid STEM courses, the effectiveness of those courses is a concern. STEM instructors often lack the time, training, and resources to create digital media content that students expect in engaging online learning environments. However, there is an opportunity for science communication graduate students to assist in producing high-impact vicarious learning experiences. The Fisheries in Focus project centered on developing case-based learning videos for university and high school instructors to use in their online aquaculture courses. The author created four video segments, less than ten minutes each, of two aquaculture facilities in Florida: a) the University of Florida / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Tropical Aquaculture Lab in Ruskin and b) the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) National Fish Hatchery in Welaka. The content highlights deep-level reasoning of the how and why behind each facility, covering the production of fish grown for food, aquarium trade, and sport. Fisheries in Focus illuminates the intricacies of federal and state commitments to research, teaching, and extension for aquaculture in Florida. The videos and related materials are housed on The Streaming Science Project, a college student-driven science communication platform and are free of charge for instructors to use as appropriate with their target learners.

Fisheries in Focus informational website 

Dallas Meringolo

Using a Nominal Group Technique to Determine Volunteer Training Needs

Volunteers play a vital role in the success of the 4-H program, which significantly impacts the number of youths who benefit from quality positive youth development experiences. Effective delivery of educational experiences by volunteers is closely tied to the quality of their training (Boyce, 1971). The overall success of the county’s 4-H program relies on the training and support provided to volunteers (Arnold et al., 2009). Historically, 4-H agents have collaborated with volunteers to identify training topics, with volunteers contributing their insights into perceived needs. However, these efforts often aligned with the Agent's chosen topics and had little volunteer input. Recognizing the need for tailored, relevant, and practical training, it was determined that the annual volunteer training required a transformative approach to engage volunteers in decision-making actively. This transformation involved adopting a volunteer-centric perspective, and as part of this initiative, the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) was employed to determine the specific training needs of these dedicated volunteers. Utilizing the NGT approach provided a structured process to gather valuable input from Lake County 4-H volunteers. This inclusive methodology helped pinpoint the training needs of the volunteers and imbed those needs into annual programmatic training, which enhanced the volunteer experience and, in turn, the program's overall success.

Matti Moyer (2023)

"Advancing Beef Through Teaching, Research, and Extension": Promotional Media for the University of Florida Department of Animal Sciences Beef Program

The following promotional videos for the UF/IFAS Animal Sciences Department cover all three mission areas for UF/IFAS including teaching, research, and extension. This project will extend into a long-term project for the benefit of the department. These videos will be used to promote our beef program and will be posted in May during Beef Month. The goal of these videos is to promote what our beef program offers students and the beef industry.

Videos for UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences Beef Program

Allie Williams (2023)

Needs Assessment of small Farms and Livestock Operations in Hillsborough County, Florida

Small-scale farmers and livestock producers face unique challenges. The needs of farmers and livestock producers are constantly evolving to the ever-changing environment. Extension can play a role in providing solutions for these needs and developing small farmers' potential for success. UF/IFAS Extension in Hillsborough County provides educational opportunities and resources on small-scale agricultural production. The purpose of the study was to identify and prioritize the needs of small farmers and livestock producers in Hillsborough County. A needs assessment was conducted through surveys and focus groups using the nominal group technique. The findings revealed a need for resources to connect producers with products and services essential for running their operations, networking opportunities, business resources, and guidance specific to small-scale production. The findings will be used to review and revise current programming to enhance the Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension program.

Alice Akers (2023)

Careers in Agriculture: A unique view of careers and global agriculture

The purpose of this non-thesis master’s project was to explore international students’ experiences of food insecurity at a land grant university and to develop a podcast series sharing their voices and featuring their stories. The United States is home to a large population of international students. As of 2020, there were approximately 1,251,569 active nonimmigrants registered on the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS, 2020). During the 2020-2021 academic year, nonimmigrants contributed $28.4 billion to the U.S. economy (NAFSA, 2021), yet literature on this topic indicated that most students experienced financial problems (Li and Kaye, 1998; Poyrazli and Grahame, 2007; Roberts et al., 1999). Due to stringent immigrant regulations such as F-1 visa restrictions, many international students face financial issues. Unlike domestic students, they are unable to gain employment outside of the university or apply for federal aid (Thomas & Althen, 1989). With their income limited to a maximum of 20 working hours a week, they are two to three times more likely to be food insecure compared to their domestic peers (Blundell et al., 2018). Food insecurity is defined as limited or uncertain availability of food because of inadequate resources (Slopen et al., 2010). As an international student from Ireland who has experienced food insecurity throughout my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I felt inspired to break the silence.

Due to international students being a minority of the student population, they often experience a spiral of silence regarding their collegiate circumstances. The Spiral of Silence theory guided the project. It is a mass communication and political science theory proposed by the German political scientist Elisabth Noelle-Nuemann in the early 1970s (Noelle-Neumannn, 1991). The theory assumes that people are constantly aware of the opinions of people around them and adjust their behaviors (and potentially their opinions) to align with majority trends due to the fear of being on the losing side of a public debate (Scheufele, 2008). The isolation exacerbates the already difficult (in terms of social isolation, adapting to a new culture, and more) circumstances international students experience compared to their peers. With many international students scared to talk about the reality of their situation and ask for help publicly, they find ways to adapt to survive.

The project consisted of a survey distributed to graduate level international students at the University of Florida (n = 54) and a podcast series titled Food Outcast including eight episodes. A virtual reality tour of the Hitchcock Field and Fork Pantry was also created to help students feel more comfortable with the space. The goal of the project was to give international students a safe space to share their experiences with food and resource insecurity, as well as a platform to offer personal suggestions on how to improve these conditions. Restricted incomes among international students reoccurs throughout the series as a key challenge. This challenge affects international students' access to food and cultural ingredients, as well as causes issues with transportation and overall budget for consumer goods, including clothing. Participants proposed several solutions to improve their quality of life, including increased stipends, advisors having a better understanding of visa regulations, subsidized meal plans/grocery stipends, creating a stronger authoritative communication platform, introducing halal food options on campus for the Muslim community, and more.

The hope is that by sharing these personal stories, higher education, national and state government, and communities will foster continued conversations and movements to combat the spiral of silence and ultimately prompt policy change to improve the quality of life of international students.

Food Outcast informational website & podcast playlist

Food Outcast podcast tracks on BuzzSprout

Sierra Haight (2023)

Agriculture Education Resource Guide: A tool for every teacher

This guide is designed as a tool to incorporate multiple readily available educational resources designed for agricultural educators within School-Based Agricultural Education (SBAE) Programs. There are many different resources for agricultural educators, however, many of them are either hard to find or are unknown to teachers. This tool was created as a complete guide for agriculture educators to use to discover current learning material and properly plan for students for a variety of topics and content. The project designer was motivated to create a magazine-like platform for agricultural educators to easily evaluate published learning materials and determine which curriculum best fits their needs and their learners. The guide is designed to include an overall description of a variety of different curricular resources for teachers to decide which would best accommodate their classroom needs. This guide also aims to assist new and seasoned educators in planning lessons. Each resource has a brief overview which includes website links, connection to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resource Pathway standards within the Florida Department of Education, learning materials, and how to access the materials. In addition, the resource includes websites that contain interactive games and activities that can be implemented easily in any classroom. The goal for this project and guide is that it will help educators with utilizing material that is already available, that requires less time for creating new content, and that has been vetted and reviewed by an in-service agricultural teacher. The idea is for educators to be able to use this resource to decide on lessons and material to be used in the classroom as well as other educational platforms that can benefit student learning and help preserve the time it takes to locate and review materials that are accessible online.

Agriculture Education Resource Guide

Morgan Harrison (2023)

Careers in Agriculture: A unique view of careers and global agriculture

With the average age of Florida’s farmers being 57 years old, it is important to encourage students' interest and involvement in agriculture. With growing technology and advancements in the industry, there is a need for fresh new ideas and perspectives. Less than one million Americans are involved in traditional farming, yet more than 21 million are employed in nontraditional agricultural careers. These careers include jobs in food production, natural resources, plant systems, animal science, and more. These curricular resources are designed to give teachers the tools they need to highlight various careers in agriculture; focusing on career opportunities and their differences across the globe. 

The resources include an overall unit plan, seven daily lesson plans, powerpoints and guided notes, as well as a final assessment. During the final project, students will be paired with agriculture professionals from around the world based on their interests, gaining knowledge not only in career opportunities but also soft skills and employment skills such as writing and addressing letters, and making and presenting presentations. Students will network with industry professionals all over the world and develop their knowledge of multiple agricultural careers. This project leads students to career opportunities and creates an awareness of agricultural work across the globe. 

Patrick Hole (2023)

Industry Certifications in Agricultural Education: A Module for Beginning Agriculture Teachers

The purpose of this project is to inform and educate new agriculture teachers on the importance and benefits of industry certifications. Industry certifications were developed in 2007 when the Florida Legislature passed the Career and Professional Education Act. This act aimed in connecting students to industry by showing proficiency through an exam given by a third-party certifying entity. Through this process there are many groups that are impacted such as students, programs, schools, and teachers. This module is designed to introduce beginning teachers to industry certifications. Within this module beginning teachers will learn about the benefits of industry certifications, integrating industry certification into their program, and what to do before and after the test. Industry certifications have the potential to positively impact students and programs. This project includes three lectures and additional reference material to introduce beginning teachers to implementing industry certifications in school-based agricultural education programs.  

Jeremy Odom (2023)

Plant Propagation: Lesson Plans from Start to Finish


New agriculture teachers are entering education every year. Stepping into an existing program, or even starting a new agricultural program, is challenging. Developing both curriculum outlines and lesson plans are vital tasks for all new agricultural teachers. To support the efforts of beginning teachers, the curriculum in this project was developed to provide materials for those teaching the Introduction to Horticulture course. The Introduction to Horticulture II course is a detailed overview of plant science and is made up of fifty-one different standards. The modules in this project are designed to encompass more than half of these standards, from the start of plant production to the installation and establishment of the final plant products. Plant propagation can be daunting to first-time horticulturalists, but detailed explanation and resources can make this subject approachable and attainable to all educators. The six modules contained in this project provide a first-time horticulture teacher with the materials necessary to teach lessons to students on the intricacies of plant production. Each module includes detailed lesson plans, handouts, assessments, and daily planning to guide instruction. The topics addressed by these modules include three primary propagation techniques, growing media, irrigation techniques, plant growth and development, design for landscape, and fertilizer application. Including a key terms review sheet for the instructor and detailed materials lists in each unit allows for easy understanding of the content and provides background knowledge to those not specialized in plant science. This curriculum can provide starting teachers with a foundation upon which they may build successful learning environments for their students. Curricular resources are and will continue to be a necessity to educators in this growing area of career and technical education.  


Maggie Reaves (2023)

Examining Preservice Teachers' Perceived Performance While Student Teaching: A Longitudinal Study

With this study, we sought to fill a gap regarding preservice teachers’ self-evaluation during the student teaching experience. An instrument was created and validated for use as a weekly self-evaluation tool for preservice teachers during the student teaching internship. This instrument encourages preservice teachers to self-assess and use self-regulated learning strategies during their student teaching experience. The finalized instrument should be used in conjunction with other activities of the student teaching portfolio to meet the phases of self-regulated learning (forethought, performance, and self-reflection). The purpose of this study was to examine the change in preservice teachers’ perceived performance over time during the 14-week student teaching internship. The objectives of this study were to describe preservice teachers’ performance scores and examine the variance in preservice teachers’ self-reported performance scores over the student teaching internship. Means and standard deviations for each of the five constructs during the 14-week period are reported. The self-evaluation scores of all five constructs of the validated instrument show an upward trend over the 14-week student teaching internship, with peaks and valleys scattered throughout. Research should continue with the goal of identifying the reasons for the peaks and valleys in weekly self-evaluation data.


Caleigh Skipper (2022)

Coaching the Coach: FFA Meats Evaluation CDE Module for Beginning Agriculture Teachers

Pursuing a career in agriculture education can be challenging. Meeting the demands of the classroom, community, and FFA program at the local, state, and national level add to the complexity of running a successful program.  The 3-Circle Model of agriculture education can be overwhelming to beginning teachers while they work to provide their students with quality experiences.  To better prepare agriculture educators, the Agriculture Teacher’s Survival Guide course was developed by faculty at the University of Florida.  The purpose of this project was to provide resources to specifically prepare agriculture educators to effectively coach a team for the Florida FFA Meats Evaluation Career Development Event.  This contest requires students to identify retail cuts, yield and quality grade beef carcasses according to USDA standards, evaluate carcass and retail cuts classes, and collaborate with team members to solve a meat formulation problem.  The Meats Evaluation CDE is a widely participated in contest at the state level, but due to differences in advisor experience, only a handful of teams are considered competitive.  These materials will increase a beginning teacher’s ability to prepare students for the state contest.  The module includes a general overview of the contest, plan for classroom integration, suggested practice schedule, explanation of contest components, and tips and tricks for new teachers to most effectively prepare a team. Students who are proficient in this contest are well positioned to enter a career related to retail meat processing and sales.

If you are interested in signing up for this module, please contact

Jacobi Bedenfield (2022)

Competencies of Fundraising Leaders: A Training for FFA Foundations

The purpose of this project was to help the fundraising arm of FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) better understand the leadership competencies necessary to be successful in each of the five stages of the fundraising cycle: identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. After determining the competencies for each stage, a five-module video recorded training representing each stage of the cycle was created. Each training module included learning outcomes, guiding questions, an overview of the fundraising cycle, specific information about the stage being covered, information about the leadership competencies necessary for the stage, a brainstorming activity to encourage viewers to think of ways to enhance their personal skills with the competencies, suggestions for methods to apply the leadership competencies as fundraising professionals, and a review.  

FFA Foundation fundraising professionals at the state and national level are responsible for raising money to directly impact the thousands of student members of this agricultural leadership organization through chapter grants, member scholarships, programs, and activities. Understanding the leadership competencies in correlation with the fundraising cycle outlined in this project can lead to more effective fundraising practices. FFA Foundation front-line fundraisers are hired to be both fundraising managers and leaders. These employees must be equipped with the technical skills of securing major gifts for the organization, but also must have a profound understanding of where the funds will go and why they are needed. To accomplish this task of being successful fundraising leaders for FFA, they should understand the leadership competencies necessary to connect with donors, raise money, and properly steward funds.  

Micah Gallagher (2022)

Current Trends of the Florida Beef Cattle Industry

The state of Florida is a leading cow-calf production state in the U.S (United States Department of Agriculture, 2021). The Florida beef cattle industry is impacted by numerous internal and external factors. The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) was used to inform the study design to meet the purpose of exploring the influential internal and external factors identified through the participant interviews. In-depth interviews with ten participants were conducted and analyzed for themes using the constant comparative method. 14 emerging themes were identified through the analysis of the transcript data. Examples of the themes include consumer disconnect and misconceptions, identifying need for consumer education, influence of ranch tours, benefits of land conservation, policy concerns, and influence of COVID-19 on Florida beef industry. Findings indicated participants behavioral beliefs and social norms influenced their intention to act on consumer education, environmental awareness, and consumer satisfaction. 

Keywords: Beef, Cattle, Ranching, Florida, Education, Florida Cattlemen’s Association, Florida CattleWomen, Extension 

Savannah Gardner (2022)

The History of the Agricultural Education and Communication Department in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida

The purpose of this historical research study was to describe the origins and major events of the Agricultural Education and Communication (AEC) department at the University of Florida (UF). The AEC department at UF connects people from various backgrounds and interests with the unique field of agriculture through education, communication, extension, and leadership development. From the start of the program to the significant milestones that have been reached today, a vast history of triumphs and victories exists to tell a story. To gain a glimpse of this history, a qualitative historical analysis of the AEC Department was conducted through interviews and in-depth content analysis from the UF archives and scholarly database to recount significant events that occurred from the inception of the program. From the first course offered in 1909 to prepare students to teach agriculture in the School of Pedagogy to the national recognition of AEC over 100 years later in 2010, numerous remarkable events led the department to where it is today. Through this historical analysis, an accurate timeline of the AEC department was recorded to ensure the department is accessible for students to learn and develop now and in the future at UF. 

Resources: AEC Historical Timeline

Alison Moore (2022)

Assessing the Preparedness of Alternatively Certified Agricultural Education Teachers in Georgia

The purpose of this study was to identify the areas that alternatively certified agricultural education teachers have adequate preparation and areas where they need more support. The methodology used an explanatory mixed methods approach, utilizing a survey that guided questions for the interview. Respondents of the survey were asked if they would be willing to participate in a follow-up interview. Teacher human capital was used as the framework of this study. The framework of the Carnegie Foundation includes four subsystems including acquire, develop, sustain, and evaluate. The develop subsystem is the focus of this study. The sample population included fifteen alternatively certified teachers in Georgia. The three emerging themes that were identified were the need for mentors with experience in agriculture education, quality professional development, and more resources specific to the duties of leading an FFA program. Recommendations include providing alternatively certified teachers with resources when they begin their career. Suggested resources include a general informational handbook, online trainings for basic FFA topics, Georgia FFA to improve provided curriculum, and make supplemented materials made available only to teachers to help keep students from accessing materials that contain answers to assignments.  


Keywords: School based agricultural education, professional development, mentor, teacher human capital theory 

Peyton Sweet Moore (2022)

Preservice Teachers' Perceptions of Important Elements

The student teaching experience isone of the most impactfulcomponentsof any teacher preparatory program. Student teaching is designed to provide college students who are preparing to be educators with experience in an actual classroom while supervised by a certified teacher. The purpose of this study was to determine preservice teachers’ perceptions of important elements of the student teaching experience both before and after the student teaching experience. The preservice teachers perceived the most important element of the student teaching experience was the cooperating teacher/student teacher relationship. Additionally, there was a negative change in the perceived level of importance forall studentsto have an SAE requirement, with accurate record books and diversity within the students’ SAEs from much importance to medium importance. When placing preservice teachers for the student teaching internship, teacher educators might consider placing a higher emphasis on the cooperating teacher/student teacher relationships. Secondly, when placing preservice teachers for the student teaching internship, teacher educators could choose internship sites that emphasize SAE programs and have diverse facilities. Finally, we recommend future research could be conducted to further explore the role of the cooperating teacher and the important aspects of the cooperating teacher/student teacher relationship.Keywords: student teaching experience; preservice teachers; internship; cooperating teacher; perceptions

Brittany Baker (2022)

Increasing Agriculture and Farming Awareness with African American Youth

The purpose of this project is to uncover the historical experiences related to African Americans in relation to agriculture in America. To understand why there is a lack of African Americans in various agriculture related professions and farming.  Literature covering the past historical and current events of Blacks in relation to agriculture were reviewed to explain the influence of African American perceptions of agriculture. This was reviewed to explain the impact this made on African American youth perceptions and interest to pursue future careers in agriculture. The Social Cognitive Career Theory is used in this project to explain the career interest and development process of an individual learner in black youth. This project acknowledges African Americans' negative assumptions about agriculture despite the knowledge of their impact and contribution to agriculture in America. In addition to providing a manual to help guide agriculture professionals and educators on how to deter the negative perceptions that youth have on agriculture.  A review of previous studies was collected to have a better understanding on how organizations can engage with African American youth with agriculture.  America is striving to supply a workforce that will be able to sustain an increase in agriculture production. As well as increasing our competitiveness in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  As a result, organizations and institutions are aiming to recruit more students within the colleges of agriculture and related sciences. However, professionals must have a better understanding of the racial gaps in agriculture and STEM related fields to understand why there is underrepresentation in the workforce. 

Resources: Agriculture Recruitment Guide

Rachel Brown (2022)

Examining Career and Technical Education Administrators' Support of School-Based Agricultural Education Programs

Career Technical Education (CTE) programs require unique support compared to core curriculum classrooms as CTE programs have additional complexities such as facilities, student organizations, and Perkins Act funding. CTE administrators must remain aware ofchanges in education and business, industry, and labor market trends related to the programs they oversee. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how the leadership and technical practices of exemplar CTE administrators support School-based Agricultural Education (SBAE) programs in Florida. This study employed a qualitative exemplar case study design which explored a population of three CTE administrators on the district level in Florida who oversee agricultural education programs and directly contact SBAE teachers. An expert panel identified these administrators, and interviews were conducted. Deductive and inductive coding was utilized as part of thematic analysis. Several themes connected tothe conceptual framework emerged relating to leadership practices, program culture, and program effectiveness. Those interviewed indicated being servant leaders, havinga passion for helping teachers help students want their students to be prepared for the workforce, and doingwhat they can to create opportunities for their students. They support SBAE teachers and programs by being proactive in support, listening to their teachers’ needs, and focusing on the students' career preparation. We suggest furthering the research by interviewing SBAE teachers to understand their perspective on how they feel supported or want to be supported by their CTE administrator(s), asking the nominating panel why they nominated the interview CTE administrators and exploring a diverse population of CTE administrators.

Matthew Hulgan (2022)

Guest Speaker in Agricultural Education Module

One way to increase interest in any subject area is to expose students to outside sources of information. An excellent way to do this is to take students on a field trip where they can experience the area of focus firsthand. Although this is a great avenue of knowledge, implementing a field trip is not always a feasible option. The most prevalent limiting factors of a club or class disallowing a field trip to come to fruition are time and money. Busy schedules, extracurricular activities, and stringent curriculum standards make time away from the school campus more difficult to achieve. Likewise, rising fuel cost among other components creates a financial difficulty for schools taking trips. Due to these constraints, the option of having a special guest come to your school to speak to the students or demonstrate something becomes more prudent. The Guest Speaker in Agricultural Education module includes two sections of information to assist beginning teachers as well as provide seasoned teachers guidance they may have not otherwise considered while planning for guest speakers. In the first presentation, the benefits and importance of guest speakers in the classroom is discussed. The second presentation comprehensively outlines the procedures required to effectively prepare for a guest speaker. After completing the Guest Speaker in Agricultural Education module, teachers should feel more competent and confident about providing a way for students to facilitate their learning experience through a guest speaker.

Resources: Guest Checklist

Engagement Information

Brian Skipper (2022)

The Value of Industry Certifications as Perceived by the Students Who Earned Them

Industry certifications are credentials offered to students who complete secondary career and technical programs. Industry certifications help to address Florida’s need for a qualified workforce. This qualitative study examines the perceived value of industry certification from the student’s perspective. Other researchers have examined industry certifications in the past, but little is known of perceived value by the student. Wilcox (2006) asserted that industry certifications can serve as an assessment tool for teachers and prospective employers. Pollinard (2018) found that students were more likely to earn an industry certification if they had strong backgrounds in supervised agricultural experiences. Student perceived value is examined using Azjen’s Theory of Planned Behavior (1991). It was discovered that students see value in the knowledge attached to an industry certification and utilize industry certifications as resume builders. However, students need to have the value more clearly explained by the teacher in the program where they earn certification. Interviews were conducted with students who held various industry certifications earned through their respective career and technical education courses. Interviews were analyzed using a constant comparative analysis to identify themes. Based on the research, it is recommended that teachers at the local level do a better job explaining the value of these certifications. Activities such as mock interviews could help students better understand how to market the certification. It is also clear that industry certifications need to be better understood by industry. Students were aware that earning the certification meant additional funding for their school, and identified leaving a positive legacy was a key component of perceived value. Care should be taken to make sure that industry certifications being offered to students are testing competencies related to the field of work and that those competencies are readily transferrable to the workforce.   

Rigo "Andy" Chaparro (2021)

Hurricane Michael: A case study on the aftermath of two tragic events on a high school in the Florida Panhandle

The purpose of this case study is for students to get a better understanding of the impacts a catastrophic hurricane can have on secondary agriculture education programs. The case study critically analyzes the lived experiences of the students and teachers through several leadership lens. The specific lens that are used in the case are the Four Frames of Leadership (Bolman & Deal, 2013). This theory is broken down into four leadership frames: structural, symbolic, human resource, and political. The world in which we live is complex and diverse, which makes looking at any situation through one lens incomplete. To get a holistic picture of what is truly happening it is important to look at each situation through multiple viewpoints (2013) which is what this case study aims to do with each of the specific catastrophes to impact this school. Each lens gives a more in depth look at how leadership was impacted and how it changed due to the two catastrophic events that impacted the school. This project additionally provides additional questions and assignments that aid the reader in comprehending and applying principles that the case highlights from the experiences of the participants of the study. 

David Davis (2021)

Do leadership roles in student organizations impact student satisfaction with their higher education experience

Although there has been a focus on the impacts of cocurricular involvement on student outcomes at the collegiate level, research has yet to investigate the impacts that leadership roles within these organizations have on the satisfaction of the students with their entire educational experience. In this philosophical piece, I seek to establish a need for further research and guidelines for future studies to follow in order to accurately asses the impact that leadership roles have on student satisfaction within a university. This is done through a comprehensive literature review that provides a detailed account of previous research in the impacts of cocurricular involvement. The areas of interest outlined in the literature review were Leadership Identity Development, cognitive benefits, connectedness and sense of belonging, Academic impacts, and student satisfaction. This paper utilizes Astin’s theory of Student Involvement and the Social Change Model to set clear definitions for involvement and provide parameters for data collection. A conceptual model was provided that utilized the five contributing components of participation level, academic experience, home life, social life, and career goals to describe the student experience. 

Lisa Hamilton (2021)

TDigital Game-Based Learning in Extension: A Review of a Financial Learning Game Design

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Extension professionals were required to embrace digital technology as programming moved online (Fawcett et al., 2021; Israel et al., 2021).  Prior to the pandemic, research indicated that agents faced barriers to using instructional and communications technologies (ICTs) for delivering online education.  Barriers included technology access and skills, and lack of training and time to create educational materials (Beattie, 2021; Benge, 2011; Benge et al., 2021).  Digital game-based learning (DGBL) is one type of instructional technology that has been shown to be effective at engaging learners and achieving learning outcomes, but has not been widely utilized by Extension educators (Bunch et al., 2014; Bunch et al., 2015; Greipl et al., 2020; Hamari et al., 2014; Kapp, 2012; Landers et. al., 2019; Michael & Chen, 2005; O’Neill, 2008).  With the rapid growth in online Extension education, DGBL is an instructional method that needs to be in the Extension toolkit.  Some Extension faculty are leading the way to utilizing this new method of fulfilling the Extension mission to provide experiential learning to help people solve problems.  Further, there is evidence that when Extension educators receive professional development and support needed to incorporate DGBL, they report improved confidence and high likeliness to use DGBL  (Beattie, 2021; Benge et al., 2011; Benge et al., 2021; Bunch et al., 2014; Bunch et al., 2015; Erickson and Hansen, 2016; Erickson et al., 2019).    

 This project is a panel review of a digital financial education game by ten Extension faculty members.  Panelists were asked to consider if the game design met learning objectives, the appropriate audience and learning context, and if they would include the game in their programming. The main findings of the review are that the Extension financial educators agreed that the digital game achieved the learning objectives and that they would incorporate the game into their programming.  The majority of panelists agreed that Extension educators should receive professional development training in the use of DGBL. 

Kelsey Humphrey (2021)

Animal Presence in the Classroom: Implementing a Dog Daycare in a School-Based Agricultural Education Program

Animals can bring excitement to the everyday lives of students. Animals can also affect student emotional health, mental strength and physical involvement. The purpose of this project was to provide agriculture educators with a professional development module that explains a step-by-step process for creating and implementing a successful hands-on dog daycare experience for their classroom. The module was designed to help teachers establish the supporting documents necessary to present the idea of starting a program at their school. An Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS) publication was also written to be a supporting document for this project. The EDIS publication shows the benefits and challenges of having an animal in the classroom, as well as the safety precautions that are suggested when working with animals. The resources provided in the workshop include: a program overview, cover letter to administration, letter of support, client information form, medical release document, group assignment chart and rubric outlines. By completing the module, the educator will be able to tailor the information to generate a program overview specific to their school’s situation.  

Katie Rotindo (2021)

A Screening Tool to Determine Potential Master Gardener Volunteer Tenureship

Master Gardener Volunteers serve as a valued resource to carry out the mission and vision of the UF/IFAS Extension service. Due to increased program interest, limited training resources, and capacity limitations, it is critical for coordinators to discerningly choose participants for their volunteer program. After the initial training, the retention of active volunteers is one of the ongoing challenges of volunteer organizations, including the Florida MG Volunteer program. Lack of retention and short tenureship are due to multiple factors. Understanding what motivates volunteers to “effectively recruit, educate, and retain them” (Strong & Harder, 2011) can help Extension agents gain insight to address this challenge. 

The purpose of this project was three-fold: (1) Increase awareness about expectations for participating in the St. Lucie County Master Gardener Volunteer program (2) Obtain information about the volunteer motivations of participants who have expressed interest in the St. Lucie County Master Gardener Volunteer program, and (3) Determine the utility of survey questions for indicating likelihood of volunteer commitment of selected participants in the St. Lucie County Master Gardener Volunteer program. Included in this publication is the presentation of the results of a pilot test, with survey, to accomplish these objectives. An informational video and Qualtrics survey was created and reviewed by panel of Extension agents/MG volunteer coordinators, St. Lucie County MG Volunteers, and IRB. A pilot test of the video and survey was performed on an interest list of community participants (n=55), with a response rate of 22% (n=12).  The respondent group was scored against an ideal rubric with mean, median, and standard deviation of 83.8%, 82.1%, and 3.9 respectively. Objectives (1) and (2) were accomplished, further work and larger sample size will be required to completely evaluate the accomplishment of objective (3). 

Jose Alvarez (2021)

Toxic Leadership Case Studies for Leadership Development Programs

Toxic leadership is a phrase that has been interchangeably used in academia with destructive leadership and bad leadership. A toxic culture roots from toxic leadership. There is literature on ethics and morals for leaders, many studies evaluating Hitler’s leadership traits, and even frames such as the toxic triangle to identify contributors to toxic culture -- however, there is a lack on the focus of followership when it comes to toxic leadership. Through observing a leader’s behavior, one can distinguish is a leader is intentionally or unintentionally being toxic. Marino (2020), addresses the questions “why do followers have such a hard time carrying out their end of the bargain when leaders have relinquished theirs? There are three main hindrances for followers who are wanting to do the right thing. These include: toxic systems, conscious and unconscious needs and fears, and beliefs held about what followership means.” Through these case studies, students will identify and describe the behavior of toxic leaders as well as the early indicators of a toxic leader. Additionally, applying the Toxic Triangle to real-life scenarios will be essential to better understand why followers submit to toxic leadership for as long as they do. All in all, students can synthesis leadership potential and potential for toxic leadership in their workplace. Case studies and dialogue, we can better understand why followers experience hindrance from leaving that environment.

Mallory Cotter (2021)

The Benefits of Extension Program Area Specialization: A Look at Client Satisfaction and Outcomes

UF/IFAS Extension strives to meet the needs and expectations of the diverse and modern clientele it serves and does this in part through the specialization of program areas. The quality of services and additional outcomes provided by the UF/IFAS Extension service has been measured every year since 1997 using the Client Experience Survey and previous studies using this survey have focused on Extension at the state level. While Extension continues to exceed its 92% satisfaction performance standard, this project sought to examine the same benchmarks across six of the largest program areas: 4-H Youth Development, Community Resource Development, Family & Consumer Sciences, Agriculture, Horticulture, and Natural Resources. This study utilizes 5,441 responses from the 2016 through 2020 surveys and focused on three main areas of response relating to satisfaction, outcomes, and benefits. Initial analysis explored potential relationships with both program area and type of contact with Extension (office visit, planned program, phone, or email). Additional analyses elaborated on those relationships with client demographics. This study found the specialization of program area to influence how clients perceive various benefits related to their Extension experience. The strongest associations existed between Agriculture and clients’ perception of an increased income as well as both 4-H Youth Development and Natural Resources on the development of leadership or volunteer skills. The relationships between all five perceived benefits and program area as outlined in this study can be used by Extension professionals to better understand current gaps in client perception and to better focus its communication.

Alyssa Rogers (2021)

Overcoming Challenges

 Agriculture teachers have faced many challenges including time management, stress, and managing a work/life balance. The purpose of this project was to provide a professional development workshop for agriculture teachers to help them overcome these job-related challenges. This workshop was designed to help teachers identify their greatest challenges and create a plan of action to overcome them. In addition, it provided teachers with the opportunity to reflect on motivation, challenges that were experienced in their role as an agricultural educator, and the opportunity to collaborate with their peers. Workshop participants were categorized into groups by career stage to identify common challenges as well as solutions for those with similar work experience. A whole group discussion allowed teachers of all career stages to provide personal anecdotes and provide solutions that worked for them as well as resources that were helpful in overcoming specific challenges. The workshop activities were focused on the identification of their most prominent challenge and implementing a strategy to minimize this obstacle. Skills developed by teachers to minimize their greatest challenges helped prepare new and current teachers for success and increased job satisfaction. The resources needed for this workshop included: the Overcoming Challenges workshop outline, Overcoming Challenges PowerPoint presentation, the Overcoming Challenges Notes Packet, as well as flip chart paper, markers/writing utensils, and sticky notes. 

Jessica Williams (2021)

Including Individuals with Special Needs in the Garden

There are limited resources available on how to properly includes participants with special needs in a garden setting. This is necessary for extension agents, teachers, volunteer leaders, and parents to safely and adequately create successful programs, lessons or activities in a garden setting for individuals with special needs. EDIS documents are Electronic Data Information Source sheets provided by UF IFAS that cover a wide range of topics. This EDIS document series includes an introduction document, one covering safety and accessibility, and a document with instruction styles and program examples. Preparing for these documents involved expertise from working with students with special needs in a garden setting, advice from Special Education teachers, and compiling a description of an accessible garden similar to one in Gainesville, FL. The introduction document provides information on the different types of disabilities, introduces the topic to the reader and shows the outline and summary of the future documents. The Accessibility and Safety document includes how to design an accessible garden, practice safety with tools and equipment, and implement extra safety measures that need to be put in place for participants with special needs. These tips will be helpful to an Extension agent, teacher, or parent who would like to create a garden or teaching area in a way that is accessible and safe for everyone. The last document is about conducting educational programs for participants with special needs. It includes two sections: instruction style and potential programs. The instruction style section has advice from Special Education teachers that have taught in garden settings. The potential programs section goes into detail about two programs/activities that have been successful when working with participants with special needs in a garden setting. In conclusion, these documents will provide information for readers to create an accessible and safe environment with appropriate and fun activities for the participants.

Shelby Atwood (2021)

Properly Preparing for a Substitute as an Agricultural Educator

Substitutes are implemented within an agricultural education classroom multiple times a year. Whether it is for an FFA event, meeting, or illness, being absent can be quite stressful for the educator, especially if they are not prepared. While the average teacher misses only eight days of school a year, the past two years have drastically shown the importance of being prepared for a substitute due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this project is to help new agricultural educators properly prepare for absences from their classrooms. This project is an addition to a survival guide that is being developed for new agricultural educators and this portion will focus on being properly prepared for a substitute. The module will show new educators the importance of being prepared for their absence in the classroom, as well as, providing guidance in preparing for that absence. 

Resources: How to Properly Prepare for a Substitute

Importance of Preparing for a Substitute

Sub-Folder Check List

Quinn Cashell-Martin (2021)

Floral Design Demonstration Tutorials

Floral Design is a topic that can be incorporated into a variety of agriculture education courses, to include Introduction to Agriculture, Horticulture, or even a full Floral Design course. This module includes ten demonstrations that begin with introductory skills and build up to larger projects. The ten demonstrations are broken down into three different levels of difficulty. Level one topics include Proper Use of Floral Wire, Floral Wiring Techniques, and Bow Making. Level two topics cover Boutonniere Assembly, Wrist Corsage Assembly, and Standard Bud Vase Arrangements. Level three topics include four topics: Milkshake Arrangement, Mound Arrangement, A-dog-able Arrangement, and Presentation Bouquets. While the tutorials are designed to build on each other, they also can each stand alone for individual projects. The projects created in each module were selected carefully, as each covers a topic that may serve a purpose outside of the agriculture classroom to a full agriculture classroom. Whether it be using the Presentation Bouquet tutorial to create bouquets for the school Homecoming Court or using the Mound Arrangement tutorial to create centerpieces for your Annual Chapter Banquet, each project has a purpose. Each tutorial includes a complete material list and presentations showing step-by-step directions complete with pictures. At the end of each presentation a class material list for 20 students can be found convenience. 

Resources: Floral Design Demonstration Tutorial Assignment

Tom Davis (2021)

Promoting Emerging Learning Techniques In An Online Science Communication and Education Community of Practice

This non-thesis project focuses on creating Streaming Science-branded instructional guides and videos for emerging educational techniques of Adobe Spark Pages and Podcasts. The products developed for this project fed into the larger goal of creating a healthy community of science educators. This community exists in the Google Suite's Google Classroom application. By utilizing this resource, Streaming Science is creating a "community of Practice" for science educators, communicators, and Extension educators, with resources focused on employing emerging instructional techniques and technologies. The assets of this project cover topics of engaging students, planning, equipment, recording and editing, growing audiences, storytelling, and photography. These completed project materials serve a clear purpose to aid in Streaming Science's mission to introduce science topics to the public through technology and emerging communications techniques. Streaming Science receives frequent inquiries from grade school educators, university staff, adult learners, and extension personnel about building Adobe Spark Pages and podcasts. Although Streaming Science has simple guides to address these topics, the project assets provide comprehensive resources. Ultimately, this makes fielding inquiries less time consuming, while providing greater value for the Streaming Science audience. Although the non-thesis project is an academic exercise, the execution of the project resembled a real-world scenario of providing media assets for a client, which is often required in a marketing and communications career. 

Resources: Project Guide Links

Podcast Startup Guide

Tom Mazzone (2021)

Comprehensive Study Guide for the National FFA Forestry Career Development Event

Agriculture teachers are continually faced with a seemingly never-ending to-do list. For both new and seasoned teachers alike, training students to competitively participate in a Career Development Event (CDE) is an overwhelming task. In order to generate quality study materials, tens of hours of preparation is needed. Consider that students are going to want to participate in more than just one CDE, and the amount of time needed to adequately prepare becomes more daunting. While various study materials are available online, many times, these are outdated and only include low-resolution images. Generally speaking, quality study materials are not as freely shared as to not give another school a one-up over another team. The overarching mission of this project is to provide a one-stop shop product for Agriculture teachers nationwide that they can download to gain instant access to high quality study materials that will make their respective teams competitive in the Forestry CDE. All materials in this guide are directly aligned with the National FFA Forestry CDE guidelines. Self-graded tests are included so that teachers can instantly see where their teams need additional practice. 

Resources: References for the Final Project

Brianna Swartzfager (2021)

The Agricultural Educator's Guide: To Effective Online Learning

During the 2020 worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. agricultural educators faced the challenge of transitioning their traditional hands-on classroom environment to that of a virtual one. Agricultural educators are currently facing challenges that involve keeping student engagement, creating lessons for virtual learners, understanding how to use online platforms, keeping virtual FFA members engaged, and providing guidance to the enrichment of student Supervised Agricultural Experiences. 

The purpose of this guide is to provide agricultural educators with a basis in which they can begin planning for online instruction, FFA activities, and student Supervised Agricultural Experiences. This guide is based on the three circle model of agricultural education in which each component of the model is connected and equally crucial to the total secondary agricultural program. This guide aims to discuss each part of the three circle model in detail and provide agricultural educators tips and resources for how to effectively integrate each part of the three circle model of agricultural education into virtual learning. 

Resources: The Agricultural Educator's Guide: To Effective Online Learning

Milli Jones (2020)

Telling their stories: How ranchers use science during day-to-day operations

This project emphasizes science used each day on a cattle ranch in Florida. The purpose of this project is to help ranchers tell their story by using science communication to educate the public on cattle genetics, land management, and conservation on ranches. The photo essay series features three cattle ranches from across Florida, all focusing on a different scientific topic. Kempfer Cattle Company emphasizes how ranchers use cattle genetics to create breeding programs that allow for a higher productivity rate. Buck Island Ranch focuses on why cattle are important to biodiversity and maintaining open land. Blackbeard’s ranch tells the story of conservation. This series also includes a COVID-19 response to share how ranchers reacted to the pandemic, along with their thoughts on the potential lasting impacts. Video and photos were taken during a ranch tour of each of the three locations. This project used only mobile technology to film and take photos using an iPad and iPhone. All of the content was edited using easily accessible apps that are commonly found on smart technology. The goal of this project is to connect the public to Florida ranchers by using science to explain why cattle ranches are important to the state. The series will be published on the Streaming Science website by highlighting one of the ranches each week.

Resources: Telling Their Stories: Adobe Spark Pages

Jennifer Evangelista (2020)

Sustaining school garden clubs through extracurricular clubs: Evaluating master gardeners' lessons learned

School gardens have been animportanteducational toolfor well over 100 years. As the benefits of school gardens have become well documented, more and more schools aim to implement them into their programming. Though the challenges ofstarting and sustaining school garden clubs have been heavily researched, many still struggle to see their school gardens thrive in order toprovide maximum benefits to their students, school, and local community. The purpose of the currentproject is to formulate a School Garden Handbook to be used by garden leaders.By using past experiences to determine best practices for beginning and sustaining school garden clubs, garden leaders can forgepath to increased success.Since much of the research that exists is focused on gardens being used during the day by students, this study focusedon extracurricular clubs. By interviewing Master Gardener volunteers who were actively involved in school garden clubs, we gained an entryway into the challenges facing those seeking to implement successful school garden programs. Overall, we found there were sixmain components to consider when thinking about the functionality of a garden club: 1) timing of the meeting; 2)rhythm of the meeting; 3)funding of the club; 4)garden leader skills; 5)successful factors of a club;and 6) negotiating challenges. These preliminary findings can provide leaders with ideas, structure, and solutions to common issuesfaced in the development of successful school garden programs.WithaSchool Garden Handbook in hand, garden leaders will be better equipped to operate a successful garden club by learning from the experiencesof others and anticipating potential problems ahead of time, which can serve to enhance the overall student and school experience with the garden club.

Resources: Sustaining School Garden Clubs through Extracurricular Clubs

Katie Orben (2020)

Veterinary Orthopaedic and Mobility Center (VOMC) Anesthesia Continuing Education Course

This anesthesia continuing education course is intended to provide opportunities for veterinary technicians to learn anesthesia/analgesia techniques and protocols for small animal surgical candidates in accordance with FVTA (Florida Veterinary Technician Association) guidelines to fulfill requirements for Certified Veterinary Technicians. This will also lay the groundwork for technicians studying to obtain the Veterinary Technician Specialty in Anesthesia & Analgesia (VTS-Anesthesia and Analgesia).
Through experience and reflection, the learner in this program becomes responsible for their own capacity to grow and learn through anesthetic cases presented in house. Program leaders will embody the skills approach for this program. The surgical team lead and senior nurses are responsible for identifying that at each level of administration, a different extent of skill must be expressed. Each skill is interrelated for the success of the anesthetic case, but developed individually.
Surgical nurses and assistants will have the opportunity to participate during their first six months of new hire. The program is offered, as needed, in conjunction with normal work flow during normal business hours for surgical nurses and assistants. Credit for course completion and ability to increase technician rating will not be granted until the program evaluation is submitted.
Course evaluations will highlight what participants feel was effective and areas for improvement. Evaluating the core benchmark skills will help determine program impact of how well nurses and assistants are being effectively prepared for specialty clinical practice. To best identify course needs, data will be collected from current staff who have not completed the semester course work.
Before starting this program, employees must be aware of personal abilities, assumptions and beliefs in order to be sensitive and willing to act in a way which takes others’ perceptions into account. Setting the standards for practicing anesthesia connects participants to other similar organizations, the community, and political, social and economic forces.

Resources: Veterinary Orthopedic and Mobility Center (VOMC) Course

Tiffany J. Freer (2020)

Exploring the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of frontline Extension workers and their levels of engagement in nutrition-sensitive and gender-responsive agricultural Extension services in Malawi

A mixed methods evaluation explored the impact of a professional development intervention (field notebook) with and without training on the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of frontline extension workers in Malawi. A concurrent embedded design was used to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data in the study. Results of the pre- and post- questionnaire revealed many statistically significant effects of the Field Notebook (FNB) both with and without training. Benefits of the FNB to frontline extension workers also were discovered during key-informant group interviews.
Significant effects were found in the use of needs assessments, developing program goals and objectives, and writing monthly work plans. Results demonstrate positive attitude changes related to time spent on planning, farmer-centered programming, and working with community leaders. Use of the FNB increased the variety of methods used to deliver extension services and increased targeting of vulnerable groups compared to the control group. Treatment groups demonstrated increases in nutrition KAP regarding balanced meals, the Malawian Food Groups, and extension methods to fill gaps in food availability. Results were insignificant for all groups on use of a seasonal food calendar as a method to produce a diversity of foods throughout the year and counteract the hunger season. Results of the questionnaire on gender-responsive extension services revealed little treatment effects across the groups.
The study’s findings indicate that extension methodologies training combined with use of the FNB have significant effects on the KAP of frontline workers. Significant differences between treatment groups were found in key planning areas and in extension methodology practices. Group interview participants reported improved confidence and professionalism because of the training. Extension service delivery was also improved through developed capacity to coordinate, collaborate across the system platforms, and conduct effective presentations. Extension workers also demonstrated knowledge and confidence when organizing Lead Farmers and conducting meetings and trainings. Therefore, it is recommended that the Department of Agricultural Extension Services (DAES) expand use of the FNB outside the USAID/Malawi Feed the Future districts. Furthermore, this should be combined with extension methodologies training and separate nutrition education training to continue improvement in service delivery and meet the goals of  DAES to achieving food, nutrition, and income security.

Resources: Exploring the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of frontline extension workers

Jordan Heinke (2020)

Teaching methods resources for first year teachers

Becoming a new teacher, as well as being a current teacher, can be challenging, especially when trying to find resources to help teach students. This project is a part of an extension program to develop resources for beginning agriscience teachers. Videos of three teaching methods were developed to be used when planning lessons in the classroom. The videos explain the demonstration, think-pair-share, and jigsaw techniques. The videos consist of recordings of an individual performing these methods and then narration was added to help explain the method being shown. These videos will be made available to preservice and current teachers. The web page will allow teachers to filter through resources to find the ones that fit their needs for professional growth. These videos are needed to help explain various teaching methods, how they can be used, why they should be used, and other helpful hits to using the methods in the classroom. The narrated videos are closely aligned with Gagne’s conditions of learning. The videos help meet the needs of individuals with Gagne’s visual and attitude learning capabilities by using the two instructional levels guided learning and elicit performance.  The teaching methods covered in these videos are: 1) Demonstration, a method where the teacher shows the students how to do something before allowing them to do it themselves, 2) Think-pair-share, where students are given a minute to think about an answer to a question or prompt, pair up with a peer to talk about their answers and then have an opportunity to share their answers with the class, 3) Jigsaw, a grouping strategy that allows the students to learn from each other. These videos will be very helpful for teachers struggling to find new ways to get their students involved with the content they are teaching.

Resources: Demonstration Teaching Method

Cooperative Learning Teaching Strategies

Jessica A. Steele (2020)

An exploration of virtual intercultural learning experiences for undergraduate students

International study abroad is an incredible opportunity that has been more readily available to certain student groups than others. Barriers such as lack of access to information, lack of funding, lack of support/encouragement, and fear of stereotypes have impacted students’ participation in study abroad, primarily disadvantaging low-income students, students of color, and students with disabilities. The problem which sparked the creation of this project was how to make the learning of cross-cultural self-efficacies and intercultural leadership accessible/available to all students within academic learning environments.
This master’s project involved the development of a six-week Virtual Intercultural Learning Experience (VIntLE) for undergraduate students within CALS/AEC at the University of Florida. This online course consists of weekly videos that were filmed and edited by the project creator during an international experience in Costa Rica, and the title for this online VIntLE is “AEC 3065 (ONLINE)/AEC 4932 – An Intercultural Exploration of Agricultural & Life Sciences in Costa Rica”. Students are led on agricultural tours within various facilities, and they are able to engage in module content that encourages them to conduct additional research to learn more about each Costa Rican farm, location, or tour site.
Weekly modules include video content, a Google Earth link to the tour location, weekly assignments, discussion posts, relevant links, and supplemental readings which all encourage engagement with the material and the learning process. Program transfer goals include developing cultural awareness, acknowledging diversity, developing agricultural and life science (ALS) comprehension, practicing global leadership, and enhancing digital literacy. The six course modules are (1) Culture, (2) Natural Plants/Rainforest, (3) Animal Biodiversity, (4) Dairy Farming, (5) Global Coffee Farming, and (6) Sustainability & Future.
The purpose of this VIntLE is to provide opportunities for intercultural exposure to Costa Rica for undergraduate students who otherwise may not be able to travel abroad.

Resources: An exploration of virtual intercultural learning experiences

Kelsey Thornton (2020)

Professional Life Phases: Identifying professional development needs relating to instructional practices and teacher development for Florida Agriscience Teachers

For learners to be better prepared to solve current and future complex problems, teachers must continue to strengthen and refine their teaching and learning practices throughout their career. One known modality to assist teachers in refining their pedagogical skills is teacher participation in professional development opportunities. The purpose of this study was to identify the self-perceived professional development needs of agriscience teachers in Florida based on their professional life phase. All three career phases shared modifying instruction for students with special needs as one of their top four identified ranked instructional practice needs. Regarding teacher development, all three career phases shared managing stress as one of their top two identified ranked teacher development needs. It is recommended that agricultural education professional development organizers consider years of experience when planning workshops and opportunities. The “cookie cutter” method or “one size fits all” themes for professional development may not be the most effective way to continue offering these workshops since the findings of this study and others indicate differing needs of agriscience teachers based on professional life phase and years of experience.

Resources: Professional Life Phases

Bradley Coleman (2019)

Effects of Reflection Type & Abstraction Order on Content Knowledge & Retention

Experiential learning is fundamental to agricultural education. Current literature indicates some methods of pedagogically implementing experiential learning are more effective than others. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of reflection type and abstraction order on content knowledge and content knowledge retention when teaching experientially. This research experiment was conducted with secondary school students enrolled in agriscience courses. The findings of this study indicated neither the method in which students reflected nor the order in which they received abstraction affected students’ ability to attain content knowledge. However, when analyzing student content knowledge retention, a statistically significant interaction effect indicated reflection type and abstraction order were dependent upon one another. It is recommended those who are interested in knowledge retention outcomes should implement purposeful reflection-on-action techniques when delivering abstract conceptualization prior to an experience.<

Resources: Effects of Reflection Type & Abstraction Order on Content Knowledge & Retention

Dolly Cummings (2019)

Hutton Onboarding Tutorial

A common problem for new staff and students is the need to get up-to-speed with a lab’s protocols. In the past, this instruction has been an on-the-job type training, explained by the most senior person working in the specified environment on any given day. In order to maintain consistent training from a single source, the Hutton Onboarding Tutorial has been created. The purpose of this tutorial is to train new staff, students and post-docs in the basic procedures and skills necessary to work in Dr. Hutton’s Tomato Breeding Program at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm FL. The lessons are small chunks of training that cover various tasks that are conducted each season. Participants can complete as many lessons as necessary for their particular job in the lab, although everyone must complete the first lesson- Orientation. A perfect score is required in all lessons to ensure accuracy in future work assignments. In order to monitor the usefulness of the lessons, students complete an evaluation at the end of each lesson. While this tutorial is targeted for Dr. Hutton’s lab and its work needs, it can easily be a model for other labs to replicate with their own training purposes.

Resources: Hutton Onboarding Tutorial

Taylor Johnson (2019)

Using Trained Observer Rating to evaluate youth leadership development

Youth organizations are uniquely positioned to improve the quality of life for their participants and improve community development. If they nurture leadership skills in youth, they make a positive investment in the future of community. Youth who are meaningfully engaged in community programs have the opportunity to improve self-esteem, skills, and leadership capacity. Furthermore, youth who were invested in by community based organizations tend to set on positive trajectories.
The organizations cannot take the risk of steering these programs in the wrong direction. Due to the lasting impact these organizations have, it is imperative to support them to do their job well. Which is why this project focused on developing an evaluation instrument to be utilized in organizations who serve youth participants. The instrument was based off Junior Achievement Work Readiness curriculum.
The instrument measures creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and conflict management. A variety of programs can develop these skills in their participants not dependent on their priorities of curriculum. No matter the content a program is delivering, these skills are essential to develop for leadership development and future employability. For example, the pilot test implementing this instrument measured these skills while the students were learning about gardening and food security.
The instrument proved to be effective to measure changes in behavior through observation. The implementation did not disrupt the learning environment and could be relevant to any youth programs. In order to utilize this tool, evaluation should be a priority of the program administration to ensure there is capacity for trained evaluators. Furthermore, a program must have a consistent and measurable direction. With these factors, the evaluation instrument is suitable for youth programs that want to make a lasting impact. The observational evaluation tool intends to support these programs to improve their program that develops youth leaders and builds a stronger community.

Resources: Using Trained Observer Rating to Evaluate Youth Leadership Development

Deanna Miller (2019)

CDE Training Manuals

As a new and beginning teacher in agricultural education, I have had to prioritize where I expend my energy when it has come to the FFA Organization. Although FFA is only one third of the total program model it can quickly become overwhelming with the vast number of competitions, awards, and conventions to engage in with students. One of my main energy focuses have been in training CDE teams for our state level competitions, which align to the national competitions. With this this my non-thesis project was the development of two Career Development Team Training manuals, one for the Milk Quality and Products CDE and one for the Poultry Evaluation CDE. Each CDE training manual contains a comprehensive week-by-week lesson plan style-training program in order to successfully prepare teams to compete. With each training overview there are training materials and links to materials that would assist an FFA advisor in preparing teams. Finally each manual includes teacher notes as well as tips and suggestions for advanced team training. A handbook of this nature not only helps preparing teams but also decrease the preparation time it takes of planning a training program each year. These handbooks will be widely shared with the agricultural education teachers across the state, and will provide useful for all new and beginning teachers that need guided training materials for these teams, or for teachers that are new to these CDE’s.

Resources: Milk Quality Products CDE Training Manual

Poultry Evaluation CDE Training Manual

Heather Young (2019)

Educating the Public with and Open Gate

The goal of this program is to help bridge the gap between what the farmers know and what the public wants to know; by teaching farmers how to communicate their everyday life effectively, as well as providing guiding resources. Animal rights videos have focused on areas like disbudding, non-ambulatory animals, animal handling and movement, living conditions. By partnering with industry guests and professionals, this program will help teach farms how to open their ‘gates’ (minds) as well as open the lines of communication with the public by converting standard practices in understandable terms to the public. Upon completion, farms will create a complete communication plan to help them in educating the public.

Resources: Educating the Public with an Open Gate

Daniel Leonard (2019)

Understanding long term Florida Master Gardener retention rates

Master Gardener (MG) volunteers are a crucial part of the UF/IFAS Extension mission to educate the public. Based on anecdotal data from the UF/IFAS State Master Gardener Coordinator and empirical findings from the Walton County Volunteer Management System (VMS) archive, UF/IFAS Extension historically recruits and trains MG volunteers successfully but then realizes many leaving the program. In this publication, we present the results of a study of Walton County MG volunteers designed to understand if differences in demographic characteristics, motivational orientations, and volunteerism preferences between long-term (defined here as four years or more) active and inactive volunteers exist. To identify volunteer motivations, the survey included a version of Mergener’s (1979) Education Participation Scale (M-EPS) adapted by Strong (2011). To describe volunteer demographics, eight questions were asked, including age, occupation, education, income, race, and gender. Two questions were included to determine volunteers’ educational project preferences. The study sampled a population of 169 active and inactive MG volunteers, with a response rate of 42% (n = 60). Participants confirmed a prior study from Strong & Harder stating the primary motivation for MG volunteerism is a desire to learn. The survey also found women are more likely to remain active volunteers long-term than men and that motivational orientations do not appear to have much effect on volunteer tenure within the limited sample. More research is needed to confirm these findings and provide additional insight into MG tenure. Also, given the sample size limitations of this study, future research should repeat the study across county MG volunteer programs throughout the state to further explore relationships between demographics, motivations and volunteerism preferences on MG volunteer tenure. Ultimately, these results can help inform coordinators’ program focuses and provide additional insight as to which MGs might volunteer long-term and why, allowing coordinators to hone recruiting efforts.

Resources: Understanding long term Master Gardener retention rates

Understanding Long Term Florida MG Retention Rates (presentation)

Katharine McWhorter (2019)

Florida State Fair Youth Livestock Show Ethics & Animal Care Training

In the early 2000’s when animal rights groups started targeting youth livestock shows, the Florida State Fair and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, with the support from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, determined that a training would be put into place to assist youth exhibitors with these interactions. The overarching goal was to ensure youth knew and practiced proper ethics in their projects, and were prepared to communicate their efforts. The program has been in place since 2005 in Florida, with many trainers and educated youth springing from youth livestock programs using its reinforcement. The downfall of this program lies in its stagnancy. Since its composition, there have been no updates or alterations to the curriculum. In addition, many trainers have several lessons becoming tiresome to youth who have to take the class every three years. The purpose of this project is to: 1) update statistics to the most recent 2017 Ag Census data, 2) create a few suggested lesson layouts with variations, 3) portray a more recent look, and 4) provide a way for trainers to submit fresh ideas for lessons and livestock species expansion beyond the traditional beef cattle, dairy, and swine. Moving forward now that the curricula has been updated, it has been suggested by the graduate student that submissions be entertained in an ongoing improvement system in order to keep the course relevant and improve the teaching methods used. Since the document has been created on Google Drive, sharing with and without editing privileges is an option for trainers, and should lead to the further development of this program.

Resources: Florida State Fair Youth Livestock Show Ethics & Animal Care Training

Katie Morris (2019)

United States Sugar corporation's Facebook posts during the 2018 algal bloom crisis

Floridians faced both a severe outbreak of blue-green algae and red tide in the summer months of 2018. The environmental crisis caused the public and the media to have emotional reactions and seek out information to determine and debate the causes for the outbreaks. The agricultural industry, particularly sugarcane growers in the Everglades Agricultural Area, faced accusations and widespread distrust of environmental practices. While no scientific information was presented that directly linked the outbreak to agriculturalists, some members of the public and environmental activist groups blamed local farmers. A content analysis of the United States Sugar Corporation Facebook page was conducted to evaluate the organization’s public posts and responses to public reactions to their posts during the crisis. The analysis followed the ten crisis response postures defined by Coombs (2019) for crisis communication. All data was coded and evaluated according to the response postures and as new codes emerged, they were noted. Results indicated the U.S. Sugar Corporation primarily communicated through messages that shared factual information, links to outside media articles, and statements about their industry’s previous sustainability efforts and successes. Additionally, results indicated the U.S. Sugar Corporation only responded to public comments that were defensive or shared further information regarding the topic. Research recommendations from this study include: 1) public relations practitioners who represent agricultural organizations should have continuing communication with stakeholders at all times and utilize scientific information as a part of a crisis communication strategy and 2) organizations that find themselves at the center of public mistrust during an environmental crisis should focus on publishing messages with themes of transparency, gratitude towards stakeholders, and scientific information.

Resources: United States sugar corporation's FB posts during the 2018 algal bloom crisis

Charles K. Poliseno (2019)

Needs of 4-H Extension faculty members working with the LGBTQ+ community

Florida 4-H serves as one of the state’s largest youth development organizations and is founded on the 4-H Essential Elements, which is a set of positive youth development facets that help 4-H professionals and volunteers provide a well-rounded educational experience to youth participants. Belonging is one of the 4-H Essential Elements and is characterized by a positive relationship with a caring adult, a safe environment, and an inclusive environment. In order to receive adequate and effective help in those areas, youth need to trust the adults that surround them, and those adults need to demonstrate acceptance and a level of understanding for the youth in their care. Little research exists within the Extension literature regarding youth development professionals working and engaging with youth members of the LGBTQ community. The purpose of this study was to determine the experiences and professional development needs of Florida 4-H Extension agents working with LGBTQ youth and communities. Results of the study identified that participants displayed a common set of values regarding Belonging, the rural or urban make-up of the county played a role in that county’s ability to accept members of the LGBTQ community, and that little professional development and training had been offered by the organization focused on increasing competency with working with members of the LGBTQ community. Recommendations include providing up-to-date policies and procedures, creating a training program for working with LGBTQ audiences, as well as for more research and formal assessment of professional development and competence needs related to working with the LGBTQ community.

Resources: Needs of 4-H Extension faculty members working with the LGBTQ+ community

Genevieve A. Mendoza (2019)

Needs of Florida 4-H Agents for managing shooting sports risks

The Florida 4-H youth development program is part of a network of 48 states within the United States that offers shooting sports as part of their 4-H program. While young people participating in 4-H shooting sports gain valuable life skills what has remained unclear are the skills needed by county 4-H agents to manage the risks associated with offering the program. A survey was sent to county 4-H agents and the responses analyzed to determine those needs and to identify the county 4-H agents’ perceived level of competency in program procedural standards and program leadership accountability. The results of the study demonstrated that county 4-H agents recognized the value of having program procedural standards and program leadership accountability but lacked the knowledge and skills to implement them as part of managing the risks associated with providing a shooting sports program. Therefore, the researchers concluded there was a need for in-service trainings and program resources emphasizing program standards and accountability principles related to managing a shooting sports program.

Resources: Needs of Florida 4-H Agents for Managing Shooting Sports Risks

Dallas Deal (2019)

Florida Leadership Development Workshop

This project is to present a leadership development workshop for youth. The main reason for creating this workshop series is to broaden the exposure youth has to leadership development at a young age. Being able you understand multiple aspects of leadership, is necessary in a professional setting as well as for problem solving in your own life. People must learn to work together to accomplish goals. Not all youth understand the importance of leadership and team work. Once introduced to leadership skills, youth are able to see the potential they have to adopt and use these skills. Then they will be able to grasp the concept of leadership within themselves. Seeing yourself as a future leader improves your ability to see how you can be a part of your community and make choices that will help you succeed. This workshop was created to help youth develop their leadership skills early on their path to adulthood. It is the intent of the leadership workshop to not only introduce a foundation and skill set in leadership, but to help youth make the positive choice that they want to grow and participate in their community as a leader. People need to learn to work with people who have different social ideas like politics, religion, and cultures. They also have to learn to work toward a common goal even if someone thinks the way to achieve that goal is different than yours. Helping future leaders use leadership skills like creative and critical thinking as well as problem solving will help youth see how team building skills will help them work with others no matter what their differences may be.

Resources: Florida Leadership Development Workshop

Gordon Yoder (2018)


The #thisiscals social media campaign aimed to better inform publics on the opportunities within the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The campaign provided a virtual tour for students, via social media platforms, taking the college to them. The campaign targeted four locations representative of CALS. There were three styles of content produced at each location - an edited video, kinetic typography video, and photograph - giving insight to which type of content is most effective. Locations were determined based on input from leaders within CALS and according to the college’s vision: “We will be the destination of choice for students seeking academic programs in agriculturenatural resources and related sciences…”. The campaign covered key locations representing each of the three academic program areas. Locations included the Field and Fork Farm and Gardens, the Plant Micropropagation Laboratory, the Austin Cary Forest, and an off-site internship at the Florida Farm Bureau Federation. The content was aimed at showcasing the wide range of opportunities students have within CALS. The results of the campaign showed that there was not a substantial difference in engagement between each of the three varying styles of content. Based on this, it is recommended that content creators produce content relative to the effort required to produce. It was found that the person or source featured in the piece of content boosted engagement. The content should highlight influencers with a high number of followers and an active presence on social media. It was found that by engaging with the content early in its lifespan, through liking, commenting and sharing, increased its post visibility and engagement rates. The content should also revolve around topics of follower interests, which can be based on the platforms engagement data, like Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytics. Further research should be conducted on engagement techniques, influential sources, and targeted messaging to determine greater effectiveness. Using video as a means to increase knowledge and awareness should also be researched in the future.

Resources: #thisiscals: A social media hashtag campaign

Jena Gilmore (2017)

Impacts of bully prevention training on 4-H camp counselor performance

Camp Counselors (ages 13-18) are the first responders in the cabins during 4-H residential camp week.   They take responsibility of eight youth ages twelve and under for nearly one hundred hours during camp.  Therefore, to be effective at crisis management, these teens need to be educated, trained, and well equipped to handle any circumstance that arises.  In this study, twenty-two counselors from two counties were exposed to bullying prevention lessons, learned intervention strategies, and were given the hands-on experiential learning opportunity of implementing what they had learned at county camp. Teens are required to participate in a minimum of six hours of training to become a 4-H Camp Counselor.  This training involves multiple focus areas including:  camp policies and procedures, 4-H policies and procedures, best management practices, camp scenarios, ages and stages of youth, and bullying prevention.  This study focused on evaluation of the implementation of the BE SAFE curriculum by Michigan State University Extension within a Camp Counselor Training setting.  Be SAFE focuses on education and prevention of bullying, bias, harassment and other hurtful behaviors – as well as providing suggestions for intervening when young people are affected by these issues. (Michigan State University Extension. 2013) 
Objectives of the study were: (1) Camp Counselors will identify bullying behavior as measured by a pre/post counselor training survey.  (2) Camp Counselors will successfully intervene in bullying situations by utilizing strategies from the BE SAFE curriculum as measured by post camp skills application surveys.  Results from this study supported that implementing a bully prevention element into training efforts is a strong defense for 4-H Camp Counselors to identify bullying and safely intervene to provide a safe, affirming, fair environment as describe in the BE SAFE curriculum.

Resources: Impacts of Bully Prevention Training on 4-H Camp Counselor Performance

Julia Kelly (2018)

Archery Leader Guide

The purpose of the guide is to provide a resource for archery leaders that includes reflection, application and evaluation with the activities.  The primary objectives were: (1) To improve accuracy by performing proper shooting form; (2) Practice safety in all aspects of archery, and; (3) Develop life skills while learning archery. There are 14 lessons; seven basic lessons and seven advanced lessons.  The sections are divided up by both skill level and age.  All beginning archers, regardless of age should be learning the lessons from the Basic Section, especially 1-3.  The Advanced Section is for more experienced archers (shot for at least a year) who have mastered the lessons in the Basic Section and are also age 11 or above. 

Resources: Archery Leader Guide

Ajia Paolillo (2017)

Exotic Citrus Diseases

This project was a revision of the UF/IFAS Exotic Citrus Disease website. The objective was to increase knowledge and awareness of the diseases which pose a serious threat to Florida citrus, complete with current information, countries the diseases are found, regulations, links to resources, etc.

Resources: Exotic Citrus Diseases Website

Lana Cardwell (2017)

From Farm to Table

The From Farm to Table 4-H Program is a six-lesson youth workshop that provides tools for the education, experience, and awareness of Florida agriculture. Specific emphasis is placed on the Experiential Learning Method, the Life Skills Model and the 4-H slogan, learn-by-doing. To achieve this goal, a project book guideline that youth can have to keep and help guide themselves and their families in smart consumerism, will be included. The project book guideline is designed to be used in any Florida county with emphasis on product knowledge, ingredient identification, cooking basics, recipe reading and configuring, beef product knowledge and by-product knowledge, and exposure to a farm visit/ farmer visit.

Resources: From Farm to Table Leader Book

From Farm to Table Youth Program

Prudence Caskey (2016)

4-H marine aquarium project book

4-H youth currently enrolled in the 4-H aquarium projects had only freshwater aquarium options.  These youth could participate in breeding either live-bearing fish or egg-laying fish. A saltwater or marine aquarium project book was unavailable for youth to experience aquarium keeping at a more advanced level.  The opportunity to cultivate and propagate corals was not a 4-H project. While maintaining both a 14-gallon and 29-gallon marine aquarium for over two years and reading over 15 books on the subject, as well as interviewing over 10 experts, the 4-H Marine Aquarium Project Book was created over a period of three years.  Information from personal experience and as a result of attending the Marine Aquarium Conferences of North America in Washington, DC allowed the author to create a needed resource. The result is an extensive resource available for youth to utilize during the initial set up and continued maintenance, care and upkeep of a new marine aquarium system.  The 4-H Marine Aquarium Project Book is accompanied by a comprehensive adult leader guide to provide club and project leaders with additional guidance and trouble-shooting options. With the 4-H Marine Aquarium Project book, youth will learn to successfully perform water changes and properly plan for coral and other animals that will be incorporated into the aquarium system.

Resources: 4H Marine Aquarium Adult Partner Guide

4H Marine Project Book

Jessica Fernandez (2015)

Getting the most out of social media

An EDIS series was created to help explain (1) What is Social Media? (2) Creating a Social Media Plan, (3) How to Successfully Use Social Media, and (4) Good Practices When Using Social Media. All documents include images and links that will hopefully help and assist agriculturalist get the most out of social media.

Resources: Getting the Most Out of Social Media

Daniel Barber (2015)

How to develop leadership skills within your basketball/sports team

A training program specifically designed to mold young athletes into exceptional leaders and in turn create the cohesion, respect and drive which is required by a group of people to succeed at the highest level.

Resources: How to Develop Leadership Skills Within Your Basketball/Sports Team

Shannon Carnevale (2015)

Public opinion poll of Polk County officials regarding water issues in Florida

To measure Floridians’ opinions and attitudes regarding water issues in Florida, the University of Florida/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education, or PIE Center, surveys the general public annually.  This research aims to compare the opinions of Polk County Florida’s elected officials to those collected by the PIE Center’s research.  Like much of Florida, Polk County’s economy strongly depends on healthy ecosystems for agriculture production and tourism dollars. This research seeks to develop understanding regarding knowledge gaps, differences in opinions between elected officials and general residents, and recommend educational strategies to reach elected officials on water issues they are interested in learning about.

Resources: Public Opinion Poll of Polk County Officials Regarding Water Issues in Florida

LeAnna Himrod (2015)

Peace River Citrus Growers Association Communication Audit

Project that managed the change in the communications for the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA), a citrus grower association that represents commercial citrus growers in DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, Charlotte, and Sarasota County in Florida.

Resources: Peace River Citrus Growers Association Communication Audit

Supporting documents

Rachel Silver (2015)

Financial literacy for women

A financial literacy curriculum developed for young women. This course is designed based on the principles of discovery learning and with leadership values. Every person in the class will have an opportunity to share their personal goals so that the class can be shaped to fit their individual needs.

Resources: Financial Literacy for Women

Anna Taff (2015)

Students' engagement in school based agricultural education

This study was conducted in six schools across the State of Florida to assess the engagement of students in rural and urban programs, that of boys in urban and boys in rural programs, and to determine any correlations between the students' psychological and cognitive engagement. The results of the study show similar levels of student engagement between rural and urban students, between that of girls and boys, and a high level of correlation of rural students between their perceived Control/Relevance of School Work and Future Aspirations and Goals. Factors showing high correlation are being examined further. This is necessary in order to provide suggestions for teachers in the classroom.

Resources: Students' Engagement in School Based Agricultural Education


Brandon Telg (2015)

Why I Lead

The purpose of this project was to document the stories of graduates from the Wedgworth Leadership Institute, demonstrating the development of their leadership philosophy from personal life experiences. I produced seven videos by interviewing eight Wedgworth graduates who represent different leadership positions in agriculture in the state of Florida. I learned that my initial hypothesis was correct: one's leadership philosophy is directly tied to personal growth experiences and their ability to synthesize and internalize those life events.

Resources: Why I Lead

Carly Barnes (2014)

Student recruitment strategies for agricultural education and communication

The purpose of this study was to investigate agricultural education and communication (AEC) undergraduate and graduate students' reasons for selecting the AEC major, and to identify students' preferred communication channels to receive information about the AEC major. An online survey was conducted with current AEC undergraduate and graduate students. Results indicate that the AEC department website is highly utilized and valued by students as a preferred and effective communication channel for students. The findings suggest that other communication channels, such as social media, could be better utilized to communicate about the department, including sharing events and other timely information. This study also identifies students' preferences for visually branding the AEC department.

Resources: Student Recruitment Strategies for Agricultural Education and Communication

Sheila Dunning (2014)

Evaluation of ornamental grasses for use as golf course plantings

A field trial of twenty-two different ornamental grasses was established on a one-acre simulated golf course. Each was evaluated annually for performance and aesthetics by golf course superintendents and maintenance employees over a seven-year period. By being able to demonstrate which ornamental grasses are of interest to golf course personnel, this Extension research project will be able to direct producers toward the development and marketing of those particular ornamental grass species. Additionally, Extension educators can develop curriculum and training programs for golf course superintendents and maintenance employees on the aesthetic design and use of these plants, as well as, the proper maintenance techniques and requirements.

Resources: Evaluation of Ornamental Grasses for Use as Golf Course Plantings

Maxine Floyd (2014)

Aquaponics for teaching and demonstration

Recirculating aquaponic systems use much less water than traditional in-ground farming. Experiential learning opportunities lead to increased knowledge retention and positive behavior change. Experience with aquaponics will lead to awareness of environmentally-friendly practices, fresh, locally-grown food, and food security. This workshop was designed to educate teachers, and youth advisors techniques to build their own aquaponic system. For more information visit

Resources: Aquaponics for Teaching and Demonstration

Matthew Lake (2014)

Cultural Leadership Case Study

The average Marine is a kinesthetic learner. As an organization, the Marine Corps is often confined to formal teaching in a classroom setting. By implementing case studies in formal professional military education, Marines will be allowed to engage their ability to learn through their tactile senses while remaining in a classroom setting. This research paper examines several key components including how the Marine Corps currently instructs leadership followed by an analysis of how this process is flawed. It examines the need for the Marine Corps to adopt case study methods in their leadership curriculum and ultimately aims to identify a current problem and present a solution through the implementation of the case study method.

Resources: Cultural Leadership Case Study

Jonathan Mayer (2014)

Florida 4-H Science Inquiry Training

This AEC Masters Project encompasses the development of an online 4-H science inquiry training module for Florida 4-H adult volunteers who wish to enhance their awareness, knowledge, and skills in Florida 4-H science, the science inquiry method, and integration of science inquiry into existing 4-H project areas. The module consists of three parts designed to be accessed as a whole or by section depending upon learner preference.

Resources: Florida 4-H Science Inquiry Training Modules

Erin Nessmith (2014)

AEC 4905: Business and Industry Leadership in Agriculture

The purpose of this project was to develop an undergraduate level course that emphasizes leadership styles and business concepts of successful farmers, producers, and industries in Florida agriculture. In order to adequately prepare students for the workforce upon graduation, it is imperative students have a well-rounded educational offering, which includes courses in theory, application, and experiential settings. This Business and Industry Leadership in Agriculture course focuses on the application and is designed to help students recognize leadership in their direct field of study. This course will provide students an opportunity to learn about a diversity of industries in one course, while applying the skills and knowledge that were acquired in the prerequisite coursework.

Resources: AEC 4905: Business and Industry Leadership in Agriculture

Becky Pengelley (2014)

4-H SPIN Club Curriculum

In the panhandle of Florida, several UF Extension offices have collaborated to pilot 4-H Special Interest (SPIN) Clubs. Currently, 4-H SPIN Clubs exist in several states and they are designed to provide youth development activities through a non-traditional time frame. In order to provide both youth and volunteers greater flexibility, SPIN clubs are formed around a shared interest and meet for a minimum of six times for an hour each. For this project, I developed two sets of SPIN Club curricula for potential volunteer leaders to use. The 4-H Agents requested that I develop a SPIN Club set of gardening lessons for elementary school students, and a SPIN club set of sewing lessons for middle school students. In addition, I worked with the extension offices to develop a short marketing video for the SPIN clubs. The gardening lessons are entitled "Seeds for Thought" The sewing lessons are entitled "Sew Grateful," and through this project, youth transform old t-shirts into new items, while learning basic sewing skills.

Resources: 4-H SPIN Club Curriculum

Lonette Ray (2014)

Ray Consulting, Inc.

A common term that coincides with manager is leadership, but these two characteristics are not always seen together. It can be noted that some of the better managers work to improve their leadership skills to become better managers. This is no different in the world of restaurant management. This project is based on the need for training in leadership for restaurant managers. The project is a website that is designed as if it were going to be used for a consulting company called Ray Consulting Inc. so there is the typical corporate information that would be expected of a company included on the website such as contact information and other clients that have been served. The four types of leadership that are addressed are Authentic, Contingency, Servant and Transformational Leadership.

Nicole Alberts (2014)

The impact of agriscience course on student FCAT scores

The purpose was to create a handout that could be used to compile data about a specific group of students in an agriscience course. The goal was that it could be utilized to support as well as maintain a secondary agricultural education program. It should show the positive impact that an agriscience course can have on student standardized test scores.

Resources: The Impact of an Agriscience Course on Student FCAT Scores

Data collection tool

Shaina Bennett (2014)

School Enrichment Chicken Embryology: An Intracurricular Approach

This guide has lessons to incorporate into a daily plan to make the chicken embryology experience intra-curricular. The study was conducted with 3rd grade students in Baker County.  Youth were given both a pretest and posttest for the experience. 5 classes had the curriculum and 5 did not receive the curriculum to see what knowledge retention was gained.

Resources: School Enrichment Chicken Embryology: An Intracurricular Approach

Andrea Davis (2013)

Issues in agricultural and life sciences video series

The purpose of this project was to develop Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) to be used for an online section of AEC4065, Issues in Agricultural and Life Sciences. A series of leading global agricultural issues were identified, as well as industry experts with knowledge of these issues. Industry experts were then interviewed on the issue they were representing and recorded for 5-7 minute videos. Videos were then produced in Final Cut Pro X for each of the seven agricultural issues covered. Additional learning materials were created to complement the videos, including evaluation tools to go along with each individual video.

Biomass/ Alternative Energy
The Agricultural Policy Process 
The Florida Strawberry Industry/Immigration
Water Quality & Quantity 
Climate Change
Food Safety
Sustainability/Food Security 

Video Evaluation Tools

Daniel Fenneman (2013)

Assessing the effectiveness of restricted use pesticide trainings in Florida

The purpose of this study was to determine if Private Applicator trainings are effectively educating participants. Two basic questions will be answered: 1) are pesticide applicator trainings properly preparing participants to pass the RUP test? And 2) are participants who attend training for CEU's gaining new knowledge needed to apply pesticides correctly?

Resources: Assessing the Effectiveness of Restricted Use Pesticide Trainings in Florida

Laura Gorham (2013)

Teach Ag with a Tag Campaign Plan Book

The plan book is a complete package of the campaign materials and an implementation guide for the campaign entitled, Teach Ag with a Tag. The plan book includes 1) goals, objectives, strategies and tactics 2) supporting materials, such as a campaign logo, slogan, and other publications 3) the budget or estimated cost, and 4) implementation timeline

Resources: Teach Ag with a Tag Campaign Plan Book

Keith Wynn (2013)

Influence of Peanut Commodity Meetings on selection and fungicide use

The purpose of this study was to determine what influences peanut producers to plant the cultivars they select to plant each year and which peanut fungicide program they choose to incorporate.  This study will help county extension agents prepare for future programs and determine if the information presented in Hamilton County Peanut Production Meetings is beneficial to peanut producers.  This study will provide the information needed to help extension agents create materials needed to present peanut producers with information on cultivar and fungicide selection.

Resources: Influence of Peanut Commodity Meetings on Selection and Fungicide Use