The following is a compilation of feedback received from the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences Advisory Board, specifically regarding SDSU Extension. Verbal feedback was provided at the December 17, 2014 ABS College Advisory meeting that was held concurrently via DDN technology at the Aberdeen, Mitchell, Pierre, and Rapid City Regional Extension Centers and Brookings campus location. Additional written input was received from advisory members that were unable to attend the meetings. Nineteen individuals provided either verbal or written feedback. Items listed for each question are provided in no particular order.
For what major ag and natural resource issues facing the state, do you see a role for SDSU Extension and in what way?
- DNA Technologies
- Resistance issues
- Sustainability: how is it defined, what are the science questions about it?
- Antibiotic use changes/FDA rules on increased veterinary oversight
- Water: quality and conservation; benchmarking water quality; nitrates; providing education that both ag and urban sectors contribute to problems
- Succession planning
- Carbon markets
- Youth development: and their impact on sustainability and conservation of resources
- All issues: Extension is the bridge between research and producers/consumers –facilitating information transfer both directions
- Provide the unbiased, up-to-date information and training needed to make sound decisions about agriculture and natural resource issues.
What is one SDSU Extension event, program, or individual interaction have you been involved with in the past year that you thought was successful and representative of Extension’s role?
- iGrow, various topics
- Agronomic advice
- Drainage seminars
- Crop Performance Testing information
- Soil Health meetings
- Range Beef Cow Symposium
- Northern States Beef Conference
- Cottonwood Field Station Open House
- Blizzard response
- 4-H events; Achievement Days
- Shearing School
- Sheep Growers Convention
- Master Gardeners
- Prescribed burn plans training
What technology components of Extension have you used? What should Extension do via technology?
- iGrow (multiple responses): Blizzard info, used in business, extend info to business clientele on crop and livestock questions, used quite a bit and happy with it.
- DDN/video conferencing system
What should be there:
- iGrow - as “an electronic medium as the core platform for information infusion.”
- Provide appropriate level of information: Target the “middle group” who are looking for guidance and/or help to clarify their own thoughts; a “translator”, not just a “filter.”
- Provide timely, accurate, scientifically based information.
- Best practices manuals have been great; all should be iBooks and updated virtually and seamlessly.
Are there aspects of current Extension programming that should be changed in the face of decreasing state and federal resources?
- Has not been enough time since the last change to fully evaluate; so far impressed with tweaking of current system, collaboration of AES and Extension.
- Need for more use of webcasting, DDN and iGrow.
- Pursue a “consumer reports” role as Extension won’t be on the cutting edge due to lack of funding. Review doing apps and evaluate –do we have resources and expertise to do this.
- Track what is used and not used on iGrow.
- All programs (regardless of whether Extension, school, church, etc.) should be evaluated to see if they are still meeting the needs for which they were first begun, especially when resources are decreasing.
- It is increasingly important to prioritize and cooperate. Be sure to focus on projects that aren’t or won’t be done by others, while reaching out to partners to help. No specifics to suggest changing.