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Program business plans: next steps

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Thank you all for attending our panel session on Program Business Plans last Wednesday afternoon at Program Conference! Hearing your feedback was very useful, and we are working on figuring out how we can best share your program business plans within the Center. This way, one program can learn from another program. Also, please feel free to let me know other suggestions for ways to improve the program business planning process.


Program business plan panel
(left to right) Dianne Sivald, grants manager; Tom Rothman, director of ag stakeholder outreach; Jeff Reneau, program leader; Sam Bauer, educator; Susanne Hinrichs, regional director; and moderator Whitney Meredith, evaluation specialist.

I hope you left the panel thinking about how your program business plans are not an assignment, but a tool that can be used for multiple purposes.

In fact, one way they can be used is to help you identify the data you need for the Federal Report, which is not that far away. All programs need to report their outputs and outcomes.

Outputs are what you include in your deliverable section. These are the things you count for the Federal Report. For example, you may have three workshops that train 50 people.

Outcomes are what you identify in your expected results section and results measurement section. They are what you hope your participants will do as a result of your program, such as increase their knowledge (learning gains) or implement best management practices (behavior changes). These are things you measure in your program evaluation.


If you have done a thorough job in these sections in your program business plan, collecting the data and turning it in for the Federal Report should be relatively easy. Please let me know if you have any questions!

-Whitney Meredith, evaluation

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