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October 19, 2009

When participants serve others, who is the stakeholder?

At last week's "Building Extension's Public Value" workshop for University of Wyoming (see: cowboy) Cooperative Extension Service (CES), one group drafted a public value message for their land reclamation Extension program. The program provides research-based education on how to reclaim rangeland that has been disturbed by energy extraction. You can read about it here.

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As I understand it (and members of UW CES Sustainable Management of Rangeland Resources initiative team will correct me), program participants might include landowners--including energy companies--or reclamation professionals, who do the reclaiming work on the part of landowners. The question arose: Who are the participants, and who are the stakeholders for this program? In particular, when the program participant is the person doing the work to reclaim the land, but s/he is working on behalf of a private landowner, should we direct a public value message to the landowner?

We might think of the private owner of disturbed land as a stakeholder, provided s/he doesn't participate in the educational program. After all, s/he clearly has a stake in the reclamation professional being able to do a good job of restoring the land to its original--or new--use.

In my view, however, the private landowner is not a stakeholder in the public value sense: s/he directly benefits from the program through being able to hire a trained--maybe certified--reclamation professional, possibly at a lower cost than if CES had not contributed to that training. The landowner may even enjoy increased land values.

I think the public value message may be more effectively directed to others--aside from program trainees and the private landowners they work for--who have a stake in the land being restored. Of course, if the disturbed land is public land, the stakeholders are all the residents of Wyoming. At the conference, the group suggested hunters (specifically grouse, I recall), people concerned with biodiversity, and those who value an open viewscape.

What do you think? Who are the stakeholders for a program that trains a group of professionals to perform a service for a family or a business?

October 9, 2009

2009 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Award

Earlier this summer at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, I was very pleased and honored to receive the Association's Award for Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program for an Individual, Less than Ten Years Experience. You can read about how the award recognizes the Building Extension's Public Value Program here.

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(Photo: AAEA President Richard E. Just and Laura Kalambokidis at the 2009 AAEA Annual Conference)

2008 NACDEP Award

Last September, at the Galaxy III conference in Indianapolis, I was very pleased and honored to receive NACDEP's Individual Award for Excellence in Community Development Programming for the "Public Value of Public Programs" workshop. Unfamiliar with NACDEP, the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals? You shouldn't be! Check out the NACDEP website.

If you let me participate in an Extension program

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In the Building Extension's Public Value workshops, I often refer to a 1995 Nike (TM) ad campaign as an example of a way to craft a concise public value message. Nike's "If You Let me Play" (TM) campaign used a simple, repeated "if this, then that" structure to persuade viewers of the public benefits that arise from girls participating in sports. I think the ad's structure can be adapted to convey Extension's public value message: When people participate in Extension programs, the community is made better off.

As a reference for those who have taken the BEPV train-the-trainer course, the script of the "If You Let Me Play" ad is included in the BEPV Presenter's Guide. Even better, during last week's train-the-trainer, a participant alerted me to the presence of the ad on Youtube. You can view it here.

What do you think of the ad? Is it compelling? Would a similar ad touting the public benefits of Extension programs be effective?

Follow up to Train-the-Trainer

Last week about 60 Extension professionals from seven states participated in an online train-the-trainer course for the "Building Extension's Public Value" program. If you were one of the participants, you should have received an email containing a link to an evaluation survey for the course. It should take only a few minutes to complete the survey, and I really appreciate your feedback. Also, if you participated in the training and would like to listen to the recording, it is available on the permanent BEPV course web page. I apologize for failing to record the second day of training (doh!), but feel free to listen to "part 2" of any of the earlier trainings posted on the course page. The content will be largely the same.

If you missed the email with the survey link and the instructions for accessing the permanent web page, email me at kalam002 (at-sign) umn.edu.

Finally, I am eager to hear how you are using the BEPV training. Feel free to share your plans in the comments here or via email--or even a phone call!