Urban Extension: A Professional Development Offering

Tampa Bay Extension Agents’ Views of Urban Extension: Philosophy and Program Strategies

The purpose of this article was to explore the concept of urban Extension as perceived by Extension agents within the Tampa Bay area, one of Florida’s fastest growing metropolitan areas. From a theoretical perspective, it is critical to understand Extension agents’ beliefs about urban Extension because behaviors are directly related to attitudes (Ajzen, 2012). In 2016, a qualitative investigation was undertaken to explore the perspectives of 23 agents working within the Tampa Bay area. Results showed the majority of agents believed that context and client needs are unique for urban Extension, and that to a lesser extent, unique agent expertise is required. Further, these beliefs impacted how agents reported their approach to programming, with an emphasis on providing convenience and seeking partnerships. Difficulties were identified related to identifying the role of Extension in a resource-rich environment of service providers, which contributed to the existence of a perceived disconnect between urban audiences and Extension. Opportunities exist for Extension leadership to provide strategic organizational support that will enhance agents’ abilities to succeed in the metropolitan environment.

Institution: Journal of Human Sciences and Extension URL: https://www.jhseonline.com/issue/view/05-02

Involving Extension in Urban Food Systems: An Example from California

Nationwide, Extension is increasingly involved in local food system work. In cities, initiatives to improve the local food system often include urban agriculture, which has attracted the attention of diverse stakeholders for its many potential social, health, economic, and environmental impacts. This article illustrates how Extension in the San Francisco Bay Area is developing urban agriculture programming and engaging in food- system-related partnerships. It also shares lessons learned from these efforts. In this metropolitan region, Extension practice aligns well with research findings on Extension involvement in local food systems, particularly with the emphasis on providing educational opportunities and resources adapted to unique needs of city residents and working collaboratively with community and government partners to facilitate broader food system change. The results of this case study will be useful for Extension personnel in designing and

implementing programs related to urban food systems. Institution: Journal of Human Sciences and Extension URL: https://www.jhseonline.com/issue/view/05-02


Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker