Volume 44 - Number 4 - 2003 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2003.04035

 

Abstract:

Agricultural leadership program efficacy has been determined by a number of studies; however, most have not reported on the impacts that participants have had on actual community leadership. The study determined the extent to which participants in a two-year agricultural leadership program became community leaders and contributed to rural community development processes (RCD). Participants in the study were graduates of the program from 1982 to 2001 (N=290). Surveys administered to the population and face-to-face interviews with eight purposefully selected subjects were used to collect data. In spite of the survey findings of self-reported changes in knowledge and behavior, qualitative findings revealed that participants were aware of the importance of RCD, but they were not serving in leadership positions and were taking a minimal role to improve their communities. Recommendations include incorporating a practicum into the program that teaches needs assessment, project development, and change agent skills so that participants have the knowledge and skills to serve as effective community leaders.

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