Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Small Grains: Evolution and Impact of an Extension Website.

Jochum Wiersma, 2900 University Ave., University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota, NW Research & Outreach Center, Crookston, MN 56716

The Small Grains website (http://www.smallgrains.org) started in 1995 with the objective to create access to production information for Minnesota’s wheat and barley producers.  To evaluate the impact as an educational program, a mail and online survey were conducted in 2003.  As intended, Small Grains attained a sizeable audience in Minnesota and the Northern Plains. However, a little less than a quarter of the potential clientele is aware of Small Grains. The responses to the mail survey clearly indicate that creating awareness and/or promotion of the Small Grains website in other media is recommendable.  Small Grains allowed either creating or, at a minimum, improving access to relevant information for 68% of the mail survey respondents and over 88% of the online respondents. The access to the information provided on Small Grains has had an impact on more than 30% of the producers’ production practices and outcomes. This means that the amount of higher learning has been considerable.  As such Small Grains has succeeded in its educational goals.  

Handout (.pdf format, 542.0 kb)