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An Assessment of the needs and perceptions of the Florida horse owner and the UF/IFAS extension adult horse programPerce...

University of Florida Institutional Repository
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PAGE 1

AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NEEDS AN D PERCEPTIONS OF THE FLORIDA HORSE OWNER AND THE UF/IFAS EX TENSION ADULT HORSE PROGRAM By KRISTEN M. SPAHN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2005

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Copyright 2005 by Kristen M. Spahn

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This document is dedicated to my dad and mom for all of their continued support through my educational endeavors.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many people have encouraged me throughout the journey to pursue a graduate degree. My most gracious thanks go to Dr. Glenn Israel for being such an outstanding advisor and committee chair. He was always there for me to go to and was very enthusiastic about my research project at all times. Dr. Saundra TenBroeck, Dr. Nick Place and Dr. Mark Brennan also provided their expertise and unique viewpoints to me. Their input has made this thesis better. I thank Dr. Saundra TenBroeck and the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida for helping me select this research project. The department also graciously helped to fund the expenses of this research project. I thank my parents for their continued support both mentally and financially throughout my educational career. Lastly, I would like to thank Ryan for helping me whenever I asked, tolerating my complaining, and celebrating my successes with me throughout the course of graduate school. iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................vii ABSTRACT .......................................................................................................................ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................7 Introduction...................................................................................................................7 Overview of Equine Industry........................................................................................8 Cooperative Extension Service...................................................................................12 Adult Learning Theories.............................................................................................17 Needs Assessment Models.........................................................................................22 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................31 Livestock Extension Agent Equine Program Survey.................................................31 Questionnaire Design and Variable Definitions..................................................32 Survey Implementation.......................................................................................34 Response Rates and Coverage Issues..................................................................36 Data Analysis Procedures....................................................................................37 Adult Horse Owners Survey.......................................................................................37 Questionnaire Design and Variable Definition...................................................37 Resources.............................................................................................................38 Demographic variables: Horse ownership/practices...................................41 Demographic variables: Individual respondents..........................................42 Unit of Analysis and Population Being Studied..................................................43 Pilot Testing.........................................................................................................44 Survey Implementation.......................................................................................45 Response Rates and Coverage Issues..................................................................46 Data Analysis Procedures....................................................................................47 v

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4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................49 Introduction.................................................................................................................49 Results of the Livestock Agents Survey.....................................................................49 Results of the Horse Owners Survey..........................................................................53 Learning Interests................................................................................................54 Educational Materials..........................................................................................62 Topics and Levels of Education..........................................................................72 Demographics......................................................................................................89 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................98 Agents Perception and Capacity to Respond............................................................98 Learning Interests.....................................................................................................100 Educational Materials...............................................................................................101 Topics and Level of Education.................................................................................102 Demographic Characteristics....................................................................................104 Identification of Possible Clientele...........................................................................105 Implications for the Florida Cooperative Extension Service....................................106 Recommendations.....................................................................................................108 Directions for Future Research.................................................................................111 APPENDIX A LIVESTOCK AGENT SURVEY AND CORRESPONDENCE.............................113 B HORSE OWNER SURVEY AND CORRESPONDENCE.....................................119 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................134 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................138 vi

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1. County agents perceptions of the industry within their county................................50 4-2. Frequency of equine programs within Florida counties...........................................51 4-3. Frequency of requests for information about horses from horse owners.................52 4-4. Knowledge level of county extension agents on horse-related topics.....................52 4-5. Resources commonly used by county extension agents to answer horse-related questions...................................................................................................................53 4-6. Frequency of horse-related questions.......................................................................53 4-7. Frequency of interest about obtaining more information about horses....................54 4-8. Mean scores of how knowledgeable horse owners are on horse-related topics.......55 4-9. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the equine knowledge index......................................................................................................56 4-10 Analysis of variance mean scores on knowledge index and number of horses owned.......................................................................................................................56 4-11. Mean scores of how important each of the following topics is to horse owners.....57 4-12. Importance of a specific horse-related topic by the number of horses owned.........62 4-13. Types of publications purchased by horse owners in the past 12 months................64 4-14. Mean scores of the types of people horse owners most frequently rely upon as sources for information............................................................................................65 4-15. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the sources of information index.....................................................................................................67 4-16. Mean scores of the methods horse owners use to obtain information about horses........................................................................................................................68 vii

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4-17. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the methods to obtain information index..........................................................................................69 4-18. Mean scores of how useful the selected events are in terms of providing educational information to horse owners.................................................................71 4-19. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the educational events information index..........................................................................................73 4-20. Frequency of attendance to horse-related educational programs by horse owners..74 4-21. Mean scores of important characteristics of individuals who may provide horse owners with information about horses.....................................................................75 4-22. Mean scores of the importance of organizations that develop and present educational programs to horse owners.....................................................................76 4-23. Mean scores of the likelihood of a horse owner obtaining horse-related information from the listed methods........................................................................76 4-24. Likeliness of horse owners attending a program on each of the following topics...77 4-25. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the likeliness of attending a program index........................................................................................78 4-26. Likelihood of attending a program on a specific horse-related topic by the number of horses owned..........................................................................................80 4-27. Multiple regression models for likelihood of attending a program on a specific horse-related topic....................................................................................................90 4-28. Practices used by Florida horse owners...................................................................91 4-29. Disciplines 612 horse owners indicated they did with their horses.........................92 4-30. Disciplines 612 horse owners indicated they would like to learn about..................92 4-31. Sources of income from horse-related jobs of 612 horse owners............................93 4-32. Demographic characteristics of 612 horse owners...................................................95 viii

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NEEDS AND PERCEPTIONS OF THE FLORIDA HORSE OWNER AND THE UF/IFAS EXTENSION ADULT HORSE PROGRAM By Kristen M. Spahn August 2005 Chair: Glenn D. Israel Major Department: Agricultural Education and Communication The equine industry in Florida is a diverse and growing industry. Horse owners often have questions related to the equine species and are in need of information and programs that address these questions. The Cooperative Extension Service is one organization that can provide educational programs specific to adult horse owners needs. Sixty-five Florida county extension agents with livestock responsibilities participated in a survey addressing their perceptions of the equine industry and their capacity to address the needs of local horse owners. Overall, most agents reported the presence of an equine industry in their county and were willing to address the needs of local horse owners through different methods. A companion mail study of Florida adult horse owners was conducted to explore the educational needs and demographic characteristics. Based on 612 completed surveys, the study found that most horse owners have horse-related questions and are willing to obtain useful information related to horses. Respondents indicated that they were most interested in the subject areas of horse health and horse ix

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nutrition. Results also indicated that educational programs should be tailored to respondents individual educational needs and demographic characteristics. Such programs need to use a variety of methods that correspond to those most used by Florida horse owners. x

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The horse industry involves a wide variety of activities in all regions of the United States. The primary activities in rural areas include breeding, training, maintaining and riding horses. The more urban activities include operating horse shows and public sales. According to the American Horse Council (2005), the U.S. horse industry has an economic impact of $102 billion. It supports approximately 1.4 million jobs throughout the United States and pays more than $1.9 billion in taxes each year. The industrys contribution to the U.S. GDP is greater than the motion picture industry, railroad transportation, furniture and fixtures manufacturing and tobacco product manufacturing industries (American Horse Council, 1996). There are 7.1 million Americans involved within the horse industry. Horse owners and industry suppliers, racetracks, and off-track betting operations, horse shows and other industry segments all generate discrete economic activity contributing to the vibrancy of the overall industry. By form of participation, there are currently two million owners and two million volunteers within the United States horse industry. Currently in the United States, there are approximately 9.2 million horses, both recreational and commercial (American Horse Council, 2005). The following segments of the industry have an economic impact including: showing ($26.1 billion), recreation ($32.0 billion), and racing ($26.1 billion) (American Horse Council, 2005). The state of Florida has the second largest horse industry of the 50 states (American Horse Council, 1996). It produces goods and services valued at $2.2 billion 1

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2 annually, second only to California, which produces goods and services valued at $3.4 billion. Following Florida are Texas ($1.7 billion), New York ($1.7 billion), and Kentucky ($1.2 billion) (American Horse Council, 1996). Florida also has the third largest horse population (500,000) of the 50 states. It falls behind Texas (one million) and California (700,000) (American Horse Council, 2005). Of the Florida horses, 74% are involved in showing and recreation. Another 12% are involved in track racing. Finally 14% of Floridas horses are involved in other activities, including ranching, mounted law enforcement, and therapeutic riding (American Horse Council, 1996). According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, Florida has a large horse industry that is growing rapidly. In 1997, the number of horse farms in Florida was 9,812. These farms housed 70,099 head of horses. Then in 2002 the number of farms increased to 12, 753 (an increase of 7.69%) and the amount of horses rose to 99,911 head (an increase of 7.02%). By looking at these numbers, it seems evident there is a growing horse industry within the state of Florida. The horse industry is often faced with emerging issues that impact horse owners and timely, accurate information is needed. Most recently, West Nile has been one example of those emerging issues. West Nile is a mosquitoborne virus that was first detected in the United States in 1999The virus, which causes encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, has been found in Africa, Western Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean region of Europe, and, most recently, in the United States (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 2004). The Cooperative Extension system is a key organization that helps to address emerging issues in the equine industry. The

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3 Cooperative Extension system distributes research based information to people who need the information. Kaplan, Liu, and Radhakrishna (2003) say that the Cooperative Extension system represents a distinct approach for meeting the educational needs of citizens and helping them lead high-quality, productive lives. Extension disperses results of agricultural research to farmers to add to their own agricultural knowledge bank. The Cooperative Extension system also conducts educational programs on issues such as child and family development, consumer science, youth development, food safety, energy conservation, natural resource conservation, sustainable agriculture, and competitiveness in world markets. The work of extension faculty is to address local concerns and needs through educational programming (Arnold, 2002). An extension program is a plan that specifies objectives, subject content, and teaching/learning activities to be carried out over a period of time, with the goal of bringing about behavioral changes in a target group of learners (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2002). It is a process that also involves evaluating the programs to measure the impact of Extensionists efforts. Programming is directed toward change of behavior of the individual learner or learner group. It is a decision making process. The program planning process should be a collaborative effort between the extension educator and the learners (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2002). One important component of program planning is needs assessment. The assessment of the need is important because a program cannot be effective at ameliorating a social problem if there is no problem to begin with or if the program

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4 services do not actually relate to the problem (Rossi, Freeman, & Lipsey, 1999). Although studies have been conducted for many livestock programs, equine programs are often overlooked even though horses are classified as a livestock species. This may be due to the fact that almost all of the other livestock species produce some type of meat or dairy product for the human consumption. Therefore this may be the main issue that differentiates the equine industry from the others. As a consequence, fewer resources are devoted to equine programs, which have led to a dearth in studies. To meet the needs of current and potential clientele of adult equine educational programs, extension agents must routinely identify the needs of their clientele. This study will focus on the needs of Floridas clientele because the state has a large horse population. The study will also assess extension agents interest in and capacity for conducting equine education programs. The latter will help determine what steps extension must take to prepare agents to respond effectively to client needs. How will the needs of extension agents and Floridas Adult Extension Equine Programs be determined? Survey research has been commonly used to identify farmers needs. An example of a survey study is The 2002 Northwest Florida Beef & Forage Survey (Mayo, Israel, Vergot, et al., 2002). One purpose of this study was to identify perceived research and educational needs of beef cattle producers in the Panhandle of Florida (Mayo et al, 2002). In 1996, a survey was completed by the American Horse Council to find out the demographics of the horse industry on a national and state level (American Horse Council, 1996). Currently in the 2004/2005 year, the Council is in the process of conducting a similar survey to horse owners throughout the United States (TenBroeck,

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5 2004). A limitation to this study is that it only identifies the demographics of horse owners and doesnt identify the educational needs of horse owners. In 1998, the USDAs National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) designed the Equine study to provide both participants and equine industry with information on the United States equine population for education and research purposes. A limitation to this study was that it only identified demographics of the horse population and not horse owners, and only looked at health related practices. Recently, the University of Minnesota conducted a survey of horse owners. This study is different from several of the previous studies because it has not only identified demographics of horse owners, but it has also helped to identify the needs of horse owners throughout that state (Wagoner and Jones, 2004). To date, there is limited research on what educational needs horse owners have. What are the current needs of horse owners in Florida? Are horse owners in need of extension services to help educate them further about the equine species? How well are extension agents equipped to respond? Once the potential needs of extension agents and horse owners are known, programs can be adjusted and/or developed efficiently throughout the state to address these needs. State extension specialists can use information about these needs to educate county extension agents through professional in-service training programs. In turn, county agents can deliver more focused programs to horse owners. This study will focus on the population consisting of adult Florida horse owners. A sample of the population will be surveyed by mailing a state-wide survey to identify demographic characteristics and the potential needs of adult horse owners. In summary, the purpose of this study is to identify the potential needs to improve the relevance and,

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6 in turn, the effectiveness of Floridas Adult Extension Equine program. The objectives of this study are to 1. Assess the extension agents capacity to respond. 2. Identify what Florida horse owners are interested in learning about. 3. Determine where horse owners are currently obtaining educational materials. 4. Identify what topics and level of education horse owners are willing to be involved in. 5. Identify demographics of horse owners and the horse population in Florida. 6. Identify possible clientele for future extension educational programs.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction This literature review has three purposes. First an overview of the equine industry and the Cooperative Extension Service in the United States and Florida will be presented. This part of the literature review will highlight the diversity the equine industry has compared to other industries, discuss the recent issues and needs of the equine industry and explore what the Cooperative Extension system has done to provide answers to these issues and concerns. Finally, the Cooperative Extension Service is described and the types of educators involved in providing programming to address the issues and concerns that horse owners may have will be discussed. The second purpose of the literature review is to provide a theoretical context for understanding adult education. Adults learn differently from children and it is important to understand this when developing programs for adult learners. The five learning orientations or learning styles behind adult education and the importance of knowing an audience will be discussed, so that a variety of these learning styles can be used to enhance the quality of the program. Extension educators must have an understanding of how adults learn and the different learning styles of adults in order to understand their clientele better when providing educational programming. The third and final purpose of the literature review is to provide a theoretical context for the importance of using a needs assessment study. This type of study has been widely used by Extension educators, to determine the educational needs of their 7

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8 clientele. The purpose of a needs assessment and the steps involved will be explored. How an extension educator can use the results of a needs assessment to tailor their programming to fit the needs and concerns of their primary audience will also be addressed. Overview of Equine Industry The equine industry is unique among the livestock industries within the United States. This may be due to the fact that horses are the only livestock species not consumed for human consumption within the United States. Some people may say that horses are just pets, but the horse industry is a self-sustaining industry that has a substantial impact on the United States economy. Since horses arent used for human consumption, there are many up-keep and maintenance concerns. Horses are valued for their companionship and use, which in return enhances their owners quality of life. This perception of horses clouds many issues relative to animal care and use of the equine species. The equine industry faces many emerging issues that require horse owners to be well informed. Many of these issues are health and nutrition related (Tenbroeck, 2004). Horse owners often seek information from some type of professional within the equine industry when a health problem arises. However, it is important that owners stay informed and educated about the emerging health issues for the well-being of their horse(s). Recently, a health issue that appeared was that of West Nile. West Nile is a virus that is spread by mosquitoes and results in encephalitis or inflammation of the brain. First appearing in 1996, West Nile Virus has spread across the United States rapidly. In 2002, there were more than 15,257 laboratory-confirmed West Nile Virus equine cases reported in 43 states (USDA, 2003). The two main factors that influence the occurrence of West Nile Virus in a given population of horses are: 1) the existence of

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9 mosquitoes carrying the virus and 2) the presence of susceptible horses in geographic proximity to mosquitoes (USDA, 2003). In 2002, APHIS reported 15,000 equine cases of West Nile in the United States, with approximately thirty-three percent that either died or were euthanized. Horse owners are often faced with nutrition issues because the horses environment has dramatically changed (Tenbroeck, 2004). Horses are grazing animals designed to consume small frequent meals. If horses are not fed properly, the result could be poor performance and reduced market value. In todays market, there are many brands and types of feeds for which to choose. Owners should consider what to feed, in what proportion and on what schedule. There are many types of grain mixes and hay from which to choose. The owner must have a good knowledge base to choose wisely in order to meet the horses needs in the most cost effective manner. The average horse owner, whether new to the industry or a veteran, is faced with several other obstacles on a daily basis. Some of these issues may include: identification of poisonous weeds, horse facility design, farm management practices, liability issues, and much more. Therefore, many horse owners might need educational programs, whether workshops, seminars, or field days, to help address everyday concerns and obstacles to ensure animal health and profitable production. The Cooperative Extension Service is an organization that addresses the educational needs of horse owners. By understanding the needs of the horse industry at a national, state, and county level, extension educators can tailor programs to better assist horse owners with these issues and concerns. In Florida, no systematic study has been conducted by extension educators at the state-level to better understand the needs of the

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10 horse industry. Adult horse programs in Florida have generally been provided on a county-by-county basis, as requested. Historically, few county livestock agents in Florida have had a large effort in equine programming. One exception would be Marion County, which has the largest horse population in the state. Because of the lack of systematically collected data, extension educators do not have a good idea of the statewide demographics of horse owners in Florida and what their educational needs are. Across the nation, the Cooperative Extension Service has conducted several studies to address the needs of adult horse owners. One study was conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, through the State Horse and Harness Racing Commissions, contracted with the Pennsylvania State University called the 2002 Economic and Population Study of the Pennsylvania Equine Industry (Swinker et al, 2003). This study examined basic economic and demographic characteristics of the states equine industry. Some of these key demographics included: the number of the general equine population, the number of farm operations, employment, and value of horses. It also reported the number of horses and economic value of horses by counties and districts. Information about the current size and character of the Pennsylvania equine industry will be essential to help shape the future of this industry. It also will aid extension in addressing the equine industry needs specific to that state. But, the major limitation to this study is that it only identified economic and demographic characteristics of horse owners and did not identify the educational needs of horse owners within the state. Another study that was conducted to address the needs of horse owners was a survey conducted by the University of Minnesota Extension Service. This survey was

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11 initiated because over the course of several years, extension staff had been told that Minnesota horse owners would like to have educational programs provided by unbiased and reliable sources. The main goal of this survey was to learn about the educational needs of Minnesota horse owners, in terms of program content and format. The survey information was used to evaluate the feasibility and potential success for programs that could be offered throughout the state (Wagoner & Jones, 2004). The Minnesota horse owners survey helped to identify key needs and issues specific to Minnesota horse owners. It included questions regarding horse owners general knowledge of topics related to horse care, and they were also asked to rate the importance of these topics. Horse owners were also asked what resources they generally used to obtain information. Finally, some of the key demographic questions included: number of horses owned, number of years owning horses, the amount of income derived from selected horse-related jobs, and gender. The USDAs National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), in partnership with the Cooperative Extension Service, conducted the Equine Survey. These results helped to describe both the primary function of operations with horses and the primary uses of the horses on those operations. This study reported results for specific states, however Florida was not included. It is important to take into account that this study only sampled operations where horses were present regardless of horse ownership. All of these studies have provided useful results regarding horse owners needs and practices. However, most of them have been conducted within only one state, addressing the horse owners concerns and needs within those specific states, or they did not address

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12 the needs of horse owners at all. Therefore, it is difficult to generalize the findings above to Florida. Floridas horse owners needs and practices are likely different from those of horse owners in Minnesota and Pennsylvania. One reason is that the terrain and weather conditions differ a great deal between Florida and Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Additionally, the studies listed above, surveyed either only horse owners or only commercial farms instead of the industry as a whole. One lesson that can be learned from these studies, however, is that when the study is done correctly with an accurate instrument, useful data can be collected that will be pertinent to extension in structuring future horse programs for adults. Cooperative Extension Service Since the Cooperative Extension Service has played an important role in identifying and responding to the needs of horse owners at state and national levels, it is important to understand what this organization is and what it does. The Morrill Act of 1862 established land-grant universities to educate citizens in agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts, and other practical professions. In 1914, the Cooperative Extension Service was formalized with the Smith-Lever Act. This act established a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the agricultural colleges to: 1) develop practical applications of research knowledge and 2) give instruction and practical demonstrations of existing or improved practices or technologies in agriculture (CSREES-USDA, 2004). The Cooperative Extension System is one of the three arms of the Land-Grant University system. The mission of the Cooperative Extension System is to help people improve their lives through an educational process that uses scientific knowledge to address issues and needs (Peters, 1999). The philosophy is based on a belief in the

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13 possibility of change or progress, the reliability of science, the equality of people, and the power of education (Peters, 1999). Extension provides local educational programs and is the ideal way for the Land-Grant University to maintain a viable connection with grass-roots input and involvement (Peters, 1999). Cooperative Extension works throughout America in six major areas today. These major areas include: 1) 4-H Youth Development, 2) Agriculture, 3) Leadership Development, 4) Natural Resources, 5) Family and Consumer Sciences, and 6) Community and Economic Development (CSREES-USDA, 2004). It is important to note that there are state-to-state variations in the program structure and organization. No matter what the program topic, extension expertise is used to address public needs at the state and local levels. Nationwide, there are approximately 2,900 extension offices and over 16,000 faculty and staff (CSREES-USDA, 2004). There are several types of extension educators in the Cooperative Extension System. Some of the educators are in charge of state needs and others are responsible for addressing local needs. State extension specialists play an important at the state level, by providing expertise for county extension agents (Kawasaki, 1994). Specialists serve key roles in providing the technical information that support county extension programming (Warner and Christenson, 2001). Specialists help to develop and/or evaluate programs to make them more effective for the community. State specialists can provide their technical knowledge and programmatic ideas to county agents, so that agents can more easily address the needs of local clientele. Another type of extension educator is the County Extension Director (CED). The role of the CED has expanded from having a primary focus on custodial maintenance of

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14 the county extension office and supervision of the secretarial staff to one with responsibility for the entire county extension program (Brown, 1991). The CED serves on the county-level as an administrative leader and coordinator for formulating, developing, implementing, and evaluating county extension programs and coordinating personnel functions (Radhakrishna et al., 1994). The CED is also an important link between the upper levels of administration and other county-based personnel. A third type of educator in the Cooperative Extension System is the County Agent. The agents role throughout the county involves a wide variety of tasks. The agent must provide leadership for development, implementation, delivery, and evaluation of a comprehensive extension program in cooperation with local and county/state extension colleagues (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2005). It is important that the agent design programs to achieve a balance reflective of the countys population diversity and to address the unique educational needs of the countys residents. Agents must also be able to establish relationships and common goals with local agencies, as well as, maintain an effective volunteer system to staff their programs (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2005). One of the primary purposes of the county agent is to have direct contact with clientele. Norman and Israel (2001) define clientele contact as having an intent to convey educational information and classifies the following as legitimate, reportable contacts: 1) face-to-face interaction in meetings, workshops, and offices, 2) individual correspondence by letter or telephone, 3) interactive video conference, and 4) newsletters and tabloids mailed to individuals who are included on a CES list with information about race/ethnicity and gender.

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15 Extension Program Development State Extension specialists, County Extension Directors, and county agents contribute to the development and implementation of programs. An extension program is a plan that specifies objectives, subject content, and teaching/learning activities to be carried out over a period of time, with the goal of bringing about behavioral changes in a target group of learners (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2002.). Programming also involves evaluating the programs for impact. Programs should continuously be developed, implemented, evaluated, revised, re-implemented, re-evaluated, and revised again. By evaluating programs through a needs assessment or diagnostic evaluation (Rossi et al., 1999), it is easier for the extension educator to identify the type of program to implement. Extension programming involves several key characteristics. Programming is directed toward changing the behavior of the individual learner or learner group and it a decision-making process. In this process, many things must be considered, such as: 1) who will be taught, 2) what will be taught, 3) when it will be taught, 4) how it will be taught, 5) who will teach it, and 6) what changes (impacts) are to be accomplished (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2002). Finally, programming should be a collaborative effort between the extension educator and the learners so that it meets the needs of the learners effectively (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2002). A key component of extension programming is long-range planning. Long-range planning is a process by which we envision our future and the challenges and changes facing us (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2005). In order for extension to accomplish long-range planning, it needs to focus on the issues and challenges faced by clientele and agents within the counties. One way extension accomplishes this is through

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16 the formation of programmatic teams, such as focus area teams or design teams. Literature on organizational development suggests that the self-directed work team approach is beneficial to extension-type organizationsIt enhances staff motivation and retention, develops the organization's credibility with stakeholders, provides a larger pool of skills from which to draw statewide, allows programming on current issues, supplements but does not replace the role of specialists, increases networking among staff members, and increases organizational self-esteem (Lenholm et al., 1999). In Florida, focus area teams were created by following guidelines for creating effective teams. County listening sessions were conducted to identify issues and challenges faced by clientele and county agents. After collecting this information, seven areas were identified as state-wide goals and then teams were formed (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2005). These teams consist of approximately ten to twelve people. The members of the focus area teams include: state specialists, district directors, and county agents. The focus area team is self-directed and should identify issues, target audiences, and priority topics, develop curriculum for county agents to use to address the local issues and challenges, and identify outcomes and impacts associated to the focus area. The self-directed work teams place decision-making and problem-solving authority in the hands of persons closest to the product or services being created and provided (Orsburn, et al., 1990). Although extension educators provide extension programming as part of their job, it is important that these educators understand the audience that they are going to teach. If an extension educator knows the needs of the audience they are going to teach, then they can better tailor the program to meet the needs of the clientele. One of the

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17 Cooperative Extension Systems main target audiences for educational programming is adults. Extension educators must understand that teaching adults can be different than teaching children. Educators must also understand that adults have several different learning styles and it is important that as an educator they take this into account. By having an understanding of adult education and learning styles, an extension educator will have a greater impact by tailoring their programs to better fit the needs of their adult clientele. Adult Learning Theories The term adult education first came into use in 1924 (Courtney, 1992). Shortly afterward, the American Association for Adult Education (AAAE) was founded in 1926. This organization was the first systematic effort in adult education that included lyceums, theater and art groups, libraries, museums, clubs, voluntary associations, and colleges and schools. Adult education is a process by whereby adults (individuals of a certain age) gain knowledge or skills through organized activities involving the educators and adult learners to enhance their quality of life and the betterment of the community at large (Courtney, 1992: pp. 10). It often involves learning problem-solving and decision-making skills. Malcolm Knowles (1980: pp.8) defines adult education as all experiences of mature men by which they acquire new knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes, interests, and values. He also states that it is a discrete social system of all the individuals, institutions, and associations concerned with the education of adults and perceives them as working toward the common goals of improving the methods and materials of adult learning, extending the opportunities for adults to learn, and advancing the general level of our culture (Knowles, 1980: pp.10). Sean Courtney (1992: pp. 9)

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18 defined adult education as an intervention into the ordinary business life-an intervention whose immediate goal is change, in knowledge or in competence. Malcolm Knowles (1980) has been credited with introducing the term andragogy into the adult education world. Andragogy is referred to as the art and science of helping adults learn and it is the opposite of the term pedagogy which is defined as the art and science of helping children learn (Knowles, 1980). The five assumptions that are associated with andragogy include someone who (1) has an independent self-concept and who can direct his or her own learning, (2) has accumulated a reservoir of life experiences that is a rich resource for learning, (3) has learning needs closely related to changing social roles, (4) is problem-centered and interested in immediate application of knowledge, and (5) is motivated to learn by internal rather than external factors (Merriam, 2001). There are five major perspectives in adult education (Deshler, 1999). These perspectives help increase the understanding adult education and allow practitioners to see how learning can occur in different ways. The theories include: 1) humanist orientation, 2) behaviorist orientation, 3) social learning orientation, 4) cognitive orientation, and 5) critical reflection/constructivist orientation. By using these five orientations together, an adult educator can enhance the learning process for the participants. The humanist orientation involves utilizing the inherent goodness and unlimited growth and development potential of the learner. It strives to have a natural progression to: increase competency, autonomy, freedom, and fulfillment. It is based on Abraham Maslows Hierarchy of Needs Model (Deshler, 1999). This model takes into account

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19 self-actualization and is a process of fulfilling ones potential. It is also based on Carl Rogers theory of the freedom to learn. He states permitting the learner to be free to engage in self-initiated, self-reliant learning that is motivated out of self-actualization tendency (Deshler, 1999: pp. 17). Relationships between the educator and learner for this orientation are based on warmth, non-judgmental acceptance, sincerity, empathy, and caring. An educator can utilize the following methods for the humanist orientation: 1) needs-based programming, 2) group discussion and study, 3) self-directed learning, 4) interpersonal interaction and encounter, and 5) experiential learning (Deshler, 1999: pp. 16-20). The behaviorist orientation involves viewing learning as a change in observable behavior. It was founded on the belief that learning is a direct result of the connection between a stimulus and a response (Deshler, 1999: pp. 21). Another belief was that all behavior is learned and therefore all behavior can be modified or changed through further learning (Deshler, 1999: pp. 21). Behaviorists believe that learning is controlled by stimuli in the external environment and not by the individual learner. Some approaches and methods that can be utilized by educators include 1) reinforcement and incentives, 2) instructional feedback, 3) programmed instruction, and 4) games and stimulation (Deshler, 1999: pp. 21-24). Social learning, also known as observable learning, is the third learning theory in adult learning. People learn from observation and interaction and the observers behavior might change after viewing the behavior of a model in this orientation. It involves integrating two behaviorist concepts (reinforcement and environmental influence) with cognitive notions (internal structures and processes). One of the main theories was

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20 developed by Miller and Dollard in the 1940s (Deshler, 1999). This theory states that by using observation and imitation together, there will be retention of knowledge by the learner. Several methods and approaches can be used by the educator with the learners. These methods and approaches include: 1) demonstrations and trials, 2) behavioral modeling, 3) apprenticeships and mentoring, 4) tutorials, 5) peer partnerships, and 6) on-the-job trainings (Deshler, 1999: pp. 24-28). The fourth learning orientation is the cognitive learning theory. Cognition can be defined as the act or process of knowing including both awareness and judgment (Deshler, 1999: pp. 29). Learning is viewed as a process that occurs inside the learner. It is an attempt to make sense of the world and give meaning to experiences. It is different from the other learning orientations because it is not a change in behavior, rather it brings changes in the way the learner understands or organizes elements of the environment (Deshler, 1999). These views of the cognitive learning theory include 1) learner acts upon the environment, 2) learner understands and organizes the elements of the environment, 3) learner seeks insight where mental trial and error occurs, 4) learner seeks the ah-ha moment, and 5) whole is greater than the sum of parts (Deshler, 1999). Some of the approaches and methods that can be used by the educator with the learner include: 1) advance organizer (AO), 2) metaphor, analogy and simile (MAS), 3) framing, and 4) concept maps (Deshler, 1999: pp. 28-34). The fifth and final learning orientation is the critical reflection/constructivist orientation. It is based on the educational philosophy of learning founded on the premise that, by reflecting on experience, individuals construct an understanding of the world in which they live in. Constructivists believe that 1) knowledge is individually and socially

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21 constructed, 2) knowledge is an interconnection among ideas, 3) reality is constructed rather than discovered, 4) experiences connect learners to groups/culture, 5) the learning process should be designed to go beyond the information presented, and 6) the learning process must be concerned with experiences and contexts that motivate students (Deshler, 1999). Critical reflection is the main components involved within this learning orientation. It can be defined as the process of identifying, analyzing & evaluating our procedural, personal, & philosophical assumptions & beliefs that influence our thoughts, feelings, & actions about educational practice (Deshler, 1999). The process or methods of critical reflection process include 1) describing experience or practice, 2) identifying assumptions and beliefs, 3) evaluating assumptions and beliefs, and 4) reconstituting assumptions and beliefs (Deshler, 1999). This process is not necessarily a linear process (Deshler, 1999: pp. 34-45). By having an understanding of the five learning orientations that Deshler (1999) described above, an extension educator will be better able to identify what type educational program is needed for the targeted audience they are addressing. Given that these orientations describe various ways adults learn, using only one type of learning orientation can limit the impact of the educator. It is important to integrate these learning orientations so that the learning experience can be more effective for the learner. The behaviorist and the social learning orientations could be combined because both learning orientations use the learn by doing approach. In education, there are two other perspectives that help to lay out the framework for understanding education. These perspectives follow some of the same ideas as Deshlers learning orientations, however, are only divided into two categories. Byrnes (1996:

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22 pp.10-22) refers to these two philosophical perspectives as perspectives of learning that have dominated educational thought and process. These two perspectives are known as: objectivism and constructivism. Byrnes (1996) states that the objectivist perspective is based on the belief that knowledge is transferred directly to the learner and that the relationships between ideas and concepts can be immediately seen by all students. It is founded on the behavioral view of teaching and learning. In a classroom setting, objectivism takes on the form of a teacher, a possessor of knowledge, passing that knowledge on to students, potential recipients of that knowledge, using standardized content, sequences, and strategies (Darling-Hammond & Sclan, 1996; Zemelman et al., 1998). Therefore, there is a close relationship between objectivism and Deshlers behaviorist learning orientation. The other perspective, known as constructivism, is based on a different set of assumptions about teaching and learning. It is assumed by the constructivism perspective, that individuals interpret new knowledge uniquely (Byrnes, 1996; Darling-Hammond & Sclan, 1996). It is built on the view that knowledge is a construction of the human mind, and it poses teachers as facilitators for their students learning. It also suggests that a students interpretation is mediated by preexisting knowledge and experience (Lee, 2003). Therefore, there is a strong bond between constructivism and Deshlers critical reflection/constructivism and cognition learning orientations. All have very similar characteristics, principles, and ideas of how learning should take place for the learner. Needs Assessment Models Adult education programs use several techniques for program planning. Boone (1985) identified needs assessment as a critical element in adult education program

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23 planning. The assessment of the need is important because a program cannot be effective at ameliorating a social problem if there is no problem to begin with or if the program services do not actually relate to the problem (Rossi, Freeman, & Lipsey, 1999). By assessing the needs of program clientele, educators are then better able to plan an effective program and/or evaluate the existing program. Before defining what a needs assessment is, an understanding of what a need and what an assessment is are needed. Witkin and Altschuld (1995: pp.8-24) define a need as the gap or discrepancy between a present state (what is) and a desired end state (what should be). An assessment is defined as the systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development (Palomba & Banta 1999: pp.4). Rossi et al. (1999: pp. 120-125) define a needs assessment as an evaluative study that answers questions about the social conditions a program is intended to address and the need for the program. Witkin and Altschuld (1995: pp.8-24) describe a needs assessment as a systematic set of procedures undertaken for the purposes of setting priorities and making decisions about program or organizational improvement and allocation of resources with the priorities being based upon identified needs. If a needs assessment is done well, it can be viewed as both a process and a method (Israel & Ilvento, 1995). Israel and Ilvento (1995) suggests that leadership, group cohesion, and a sense of local involvement can be built from this process. Focus groups and surveys are types of needs assessments that can accomplish this because they provide opportunities for clientele to express their opinions on certain issues. As a method, needs

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24 assessments are tools that help an organization plan for and implement strategies on specific topics, in this case, horses. Needs assessment studies can be viewed at both the micro and macro levels. At the micro-level, a needs assessment can examine a skill or knowledge deficit for an individual or group of individuals. When examined at the macro-level, a needs assessment measures the gap between a current state and some desired state that may be targeting an entire business, industry, or community (Birkenholz, 1999). A needs assessment study helps to identify 1) What people feel they need to know and 2) What people already know. The steps of this process include: 1) identifying the emerging issues and concerns of community members in the service area, 2) assessing the level of knowledge and frequency of use of existing agencies and organizations, 3) determining reasons preventing citizens from using local services, and 4) describing community members participating in the study on selected demographic characteristics (Nieto et al., 1997). In order for a needs assessment to be useful, it is important to identify the emerging issues and concerns of community members in a service area. Recognizing these concerns is important so that all community members questions are answered. Many types of questions should be asked to identify these concerns. The current research is based on the University of Minnesota Extension Services Horse Owner Survey (2004) and will examine knowledge on emerging issues such as: 1) basic horse care, 2) farm management, 3) horse health, 4) horse nutrition, 5) horse reproduction, 6) pasture management, and 7) training/handling of horses. Horse owners will also be asked how

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25 important different types of horse topics/areas are to them, so that the top priorities within the horse owner community can be identified. Assessing the level of knowledge and frequency of use of existing agencies and organizations is the next part of a needs assessment. This is important to know if extension services disperse their information out to the community in a way that is easy to find and easy to understand for the community. Lavis and Blackburn (1990) found a positive relationship between clientele satisfaction and contact with local extension offices. It was concluded that people who use extension more intensively rate it higher than people who do not use it as often. This may be due to the fact that extension tends to provide programming to current clientele more often while potential clientele in the area may remain unaware of the organization. So from whom do non-users retrieve information if they are not utilizing their local extension services? A source can be defined as an individual or an institution that originates a message (Vergot et al., 2005). It is important to understand the sources used by clientele and the use of appropriate information channels, so that we can then facilitate a widespread coverage of the target audience (Vergot et al., 2005). The current research will examine 1) the types of people that horse owners use as resources, 2) what methods are used to obtain information, 3) what types of educational events are most useful, 3) what types of educational programs that clients have, and 4) what types of publications are currently used as resources on horses. In Vergot, Israel, and Mayos (2005) study of Sources and Channels of Information Used by Beef Cattle Producers in Twelve Counties of the Northwest Florida Extension District, they were able to determine the characteristics that local beef

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26 producers looked for in information sources. It was shown that these beef cattle producers more frequently gained information from other producers in the area with similar cattle operations and from local farm and feed supply dealers than from many other sources. Local beef producers also tend to seek information from close relatives who produce beef cattle, their county Cooperative Extension office, Natural Resource Conservation Service agents, local farm and feed supply dealers and private consultants. Similarly, in 1998, a study by the USDAs National Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) was conducted to ask horse owners or operators to rate the importance of various sources of information related to health care. A representative sample of the horse operations from 28 states within the United States was used. Veterinarians were rated very important as sources of information for equine health by 84.1% of operations and somewhat important on another 12.6% of the operations. Other health care information sources that were rated as very important were farriers (49.2%) and feed or veterinary supply store personnel (23.2%). In total, 61.5% rated other horse owners as either a very or somewhat important source with which to make health care decisions. Determining reasons preventing citizens from using local services is another part in a needs assessment. If citizens are not willing to take part in extension services because of certain reasons, then the extension service can adapt their program to better fit the needs of the local citizens. The effectiveness of delivering extension programs can be increased by matching the information channels employed by extension to those preferred by segments of the clientele (Israel, 1991: pp.15). A channel can be defined as the means by which a message gets from the source to the receiver (Vergot et al., 2005).

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27 Current or potential extension clientele are likely to realize a greater benefit from programs when the information is relevant to their needs and channels provide detailed information or allow for the presentation of individualized information (Israel, 1991). This research will examine: how far the horse owner is willing to travel, important characteristics or skills that the educator must possess, what other organizations they would attend a workshop with (and, hence, with whom extension should form partnerships), and the time availability of potential clientele. Vergot, Israel, and Mayos (2005) were also able to determine what type of information channels would work best with local cattle producers. Local cattle producers preferred being able to observe the practices of other local ranchers in the area. Producers also obtained information from commercial internet sites, research center demonstrations, and farm demonstrations and they obtained information through on farm visits, telephone contact, and office visits. Overall, most local cattle producers used a combination of channels and each group of local cattle producers differed from the others combinations. The USDAs National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) study conducted in 1998, also examined the channels of information that horse owners use in relation to health care decisions. Horse magazines and reference books were rated very or somewhat important by 55.2% of the operations. Horse association meetings and newsletters were rated by 39.7 % of the horse operations as very or somewhat important. extension agents and university or other instructors, such as 4-H or vocational agriculture were rated by 34.4% of the horse operations as very or somewhat important as well. Finally, only 11.0% of operations rated the internet as a very or somewhat important

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28 channel, in part because only 38.1% indicated they had access to the web/internet or that it was applicable as a source of equine health information. Most of these findings are likely still relevant today. However, the internet percentages are likely to have changed a great deal over the past seven years because of the rapid adoption of this technology by the general public. Describing community members participating in the study on selected demographic characteristics is the last component of a needs assessment. Extension educators should look at the potential users capabilities, needs, and resources because this will affect the probability of participation (Brown, 1981). This research will examine the following items about Florida adult horse owners: 1) the number of horses that are owned or managed, 2) horse boarding practices, 3) land tenure (owned versus rented), 4) the number of acres dedicated to keeping the horse, 5) the amount of purchased hay, 6) horse ownership experience, 7) forage availability for the horse, 8) types of disciplines the horse owners is involved or would like to be involved in with their horse, 9) membership in horse associations, 10) participation in informal horse-related social networks, 11) age, and 12) gender. Information about demographic characteristics of the horse owner community in Florida can be used by extension to tailor programs to address the needs of specific groups of horse owners. These particular demographic characteristics were selected because they are the most common characteristics that will help an extension agent to easily understand the local equine industry within their county or state. Knowing these specific demographics can also help an agent to understand why horse owners use certain types of sources and channels.

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29 The USDAs National Animal Health Monitoring Systems Equine Study included, for example, an analysis of the composition of the United States equine population. For this study, an equid was defined as horses, miniature horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, and burros. By knowing these demographic characteristic, it gave the USDA a better understanding of the primarily uses of equids and the disciplines that horse owners were involved in. The primary function of more than one-half (54.7%) of the operations with equid was residential with horses maintained for personal use. These operations accounted for roughly one-third of the equid (35.9%). About 35.9% of the equid were located on farms and ranches and nearly 1.1% on race tracks. Overall, the equine population was primarily used for pleasure on nearly two-thirds (66.8%) of operations. About 15.2% of operations used equid for farm and ranch work, 6% for breeding, 6.5% for showing, and only 1.9 % for racing. Smaller operations, nearly 80.0%, maintained their animals primarily for pleasure. The Equine study also measured at the number of equid in each operation and identified the breeds or types of equid. Overall, the Equine study found that 44.9% of the operations out (for the 28 states) had only one or two equid. These small operations accounted for 14.5% of the total equid, while the 21.4% of the operations with six or more animals maintained 60.4% of the equid. The largest percentage of horses on operations other than racetracks was Quarter Horses (39.5%), followed by Thoroughbreds (10.2%), and Arabians (7.8%). Over 90% of the population was horses, over 5% ponies, and fewer than 3.0% were miniature horses, mules, and donkeys or burros.

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30 In summary, the Cooperative Extension Service is an organization that can provide effective educational programs to adult horse owners. However, the potential needs of horse owners in Florida have not been identified. By using a needs assessment tool to identify these needs, horse programs for adults can be developed and/or improved within Florida to address the needs effectively. After knowing these needs, extension educators, specifically county agents, can then look at what types of adult learning styles to use when working with adult horse owners in Florida.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The purpose of this study was to identify the potential needs of county livestock agents and adult horse owners in order to improve the relevance and, in turn, the effectiveness of Floridas Adult Extension Equine program. The goal was to conduct two needs assessment surveys of county livestock agents and adult horse owners in the state of Florida. The livestock agent population was defined as whichever agent was responsible for the adult livestock programs within each of the sixty-seven counties in Florida. The adult horse owner population was defined as anyone living in Florida that is eighteen years or older and owns or cares for equine species. Livestock Extension Agent Equine Program Survey County livestock agents, in Florida, are skilled professionals that are employed by the University of Florida and provide educational programs in one or more of Floridas sixty-seven counties. In June 2004, a complete list of 77 county agents with adult livestock responsibilities was obtained from the University of Florida IFAS Livestock List-serve list (Delker, 2005). Of these 77 county agents with livestock responsibilities, only the appropriate extension agent responsible for adult livestock responsibilities was surveyed. This resulted in a total of 67 surveys being sent out. Even though this particular group of people may own horses themselves, they were considered the facilitators of Floridas Extension Livestock educational programs and therefore, were excluded from the later survey of adult horse owners. 31

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32 Questionnaire Design and Variable Definitions A web-based survey was designed to measure the livestock agents perception of the equine industry within their particular county, their attitudes towards current programs and/or providing programs in that area, the frequency of requests they receive from clientele, their level of knowledge about specific subject matter and their sources of information. This survey was constructed following the guidelines of the Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2000). In every step of the design, from drafting questions to planning a contact sequence, care was taken to minimize the costs of responding while maximizing the response rate. It has been suggested that extension agents have developed an essential job-related skill consisting of using computers, software, and associated peripheral devices for purposes of serving clientele, research, and in support of extensions administrative infrastructure (Gregg & Irani, 2004). Therefore, most agents are capable of completing a web-based survey. The questionnaire layout was designed to be user friendly and it was web-based due to the high level of computer usage of county livestock agents on a daily basis. The survey began with three questions asking about the agents perception of the horse industry within their particular county (Appendix A). The first question asked the agents if they considered horses to be a major, minor, or not an industry within their particular county. This distinction of the industry was important to help classify where the higher populations of horses were within the state based on agents perceptions. The second question asked respondents if they considered horses to be a growing industry within that particular county. Finally, the third question asked agents if they considered horses to be part of the livestock industry. These questions used a yes/no/dont know

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33 response format and will help to measure the agents perception of the equine industry and of the equine species as compared to other livestock animals. The next three questions asked agents about the extent of equine programs within their county. The fourth question specifically asked if equine programs for adults were currently being offered within that particular county. A follow-up question addressed the frequency that the equine programs were being offered, using a scale ranging from none to 11 or more programs annually. The fifth question then asked about respondents interest in developing or expanding an equine program within their county. Following this group of questions was one which asked whether respondents ever received requests from horse owners for information. A follow-up question was used to find out the frequency of these requests per week. The following scale was provided: less than 1 per week, 1-2 per week, 3-5 per week, 6-10 per week, and 11 or more per week. Next, the questionnaire addressed the agents level of knowledge on specific subject matter. First, the agent was asked to rate how prepared they felt to answer equine questions. This question used a rating scale with 1=not at all prepared, 2=slightly prepared, 3=somewhat prepared, 4=moderately prepared, and 5=very prepared. Then, respondents were asked how knowledgeable they were in the following subjects: basic care, nutrition, reproduction, herd health, farm management, and training/handling of horses. This question also used a 5-point rating scale of knowledge with 1=none, 2=low, 3=medium, 4=high, and 5=very high. Question nine was concerned with the sources of information that the county livestock agents use. It used a check all that apply format. The options given for consideration were: EDIS, veterinarians, equine state faculty, non-IFAS websites, peers

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34 in the industry, professional journals/magazines, workshops, national events, vendors, and other. Finally, an open-ended question completed the survey and asked livestock agents to name what other information or resources they needed to meet the needs of horse owners within their county. This information will be used in data analysis to inform state specialists about the concerns of the county agents so that they can be addressed in the near future. Survey Implementation A web-based survey was conducted because it can be an efficient and cost-effective method of gathering data. Mail surveys would have been just as efficient, but not as cost effective (Dillman, 2000). Telephone surveys would have offered the advantage of individually speaking with respondents; however, it would have required more time. Personal interviews were also considered as an option, but would have required traveling to all sixty-seven counties which would have been too expensive and too time consuming. A web-based survey was ultimately chosen because it gave the agents the option of completing the survey at their convenience. It was also practical because a list of livestock agents names and email addresses was available for sending correspondence and the link to the webpage for the survey and email usage is part of a county agents daily routine (Gregg and Irani, 2004). A multiple-wave mailing strategy was employed to help reduce the non-response error. Dillman (2000) suggests that using multiple contacts aid in maximizing response to surveys. Therefore, a system of four contacts for the livestock agents was utilized. The first contact, which was sent out the beginning of July, 2004, consisted of an email sent out to the county livestock agents on the list-serve representing the sixty-seven counties (Appendix A). This email informed agents that they would be receiving an

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35 email in a few days requesting them to participate in an online survey regarding the equine programs for adults within their county. Three days following the email pre-notice, a second letter was sent via email to the county livestock agents. This email contained a cover letter and links to access the online survey instrument (Appendix A). Each element of the online survey and procedures was designed according to the Tailored Design Method to contribute to the desired high response rate (Dillman, 2000). 1 The cover letter fully explained the procedures for responding and contained links to access the online survey. All correspondence was personalized, which is an integral part of Tailored Design, by providing real names instead of a general salutation and by providing several ways to contact the principal investigator and supervisor. After clicking on the link in the email message, respondents were taken to the home page of the web survey which fully explained the purpose of the survey and asked for the participants consent to participate in this study. Upon clicking I agree, participants were taken to the questionnaire to complete and submit. Two weeks after the questionnaire information was sent, a reminder letter was sent via email to all county livestock agents whose questionnaires had not been completed (Appendix A). The reminder email thanked participants for completing the survey and encouraged the non-respondents to complete the surveys in a timely fashion. The reminder also provided the participant with their participant code and links to the online questionnaire. 1 The research protocol, including all correspondence, was approved by an Institutional Review Board at the University of Florida as protocol No. 2004-U-517.

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36 The fourth and final contact was established with only the non-respondents via telephone interviews during the months of September 2004 and October 2004. The Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2000) suggests that a different mode of contact distinguishes each type of final contact from regular delivery. It also states that a special contact improves overall response to mail surveys. Telephone interviews took place long after the reminder email and due, in part, to four hurricanes coming through the state of Florida during the months of August and September as well as to the failure of some agents to return phone calls. Response Rates and Coverage Issues Sixty-five of the sixty-seven county/livestock agents completed a questionnaire, resulting in a response rate of 97.0%. Sixteen people responded after the first wave. After the reminder letter was sent, twenty-one people completed their surveys. An additional 28 responses were obtained after following up with the telephone interviews. 2 No responses were obtained from two counties. One county livestock agent was unable to be reached after several attempts via email and telephone. Another county livestock agent refused to take part in the survey after telephoning him twice. He stated that this was due to the fact that his area had severe hurricane damage and that he didnt have the time to complete the survey. 2 Since telephone interviewees had a copy of the survey in front of them and because the survey is short, this should minimize any differences in the answers due to the mode of the survey. Krosnick (1999) suggests that when choices are presented visually, either on a show card in a face-to-face interview or in a self-administered questionnaire, weak satisficing is likely to bias respondents toward selecting choices displayed early in a listweak satisficing seems likely to produce primacy effects under conditions of visual presentation (pp. 549-50).

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37 Data Analysis Procedures Data were compiled using Microsoft Excel 2000. A coding scheme, described earlier in the questionnaire design section, was created to record categorical data. The quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS for Windows, version 12. Means were calculated on continuous data. The categorical variables were subject to frequency analyses. Adult Horse Owners Survey A second questionnaire was designed specifically for adult horse owners to address needs specific to the equine species. The Tailored Design Method guided the processes of questionnaire design and survey implementation for the adult horse owners survey (Dillman, 2000). Based on the social exchange theory, Dillman suggests aiming to reduce the costs to respondent of completing the survey (Dillman, 2000). Therefore, the questionnaire content was designed to be concise and interesting to the respondents as well as easy to navigate, while at the same time covering the conceptual domains identified in Chapter 2. Questionnaire Design and Variable Definition An 11-page questionnaire was constructed to measure the potential educational needs, practices, and demographics of adult horse owners in Florida. This questionnaire was based on the University of Minnesota Extension Service Horse Owner Survey (Wagoner & Jones, 2004). It was based on this survey because this survey was recently conducted successfully with a response rate of 67.0% and many of the questions asked included what we wanted to identify with the Florida survey. To set the stage, horse owners were asked some simple questions. Dillman (2000) suggests that the first

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38 question(s) needs to be salient and simple, so that everyone can successfully answer it and, in turn, be motivated to complete the instrument. The survey began by asking horse owners the frequency of having horse-related questions that they would like answered (Appendix B). Respondents were provided with the following scale: 1=never, 2=rarely, 3=occasionally, 4=often, and 5=very often. Next it asked them to rate how interested they might be in obtaining more information in regard to horses. Horse owners were then asked to rate their level of knowledge on several horse-related topics. Level of knowledge was rated on the following scale: 1=none, 2=low, 3=medium, 4=high and 5=very high. An array of twenty-six items on topics such as: health, nutrition, business aspects of ownership, general horse care, and horse facility design, in the fourth question, was designed to explore the importance of different horse-related topics. Respondents were asked to rate the importance of each topic using a scale as follows: 1=not at all important, 2=slightly important, 3=somewhat important, 4=moderately important, 5=very important, and 6=dont know. Question five was an open-ended question that allowed horse owners to express any other horse-related topics, not listed in question four, which interested them. This question was intended to generate new ideas that the researchers did not think about pertaining to the equine industry. Resources The next three questions asked respondents what sources, channels, and other resources they use to obtain information about the questions concerning horses. First, respondents were asked if they had purchased any publications, in the past twelve months, about the topics listed in questions four and five. The publications listed to choose from included: book(s), magazine(s), pamphlet(s), videos/DVDs, and other.

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39 Respondents were to answer yes or no to purchasing each specific publication, and if yes, they were asked to list the name or topic of the publication. The next question addressed the types of people the respondents most frequently rely on as sources for information about horses. Following this, respondents were asked about the different types of methods used to retrieve information. Vergot et al. (2005) suggests that is important to understand the sources used by clientele and the use of appropriate information channels, so that extension agents and specialists can then facilitate a widespread coverage of the target audience. For these two questions, respondents were asked to rate the frequency of use on the listed items using the following scale: 1=never use, 2=seldom use, 3=usually use, 4=usually use, and 5=always use. Respondents were asked in the next four questions about the usefulness of programs that provide educational information and about the programs they have attended in the past. First, respondents were asked to rate a list of events that provide information for horse owners. All of these events are either university or industry related. The scale provided is as follows: 1=not at all useful, 2=slightly useful, 3=somewhat useful, 4=moderately useful and 5=very useful. Then respondents were asked if they have attended any horse educational programs in the past twelve months. If yes, they were asked to provide the program name and location. If no, the respondents were asked an open-ended question to list the reasons why they have not attended any horse educational programs. Similar responses were grouped together and counted. Finally, respondents were asked how far they usually travel to attend an educational program or

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40 seminar. The following scale was provided: 1=less than 25 miles, 2=25 to 49 miles, 3=50 to 99 miles, 4=100 to 200 miles and 5=over 200 miles. Following this group of questions, respondents were asked to rate the importance of a list of characteristics about individuals who may provide information about horses. Some of these characteristics included: personally owns a horse(s), provides a quick response, has college training in various areas, and have general knowledge about many horse topics. Next, horse owners were asked to rate the importance of a list of organizations that develop and present educational programming for horse owners. For these two questions, this scale was provided to rate the importance of the items listed: 1=not at all important, 2=slightly important, 3=somewhat important, 4=moderately important, 5=very important, 6=dont know. Question fifteen asked respondents how likely they would be to obtain horse-related information from a list of resources. These resources included: internet/web pages, evening seminars, on-line classes, Saturday morning programs, all day Saturday programs, and short publications. Knowing when clientele are available can aid an educator when selecting times to hold educational programming. The next question asked horse owners to rate how likely they would be to attend an educational program, in person offered in their area, on several listed topics. These topics included: general horse care, business aspects of ownership, disaster preparedness, horse facilities, horse health, horse nutrition, marketing, and pasture management. Both questions asked respondents to rate their likelihood on the following scale: 1=not at all likely, 2=slightly likely, 3=somewhat likely, 4=moderately likely, 5=very likely and 6=dont know.

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41 Demographic variables: Horse ownership/practices Respondents were asked several questions concerning the horse(s) they own and the practices that take place with the horse(s). First, the horse owners were asked to check if they owned and/or managed or cared for horses. If so, they were asked to indicate the number of horses. Respondents also were asked about their horse boarding practices. A list of the following options was provided for them to check one: 1) Yes, all, 2) Yes, some and 3) None. Next, respondents were asked to indicate whether or not they owned or rented the land dedicated to keeping the horse(s), followed by the number of acres dedicated to keeping the horse(s), regardless of whether or not the land is owned or rented. Question twenty then asked whether the horse owner buys hay for their horse. If yes, the respondent is asked to indicate what percentage of hay they buy. Horse owners also were asked to report the number of years they have owned horses. After examining the distribution of responses, these numbers were then categorized into the following scale: 1-4, 5-9, 10-19, 20-29, and 30 or more years. The next question asked if during grazing season, if the horse(s) are on pasture or grassy turnout most of the time. The question following asked if the horse(s) usually receives all of its forage from pasture during the grazing season. Both of these questions used yes/no format and asked the respondent to select one of the options. The next two questions asked respondents about the equine disciplines they are involved in. Both questions use a check-all-that-apply method. Respondents were first asked to circle, from a list of sixteen disciplines, which equine disciplines they do with their horses. Some examples of these disciplines include: cutting, english, trail riding, and western pleasure. Then they were asked to indicate which disciplines they would

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42 like to learn about from the same list of sixteen disciplines. A third question asked horse owners if any of their income comes from a list of horse-related jobs. A check-all-that-apply method was used for this question. Demographic variables: Organization ties Three questions asked about respondents involvement in community activities with their horse(s), local horse association membership, and frequency of informally meeting with other horse owners. The first question was a yes/no question that asked if horse owners participated in community events with their horse(s), and if yes, they were asked to list how. The next question asked respondents if they were a member of a local horse association. If so, they were asked to list what associations and the frequency of attendance to meetings or events associated with these particular groups. Finally, respondents were asked if they meet informally with other horse owners in their area and if so, the frequency of these meetings. The following scale was provided to address how often they meet: 1=more than once per week, 2=about once per week, 3=two or three times per month, 4=about once per month and, 5=a few times per year. 3 Demographic variables: Individual respondents The last three questions of the survey were used to help find out individual demographics about each respondent. First, horse owners were asked to indicate the number of children in their household who were under eighteen years of age and participated in horse-related activities. The next question measured age by asking respondents to identify the year in which they were born. The respondent age was calculated by subtracting the year from 2004 and then placed into categories. These 3 Survey instrument listed a few times, however, which was assumed to mean a few times per year.

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43 categories included: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65 and above. This question was then followed by the next question asking the respondents to indicate their gender. The final question offered them a chance to share any comments they might have had about educational programs that could be provided for Florida horse owners. Then a final statement on the questionnaire thanked the respondents for participating in the survey. It also gave them directions for returning the completed survey. Unit of Analysis and Population Being Studied The population being studied for this survey is adult horse owners in Florida. For this survey, an adult horse owner is defined as a person, male or female, that is eighteen years of age or older, lives in the state of Florida, and owns an equine species. The unit of analysis will be based on individuals, not groups of people. Lists from several resources were used to obtain the sampling frame. The resources represent several different segments of the horse industry. Approximately 4,500 names were obtained from the following resources: a Florida horse magazine with a circulation of 2009 names, a large equine hospital in Marion County with a total mailing list of 360 names, the Florida Walking & Racking Horse Association (n=129), Northeast Florida Dressage Association (n=139), Florida Miniature Horse Club (n=308), a combined list of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association and the Florida Farm Managers Association (n=745). As well as county extension lists from the following counties: Marion (n=444), Okaloosa (n=265), and St. Lucie (n=25). 4 Though many others were contacted, these resources were the only organizations or counties that would 4 All Florida counties that indicated that the currently provided equine programs (n=22) in their county were asked for list of current clientele. However, only three counties followed through with providing clientele lists.

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44 provide a mailing list for use in this study. After deleting duplicates and individuals not qualified to take part in the survey, there were 2,913 names remaining. Individuals not qualified included any person who was currently employed with the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. Out of 2,913 names, a random sample of 1,000 was selected to be surveyed. The sample size of 1,000 was selected over only using 400 or 100 participants because it more precisely represents of the current horse owner population in Florida and provides more statistical power for the data analysis. The random sample was selected by using the systematic sampling procedure. Israel (1992) defines a systematic sample as one that selects the first element randomly and then every i th element on the list afterwards. The sampling interval for this particular sample was three. Systematic samples, like random samples, give each element an equal (but not independent) chance of being selected, (Israel, 1992). This sampling procedure was used over a simple random sample because the population being studied was large. Simple random samples are usually used with smaller datasets (Israel, 1992). Pilot Testing A pilot test of the questionnaire was conducted with masters and PhD graduate students in the Agricultural Communication and Education Department at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Participants were asked to read a cover letter and answer the survey based on previous experiences. Twenty-five people were asked to participate, with 19 people completing the survey. Their comments and suggestions were used to improve the layout of the survey and to clarify any confusing questions. The pilot test was another way of reducing measurement error because the respondents answers were used to judge the face validity of the questionnaire items. Ary et al.

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45 suggests that surveys with face validity should appear valid for its intended purpose (2002: pp.409). Survey Implementation A mail survey was chosen because it is an efficient and relatively inexpensive method of gathering data (Dillman, 2000). A web-based survey was considered, but it would have limited the amount of horse owners that could have been contacted. Personal interviews and telephone interviews were also considered as an option, but both would have required more time than a mail survey. A mail survey was the most practical choice because lists of horse owners name and address were available from various Florida organizations. For this survey, a multi-wave mailing strategy was used. Dillman (2000) suggests that multiple contacts are essential for maximizing response to mail surveys. It has been shown that by using multiple contacts, one can increase the response rates to surveys by at least 20 percentage points over surveys that only attempt to contact the respondents once (Dillman, 2000). A system of four contacts for the horse owners was used. The first contact consisted of a pre-letter sent out to the random sample of 1,000 horse owners sent out in late January, 2005 (Appendix B). This letter informed horse owners that they would be receiving, in the mail, a request to fill out a questionnaire. Approximately three days after the pre-letter was sent, a package was mailed via first-class mail to the 1,000 horse owners. This package contained a cover letter, questionnaire, and a business reply envelope (Appendix B). Each element of the package was designed according to the Tailored Design Method to contribute to the desired high

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46 response rate (Dillman, 2000). 5 The cover letter, which fully explained the purpose of the survey and procedures for responding, was printed on university/departmental letterhead to convey a sense of importance. All correspondence was personalized and contained real signatures in order to distinguish the mailings from junk mail. The return envelopes were postage-paid business reply envelopes, which allowed respondents to return the completed surveys with no cost to them. Approximately one week after the questionnaire was sent, a postcard (Appendix B) was sent to all 1,000 horse owners. The postcard thanked respondents for completing the questionnaire and encouraged non-respondents to complete their surveys and mail it back quickly. In early February, 2005, approximately three weeks after the first questionnaire was mailed, a second package was sent to the non-respondents (n=550). Respondents were identified and tracked by an id number on the back of the questionnaire. Like the initial mailing, this package contained a cover letter, questionnaire, and a business reply envelope. The major difference was that the cover letter contained new wording to urge non-respondents to add their opinions to the data already collected from returned surveys because their input was greatly needed (Appendix B). Response Rates and Coverage Issues A random sample of 1,000 horse owners from a list of 2,913 horse owners names and addresses was used. 6 The list was obtained from various horse organizations from 5 The research protocol, including all correspondence, was approved by an Institutional Review Board at the University of Florida as protocol No. 2004-U-1018. 6 However, the actual population is unknown and a complete list is unavailable (note: Census 2002 had 12,000+ horse farms). Therefore, study may be biased in unknown ways.

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47 throughout the state. Nineteen names were dropped from the second and third mailings because the person had died or did not own horses any more. Forty-four surveys were returned because the mailing address was outdated. As of April 30, 2005, 612 people had returned a complete or mostly complete survey. The overall response rate was 612 out of 937, approximately 65.3%. Since the sample of participants used for this study came from several different segments of the equine industry throughout Florida, it was assumed that the data was broadly representative of the horse owner population in Florida. In addition, Tourangeau (2004) cites evidence that response rates may not be a major threat when the variables of interest are unrelated to the factors that produce non-response. This suggests that as long as the sample is representative of the current population that non-response may not be a major threat. Data Analysis Procedures The following data analysis procedure was used for the horse owner survey, which was analyzed separately from the agent survey. Data were compiled using Microsoft Excel 2000. A coding scheme to record categorical data was created using the validation function to prevent inappropriate values from being entered and to reduce data entry errors. In those instances in which respondents circled dont know, responses were re-coded as missing during the analysis because all questions had less than 5% of these responses. Open-ended questions were grouped together into groups of similar responses to make data analysis closer. Responses to open-ended questions were also analyzed and grouped into common themes from all of the responses. Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS for Windows, version 12. Standard statistical analysis was performed to calculate means on continuous numerical data. The

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48 categorical variables were subjected to frequency analyses. T-tests and correlations were used to look for associations between sets of variables. Data on level of knowledge about certain horse topics, people horse owners use as sources of information, methods used to obtain information and the usefulness of events that provide educational information to horse owners was subjected to principal components analysis and principal axis factor analysis with oblique rotation to test the structure of the underlying constructs. Criteria used to fit the factor models included having an eigenvalue > 1.0 and an explained variance > 50%. Cronbachs alpha had to have a value > .66 to fit the model as well (Agresti & Finlay, 1999). New variables were created by multiplying the item factor loadings by the item response and dividing by the total number of items. A multivariate regression model was created to identify the variables that could predict the likelihood of attending a program on a specific horse-related topic.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Introduction This chapter reports the results from the two surveys. The results of the Livestock Agents Survey are reported first. This survey asked county agents with livestock responsibilities about their perception of the equine industry within their specific county and their ability to respond to equine matters. Then the results are reported for the Horse Owners Survey. This survey asked Florida adult horse owners about their educational needs as related to the equine industry. Results of the Livestock Agents Survey County livestock agents returned 65 complete or partially complete surveys out of 67. Unless otherwise noted, all percentages reported are based on a total number of 65. The objective of this survey was to assess the extension agents capacity to respond to clientele. County agents with livestock responsibilities were first asked about their perceptions of the equine industry within their specific county (Table 4-1). Over half of the respondents (58.5%) reported that horses were a minor industry in the county and 23.1% reported that horses were a major industry in the county. Another16.9% said that there was not a horse industry in the county. In addition, over two-thirds of the county agents reported that horses were a growing industry within their county. Finally, almost seventy-percent of the agents said that they considered horses to be part of the livestock industry.

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50 Table 4-1. County agents perceptions of the industry within their county. Variable n % Are horses a major or minor industry? 65 Not an in Minor industry dustry 38 58.5 dustry. ........... 1 1.5 s a growing industry? 11 16.9 Major in Dont know................... 15 23.1 Are horse 65 Yes.................... ........... 48 73.8 ........... 4 6.2 e livestock industry? No Dont know................... 13 20.0 Are horses considered as part of th 65 Yes... 45 69.2 No 13 20.0 Dont k now.. 1 7 0.8 Respondents were then asked about their county programmi ng es for hoithin their specific counties (Table 4-2). Approximately 65% of counties currently do not offer equine education programs for adults. Of the counties that offer progrey e ds e ents receive formal requests from horse owners for information. Twenty perce ffort rse owners w ams, about 25% of them offer between 1-5 programs annually. When asked if thwould be interested in developing or expanding an equine program, almost half of threspondents reported that they were interested. Cross-tabulations reported that two-thirof the counties that do not currently offer equine programs have a major equine industry. Cross-tabulations also reported that half of the agents that currently do not offer equineprograms were also interested in developing and/or expanding an equine within their county. The frequency of requests for information about horses and the preparedness of theagents was the next section of the survey (Table 4-3). Fifty-five out of sixty-five of thcounty ag nt of the county agents receive 1-2 formal requests per week and 30% received 3 or more requests per week. Over two-thirds of the respondents feel slightly to moderately

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51 prepared to answer equine question, while 12.3% of the respondents reported feelingat all prepared and 18.5% reported being very well prepared. Table 4-2. Frequency of equine programs within Florida counties. not Variable n % Do you offer equine education programs for adults? 65 Yes... 22 33.8 42 64.6 Dont know.. 1 1.5 65 No How many educational events are offered annually? None 15.4 ore uine 43 66.2 1-2 10 3-5 7 10.8 6-10.. 2 3.1 11 or mWould you be interested in developing or expanding an eq 3 4.6 program? 65 Yes... 30 46.2 No 20 30.8 Dont know.. 1 5 23.1 Th e knowledge level of county agents with livestock responsibilities on a list of six agents perceived that they irds e agentmedium to very high knowledge about basic care. Only 4.6% had no knowledge n basic care of horses. Agents also reported their knowledge of farm management fairly high. This may be due to the fact that they already know these topic areas from dealing with cattle producers on a daily basis. The topic in which county agents had the least knowledge was training/handling. Over one-forth of the county agents had no knowledge in the training/handling of horses. County agents were then asked to identify from a list of ten items, the resources from which they seek information about horses (Table 4-5). Respondents rated EDIS (80%) as the resource in which they most commonly seek information about horses. The horse-related topics was addressed next (Table 4-4). County were most knowledgeable about basic care of horses. Over two-th of th s reported o

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52 second highest percentage in the list of resources was peers in the industry (69.2%). The two lowest resources were professi onal magazines/journals and national events with perceVariable n % ntages of 12.3% and 7.7% respectively. Table 4-3. Frequency of requests for information about horses from horse owners. Do you receive formal requests from horse owners for information? 65 Yes.. 55 84.6 Dont know.. 1 1.5 No 9 13.8 How many requests per week? 65 None 31 47.7 1-2 13 20.0 .4 .......... 34.6 o you feel to answer equine questions? 3-5 10 15 6-10 8 12.3 11 or moreHow prepared d 65 Not at all.. 8 12.3 Slightly 1hat 12... 15 23.1 18.5 5 23.1 Somew Moderately 5 3.1 Very 12 Table 4-4. Knowledge level of county extension agents on horse -related topics. (%) VH( None Low Medium Knowledge domain (%) (%) (%) High ery igh %) Basic Ca re.. 4.6 21.5 40.0 26.2 7.7 Farm Management. 10.8 20.0 32 .3 23.1 13.8 .0 3.1 1 Nutrition. 9.2 26.2 40 21.5 Herd Health 12.3 27.7 44.6 2.3 3.1 Reproduction.. 16.9 29.2 44.6 4.6 4.6 Training/Handling. 26.2 40.0 23.1 4.6 6.2 Overall, the livestock agent survey provided information ab out extensions ability respond to clientele needs. It suggested that agents in the counties with an equine dustry realize the presence of this industry and accept hors as part othe livea positive attitude towapandrrent pms an new programs within their respected es aftndingng ses to in se f stock industry. Agents had rds ex ing cu rogra d/or starting counti er atte traini sion

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53 specific to the equine spec ies. It also suggested that agents should partner together to ut the sr horsers. able 4-5. Resources commonly used by county extension agents to answer horse-Resource n % offer multi-county programs thro ghou tate fo e own T related questions. EDIS 52 80.0 Peers in the industry 45 69.2 Veterinarians... 27 41.5 Workshops.. 20 30.8 Other14 21.5 National events... 5 7.7 Equine State Faculty... 38 58.5 Non-IFAS websites. 20 30.8Vendors.. 16 24.6 Professional magazines/journals. 8 12.3 Results of the Horse Owners Survey Florida horse owners returned 612 complete or partially complete surveys out of mf 612. they have horse-related wners (92.4%) reported that they rse Sirly, mose ery interested (67.7%) in obtaining more information abt horsesable 4-6. Frequency of horse-related questions. Fr 1,000. Unless otherwise noted, percentages are based on a total nu ber o Horse owners were first asked to report how often questions (Table 4-6). Over ninety percent of horse o occasionally to very often have horse related questions. Only a small percentage of ho owners (7.6%) either rarely or never have horse related questions. mila st hor owners were v ou and another 23.6% were moderately interested (Table 4-7). T equency % Very Often 45 7.4 OftenOccasionally 338 55.8 Never 2 .30 Total 606 100.0 44 29.2 Rarely 177 7.3

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54 TableItem Frequency % 4-7. Frequency of interest about obtaining more information about horses. Very Interested 410 67.7 Moderately Interested 143 23.6 Not at all Interested 13 2.1 Slightly Interested 40 6.6 Total 606 100.0 Learning Interests The second objective was to identify what Florida horse owners are interested in arning about. Horse first asked to indicate their current knowledge on a ted topicable 4-8). Horse owners reported basic horse care as the t they had the st level of knowledge with m=4.251 It also has the least (SD=.754). Fing this, horse he the second topic in which horse owners as horse reption (m=2.8rs had at least mm knowledge level in all topics listed. xt, a principal-component factor analysis of seven items about respondents was conducted (Table 4-9). The high eigenvalue and percent of variano ips all le owners were list of h orse rela s (T topic tha highe variation ollow alth wa s s were most knowledgeable (m=46). topic in which horse owner 3.76, SD=.8 The had the least knowledge w roduc 1, SD=1.114). Overall, the majority of horse owne ediu Ne knowledge of horses ce explained suggest that the items form a unidimensional construct. The Cronbachs Alpha also is significant with a value=.878. This construct is then referred tas the knowledge index. The factor loadings suggest that the strength of the relationshbetween overall equine knowledge and the observed measures is very strong because of the factor loadings are .66 or higher. Horse health and farm management are the twomeasures that have the strongest association with the knowledge index because they have 1 All means are calculated with dont know responses excluded. For most variables, the number of such responses was small.

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55 a factor loading >.80, while horse reproduction has a lower factor loading of .66. Thnew variable was created by multiplying the data reduction scores to the current ite en, a m respo number t rs with one horse and 2 4 horses were opics. Item M SD nses and dividing by the total amount of items. One-way ANOVAs were run between the knowledge index and several demographic variables. These demographic variables included: gender, age, andof horses owned. The only association that had a significant relationship was between number of horses owned and the knowledge index (F=48.463, p-value=.000) (Table 4-10). The relationship between gender and the knowledge index was insignificant (F=.805, p-value=.864). There was also no significant relationship between age and the knowledge index (F=.029, p-value=.547). The association between the knowledge index and number of horses owned is clearly shown in the difference between the means. The least significant difference tesindicated that the mean knowledge level of horse owne different from each other. The mean values for 5 9 horses and 10 or more horses had different means from horse owners with one horse and 2 4 horses. However, there was no significant difference between the means of horse owners owning 5 9 horses and 10 or more horses. All of the mean differences were small. Table 4-8. Mean scores of how knowledgeable horse owners are on horse-related t Basic Horse Care.4.25 .754 Horse Health... 3.76 .846 .. 3.68 .938 Horse Nutrition.. 3.49 .905 Farm Pasture Management... 2.94 1.001 Training/Handling Management.. 3.34 1.108Horse Reproduction 2.81 1.114 Note. Level of knowledge was scored on a 5-point scale (1=None, 5=Very high).

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56 Table 4-9. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the equine Component 1 knowledge index. Eigenvalue 4.152 Percent Variance 59.307% Item Factor Loadings Horse Health.... .870 Farm Management... .819 Horse Nutrition .786 are.. .758 .742 Basic Horse CTraining/Handling.... Pasture Management.... .737 Horse Reproduction. .660 Table 4owned. -10. Analysis of variance mean scores on knowledge index and number of horses er of Horses--n M SD ---Numb 1 121 2. 28a.495 2 4 254 2.635 9 136 2.9 b 2c.513 .501 10 or more 69 2.67 c .558 Note. a, b, c Indicates a significant difference between the means. Respondents were then asked to rate impfic horse-related topics -six items (Table 4-11). Across the board, all of the topics had an e rating of at least somewhat importante highest importance, rtant st of the respondents. With a pondents responses for this topic. topic with the least importance, breeding/foaling, was rated to be somewhat there was a greater degree of variation in aling ighly important to some of the respondents, but not for Other topics, such as: care, vaccinations, poisonous plants, fly and pest n to call a vet, buhorse hay, eqehavior, aine dentistry were ortance of speci from a list of twenty averag . The topic with th colic, was rated to be moderately to very impo by mo SD of .573, there was little variation in the res The important by respondents. With a SD of 1.548 the answers from the respondents for this item. Therefore, it can be suggested that the importance of breeding/fo is h others hoof control, whe y ing uine b nd equ

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57 all rat ng were owners. ed to be moderately to very important to most of the respondents. All of these items listed have a SD <1.0, which suggests less variation among respondents. A common pattern throughout the data shows that most of the respondents rated the importance of horse health and nutrition topics highest. On the other hand, topics relatedto horse reproduction, pasture management, farm management, and training/handli rated lower by respondents. Table 4-11. Mean scores of how important each of the following topics is to horse Item M SD Colic 4.74 .573 Hoof care. 4.70 .625 Poisonous plans... 4.56 .831 When to call a vet4.45 .882 Equine behavior.. 4.41 .856 Equine dentistry 4.39 .810 Liabilities for horse owners 4.27 .999 Weed control... 4.18 1.016 Storing hay and grain.. 4.12 1.110 Pasture establishment Vaccinations 4.58 .766 Fly and pest control 4.45 .839 Buying horse hay 4.43 .964 Ethical care of horses.. 4.41 .971 Proper tack fitting................................... 4.37 .978 Basic training.. 4.19 1.063 Minerals and vitamins. 4.17 .886 Supplements 4.08 .968 ...... 4.00 1.087 Land use or zoning regulations... 3.99 1.163 Fencing options... 3.94 1.129 re management... 2 85 1nmental impact of horses. 1... 1.1e. Importance was scored on a 5-point scale (1=Not at all important, 5=V Property taxes..........3.95 1.230 Manu 3.9 1.1 Grazing habits. 3.92 .060 EnviroHorse facility design 3.90 3.77 .128 .215 Breeding/FoalingNot 3.10 .548 ery important).

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58 Cross-tabu lations were run to measure the association between number of horses importance of each horse related topics with the following showing nt associations: fly and pest control, when to call a vet, buying horse hay, proper control, pasture establishment, land usening regulations, property ilitgn, and breedaling to call a vet, buying horse hay, and proper tack ge of horse owners cone topics as very wned. Iost horse owners felt all re was a significant relationship betthe rtance of fly and pest control (Chi-Square=35.794, lue=.000). It was reported by horse owners that fly ast control is v of horses owned. Over two-thirds of -9 horses reported fly and pest control to be very se owners owning one horse or ten or more important. the number of horses owned also had a lue=.029). Over seventy-five percent of the to call a vet to be moderately to very important to them, d. However, horners with tenre es are less likely to report when to call a vet as very important. Over two-thirds of with 1 to 9 horses reported this as very important to them. owned and the significa tack fitting, weed or zo taxes, fencing options, manure management, horse fac y desi ing/fo (Table 4-12). Fly and pest control, when fitting all had the highest percenta sidering thos important, regardless of how many horses they o n all, m of these topics to have some importance. Cross-tabulations indicated that the ween number of horses owned and the impo p-va nd pe ery important to all of them, regardless of the number horse owners with 2-4 horses and 5 important to them, while only one-half of hor horses reported fly and pest control to be very The importance of when to call a vet and strong association (Chi-Squared=22.881, p-va horse owners reported when regardless of the amount of horses owne se ow or mo hors horse owners

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59 A strong relationship was found between the importance of buying horse hay and the number of horses owned (Chi-Squared=36.748, p-value=.000). The highest percentages were reported by horse owners with 2-4 (71.7%) and 5-9 horse owners (75.9%), indicating that buying horse hay was very important. Only 60% of horse owners with ten or more horses indicated buying horse hay was very important, and fewer (52.9%) with one horse rated this topic as very important. The number of horses owned and proper tack fitting also had a significant association (Chi-Squared=23.712, p-value=.022). Proper tack fitting was very important to horse owners with one horse (71.1%). As the num ber of horses owned increased, propeers f horses ith 2 or more horses indicated weedre n r tack fitting was less important to horse owners. Less than half of the horse ownowning 10 or more horses reported proper tack fitting as very important to them. There was a significant association between weed control and the number oowned (Chi-Squared=38.963, p-value=.000). The highest percentages with very important responses were reported by horse owners owning 2-4 (52.1%) and 5-9 (58.4%) horses. Only 36.1% of the horse owners with one horse reported weed control tobe very important. Over eighty-percent of horse owners w control to be moderately to very important to them. Cross-tabulations also indicated that there was a strong relationship between number of horses owned and the importance of pasture establishment (Chi-Square=29.162, p-value=.004). About three-fourths of the horse owners with 2 or mohorses reported pasture establishment to be moderately to very important, while less tha60% of those with one horse rated this as moderately or very important.

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60 The importance of land use or zoning regulations and number of horses owned alsohad a strong association (Chi-Square=25.028, p-value=.015). Over 50% of horseregardless of the amount of horses owned, indicated that land use or zoning regulatiowas moderately to very important to them. But those with only one horse were lessto rate this topic as moderately or very important in comparison to owners with two omore horses. owners, ns likely r xes and y orse repora .1%) ted this topic to be less impor and the nagement as A significant relationship was found between the importance of property tathe number of horses owned (Chi-Square=53.379, p-value=.000). Over fifty percent of the horse owners in each category indicated that property taxes was moderately to verimportant to them, but horse owners with 2-4 and 5-9 horses had the highest percentages at 47.3% and 56.3% respectively. In contrast, just over 30% of owners with one h ted property taxes to be slightly or not at all important to them. The number of horses owned and the importance of fencing options also had strong association (Chi-Square=24.361, p-value=.018). Horse owners with 2-4 (42and 5-9 (45.6%) horse reported fencing options as very important to them. Over 20% of horse owners with one horse reported fencing options as slightly to not at all important. Horse owners with one horse or ten and more horses repor tant to them as owners with 2-9 horses. There was a significant relationship between number of horses ownedimportance of manure management (Chi-Square=26.674, p-value=.009). Horse owners with two or more horses reported this topic as more important than those with one horse. Over 65% of horse owners with two or more horses indicated manure ma

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61 mode horse owners. Over eighty percent of horse owners with 2-9 horses repore percent of owners with ttems and use or zoning regulations, property taxes,ne a rately to very important to them. Only 55% of horse owners with one horse rated manure management as moderately to very important. Cross-tabulations also showed a significant association between the importance ofhorse facility design and the number of horses owned (Chi-Square=29.770, p-value=.003). The larger the amount of horses owned, the more important horse facility design was to ted horse facility design to be somewhat to very important. Approximately 25% of horse owners with one horse indicated that horse facility design was slightly to not at all important to them. Finally, it was shown that there was a very strong association between number of horses owned and the importance of breeding/foaling (Chi-Square=189.251, p-value=.000). It was reported to be very important by over seventy-fiv en or more horses. Almost fifty percent of horse owners with 5 9 horses also indicated it as being very important. Almost fifty percent of the horse owners with one horse and 2 4 horses found breeding/foaling to be slightly to not at all important. It seems there were different priorities to the horse owners based on the number of horses owned. Horse owners with two or more horses were more concerned with isuch as: weed control, pasture establishment, l and manure management. This may be due to the fact that horse owners with ohorse may not own their own land and therefore do not have a higher priority to gain information about these topics. More basic topics such as proper tack fitting and when to call a vet were more important to horse owners with one horse. However, when to call

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62 vet was also very important to horse owners with 2 9 horses as well. Also, topics suchas breeding and foaling were more important to horse owners with ten or more horses. Educbtaining e 4Over two-thirds of the horse owners also reported that they had not purchs owned. ---------Amount of Horses Owned ---------ational Materials The third objective was to determine where horse owners are currently oeducational materials. Respondents were asked if they had purchased any publications about horse-related topics, from a list of items, within the past twelve months (Tabl13). Over two-thirds of horse owners reported that they had purchased magazines about horse related topics. Nearly half (46.7%) of the respondents had purchased books in the past twelve months. ased pamphlets and videos/DVDs in the past twelve months about horse topics. Table 4-12. Importance of a specific horse-related topic by the number of horse 1 2 4 5 9 10 or more Very Important 50.8 67.6 71.5 50.7 Topic (%) (%) (%) (%) Moderately Important 32.8 21.6 19.0 30.4 Slightly Important 3.38 1.5 2.2 2.9 Fly and Pest Very Important 69.7 68.6 64.0 48.6 Somewhat Important 12.3 9.3 6.6 10.1 Control Not at All Important 0.8 0.0 0.7 5.8 Moderately Important 14.8 20.2 22.1 25.7 Slightly Important 1.6 3.5 2.2 1.4 to Call a Very Important 52.9 71.7 75.9 59.2 Somewhat Important 13.1 7.4 10.3 21.4 WhenVet Not at All Important 0.8 0.4 1.5 2.9 Moderately Important 19.8 17.8 13.9 28.2 Somewhat Important 13.2 7.0 6.6 7.0 Hay Not at All Important 5.9 1.2 0.7 4.2 Very Important 71.1 62.0 59.9 48.6 Slightly Important 9.1 2.3 2.9 1.4 Buying Horse Moderately Important 14.9 23.6 25.5 22.9 Somewhat Important 5.8 10.9 7.3 18.6 Slightly Important 5.0 2.3 5.8 5.7 Proper Tack Fitting Not at All Important 3.3 1.2 1.5 4.3

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63 Table 4-12 Continued. ---------Amount of Horses Owned ---------1 2 4 5 9 10 or more Topic (%) (%) (%) (%) mportant 36.1 52.1 58.4 47.1 Very I Moderately Important 26.9 27.8 27.0 35.7 Somewhat Important 23.5 13.5 12.4 11.4 Slightly Important 5.9 5.4 1.5 0.0 ol Not at All Important 7.6 1.2 0.7 5.7 Very Important 32.2 40.9 49.6 44.3 Weed Contr Moderately Important 25.6 33.2 31.1 31.4 Somewhat Important 22.3 16.2 13.3 18.6 Slightly Important 10.7 7.3 4.4 1.4 Pasture Establishment Not at All Important 9.1 2.3 1.5 4.3 Very Important 33.9 47.5 52.2 40.0 Moderately Important 24.8 25.9 28.7 27.1 Somewhat Important 20.7 17.0 11.8 14.3 Slightly Important 10.7 6.6 4.4 12.9 Land Use or Zoning Regulations Not at All Important 9.9 3.1 2.9 5.7 Very Important 34.7 47.3 56.3 43.7 Moderately Important 15.3 24.4 25.2 28.2 Property S omewhat Important lightly Important axes Not at All Important 17.8 18.2 11.1 15.5 S 14.4 17.8 6.6 4.4 8.5 T 3.5 3.0 4.2 Very Important 35.2 42.1 45.6 32.9 Moderately ImSomewhat Im portant portant 19.7 17.4 20.6 22.9 ortant 8.2 2.3 1.5 7.1 3443 23.0 31.3 27.2 28.6 Slightly ImpNot at All Im 13.9 6.9 5.1 8.6 Fencing Options portant Very Important 1.1 6.1 7.4 9.4 Moderately Important 2222nt rtant portant 10.9 2.7 3.6 9.9 ant 3 3.5 7.1 7.7 5.4 Somewhat Importa 22.7 17.4 12.4 19.7 Slightly ImpoNot at All Im 11.8 6.6 8.8 5.6 Manure M anagement Very Import 27.3 9.5 36.5 33.8 Moderately Important 28.1 23.3 31.4 32.4 1221111orse Facility Design nt nt Somewhat Important 7.4 3.3 1.2 2.7 Slightly Important 3.2 0.1 8.0 4.1 H Not at All Importa 14.0 3.9 2.9 7.0 Very Importa 7.40 18.1 48.2 77.5 Moderately Important 5.70 14.3 16.8 12.7 portant 11ortant 29.5 22.8 13.9 0.0 ing/ Foaling 42 Somewhat ImSlightly Imp 14.8 7.8 4.6 8.5 Breed Not at All Important 2.6 7.0 6.6 1.4

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64 Horse ow nesked to rate,s, the types of people that they most frequently use on as sources of infotion fse-relatestions (Table 4-14). Veterinariaest wn m=4.19 and SD=.806, meaning that orse owners usually or always use this source. Following this item, a group of sources horse owners moderately use. These included farrier (m=3.37, D=.905), other hse owners in area (m=3.3SD=.99 traine.27D=1.287). The sever tom usluded: e cont, tension aTable 4-13. Types of publications purchased by horse owners in the past 12 months. Variable n % rs were then a from a list of item rma or hor ed qu ns were rated the high ith a h was rated as sources that S or 4, 4), and r (m=3 S ources that were n seldo ed inc privat sultan county ex gent, and close relatives who own horses. Magazine(s) 11 6 Yes 44773.2 .. 16426.8 610 .. NoBook(s) Yes... 28546.7 No................................ 325 53.3 Videos/DVDs 612 Yes82 29.7 No43070.3 609 .. 1 .. Pamphlet(s) Yes No .. 121 19.9 .. 48880.1 Other 605 Yes8113.4 No24 86.6 .... 5 Next princit analysis ator analysis with a varimax rotation was onducted on twelut how usefuific ss were ondeable 4-15). A varimax rotation was used to systeally g the factding ss. he low eigenvaluariancets that the items first andriance component has three sources that load .40 or higher in the oblique model (using the rotated component matrix). These factor loadings pal-componen nd fac c ve items abo l spec ource to resp nts (T matic roup or loa core T e and percent of v sugges form four constructs. The strongest va

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65 include: local feed store (.794), tack store owners (.779), and other horse owners in the ). All ol ine. Theesentcal network that horse owners rely on as sources of inform. The s comt includes factor loaxters thate ownery use as sources f information. All of the external ties havebilityuse of ionalnds. Thedings include: university specialists (.758), regional company sales representatives (.645), private consultants (.638), and county extension agents (.522). Mean types of people horse owners most frequently rely upon as sources for information. Item area (.709 f these factor loadings are all loca natur y repr the lo ation econd ponen dings that represent e nal tie hors s ma o credi beca educat backgrou se factor loa Table 4-14. scores of the M SD Veterinarian......................... 4.19 .806 Farrier......3.37.905 Other horse owne3.34.994 Trainer......................... 3.27 1.287 Local feed store owners.......................... 2.55 1.012 Tack University specialist 2.17 1.217 (feed, animal health, etc.).... 2.07 1.027 County extension agent........................... 1.76 .917 Other... 1.34 .979 ................. .. rs in area store owners... 2.28 1.023 Regional company sales representatives Private consultants.......................... 1.82 1.170 Close relatives who own horses.. 1.73 1.119 Note. Use was scored on a 5-point scale (1=Never use, 5=Always use) The third component represents the sources of information that the recreatibasic type horse owners might use. Its factor loadings include: veterinarian (.671), farr(.571), and close relatives who own horses (.466). All of thes onal or ier e sources would be able to the construct represents a e segment of the horse industry. It ou for. The factor loadings include: trainer answer any basic type question that a horse owner might have. The final component represented in uniqu includes services that horse owners w ld pay

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66 (.791) and veterinarian (.377). These t wor loadings represent sources that possibly ho have higher valued hoor a larger number of horses might use. It atat horse ownerse competitive circuit he oblique factor model implies several things about this study. Horse owners ld acore any of the three factors high. This hobtain the tion 17). A varimax rotation was used to systematically group the factor way construct. The five components within the construct all repnt specific ation about horses. o fact horse owners w rses could also represent sources of inform ion th on th use more often. T scoring the first component high, cou lso s other olds to be true with the second and third components as well. However, if a horse owner scores component four high, then they are not likely to score components one, two, and three high as well. Respondents were then asked what methods or channels of information they use to information about horses from a list of sixteen items (Table 4-16). Respondents rated equine magazines (m=3.75, SD=.908) and horse or farm magazines (m=3.57, SD=1.002) the as methods that they use most frequently. Items at the bottom of the list included: local newspapers, university internet web sites, county extension web sites, and horse field days at Research Centers. Horse owners reported that they seldom usespecific methods of extension channels. However, the extension channels used most by horse owners included: bulletins/fact sheets and county newsletters. Again, a principal-component analysis and factor analysis with a varimax rotawas conducted on fourteen methods that respondents use to obtain information about horses (Table 4loading scores. The low eigenvalue and percent of variance suggests that the items form a fiverese methods that horse owners use to obtain inform

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67 Table 4-15. Factor load ings and explained variance for items comprising the sources of nvaPercent Variance (%)ulative information index. Eige lue Percent (%) Cum Component 1.. 2 .622.350 22.350 82 Component 2.. Component 3Component 4 1.524 12.699 35.048 .. 1.210.007 45.055 1.130 9.420 54.476 r Lgs (Component Matrix) 01 Facto oadin Item F1 F2 F4 F3 Close relatives who own hors es.. .118 -.030 -.318 .433 County extension agent... .4.312 3 .014 22 -.50 Farrier. .5-.203 Local feed store owners.. .669 -.366 42 .01 4 .386 -.352 -.134 ther-.266 Priva24 .113 .584 -.491 O horse owners in area. .461 -.514 .067 te consultants. .455 .463 .232 -.084 Regional company sales representatives (feed, animal health, etc). .568 .364 -.139 -.1Tack store owners... .695 -.307 -.013 -.293 Trainer. .374 -.069 .734 -.031 University specialists.. .409 .651 .025 Veterinarian..456 -.024 .304 Other.088 .330 .103 Factor Loadings (Rotated Component MatrixItem F1 F2 F3 F ) 4 Local feed store owners.. .794 .137 .191 .203 Tack store owners... .779 -.193 .017 Other horse owners in area. .709 -.117 .001 University specialists.. -.132 .758 .109 Regional company sales representatives (feed, animal health, etc). .264 .645 .009 -.069 Private consultanCounty extension .134 .190 .040 ts. .047 .638 -.037 .267 agent .201 .522 .150 -.447 Farrie.123 Close-.291 .377 .791 .089 r. .347 .148 .571 relatives who own horses.. -.010 .039 .466 Veterinarian..058 .217 .671 Trainer. .186 .146 .055 Other.039 .342 -.498 The first and strongest variance component has seven methods that load .40 or higher in the oblique model ( using the rotated component matrix). The factor loadings for each item are as follows: farm demonstrations (.770), extension bulletins/fact sheets

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68 (.712s to Table 4-16. Mean scores of the methods horse owners use to obtain information about Method M SD ), horse field days at research centers (.704), Equine Allied Trade Show (.669), county extension newsletters (.573), county extension internet sites (.386), and local newspapers (.384). All of these factor loadings have one common theme that relatetraditional programmatic delivery. Whether the delivery is directly from an instructor orthrough literature, they are all very similar in nature. All of these traditional programmatic delivery methods are also tied to the Cooperative Extension System and the University of Florida. horses. Equine magazines3.75 .908 Horse or farm magazines 3.57 1.002 One on one consultation by farm visit 2.37 1.295 One on one consultation by phone.. 2.17 1.200 County extension newsletters..1.91 1.056 1.034 One on one consultation by office visit.. 1.84 1.103 Local newspapers 1.67 .920 niversity internet web sites... .67 .958 County extension internet web sites2 .863 .717 Commercial internet web sites 2.83 1.183 Television programs 2.37 1.099 Extension bulletins/fact sheets 1.96 1.057 Equine Allied Trade Show.. 1.91 Farm demonstrations... 1.77 .911 U 1 1.57 .85 Horse field days at Research Centers 1.49 Other 1.19 Note. Use was scored on a 5-point scale ( 1=Never use, 5=AlwThe second component includes itemseen r loadiclude: oone ction byn-one consultation by phone (.797), and one-on-one consultation has factor loadings that represents using d of information, complimented by the use of newsletters. The factor ays use) that involve individual consultation betw a source and the horse owner. These facto ngs in ne-ononsulta office visit (.807), one-o by farm visit (.790). The third component websites as a metho

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69 loadings include: universit(.725), commercial in y internet web sites (.726), county extension internet sites ternet web sites (.708), and county extension newsletters (.397). variance for items cing theds to nvaluePercVariance (%) Ctive Percent (%) Table 4-17. Factor loadings and explained ompris metho obtain information index. Eige ent umula C omponent 1 4.408 27.552 27.552 C omponent 2 1.811onent 3 1.574 9.839 .711 7 7.4856.195 7 6.4162.613 Factor Loadings (Component Matrix) 11.321 38.873 Comp 48 Component 4 1.19 3 Component 5 1.02 9 Item F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Commercial internet web sites .32 8 .3.546-.210 .073 96 County extension newslettCounty extension internet sitesEquine magazines ers.. .635 .047 -.082-.176 .645 .1.329-.222 .365 .475 .651 -.117 .100 0 .0-.13.411 86 -.0-.166.010 7 -.1-.214.267 3 .6-.182.089 2 -.2 -.125 .258 0 -.0-.40-.281 One-on-one consultation by phone............................................... .501 .491 -.378 .101 -.175 One-ovisit.. .498 .456 -.476 .081 -.061 visit.. .402 .564 -.382 .034 -.113 University internet web sites... .576 -.215 .018 .532 -.033 76 -.422 -.349 18 Equine Allied Trade Show.. .57 -.104 42 1 Extension Bulletins/Fact Sheets.. .6 -.387 10 Farm demonstrations... .68 -.172 33 Horse or farm magazines..43 .465 12 Horse field days at Research Centers. .64 -.147 00 Local newspapers .48 -.054 50 0 n-one consultation by office One-on-one consultation by farm Television programs .453 .097 .152 -.222 -.344 Other .229 .163 -.054 .349 .5 Factor Loadings (Rotated Component Matrix) Item F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Farm demonstrations... .770 .177 .067 .079 .031 Extension Bulletins/Fact Sheets.. .712 .011 .272 .012 .258 Horse field days at Research Centers. .704 .226 .093 .011 Equine Allied Trade Show.. .669 .058 .058 .21 -.025 8 -.149 County extension newsletters.. .573 -.025 .397 -.018 .367

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70 Table 4-17. Continued Factor Loadings (Rotated Component Matrix) Item F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 County extension internet tes .386 .038 .725 -.005 .181 si Local newspapers .384 .197 .003 .108 .526 One on one consultation by ......................................... .108 .797 .131 .064 ne consultation by office .189 .807 .062 .006 -.019 ultation by farm .. .056 .790 -.003 .110 .020 es -.118 51 .708 -.047 eb sites... .312 .148 .726 -.040 -.121 .190 00 .159 .467 zines .062 .063 .086 .889 .008 m magazines .136 02 .064 .062 .243 .174 .122 .125 -.645 phone...... .081 One on ovisit.. One on one consvisit Commercial internet web sitUniversity internet w .0 .304 Television programs Equine maga .2 .293 Horse or farOther .1 .885 The fourth compone nt represents commercial magazines as a method horse owners ation. The factor loadings for this component include: equine orse or farm magazines (.8he fifth and fints the use of media as a form mation ination. The factor loadings include: local newspapers (.526), television programs and county extension newsletters (.367). Overall, based on the oblique factor used methods from two or more sets. Even though extension f the more popular extension methods listed included: bulletins/fact sheets, county extension internet sites, and From a list of ten events, horse owners were asked to report how useful the events were in terms of providing educational information (Table 4-18). Horse organization events were reported at the top of the list as somewhat or moderately useful (m=3.64, use to obtain inform magazines (.889) and h 85). T al component represented in the construct represen ass m of infor dissem (.467), model, many horse owners methods were ranked low, some o farm demonstrations, extension county extension newsletters,

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71 SD=1.096). The item ranked the lowest was University of Florida Extension Servicevents with an m=2.03. All of the items had a SD >1.0, indicating that there is great variation in the responses, except for other" with a SD=.580. The implications of thidata suggest that county agents should conduct their county programs in partnership w e s ith able 4-18. Mean scores of how useful e selected events are in terms of educational information to Item M SD other events occurring in their area. T th providing horse owners Horse organization events ... 3.64 1.096 Industry-sponsored events .. .. 3. 2. 2ounty fairs7 al horse trade shows 21.161ary Medici 2.136 a Extension Service 2.059 1.13 .580 3.37 1.229 Local horse shows .14 1.239 Community education events .97 1.297 Florida State Fair .64 1.301 C 2.43 1.14 Region .41 University of Florida Veterinevents ne ... 6 1.2 University of Floridevents ... 3 1.1 Other Note. Use was scored on a 5-point scale (1=Not at all useful, y usanalysis antor analysis with a varimaion wlist of ten items that represent events that provide educational information ners (Table 4-19). The eigens annt ve suhat itst and stst cont id evnt eooperative Extenervice and University of Florida Veterinary ingexpl component are .40 or higher in tated comnt m Thtor ls inizavents), coairs ( Floeve11),uniatiots (.). Tcondoneesentatio 5=Ver eful) A principal-component d fac x rotat as conducted on a to horse ow value d perce arianc ggest t ems measure two constructs. The fir ronge mpone nclude ery eve xcept University of Florida C sion S School events. All of the factor load s that ain this the oblique model (using the ro pone atrix). ese fac oading clude: local horse shows (.788), horse organ tion e (.771 unty f .764), rida State Fair (.759), industry sponsored nts (.7 comm ty educ n even 644), and regional horse trade shows (.427 he se comp nt repr s educ nal

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72 events assoc iated with the University ofa annal howese ty of Florida Eion eve71),rsit(.85d regtrads (.5he o blique model suggests that some horsng educational information. about their attendance to horse educational programs and vel to these programs (Table 4-20). Almost sixty-percent t thonths. Of those who had attended a program, two-thirds of the ly attended one or two programs in the past twelve months. Over twowere willing to travel 50 or miles to an educational m or seminar. ts gave quae respo rego wy haon=323)onsm thn-enteghese riesed: unatrain (11.personal reasons (7.4%), other (6.5%), cost urricanes ( cation was to identifs and lf edn hwne be involved in. First, respondeere askeepormportance of istics of individuals whoprovideatiut hfromll of ms wer to be at least whimportant to a majority of respondents. Having quick access to specialists when needed Florid d regio trade s s. Th factor loadings include: Universi xtens Service nts (.8 Unive y of Florida Veterinary Medicine Events 7), an ional e show 04). T verall o e owners find both sets of events useful for obtainisked Horse owners were a how far they were willing to trars reported tha (57.7%) of horse owne ey had not attended a horse educational program in the past twelve mespondents had on r thirds also indicated that they ore m progra Many survey participan litativ nses in ards t hy the d not attended a program in the past twelve m nths ( Resp es fro is ope ded question were grouped into several ca ories. T catego includ being ware of such programs (28.0%), time cons t s (24.0%), location of the program (17.3%), not being interested in programs offered 5 %), of the program (3.1%), and h 2.2%). Topics and Levels of Edu The fourth objective y topic evels o ucatio orse o rs are willing to nts w d to r t the i certain character may inform on abo orses a list of fifteen items (Table 4-21). A the ite e rated some at

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73 was rbeing l events information index. Eigenvalue Variance (%) Percent (%) anked the highest, followed by: has college training in veterinarian medicine, provides a quick response, and has general knowledge about many horse topics, as moderately important to horse owners. Table 4-19. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the educationa Percent Cumulative Component 1... 4.052 40.522 40.522 Component 2... 1.538 15.375 55.897 Factor Loadings (Component Matrix) Item F1 F2 Community education events.. .693 -.049 County fairs. Horse organization events .713 -.282 ... .747 -.227 Industry-sponsored events.. Local .753 -.079 horse shows... .673 -.417 Florida State Fair. .697 -.303 Regional horse trade shows. .606 .265 University of Florida Extension Service events... .575 .689 University of Florida Veterinary Medicine events....544 .688 Other .079 .338 Factor Loadings (Rotated Component Matrix) Item F1 F2 Local horse shows... .788 -.078 Horse organization events... .771 .125 County fairs. Florida State Fair .764 .061 .759 .034 nal h.504 Extension Service ... .213 .871 ....186 .857 -.078 .338 Industry-sponsored events.. .711 .261 Community education events.. .644 .261 orse trade shows. .427 RegioUnive rsity of FloridaeventsUniversity of Florida Veterinary Medicine eventsOther

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74 Shows/e xhibits horses was ranked as the least important characteristic by horse taany respondents. A is much variation between the responses of the horse cl programse owners. However, it was still ranked as somewhat impor nt to m high SD=1.378, indicates that there owners. Table 4-20. Frequency of attendance to horse-related edu ationa by hors owners. Variable N % H ave you attended a program in the past 12 months 608 Yes No.351 57.7 ............... 257 42.3 Number of programs attended 244 1................79 32.4 339 16.0 How far you are willing to travel 2............... 81 33.2 4 or more.. 45 18.4 Non-attendees 123 25 to 49 miles............... 16 13.0 100 to 200 miles.............. 36 29.3 Attendees 253 Less than 25 miles12 9.8 50 to 99 miles............... 34 27.6 Over 200 miles. 25 20.3 Less than 25 miles...34 13.4 50 to 99 miles.. 70 27.7 Over 200 miles 52 20.6 25 to 49 miles.. 33 13.0 100 to 200 miles.. 64 25.3 Based on a list of nine items, horse owners were asked to rate the importance of organizations that develop and present educational programs to horse owners (Table 4-22). Overall, all items were rated as somewhat to very important by respondents. Mscores for the items varied from a lo eans w of 2.62 tack stores to a high score of 4.32 vete rinarians. All of the items had a SD>1.0, which indicates that there was great variation in the responses from horse owners. Four out of the top five represent statewide

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75 organizations. The Cooperative Extension Service was probably ranked higher here than in table 4-14 because this question asked about the importance of where organizationtheir information to present information and instead of only asking about an event that a horse owner would attend. The university system might be perceived as having more credible information t s get han a local feed store or tack store. Table 4-21. Mean scores of important characteristics of individuals who may provide Item M SD horse owners with information about horses. Has quick access to specialists when needed.. 4.30 .990 Has college training in veterinarian medicine.4.24 1.107 Has general knowledge about many horse topics... 4.07 1.023 topics... 3.67 1.397 Knows your farm and your horses.. 3.65 1.365 3.53 1.400 Is located close to your fHas c Provides a quick response.. 4.09 1.258 Has specialized knowledge about a few horse 3.77 1.103 Will visit your farm Personally owns a horse(s) arm... 3.39 1.350 ollege training in equine management or related discipline. 3.37 1.380 Is affiliated with an equine business... 3.19 1.310 Is affiliated with a horse organization. 2.96 1.264 Is affiliated with a university.. 2.91 1.334 Shows/exhibits horses. 2.69 1.378 Other... 1.20 .827 Note. Importance was scored on a 5-point scale (1=Not at all important, 5=Very important). information from a list of seven items (Table 4-23). All of the listed items were rated as Next, horse owners were asked to indicate the likelihood of obtaining horse-related somewhat to very likely. However, all of the items had a SD>1.0, indicating that there is great variation among the responses from horse owners. Horse owners rated short publicationd that they would use to obtain horse related information. All day Saturday programsy mgrame methods that horse owners wast likelorse oworted s as the most likely metho and Saturda orning pro s were reported as th ould le y use. H ners rep

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76 that they would be more likel y to use internet/web pages instead of on-line courses. This issue of time commitment when it comes to obtaining orse-related information. 4-22. Mean scores of the importancerganizations that develop and present ograms to horse owners. M SD suggests that there may be an h Table of o educational prItem Veterinar ians... 4.32 .004 1 U of F College of Veterinary Med icine. 3.91 .247 es Department.. 3.75 .249 ion Office..... 3.57 .348 ons... 3.54 .241 .....3.33 .441 2.94 .270 .. 2.62 .235 .. 1.14 .707 red on a 5-point scale (at all important, 5=). 1 U of F Animal SciencU of F County Extens 11 Florida horse associatiBreed organizations 11 Local feed stores 1 Tack storesOther ..... 1 Note. Importance was sco 1=Not Very important Table 4-23. Mean scores of the likItem elihood of a horse owner obtaining horse-related information from the listed methodM SD s. Short publications.. ..... 4.00 1.152 Internet/weEvening seminars b pages...... 3.84 .... 3.35 1.327 .. 3.16 aturday morning programs....... 3.09 1.415 ll day Saturday programs...Other... 1.22 .883 1.377 On-line courses. 1.514 S A .. 3.02 1.403 Note. Importance was scored on a 5-point scale (1=Not at all likely, 5=Very likely). ere asked the likelihood, offered in their list of eight items (Table 4-24). Six out of the eight topics were rated as y or higher by most of the respondents. The topic with the highest nding a program on that f the respondents. Following horse health, the second highest as also rated to be very likely by 51.7% of the respondents. Horse owners w of attending a program area, on a somewhat likel likelihood of them atte specific topic, horse health, was rated to be very likely by 58.7% o topic, horse nutrition, w

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77 These are the only two items in which resp ondents rated more than 75.0% for moderately ly to attend a program on that specific topic. a, was rated to be nll to slightly likely by 49.0% of the respondents. Similarly, 43.3% of the respondents rated business aspects of ownership as a topic that they would not at all to slightly likely to attend a program on. The pattern of percentages suggests that horse owners have specific topics that they are interested in attending a program on, instead of attending programs on all of the horse-related topics listed above. Table 4-24ess of horse owners attending a program on each of the following topics. mat k)Moderately Like(%) Very Likely (%) to very like The topic with the least likelihood, m rketing ot at a Likelin Not At Slightly So ewh ly Item All Likely Likely Li ely (%) (%) (% Horse health. 4.2 3.5 1122.7 58.7 .0 Horse nutrition. 4.5 5.0 1 325.251.7 021.2 37.7 624.837.3 12.6 13.3 23.7 24.4 26.0 18.9 20.2 27.7 24.4 18.9 20 15.0 20.9 28.2 20.8 17.6 15.8 17.5 .7 Disaster preparedness.. 9.0 11.7 2 .5 Pasture management 11.3 9.8 1 .7 Horse facilities. General horse care... 17.9 15.4 Business aspects of ownership .9 Marketing A prin cipal-component analysis and factor analysis with a varimax rotation was n eight items (Table 4-25). The purpose was to identify the structure of ngh component one has a ce above fifty percent (54.4%), the een the factor loadings suggest that thereponerst and strongest component has six factor loadings that are .40 or higher in odel (using the rotated component matrix). The factor loadings included th (.879), horse nutrition (.872), disaster predness (.75neral horse conducted o likelihood of attendance among the program topics. Eve thou high eigenvalue (4.354) and a percent varian relationship betw two com nts. The fi the oblique m are: horse heal epar 2), ge

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78 care (.751), horse facilities (.613), and past ure management (.535). These factor loadings rse person might attend. It also may represent horse owners that own a fewer amount of horses. The second component has four factor loadings that are .40 or higher in the oblique model (using the rotated component matrix). All of these factor loadings represent more business oriented program topics that a more seasoned horse owner or a horse owner with several head of horses might attend. These factors include: horse facilities (.572), pasture management (.499), business aspects of ownership (.869), and marketing (.900). Table 4-25. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the likeliness of Percent Cumulative represent program topics that the average ho attending a program index. Eigenvalue Variance (%) Percent (%) Component 1... 4.354 54.419 54.419 Component 2... 1.290 16.123 70.543 Factor Loadings (Component Matrix) Item F1 F2 General horse care... .686 -.327 Business aspects of ownership .680 .589 .742 -.247 Horse nutri-.345 ting .558 .709 .723 .111 Disaster preparedness.. H orse facilities..829 .127 Horse health..822 -.355 tion..821 Marke Pasture management Item Factor Loadings (Rotated Compontrix) F1 F2 ent Ma Horse health ..879 .170 Horse nutrition ..872 Disaster preparedness.. .75General hor .178 2 .214 .117 .572 .499 .230 .869 .061 .900 se care... .751 Horse facilities..613 Pasture management .535 Business aspects of ownership Marketing

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79 Cross-tabulations were run to measure the association between the number of d of a horse owner attending a program on the following ated topics: general horse care, business aspectsnership, dis horse health, horse nutritiorketing, and pasture Horse health and horse nutrition had the highest percentages g very likely to attend a program on those specific topics, no matter they owned. Horse owners, regardless of how many horses they own, ss sture manage On the generChi-ikely health, while even more (85%) of owners with one or to horse nutrition and number of horses ed also had a strong association (Chi-Square=58.922, p-value=.003). Over two-s in each category indicated that they would be moderately to horses owned and the likelihoo horse-rel of ow aster preparedness, horse facilities, n, ma management (Table 4-26). of horse owners bein how many horses are also interested in programs on disaster preparedne and pa ment. other hand, horse owners with fewer horses are more likely to attend a program on al horse care, whereas horse owners with a larger number of horses are more likely to attend a program on very specific topics such as marketing and business aspects of ownership. Cross-tabulations indicated that there was a significant relationship between likelihood of attending a program on horse health and the number of horses owned (Square=23.903, p-value=.020). It was reported by horse owners that horse health is important to all of them, regardless of the number of horses owned. All respondents rated going to a program on horse health very likely with their highest percentage. Two-thirds of the horse owners with 10 or more horses reported to be moderately to very lto attend a program on horse nine horses reported being as likely to attend. The likelihood of attending a program on own thirds of the horse owner

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80 very likely to attend a program on horse nutrition. And, horse owners with 1 to 9 horses who were very likely to atteogram on a spenumber of horses owned. Amoun had percentages above 50% nd. Table 4-26. Likelihood of attending a pr cific horse-related topic by the ---------t of Horses Owned ---------Topic (% 1 ) 2(%5 9 (%) or more Very Likely 66.7 61.2 59.1 39.1 4 ) 10 (%) Moderately Likely 18.3 Horse 2321.2 0 811.7 2 Slightly Likely 3.3 3.1 4.4 1.4 Very Likely 57.5 54.1 51.8 36.2 .6 29. Somewhat Likely 7.5 Health .9 23. Not at All Likely 4.2 3.1 3.6 7.2 Moderately Likely 27.5 26.5 18.2 30.4 Somewhat Likely 5.8 Horse 11.7 21.2 18.8 Slightly Likely 5.0 4.3 5.8 4.3 Nutrition 3.2.9 39.39.0 Not at All Likely 4.2 5 10.1 Very Likely 44.2 0 21.7 Moderately Likely 20.0 2Disaster 4.16.2 21.22.8 10.12.5 4.9.6 42.41.6 3 23.2 Somewhat Likely 18.3 Preparedness 2 18.8 Slightly Likely 9.2 8 14.5 Not at All Likely 8.3 6 21.7 Very Likely 26.7 0 31.4 Moderately Likely 23.3 24.9 26.3 Pasture 25.7 Managem Somewhat Likely 14.2 19.1 16.1 14.3 Slightly Likely 15.8 7.0 9.5 10.0 ent Not at All Likely 20.0 7.0 6.6 18.6 Very Likely 42.1 28.0 21.9 14.7 Moderately Likely 19.0 23.3 19.0 14.7 Somewhat Likely 19.8 17.1 20.4 22.1 Slightly Likely 8.3 19.8 13.9 13.2 General Horse Care Not at All Likely 10.7 11.7 24.8 35.3 Very Likely 15.7 17.4 28.7 27.5 Moderately Likely 12.4 12.4 19.9 20.3 Somewhat Likely 19.0 20.2 21.3 21.7 Slightly Likely 20.7 24.0 12.5 13.0 Business Aspects of Ownership Not at All Likely 32.2 26.0 26.0 14.4 Very Likely 9.2 14.5 27.4 26.1 Moderately Likely 10.8 11.0 23.0 27.5 Somewhat Likely 15.8 17. Marketing 3 17.0 15.9 Slightly Likely 28.3 22.7 15.6 13.0 Not at All Likely 35.8 34.5 17.0 17.4

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81 A strong relationship was found between the number of horses owned and the likelihood of attending a program on disaster preparedness (Chi-Square=30.008, p-value=.003). Approximately half of the horse owners reported that they were moderately to very likely to attend a program on d isaster preparedness. The smaller number of uch a program. The number of horses owned and the likelihood of attending a program on pasture nifiassociation (Chi-Sq33.569, e=.003).st tage ofe owneicated thy would raasturegement. Horse owners with 2 4 and 5 rcs at 42nd 41.6pectively. Over fifty percent f the horse owners in each category indicated they would be moderately to very likely to attend a pasture management program. Horse owners with 2 9 horses seemed to be the most likely, while people with one horse or 10 or more reported they were less likely. There was a significant association between the likelihood of attending a program on general horse care and the number of horses owned (Chi-Square=50.864, p-value=.000). The largest percentage of horse owners with one horse (42.1%) reported that they are very likely to attend an equine program on general horse care, while only 1 in 10 reported no likelihood of attending such a program. On the other hand, three times as many horse owners with ten or more horses (35.3%) reported that he/she was not at all likely to attend an equine program on general horse care as those with one horse. Business aspects of ownership and number of horses owned also had a fairly strong relationship (Chi-Square=28.779, p-value=.004). Nearly one-third of horse owners with horses owned seemed to increase the likelihood of a horse owner attending a program s management also had a sig cant uare= p-valu Across the board, the large percen hors rs ind at the be very likely to attend a prog m on p mana 9 horses had the highest pe entage .0% a % res o

PAGE 92

82 one hquare=54.501, p-value=.000). Three-fourt of horse owone to somewhat to not at all likely to attend a program on marke On the other hand, over r mrse are mly to vero a program on marketing. Therefore, as the number of horsened increases, the ch a program will also increase. ar regression models was estimated to explore the possible ood of atte on a specific horse-related d, the knowledge index, the frequency of having n informand the importance of specific horsedemographic variables such as age and gender had no ttend on any of the specific horse-redicts t on general ber of horsency of questions, the motivation to obtain portance of general orse (32.2%) were not at all likely to attend a program on business aspects of ownership. And horse owners with 2 4 horses were 50% slightly to not at all likely to attend a program on this specific topic. However, horse owners with 5 9 horses (28.7%) and 10 or more horses (27.5%) were very likely to attend a program on business aspects of ownership. Finally, marketing and number of horses owned had a very strong association (ChiS hs ners with four horses are ting. fifty percent of horse owners with five o ore ho oderate y likely t attend s ow likelihood of attending su A series of line relationships between the likelih nding a program topic, the number of horses owne questions, the motivation to obtai tion, a related topics (Table 4-27). Other significanlated topics. The first model p t effect on the likelihood of a ing a program re he likeliness of attending a program horse care, based on the num s owned, the knowledge index, the freque having information, and the im

PAGE 93

83 horse ca re index2 (F=44.568, p-value=.000). This model explained a large portion of the in the likelihood of attending a program on general horse ca2=.281). knowledge increases b unit, the likelihoodending a reas615 units (b=-.615). As the number of horses owned increases, the likelihood of attending a program on general horse care will decrease by .170 units (b=-.170). However, if the frequency of having questions increases by one unit, the likelihood of attending a program on general horse care will increase by .194 units (b=.194). As the motivation to obtain information increases, the likelihood of attending a program on general horse care will also increase by .421 units (b=.421). Finally, as the importance of general horse care increases by one unit, the likelihood of attending a program on general horse care will increase by .453 units (b=.453). Therefore, the higher the knowledge level and the greater the amount of horses owned, the less likely horse owners are to attend a program on general horse care. However, as the frequency of having questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the importance of the topic increases, the more likely horse owners are to attend a program on this particular topic. The second model predicts the likelihood of attending a program on business aspects of ownership, based on the knowledge index, the number of horses owned, the frequency of having questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the importance variation re (R As the level of y one of att program on general health care will dec e by 2 General horse care index is based on the importance of the following items: basic training, equine behavior, proper tack fitting, and ethical care of horses (Eigenvalue=2.918, Percent Variance=72.962%, Cronbachs Alpha=.874).

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84 of business aspects of ownership index 3 (F=23.481, p-value=.000). This particular moexplained a modest portion of the variation in t del he likelihood of attending a program on businy e likelihood of aending a program ony its (b=.832). The p-values of levknowle-value=) and cy of havine=re >.0gestinthe relhip between each of the likeli of atten a progrn businspects of ownersicant. The, the the nu of horned, the moform, and ater thortancbusiness aspects oore lithey arettend a ram on topic. The third mof atten progr disastreparedness, basege inhe numf horseed, theency tionn tin infon (F=9, p-va00). A moderate portion thiness ofding a ram on ess aspects of ownership (R 2 =.170). As the number of horses owned increases bone unit, the likelihood of attending a program on business aspects of ownership increases by .246 units (b=.246). When the motivation to obtain information increasesthe likelihood of attending a program on business aspects of ownership increases .246 units (b=.246). Finally, as the importance of business aspects of ownership increases by one unit, th tt business aspects of ownership will increase b .832 un el of dge (p .250 the frequen g questions (p-valu .166) a 5, sug g that ations ese items and th hood ding am o ess a hip is insignif erefor higher mber ses ow the greater tivation to obtain in ation the gre e imp e of f ownership, the m kely to a prog this particular odel predicts the likelih od o ding a am on er p d on the know led dex, t ber o s own frequ of having ques s, and the motivatio o obta rmatio 18.99 lue=.0 n of the variation i e likel atten prog horse is 3 The b usiness aspectbasee imporf followms: breeing, abilities for horse owpaclanr zoningtions, aerty taxes (Eigenvalue=2.2achha=.658 s of ownership indexners, environmental d on thof horses, tance od use o ing ite regula ding/foalnd prop li im37, Percent Variance=46.538%, Cronb t s Alp ).

PAGE 95

85 facilities wa s expl(R). Thsignificant relationship between the likeliof atte a progn disareparedness and erse ow-value). As the number of horses owned increases by on, the liod of ing a program on disaster preparedness will decrease by .180 units (b=-.180). However, the frequaster ness. owne of ained by this model 2 =.119 is model suggests that there is no hood nding ram o ster p the level of knowledg of ho ners (p =.395 e unit keliho attend ency of having questions increases, the likelihood of attending a program on dispreparedness will increase by .158 units (b=.158). And as the motivation to information increases by one unit, the likelihood of attendance on this particular topic will increase by .464 units (b=.464). Therefore, the greater the frequency of having questions and themotivation to obtain information, the more likely a horse owner is to attend a program on disaster prepared The fourth model predicts the likeliness of attending a program on horse facilities, based on the knowledge index, the number of horses owned, the frequency of having questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the importance of horse facility index 4 (F=49.749, p-value=.000). A large portion of the variation in the likelihood of attending a program on horse facilities was explained by this model (R 2 =.302). When level of knowledge increases by one unit, the likeliness of attending a program on horse facilities will decrease by .241 units (b=-.241). There is no significant relationship between likelihood of attending a program on horse facilities and the number of horses d (p-value=.401). As the frequency of having questions increases by one unit, the likelihoodattending a program on horse facilities will increase by .159 units (b=.159). And when 4 Horse facility index is based on the importance of following items: fencing options, horse facility design, and manure management (Eigenvalue=2.244, Percent Variance=74.794, Cronbachs Alpha=.831).

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86 the motivation to obtain information increases, the likelihood will increase by .338 units (b=.338). Finally, as the importance of horse facilities increases by one unit, the likelihood of attending will also increase by .671 units (b=.671). Therefore, the gr eater the fr g icular model explained a large portion of the variation in the likelin gram on horse health increases by .13tance of y reater equency of having questions, motivation to obtain information and the importance of horse facilities, the more likely horse owners are to attend a program on horse facilitieswithin their area. The fifth model predicts the likelihood of attending a program on horse health, based on the knowledge index, the number of horses owned, the frequency of havinquestions, the motivation to obtain information, and the horse health index 5 (F=50.827, p-value=.000). This part ess of attending a program on horse health (R 2 =.309). The model found no association between the likelihood of attending a program on horse health and the level of knowledge (p-value=.116). The same was found between likelihood of attending and thenumber of horses owned (p-value=.077). When the frequency of having questions and motivation to obtain information increase by one unit each, the likelihood of attending a pro 1 units (b=.131) and .522 units (b=.522) respectively. Finally, as the imporhorse health increases, the likelihood of attending a program on horse health increases b.609 units (b=.609). Therefore, the greater the frequency of having questions, the g of 5 The horse health index is based on the importance of the following items: fly and pest control, colic, hocare, when to call a vet, vaccinations, and equine dentistry (Eigenvalue=3.265, Percent Variance=54.419, Cronbachs Alpha=.819).

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87 the motivation to obtain information, and the greater the importance of horse health is to horse owners, the more likely they are to attend a program on this particular topic. The sixth model predicts the likelihood of attending a program on horse nutrition, based on the knowledge index, the number of horses owned, the frequency of having questition l od of ver, as the frequency of having questions increases by on unit, the likelihood of atteation 2) nts ion, the more likely horse owners are to attend a progr ions, the motivation to obtain information, and the importance of the horse nutrindex1 6 and the horse nutrition index2 7 (F=39.810, p-value=.000). This particular modeexplained a large portion of the variation in the likeliness of attending a program on horsenutrition (R 2 =.293). As the level of knowledge increases by one unit, the likelihoattending a program on horse nutrition will also decrease by .250 units (b=-.250). The model found no significant association between likelihood of attending a program on horse nutrition and the number of horses owned. Howe nding increases by .135 (b=-.135). And as the motivation to obtain informincreases, the likelihood of attending increases .426 units (b=.426). Finally, as the importance of horse nutrition on components and bulk feeding increases by one unit each, the likelihood of attending a program on horse nutrition will increase by .122 (b=.12and .337 (b=.377) units respectively. Therefore, the greater the frequency of having questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the importance of the componeand bulk feeding aspects of nutrit am on horse nutrition. 6 The horse nutrition index1 is based on the following items: storing hay and grain, and buying horse hay These items represent the bulk feeding aspect of nutrition (Eigenvalue=1.331, Percent Variance=33.276, Cronbachs Alpha=.819). 7 The horse nutrition index2 is based on the following items: supplements and minerals and vitamins. These items represent the components of nutrition (Eigenvalue=2.190, Percent Variance=54.740, Cronbachs Alpha=.899).

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88 The seventh model predicts the likelihood of attending a program on marketing, based on the level of knowledge, the number of horses owned, the frequency of having questions, and the motivation to obtain information (F=23.250, p-value=000). This model explained a modest portion in the variance in the likelihood of attending a programon marketing (R lihood by .337 units (b=.337). nd the e ikely he ing questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the pasture mana the 2 =.143). As the level of knowledge increases by one unit, the likeof attending a program on marketing will increase by .322 units (b=.322). When the number of horses owned increases, the likelihood of attending a program on marketing will also increase As the motivation to obtain information about marketing increases, the likelihood to attend a program on marketing will increase by .473 units. This model found no significant relationship between the likelihood to attend a program on marketing afrequency of questions (p-value=.088). Therefore, the higher the level of knowledge, thmore horses owned, and the greater the motivation to obtain information, the more lhorse owners are to attend a program on marketing. The eighth and final model predicts the likelihood of attending a program on pasture management, based on the knowledge index, the number of horses owned, tfrequency of hav gement index 8 (F=42.974, p-value=.000). A large portion in the variation inlikelihood of attending a program on pasture management was explained by this model (R 2 =.274). This particular model found no significant association between the likelihood 8 The pasture management index is based on the following items: pasture establishment, grazing habits, poisonous plants, and weed control. (Eigenvalue=2.852, Percent Variance=71.297, Cronbachs Alpha=.865)

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89 of attending a program on pasture management and the level of knowledge (p-value=.566) and number of horses owned (p-value=.463) respectively. As frequency of having questions and motivation to obtain information increone unit each, the likelihood of attending a program on pasture managemen ase by t increases by .167 ue was to identify demographics of horse owners and the horse populs, rs over kept on pasture or grassy turnout during grazing season. However, 82.1% of the respondents indicated that their horse(s) does not receive all of its forage from pasture during grazing season. nits (b=.167) and .288 (b=.288) respectively. Finally, as the importance of pasture management increases by one unit, the likelihood of attending a program on pasture management increases by .799 units (b=.799). Therefore, the greater the frequency of having questions, motivation to obtain information, and the greater the importance of pasture management is to horse owners, the more likely they are to attend a program on this topic. Demographics The fifth objectiv ation. Various demographic type questions were asked about the practices used by horse owners (Table 4-28). Out of 609 respondents, 97.9% owned horses. However, only 36.1% cared for or managed horses. When asked about horse boarding practicemost horse owners (63.7%) did not board their horses. Whereas, 36.3% of horse owneeither boarded all or some of the horses they own. Horse owners indicated that 86.2% of the respondents owned the land dedicated to keeping their horses, and 13.8% said that the land was rented. Of 612 respondents, eighty percent of them bought hay for their horses and almost ninety percent of the respondents horses are

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90 le rsmls for liofn agronpecific e-tepi Variable HoaBusiness Aspects of epressaeNituae egresion ode General rse Cre Ownrshi kelihod o atteding proam a s Disaster Pepardne Horse Fcilitis Horse Health horsrelad toc. Horse utrion Marketing Pastre Mangemnt Intercept... 2 34 7-2 6 1.03 .109-.23 1.463 -.723 2.16.160 .3 Knowledge index............ -.136 1 1 5 -.057 Number of horses owned... 0 9 -.05 0Frequency of questions...... 8 9 .131 .13 1Motivation to obtain information.. 4 8 .522 .42 2Importance of the topic... n/1 .609 .12.33 n/a 7Adjusted R21 9 09 .274 -.20 .322 3 .337 .44 5 .152 .67 6 .473 .88 2 a 7 b .99 .293 .143 -.09 -.24 -.120 -.18 -.04 -.081 .15 .15 .46 .33 a .67 .11.302 .3 -.615 -.170 .246 .194 .122 .421 .246 .453 .832 .281 .70 Note. a and b Indicate tafutn IndexdriI2pel n/a indicates tha i uto meathpn 1 an Nuttion ndex resectivy. sure e imortace of the specific topic. he vlues or Nritiot notemsweresed Table 4-27. Multip

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91 From a list of sixteen disciplines, horse owners were asked to indicate which disciplines they did with their horse(s) by circling all that apply (Table 4-29). Nearly two-thirds of the respondents reported that trail riding was a discipline that th ey pay % Variable n % rticipated in. Following this, english was the second highest discipline reported bhorse owners (39.5%). Disciplines indicated by participants with percentages <10include: ranch work, endurance, eventing, reining, cutting, team penning, and rodeo. Table 4-28. Practices used by Florida horse owners. Do you own horses? 609 Yes................................596 97.9 Do you manage or care for horses? 609 No......................................... 13 2.1 Yes....220 36.1 Do you board horses? 606 No. 389 63.9 Yes, all..144 23.8 76 12.5 No. 386 63.7 D Yes, some. o you rent or own land dedicated to keeping horses? 556 Own.. 479 86.2 Do you buy hay for the horses? 604 Rent.. 77 13.8 Yes524 86.8 No. 80 13.2 During grazing season, are the horses on pasture or grassy turnout a lot at any time? 604 Yes537 88.9 No. 67 11.1 Does the horse(s) usually receive all of its forage from pasture during grazing season? 605 Yes108 17.9 No 497 82.1 Next, horse owners were asked to identify disciplines that they would like to learn about by circling them (Table 4-30). There was no discipline that was much higher than the others. The more popular disciplines with percentages >20% include: dressage

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92 (26.0%), trail riding (24.7%), reining (20.3%), and driving (20.1%). The disciphorse owners are least interest line that ed in learning about is rodeo because only 3.8% of the reVariable n % spondents indicated interest in learning more about this discipline. Table 4-29. Disciplines 612 horse owners indicated they did with their horses. Trail riding. 399 65.2 English242 39.5 Dressage.... 172 28.1 Other. 134 21.9 Driving.. 107 17.5 Ranch work.... 51 8.3 8.2 Eventing. 44 7.2 RCutting 26 4.2 Rodeo. 21 3.4 Western pleasure... 193 31.5 Halter.. 138 22.5 Hunter/Jumper.... 123 20.1 Games.65 10.6 Endurance.. 50 eining... 39 6.4 Team penning 23 3.8 Table 4-30. Disciplines 612 horse owners indicated they would like to learn about. Variable n % Dressage.... 159 26.0 Trail riding. 151 Reining... 124 24.7 20.3 Driving.. 123 CEventing. 48 7.8 Other. 39 6.4 Rodeo. 23 3.8 20.1 utting 95 15.5 Western pleasure... 94 15.4 Endurance.. 77 12.6 English77 12.6 Ranch work.... 75 12.3 Team penning 69 11.3 Hunter/Jumper.... 65 10.6 Games.57 9.3 Halter.. 53 8.7

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93 e (18.1%). The lowest percentage was equine Variable n % Horse owners were then asked to indicate if any of their sources of income came from a list of horse-related jobs (Table 4-31) All of the items listed had percentages below twenty-percent. The hi ghest percentage was boarding as a source of incom dentistry as a source of income (0.3%). Cross-tabulations reported that 59% of horse owners had no income from horse-related jobs. Table 4-31. Sources of income from hor se-related jobs of 612 horse owners. Boarding.. 111 18.1 Breeding.. 107 17.5 Lessons/training.. 83 13.6 Horse hauling.. 38 6.2 2.6 Veterinarian. 12 2.0 11 1.8 Ta Fa Horse sales...104 17.0 Other 50 8.2 Judging 16 Hay/straw sales ck sales 11 1.8 rrier.. 9 1.5 Feed/supplement sales. 6 1.0 Equine massage.. 4 0.7 Equine dentistry...2 0.3 A series of demographic questions were asked to respondents to identify speci characteristics about them (Table 4-32). Over eighty percent (82.7%) of the horse owners were identified as female. Over 75% of the respondents reported having no fic ch y nd ildren under the age of eighteen. Ages were widely distributed. The largest age category included horse owners between the ag es of 45 to 54. The lowest age categor was horse owners between the ages of 18 to 24. Horse owners were asked to write in the amount of horses that they own Responses were grouped into categories includ ing: one horse, 2-4 horses, 5-9 horses, a

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94 10 ore horses. Out of 592 respondents, 44.3% of the horse owners reported having 2Onl% han or e horseakine lowest category. Then horse owners were asked how long they had owned their horses. Responses were then grouped into the following categories: 1-4, 5-9, 10-19, 20-29, and 30 or more years. Appmore years. Only 9% of the respondents have had horses for 1-4 years. ndenere d to te the amhorses. The amount of horse owners responding was 563, which was lower than other demographic items. Responses were grouped into categories including: 1-9, 10-19, 20-neeoated that they owned between 1 and 9 acres (52.6%). Only 6.4% of them owned fifty or more acres. ownweren askbout thartimmunity activities, local horse associations, and meeting informally with other horse owners in the area. Approximately 44% of the respondents indicated that they did participate in community hH, trail rides, parades, demonstrations/events, horse shows, and sheriffs mounted posse. twods of horsners were memhorse associations. hese l horse associations included: trail riding clubs, local horse show associations, local dressage clubs, local Paso Fino horse assns, and Florida Walking and Racking Horse Association, Florida Quarter Horse Association, Florida Paint Horse Association, and Florida Thoroughbred Breedewners Association. Oeive en e ethey met with other horsspte ter week. r mo-4 hors es. y 12 d te mor s, m g th is th roxi mately forty percent of the horse ow ners had owned their horses for thirty or Re spo ts w aske wri ount of acres dedicated to keeping their 49 and 50 a d o ver ac res Ov r fi fty p rce nt of h rse ow ner s in if loocirs aed at ndicn cocal ationd Othat least once p H orse ers the ed a eir p cipa tio activities with their horses. Som e of t e m ore popular community activities included: 4In additiSeveral o on, f t -thirloca the e ow ber s o ver sner venty-f inform percally. Ap t of theroxima horsownly 40% of rs indihese m catet e ow

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95 Crossr Variable n % -tabulations reported that horse owners who meet informally with other horse owners in their area are also more likely to use horse owners in their area as a source foobtaining horse-related information. Table 4-32. Demographic characteristics of 612 horse owners. Gender 607 Male. 105 17.3 Age (years) 592 Female.. 502 82.7 18-24 23 3.9 17.43 26.. 8.4 25-34 33 5.6 35-44 103 45-54 224 7.8 55-64 159 .9 65 and over 50 Number of children under 18 607 0 462 7 15.8 11 1.8 6.1 1 96 2 3 34 5.6 4 4 0.7 Amount of horses owned 592 1 2-4 122 20.6............ 44.3 21 262 5-9 137 3.1 10 or more 71 2.0 Number of years owned horses 598 1-4 56 9.4 5-9 69 1 112 18.7 19.6 d over... 244 40.8 1.5 10-19 20-29 30 an 117 Acres dedicated to keeping their horse(s) 563 1-9 296 5 136 24.2 16.9 over.. 36 6.4 2.6 10-19 20-49 50 and 95 Participation in community activities with horse(s) 609 Yes268 44.0 No. 341 56.0

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96 TableVariable n % 4-32. Continued. Member of a local horse association 611 Yes412 67.4 Meet informally with other horse owners in No. 199 32.6 the area 606 Yes463 76.4 Frequency of meeting informally with other No. 143 23.6 horse owners in the area 462 More than once per week. 95 20.5 hree times per month.. 65 14.1 .. 100 21.6 103 22.3 About once per week99 21.4 Two or t About once per month A few times per year The final question solicited c ots about educational programs that could be H owners indicated that they often do not attend and location the program is being offered. Horse ram advance and using a variety of advertising ing rent times of the week, and holding programs the rrently are. The ggestions also included using websites, email list-serves, pamphlets, and newsletters as ed igrams that separated basic and advanced topic ed st in included: training/handling, hurricane ilitid barn building, nutrition issues, health issues, trolernative me, safety, and information for ersrse ownersliked attending programs as vinarians and state specialists. Overall, Florida mmen provided for Florida horse owners. orse programs because of the cost, time owners suggested advertising prog s in techniques, offering programs dur diffe in location other then only where largest horse populations cu su methods for sending out information. Horse owners were interest n pro areas. The topic areas they report intere preparedness, marketing, horse fac es an pasture management and weed con alt edicin beginner riders and new horse own Ho also offered by accredited sources such eter

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97 horse owners have positive attitud es tods programsg offered. They would like t thee and look forward to attending new programs beingt ithin se l factors. These factors included: current level of knowledge, number of horses formation, i to them. Overall, horse owners were most rlth and horseion. war bein more programs offered throughou stat offered. Several owners reported that they felt this survey covered everything thathey were interested in very well. In summary, the county agents could identify the size of an equine industry wtheir county and most felt that this industry was growing. The majority of Florida horowners interest in programs on certain horse-related topics seemed to be affected by severa owned, the frequency of needing for information, their motivation to obtain in and the importance of the topic related d rectly interested in programs in the areas of ho se hea nutrit

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The horse industry contains a wide variety of horse owners with different experiences and knowledge levels. The primary goal of this study was to identify the potential needs of county agents and adult horse owners in order to improve the relevanand, in turn, the effectiveness of Floridas Adult Extension Equine program. The focuof this study was in the following six areas: 1) to assess the extension agents capacityrespond, 2) to identify what Florida horse owners are interested in learni ce s to ng about, 3) to determ) Then implill nts with livestock responsibilities is that they do not classify horses as a livestock species. ine where horse owners are currently obtaining educational materials, 4) to identify what topics and level of education horse owners are willing to be involved in, 5to identify demographics of horse owners and the horse population in Florida, and 6) to identify possible clientele for future extension educational programs. First, significant results from the two surveys conducted will be addressed. cations of the results for the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES) adult equine program will be discussed. Based on the results gathered, recommendations wibe offered on how the FCES can tailor the programs at both county and state levels to better address the needs of county agents and Florida horse owners. Finally, topics for future research will be suggested. Agents Perception and Capacity to Respond The first objective of this study was to assess the extension agents capacity to respond to the needs of equine clientele. A previous perception among county age 98

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99 This might be because horses are not consumed for meat and all other livestock specieare. Therefore, several county agents tend to not address the issues and concerns of hors s e owne hey Approximately half of the county agents ry within their specific Surprisingly, over seventy-five percent of the agents said that they considered rses as part of the livestock industry. It was evident that most of the agents, 55 out of ormal requests for information from horse owners on a weekly basis. tiffer at least rogram annually. iir knowledout the equine wge is very baexcept for pasture gttle industowever, they did foor questions that local horse ey rely mostly upon university affiliated pilities ind a positive attitude tified that there was an industry within their tre not very pred to answer pproximately half of the agents rs within their counties. The livestock agent survey was conducted to help identifythe county agents perceptions of the local equine industry and to identify how well tare prepared to respond to the owners educational needs. The results of this survey helped to give the bigger picture of county extension equine programs throughout the state suggested that they currently had a major or minor horse indust counties. ho 65, received f However, only twenty-five percent of the coun es o one p Most county agents are currently limited n the ge ab species. It seems that most of their current kno led sic, management, which is closely related to the lar er ca ry. H indicate that they do know where to find the in rmation f owners might have. The agents reported that th resources and other peers in the industry. Overall, county agents with livestock res onsib icated towards the equine industry. They iden county that needed to be addressed. Most agen s we repa questions that horse owners might have. Howe ver, a reported th at they would be interested in learning more, so that they could expand or start

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100 new equine programs within their county (as sumhat these did not have the more sts ults from the horse owner survey indicated that ninety-two percent of horse de-related qns. Similarly, inety-one percent of horse owners indicated that they were interested in obtaining more s. Therefore, it is important to identify which are topics of r knowledgin several horse-pg on the n of horses they asic horseand horse health. pecific topics such as horse reproduction, the htly lower. that almost any topic related to hast o them. The most important topics included horse health and horse rse owners appearbe willingtain new information hem. pics ing t active equine programs already). Learning In tere Res owners in Florida occasionally to very often ha hors uestio n informatio n about horse interest to horse owners. Although Florida horse owners are mo de atey l eable related topics, their knowledge level varied de endin umber owned. Horse owners were most knowle to more s dgeab le in b cae r However, when it cameas slig knowledge level wed Horse owners indicatt t orses was at le somewhat importanFlorida ho nutrition. Overall, bout topics that interested t ed to to ob a The results of the Florida survey are very similar to the University of Minnesota Extension Service Survey of Horse Owners (Wagoner and Jones, 2004). Respondents to the latter also suggested that they very often have horse related questions and were interested in obtaining more information about horses. Horse owners were also most knowledgeable in more general horse topics. Minnesota horse owners also indicated thatseveral health topics were most important to them. However, general horse care to

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101 were of great importance to them as well, which differs from the Florida horse owner survey. Educational Materials The third objective of this study was to determine where horse owners are currenobtaining educational materials. The horse owner survey strove to determine types of resources Florida horse owners are using to retrieve information on selected topics. The most common publication purchased within the past twelve months by horse owners magazines. This may be due to the fact that the sample was selected from a frame that included subscribers to a large equine magazine that is distributed throughout the state. Respondents typically rely on veterinarians, farriers, other horse owners in the areas, and trainers as their most frequent source of information. The Minnesota horse owners also indicated these sources as their top tly were four people that they rely on as sources of information (Wagtraditional programmatic delivery, one-on-one consultations, internet websites, magazines, and mass media. However, horse owners overall used a variety of channels of information and tended to use several groups of methods. Similarly respondents of both the Florida horse owner survey and the Northwest Florida Beef & Forage Survey reported magazines as their number one channel of information. Therefore, it is important for extension oner and Jones, 2004). Similar results were found in the 2002 Northwest Florida Beef and Forage Survey as well (Vergot et al., 2005). Respondents of this survey also relied upon other cattle producers and the veterinarian as sources of information. However, it differed because cattle producers also relied heavily upon their county extension agent and local farm & feed supply dealers as sources of information. The methods or channels of information used by Florida horse owners indicated a unique pattern. Respondents tended to use methods in groups such as:

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102 educators to use a variety of methods to deliver educational programs. Using only traditional programmatic delivery methods, in todays world, will not be sufficient for reaching a wide cross-section of the equine induOwners reported that horse orgere most useful for providing educaever, at ther to e to the state of Minn to illing to contact individuals who may not have specialized education right answers quicklose stry. anization events w tional information. University of Florida Extension events were rated, howthe bottom of the list. This suggests that Florida CES should partner with other organizations when providing equine programs throughout the state. Many owners are currently attending horse educational programs and three-fourths of the respondents are willing to travel 50 miles or more to an educational program or seminar offered. This suggests that most horse owners may be willing to travel outside of their county of residence to attend educational programs and that county agents could partner togeoffer multi-county equine programs. Well over half of the respondents of the University of Minnesota Extension ServicSurvey of Horse Owners indicated that all of the events listed, specific esota, were somewhat to very useful to them (Wagoner and Jones, 2004). The majority of the Minnesota horse owners (52.0%) were willing to travel 50 miles or moreto an educational program or seminar offered. Topics and Level of Education Next, the study identified topics and levels of education horse owners are willing be involved in. Horse owners are w al training themselves, but know where to get the ly for clients. Respondents were willing to contact individuals that are located cto their operations, are familiar with the local horse population, and are willing to make

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103 farm calls. All of these individual characteristics are representative of local county agents with livestock responsibilities that are familiar with their local horse population. Similar results were indicated by Minnesota horse owners (Wagoner and Jones, 2004). Minnesota horse owners indicated that the following characteristics of individualsthat may provide educational programs are important: has q uick access to specialists whent from ns, in he University of Minnesota Extension Service Surven the sota er needed, has college training in veterinary medicine, has general knowledge aboumany horse topics, and provides a quick response. These are the same top four characteristics that Florida horse owners reported as well. Minnesota horse owners similarly valued certain organizations developing and presenting educational programs. These organizations for both studies included: veterinarians, university-associated College of Veterinary Medicine, and university-associated extension services. Given that Florida horse owners are interested in receiving educational programs veterinarians, University of Florida departments, and Florida horse organizatioeducational programs need to come from accredited organizations. Besides attending programs, Florida horse owners are most interested in obtaining resources that do not require a large amount of time out of their busy lives. Respondents are most interested at home resources that are easy to access such as short-publications and internet/web pages. Similar results were found within t y of Horse Owners (Wagoner and Jones, 2004). Florida horse owners reported the highest likelihood for attending a program otopics of horse health and horse nutrition. Similar results were reported from Minnehorse owners, except that horse nutrition was ranked higher than horse health (Wagonand Jones, 2004). More specialized topics such as business aspects of ownership and

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104 marketing were at the bottom of the list. However, the likelihood of attending a progron a specific topic was influenced am by the number of horses owned. Owners with fewer horses were more interested in the ners with several horses were more ied two Number of horses directly affected the prograt to answer their questions, then they were more likely spondents represented the average horse owner in manye they y general topics and ow interested in more specialized topics. After conducting a multiple regression analysis, several variables were identifthat affected what horse-related topics would draw horse owners. The horse owners current level of knowledge on specific topics and the number of horses owned wereof the variables that heavily affected this am topics in the areas of aspects of ownership and marketing. Other variables thaffected the likelihood of attending included their: frequency of having questions, motivation to obtain information, and the importance of the topic. If a horse owner needed information on a specific topic that was important to them and they weremotivated enough to find the resources to say that they would attend a program on that specific horse-related topic.Demographic Characteristics The fifth objective was to identify demographics of horse owners and the horse population in Florida. In all, the re ways. There was a very similar pattern between the responses of the Florida horsowners and the Minnesota horse owners. First, the practices of horse owners with their horses were evaluated. The majority of horse owners did not board their horses andowned the land dedicated to taking care of their horses. Most horse owners bought hafor their horses and kept their horses out on grass during grazing season. Over eighty percent of the horses did not receive all of its forage from pasture during grazing season

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105 Florida horse owners reported being heavily involved in disciplines such as: trailriding, e nglish, western pleasure, dressage, and halter. The diverse array of disciplines reported suggests that several difrse owner population were reachr ed try is arge percef al ferent segments of the ho ed through this survey. The American Horse Council (1996) suggests that over seventy percent of the Florida horse population is involved in showing or recreation. Therefore, both studies provide similar results. The USDAs Animal Health Monitoring Systems Equine Study suggests that nearly two thirds of the equine population in the United States was primarily used for pleasure. About 15.2% of operations used equid fofarm and ranch work, 6.5% for showing, and only 1.9% for racing. Over forty percent ofthe respondents of the Florida horse owner survey indicated participating in community events with their horses. And over two-thirds reported being a member of a local association and meeting informally with other horse owners in the area. This is important for extension agents so that they know that there are informal networks that can be tappas a resource to share information with. Next, the individual demographic characteristics for each respondent were identified. The majority of the respondents (82.7%) were female. The equine indusfemale dominated, while most other livestock industries are male dominated. A l ntage of the horse owners age ranged between the ages of 35 to 65 years of age. About seventy-five percent of the owners did not have any children under the age oeighteen. Over two-thirds of the respondents owned between 1 and 4 horses and approximately forty percent of the owners had owned horses for 30 or more years. Identification of Possible Clientele The last objective was to identify possible clientele for future extension educationprograms. After understanding all of the factors involved with the previous five

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106 objectives, state equine faculty should be able to determine possible clientele for futequine programs. However, this will only be based on the educational needs and demographic characteristics of horse owners. ure rses d ne-iety of different learning styles and by using a varietorses, by county and state levels. The Pennsylvania Equine Surveyns about horse owners. These(CES) was or that it even existed. CES staff in the state equine program may want to A large segment of Florida horse owners are primarily interested subjects in the topic areas of horse health and horse nutrition for programs. However, this can differ when considering the amount of horses they own. Horse owners with several howere more interested in subjects in the topic areas of business aspects of ownership and marketing. However, many horse owners with few horses may not be interested businessaspects of ownership and marketing at all. Respondents indicated that they are interestein receiving information through educational programs as well as publications and oon-one consultations. It is important to use a variety of these methods, instead of only using one. Adults can also have a var y of teaching methods when offering equine programs, more people will leave and use the information. This study differed greatly from the Pennsylvania Equine Survey conducted in 2002 (Swinker, et al., 2003), which focused on characteristics of the horse population, such as breeds and the economic values of the h also asked some different questio questions included their level of education and more specific questions about income from horse related jobs. Implications for the Florida Cooperative Extension Service During the data collection process, several of the horse owners throughout the state expressed the concern that they did not know what the Cooperative Extension Service

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107 investigate this perception in greater detail. People who work for or have had the chato work with the CES sometimes refer to it as the best kept secret. CES is an nce organs a state els. ailing list of cury rs r more miles to a program. There ization that could be very beneficial to horse owners throughout the state to use aresource for horse-related questions. Therefore, something must be done to bridge the gap between the CES and the Florida horse industry. State equine faculty often rely upon the county agents responsible for livestock programs to reach the equine industry in each county. Therefore, one option forfaculty would be to train county agents to more easily work with the equine industrywithin their county, so that they feel better prepared for questions from horse owners. Another option would be to better advertise programs on both a state and county levCounty agents often send out information about specific county programs to a m rent extension clientele, which excludes new, potential clientele. Though CES mahave limitations to specific advertising procedures, simple advertising techniques could help to reach more horse owners throughout the state. These might include using: flyein local feed and tack stores, advertising in the local newspapers, in local horse association newsletters, and other supplemental techniques. Horse owners that were familiar with CES felt that there was a problem with the location of the programs being concentrated in one area of the state. Many of the respondents reported that they were willing to travel 50 o fore, it is suggested that CES identify where there are large populations of horses and owners in the state, other than Marion County. Then county agents can partner together to offer multi-county equine programs throughout various locations in Florida.

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108 Recommendations The following is a list of recommendations for the CES, state equine faculty, county agents with livestock responsibilities, and hundreds of Florida horse owners whoparticipated in this study. tral orse t. a e Provide a state-wide w State equine faculty shoul information if they are interested in learning about future equine programs. Train county agents with livestock responsibilities. State equine faculty should schedule in-service training sessions and/or workshops to train county agents about thedifferent areas of the equine industry. These trainings could either take place in various places in the state as several one or two day sessions, or they could be held in a cenlocation of the state for a longer period of time. Some of the different subject areas couldinclude: general horse care, disaster preparedness, business aspects of ownership, hfacilities, horse health, horse nutrition, marketing programs, and pasture managemenEach county will have different programming needs, but by giving county agents general perspective of several different areas of the equine industry, it will better preparthem to teach programs on all aspects of the industry. ebsite on horse-related topics. d keep a website with up-to-date horse related topics that county agents and horseowners can easily access. Though horse owners identified web sites as one of their primary channels for obtaining information, there currently is no user-friendly website offered by the Animal Sciences Department or College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida that has up-to-date information for public use. This website should include articles and/or short publications that can easily be obtained. It should also be updated weekly or monthly, so that potential users can rely on having the latest information The website should also include an area for users to provide contact

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109 Identify target audience within specific counties. Provide county agents with ainstrument to assess the equine population within their specific counties. County agentscould replicate the Horse Owner Survey on a smaller scale within their specific countito determine the educational needs and the demographic characteristics of local horse owners. Agents can then tailor their equine programs to topics that will interest local horse owners more. By knowing these characteristics, county agents can also use different combinations of methods to better fit the adult learning styles of the audience they will be addressing. Statewide results indicated that horse owners, regardless of the amount of horses owned, were interested in attending programs on horse health, nutrition, and pasture management. Results also suggested that agents should teach more specific topics such as business aspects of ownership and marketing to horse owners with lnumbers of horses. Finally, results also suggested that more general topics such as general horse care and training/handling were more important to horse owners with fewer amounts of horses. n es arger ected to e ers if Hold statewide prose organization. Since most Use existing clientele to recruit new ones. Most horse owners can be exprecruit someone else to take part in equine programs if they are satisfied with the current programs being offered. Results of this survey indicated that horse owners already havlocal networks of horse owners that they rely on as sources of information. Other methods, such as flyers in local feed and tack stores, advertising in the local newspapand in local horse association newsletters, can be used as supplemental techniquesneeded. grams in partnership with other hor horse owners are unfamiliar with the CES or seldom use extension as a source,

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110 holding statewide equine programs in partnership with other statewide organizations could attract clientele that would otherwise not be reached. For example, if a statextension program on horse nutrition is being ewide held, then the CES could partner with Seminide y from sources that represent different segments of the equine indus s t the ability of the respondents to clarify confusing questions tha in making the qu ity ole Feed (who already sponsors these types of events) to offer the program. Limitations of This Study The horse owner survey strove to evaluate a representative sample of the statewpopulation of adult horse owners in Florida. However, it was limited by several factors. One of the major limitations of this study was an inability to obtain a complete list of names and addresses of potential participants. This study used lists from state horse organizations and county extension offices. A number of horse organizations and countextension offices were contacted, but only a small number provided mailing lists. Therefore, a large portion of the statewide horse owner population was omittedbecause several organizations did not submit mailing lists. However, an abundance of names were obtained try, which decreases the coverage error. Non-response error also was a relativelysmall concern for this study. The high response rate of the livestock agent survey (97.0%) and the horse owner survey (65.3%) gives confidence that the small fraction ofrespondents that did not respond are not significantly different in their educational needand demographic characteristics from their peers who did return the survey. Mail surveys tend to restric t they may not understand. Pilot testing the questionnaires aided estionnaire layout easier to understand and in rephrasing confusing items. Measurement error was reduced by creating indexes to reduce the effect of the variationof responses. Measurement error also was reduced by giving respondents the opportun

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111 to contact the project coordinator by telephone or email on several occasions. In several instances, the researcher answered respondents questions to clarify what informwas being sought. The last limitation to this study, due to time constraints, was the inability to mergethe results of the livestock agent survey and the horse ation owner survey. This would have provisier. pecies. le sites for future mail survese onal s questionnaires limit the respondents ability to provide detail answers about topics that are important to them. Focus groups could be very useful in gathering in-depth ded the opportunity to identify the specific educational needs of horse owners specific to each of the sixty-seven counties of Florida. Therefore, county agents with livestock responsibilities would be able to then tailor their county equine programs eaIt would be easier because agents would already know what the specific educational needs of horse owners in their county. Directions for Future Research Replicating this study over time to investigate trends could provide confirmation of the results. It would also give the opportunity to encompass other areas of the Florida horse owner population. A future survey would allow new county agents and horse owners an opportunity to identify their educational needs specific to the equine sOther states with large populations of horses would be possib ys. Some of these states include: California, Texas, and Kentucky (American HorCouncil, 2005). While results from each state may vary, understanding the educatineeds of county agents and horse owners may result in useful suggestions for adult equine programs in these states. Qualitative methods could be used to offer a better picture of how horse ownerestablish and prioritize their educational needs over time. The constraints of written

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112 information from county agents abf the equine industry within their specifuestionnaire. out their perception o ic county and their level of knowledge about horse-related topics. Personal interviews would allow horse owners to elaborate on their experiences to questions they would not be able to on a q

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APPENDIX A LIVESTOCK AGENT SURVEY AND CORRESPONDENCE July 2005 Dear Livestock Agents, In a few days you will receive by e-mail a request to fill out a questionnaire, the 2004 Florida Livestock Extension Agent Equine Program Survey. This instrument is online and will require no mailing. My study is focusing on what the needs of Floridas livestock extension agents are, in regards to Floridas Adult Extension Equine Program. This survey will ask about the current situation of Adult Extension Equine Programs in the county and your level of experience and knowledge about horses. Your responses will help us to make Floridas Adult Extension Equine Program more effective. I am sending this out in advance because we found many people like to know aheadtime that they will be contacted. This study is important and your input will providevaluable information about ways we can improve this program. Thank you for your tlike you that our rese of ime and consideration. Its only with the generous help of people arch can be successful. If you have any questions about this study, you cGlenn an contact Kristen Spahn at (352) 392-0502, ext. 244 or at kmspahn@ifas.ufl.edu or Israel, Professor at (352) 392-0502, ext. 246 or gdi@ifas.ufl.edu. Sincerely, Kristen Spahn Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida 113

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114 Proceed to Equine Survey Dear <>: Participant Number <> Thank you for taking this opportunity to participate in the 2004 Florida Livestock gram Survey. Your input is valued and appreciated. The survey is entirely online and will require no mailing. To access the study, click on the link Extension Agent Equine Pro Proceed to Equine Survey and your Internet browser will direct you directly to the (your participant number is <>) in the box on the web page. Once again, thank you for your time and consideration. If you have any questions abokmspahn@ifas.ufl.edu or Glenn Israel, Professor at (352) 392-0502, ext. 246 or participant, please contact the University of Florida Institution Review Board at (352) web page. Before submitting your ideas, you will need to enter a participant number ut this study, you can contact Kristen Spahn at (352) 392-0502, ext. 244 or at gdi@ifas.ufl.edu. Should you have any questions about your rights as a research 392-0433 or PO Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611. Thank you, Kristen Spahn Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida Proceed to Equine Survey You are participant number <>

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115 Proceed to Equine Survey Dear <>: Participant Number <> About a week ago you received an email in regards to the 2004 Florida Livestock a response. Your input is valued and appreciated. The survey is entirely online and will Extension Agent Equine Program Survey. However, as of today, we have not received require no mailing. To access the study, click on the link Proceed to Equine Survey and your Internet browser will direct you directly to the web page. Before submitting <>) in the box on the web page. Once again, thank you for your time and consideration. If you have any questions about kmspahn@ifas.ufl.edu or Glenn Israel, Professor at (352) 392-0502, ext. 246 or questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact the University of Florida Institution Review Board at (352) 392-0433 or PO Box 11225 Thank Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida Proceed to Equine Survey your ideas, you will need to enter a participant number (your participant number is this study, you can contact Kristen Spahn at (352) 392-0502, ext. 244 or at gdi@ifas.ufl.edu. Should you have any 0, Gainesville, FL 32611. you, Kristen Spahn You are participant number <>

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116 2004 Florida Livestock Extension Agent Equine Program Survey Enter Participant Code Here (Required) (Found in Email): 1. Would you consider horses to be a major or minor industry in your county? Major Industry Minor Industry Not an Industry Don't Know 2. Do you consider horses to be a growing industry in your county? Yes No Don't Know 3. Do you consider horse owners to be part of the livestock industry? Yes No Don't Know 4. Do you currently offer equine education programs for adults? Yes No Don't Know

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117 4a. If yes, how many educational activities are offered annually? None 1 2 3 5 6 10 11 or m ore 5. Would you be interested in developing or expanding an equine program in your county? Yes No Don't Know 6. Do you receive requests from horse owners for information? Yes No Don't Know 6a. If yes, how many per week? Less than 1 per week 1 2 per week 3 5 per week 6 10 per week 11 or more per week 7. How prepared do you feel to answer equine questions? Not at all prepared Slightly prepared Somewhat prepared Moderately prepared Very prepared

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118 8. How knowledgeable are you on the following subjects? --Level of Knowledge-Low Medium High Very High (5) None (1) (2) (3) (4) Basic Care......................................... Nutrition........................................... Reproduction................................... Herd Health..................................... Farm Management......................... Training/Handling......................... 9. Where do you seek information to answer equine questions? (check all that pply) a ED IS Professional Magazines/Journals Veterinarians Workshops Equin e State Faculty National Events Non-IFAS websites Vendors Peers in the industry Other (please specify): 10. What other information or resources do you need to meet the needs of horse owners in your county?

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APPENDIX B CORRESPONDENCE Dear Fl A few horse o the needs agetting information from Cooperative Extension experts. I am wthey wiService Thank generous help of people like you that our survey can be successful. Sincerely, Kristen HORSE OWNER SURVEY AND January 2005orida horse owner: days from now you will receive in the mail a request to fill out a brief questionnaire for wners. The survey is being conducted by the University of Florida to find out aboutnd concerns of horse owners, as well as preferences for riting in advance because we have found many people like to know ahead of time that ll be contacted. The study is an important one that will help the Cooperative Extension to provide information that better meets your needs. you for your time and consideration. Its only with the Spahn 119

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120 January 2005 Dear Florida horse owner: We are conducting a study in cooperation with the Animal Sciences Department at the University of Florida to fnd out about adult horse owners current equine practices and needs. will take about 15 minutes to complete. You are one of a smber of adult horse owners randomly chosen to participate in this study. Since your resposes will also represent others who were not selected, we hope that you will complete the survey as soon as possible. Your participation is voluntary. You do not have to answs to you from pany questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact the UFIRat (352) 392-0433 or PO Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 326 We wilxtent provided by law. Your name will not be used in any report. We will only use your answers after they have been combined with the other respondents answers. Please note thber on the questionnaire will be used only to check o this study, please contact Kristen Spahn at (352) 392-0502, ext. 244 or at km or Glenn Israel, Professor at (352) 392-0502, ext. 246 or Sincere Kristen iYour input is greatly appreciated. The survey all num n er any question that you do not wish to answer. We believe that there are no riskrticipating in this study. There are no direct benefits or compensation to you for participating in this study. Should you have a B office 11. l keep answersfidential to the e con at the num ff your name off the mailing list when your survey is returned. If you have any questions or concerns regarding spahn@ifas.ufl.edu gdi@ifas.ufl.ed u. ly, Spahn

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121 Dear Florida Horse Owner: A few days ago, we sent you a questionnaire asking about horse related needs and concerns. If you have completed and returned the questionnaire, please accept our sinceru ht returned the survey yet, pleasback t Becaumprse owners we asked to participate, it is imthat each person comihave any questions about this study, please call memail Sincerely, Kristen Spahn Agriculture Education & Comm University of Florida e thanks. If yoave no e fill it out and m ail it oday. se a random sale of ho re portant pletes the survey. If you have m splaced your questionnaire or e at (352) 392, ext 244 or me at kmspahn@ifas.ufl.edu. Thank you for helping. unications University o Florida Departmations 408 RoPO Box 110540 Gainesville, FL 32611 f ent of Agricultural Education and Com munic lfs Hall

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122 January 2005 Dear Florida horse owner: A few weks ago, I sent you a survey asking abour ct equracticed needs of today, however, I have not received your completed survey. Many pnswet to getting accurate results. Although I sent questionnaires to people across Florida, I need to hear from nearly everyone in the samreprestative Your paave to answer y question that you do not wish to answer.u partipating this study. It will take about 15 minutesfits or compensstudy. Should you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact the UFIRB office at (352) 392-0433 or PO Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611. Please the number on the questionnaire will be used only to check your name off the mailing list when your survey is returned. I wille extent provided by law and I will not use your name in ality of peopleers A postage paid envelope is enclosed for mailing oey. If you have any questions or concerns regarditen Spahn at (352) 392-0502, ext. 244 or (352) 392-0502, ext. 246 or gdi@ifas.ufl.edu Sincere Kristen Spahn e ut yo urren ine p s an s. A eople have already responded. Your a rs are importan ple to be sure that the results are truly en rticipation is voluntary. You do not h I believe that there are no risks to yo a in n ci to complete. There are no direct bene ation to you for participating in this note that keep your answers confidential to thany report. Protecting the confidenti s answ is important to me. yur completed surv ng this study, please contact Krisat kmspahn@ifas.ufl.edu or Glenn Israel, Professor at ly,

PAGE 133

123 Florida Adult Extension Education Equine Surve y

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124 Q 1. How often do you have horse-related questions that you would like answered? (Mark one.) Never Occasionally ont know WLEDGE--------------Rarely Often Very Often Q2. How interested are you in obtaining more information about horses? (Mark one.) Not at all interested Slightly interested Moderately interested Very interested D Q3. How knowledgeable are you about the following topics? (Circle one answer for each topic.) ------------------LEVEL OF KNO Very None Low Medium High High a. Basic Horse Care 1 2 3 4 5 b. Farm Management 1 2 3 4 5 c. Horse Health 1 2 3 4 5 d. Horse Nutrition 1 2 3 4 5 e. Horse Rep roduction 1 2 3 4 5 f. Pasture Management 1 2 3 4 5 g. Training/Handling 1 2 3 4 5

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125 Q4. How important to you is each of the following topics? (Circle one answer for each topic.) At All tant Slightly Important Somewhat Important Moderately Important Very Important Dont Know Not Impor a. Breeding/ Foaling 1 2 3 4 5 6 b. Storing hay and grain 1 2 3 4 5 6 c. Buying horse hay 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 d. Liabilities for horse owners 1 2 3 4 5 e.Environmental impact of horses 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 f. Fencing options g. Horse facil ity design 1 2 3 4 5 6 5 6 h. Manure 1 2 3 4 management i. Fly and pest control 1 2 3 4 5 6 j. Colic 1 2 3 4 5 6 k. Hoof care 1 2 3 4 5 6 When to call a vet 1 2 3 4 5 6 l. m. Vaccinations 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 n. Equine dentistry o. Supplements 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 p. Minerals and vitamins q. Pasture establishment 1 2 3 4 5 6 r. Grazing habits 1 2 3 4 5 6 s. Poisonous plants 1 2 3 4 5 6 t. Weed control 1 2 3 4 5 6 u. Basic training 1 2 3 4 5 6 v. Equine behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6 w. Proper tack fitting 1 2 3 4 5 6 x. Ethical care of horses 1 2 3 4 5 6 y. Land use or zoning regulations 1 2 3 4 5 6 z. Property taxes 1 2 3 4 5 6

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126 Q5. What other horse-related topics that are not listed in Question 4 would you like to learn more about? t or topic that you purchased? Q6. In the past 12 months, have you purchased any of the following types of publications abouthe topics listed in Q4 and Q5? If yes, what was the title YES NO IF YES: What was the title or topic? a. Book(s) 1 2 b. Magazine(s) 1 2 c. Pamphlet(s) 1 2 d. Videos/DVDs 1 2 e. Other (Specify): 1 2 Q7. What type of people do you most frequently rely on as sources of information for information about horses, listed in alphabetical order? (Circle one answer for each item.) Never Seldom Usually Alw Use Sometimes UseUse ays Use Use a. Clo se relatives who own horses 1 2 3 4 5 b. County ex tension agent 1 2 3 4 5 c. Fa rrier 1 2 3 4 5 Local feed store owners 1 2 3 4 5 d. e. Otherhorse ow ners in area 1 2 3 4 5 Private consultants 1 2 3 4 5 f. g. Regional company sales representatives (feed, animal health, etc.) 1 2 3 4 5 h. Tack store owners 1 2 3 4 5 j. Trainer 1 2 3 4 5 k. University specialists 1 2 3 4 5 l. Veterinarian 1 2 3 4 5 m. Other (Specify): _______________ 1 2 3 4 5

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127 Q 8. How often do you obtain information about horses from the following methods, listed in alphabetical order? (Circle one answer for each item.) Never Use Seldom Use Sometimes Use Usually Use Always Use a. Commerc ial internet web sites 1 2 3 4 5 b. County ex5 tension newsletters 1 2 3 4 c. Coun ty extension internet web sites 1 2 3 4 5 e magazines 1 2 3 4 5 d. Equin e. Equine Allied Trade Show 1 2 3 4 5 f. Extension Bulletins/Fact Sheets 1 2 3 4 5 g. Farm demonstrations 1 2 3 4 5 h. Horse or farm magazines 1 2 3 4 5 i. Horse field days at Research Centers 1 2 3 4 5 j. Local newspaper 1 2 3 4 5 k. One on one consultation by phone 1 2 3 4 5 l. One on one consultation by office visit 1 2 3 4 5 m. One on one consultation by farm visit 1 2 3 4 5 n. Television Programs 1 2 3 4 5 o. University internet web sites 1 2 3 4 5 p. Other (Specify): ______________ 1 2 3 4 5 Q9. How useful are the following events in terms of providing educational information for horse owners? (Circle one answer for each item.) Never Use Seldom Use Sometimes UseUsually Use Always Use a. Community education events 1 2 3 4 5 b. County fairs 1 2 3 4 5 c. Horse organization events 1 2 3 4 5 d. Industry-sponsored events 1 2 3 4 5 e. Local horse shows 1 2 3 4 5 f. Florida State Fair 1 2 3 4 5

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128 Q9. Continued (Circle one answer for each topic.) Never Use Seldom Use Sometimes Use Usually Use Always Use g. Rerade shows gional horse t 1 2 3 4 5 i. Un iversity Veterinary Me dicine events 1 2 3 4 5 j. Oth: _______ 1 2 3 4 5 er (Specify)________ Q10. In the past 12 months, have you attended any horse educational programs? Circle one.) (If Yes, how many? ________ Number of programs Q11. What was the best horse education program or seminar that you attended in the las year? (Please list the name of them antio Program Location:_________________________________________________________ Q12. How far do you usually travel to attean educanal prog or seminar? (Circle one.) s 50 to 99 miles 100 to 200 miles Over 200 miles No Yes Q10a. If no, what are the reasons you have not attended any programs? ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ (PLEASE SKIP TO Q13) t progra d loca n.) :_________________________________________________________ nd tio ram Less than 25 miles 25 to 49 mile

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129 Q13. Thinking about individuals who may provide you with information about horses, how important are the folrac (Csw item Not At Important SlightImportant Somewhat Important Moderately Important ry ImportanDot Know lowing cha teristics? ircle one an er for each .) All ly Ve t n a. H as college training i n equine managem ent or related 1 2 3 4 5 6 discipline b. g i 1 2 3 Has college trainin n veterinarian medicine 4 5 6 c. H as genera l out knowledge ab 1 2 3 many horse topics 4 5 6 d. sen 1 2 3 Has quick access to pecialists w hneeded 4 5 6 e. H as specialized knowledge about a pics 1 2 3 few horse to 4 5 6 f. d with an equine business 1 2 3 Is affiliate 4 5 6 g th a Is affiliated wi 1 2 3 horse organization 4 5 6 h. y 1 2 3 Is affiliauniversit ted with a 4 5 6 i. Is located close to your farm 1 2 3 4 5 6 j. and1 2 3 Knows your farm your horses 4 5 6 k. Personally owns a 1 2 3 horse(s) 4 5 6 l. ick 1 2 3 4 5 6 Provides a qu response m. Shows/exhibits horses design 1 2 3 4 5 6 n. 1 2 3 Will visit your farm 4 5 6 o. : Other (Specify) ________ 1 2 3 ___________ 4 5 6

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130 Q14. How important is it that the following organizations develop and present educational programs to y ou? (Circle one answer for each item.) Q15. (Circle one answer for each Not At All Important Slightly Important Somewhat Important Moderately Important Very Important Dont Know a. Breed organizations 1 2 3 4 5 6 b. Local feed stores 1 2 3 4 5 6 c Florida horse asso ciations 1 2 3 4 5 6 d. Tack Stores 1 2 3 4 5 6 e. of F Animal Sciences U How likely would you be to obtain horse-related information from the following resources? item.) 1 2 3 4 5 Department 6 f. ge of dicine 1 2 3 4 5 6 U of F Colle Veterinarian Me g. U of F County e Extension Offic 1 2 3 4 5 6 h. Veterinarians 1 2 3 4 5 6 i. Other (Specify): _____ _________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 l Likely ghtly Likely Somewhat Likely Mtely Likely Very Likely nt Know Not At Al Sli odera Do a. In ternet/web pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 b. Eminars 1 2 3 4 5 6 vening se c. On-line courses 1 2 3 4 5 6 d. pr1 2 3 4 5 6 Saturday morning ograms e. All day Saturday programs 1 2 3 4 5 6 f. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Short publications g. Other (Specify): _________ __________ __ 1 2 3 4 5 6

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131 Q16. If Educational programs that you could attend in person were offered in you area, how likely would you be to attend a program about the follow ing topics? (Circle one answer for each topic.) Qany horses do you own? _____________ Q18. Do you board your horse(s)? Yes, some Q19a. Do you rent or own the land dedicated Q19s are dedicated to e(s)? ______________ Acres 20. Do youy hay for yr horses? Yes If Yes, what percentage? ______% No I board myorse(s) _________ Year(s) Q22. During grazing season, is your horse on pasture or a grassy turnout lot at any time Ye No Q23. Does your horse usually receive all of its forage from pasture during grazing season? Yes No t At All Likely Slightly Likely Somewhat Likely ModeratelyLikely Very Likely ont now No D K a. General horse care 1 2 3 4 5 6 b. Busin ess aspects of 1 2 3 4 5 6 ownership c. Disaster preparedness 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 d. Horse facilities e. Horse health 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 f. Horse nutrition g. Marketing 1 2 3 4 5 6 management 1 2 3 4 5 6 17. How m Horse(s) Yes, all Q bu ou h h. Pasture No Q21. How long have you owned horses? ? s to keeping your horse(s)? (Circle on e.) Own Rent b. How many acre keeping your hors

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132 Q 24. Which of the following disciplines do you do with your horse(s) ? (Circle all that apply.) d. Endurance e. English f. Eventing g. Games h. Halter i. Hunter/Jumper j. Ranch work k. Reining l. Rodeo m. Team penning n. Trail riding o. Western pleasure p. Other (Specify): ________________________________ Q25. Which of the following disciplines would a. Cutting b. Dressage c. Driving you like to learn about ? (Circle all that apply.) a. Cutting b. Dressage c. Driving d. Endurance e. English f. Eventing g. Games h. Halter i. Hunter/Jumper j. Ranch work k. Reining 5. Continued. (Circle all that apply.) l.m. Team penning n. Trail riding o. Wtern pleasup. Other (Specify): ___________________________ Q26. Does any of your income come from the d. Equine massage e. Farrier f. Feed/supplement sales g. Hay/straw sales h. Horse hauling i. Horse sales j. Judging k. Lessons/training l. Tack sales m. Veterinarian n. Other (Specify): ___________________________ Q27. Do you participate in community activities with your horse(s)? No Yes If Yes, how? ________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ Q2 Rodeo es re following horse-related jobs? (Circle all that apply.) a. Boarding b. Breeding c. Equine dentistry

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133 Q28. Are you a member of a local horse association? No Yes a. If yes, please list the name of each one: ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ b. How often do you attend a meeting or event of these group(s)? ________________________ ___________________________________ et informally with other horse ners? often do y meet? (Circle e.) A few times out once peeek than once per week nce per month Two or three times per month Q30. How many children in your household who are under 18 years of age participate in horse related activities? (Please write in a number; if none, please write ) ___________ Children Q31. In what year were you born? 1 9 __ __ Q32. What is your gender? (Check one.) Male Female Q33. What comments do you have about educational programs that could be provided for Florida horse owners? Thank you very much for your help! Please fold your completed survey. Then put in the provided envelope and drop it in the mail! ___________ Q29. Do you me owners in your ow No Yes If yes, how ou on A b r w M ore About o

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LIST OF REFEREES ti, A. & Finlay, B1999). Statistical methods for the sociaiences, th editioUpper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Coun (1996). The economic impact of the horse industry in the ed States. Retrieved 1/15/05 from www.HorseCouncil.org. rse Council. (2005). The economic impact of the horse industry in the ted States. Retrieved 6/29/05 from www.HorseCouncil.org. program evaluation: Begin with learning t. Journal of Extension, 40 (3). Reeved 1/5/05om l. Ary, D., Jacobs, L.C., & Razavieh, A. (2002) Introduction to research in education, sixth grams in adult education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc. Brown, D.V. (1ctive performance of county nsion directors. Unpublished doctoral thesis, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. ode development and valuation. urnal of Exsion, 36 (3Retrieved 1/5/05 from www.joe.org/joe/1998june/rb5.html. (1981).novation oiffusion: Aw perspect. New York, NY: Metheun. .P. (1996 Cognitive development and learning in instructional contexts. oston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. e State esearch, Eduation, and Etension Service (CSREES)United States Department of Agriculture. (2003). Extension quick links retrieved 2/20/05 from www.csrees.usda.gov/qlinks/extension.html. Courtney, S. (1992). Why adults learn: Toward a theory of participation in adult education. New York, NY: Routledge. NC Agres ( l sc ird n. American Horse cil. Unit America n Ho Uni Arnold, M.E. (2002). Be logical about assessmenwww.joe.org/joe/2002june/a4.htm tri fr edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group. Boone, E. (1985). Developing pro 991). Development of scales for effe exte Brown, J.L., & Kiernan, N.E. (1998). A me l for integrating program). Jo ten B rown, L In f d ne ive Byrnes, J ). B Cooperativ R c x 134

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135 Darling-Hammond, L., & Sclan, E.M. (1996). Who teaches and why: Dilemmas of building profession for twenty-first century schools. In J. Sikula, T.J Buttery, & E. Guyton (Eds.), Handbook of reearch on teacher educationNew York: 2005). Unrsity of Floa livestock agent list-serve. Retrieved from the rve list. ler, D.J. (1999). Facilitating adult learning sourcebook: Traditions of practice in ucation.nit 2: 15. ethod.iley & Sons. ooperative Eension Serv (2002). Unersity of Flora Extension faculty orientation modules: Extension programming module. Retrieved 1/5/05 from http://pdec.ifas.ufl.edu/New_Faculty_Orientation/. Florida Cooperative Extension Service (2005). The Extension long range plan: 2004-2007. Retrieved 2/15/05 from http://pdec.ifas.ufl.edu/longrange/Ext_LRP_2004.htm. 04). Use of inn ooperative Extsion SourRetrieved on 6/20/05 from www.joe.org/2004june/rb2.shtm ins and outs of self-direct, 51: 34-39. D. (1991). Reaching extensions centele: Exploring patterns of preferred information channels among small far15-32. Israel, G.D. (1992). Sampling the evidence of extension program impact. EDIS Fact /27/05el, G.D. & Ilvento, T.W. (1995). Everybody wins: Involving youth in community needs assessment. Journal of Extension, 33(2eved on 2/27/05 from www.joe.org/joe/1995april/a1.html. Kaplan, M., Liu, S.T., & Radhakrishna, R. (2003). Intergenerational programming in ent as plann3/03 from www.joe.org/joe/20rmation related compeprofessionals. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 378945) s (2nded, pp. 67-101) Macmillian Delker, D. ( ive rid UF/IFAS list-se Desh adult ed U Dillman, D.A. (2000). Mail and internet surveys: The tailored design m New York: John W Florida C xt ice iv id Gregg, J.A. & Irani, T.A. (20 formation technology by county extensio agents of the Florida C enervice. Jnal of Extension, 42(3). l. Hatcher, T.G. (1997). The ted learning. Training and Developmen Israel, G. li m operators. Southern Rural Sociology, 8, Sheet PEOD-5. Retrieved on 2 from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/PD006. Isra ). Retri extension: Needs assessmRetrieved 9/2 ing tool. Journal of Extension, 41(4). 03august/a5.shtml. tencies for Montana Extension Service Kawasaki, J.L. (1994). Info

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136 Knowles, M.S. (1980). The modern practice of adult education: From pedagogy to andragogy (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: Association PKrosnick, J.A. (1999). Survey research. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, pp. 539-551. .R. & Blackburn, D.J. (1990). Extension curnal of xtension, 28(1). (2003). Implementing high standards in urban schools: Problems and olutions. Phi Delta Kappan, 84 (6)Lenholm, A., Hamm, L., Suvedi, M., Gray, I., & tise teams: The Michigan approach to applied rernal of Extension, 37(3). Retrieved 6/20/05 from www.j1999june/a3.html. el, G., Vergot, P., Halsey, L., Olson, C., Heitmeyer, L., Grant, H., Bennett, ndreasen, A., Eubanks, S., Ward, B., Edmndson, G., Atkins, J., & Elliot, R. ). 2002 Northwest Florida Beef & Foraam, S.B. (2001). Andragogy and self-directed learning: Pillars of adult learning theory. (New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 89). San Francisco, ssey-Bass. Nieto, R.D., Schaffner, D., & Henderson, J.L. (199unity needs through a capacity assessment. Journal of Exsieved 9/21/03 .joe.org/joe/1997june/a1.html. xtension cocitions and examples. University of Florida EDIS Publication AEC 362/WCO43. Orsburn, J., Moran, L., Musselwhite, E., & Zenger, J. H. (1990). Self-directed work teams: The new American challenge. Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin. a, C., & Banta, T. (1999). Assessment essentia: Jossey-Bass .Q. (1994). Development evaluation. EvaluaPeters, S.J. (1999). Cooperative extensionideas: Historical foundations, contemporarxtension ersity, Ste Colormick, J. (1997). Transformative nd seld learning in practice. New krishna, R., Yoder, E.P., and Baggett, C.D. (1994). Leadership effectiveness of county extension directors. Journal of Extension ress/Follett. Lavis, KE lientele satisfaction. Jo Lee, J.Os 449-455. Poston, F. (1999). Area of exper search and extension. Jou oe.org/joe/ Mayo, D., Isra D., A(2002 oge Survey Summary. Merri CA: Jo 7). Examining comm tenion, 35(3). Retr from wwwNorman, M.N & Israel, G.D. (2001). E ntats: Defin Palomb ls. San Francisco Patton, M tion Practice, 15 (3), 311-319. and the democratic promise of the land-grant y renewal. Annual E Conference, Penn State Univ atlege. Pilling-CDirections for Adult and Continuing Education, 74 af-directe. Radha 32(2).

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137 Rossi, P.H., Freeman, H.E., & Lipsey, M.W. (1999). Evaluation: A systematic approach (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Swinker, A.M., Tozer, P.R., Shields, M.L., & Landis, E.R. (2003). Pennsylvanias equine industry inventory, basic econoCollege: Pennsylvania State University: Department of Dairy and Animal Science. h anUnited States Department of Agriculture (2003, June). APHIS Info Sheet: 2003 Equine WNV Outlook for the United States. Washington, D.C. D.E. (2005). Sources and channels of information attle producers in twelvcounties of the Northwest Florida Extension (2). f hreport. Minneapolis: Minnesota Center forhristenson, J.A. (1984). The Cooperative Extension Service: A national assessment. Boulder, CO: Westview Press,Inc. Witkin, B.R., & Altschuld, J.W. (1995). Planning and conducting needs assessments. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications (1998). Best practice: New standards for as schools (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. mic and demographic characteristics. State d societal change. Annual Review of Tourangeau, R. (2004). Survey researcPsychology, 55, Vergot III, P., Israel, G.D. & Mayo,used by beef c e District. Journal of Extension 43 Wagoner, M.J. & Jones, P.E. (2004). Survey o orse owners: Results and technical Survey Research. Warner, P.D., & C Zemelman, S., Daniels, H., & Hyde, Ateaching and learning in Americ

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B Kristen M. Spahn was born on March 16, 1983, in Annapolis, Maryland. She lived in Maryland until the age of nine and then moved to Palm City, Florida. She first became interested in horses at the age of nine when she had her first riding lesson. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in animal sciences with an emphasis in equine sciences in 2003. Immediately after graduating, Kristen started to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. Her Master of She h agent or extension educator within the IOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Science focused on a major in extension education and a minor in youth development. opes to pursue a career as a county extension 4-H and livestock fields. 138


Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0011801/00001

Material Information

Title: An Assessment of the needs and perceptions of the Florida horse owner and the UF/IFAS extension adult horse programPerceptions of the Florida Hors
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Spahn, Kristen M. ( Dissertant )
Israel, Glenn D. ( Thesis advisor )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2005
Copyright Date: 2005

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Agricultural Education and Communication
Spatial Coverage: United States--Florida

Notes

Abstract: The equine industry in Florida is a diverse and growing industry. Horse owners often have questions related to the equine species and are in need of information and programs that address these questions. The Cooperative Extension Service is one organization that can provide educational programs specific to adult horse owners needs. Sixty-five Florida county extension agents with livestock responsibilities participated in a survey addressing their perceptions of the equine industry and their capacity to address the needs of local horse owners. Overall, most agents reported the presence of an equine industry in their county and were willing to address the needs of local horse owners through different methods. A companion mail study of Florida adult horse owners was conducted to explore the educational needs and demographic characteristics. Based on 612 completed surveys, the study found that most horse owners have horse-related questions and are willing to obtain useful information related to horses. Respondents indicated that they were most interested in the subject areas of horse health and horse nutrition. Results also indicated that educational programs should be tailored to respondents individual educational needs and demographic characteristics. Such programs need to use a variety of methods that correspond to those most used by Florida horse owners.
Subject: adult, assessment, equine, livestock, needs
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 148 pages.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2005.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0011801:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0011801/00001

Material Information

Title: An Assessment of the needs and perceptions of the Florida horse owner and the UF/IFAS extension adult horse programPerceptions of the Florida Hors
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Spahn, Kristen M. ( Dissertant )
Israel, Glenn D. ( Thesis advisor )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2005
Copyright Date: 2005

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Agricultural Education and Communication
Spatial Coverage: United States--Florida

Notes

Abstract: The equine industry in Florida is a diverse and growing industry. Horse owners often have questions related to the equine species and are in need of information and programs that address these questions. The Cooperative Extension Service is one organization that can provide educational programs specific to adult horse owners needs. Sixty-five Florida county extension agents with livestock responsibilities participated in a survey addressing their perceptions of the equine industry and their capacity to address the needs of local horse owners. Overall, most agents reported the presence of an equine industry in their county and were willing to address the needs of local horse owners through different methods. A companion mail study of Florida adult horse owners was conducted to explore the educational needs and demographic characteristics. Based on 612 completed surveys, the study found that most horse owners have horse-related questions and are willing to obtain useful information related to horses. Respondents indicated that they were most interested in the subject areas of horse health and horse nutrition. Results also indicated that educational programs should be tailored to respondents individual educational needs and demographic characteristics. Such programs need to use a variety of methods that correspond to those most used by Florida horse owners.
Subject: adult, assessment, equine, livestock, needs
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 148 pages.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2005.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0011801:00001


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AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NEEDS AND PERCEPTIONS OF THE FLORIDA
HORSE OWNER AND THE UF/IFAS EXTENSION ADULT HORSE PROGRAM

















By

KRISTEN M. SPAHN


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2005

































Copyright 2005

by

Kristen M. Spahn
































This document is dedicated to my dad and mom for all of their continued support through
my educational endeavors.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Many people have encouraged me throughout the journey to pursue a graduate

degree. My most gracious thanks go to Dr. Glenn Israel for being such an outstanding

advisor and committee chair. He was always there for me to go to and was very

enthusiastic about my research project at all times. Dr. Saundra TenBroeck, Dr. Nick

Place and Dr. Mark Brennan also provided their expertise and unique viewpoints to me.

Their input has made this thesis better.

I thank Dr. Saundra TenBroeck and the Department of Animal Sciences at the

University of Florida for helping me select this research project. The department also

graciously helped to fund the expenses of this research project.

I thank my parents for their continued support both mentally and financially

throughout my educational career. Lastly, I would like to thank Ryan for helping me

whenever I asked, tolerating my complaining, and celebrating my successes with me

throughout the course of graduate school.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES ..................................... ........ .............................. vii

A B S T R A C T ........................................................................................................ ............ ix

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N ................................................. .............................................. .

2 LITER A TU R E R EV IEW .................................................................... ...............7...

In tro d u ctio n ........................................................ ................................................ .
O verview of E quine Industry........................................ ........................ ...............8...
C cooperative Extension Service..................................... ...................... ............... 12
A dult L earning Theories .................................................................. ............... 17
N eeds A ssessm ent M odels ......................................... ........................ ................ 22

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ................................................... ............................................ 3 1

Livestock Extension Agent Equine Program Survey ...........................................31
Questionnaire Design and Variable Definitions.............................................32
Survey Im plem entation ........................................ ....................... ................ 34
R response R ates and Coverage Issues............................................. ................ 36
D ata A analysis Procedures................................... ...................... ................ 37
A dult H orse O w ners Survey .................................................................. ................ 37
Questionnaire Design and Variable Definition .............................................37
R sources ................................................. ... .......................... ................. 38
Demographic variables: Horse ownership/practices...............................41
Demographic variables: Individual respondents....................................42
Unit of Analysis and Population Being Studied ....................... ..................... 43
P ilo t T e stin g ......................................................................................................... 4 4
Survey Im plem entation ........................................ ....................... ................ 45
R response R ates and Coverage Issues............................................. ................ 46
D ata A analysis Procedures................................... ...................... ................ 47






v









4 R E S U L T S ................................................................................................................... 4 9

In tro d u ctio n ....................... .........................................................................................4 9
Results of the Livestock Agents Survey ................................................................49
R results of the H orse O w ners Survey ..................................................... ................ 53
L earning Interests .............. .................. ................................................ 54
E educational M materials ..................................................................... ................ 62
Topics and Levels of Education .................................................................72
D e m o g ra p h ic s ......................................................................................................8 9

5 D IS C U S S IO N ............................................................................................................. 9 8

Agent's Perception and Capacity to Respond ................................. ..................... 98
Learning Interests ...................................... ........ .... ...............100
E educational M materials ................ ............. ............................................. 101
Topics and Level of Education ...... ............ ............ ..................... 102
D em graphic Characteristics................................... ...................... ............... 104
Identification of Possible Clientele................ .............................................. 105
Implications for the Florida Cooperative Extension Service.............................. 106
R ecom m endations ... ..................................................................... .... .............. 108
D directions for Future R research ............................................................ .................. 111

APPENDIX

A LIVESTOCK AGENT SURVEY AND CORRESPONDENCE........................... 113

B HORSE OWNER SURVEY AND CORRESPONDENCE ....................................119

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ................................................................................................. 134

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................................................................ 138















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

4-1. County agents perceptions of the industry within their county.............................. 50

4-2. Frequency of equine programs within Florida counties......................................51

4-3. Frequency of requests for information about horses from horse owners.............. 52

4-4. Knowledge level of county extension agents on horse-related topics ..................52

4-5. Resources commonly used by county extension agents to answer horse-related
q u e stio n s ............................................................................................................... ... 5 3

4-6. Frequency of horse-related questions.................................................. ................ 53

4-7. Frequency of interest about obtaining more information about horses.................54

4-8. Mean scores of how knowledgeable horse owners are on horse-related topics.......55

4-9. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the equine
knowledge index. ......................... ........... ........................... 56

4-10 Analysis of variance mean scores on knowledge index and number of horses
o w n e d ................................................................... ................................................ ... 5 6

4-11. Mean scores of how important each of the following topics is to horse owners. ....57

4-12. Importance of a specific horse-related topic by the number of horses owned ........62

4-13. Types of publications purchased by horse owners in the past 12 months.............64

4-14. Mean scores of the types of people horse owners most frequently rely upon as
sources for inform ation ................................................................. ................ 65

4-15. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the sources of
information index ..... ................ .. .......... ......................................67

4-16. Mean scores of the methods horse owners use to obtain information about
h o rse s...................................................................................................... ........ .. 6 8









4-17. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the methods to
obtain inform ation index ....................................................................... ................ 69

4-18. Mean scores of how useful the selected events are in terms of providing
educational inform ation to horse owners. .................................................. 71

4-19. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the educational
events inform ation index ........................................ ......................... ................ 73

4-20. Frequency of attendance to horse-related educational programs by horse owners..74

4-21. Mean scores of important characteristics of individuals who may provide horse
ow ners w ith inform ation about horses ................................................ ................ 75

4-22. Mean scores of the importance of organizations that develop and present
educational program s to horse ow ners ............................................... ................ 76

4-23. Mean scores of the likelihood of a horse owner obtaining horse-related
inform ation from the listed m ethods ................................................... ................ 76

4-24. Likeliness of horse owners attending a program on each of the following topics...77

4-25. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the likeliness of
attending a program index ....................................... ........................ ............... 78

4-26. Likelihood of attending a program on a specific horse-related topic by the
num ber of horses ow ned. ................. ............................................................. 80

4-27. Multiple regression models for likelihood of attending a program on a specific
horse-related topic ......................... .......... ........................ 90

4-28. Practices used by Florida horse owners. .................................................. 91

4-29. Disciplines 612 horse owners indicated they did with their horses. ......................92

4-30. Disciplines 612 horse owners indicated they would like to learn about ...............92

4-31. Sources of income from horse-related jobs of 612 horse owners .........................93

4-32. Demographic characteristics of 612 horse owners.............................. ................ 95















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

AN ASSESSMENT OF THE NEEDS AND PERCEPTIONS OF THE FLORIDA
HORSE OWNER AND THE UF/IFAS EXTENSION ADULT HORSE PROGRAM

By

Kristen M. Spahn

August 2005

Chair: Glenn D. Israel
Major Department: Agricultural Education and Communication

The equine industry in Florida is a diverse and growing industry. Horse owners

often have questions related to the equine species and are in need of information and

programs that address these questions. The Cooperative Extension Service is one

organization that can provide educational programs specific to adult horse owners' needs.

Sixty-five Florida county extension agents with livestock responsibilities participated in a

survey addressing their perceptions of the equine industry and their capacity to address

the needs of local horse owners. Overall, most agents reported the presence of an equine

industry in their county and were willing to address the needs of local horse owners

through different methods. A companion mail study of Florida adult horse owners was

conducted to explore the educational needs and demographic characteristics. Based on

612 completed surveys, the study found that most horse owners have horse-related

questions and are willing to obtain useful information related to horses. Respondents

indicated that they were most interested in the subject areas of horse health and horse









nutrition. Results also indicated that educational programs should be tailored to

respondents' individual educational needs and demographic characteristics. Such

programs need to use a variety of methods that correspond to those most used by Florida

horse owners.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The horse industry involves a wide variety of activities in all regions of the United

States. The primary activities in rural areas include breeding, training, maintaining and

riding horses. The more urban activities include operating horse shows and public sales.

According to the American Horse Council (2005), the U.S. horse industry has an

economic impact of $102 billion. It supports approximately 1.4 million jobs throughout

the United States and pays more than $1.9 billion in taxes each year. The industry's

contribution to the U.S. GDP is greater than the motion picture industry, railroad

transportation, furniture and fixtures manufacturing and tobacco product manufacturing

industries (American Horse Council, 1996).

There are 7.1 million Americans involved within the horse industry. Horse owners

and industry suppliers, racetracks, and off-track betting operations, horse shows and other

industry segments all generate discrete economic activity contributing to the vibrancy of

the overall industry. By form of participation, there are currently two million owners and

two million volunteers within the United States horse industry. Currently in the United

States, there are approximately 9.2 million horses, both recreational and commercial

(American Horse Council, 2005). The following segments of the industry have an

economic impact including: showing ($26.1 billion), recreation ($32.0 billion), and

racing ($26.1 billion) (American Horse Council, 2005).

The state of Florida has the second largest horse industry of the 50 states

(American Horse Council, 1996). It produces goods and services valued at $2.2 billion









annually, second only to California, which produces goods and services valued at $3.4

billion. Following Florida are Texas ($1.7 billion), New York ($1.7 billion), and

Kentucky ($1.2 billion) (American Horse Council, 1996).

Florida also has the third largest horse population (500,000) of the 50 states. It falls

behind Texas (one million) and California (700,000) (American Horse Council, 2005).

Of the Florida horses, 74% are involved in showing and recreation. Another 12% are

involved in track racing. Finally 14% of Florida's horses are involved in other activities,

including ranching, mounted law enforcement, and therapeutic riding (American Horse

Council, 1996).

According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, Florida has a large horse industry

that is growing rapidly. In 1997, the number of horse farms in Florida was 9,812. These

farms housed 70,099 head of horses. Then in 2002 the number of farms increased to 12,

753 (an increase of 7.69%) and the amount of horses rose to 99,911 head (an increase of

7.02%). By looking at these numbers, it seems evident there is a growing horse industry

within the state of Florida.

The horse industry is often faced with emerging issues that impact horse owners

and timely, accurate information is needed. Most recently, West Nile has been one

example of those emerging issues. "West Nile is a mosquito-borne virus that was first

detected in the United States in 1999... The virus, which causes encephalitis, or

inflammation of the brain, has been found in Africa, Western Asia, the Middle East, the

Mediterranean region of Europe, and, most recently, in the United States" (United States

Department of Agriculture (USDA), 2004). The Cooperative Extension system is a key

organization that helps to address emerging issues in the equine industry. The









Cooperative Extension system distributes research based information to people who need

the information.

Kaplan, Liu, and Radhakrishna (2003) say that the Cooperative Extension system

represents a distinct approach for meeting the educational needs of citizens and helping

them lead high-quality, productive lives. Extension disperses results of agricultural

research to farmers to add to their own agricultural knowledge bank. The Cooperative

Extension system also conducts educational programs on issues such as child and family

development, consumer science, youth development, food safety, energy conservation,

natural resource conservation, sustainable agriculture, and competitiveness in world

markets.

The work of extension faculty is to address local concerns and needs through

educational programming (Arnold, 2002). "An extension program is a plan that specifies

objectives, subject content, and teaching/learning activities to be carried out over a period

of time, with the goal of bringing about behavioral changes in a target group of learners"

(Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2002). It is a process that also involves

evaluating the programs to measure the impact of Extensionists' efforts. Programming is

directed toward change of behavior of the individual learner or learner group. It is a

decision making process. The program planning process should be a collaborative effort

between the extension educator and the learners (Florida Cooperative Extension Service,

2002).

One important component of program planning is needs assessment. The

assessment of the need is important because a program cannot be effective at

ameliorating a social problem if there is no problem to begin with or if the program









services do not actually relate to the problem (Rossi, Freeman, & Lipsey, 1999).

Although studies have been conducted for many livestock programs, equine programs are

often overlooked even though horses are classified as a livestock species. This may be

due to the fact that almost all of the other livestock species produce some type of meat or

dairy product for the human consumption. Therefore this may be the main issue that

differentiates the equine industry from the others. As a consequence, fewer resources are

devoted to equine programs, which have led to a dearth in studies. To meet the needs of

current and potential clientele of adult equine educational programs, extension agents

must routinely identify the needs of their clientele. This study will focus on the needs of

Florida's clientele because the state has a large horse population. The study will also

assess extension agents' interest in and capacity for conducting equine education

programs. The latter will help determine what steps extension must take to prepare

agents to respond effectively to client needs.

How will the needs of extension agents and Florida's Adult Extension Equine

Programs be determined? Survey research has been commonly used to identify farmers'

needs. An example of a survey study is "The 2002 Northwest Florida Beef & Forage

Survey" (Mayo, Israel, Vergot, et al., 2002). One purpose of this study was to "identify

perceived research and educational needs of beef cattle producers in the Panhandle of

Florida" (Mayo et al, 2002).

In 1996, a survey was completed by the American Horse Council to find out the

demographics of the horse industry on a national and state level (American Horse

Council, 1996). Currently in the 2004/2005 year, the Council is in the process of

conducting a similar survey to horse owners throughout the United States (TenBroeck,









2004). A limitation to this study is that it only identifies the demographics of horse

owners and doesn't identify the educational needs of horse owners. In 1998, the USDA's

National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) designed the Equine '98 study to

provide both participants and equine industry with information on the United State's

equine population for education and research purposes. A limitation to this study was

that it only identified demographics of the horse population and not horse owners, and

only looked at health related practices. Recently, the University of Minnesota conducted

a survey of horse owners. This study is different from several of the previous studies

because it has not only identified demographics of horse owners, but it has also helped to

identify the needs of horse owners throughout that state (Wagoner and Jones, 2004).

To date, there is limited research on what educational needs horse owners have.

What are the current needs of horse owners in Florida? Are horse owners in need of

extension services to help educate them further about the equine species? How well are

extension agents equipped to respond? Once the potential needs of extension agents and

horse owners are known, programs can be adjusted and/or developed efficiently

throughout the state to address these needs. State extension specialists can use

information about these needs to educate county extension agents through professional

in-service training programs. In turn, county agents can deliver more focused programs

to horse owners.

This study will focus on the population consisting of adult Florida horse owners. A

sample of the population will be surveyed by mailing a state-wide survey to identify

demographic characteristics and the potential needs of adult horse owners. In summary,

the purpose of this study is to identify the potential needs to improve the relevance and,









in turn, the effectiveness of Florida's Adult Extension Equine program. The objectives of

this study are to

1. Assess the extension agent's capacity to respond.

2. Identify what Florida horse owners are interested in learning about.

3. Determine where horse owners are currently obtaining educational materials.

4. Identify what topics and level of education horse owners are willing to be involved
in.

5. Identify demographics of horse owners and the horse population in Florida.

6. Identify possible clientele for future extension educational programs.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction

This literature review has three purposes. First an overview of the equine industry

and the Cooperative Extension Service in the United States and Florida will be presented.

This part of the literature review will highlight the diversity the equine industry has

compared to other industries, discuss the recent issues and needs of the equine industry

and explore what the Cooperative Extension system has done to provide answers to these

issues and concerns. Finally, the Cooperative Extension Service is described and the

types of educators involved in providing programming to address the issues and concerns

that horse owners may have will be discussed.

The second purpose of the literature review is to provide a theoretical context for

understanding adult education. Adults learn differently from children and it is important

to understand this when developing programs for adult learners. The five learning

orientations or learning styles behind adult education and the importance of knowing an

audience will be discussed, so that a variety of these learning styles can be used to

enhance the quality of the program. Extension educators must have an understanding of

how adults learn and the different learning styles of adults in order to understand their

clientele better when providing educational programming.

The third and final purpose of the literature review is to provide a theoretical

context for the importance of using a needs assessment study. This type of study has

been widely used by Extension educators, to determine the educational needs of their









clientele. The purpose of a needs assessment and the steps involved will be explored.

How an extension educator can use the results of a needs assessment to tailor their

programming to fit the needs and concerns of their primary audience will also be

addressed.

Overview of Equine Industry

The equine industry is unique among the livestock industries within the United

States. This may be due to the fact that horses are the only livestock species not

consumed for human consumption within the United States. Some people may say that

horses are just pets, but the horse industry is a self-sustaining industry that has a

substantial impact on the United States economy. Since horses aren't used for human

consumption, there are many up-keep and maintenance concerns. Horses are valued for

their companionship and use, which in return enhances their owner's quality of life. This

perception of horses clouds many issues relative to animal care and use of the equine

species. The equine industry faces many emerging issues that require horse owners to be

well informed. Many of these issues are health and nutrition related (Tenbroeck, 2004).

Horse owners often seek information from some type of professional within the

equine industry when a health problem arises. However, it is important that owners stay

informed and educated about the emerging health issues for the well-being of their

horsess. Recently, a health issue that appeared was that of West Nile. West Nile is a

virus that is spread by mosquitoes and results in encephalitis or inflammation of the

brain. First appearing in 1996, West Nile Virus has spread across the United States

rapidly. In 2002, there were more than 15,257 laboratory-confirmed West Nile Virus

equine cases reported in 43 states (USDA, 2003). The two main factors that influence the

occurrence of West Nile Virus in a given population of horses are: 1) the existence of









mosquitoes carrying the virus and 2) the presence of susceptible horses in geographic

proximity to mosquitoes (USDA, 2003). In 2002, APHIS reported 15,000 equine cases

of West Nile in the United States, with approximately thirty-three percent that either died

or were euthanized.

Horse owners are often faced with nutrition issues because the horse's environment

has dramatically changed (Tenbroeck, 2004). Horses are grazing animals designed to

consume small frequent meals. If horses are not fed properly, the result could be poor

performance and reduced market value. In today's market, there are many brands and

types of feeds for which to choose. Owners should consider what to feed, in what

proportion and on what schedule. There are many types of grain mixes and hay from

which to choose. The owner must have a good knowledge base to choose wisely in order

to meet the horses' needs in the most cost effective manner.

The average horse owner, whether new to the industry or a veteran, is faced with

several other obstacles on a daily basis. Some of these issues may include: identification

of poisonous weeds, horse facility design, farm management practices, liability issues,

and much more. Therefore, many horse owners might need educational programs,

whether workshops, seminars, or field days, to help address everyday concerns and

obstacles to ensure animal health and profitable production.

The Cooperative Extension Service is an organization that addresses the

educational needs of horse owners. By understanding the needs of the horse industry at a

national, state, and county level, extension educators can tailor programs to better assist

horse owners with these issues and concerns. In Florida, no systematic study has been

conducted by extension educators at the state-level to better understand the needs of the









horse industry. Adult horse programs in Florida have generally been provided on a

county-by-county basis, as requested. Historically, few county livestock agents in

Florida have had a large effort in equine programming. One exception would be Marion

County, which has the largest horse population in the state.

Because of the lack of systematically collected data, extension educators do not

have a good idea of the statewide demographics of horse owners in Florida and what their

educational needs are. Across the nation, the Cooperative Extension Service has

conducted several studies to address the needs of adult horse owners. One study was

conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, through the State Horse and

Harness Racing Commissions, contracted with the Pennsylvania State University called

the 2002 Economic and Population Study of the Pennsylvania Equine Industry (Swinker

et al, 2003). This study examined basic economic and demographic characteristics of the

state's equine industry. Some of these key demographics included: the number of the

general equine population, the number of farm operations, employment, and value of

horses. It also reported the number of horses and economic value of horses by counties

and districts. Information about the current size and character of the Pennsylvania equine

industry will be essential to help shape the future of this industry. It also will aid

extension in addressing the equine industry needs specific to that state. But, the major

limitation to this study is that it only identified economic and demographic characteristics

of horse owners and did not identify the educational needs of horse owners within the

state.

Another study that was conducted to address the needs of horse owners was a

survey conducted by the University of Minnesota Extension Service. This survey was









initiated because over the course of several years, extension staff had been told that

Minnesota horse owners would like to have educational programs provided by unbiased

and reliable sources. The main goal of this survey was to learn about the educational

needs of Minnesota horse owners, in terms of program content and format. The survey

information was used to evaluate the feasibility and potential success for programs that

could be offered throughout the state (Wagoner & Jones, 2004).

The Minnesota horse owner's survey helped to identify key needs and issues

specific to Minnesota horse owners. It included questions regarding horse owners'

general knowledge of topics related to horse care, and they were also asked to rate the

importance of these topics. Horse owners were also asked what resources they generally

used to obtain information. Finally, some of the key demographic questions included:

number of horses owned, number of years owning horses, the amount of income derived

from selected horse-related jobs, and gender.

The USDA's National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), in

partnership with the Cooperative Extension Service, conducted the Equine '98 Survey.

These results helped to describe both the primary function of operations with horses and

the primary uses of the horses on those operations. This study reported results for

specific states, however Florida was not included. It is important to take into account that

this study only sampled operations where horses were present regardless of horse

ownership.

All of these studies have provided useful results regarding horse owners' needs and

practices. However, most of them have been conducted within only one state, addressing

the horse owners concerns and needs within those specific states, or they did not address









the needs of horse owners at all. Therefore, it is difficult to generalize the findings above

to Florida. Florida's horse owners' needs and practices are likely different from those of

horse owners in Minnesota and Pennsylvania. One reason is that the terrain and weather

conditions differ a great deal between Florida and Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

Additionally, the studies listed above, surveyed either only horse owners or only

commercial farms instead of the industry as a whole. One lesson that can be learned

from these studies, however, is that when the study is done correctly with an accurate

instrument, useful data can be collected that will be pertinent to extension in structuring

future horse programs for adults.

Cooperative Extension Service

Since the Cooperative Extension Service has played an important role in

identifying and responding to the needs of horse owners at state and national levels, it is

important to understand what this organization is and what it does. The Morrill Act of

1862 established land-grant universities to educate citizens in agriculture, home

economics, mechanical arts, and other practical professions. In 1914, the Cooperative

Extension Service was formalized with the Smith-Lever Act. This act established a

partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the agricultural colleges to:

1) develop practical applications of research knowledge and 2) give instruction and

practical demonstrations of existing or improved practices or technologies in agriculture

(CSREES-USDA, 2004).

The Cooperative Extension System is one of the three arms of the Land-Grant

University system. The mission of the Cooperative Extension System is to help people

improve their lives through an educational process that uses scientific knowledge to

address issues and needs (Peters, 1999). The philosophy is based on a belief in the









possibility of change or progress, the reliability of science, the equality of people, and the

power of education (Peters, 1999). Extension provides local educational programs and is

the ideal way for the Land-Grant University to maintain a viable connection with grass-

roots input and involvement (Peters, 1999).

Cooperative Extension works throughout America in six major areas today. These

major areas include: 1) 4-H Youth Development, 2) Agriculture, 3) Leadership

Development, 4) Natural Resources, 5) Family and Consumer Sciences, and 6)

Community and Economic Development (CSREES-USDA, 2004). It is important to note

that there are state-to-state variations in the program structure and organization. No

matter what the program topic, extension expertise is used to address public needs at the

state and local levels. Nationwide, there are approximately 2,900 extension offices and

over 16,000 faculty and staff (CSREES-USDA, 2004).

There are several types of extension educators in the Cooperative Extension

System. Some of the educators are in charge of state needs and others are responsible for

addressing local needs. State extension specialists play an important at the state level, by

providing expertise for county extension agents (Kawasaki, 1994). Specialists serve key

roles in providing the technical information that support county extension programming

(Warner and Christenson, 2001). Specialists help to develop and/or evaluate programs to

make them more effective for the community. State specialists can provide their

technical knowledge and programmatic ideas to county agents, so that agents can more

easily address the needs of local clientele.

Another type of extension educator is the County Extension Director (CED). The

role of the CED has expanded from having a primary focus on custodial maintenance of









the county extension office and supervision of the secretarial staff to one with

responsibility for the entire county extension program (Brown, 1991). "The CED serves

on the county-level as an administrative leader and coordinator for formulating,

developing, implementing, and evaluating county extension programs and coordinating

personnel functions" (Radhakrishna et al., 1994). The CED is also an important link

between the upper levels of administration and other county-based personnel.

A third type of educator in the Cooperative Extension System is the County Agent.

The agent's role throughout the county involves a wide variety of tasks. The agent must

"provide leadership for development, implementation, delivery, and evaluation of a

comprehensive extension program in cooperation with local and county/state extension

colleagues" (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2005). It is important that the agent

design programs to achieve a balance reflective of the county's population diversity and

to address the unique educational needs of the county's residents. Agents must also be

able to establish relationships and common goals with local agencies, as well as, maintain

an effective volunteer system to staff their programs (Florida Cooperative Extension

Service, 2005). One of the primary purposes of the county agent is to have direct contact

with clientele. Norman and Israel (2001) define clientele contact as "having an intent to

convey educational information and classifies the following as legitimate, reportable

contacts: 1) face-to-face interaction in meetings, workshops, and offices, 2) individual

correspondence by letter or telephone, 3) interactive video conference, and 4) newsletters

and tabloids mailed to individuals who are included on a CES list with information about

race/ethnicity and gender."









Extension Program Development

State Extension specialists, County Extension Directors, and county agents

contribute to the development and implementation of programs. "An extension program

is a plan that specifies objectives, subject content, and teaching/learning activities to be

carried out over a period of time, with the goal of bringing about behavioral changes in a

target group of learners" (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2002.). Programming

also involves evaluating the programs for impact. Programs should continuously be

developed, implemented, evaluated, revised, re-implemented, re-evaluated, and revised

again. By evaluating programs through a needs assessment or diagnostic evaluation

(Rossi et al., 1999), it is easier for the extension educator to identify the type of program

to implement.

Extension programming involves several key characteristics. Programming is

directed toward changing the behavior of the individual learner or learner group and it a

decision-making process. In this process, many things must be considered, such as: 1)

who will be taught, 2) what will be taught, 3) when it will be taught, 4) how it will be

taught, 5) who will teach it, and 6) what changes (impacts) are to be accomplished

(Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2002). Finally, programming should be a

collaborative effort between the extension educator and the learners so that it meets the

needs of the learners effectively (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2002).

A key component of extension programming is long-range planning. Long-range

planning is "a process by which we envision our future and the challenges and changes

facing us" (Florida Cooperative Extension Service, 2005). In order for extension to

accomplish long-range planning, it needs to focus on the issues and challenges faced by

clientele and agents within the counties. One way extension accomplishes this is through









the formation of programmatic teams, such as "focus area" teams or design teams.

"Literature on organizational development suggests that the self-directed work team

approach is beneficial to extension-type organizations.. It enhances staff motivation and

retention, develops the organization's credibility with stakeholders, provides a larger pool

of skills from which to draw statewide, allows programming on current issues,

supplements but does not replace the role of specialists, increases networking among staff

members, and increases organizational self-esteem" (Lenholm et al., 1999).

In Florida, focus area teams were created by following guidelines for creating

effective teams. County listening sessions were conducted to identify issues and

challenges faced by clientele and county agents. After collecting this information, seven

areas were identified as state-wide goals and then teams were formed (Florida

Cooperative Extension Service, 2005). These teams consist of approximately ten to

twelve people. The members of the focus area teams include: state specialists, district

directors, and county agents. The focus area team is self-directed and should identify

issues, target audiences, and priority topics, develop curriculum for county agents to use

to address the local issues and challenges, and identify outcomes and impacts associated

to the focus area. The self-directed work teams place decision-making and problem-

solving authority in the hands of persons closest to the product or services being created

and provided (Orsburn, et al., 1990).

Although extension educators provide extension programming as part of their job,

it is important that these educators understand the audience that they are going to teach.

If an extension educator knows the needs of the audience they are going to teach, then

they can better tailor the program to meet the needs of the clientele. One of the









Cooperative Extension Systems main target audiences for educational programming is

adults. Extension educators must understand that teaching adults can be different than

teaching children. Educators must also understand that adults have several different

learning styles and it is important that as an educator they take this into account. By

having an understanding of adult education and learning styles, an extension educator

will have a greater impact by tailoring their programs to better fit the needs of their adult

clientele.

Adult Learning Theories

The term "adult education" first came into use in 1924 (Courtney, 1992). Shortly

afterward, the American Association for Adult Education (AAAE) was founded in 1926.

This organization was the first systematic effort in adult education that included lyceums,

theater and art groups, libraries, museums, clubs, voluntary associations, and colleges and

schools. Adult education is a "process by whereby adults (individuals of a certain age)

gain knowledge or skills through organized activities involving the educators and adult

learners to enhance their quality of life and the betterment of the community at large"

(Courtney, 1992: pp. 10). It often involves learning problem-solving and decision-

making skills.

Malcolm Knowles (1980: pp.8) defines adult education as "all experiences of

mature men by which they acquire new knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes,

interests, and values." He also states that it is a "discrete social system of all the

individuals, institutions, and associations concerned with the education of adults and

perceives them as working toward the common goals of improving the methods and

materials of adult learning, extending the opportunities for adults to learn, and advancing

the general level of our culture" (Knowles, 1980: pp.10). Sean Courtney (1992: pp. 9)









defined adult education as "an intervention into the ordinary business life-an intervention

whose immediate goal is change, in knowledge or in competence."

Malcolm Knowles (1980) has been credited with introducing the term andragogy

into the adult education world. Andragogy is referred to as the art and science of helping

adults learn and it is the opposite of the term pedagogy which is defined as the art and

science of helping children learn (Knowles, 1980). The five assumptions that are

associated with andragogy include someone who (1) has an independent self-concept and

who can direct his or her own learning, (2) has accumulated a reservoir of life

experiences that is a rich resource for learning, (3) has learning needs closely related to

changing social roles, (4) is problem-centered and interested in immediate application of

knowledge, and (5) is motivated to learn by internal rather than external factors

(Merriam, 2001).

There are five major perspectives in adult education (Deshler, 1999). These

perspectives help increase the understanding adult education and allow practitioners to

see how learning can occur in different ways. The theories include: 1) humanist

orientation, 2) behaviorist orientation, 3) social learning orientation, 4) cognitive

orientation, and 5) critical reflection/constructivist orientation. By using these five

orientations together, an adult educator can enhance the learning process for the

participants.

The humanist orientation involves utilizing the inherent goodness and unlimited

growth and development potential of the learner. It strives to have a natural progression

to: increase competency, autonomy, freedom, and fulfillment. It is based on Abraham

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Model (Deshler, 1999). This model takes into account









self-actualization and is a process of fulfilling one's potential. It is also based on Carl

Roger's theory of the freedom to learn. He states "permitting the learner to be free to

engage in self-initiated, self-reliant learning that is motivated out of self-actualization

tendency" (Deshler, 1999: pp. 17). Relationships between the educator and learner for

this orientation are based on warmth, non-judgmental acceptance, sincerity, empathy, and

caring. An educator can utilize the following methods for the humanist orientation: 1)

needs-based programming, 2) group discussion and study, 3) self-directed learning, 4)

interpersonal interaction and encounter, and 5) experiential learning (Deshler, 1999: pp.

16-20).

The behaviorist orientation involves viewing learning as a change in observable

behavior. It was founded on the belief that "learning is a direct result of the connection

between a stimulus and a response (Deshler, 1999: pp. 21). Another belief was that all

"behavior is learned and therefore all behavior can be modified or changed through

further learning" (Deshler, 1999: pp. 21). Behaviorists believe that learning is controlled

by stimuli in the external environment and not by the individual learner. Some

approaches and methods that can be utilized by educators include 1) reinforcement and

incentives, 2) instructional feedback, 3) programmed instruction, and 4) games and

stimulation (Deshler, 1999: pp. 21-24).

Social learning, also known as observable learning, is the third learning theory in

adult learning. People learn from observation and interaction and the observer's behavior

might change after viewing the behavior of a model in this orientation. It involves

integrating two behaviorist concepts (reinforcement and environmental influence) with

cognitive notions (internal structures and processes). One of the main theories was









developed by Miller and Dollard in the 1940's (Deshler, 1999). This theory states that by

using observation and imitation together, there will be retention of knowledge by the

learner. Several methods and approaches can be used by the educator with the learners.

These methods and approaches include: 1) demonstrations and trials, 2) behavioral

modeling, 3) apprenticeships and mentoring, 4) tutorials, 5) peer partnerships, and 6) on-

the-job training (Deshler, 1999: pp. 24-28).

The fourth learning orientation is the cognitive learning theory. Cognition can be

defined as "the act or process of knowing including both awareness and judgment"

(Deshler, 1999: pp. 29). Learning is viewed as a process that occurs inside the learner. It

is an attempt to make sense of the world and give meaning to experiences. It is different

from the other learning orientations because it is not a change in behavior, rather it brings

changes in the way the learner understands or organizes elements of the environment

(Deshler, 1999). These views of the cognitive learning theory include 1) learner acts

upon the environment, 2) learner understands and organizes the elements of the

environment, 3) learner seeks "insight" where mental trial and error occurs, 4) learner

seeks the "ah-ha" moment, and 5) "whole is greater than the sum of parts" (Deshler,

1999). Some of the approaches and methods that can be used by the educator with the

learner include: 1) advance organizer (AO), 2) metaphor, analogy and simile (MAS), 3)

framing, and 4) concept maps (Deshler, 1999: pp. 28-34).

The fifth and final learning orientation is the critical reflection/constructivist

orientation. It is based on the educational philosophy of learning founded on the premise

that, by reflecting on experience, individuals construct an understanding of the world in

which they live in. Constructivists believe that 1) knowledge is individually and socially









constructed, 2) knowledge is an interconnection among ideas, 3) reality is constructed

rather than discovered, 4) experiences connect learners to groups/culture, 5) the learning

process should be designed to go beyond the information presented, and 6) the learning

process must be concerned with experiences and contexts that motivate students (Deshler,

1999). Critical reflection is the main components involved within this learning

orientation. It can be defined as the process of identifying, analyzing & evaluating our

procedural, personal, & philosophical assumptions & beliefs that influence our thoughts,

feelings, & actions about educational practice (Deshler, 1999). The process or methods

of critical reflection process include 1) describing experience or practice, 2) identifying

assumptions and beliefs, 3) evaluating assumptions and beliefs, and 4) reconstituting

assumptions and beliefs (Deshler, 1999). This process is not necessarily a linear process

(Deshler, 1999: pp. 34-45).

By having an understanding of the five learning orientations that Deshler (1999)

described above, an extension educator will be better able to identify what type

educational program is needed for the targeted audience they are addressing. Given that

these orientations describe various ways adults learn, using only one type of learning

orientation can limit the impact of the educator. It is important to integrate these learning

orientations so that the learning experience can be more effective for the learner. The

behaviorist and the social learning orientations could be combined because both learning

orientations use the "learn by doing" approach.

In education, there are two other perspectives that help to lay out the framework for

understanding education. These perspectives follow some of the same ideas as Deshler's

learning orientations, however, are only divided into two categories. Byrnes (1996:









pp. 10-22) refers to these two philosophical perspectives as "perspectives of learning that

have dominated educational thought and process." These two perspectives are known as:

objectivism and constructivism.

Byrnes (1996) states that the objectivist perspective is based on the belief that

knowledge is transferred directly to the learner and that the relationships between ideas

and concepts can be immediately seen by all students. It is founded on the behavioral

view of teaching and learning. In a classroom setting, objectivism takes on the form of a

teacher, a possessor of knowledge, passing that knowledge on to students, potential

recipients of that knowledge, using standardized content, sequences, and strategies

(Darling-Hammond & Sclan, 1996; Zemelman et al., 1998). Therefore, there is a close

relationship between objectivism and Deshler's behaviorist learning orientation.

The other perspective, known as constructivism, is based on a different set of

assumptions about teaching and learning. It is assumed by the constructivism

perspective, that individuals interpret new knowledge uniquely (Byrnes, 1996; Darling-

Hammond & Sclan, 1996). It is built on the view that knowledge is a construction of the

human mind, and it poses teachers as facilitators for their students' learning. It also

suggests that a student's interpretation is mediated by preexisting knowledge and

experience (Lee, 2003). Therefore, there is a strong bond between constructivism and

Deshler's critical reflection/constructivism and cognition learning orientations. All have

very similar characteristics, principles, and ideas of how learning should take place for

the learner.

Needs Assessment Models

Adult education programs use several techniques for program planning. Boone

(1985) identified needs assessment as a critical element in adult education program









planning. The assessment of the need is important because a program cannot be effective

at ameliorating a social problem if there is no problem to begin with or if the program

services do not actually relate to the problem (Rossi, Freeman, & Lipsey, 1999). By

assessing the needs of program clientele, educators are then better able to plan an

effective program and/or evaluate the existing program.

Before defining what a needs assessment is, an understanding of what a need and

what an assessment is are needed. Witkin and Altschuld (1995: pp.8-24) define a need as

"the gap or discrepancy between a present state (what is) and a desired end state (what

should be). An assessment is defined as "the systematic collection, review, and use of

information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student

learning and development" (Palomba & Banta 1999: pp.4). Rossi et al. (1999: pp. 120-

125) define a needs assessment as "an evaluative study that answers questions about the

social conditions a program is intended to address and the need for the program. Witkin

and Altschuld (1995: pp.8-24) describe a needs assessment as "a systematic set of

procedures undertaken for the purposes of setting priorities and making decisions about

program or organizational improvement and allocation of resources with the priorities

being based upon identified needs."

If a needs assessment is done well, it can be viewed as both a process and a method

(Israel & Ilvento, 1995). Israel and Ilvento (1995) suggests that leadership, group

cohesion, and a sense of local involvement can be built from this process. Focus groups

and surveys are types of needs assessments that can accomplish this because they provide

opportunities for clientele to express their opinions on certain issues. As a method, needs









assessments are tools that help an organization plan for and implement strategies on

specific topics, in this case, horses.

Needs assessment studies can be viewed at both the micro and macro levels. At the

micro-level, a needs assessment can examine a skill or knowledge deficit for an

individual or group of individuals. When examined at the macro-level, a needs

assessment measures the gap between a current state and some desired state that may be

targeting an entire business, industry, or community (Birkenholz, 1999). A needs

assessment study helps to identify 1) What people feel they need to know and 2) What

people already know. The steps of this process include: 1) identifying the emerging

issues and concerns of community members in the service area, 2) assessing the level of

knowledge and frequency of use of existing agencies and organizations, 3) determining

reasons preventing citizens from using local services, and 4) describing community

members participating in the study on selected demographic characteristics (Nieto et al.,

1997).

In order for a needs assessment to be useful, it is important to identify the emerging

issues and concerns of community members in a service area. Recognizing these

concerns is important so that all community members' questions are answered. Many

types of questions should be asked to identify these concerns. The current research is

based on the University of Minnesota Extension Services Horse Owner Survey (2004)

and will examine knowledge on emerging issues such as: 1) basic horse care, 2) farm

management, 3) horse health, 4) horse nutrition, 5) horse reproduction, 6) pasture

management, and 7) training/handling of horses. Horse owners will also be asked how









important different types of horse topics/areas are to them, so that the top priorities within

the horse owner community can be identified.

Assessing the level of knowledge and frequency of use of existing agencies and

organizations is the next part of a needs assessment. This is important to know if

extension services disperse their information out to the community in a way that is easy

to find and easy to understand for the community. Lavis and Blackburn (1990) found a

positive relationship between clientele satisfaction and contact with local extension

offices. It was concluded that people who use extension more intensively rate it higher

than people who do not use it as often. This may be due to the fact that extension tends

to provide programming to current clientele more often while potential clientele in the

area may remain unaware of the organization.

So from whom do "non-users" retrieve information if they are not utilizing their

local extension services? A source can be defined as "an individual or an institution that

originates a message" (Vergot et al., 2005). It is important to understand the sources used

by clientele and the use of appropriate information channels, so that we can then facilitate

a widespread coverage of the target audience (Vergot et al., 2005). The current research

will examine 1) the types of people that horse owners use as resources, 2) what methods

are used to obtain information, 3) what types of educational events are most useful, 3)

what types of educational programs that clients have, and 4) what types of publications

are currently used as resources on horses.

In Vergot, Israel, and Mayo's (2005) study of "Sources and Channels of

Information Used by Beef Cattle Producers in Twelve Counties of the Northwest Florida

Extension District," they were able to determine the characteristics that local beef









producers looked for in information sources. It was shown that these beef cattle

producers more frequently gained information from other producers in the area with

similar cattle operations and from local farm and feed supply dealers than from many

other sources. Local beef producers also tend to seek information from close relatives

who produce beef cattle, their county Cooperative Extension office, Natural Resource

Conservation Service agents, local farm and feed supply dealers and private consultants.

Similarly, in 1998, a study by the USDA's National Health Monitoring System

(NAHMS) was conducted to ask horse owners or operators to rate the importance of

various sources of information related to health care. A representative sample of the

horse operations from 28 states within the United States was used. Veterinarians were

rated very important as sources of information for equine health by 84.1% of operations

and somewhat important on another 12.6% of the operations. Other health care

information sources that were rated as very important were farriers (49.2%) and feed or

veterinary supply store personnel (23.2%). In total, 61.5% rated other horse owners as

either a very or somewhat important source with which to make health care decisions.

Determining reasons preventing citizens from using local services is another part in

a needs assessment. If citizens are not willing to take part in extension services because

of certain reasons, then the extension service can adapt their program to better fit the

needs of the local citizens. "The effectiveness of delivering extension programs can be

increased by matching the information channels employed by extension to those

preferred by segments of the clientele" (Israel, 1991: pp.15). A channel can be defined as

"the means by which a message gets from the source to the receiver" (Vergot et al.,

2005).









Current or potential extension clientele are likely to realize a greater benefit from

programs when the information is relevant to their needs and channels provide detailed

information or allow for the presentation of individualized information (Israel, 1991).

This research will examine: how far the horse owner is willing to travel, important

characteristics or skills that the educator must possess, what other organizations they

would attend a workshop with (and, hence, with whom extension should form

partnerships), and the time availability of potential clientele.

Vergot, Israel, and Mayo's (2005) were also able to determine what type of

information channels would work best with local cattle producers. Local cattle producers

preferred being able to observe the practices of other local ranchers in the area.

Producers also obtained information from commercial internet sites, research center

demonstrations, and farm demonstrations and they obtained information through on farm

visits, telephone contact, and office visits. Overall, most local cattle producers used a

combination of channels and each group of local cattle producers differed from the

others' combinations.

The USDA's National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) study

conducted in 1998, also examined the channels of information that horse owners use in

relation to health care decisions. Horse magazines and reference books were rated very

or somewhat important by 55.2% of the operations. Horse association meetings and

newsletters were rated by 39.7 % of the horse operations as very or somewhat important.

extension agents and university or other instructors, such as 4-H or vocational agriculture

were rated by 34.4% of the horse operations as very or somewhat important as well.

Finally, only 11.0% of operations rated the internet as a very or somewhat important









channel, in part because only 38.1% indicated they had access to the web/internet or that

it was applicable as a source of equine health information. Most of these findings are

likely still relevant today. However, the internet percentages are likely to have changed a

great deal over the past seven years because of the rapid adoption of this technology by

the general public.

Describing community members participating in the study on selected demographic

characteristics is the last component of a needs assessment. Extension educators should

look at the potential users' capabilities, needs, and resources because this will affect the

probability of participation (Brown, 1981). This research will examine the following

items about Florida adult horse owners: 1) the number of horses that are owned or

managed, 2) horse boarding practices, 3) land tenure (owned versus rented), 4) the

number of acres dedicated to keeping the horse, 5) the amount of purchased hay, 6) horse

ownership experience, 7) forage availability for the horse, 8) types of disciplines the

horse owners is involved or would like to be involved in with their horse, 9) membership

in horse associations, 10) participation in informal horse-related social networks, 11) age,

and 12) gender.

Information about demographic characteristics of the horse owner community in

Florida can be used by extension to tailor programs to address the needs of specific

groups of horse owners. These particular demographic characteristics were selected

because they are the most common characteristics that will help an extension agent to

easily understand the local equine industry within their county or state. Knowing these

specific demographics can also help an agent to understand why horse owners use certain

types of sources and channels.









The USDA's National Animal Health Monitoring System's Equine '98 Study

included, for example, an analysis of the composition of the United States equine

population. For this study, an equid was defined as horses, miniature horses, ponies,

mules, donkeys, and burros. By knowing these demographic characteristic, it gave the

USDA a better understanding of the primarily uses of equids and the disciplines that

horse owners were involved in. The primary function of more than one-half (54.7%) of

the operations with equid was residential with horses maintained for personal use. These

operations accounted for roughly one-third of the equid (35.9%). About 35.9% of the

equid were located on farms and ranches and nearly 1.1% on race tracks. Overall, the

equine population was primarily used for pleasure on nearly two-thirds (66.8%) of

operations. About 15.2% of operations used equid for farm and ranch work, 6% for

breeding, 6.5% for showing, and only 1.9 % for racing. Smaller operations, nearly

80.0%, maintained their animals primarily for pleasure.

The Equine '98 study also measured at the number of equid in each operation and

identified the breeds or types of equid. Overall, the Equine '98 study found that 44.9% of

the operations out (for the 28 states) had only one or two equid. These small operations

accounted for 14.5% of the total equid, while the 21.4% of the operations with six or

more animals maintained 60.4% of the equid. The largest percentage of horses on

operations other than racetracks was Quarter Horses (39.5%), followed by

Thoroughbreds (10.2%), and Arabians (7.8%). Over 90% of the population was horses,

over 5% ponies, and fewer than 3.0% were miniature horses, mules, and donkeys or

burros.






30


In summary, the Cooperative Extension Service is an organization that can provide

effective educational programs to adult horse owners. However, the potential needs of

horse owners in Florida have not been identified. By using a needs assessment tool to

identify these needs, horse programs for adults can be developed and/or improved within

Florida to address the needs effectively. After knowing these needs, extension educators,

specifically county agents, can then look at what types of adult learning styles to use

when working with adult horse owners in Florida.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

The purpose of this study was to identify the potential needs of county livestock

agents and adult horse owners in order to improve the relevance and, in turn, the

effectiveness of Florida's Adult Extension Equine program. The goal was to conduct two

needs assessment surveys of county livestock agents and adult horse owners in the state

of Florida. The livestock agent population was defined as whichever agent was

responsible for the adult livestock programs within each of the sixty-seven counties in

Florida. The adult horse owner population was defined as anyone living in Florida that is

eighteen years or older and owns or cares for equine species.

Livestock Extension Agent Equine Program Survey

County livestock agents, in Florida, are skilled professionals that are employed by

the University of Florida and provide educational programs in one or more of Florida's

sixty-seven counties. In June 2004, a complete list of 77 county agents with adult

livestock responsibilities was obtained from the University of Florida IFAS Livestock

List-serve list (Delker, 2005). Of these 77 county agents with livestock responsibilities,

only the appropriate extension agent responsible for adult livestock responsibilities was

surveyed. This resulted in a total of 67 surveys being sent out. Even though this

particular group of people may own horses themselves, they were considered the

facilitators of Florida's Extension Livestock educational programs and therefore, were

excluded from the later survey of adult horse owners.









Questionnaire Design and Variable Definitions

A web-based survey was designed to measure the livestock agent's perception of

the equine industry within their particular county, their attitudes towards current

programs and/or providing programs in that area, the frequency of requests they receive

from clientele, their level of knowledge about specific subject matter and their sources of

information. This survey was constructed following the guidelines of the Tailored

Design Method (Dillman, 2000). In every step of the design, from drafting questions to

planning a contact sequence, care was taken to minimize the costs of responding while

maximizing the response rate. It has been suggested that extension agents have

developed an essential job-related skill consisting of using computers, software, and

associated peripheral devices for purposes of serving clientele, research, and in support of

extension's administrative infrastructure (Gregg & Irani, 2004). Therefore, most agents

are capable of completing a web-based survey. The questionnaire layout was designed to

be user friendly and it was web-based due to the high level of computer usage of county

livestock agents on a daily basis.

The survey began with three questions asking about the agent's perception of the

horse industry within their particular county (Appendix A). The first question asked the

agents if they considered horses to be a major, minor, or not an industry within their

particular county. This distinction of the industry was important to help classify where

the higher populations of horses were within the state based on agents' perceptions. The

second question asked respondents if they considered horses to be a growing industry

within that particular county. Finally, the third question asked agents if they considered

horses to be part of the livestock industry. These questions used a yes/no/don't know









response format and will help to measure the agent's perception of the equine industry

and of the equine species as compared to other livestock animals.

The next three questions asked agents about the extent of equine programs within

their county. The fourth question specifically asked if equine programs for adults were

currently being offered within that particular county. A follow-up question addressed the

frequency that the equine programs were being offered, using a scale ranging from none

to 11 or more programs annually. The fifth question then asked about respondent's

interest in developing or expanding an equine program within their county. Following

this group of questions was one which asked whether respondents ever received requests

from horse owners for information. A follow-up question was used to find out the

frequency of these requests per week. The following scale was provided: less than 1 per

week, 1-2 per week, 3-5 per week, 6-10 per week, and 11 or more per week.

Next, the questionnaire addressed the agents' level of knowledge on specific

subject matter. First, the agent was asked to rate how prepared they felt to answer equine

questions. This question used a rating scale with l=not at all prepared, 2=slightly

prepared, 3=somewhat prepared, 4=moderately prepared, and 5=very prepared. Then,

respondents were asked how knowledgeable they were in the following subjects: basic

care, nutrition, reproduction, herd health, farm management, and training/handling of

horses. This question also used a 5-point rating scale of knowledge with l=none, 2=low,

3=medium, 4=high, and 5=very high.

Question nine was concerned with the sources of information that the county

livestock agents use. It used a check all that apply format. The options given for

consideration were: EDIS, veterinarians, equine state faculty, non-IFAS websites, peers









in the industry, professional journals/magazines, workshops, national events, vendors,

and other. Finally, an open-ended question completed the survey and asked livestock

agents to name what other information or resources they needed to meet the needs of

horse owners within their county. This information will be used in data analysis to

inform state specialists about the concerns of the county agents so that they can be

addressed in the near future.

Survey Implementation

A web-based survey was conducted because it can be an efficient and cost-effective

method of gathering data. Mail surveys would have been just as efficient, but not as cost

effective (Dillman, 2000). Telephone surveys would have offered the advantage of

individually speaking with respondents; however, it would have required more time.

Personal interviews were also considered as an option, but would have required traveling

to all sixty-seven counties which would have been too expensive and too time

consuming. A web-based survey was ultimately chosen because it gave the agents the

option of completing the survey at their convenience. It was also practical because a list

of livestock agents' names and email addresses was available for sending correspondence

and the link to the webpage for the survey and email usage is part of a county agent's

daily routine (Gregg and Irani, 2004).

A multiple-wave mailing strategy was employed to help reduce the non-response

error. Dillman (2000) suggests that using multiple contacts aid in maximizing response

to surveys. Therefore, a system of four contacts for the livestock agents was utilized.

The first contact, which was sent out the beginning of July, 2004, consisted of an email

sent out to the county livestock agents on the list-serve representing the sixty-seven

counties (Appendix A). This email informed agents that they would be receiving an









email in a few days requesting them to participate in an online survey regarding the

equine programs for adults within their county.

Three days following the email pre-notice, a second letter was sent via email to the

county livestock agents. This email contained a cover letter and links to access the online

survey instrument (Appendix A). Each element of the online survey and procedures was

designed according to the Tailored Design Method to contribute to the desired high

response rate (Dillman, 2000).1 The cover letter fully explained the procedures for

responding and contained links to access the online survey. All correspondence was

personalized, which is an integral part of Tailored Design, by providing real names

instead of a general salutation and by providing several ways to contact the principal

investigator and supervisor. After clicking on the link in the email message, respondents

were taken to the home page of the web survey which fully explained the purpose of the

survey and asked for the participants consent to participate in this study. Upon clicking

"I agree," participants were taken to the questionnaire to complete and submit.

Two weeks after the questionnaire information was sent, a reminder letter was sent

via email to all county livestock agents whose questionnaires had not been completed

(Appendix A). The reminder email thanked participants for completing the survey and

encouraged the non-respondents to complete the surveys in a timely fashion. The

reminder also provided the participant with their participant code and links to the online

questionnaire.



1 The research protocol, including all correspondence, was approved by an Institutional Review Board at

the University of Florida as protocol No. 2004-U-517.









The fourth and final contact was established with only the non-respondents via

telephone interviews during the months of September 2004 and October 2004. The

Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2000) suggests that a different mode of contact

distinguishes each type of final contact from regular delivery. It also states that a

"special" contact improves overall response to mail surveys. Telephone interviews took

place long after the reminder email and due, in part, to four hurricanes coming through

the state of Florida during the months of August and September as well as to the failure

of some agents to return phone calls.

Response Rates and Coverage Issues

Sixty-five of the sixty-seven county/livestock agents completed a questionnaire,

resulting in a response rate of 97.0%. Sixteen people responded after the first wave.

After the reminder letter was sent, twenty-one people completed their surveys. An

additional 28 responses were obtained after following up with the telephone interviews.2

No responses were obtained from two counties. One county livestock agent was

unable to be reached after several attempts via email and telephone. Another county

livestock agent refused to take part in the survey after telephoning him twice. He stated

that this was due to the fact that his area had severe hurricane damage and that he didn't

have the time to complete the survey.






2 Since telephone interviewees had a copy of the survey in front of them and because the survey is short,
this should minimize any differences in the answers due to the mode of the survey. Krosnick (1999)
suggests that "when choices are presented visually, either on a show card in a face-to-face interview or in a
self-administered questionnaire, weak satisficing is likely to bias respondents toward selecting choices
displayed early in a list...weak satisficing seems likely to produce primacy effects under conditions of
visual presentation" (pp. 549-50).









Data Analysis Procedures

Data were compiled using Microsoft Excel 2000. A coding scheme, described

earlier in the questionnaire design section, was created to record categorical data. The

quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS for Windows, version 12. Means were

calculated on continuous data. The categorical variables were subject to frequency

analyses.

Adult Horse Owners Survey

A second questionnaire was designed specifically for adult horse owners to address

needs specific to the equine species. The Tailored Design Method guided the processes

of questionnaire design and survey implementation for the adult horse owners survey

(Dillman, 2000). Based on the social exchange theory, Dillman suggests aiming to

reduce the costs to respondent of completing the survey (Dillman, 2000). Therefore, the

questionnaire content was designed to be concise and interesting to the respondents as

well as easy to navigate, while at the same time covering the conceptual domains

identified in Chapter 2.

Questionnaire Design and Variable Definition

An 11-page questionnaire was constructed to measure the potential educational

needs, practices, and demographics of adult horse owners in Florida. This questionnaire

was based on the University of Minnesota Extension Service Horse Owner Survey

(Wagoner & Jones, 2004). It was based on this survey because this survey was recently

conducted successfully with a response rate of 67.0% and many of the questions asked

included what we wanted to identify with the Florida survey. To set the stage, horse

owners were asked some simple questions. Dillman (2000) suggests that the first









questions) needs to be salient and simple, so that everyone can successfully answer it

and, in turn, be motivated to complete the instrument.

The survey began by asking horse owners the frequency of having horse-related

questions that they would like answered (Appendix B). Respondents were provided with

the following scale: l=never, 2=rarely, 3=occasionally, 4=often, and 5=very often. Next

it asked them to rate how interested they might be in obtaining more information in

regard to horses. Horse owners were then asked to rate their level of knowledge on

several horse-related topics. Level of knowledge was rated on the following scale:

l=none, 2=low, 3=medium, 4=high and 5=very high.

An array of twenty-six items on topics such as: health, nutrition, business aspects of

ownership, general horse care, and horse facility design, in the fourth question, was

designed to explore the importance of different horse-related topics. Respondents were

asked to rate the importance of each topic using a scale as follows: l=not at all

important, 2=slightly important, 3=somewhat important, 4=moderately important, 5=very

important, and 6=don't know. Question five was an open-ended question that allowed

horse owners to express any other horse-related topics, not listed in question four, which

interested them. This question was intended to generate new ideas that the researchers

did not think about pertaining to the equine industry.

Resources

The next three questions asked respondents what sources, channels, and other

resources they use to obtain information about the questions concerning horses. First,

respondents were asked if they had purchased any publications, in the past twelve

months, about the topics listed in questions four and five. The publications listed to

choose from included: bookss, magaziness, pamphlet(s), videos/DVDs, and other.









Respondents were to answer yes or no to purchasing each specific publication, and if yes,

they were asked to list the name or topic of the publication.

The next question addressed the types of people the respondents most frequently

rely on as sources for information about horses. Following this, respondents were asked

about the different types of methods used to retrieve information. Vergot et al. (2005)

suggests that is important to understand the sources used by clientele and the use of

appropriate information channels, so that extension agents and specialists can then

facilitate a widespread coverage of the target audience. For these two questions,

respondents were asked to rate the frequency of use on the listed items using the

following scale: l=never use, 2=seldom use, 3=usually use, 4=usually use, and 5=always

use.

Respondents were asked in the next four questions about the usefulness of

programs that provide educational information and about the programs they have

attended in the past. First, respondents were asked to rate a list of events that provide

information for horse owners. All of these events are either university or industry related.

The scale provided is as follows: l=not at all useful, 2=slightly useful, 3=somewhat

useful, 4=moderately useful and 5=very useful. Then respondents were asked if they

have attended any horse educational programs in the past twelve months. If yes, they

were asked to provide the program name and location. If no, the respondents were asked

an open-ended question to list the reasons why they have not attended any horse

educational programs. Similar responses were grouped together and counted. Finally,

respondents were asked how far they usually travel to attend an educational program or









seminar. The following scale was provided: 1=less than 25 miles, 2=25 to 49 miles,

3=50 to 99 miles, 4=100 to 200 miles and 5=over 200 miles.

Following this group of questions, respondents were asked to rate the importance of

a list of characteristics about individuals who may provide information about horses.

Some of these characteristics included: personally owns a horsess, provides a quick

response, has college training in various areas, and have general knowledge about many

horse topics. Next, horse owners were asked to rate the importance of a list of

organizations that develop and present educational programming for horse owners. For

these two questions, this scale was provided to rate the importance of the items listed:

l=not at all important, 2=slightly important, 3=somewhat important, 4=moderately

important, 5=very important, 6=don't know.

Question fifteen asked respondents how likely they would be to obtain horse-

related information from a list of resources. These resources included: internet/web

pages, evening seminars, on-line classes, Saturday morning programs, all day Saturday

programs, and short publications. Knowing when clientele are available can aid an

educator when selecting times to hold educational programming. The next question

asked horse owners to rate how likely they would be to attend an educational program, in

person offered in their area, on several listed topics. These topics included: general

horse care, business aspects of ownership, disaster preparedness, horse facilities, horse

health, horse nutrition, marketing, and pasture management. Both questions asked

respondents to rate their likelihood on the following scale: l=not at all likely, 2=slightly

likely, 3=somewhat likely, 4=moderately likely, 5=very likely and 6=don't know.









Demographic variables: Horse ownership/practices

Respondents were asked several questions concerning the horses) they own and

the practices that take place with the horsess. First, the horse owners were asked to

check if they owned and/or managed or cared for horses. If so, they were asked to

indicate the number of horses. Respondents also were asked about their horse boarding

practices. A list of the following options was provided for them to check one: 1) Yes, all,

2) Yes, some and 3) None.

Next, respondents were asked to indicate whether or not they owned or rented the

land dedicated to keeping the horsess, followed by the number of acres dedicated to

keeping the horsess, regardless of whether or not the land is owned or rented. Question

twenty then asked whether the horse owner buys hay for their horse. If yes, the

respondent is asked to indicate what percentage of hay they buy.

Horse owners also were asked to report the number of years they have owned

horses. After examining the distribution of responses, these numbers were then

categorized into the following scale: 1-4, 5-9, 10-19, 20-29, and 30 or more years. The

next question asked if during grazing season, if the horses) are on pasture or grassy

turnout most of the time. The question following asked if the horses) usually receives all

of its forage from pasture during the grazing season. Both of these questions used yes/no

format and asked the respondent to select one of the options.

The next two questions asked respondents about the equine disciplines they are

involved in. Both questions use a check-all-that-apply method. Respondents were first

asked to circle, from a list of sixteen disciplines, which equine disciplines they do with

their horses. Some examples of these disciplines include: cutting, english, trail riding,

and western pleasure. Then they were asked to indicate which disciplines they would









like to learn about from the same list of sixteen disciplines. A third question asked horse

owners if any of their income comes from a list of horse-related jobs. A check-all-that-

apply method was used for this question.

Demographic variables: Organization ties

Three questions asked about respondent's involvement in community activities

with their horsess, local horse association membership, and frequency of informally

meeting with other horse owners. The first question was a yes/no question that asked if

horse owners participated in community events with their horsess, and if yes, they were

asked to list how. The next question asked respondents if they were a member of a local

horse association. If so, they were asked to list what associations and the frequency of

attendance to meetings or events associated with these particular groups. Finally,

respondents were asked if they meet informally with other horse owners in their area and

if so, the frequency of these meetings. The following scale was provided to address how

often they meet: l=more than once per week, 2=about once per week, 3=two or three

times per month, 4=about once per month and, 5=a few times per year.3

Demographic variables: Individual respondents

The last three questions of the survey were used to help find out individual

demographics about each respondent. First, horse owners were asked to indicate the

number of children in their household who were under eighteen years of age and

participated in horse-related activities. The next question measured age by asking

respondents to identify the year in which they were born. The respondent age was

calculated by subtracting the year from 2004 and then placed into categories. These


3 Survey instrument listed "a few times," however, which was assumed to mean "a few times per year."









categories included: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65 and above. This question

was then followed by the next question asking the respondents to indicate their gender.

The final question offered them a chance to share any comments they might have

had about educational programs that could be provided for Florida horse owners. Then a

final statement on the questionnaire thanked the respondents for participating in the

survey. It also gave them directions for returning the completed survey.

Unit of Analysis and Population Being Studied

The population being studied for this survey is adult horse owners in Florida. For

this survey, an adult horse owner is defined as a person, male or female, that is eighteen

years of age or older, lives in the state of Florida, and owns an equine species. The unit

of analysis will be based on individuals, not groups of people.

Lists from several resources were used to obtain the sampling frame. The resources

represent several different segments of the horse industry. Approximately 4,500 names

were obtained from the following resources: a Florida horse magazine with a circulation

of 2009 names, a large equine hospital in Marion County with a total mailing list of 360

names, the Florida Walking & Racking Horse Association (n=129), Northeast Florida

Dressage Association (n=139), Florida Miniature Horse Club (n=308), a combined list of

the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association and the Florida Farm

Managers Association (n=745). As well as county extension lists from the following

counties: Marion (n=444), Okaloosa (n=265), and St. Lucie (n=25).4 Though many

others were contacted, these resources were the only organizations or counties that would



4 All Florida counties that indicated that the currently provided equine programs (n=22) in their county
were asked for list of current clientele. However, only three counties followed through with providing
clientele lists.









provide a mailing list for use in this study. After deleting duplicates and individuals not

qualified to take part in the survey, there were 2,913 names remaining. Individuals not

qualified included any person who was currently employed with the Florida Cooperative

Extension Service.

Out of 2,913 names, a random sample of 1,000 was selected to be surveyed. The

sample size of 1,000 was selected over only using 400 or 100 participants because it more

precisely represents of the current horse owner population in Florida and provides more

statistical power for the data analysis. The random sample was selected by using the

systematic sampling procedure. Israel (1992) defines a systematic sample as one that

selects the first element randomly and then every ith element on the list afterwards. The

sampling interval for this particular sample was three. "Systematic samples, like random

samples, give each element an equal (but not independent) chance of being selected,"

(Israel, 1992). This sampling procedure was used over a simple random sample because

the population being studied was large. Simple random samples are usually used with

smaller datasets (Israel, 1992).

Pilot Testing

A pilot test of the questionnaire was conducted with masters and PhD graduate

students in the Agricultural Communication and Education Department at the University

of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Participants were asked to read a cover letter and

answer the survey based on previous experiences. Twenty-five people were asked to

participate, with 19 people completing the survey. Their comments and suggestions were

used to improve the layout of the survey and to clarify any confusing questions. The

pilot test was another way of reducing measurement error because the respondents'

answers were used to judge the face validity of the questionnaire items. Ary et al.









suggests that surveys with face validity "should appear valid for its intended purpose"

(2002: pp.409).

Survey Implementation

A mail survey was chosen because it is an efficient and relatively inexpensive

method of gathering data (Dillman, 2000). A web-based survey was considered, but it

would have limited the amount of horse owners that could have been contacted. Personal

interviews and telephone interviews were also considered as an option, but both would

have required more time than a mail survey. A mail survey was the most practical choice

because lists of horse owners' name and address were available from various Florida

organizations.

For this survey, a multi-wave mailing strategy was used. Dillman (2000) suggests

that multiple contacts are essential for maximizing response to mail surveys. It has been

shown that by using multiple contacts, one can increase the response rates to surveys by

at least 20 percentage points over surveys that only attempt to contact the respondents

once (Dillman, 2000). A system of four contacts for the horse owners was used. The

first contact consisted of a pre-letter sent out to the random sample of 1,000 horse owners

sent out in late January, 2005 (Appendix B). This letter informed horse owners that they

would be receiving, in the mail, a request to fill out a questionnaire.

Approximately three days after the pre-letter was sent, a package was mailed via

first-class mail to the 1,000 horse owners. This package contained a cover letter,

questionnaire, and a business reply envelope (Appendix B). Each element of the package

was designed according to the Tailored Design Method to contribute to the desired high









response rate (Dillman, 2000).5 The cover letter, which fully explained the purpose of the

survey and procedures for responding, was printed on university/departmental letterhead

to convey a sense of importance. All correspondence was personalized and contained

real signatures in order to distinguish the mailings from "junk" mail. The return

envelopes were postage-paid business reply envelopes, which allowed respondents to

return the completed surveys with no cost to them.

Approximately one week after the questionnaire was sent, a postcard (Appendix B)

was sent to all 1,000 horse owners. The postcard thanked respondents for completing the

questionnaire and encouraged non-respondents to complete their surveys and mail it back

quickly.

In early February, 2005, approximately three weeks after the first questionnaire was

mailed, a second package was sent to the non-respondents (n=550). Respondents were

identified and tracked by an id number on the back of the questionnaire. Like the initial

mailing, this package contained a cover letter, questionnaire, and a business reply

envelope. The major difference was that the cover letter contained new wording to urge

non-respondents to add their opinions to the data already collected from returned surveys

because their input was greatly needed (Appendix B).

Response Rates and Coverage Issues

A random sample of 1,000 horse owners from a list of 2,913 horse owners' names

and addresses was used.6 The list was obtained from various horse organizations from


The research protocol, including all correspondence, was approved by an Institutional Review Board at
the University of Florida as protocol No. 2004-U-1018.

6 However, the actual population is unknown and a complete list is unavailable (note: Census 2002 had
12,000+ horse farms). Therefore, study may be biased in unknown ways.









throughout the state. Nineteen names were dropped from the second and third mailings

because the person had died or did not own horses any more. Forty-four surveys were

returned because the mailing address was outdated. As of April 30, 2005, 612 people had

returned a complete or mostly complete survey. The overall response rate was 612 out of

937, approximately 65.3%.

Since the sample of participants used for this study came from several different

segments of the equine industry throughout Florida, it was assumed that the data was

broadly representative of the horse owner population in Florida. In addition, Tourangeau

(2004) cites evidence that response rates may not be a major threat when the variables of

interest are unrelated to the factors that produce non-response. This suggests that as long

as the sample is representative of the current population that non-response may not be a

major threat.

Data Analysis Procedures

The following data analysis procedure was used for the horse owner survey, which

was analyzed separately from the agent survey. Data were compiled using Microsoft

Excel 2000. A coding scheme to record categorical data was created using the validation

function to prevent inappropriate values from being entered and to reduce data entry

errors. In those instances in which respondents circled "don't know," responses were re-

coded as missing during the analysis because all questions had less than 5% of these

responses. Open-ended questions were grouped together into groups of similar responses

to make data analysis closer. Responses to open-ended questions were also analyzed and

grouped into common themes from all of the responses.

Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS for Windows, version 12. Standard

statistical analysis was performed to calculate means on continuous numerical data. The









categorical variables were subjected to frequency analyses. T-tests and correlations were

used to look for associations between sets of variables. Data on level of knowledge about

certain horse topics, people horse owners use as sources of information, methods used to

obtain information and the usefulness of events that provide educational information to

horse owners was subjected to principal components analysis and principal axis factor

analysis with oblique rotation to test the structure of the underlying constructs.

Criteria used to fit the factor models included having an eigenvalue > 1.0 and an

explained variance > 50%. Cronbach's alpha had to have a value > .66 to fit the model as

well (Agresti & Finlay, 1999). New variables were created by multiplying the item factor

loadings by the item response and dividing by the total number of items. A multivariate

regression model was created to identify the variables that could predict the likelihood of

attending a program on a specific horse-related topic.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Introduction

This chapter reports the results from the two surveys. The results of the Livestock

Agents Survey are reported first. This survey asked county agents with livestock

responsibilities about their perception of the equine industry within their specific county

and their ability to respond to equine matters. Then the results are reported for the

Horse Owners Survey. This survey asked Florida adult horse owners about their

educational needs as related to the equine industry.

Results of the Livestock Agents Survey

County livestock agents returned 65 complete or partially complete surveys out of

67. Unless otherwise noted, all percentages reported are based on a total number of 65.

The objective of this survey was to assess the extension agent's capacity to respond

to clientele. County agents with livestock responsibilities were first asked about their

perceptions of the equine industry within their specific county (Table 4-1). Over half of

the respondents (58.5%) reported that horses were a minor industry in the county and

23.1% reported that horses were a major industry in the county. Anotherl6.9% said that

there was not a horse industry in the county. In addition, over two-thirds of the county

agents reported that horses were a growing industry within their county. Finally, almost

seventy-percent of the agents said that they considered horses to be part of the livestock

industry.









Table 4-1. County agents perceptions of the industry within their county.
Variable n %
Are horses a major or minor industry? 65
N ot an industry ................................................ .... 11 16.9
M inor industry ................................................ ...... 38 58.5
M ajor industry ................................................. ..... 15 23.1
D on't know ................................................................ 1 1.5
Are horses a growing industry? 65
Y es ........................................ ....... 48 73.8
N o .................................................................. .... 13 20.0
D on't know ........................... ...... ................ .... ..........4 6.2
Are horses considered as part of the livestock industry? 65
Y es ............................................................... ..... 45 69.2
N o .................................................................. .... 13 20.0
D on't know ....................................... 7 10.8


Respondents were then asked about their county programming efforts for horse

owners within their specific counties (Table 4-2). Approximately 65% of counties

currently do not offer equine education programs for adults. Of the counties that offer

programs, about 25% of them offer between 1-5 programs annually. When asked if they

would be interested in developing or expanding an equine program, almost half of the

respondents reported that they were interested. Cross-tabulations reported that two-thirds

of the counties that do not currently offer equine programs have a major equine industry.

Cross-tabulations also reported that half of the agents that currently do not offer equine

programs were also interested in developing and/or expanding an equine within their

county.

The frequency of requests for information about horses and the preparedness of the

agents was the next section of the survey (Table 4-3). Fifty-five out of sixty-five of the

county agents receive formal requests from horse owners for information. Twenty

percent of the county agents receive 1-2 formal requests per week and 30% received 3 or

more requests per week. Over two-thirds of the respondents feel slightly to moderately









prepared to answer equine question, while 12.3% of the respondents reported feeling not

at all prepared and 18.5% reported being very well prepared.

Table 4-2. Frequency of equine programs within Florida counties.
Variable n %
Do you offer equine education programs for adults? 65
Y es ..................................................... .......... ..... 22 33 .8
N o .................................................................. .... 42 64.6
D on't know ......................................................... ........ 1 1.5
How many educational events are offered annually? 65
N one ................................................................ .. 43 66.2
1-2 .................................................................. .... 10 15.4
3 -5 ....................................... ... ........................... 7 10 .8
6 -10 ..................................................... ......... ... 2 3 .1
11 or m ore.................... ....... ..... ............. ..... 3 4.6
Would you be interested in developing or expanding an equine
program? 65
Y es ..................................................... .......... ..... 30 4 6 .2
N o .................................................................. .... 20 30.8
D on't know ......................................... 15 23.1

The knowledge level of county agents with livestock responsibilities on a list of six

horse-related topics was addressed next (Table 4-4). County agents perceived that they

were most knowledgeable about basic care of horses. Over two-thirds of the agents

reported medium to very high knowledge about basic care. Only 4.6% had no knowledge

on basic care of horses. Agents also reported their knowledge of farm management fairly

high. This may be due to the fact that they already know these topic areas from dealing

with cattle producers on a daily basis. The topic in which county agents had the least

knowledge was training/handling. Over one-forth of the county agents had no knowledge

in the training/handling of horses.

County agents were then asked to identify from a list often items, the resources

from which they seek information about horses (Table 4-5). Respondents rated EDIS

(80%) as the resource in which they most commonly seek information about horses. The









second highest percentage in the list of resources was peers in the industry (69.2%). The

two lowest resources were professional magazines/journals and national events with

percentages of 12.3% and 7.7% respectively.

Table 4-3. Frequency of requests for information about horses from horse owners.
Variable n %
Do you receive formal requests from horse owners for
information? 65
Y es ............................................................. ...... 55 84.6
N o ..................................................... ....... ...... 9 13 .8
D on 't know ............................................. 1 1.5
How many requests per week? 65
N one ........................................................... ....... 31 47.7
1-2 ..................................................... ...... ....... 13 2 0 .0
3-5 .................................................... . ...... ...... 10 15.4
6-10 ...................................... ..................... .... ...... 8 12 .3
11 or m ore.................................... ....... ..... 3 4 .6
How prepared do you feel to answer equine questions? 65
N ot at all ........................................................ ...... 8 12.3
Slightly .............................................. ........ ...... 15 23.1
Som ew hat ..................................................... ...... 15 23.1
M oderately ......................................... ........... ....... 15 23.1
V ery ................................................ 12 18 .5

Table 4-4. Knowledge level of county extension agents on horse-related topics.
Very
None Low Medium High High
Knowledge domain (%) (%) (%) (%) (%)
Basic Care..................... 4.6 21.5 40.0 26.2 7.7
Farm Management........... 10.8 20.0 32.3 23.1 13.8
Nutrition........................ 9.2 26.2 40.0 21.5 3.1
Herd Health................... 12.3 27.7 44.6 12.3 3.1
Reproduction .................... 16.9 29.2 44.6 4.6 4.6
Training/Handling ............. 26.2 40.0 23.1 4.6 6.2

Overall, the livestock agent survey provided information about extension's ability

to respond to clientele needs. It suggested that agents in the counties with an equine

industry realize the presence of this industry and accept horses as part of the livestock

industry. Agents had a positive attitude towards expanding current programs and/or

starting new programs within their respected counties after attending training session









specific to the equine species. It also suggested that agents should partner together to

offer multi-county programs throughout the state for horse owners.


Table 4-5. Resources commonly used by county extension agents to answer horse-
related questions.
Resource n %
E D IS .......................................................... ......... 52 80.0
Peers in the industry ......................................... ......... 45 69.2
Equine State Faculty ............................ ........................ 38 58.5
V eterinarians............... ..... ..... ... .. 27 41.5
Non-IFAS websites .......................................... .......... 20 30.8
W workshops .......................................................... .. 20 30.8
V endors ........................................................ ....... 16 24.6
O their ....................................................... .. ......... 14 21.5
Professional magazines/journals............... ... ................ 8 12.3
N national events............................................ ... 5 7.7


Results of the Horse Owners Survey

Florida horse owners returned 612 complete or partially complete surveys out of

1,000. Unless otherwise noted, percentages are based on a total number of 612.

Horse owners were first asked to report how often they have horse-related

questions (Table 4-6). Over ninety percent of horse owners (92.4%) reported that they

occasionally to very often have horse related questions. Only a small percentage of horse

owners (7.6%) either rarely or never have horse related questions. Similarly, most horse

owners were very interested (67.7%) in obtaining more information about horses and

another 23.6% were moderately interested (Table 4-7).

Table 4-6. Frequency of horse-related questions.
Frequency %
Very Often 45 7.4
Often 44 29.2
Occasionally 338 55.8
Rarely 177 7.3
Never 2 .30
Total 606 100.0









Table 4-7. Frequency of interest about obtaining more information about horses.
Item Frequency %
Very Interested 410 67.7
Moderately Interested 143 23.6
Slightly Interested 40 6.6
Not at all Interested 13 2.1
Total 606 100.0


Learning Interests

The second objective was to identify what Florida horse owners are interested in

learning about. Horse owners were first asked to indicate their current knowledge on a

list of horse related topics (Table 4-8). Horse owners reported basic horse care as the

topic that they had the highest level of knowledge with m=4.251 It also has the least

variation (SD=.754). Following this, horse health was the second topic in which horse

owners were most knowledgeable (m=3.76, SD=.846). The topic in which horse owners

had the least knowledge was horse reproduction (m=2.81, SD=1.114). Overall, the

majority of horse owners had at least medium knowledge level in all topics listed.

Next, a principal-component factor analysis of seven items about respondents'

knowledge of horses was conducted (Table 4-9). The high eigenvalue and percent of

variance explained suggest that the items form a unidimensional construct. The

Cronbach's Alpha also is significant with a value=.878. This construct is then referred to

as the knowledge index. The factor loadings suggest that the strength of the relationships

between overall equine knowledge and the observed measures is very strong because all

of the factor loadings are .66 or higher. Horse health and farm management are the two

measures that have the strongest association with the knowledge index because they have


1 All means are calculated with "don't know" responses excluded. For most variables, the number of such
responses was small.









a factor loading >.80, while horse reproduction has a lower factor loading of .66. Then, a

new variable was created by multiplying the data reduction scores to the current item

responses and dividing by the total amount of items.

One-way ANOVA's were run between the knowledge index and several

demographic variables. These demographic variables included: gender, age, and number

of horses owned. The only association that had a significant relationship was between

number of horses owned and the knowledge index (F=48.463, p-value=.000) (Table 4-

10). The relationship between gender and the knowledge index was insignificant

(F=.805, p-value=.864). There was also no significant relationship between age and the

knowledge index (F=.029, p-value=.547).

The association between the knowledge index and number of horses owned is

clearly shown in the difference between the means. The least significant difference test

indicated that the mean knowledge level of horse owners with one horse and 2 4 horses

were different from each other. The mean values for 5 9 horses and 10 or more horses

had different means from horse owners with one horse and 2 4 horses. However, there

was no significant difference between the means of horse owners owning 5 9 horses

and 10 or more horses. All of the mean differences were small.

Table 4-8. Mean scores of how knowledgeable horse owners are on horse-related topics.
Item M SD
B asic H orse Care ..................................... .... 4.25 .754
Horse Health .............................................. 3.76 .846
Training/Handling ....................................... 3.68 .938
Horse Nutrition .......................................... 3.49 .905
Farm M anagement............. .............. ......... ... 3.34 1.108
Pasture M anagement........................... ......... 2.94 1.001
Horse Reproduction............ ..... ...... 2.81 1.114
Note. Level of knowledge was scored on a 5-point scale (1=None, 5=Very high).









Table 4-9. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the equine
knowledge index.
Component 1
Eigenvalue 4.152
Percent Variance 59.307%

Item Factor Loadings
Horse Health.......................... .870
Farm Management......................... .819
Horse Nutrition.......... ............ .... .786
Basic Horse Care........................... .758
Training/Handling.......................... .742
Pasture M anagement................... .. .737
Horse Reproduction..... ................. .660

Table 4-10. Analysis of variance mean scores on knowledge index and number of horses
owned.
---Number of Horses--- n M SD
1 121 2.28a .495
2 4 254 2.63b .501
5 9 136 2.92c .513
10 or more 69 2.67c .558
Note. a, b, c Indicates a significant difference between the means.

Respondents were then asked to rate importance of specific horse-related topics

from a list of twenty-six items (Table 4-11). Across the board, all of the topics had an

average rating of at least "somewhat important." The topic with the highest importance,

colic, was rated to be moderately to very important by most of the respondents. With a

SD of .573, there was little variation in the respondent's responses for this topic.

The topic with the least importance, breeding/foaling, was rated to be somewhat

important by respondents. With a SD of 1.548, there was a greater degree of variation in

the answers from the respondents for this item. Therefore, it can be suggested that the

importance of breeding/foaling is highly important to some of the respondents, but not for

others. Other topics, such as: hoof care, vaccinations, poisonous plants, fly and pest

control, when to call a vet, buying horse hay, equine behavior, and equine dentistry were









all rated to be moderately to very important to most of the respondents. All of these

items listed have a SD <1.0, which suggests less variation among respondents. A

common pattern throughout the data shows that most of the respondents rated the

importance of horse health and nutrition topics highest. On the other hand, topics related

to horse reproduction, pasture management, farm management, and training/handling

were rated lower by respondents.

Table 4-11. Mean scores of how important each of the following topics is to horse
owners.
Item M SD
Colic ............................................... ...... 4.74 .573
H oof care .......................................... ....... 4.70 .625
V accinations ...................................... ....... 4.58 .766
Poisonous plans .................................. ........ 4.56 .831
Fly and pest control.................................. 4.45 .839
When to call a vet ....................................... 4.45 .882
Buying horse hay................................... 4.43 .964
Equine behavior .................................. ...... 4.41 .856
Ethical care of horses................................... 4.41 .971
Equine dentistry .................................. ... 4.39 .810
Proper tack fitting .. .. .. .................................. 4.37 .978
Liabilities for horse owners.......................... 4.27 .999
B asic training ........................................... 4.19 1.063
W eed control ..................................... ....... 4.18 1.016
Minerals and vitamins................ ................ 4.17 .886
Storing hay and grain................................... 4.12 1.110
Supplem ents ...................................... ....... 4.08 .968
Pasture establishment.................................... 4.00 1.087
Land use or zoning regulations......................... 3.99 1.163
Property taxes........ .. .... ... .......... 3.95 1.230
Fencing options ......................................... 3.94 1.129
Manure management.................................... 3.92 1.185
Grazing habits .................................... ...... 3.92 1.060
Environmental impact of horses....................... 3.90 1.128
Horse facility design.................................... 3.77 1.215
Breeding/Foaling ............. .. ... .......... 3.10 1.548
Note. Importance was scored on a 5-point scale (1=Not at all important, 5=Very
important).









Cross-tabulations were run to measure the association between number of horses

owned and the importance of each horse related topics with the following showing

significant associations: fly and pest control, when to call a vet, buying horse hay, proper

tack fitting, weed control, pasture establishment, land use or zoning regulations, property

taxes, fencing options, manure management, horse facility design, and breeding/foaling

(Table 4-12). Fly and pest control, when to call a vet, buying horse hay, and proper tack

fitting all had the highest percentage of horse owners considering those topics as very

important, regardless of how many horses they owned. In all, most horse owners felt all

of these topics to have some importance.

Cross-tabulations indicated that there was a significant relationship between the

number of horses owned and the importance of fly and pest control (Chi-Square=35.794,

p-value=.000). It was reported by horse owners that fly and pest control is very

important to all of them, regardless of the number of horses owned. Over two-thirds of

horse owners with 2-4 horses and 5-9 horses reported fly and pest control to be very

important to them, while only one-half of horse owners owning one horse or ten or more

horses reported fly and pest control to be very important.

The importance of when to call a vet and the number of horses owned also had a

strong association (Chi-Squared=22.881, p-value=.029). Over seventy-five percent of the

horse owners reported when to call a vet to be moderately to very important to them,

regardless of the amount of horses owned. However, horse owners with ten or more

horses are less likely to report when to call a vet as very important. Over two-thirds of

horse owners with 1 to 9 horses reported this as very important to them.









A strong relationship was found between the importance of buying horse hay and

the number of horses owned (Chi-Squared=36.748, p-value=.000). The highest

percentages were reported by horse owners with 2-4 (71.7%) and 5-9 horse owners

(75.9%), indicating that buying horse hay was very important. Only 60% of horse

owners with ten or more horses indicated buying horse hay was very important, and

fewer (52.9%) with one horse rated this topic as very important.

The number of horses owned and proper tack fitting also had a significant

association (Chi-Squared=23.712, p-value=.022). Proper tack fitting was very important

to horse owners with one horse (71.1%). As the number of horses owned increased,

proper tack fitting was less important to horse owners. Less than half of the horse owners

owning 10 or more horses reported proper tack fitting as very important to them.

There was a significant association between weed control and the number of horses

owned (Chi-Squared=38.963, p-value=.000). The highest percentages with "very

important "responses were reported by horse owners owning 2-4 (52.1%) and 5-9

(58.4%) horses. Only 36.1% of the horse owners with one horse reported weed control to

be very important. Over eighty-percent of horse owners with 2 or more horses indicated

weed control to be moderately to very important to them.

Cross-tabulations also indicated that there was a strong relationship between

number of horses owned and the importance of pasture establishment (Chi-

Square=29.162, p-value=.004). About three-fourths of the horse owners with 2 or more

horses reported pasture establishment to be moderately to very important, while less than

60% of those with one horse rated this as moderately or very important.









The importance of land use or zoning regulations and number of horses owned also

had a strong association (Chi-Square=25.028, p-value=.015). Over 50% of horse owners,

regardless of the amount of horses owned, indicated that land use or zoning regulations

was moderately to very important to them. But those with only one horse were less likely

to rate this topic as moderately or very important in comparison to owners with two or

more horses.

A significant relationship was found between the importance of property taxes and

the number of horses owned (Chi-Square=53.379, p-value=.000). Over fifty percent of

the horse owners in each category indicated that property taxes was moderately to very

important to them, but horse owners with 2-4 and 5-9 horses had the highest percentages

at 47.3% and 56.3% respectively. In contrast, just over 30% of owners with one horse

reported property taxes to be slightly or not at all important to them.

The number of horses owned and the importance of fencing options also had a

strong association (Chi-Square=24.361, p-value=.018). Horse owners with 2-4 (42.1%)

and 5-9 (45.6%) horse reported fencing options as very important to them. Over 20% of

horse owners with one horse reported fencing options as slightly to not at all important.

Horse owners with one horse or ten and more horses reported this topic to be less

important to them as owners with 2-9 horses.

There was a significant relationship between number of horses owned and the

importance of manure management (Chi-Square=26.674, p-value=.009). Horse owners

with two or more horses reported this topic as more important than those with one horse.

Over 65% of horse owners with two or more horses indicated manure management as









moderately to very important to them. Only 55% of horse owners with one horse rated

manure management as moderately to very important.

Cross-tabulations also showed a significant association between the importance of

horse facility design and the number of horses owned (Chi-Square=29.770, p-

value=.003). The larger the amount of horses owned, the more important horse facility

design was to horse owners. Over eighty percent of horse owners with 2-9 horses

reported horse facility design to be somewhat to very important. Approximately 25% of

horse owners with one horse indicated that horse facility design was slightly to not at all

important to them.

Finally, it was shown that there was a very strong association between number of

horses owned and the importance of breeding/foaling (Chi-Square=189.251, p-

value=.000). It was reported to be very important by over seventy-five percent of owners

with ten or more horses. Almost fifty percent of horse owners with 5 9 horses also

indicated it as being very important. Almost fifty percent of the horse owners with one

horse and 2 4 horses found breeding/foaling to be slightly to not at all important.

It seems there were different priorities to the horse owners based on the number of

horses owned. Horse owners with two or more horses were more concerned with items

such as: weed control, pasture establishment, land use or zoning regulations, property

taxes, and manure management. This may be due to the fact that horse owners with one

horse may not own their own land and therefore do not have a higher priority to gain

information about these topics. More basic topics such as proper tack fitting and when to

call a vet were more important to horse owners with one horse. However, when to call a









vet was also very important to horse owners with 2 9 horses as well. Also, topics such

as "breeding and foaling" were more important to horse owners with ten or more horses.

Educational Materials

The third objective was to determine where horse owners are currently obtaining

educational materials. Respondents were asked if they had purchased any publications

about horse-related topics, from a list of items, within the past twelve months (Table 4-

13). Over two-thirds of horse owners reported that they had purchased magazines about

horse related topics. Nearly half (46.7%) of the respondents had purchased books in the

past twelve months. Over two-thirds of the horse owners also reported that they had not

purchased pamphlets and videos/DVDs in the past twelve months about horse topics.

Table 4-12. Importance of a specific horse-related topic by the number of horses owned.
---------- Amount of Horses Owned ------
1 2-4 5-9 10 or more
Topic (%) (%) (%) (%)
Very Important 50.8 67.6 71.5 50.7
Fly and Pest Moderately Important 32.8 21.6 19.0 30.4
Control Somewhat Important 12.3 9.3 6.6 10.1
Slightly Important 3.38 1.5 2.2 2.9
Not at All Important 0.8 0.0 0.7 5.8
Very Important 69.7 68.6 64.0 48.6
When to Call a Moderately Important 14.8 20.2 22.1 25.7
Vet Somewhat Important 13.1 7.4 10.3 21.4
Slightly Important 1.6 3.5 2.2 1.4
Not at All Important 0.8 0.4 1.5 2.9
Very Important 52.9 71.7 75.9 59.2
Buying Horse Moderately Important 19.8 17.8 13.9 28.2
Hay Somewhat Important 13.2 7.0 6.6 7.0
Slightly Important 9.1 2.3 2.9 1.4
Not at All Important 5.9 1.2 0.7 4.2
Very Important 71.1 62.0 59.9 48.6
Proper Tack Moderately Important 14.9 23.6 25.5 22.9
Fitting Somewhat Important 5.8 10.9 7.3 18.6
Slightly Important 5.0 2.3 5.8 5.7
Not at All Important 3.3 1.2 1.5 4.3









Table 4-12 Continued.
---------- Amount of Horses Owned ------
1 2 -4 5 -9 10 or more
Topic (%) (%) (%) (%)
Very Important 36.1 52.1 58.4 47.1
Weed Moderately Important 26.9 27.8 27.0 35.7
Control Somewhat Important 23.5 13.5 12.4 11.4
Slightly Important 5.9 5.4 1.5 0.0
Not at All Important 7.6 1.2 0.7 5.7
Very Important 32.2 40.9 49.6 44.3
Pasture Moderately Important 25.6 33.2 31.1 31.4
Establishment Somewhat Important 22.3 16.2 13.3 18.6
Slightly Important 10.7 7.3 4.4 1.4
Not at All Important 9.1 2.3 1.5 4.3


Land Use or
Zoning
Regulations


Property
Taxes


Very Important
Moderately Important
Somewhat Important
Slightly Important
Not at All Important
Very Important
Moderately Important
Somewhat Important
Slightly Important
Not at All Important


33.9
24.8
20.7
10.7
9.9
34.7
15.3
17.8
14.4
17.8


47.5
25.9
17.0
6.6
3.1
47.3
24.4
18.2
6.6
3.5


52.2
28.7
11.8
4.4
2.9
56.3
25.2
11.1
4.4
3.0


40.0
27.1
14.3
12.9
5.7
43.7
28.2
15.5
8.5
4.2


Very Important 35.2 42.1 45.6 32.9
Fencing Moderately Important 23.0 31.3 27.2 28.6
Options Somewhat Important 19.7 17.4 20.6 22.9
Slightly Important 13.9 6.9 5.1 8.6
Not at All Important 8.2 2.3 1.5 7.1
Very Important 31.1 46.1 47.4 39.4
Manure Moderately Important 23.5 27.1 27.7 25.4
Management Somewhat Important 22.7 17.4 12.4 19.7
Slightly Important 11.8 6.6 8.8 5.6
Not at All Important 10.9 2.7 3.6 9.9
Very Important 27.3 39.5 36.5 33.8
Horse Facility Moderately Important 28.1 23.3 31.4 32.4
Design Somewhat Important 17.4 23.3 21.2 12.7
Slightly Important 13.2 10.1 8.0 14.1
Not at All Important 14.0 3.9 2.9 7.0


Breeding/
Foaling


Very Important
Moderately Important
Somewhat Important
Slightly Important
Not at All Important


7.40
5.70
14.8
29.5
42.6


18.1
14.3
17.8
22.8
27.0


48.2
16.8
14.6
13.9
6.6


77.5
12.7
8.5
0.0
1.4









Horse owners were then asked to rate, from a list of items, the types of people that

they most frequently use on as sources of information for horse-related questions (Table

4-14). Veterinarians were rated the highest with an m=4.19 and SD=.806, meaning that

horse owners usually or always use this source. Following this item, a group of sources

was rated as sources that horse owners moderately use. These included farrier (m=3.37,

SD=.905), other horse owners in area (m=3.34, SD=.994), and trainer (m=3.27,

SD=1.287). The sources that were never to seldom used included: private consultant,

county extension agent, and close relatives who own horses.

Table 4-13. Types of publications purchased by horse owners in the past 12 months.
Variable n %
Magazine(s) 611
Yes..................................... 447 73.2
N o............................ ...... 164 26.8
Book(s) 610
Yes................................... 285 46.7
N o .. ...... ....................... ...... .... 325 53.3
Videos/DVDs 612
Yes..................................... 182 29.7
N o............................ ...... 430 70.3
Pamphlet(s) 609
Yes..................................... 121 19.9
N o............................ ...... 488 80.1
Other 605
Yes ................................ 81 13.4
N o...... .................... ..... 524 86.6

Next, principal-component analysis and factor analysis with a varimax rotation was

conducted on twelve items about how useful specific sources were to respondents (Table

4-15). A varimax rotation was used to systematically group the factor loading scores.

The low eigenvalue and percent of variance suggests that the items form four constructs.

The first and strongest variance component has three sources that load .40 or higher

in the oblique model (using the rotated component matrix). These factor loadings









include: local feed store (.794), tack store owners (.779), and other horse owners in the

area (.709). All of these factor loadings are all local in nature. They represent the local

network that horse owners rely on as sources of information. The second component

includes factor loadings that represent external ties that horse owners may use as sources

of information. All of the external ties have credibility because of educational

backgrounds. These factor loadings include: university specialists (.758), regional

company sales representatives (.645), private consultants (.638), and county extension

agents (.522).

Table 4-14. Mean scores of the types of people horse owners most frequently rely upon
as sources for information.
Item M SD
Veterinarian....... ............... ........ 4.19 .806
Farrier.............. ............... 3.37 .905
Other horse owners in area.................... 3.34 .994
Trainer ............ .................3.27 1.287
Local feed store owners.......................... 2.55 1.012
Tack store owners.............................. 2.28 1.023
University specialist............................ 2.17 1.217
Regional company sales representatives
(feed, animal health, etc.)................ ....... 2.07 1.027
Private consultants... ............................ 1.82 1.170
County extension agent........................... 1.76 .917
Close relatives who own horses............... 1.73 1.119
O ther............ .............. .... ........ 1.34 .979
Note. Use was scored on a 5-point scale (1=Never use, 5=Always use)

The third component represents the sources of information that the recreational or

basic type horse owners might use. Its factor loadings include: veterinarian (.671), farrier

(.571), and close relatives who own horses (.466). All of these sources would be able to

answer any basic type question that a horse owner might have. The final component

represented in the construct represents a unique segment of the horse industry. It

includes services that horse owners would pay for. The factor loadings include: trainer









(.791) and veterinarian (.377). These two factor loadings represent sources that possibly

horse owners who have higher valued horses or a larger number of horses might use. It

could also represent sources of information that horse owners on the competitive circuit

use more often.

The oblique factor model implies several things about this study. Horse owners

scoring the first component high, could also score any of the other three factors high.

This holds to be true with the second and third components as well. However, if a horse

owner scores component four high, then they are not likely to score components one,

two, and three high as well.

Respondents were then asked what methods or channels of information they use to

obtain information about horses from a list of sixteen items (Table 4-16). Respondents

rated equine magazines (m=3.75, SD=.908) and horse or farm magazines (m=3.57,

SD=1.002) the as methods that they use most frequently. Items at the bottom of the list

included: local newspapers, university internet web sites, county extension web sites,

and horse field days at Research Centers. Horse owners reported that they seldom use the

specific methods of extension channels. However, the extension channels used most by

horse owners included: bulletins/fact sheets and county newsletters.

Again, a principal-component analysis and factor analysis with a varimax rotation

was conducted on fourteen methods that respondents use to obtain information about

horses (Table 4-17). A varimax rotation was used to systematically group the factor

loading scores. The low eigenvalue and percent of variance suggests that the items form

a five-way construct. The five components within the construct all represent specific

methods that horse owners use to obtain information about horses.









Table 4-15. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the sources of
information index.
Percent Cumulative
Eigenvalue Variance (%) Percent (%)
Com ponent 1 ............................... 2.682 22.350 22.350
Component 2........... .... ......... 1.524 12.699 35.048
Component 3................. ..... 1.201 10.007 45.055
Component 4........... ............. 1.130 9.420 54.476
Factor Loadings (Component Matrix)
Item Fl F2 F3 F4
Close relatives who own horses ........... .118 -.030 -.318 .433
County extension agent............. .422 .312 -.503 .014
Farrier .................. ..................... .542 -.203 .014 .386
Local feed store owners............. .669 -.366 -.352 -.134
Other horse owners in area ............ .461 -.514 .067 -.266
Private consultants........ ............... .455 .463 .232 -.084
Regional company sales representatives
(feed, animal health, etc)............. .568 .364 -.139 -.124
Tack store owners.............. .695 -.307 -.013 -.293
Trainer ...................... ................. .374 -.069 .734 -.031
University specialists.............. .409 .651 .025 .113
Veterinarian................. .456 -.024 .304 .584
Other................................088 .330 .103 -.491

Factor Loadings (Rotated Component Matrix)
Item Fl F2 F3 F4
Local feed store owners............ .. .794 .137 .191 -.203
Tack store owners............... .779 -.193 .017 .134
Other horse owners in area ............ .709 -.117 .001 .190
University specialists ............ .... -.132 .758 .109 .040
Regional company sales representatives
(feed, animal health, etc)............. .264 .645 .009 -.069
Private consultants............ .047 .638 -.037 .267
County extension agent............ .201 .522 .150 -.447
Farrier ................................... .. .347 .148 .571 .123
Close relatives who own horses ........... -.010 .039 .466 -.291
Veterinarian................. .058 .217 .671 .377
Trainer .................. ..................... .186 .146 .055 .791
Other................................039 .342 -.498 .089


The first and strongest variance component has seven methods that load .40 or

higher in the oblique model (using the rotated component matrix). The factor loadings

for each item are as follows: farm demonstrations (.770), extension bulletins/fact sheets









(.712), horse field days at research centers (.704), Equine Allied Trade Show (.669),

county extension newsletters (.573), county extension internet sites (.386), and local

newspapers (.384). All of these factor loadings have one common theme that relates to

traditional programmatic delivery. Whether the delivery is directly from an instructor or

through literature, they are all very similar in nature. All of these traditional

programmatic delivery methods are also tied to the Cooperative Extension System and

the University of Florida.


Table 4-16. Mean scores of the methods horse owners use to obtain information about
horses.
Method M SD
Equine magazines...................... .. 3.75 .908
Horse or farm magazines...................... 3.57 1.002
Commercial internet web sites................. 2.83 1.183
One on one consultation by farm visit ........ 2.37 1.295
Television programs............................. 2.37 1.099
One on one consultation by phone ............ 2.17 1.200
Extension bulletins/fact sheets................. 1.96 1.057
County extension newsletters.................. 1.91 1.056
Equine Allied Trade Show................... 1.91 1.034
One on one consultation by office visit........ 1.84 1.103
Farm demonstrations........................... 1.77 .911
Local newspapers.............................. 1.67 .920
University internet web sites................... 1.67 .958
County extension internet web sites .......... 1.57 .852
Horse field days at Research Centers ......... 1.49 .863
Other........ ........... ..... ........ 1.19 .717
Note. Use was scored on a 5-point scale (1=Never use, 5=Always use)

The second component includes items that involve individual consultation between

a source and the horse owner. These factor loadings include: one-on-one consultation by

office visit (.807), one-on-one consultation by phone (.797), and one-on-one consultation

by farm visit (.790). The third component has factor loadings that represents using

websites as a method of information, complimented by the use of newsletters. The factor









loadings include: university internet web sites (.726), county extension internet sites

(.725), commercial internet web sites (.708), and county extension newsletters (.397).

Table 4-17. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the methods to
obtain information index.
Percent Cumulative
Eigenvalue Variance (%) Percent (%)
Component 1...................... 4.408 27.552 27.552
Component 2...................... 1.811 11.321 38.873
Component 3...................... 1.574 9.839 48.711
Component 4...................... 1.197 7.483 56.195
Component 5...................... 1.027 6.419 62.613
Factor Loadings (Component Matrix)


Item
Commercial internet web sites......
County extension newsletters........
County extension internet sites......
Equine magazines..................
Equine Allied Trade Show..........
Extension Bulletins/Fact Sheets.....
Farm demonstrations.................
Horse or farm magazines............
Horse field days at Research
Centers ........................ ......
Local newspapers..................
One-on-one consultation by
p h on e.................................. .........
One-on-one consultation by office
visit........... ....... ......
One-on-one consultation by farm
visit .....................................
Television programs................
University internet web sites.........
Other .................................



Item
Farm demonstrations.................
Extension Bulletins/Fact Sheets.....
Horse field days at Research
Centers........... .. .... ......
Equine Allied Trade Show..........
County extension newsletters........


Fl
.328
.635
.645
.365
.570
.686
.687
.433

.642
.480

.501

.498

.402
.453
.576
.229


F2
.073
-.422
-.349
.475
-.104
-.387
-.172
.465

-.147
-.054

.491

.456

.564
.097
-.215
.163


F3
.396
.047
.118
.651
.042
-.010
-.133
.612

-.200
-.050

-.378

-.476

-.382
.152
.018
-.054


F4 F5
.546 -.210
-.082 -.176
.329 -.222
-.117 .100
-.131 .411
-.166 .010
-.214 .267
-.182 .089


-.125
-.400

.101

.081

.034
-.222
.532
.349


.258
-.281

-.175

-.061

-.113
-.344
-.033
.576


Factor Loadings (Rotated Component Matrix)
F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
.770 .177 .067 .079 .(
.712 .011 .272 .012 -


.704
.669
.573


.226
.058
-.025


.093
.058
.397


.011
.218
-.018


-.025
-.149
.367





Table 4-17. Continued

Item
County extension internet
sites ......
Local newspapers..................
One on one consultation by
p h on e.................................. .........
One on one consultation by office
visit........... ..... ... ......
One on one consultation by farm
visit............. ..............
Commercial internet web sites......
University internet web sites.........
Television programs................
Equine magazines...................
Horse or farm magazines............
Other..............................


The fourth component represents commercial magazines as a method horse owners

use to obtain information. The factor loadings for this component include: equine

magazines (.889) and horse or farm magazines (.885). The fifth and final component

represented in the construct represents the use of mass media as a form of information

dissemination. The factor loadings include: local newspapers (.526), television programs

(.467), and county extension newsletters (.367). Overall, based on the oblique factor

model, many horse owners used methods from two or more sets. Even though extension

methods were ranked low, some of the more popular extension methods listed included:

farm demonstrations, extension bulletins/fact sheets, county extension internet sites, and

county extension newsletters,

From a list often events, horse owners were asked to report how useful the events

were in terms of providing educational information (Table 4-18). Horse organization

events were reported at the top of the list as somewhat or moderately useful (m=3.64,


Factor Loadings (Rotated Component Matrix)
Fl F2 F3 F4 F5

.386 .038 .725 -.005 .181
.384 .197 .003 .108 .526

.108 .797 .131 .081 .064

.189 .807 .062 .006 -.019

.056 .790 -.003 .110 .020
-.118 .051 .708 .304 -.047
.312 .148 .726 -.040 -.121
.190 .200 .159 .293 .467
.062 .063 .086 .889 .008
.136 .102 .064 .885 .062
.243 .174 .122 .125 -.645









SD=1.096). The item ranked the lowest was University of Florida Extension Service

events with an m=2.03. All of the items had a SD >1.0, indicating that there is great

variation in the responses, except for "other" with a SD=.580. The implications of this

data suggest that county agents should conduct their county programs in partnership with

other events occurring in their area.

Table 4-18. Mean scores of how useful the selected events are in terms of providing
educational information to horse owners.
Item M SD
Horse organization events........................ ......... 3.64 1.096
Industry-sponsored events................................ 3.37 1.229
Local horse shows ................................ ....... 3.14 1.239
Community education events........................... 2.97 1.297
Florida State Fair .................................. ........ 2.64 1.301
C county fairs................... ..................... ....... 2.43 1.147
Regional horse trade shows ...................... ....... 2.41 1.161
University of Florida Veterinary Medicine
events........................................... ...... ......... 2.16 1.236
University of Florida Extension Service
events ....................................................... 2.03 1.159
Other............. .................. 1.13 .580
Note. Use was scored on a 5-point scale (1=Not at all useful, 5=Very useful)

A principal-component analysis and factor analysis with a varimax rotation was

conducted on a list of ten items that represent events that provide educational information

to horse owners (Table 4-19). The eigenvalues and percent variance suggest that items

measure two constructs. The first and strongest component included every event except

University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service and University of Florida Veterinary

School events. All of the factor loadings that explain this component are .40 or higher in

the oblique model (using the rotated component matrix). These factor loadings include:

local horse shows (.788), horse organization events (.771), county fairs (.764), Florida

State Fair (.759), industry sponsored events (.711), community education events (.644),

and regional horse trade shows (.427). The second component represents educational









events associated with the University of Florida and regional trade shows. These factor

loadings include: University of Florida Extension Service events (.871), University of

Florida Veterinary Medicine Events (.857), and regional trade shows (.504). The overall

oblique model suggests that some horse owners find both sets of events useful for

obtaining educational information.

Horse owners were asked about their attendance to horse educational programs and

how far they were willing to travel to these programs (Table 4-20). Almost sixty-percent

(57.7%) of horse owners reported that they had not attended a horse educational program

in the past twelve months. Of those who had attended a program, two-thirds of the

respondents had only attended one or two programs in the past twelve months. Over two-

thirds also indicated that they were willing to travel 50 or more miles to an educational

program or seminar.

Many survey participants gave qualitative responses in regards to why they had not

attended a program in the past twelve months (n=323). Responses from this open-ended

question were grouped into several categories. These categories included: being unaware

of such programs (28.0%), time constraints (24.0%), location of the program (17.3%), not

being interested in programs offered (11.5%), personal reasons (7.4%), other (6.5%), cost

of the program (3.1%), and hurricanes (2.2%).

Topics and Levels of Education

The fourth objective was to identify topics and levels of education horse owners are

willing to be involved in. First, respondents were asked to report the importance of

certain characteristics of individuals who may provide information about horses from a

list of fifteen items (Table 4-21). All of the items were rated to be at least "somewhat

important" to a majority of respondents. Having quick access to specialists when needed









was ranked the highest, followed by: has college training in veterinarian medicine,

provides a quick response, and has general knowledge about many horse topics, as being

moderately important to horse owners.

Table 4-19. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the educational
events information index.


Component 1 ........................... ...
Component 2 .................... .. ......


Eigenvalue
4.052
1.538


Percent
Variance (%)
40.522
15.375


Cumulative
Percent (%)
40.522
55.897


Item
Community education events..............
County fairs...............................
Horse organization events................
Industry-sponsored events................
Local horse shows.........................
Florida State Fair............................
Regional horse trade shows...............
University of Florida Extension Service
events ................ ..... ......
University of Florida Veterinary
M medicine events ........................... ...
Other.........................................


Item
Local horse shows.........................
Horse organization events.................
County fairs ......................... .....
Florida State Fair..........................
Industry-sponsored events.................
Community education events..............
Regional horse trade shows...............
University of Florida Extension Service
events ............................. .......
University of Florida Veterinary
M medicine events ........................... ...
Other.........................................


Factor Loadings (Component Matrix)
Fl F2
.693 -.049
.713 -.282
.747 -.227
.753 -.079
.673 -.417
.697 -.303
.606 .265


.575
.544
.079


.689
.688
.338


Factor Loadings (Rotated Component Matrix)
Fl F2
.788 -.078
.771 .125
.764 .061
.759 .034
.711 .261
.644 .261
.427 .504


.213
.186
-.078


.871
.857
.338









"Shows/exhibits horses" was ranked as the least important characteristic by horse

owners. However, it was still ranked as somewhat important to many respondents. A

high SD=1.378, indicates that there is much variation between the responses of the horse

owners.

Table 4-20. Frequency of attendance to horse-related educational programs by horse
owners.
Variable N %
Have you attended a program in the past 12 months 608
Yes ............................... ............................... 257 42.3
N o ............................................................. 3 5 1 5 7 .7
Number of programs attended 244
1 ................................................... .......... 79 32.4
2 .. ............................................ ......... 81 33.2
3 ............................................................ 39 16.0
4 or m ore................. ....... .... ........ 45 18.4
How far you are willing to travel
Non-attendees 123
Less than 25 miles...................................... 12 9.8
25 to 49 m iles...................................... .......... 16 13.0
50 to 99 m iles...................................... .......... 34 27.6
100 to 200 m iles................................... ......... 36 29.3
Over 200 m iles............ .................... ........ 25 20.3
Attendees 253
Less than 25 m iles............................. ......... 34 13.4
25 to 49 m iles .................................. ......... 33 13.0
50 to 99 m iles .................................. ......... 70 27.7
100 to 200 miles........................................... 64 25.3
Over 200 m iles........... .................... ........ 52 20.6


Based on a list of nine items, horse owners were asked to rate the importance of

organizations that develop and present educational programs to horse owners (Table 4-

22). Overall, all items were rated as somewhat to very important by respondents. Means

scores for the items varied from a low of 2.62 "tack stores" to a high score of 4.32

"veterinarians." All of the items had a SD>1.0, which indicates that there was great

variation in the responses from horse owners. Four out of the top five represent statewide









organizations. The Cooperative Extension Service was probably ranked higher here than

in table 4-14 because this question asked about the importance of where organizations get

their information to present information and instead of only asking about an event that a

horse owner would attend. The university system might be perceived as having more

credible information than a local feed store or tack store.


Table 4-21. Mean scores of important characteristics of individuals who may provide
horse owners with information about horses.
Item M SD
Has quick access to specialists when needed ......... 4.30 .990
Has college training in veterinarian medicine ........ 4.24 1.107
Provides a quick response ............. .... ...... 4.09 1.258
Has general knowledge about many horse topics...... 4.07 1.023
Has specialized knowledge about a few horse
to p ic s ...................................................... ...
W ill visit your farm ............................ .......... 3.67 1.397
Knows your farm and your horses...................... 3.65 1.365
Personally owns a horse(s)..................... ...... 3.53 1.400
Is located close to your farm ........... ........ ....... 3.39 1.350
Has college training in equine management or 1.380
related discipline ....... ......................
Is affiliated with an equine business................... 3.19 1.310
Is affiliated with a horse organization.................. 2.96 1.264
Is affiliated with a university.................... ....... 2.91 1.334
Shows/exhibits horses......................... ......... 2.69 1.378
Other............. ................ 1.20 .827
Note. Importance was scored on a 5-point scale (l=Not at all important, 5=Very important).

Next, horse owners were asked to indicate the likelihood of obtaining horse-related

information from a list of seven items (Table 4-23). All of the listed items were rated as

somewhat to very likely. However, all of the items had a SD>1.0, indicating that there is

great variation among the responses from horse owners. Horse owners rated "short

publications" as the most likely method that they would use to obtain horse related

information. "All day Saturday programs" and "Saturday morning programs" were

reported as the methods that horse owners would least likely use. Horse owners reported









that they would be more likely to use internet/web pages instead of on-line courses. This

suggests that there may be an issue of time commitment when it comes to obtaining

horse-related information.

Table 4-22. Mean scores of the importance of organizations that develop and present
educational programs to horse owners.
Item M SD
Veterinarians....................... ........... ........... 4.32 1.004
U of F College of Veterinary Medicine............... 3.91 1.247
U of F Animal Sciences Department.................. 3.75 1.249
U of F County Extension Office........................ 3.57 1.348
Florida horse associations....................... ........ 3.54 1.241
Breed organizations.............................. ......... 3.33 1.441
Local feed stores ................... ....................... 2.94 1.270
Tack stores ...................................... ........ 2.62 1.235
Other............. ............... 1.14 .707
Note. Importance was scored on a 5-point scale (l=Not at all important, 5=Very important).

Table 4-23. Mean scores of the likelihood of a horse owner obtaining horse-related
information from the listed methods.
Item M SD
Short publications.................................. ...... 4.00 1.152
Internet/w eb pages................................ ...... 3.84 1.377
Evening sem inars .............. ................. ........ 3.35 1.327
On-line courses ................................... .... .. 3.16 1.514
Saturday morning programs............................. 3.09 1.415
All day Saturday programs............................ 3.02 1.403
Other............. ................ 1.22 .883
Note. Importance was scored on a 5-point scale (l=Not at all likely, 5=Very likely).

Horse owners were asked the likelihood of attending a program, offered in their

area, on a list of eight items (Table 4-24). Six out of the eight topics were rated as

somewhat likely or higher by most of the respondents. The topic with the highest

likelihood of them attending a program on that specific topic, horse health, was rated to

be very likely by 58.7% of the respondents. Following horse health, the second highest

topic, horse nutrition, was also rated to be very likely by 51.7% of the respondents.









These are the only two items in which respondents rated more than 75.0% for moderately

to very likely to attend a program on that specific topic.

The topic with the least likelihood, marketing, was rated to be not at all to slightly

likely by 49.0% of the respondents. Similarly, 43.3% of the respondents rated business

aspects of ownership as a topic that they would not at all to slightly likely to attend a

program on. The pattern of percentages suggests that horse owners have specific topics

that they are interested in attending a program on, instead of attending programs on all of

the horse-related topics listed above.

Table 4-24. Likeliness of horse owners attending a program on each of the following
topics.
Not At Slightly Somewhat Moderately Very
Item All Likely Likely Likely Likely Likely
(%) (%) (%) (%) (%)
Horse health .............. 4.2 3.5 11.0 22.7 58.7
Horse nutrition ........... 4.5 5.0 13.7 25.2 51.7
Disaster preparedness..... 9.0 11.7 20.5 21.2 37.7
Pasture management...... 11.3 9.8 16.7 24.8 37.3
Horse facilities ........... 12.6 13.3 23.7 24.4 26.0
General horse care ....... 17.9 15.4 18.9 20.2 27.7
Business aspects of
ownership................. 24.4 18.9 20.9 15.0 20.9
M arketing.................. 28.2 20.8 17.6 15.8 17.5

A principal-component analysis and factor analysis with a varimax rotation was

conducted on eight items (Table 4-25). The purpose was to identify the structure of

likelihood of attendance among the program topics. Even though component one has a

high eigenvalue (4.354) and a percent variance above fifty percent (54.4%), the

relationship between the factor loadings suggest that there two components.

The first and strongest component has six factor loadings that are .40 or higher in

the oblique model (using the rotated component matrix). The factor loadings included

are: horse health (.879), horse nutrition (.872), disaster preparedness (.752), general horse









care (.751), horse facilities (.613), and pasture management (.535). These factor loadings

represent program topics that the average horse person might attend. It also may

represent horse owners that own a fewer amount of horses.

The second component has four factor loadings that are .40 or higher in the oblique

model (using the rotated component matrix). All of these factor loadings represent more

business oriented program topics that a more seasoned horse owner or a horse owner with

several head of horses might attend. These factors include: horse facilities (.572), pasture

management (.499), business aspects of ownership (.869), and marketing (.900).

Table 4-25. Factor loadings and explained variance for items comprising the likeliness of
attending a program index.
Percent Cumulative
Eigenvalue Variance (%) Percent (%)
Com ponent 1 .............................. 4.354 54.419 54.419
Component 2..................... ....... 1.290 16.123 70.543
Factor Loadings (Component Matrix)
Item Fl F2
General horse care............. ..... .686 -.327
Business aspects of ownership......... .680 .589
Disaster preparedness ........... ..... .742 -.247
Horse facilities...... ..... .... ..... .829 .127
Horse health...................... ...... .822 -.355
Horse nutrition...... ............... .821 -.345
M marketing ..... ........... ....... .558 .709
Pasture management............ ..... .723 .111

Factor Loadings (Rotated Component Matrix)
Item Fl F2
Horse health...................... ...... .879 .170
Horse nutrition........ .. ..... ...... .872 .178
Disaster preparedness .......... ...... .752 .214
General horse care............ ...... .751 .117
Horse facilities........ .. ..... ...... .613 .572
Pasture management ........... ..... .535 .499
Business aspects of ownership......... .230 .869
M arketing......................... ..... .061 .900









Cross-tabulations were run to measure the association between the number of

horses owned and the likelihood of a horse owner attending a program on the following

horse-related topics: general horse care, business aspects of ownership, disaster

preparedness, horse facilities, horse health, horse nutrition, marketing, and pasture

management (Table 4-26). Horse health and horse nutrition had the highest percentages

of horse owners being very likely to attend a program on those specific topics, no matter

how many horses they owned. Horse owners, regardless of how many horses they own,

are also interested in programs on disaster preparedness and pasture management. On the

other hand, horse owners with fewer horses are more likely to attend a program on

general horse care, whereas horse owners with a larger number of horses are more likely

to attend a program on very specific topics such as marketing and business aspects of

ownership.

Cross-tabulations indicated that there was a significant relationship between

likelihood of attending a program on horse health and the number of horses owned (Chi-

Square=23.903, p-value=.020). It was reported by horse owners that horse health is

important to all of them, regardless of the number of horses owned. All respondents

rated going to a program on horse health very likely with their highest percentage. Two-

thirds of the horse owners with 10 or more horses reported to be moderately to very likely

to attend a program on horse health, while even more (85%) of owners with one or to

nine horses reported being as likely to attend.

The likelihood of attending a program on horse nutrition and number of horses

owned also had a strong association (Chi-Square=58.922, p-value=.003). Over two-

thirds of the horse owners in each category indicated that they would be moderately to









very likely to attend a program on horse nutrition. And, horse owners with 1 to 9 horses

had percentages above 50% who were very likely to attend.

Table 4-26. Likelihood of attending a program on a specific horse-related topic by the
number of horses owned.
---------- Amount of Horses Owned ------
1 2 -4 5 -9 10 or more
Topic (%) (%) (%) (%)
Very Likely 66.7 61.2 59.1 39.1
Horse Moderately Likely 18.3 23.6 21.2 29.0
Health Somewhat Likely 7.5 8.9 11.7 23.2
Slightly Likely 3.3 3.1 4.4 1.4
Not at All Likely 4.2 3.1 3.6 7.2


Horse
Nutrition



Disaster
Preparedness


Pasture
Management



General Horse
Care


Business
Aspects of
Ownership



Marketing


Very Likely
Moderately Likely
Somewhat Likely
Slightly Likely
Not at All Likely
Very Likely
Moderately Likely
Somewhat Likely
Slightly Likely
Not at All Likely
Very Likely
Moderately Likely
Somewhat Likely
Slightly Likely
Not at All Likely
Very Likely
Moderately Likely
Somewhat Likely
Slightly Likely
Not at All Likely
Very Likely
Moderately Likely
Somewhat Likely
Slightly Likely
Not at All Likely
Very Likely
Moderately Likely
Somewhat Likely
Slightly Likely
Not at All Likely


57.5
27.5
5.8
5.0
4.2
44.2
20.0
18.3
9.2
8.3
26.7
23.3
14.2
15.8
20.0
42.1
19.0
19.8
8.3
10.7
15.7
12.4
19.0
20.7
32.2
9.2
10.8
15.8
28.3
35.8


54.1
26.5
11.7
4.3
3.5
39.0
24.3
21.2
10.8
4.6
42.0
24.9
19.1
7.0
7.0
28.0
23.3
17.1
19.8
11.7
17.4
12.4
20.2
24.0
26.0
14.5
11.0
17.3
22.7
34.5


51.8
18.2
21.2
5.8
2.9
39.0
16.2
22.8
12.5
9.6
41.6
26.3
16.1
9.5
6.6
21.9
19.0
20.4
13.9
24.8
28.7
19.9
21.3
12.5
26.0
27.4
23.0
17.0
15.6
17.0


36.2
30.4
18.8
4.3
10.1
21.7
23.2
18.8
14.5
21.7
31.4
25.7
14.3
10.0
18.6
14.7
14.7
22.1
13.2
35.3
27.5
20.3
21.7
13.0
14.4
26.1
27.5
15.9
13.0
17.4









A strong relationship was found between the number of horses owned and the

likelihood of attending a program on disaster preparedness (Chi-Square=30.008, p-

value=.003). Approximately half of the horse owners reported that they were moderately

to very likely to attend a program on disaster preparedness. The smaller number of

horses owned seemed to increase the likelihood of a horse owner attending a program

such a program.

The number of horses owned and the likelihood of attending a program on pasture

management also had a significant association (Chi-Square=33.569, p-value=.003).

Across the board, the largest percentage of horse owners indicated that they would be

very likely to attend a program on pasture management. Horse owners with 2 4 and 5 -

9 horses had the highest percentages at 42.0% and 41.6% respectively. Over fifty percent

of the horse owners in each category indicated they would be moderately to very likely to

attend a pasture management program. Horse owners with 2 9 horses seemed to be the

most likely, while people with one horse or 10 or more reported they were less likely.

There was a significant association between the likelihood of attending a program

on general horse care and the number of horses owned (Chi-Square=50.864, p-

value=.000). The largest percentage of horse owners with one horse (42.1%) reported

that they are very likely to attend an equine program on general horse care, while only 1

in 10 reported no likelihood of attending such a program. On the other hand, three times

as many horse owners with ten or more horses (35.3%) reported that he/she was not at all

likely to attend an equine program on general horse care as those with one horse.

Business aspects of ownership and number of horses owned also had a fairly strong

relationship (Chi-Square=28.779, p-value=.004). Nearly one-third of horse owners with









one horse (32.2%) were not at all likely to attend a program on business aspects of

ownership. And horse owners with 2 4 horses were 50% slightly to not at all likely to

attend a program on this specific topic. However, horse owners with 5 9 horses

(28.7%) and 10 or more horses (27.5%) were very likely to attend a program on business

aspects of ownership.

Finally, marketing and number of horses owned had a very strong association (Chi-

Square=54.501, p-value=.000). Three-fourths of horse owners with one to four horses are

somewhat to not at all likely to attend a program on marketing. On the other hand, over

fifty percent of horse owners with five or more horse are moderately to very likely to

attend a program on marketing. Therefore, as the number of horses owned increases, the

likelihood of attending such a program will also increase.

A series of linear regression models was estimated to explore the possible

relationships between the likelihood of attending a program on a specific horse-related

topic, the number of horses owned, the knowledge index, the frequency of having

questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the importance of specific horse-

related topics (Table 4-27). Other demographic variables such as age and gender had no

significant effect on the likelihood of attending a program on any of the specific horse-

related topics. The first model predicts the likeliness of attending a program on general

horse care, based on the number of horses owned, the knowledge index, the frequency of

having questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the importance of general









horse care index2 (F=44.568, p-value=.000). This model explained a large portion of the

variation in the likelihood of attending a program on general horse care (R2=.281).

As the level of knowledge increases by one unit, the likelihood of attending a

program on general health care will decrease by .615 units (b=-.615). As the number of

horses owned increases, the likelihood of attending a program on general horse care will

decrease by .170 units (b=-. 170). However, if the frequency of having questions

increases by one unit, the likelihood of attending a program on general horse care will

increase by .194 units (b=.194). As the motivation to obtain information increases, the

likelihood of attending a program on general horse care will also increase by .421 units

(b=.421).

Finally, as the importance of general horse care increases by one unit, the

likelihood of attending a program on general horse care will increase by .453 units

(b=.453). Therefore, the higher the knowledge level and the greater the amount of horses

owned, the less likely horse owners are to attend a program on general horse care.

However, as the frequency of having questions, the motivation to obtain information, and

the importance of the topic increases, the more likely horse owners are to attend a

program on this particular topic.

The second model predicts the likelihood of attending a program on business

aspects of ownership, based on the knowledge index, the number of horses owned, the

frequency of having questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the importance




2 General horse care index is based on the importance of the following items: basic training, equine
behavior, proper tack fitting, and ethical care of horses (Eigenvalue=2.918, Percent Variance=72.962%,
Cronbach's Alpha=.874).









of business aspects of ownership index3 (F=23.481, p-value=.000). This particular model

explained a modest portion of the variation in the likelihood of attending a program on

business aspects of ownership (R2=.170). As the number of horses owned increases by

one unit, the likelihood of attending a program on business aspects of ownership

increases by .246 units (b=.246). When the motivation to obtain information increases,

the likelihood of attending a program on business aspects of ownership increases .246

units (b=.246).

Finally, as the importance of business aspects of ownership increases by one unit,

the likelihood of attending a program on business aspects of ownership will increase by

.832 units (b=.832). The p-values of level of knowledge (p-value=.250) and the

frequency of having questions (p-value=.166) are >.05, suggesting that the relationship

between each of these items and the likelihood of attending a program on business

aspects of ownership is insignificant. Therefore, the higher the number of horses owned,

the greater the motivation to obtain information, and the greater the importance of

business aspects of ownership, the more likely they are to attend a program on this

particular topic.

The third model predicts the likelihood of attending a program on disaster

preparedness, based on the knowledge index, the number of horses owned, the frequency

of having questions, and the motivation to obtain information (F=18.999, p-value=.000).

A moderate portion of the variation in the likeliness of attending a program on horse



3 The business aspects of ownership index is based on the importance of following items: breeding/foaling,
liabilities for horse owners, environmental impact of horses, land use or zoning regulations, and property
taxes (Eigenvalue=2.237, Percent Variance=46.538%, Cronbach's Alpha=.658).









facilities was explained by this model (R2=. 119). This model suggests that there is no

significant relationship between the likelihood of attending a program on disaster

preparedness and the level of knowledge of horse owners (p-value=.395).

As the number of horses owned increases by one unit, the likelihood of attending a

program on disaster preparedness will decrease by .180 units (b=-.180). However, the

frequency of having questions increases, the likelihood of attending a program on disaster

preparedness will increase by .158 units (b=.158). And as the motivation to information

increases by one unit, the likelihood of attendance on this particular topic will increase by

.464 units (b=.464). Therefore, the greater the frequency of having questions and the

motivation to obtain information, the more likely a horse owner is to attend a program on

disaster preparedness.

The fourth model predicts the likeliness of attending a program on horse facilities,

based on the knowledge index, the number of horses owned, the frequency of having

questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the importance of horse facility

index4 (F=49.749, p-value=.000). A large portion of the variation in the likelihood of

attending a program on horse facilities was explained by this model (R2=.302). When

level of knowledge increases by one unit, the likeliness of attending a program on horse

facilities will decrease by .241 units (b=-.241). There is no significant relationship

between likelihood of attending a program on horse facilities and the number of horses

owned (p-value=.401).

As the frequency of having questions increases by one unit, the likelihood of

attending a program on horse facilities will increase by .159 units (b=.159). And when

4 Horse facility index is based on the importance of following items: fencing options, horse facility design,
and manure management (Eigenvalue=2.244, Percent Variance=74.794, Cronbach's Alpha=.831).









the motivation to obtain information increases, the likelihood will increase by .338 units

(b=.338). Finally, as the importance of horse facilities increases by one unit, the

likelihood of attending will also increase by .671 units (b=.671). Therefore, the greater

the frequency of having questions, motivation to obtain information and the importance

of horse facilities, the more likely horse owners are to attend a program on horse facilities

within their area.

The fifth model predicts the likelihood of attending a program on horse health,

based on the knowledge index, the number of horses owned, the frequency of having

questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the horse health index5 (F=50.827, p-

value=.000). This particular model explained a large portion of the variation in the

likeliness of attending a program on horse health (R2=.309). The model found no

association between the likelihood of attending a program on horse health and the level of

knowledge (p-value=. 116). The same was found between likelihood of attending and the

number of horses owned (p-value=.077).

When the frequency of having questions and motivation to obtain information

increase by one unit each, the likelihood of attending a program on horse health increases

by .131 units (b=.131) and .522 units (b=.522) respectively. Finally, as the importance of

horse health increases, the likelihood of attending a program on horse health increases by

.609 units (b=.609). Therefore, the greater the frequency of having questions, the greater





5 The horse health index is based on the importance of the following items: fly and pest control, colic, hoof
care, when to call a vet, vaccinations, and equine dentistry (Eigenvalue=3.265, Percent Variance=54.419,
Cronbach's Alpha=.819).









the motivation to obtain information, and the greater the importance of horse health is to

horse owners, the more likely they are to attend a program on this particular topic.

The sixth model predicts the likelihood of attending a program on horse nutrition,

based on the knowledge index, the number of horses owned, the frequency of having

questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the importance of the horse nutrition

index6 and the horse nutrition index27 (F=39.810, p-value=.000). This particular model

explained a large portion of the variation in the likeliness of attending a program on horse

nutrition (R =.293). As the level of knowledge increases by one unit, the likelihood of

attending a program on horse nutrition will also decrease by .250 units (b=-.250). The

model found no significant association between likelihood of attending a program on

horse nutrition and the number of horses owned.

However, as the frequency of having questions increases by on unit, the likelihood

of attending increases by .135 (b=-.135). And as the motivation to obtain information

increases, the likelihood of attending increases .426 units (b=.426). Finally, as the

importance of horse nutrition on components and bulk feeding increases by one unit each,

the likelihood of attending a program on horse nutrition will increase by .122 (b=.122)

and .337 (b=.377) units respectively. Therefore, the greater the frequency of having

questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the importance of the components

and bulk feeding aspects of nutrition, the more likely horse owners are to attend a

program on horse nutrition.

6 The horse nutrition index is based on the following items: storing hay and grain, and buying horse hay.
These items represent the bulk feeding aspect of nutrition (Eigenvalue=1.331, Percent Variance=33.276,
Cronbach's Alpha=.819).

7 The horse nutrition index2 is based on the following items: supplements and minerals and vitamins.
These items represent the components of nutrition (Eigenvalue=2.190, Percent Variance=54.740,
Cronbach's Alpha=.899).









The seventh model predicts the likelihood of attending a program on marketing,

based on the level of knowledge, the number of horses owned, the frequency of having

questions, and the motivation to obtain information (F=23.250, p-value=000). This

model explained a modest portion in the variance in the likelihood of attending a program

on marketing (R =.143). As the level of knowledge increases by one unit, the likelihood

of attending a program on marketing will increase by .322 units (b=.322). When the

number of horses owned increases, the likelihood of attending a program on marketing

will also increase by .337 units (b=.337).

As the motivation to obtain information about marketing increases, the likelihood

to attend a program on marketing will increase by .473 units. This model found no

significant relationship between the likelihood to attend a program on marketing and the

frequency of questions (p-value=.088). Therefore, the higher the level of knowledge, the

more horses owned, and the greater the motivation to obtain information, the more likely

horse owners are to attend a program on marketing.

The eighth and final model predicts the likelihood of attending a program on

pasture management, based on the knowledge index, the number of horses owned, the

frequency of having questions, the motivation to obtain information, and the pasture

management index8 (F=42.974, p-value=.000). A large portion in the variation in the

likelihood of attending a program on pasture management was explained by this model

(R2 =.274). This particular model found no significant association between the likelihood





8 The pasture management index is based on the following items: pasture establishment, grazing habits,
poisonous plants, and weed control. (Eigenvalue=2.852, Percent Variance=71.297, Cronbach's
Alpha=.865)









of attending a program on pasture management and the level of knowledge (p-

value=.566) and number of horses owned (p-value=.463) respectively.

As frequency of having questions and motivation to obtain information increase by

one unit each, the likelihood of attending a program on pasture management increases by

.167 units (b=.167) and .288 (b=.288) respectively. Finally, as the importance of pasture

management increases by one unit, the likelihood of attending a program on pasture

management increases by .799 units (b=.799). Therefore, the greater the frequency of

having questions, motivation to obtain information, and the greater the importance of

pasture management is to horse owners, the more likely they are to attend a program on

this topic.

Demographics

The fifth objective was to identify demographics of horse owners and the horse

population. Various demographic type questions were asked about the practices used by

horse owners (Table 4-28). Out of 609 respondents, 97.9% owned horses. However,

only 36.1% cared for or managed horses. When asked about horse boarding practices,

most horse owners (63.7%) did not board their horses. Whereas, 36.3% of horse owners

either boarded all or some of the horses they own.

Horse owners indicated that 86.2% of the respondents owned the land dedicated to

keeping their horses, and 13.8% said that the land was rented. Of 612 respondents, over

eighty percent of them bought hay for their horses and almost ninety percent of the

respondents' horses are kept on pasture or grassy turnout during grazing season.

However, 82.1% of the respondents indicated that their horses) does not receive all of its

forage from pasture during grazing season.











Table 4-27. Multiple regression models for likelihood of attending a program on a specific horse-related topic.
Business
General Aspects of Disaster Horse Horse Horse Pasture
Variable Horse Care Ownership Preparedness Facilities Health Nutrition Marketing Management
Intercept........ 1.463 -.723 2.162 .160 .334 1.073 -.1092 -.623
Knowledge
index............. -.615 -.136 -.091 -.241 -.120 -.250 .322 -.057
Number of
horses
owned .......... -.170 .246 -.180 -.049 -.081 -.053 .337 .044
Frequency of
questions........ .194 .122 .158 .159 .131 .135 .152 .167
Motivation to
obtain
information.... .421 .246 .464 .338 .522 .426 .473 .288
Importance of .122a
the topic ......... .453 .832 n/a .671 .609 .337b n/a .799
Adjusted R2 .281 .170 .119 .302 .309 .293 .143 .274
Note. a and b Indicate the values for Nutrition Indexl and Nutrition Index2 respectively.
n/a indicates that no items were used to measure the importance of the specific topic.