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Cooperation between Florida County Extension Agents and Florida Agricultural Educators

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021929/00001

Material Information

Title: Cooperation between Florida County Extension Agents and Florida Agricultural Educators
Physical Description: 1 online resource (115 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: cooperation, educators, extension
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: A strong foundation is the key for any structure to stand the test of time. This goes for any person as well. In the agriculture industry, many professionals had help building their foundations. Within the agriculture industry, extension agents, agricultural educators, 4-H and The National FFA organization have built the foundations for the next generation of agricultural professionals and workers. Agriculture educators and extension agents need to work closely with communities, business and industry, government agencies, and each other in order to remain on the cutting edge of the agricultural field. There should be more cooperation and collaboration between the 4-H and FFA programs to help the youth build strong foundations for the future (Dormody & Seevers, 1994). The purpose of this study was to describe the level of cooperation between Florida county extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and Florida agricultural educators who advise FFA programs. The objectives of this study were (a) to compare and contrast demographic variables among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, (b) to identify the self perceived level of cooperation between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, (c) to identify past and present cooperative activities between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, (d) to identify factors that are related to levels of cooperation among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, and (e) to identify the knowledge and perceptions about the 4-H and FFA programs from the perspective of the 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. Deutsch's (1949) theory of cooperation and competition was used as the theoretical framework for this study. This theory was developed to show and explain how cooperation and competition affect small group functioning. This was a descriptive study that used two Web-based questionnaires to conduct a census survey of Florida county extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and school-based agricultural educators in Florida. The key finding from this study was that both populations were looking for someone who can reciprocate and equally exchange time and resources with them. The respondents indicated they wanted to have a cooperative relationship but some did not know how to orchestrate the process. They were willing to put in the time to create the relationship in order to increase the value to youth and improve their professional relationships. This study found the two populations were similar in age, educational background, county populations, and opinions of encouragement in 4-H and FFA. The study found that physical distance between offices was not a very important factor in maintaining or forming a cooperative relationship. Although most cooperation can be found at county and state fairs, there is room to grow in community service activities and recruiting students. The findings have given a clearer picture of what is helping and what is hindering the cooperation relationship between extension agents and agricultural educators.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Myers, Brian E.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021929:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021929/00001

Material Information

Title: Cooperation between Florida County Extension Agents and Florida Agricultural Educators
Physical Description: 1 online resource (115 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: cooperation, educators, extension
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: A strong foundation is the key for any structure to stand the test of time. This goes for any person as well. In the agriculture industry, many professionals had help building their foundations. Within the agriculture industry, extension agents, agricultural educators, 4-H and The National FFA organization have built the foundations for the next generation of agricultural professionals and workers. Agriculture educators and extension agents need to work closely with communities, business and industry, government agencies, and each other in order to remain on the cutting edge of the agricultural field. There should be more cooperation and collaboration between the 4-H and FFA programs to help the youth build strong foundations for the future (Dormody & Seevers, 1994). The purpose of this study was to describe the level of cooperation between Florida county extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and Florida agricultural educators who advise FFA programs. The objectives of this study were (a) to compare and contrast demographic variables among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, (b) to identify the self perceived level of cooperation between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, (c) to identify past and present cooperative activities between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, (d) to identify factors that are related to levels of cooperation among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, and (e) to identify the knowledge and perceptions about the 4-H and FFA programs from the perspective of the 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. Deutsch's (1949) theory of cooperation and competition was used as the theoretical framework for this study. This theory was developed to show and explain how cooperation and competition affect small group functioning. This was a descriptive study that used two Web-based questionnaires to conduct a census survey of Florida county extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and school-based agricultural educators in Florida. The key finding from this study was that both populations were looking for someone who can reciprocate and equally exchange time and resources with them. The respondents indicated they wanted to have a cooperative relationship but some did not know how to orchestrate the process. They were willing to put in the time to create the relationship in order to increase the value to youth and improve their professional relationships. This study found the two populations were similar in age, educational background, county populations, and opinions of encouragement in 4-H and FFA. The study found that physical distance between offices was not a very important factor in maintaining or forming a cooperative relationship. Although most cooperation can be found at county and state fairs, there is room to grow in community service activities and recruiting students. The findings have given a clearer picture of what is helping and what is hindering the cooperation relationship between extension agents and agricultural educators.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Myers, Brian E.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021929:00001


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f9aa006f16dea6fa8873d6cfcbf9e54b4fddc760







COOPERATION BETWEEN FLORIDA COUNTY EXTENSION AGENTS AND FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATORS




















By

AUDREY L. VAIL


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

2008

































2008 Audrey L. Vail














To my future husband and my family.


To Brandon because he was one of the main reasons I came to the University of Florida. He
encouraged me the entire time I was thinking about life after graduation from Kansas State
University. He has been there through thick and thin and has accepted and dealt with me living
almost 1300 miles from him while he kept going in school in Kansas. He is my rock, the one
person who can calm and de-stress me.





To my family because my mom and dad have helped me in so many ways that I can not thank
them enough. My oldest sister, Melonie, has been right beside me while she works on her
Master's degree and it's fun to discuss classes and school with her. My second sister Emily and
her family have made the visits home fun and entertaining. Phone calls from my 4-year-old
niece, Julieona, and pictures of newborn Wyatt, her brother and my nephew, growing up have
helped with the homesickness. My younger brother, Scott, is always good for entertainment at
home and online with his jokes and random comments.


For all of those reasons and more, this work is dedicated to them.









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Numerous people helped and encouraged me throughout the brainstorming, research,

writing and defending of this thesis. I would like to thank all of them for their help, generosity

and support.

I would like first to thank Dr. Brian Myers for being my committee chair and advisor while

here at the University of Florida. He accepted the responsibility of being my advisor after my

initial advisor had a great opportunity to accept an associate dean position at a different

university. Dr. Myers helped me through the entire journey, from the initial idea to the final

product. He answered my questions and listened to me complain without a second thought.

Dr. Amy Harder, the other member of my committee, was big help as well. She came in

with a positive attitude and new ideas to help strengthen my study. She provided the extension

agent point of view with her experiences which helped get the real world experience into the

study. She always kept the environment light by joking around and acting like a friend.

Another faculty member to thank is Dr. Nick Place. He was my advisor for my first year in

Florida and helped me start down the path of developing my study.

A huge thank you goes out to everyone I have ever shared an office with or bounced ideas

off of while at the University of Florida. Rochelle Strickland and Marlene von Stein were two of

the first people that I met in Gainesville. Brian Estevez took all three of us to Satchel's for pizza.

The two of them, along with the rest of the graduate students, gave me a toaster for my birthday

during the orientation lunch because when I moved to Gainesville, the old toaster I had did not

work, along with many other things. It was a rough transition at times but with friends like this, I

felt right at home!

I also thank the other members of 408 Rolfs Hall for listening to my long-winded stories,

frustrations and general chatter. Over the past two years, this list has included Jessica Blythe,









Katy Groseta, Carrie Pedreiro, Elio Chiarelli, Katie Chodil, Brian Estevez, Allison Eckhardt,

Anna Warner, Diane Mashburn, Charlie Nealis, Aubrey Stoughton, Christy Windham, and

Lauren Dillard. In the other offices, there has been Shane Michael, Hannah Ranew, Matt Benge,

Ann De Lay, Andrew Thoron, Courtney Meyers, Shannon Arnold, Roslynn Brain, Crystal

Matthews, Lucas Maxwell, and Lauri Baker just to name a few.

The support and help from the other faculty and staff members can not be overlooked.

One of the best things about being part of a department like AEC is that everyone bands together

to help out. This help comes in the form of answering questions, helping me learn the ropes on

campus, hosting dinners and birthday parties, and just caring about me as a person.

I think everyone who has helped me along the way. I could never have gotten this far

without their help and support!









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A CK N O W LED G M EN T S ................................................................. ........... ............. .....

LIST OF TA BLES .............. ......... ....................................................... 9

LIST OF FIGURES .................................. .. .... ..... ................. 10

A B S T R A C T ........................................... ................................................................. 1 1

CHATPER

1 INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE OF STUDY ...................................... ............... 13

Introduction to the Study ................................. .. .. ................. .. ...... 13
P problem Statem ent........... ........................................................................... ...... .. 15
P purpose and O bjectiv es ................................................................ ..........................16
Significance of Study ................................... .. .. ........ .. ............16
Operational D definitions .................................. ........ .. .... ........... ... 17
L im ita tio n s ................................................................................................................. 1 7
A ssu m p tio n s ................................................................18
C h apter Su m m ary .............................................................................18

2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE .......................................... ................. ..........19

Theoretical Framework............................................ 19
Theory of Cooperation and Competition................. ..... ............... 19
Cooperation among Extension Agents ............................... ............... 26
Cooperation among Agricultural Educators ........................................................... 28
Cooperation between Agricultural Educators and Extension Agents ..........................29
C h apter Su m m ary .......................................................................................................34

3 METHODOLOGY ................................. .. ........................... 35

Introduction ................... ................. .... ..... ... 35
R e se a rc h D e sig n ............................................................................................................... 3 5
Populations ...... ............................................. ........................35
Instrum entation ......... ..................................... ...........................36
Procedure .............. ....................................... ....................... 9
D ata A naly sis ............................................. ........ ........ 4 1
Chapter Sum m ary ................................................. .......... ....... .......... 42








6









4 R E SU L T S ....................................................... 4 3

Results by Objective ............... ................ ......... ............................... 45
O bjectiv e 1 .............................................................4 5
G e n d e r .......................................................................................................4 5
A g e .............................................................................4 5
E du national b background ..................................................................................... 47
County population ................................... ............................ ...47
Encouragement of 4-H and the National FFA Association.................. 49
Extension specific questions: priorjob experience, primary program area,
percentage 4-H........................................ ..... .......... 49
Agricultural educator specific questions: prior job experience, primary focus
area of program and type of program conducted ............... ......... ........... 51
Objective 2 .......... .. ..................................... ............... 52
O b j e c tiv e 3 ................................................................................................................. 5 7
O objective 4 .......... ...... ..... .... ........ ...................... ........ 60
O b j e c tiv e 5 ................................................................................................................. 6 3
P e rc e p tio n s ............................................................................................................... 6 3
K now ledge ........................................................................................... 66

5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ........................................ ......68

Introduction ............... .. ....... ... ...... ........................ 68
Purpose and Objectives of the Study ............... .. ....................................... 68
M methodology ........................ ......... ................... ...........................68
General Discussion and Conclusions.................................... ......... 69
O bjectiv e 1 .............................................................6 9
O objective 2 .......... ...... ..... .... ........ ...................... ........ 71
O b j e c tiv e 3 ................................................................................................................. 7 3
O objective 4 .......... ...... ..... .... ........ ...................... ........ 74
O bjectiv e 5 ................................ ....... ....................................................... ..........7 6
Implications and Recommendations ............................................................... ....... 78
Recommendation for Practioners .................................. .............................80
Recommendations for Future Research ............................................................ ............ 80

APPENDIX

A Expert Panel M embers................................................. 82

B Extension A gent Q questionnaire ...........................................................83

C Agricultural Educators Questionnaire ................................................93

D IRB Form & Inform ed constent............................................ ............... 104






7









E C contact L letters ............................................................................... 106

Extension A gents ....................................... .. .............. .................. ........ .. 106
Initial C contact L better ................................................................... ................... 106
Second C contact L better ........................................................................ ......................106
T third C contact L better ................................................................. ............. .... 107
F in al C contact L better .................................................................. ................... ... 107
A agricultural Educators .................. ....................................... .. ................ 108
Initial C contact L better ................................................... .... ................... 108
Second C contact L better ........................................................................ ......................109
T third C contact L better ................................................................. ............. .... 109
F final C contact L better .................................................................. ............. .... 110

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ........................................................................... ............................. 11

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ............................................................................... .................... 115






































8









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

4.1 Comparison of early and late respondents. ........................................ ...... ............... 44

4-2 A gent prim ary program area ...................................................................... ..................50

4-3 A gent 4-H appoint ent......... ........................................................... ............................50

4-4 Teacher prim ary focus area ......... ............... ........................................... ............... 51

4-5 Percent rating of general cooperation statements. ............. ........................................53

4-6 Comparison of opinions of general cooperation......................... .................. 56

4-7 Comparison of ratings of cooperation......................................... .................. 57

4-8 Percentage of cooperation by activity and job title.......... ...............................57

4-9 O overall m ean rating by activity ............................................................... .....................60

4-10 Importance rating and mean for those currently cooperate. ............................................61

4-11 Agreement scale and mean for those not currently cooperating ................................62

4-12 R seasons for not cooperating...................................................................... ...................63

4-13 Ratings for each perception statement by job title.......... .......... ............. ...............64

4-14 Comparison by job title for objective five. ................................ ... ............... 66

5.1 Mean ratings for important factors by those who already participate in cooperative
activities and those who do not currently participate in cooperative activities ..............75









LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

4-1 E extension agent age groups ....................................................................... ..................46

4-2 A agricultural educator age groups............................................................ .....................46

4-3 Extension agent county populations. ............................................................................48

4-4 Agricultural educator county populations...................................... ........................ 48

5-1 Percentage of "Agree" for general cooperation statements by job title.............................72









































10









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

COOPERATION BETWEEN FLORIDA COUNTY EXTENSION AGENTS AND FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATORS
By

Audrey L. Vail

May 2008

Chair: Brian Myers
Major: Agricultural Education and Communications

A strong foundation is the key for any structure to stand the test of time. This goes for any

person as well. In the agriculture industry, many professionals had help building their

foundations. Within the agriculture industry, extension agents, agricultural educators, 4-H and

The National FFA organization have built the foundations for the next generation of agricultural

professionals and workers. Agriculture educators and extension agents need to work closely with

communities, business and industry, government agencies, and each other in order to remain on

the cutting edge of the agricultural field. There should be more cooperation and collaboration

between the 4-H and FFA programs to help the youth build strong foundations for the future

(Dormody & Seevers, 1994).

The purpose of this study was to describe the level of cooperation between Florida county

extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and Florida agricultural educators who

advise FFA programs. The objectives of this study were (a) to compare and contrast

demographic variables among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, (b) to identify the

self perceived level of cooperation between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, (c)

to identify past and present cooperative activities between 4-H extension agents and agricultural

educators, (d) to identify factors that are related to levels of cooperation among 4-H extension









agents and agricultural educators, and (e) to identify the knowledge and perceptions about the 4-

H and FFA programs from the perspective of the 4-H extension agents and agricultural

educators.

Deutsch's (1949) theory of cooperation and competition was used as the theoretical

framework for this study. This theory was developed to show and explain how cooperation and

competition affect small group functioning.

This was a descriptive study that used two Web-based questionnaires to conduct a census

survey of Florida county extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and school-

based agricultural educators in Florida.

The key finding from this study was that both populations were looking for someone who

can reciprocate and equally exchange time and resources with them. The respondents indicated

they wanted to have a cooperative relationship but some did not know how to orchestrate the

process. They were willing to put in the time to create the relationship in order to increase the

value to youth and improve their professional relationships. This study found the two populations

were similar in age, educational background, county populations, and opinions of encouragement

in 4-H and FFA. The study found that physical distance between offices was not a very

important factor in maintaining or forming a cooperative relationship. Although most

cooperation can be found at county and state fairs, there is room to grow in community service

activities and recruiting students. The findings have given a clearer picture of what is helping and

what is hindering the cooperation relationship between extension agents and agricultural

educators.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE OF STUDY

Introduction to the Study

A strong foundation is the key for any structure to stand the test of time. This goes for any

person as well. In the agriculture industry, many professionals had help building their

foundations. The stories about character building from years past can be heard by just asking

many of the men and women who have been in the agriculture industry for many years. In the

agriculture industry, numerous agencies and professionals have built the foundations for the next

generation of agricultural professionals and workers (Asthroth & Haynes, 2002). The 4-H and

FFA organizations are two of these agencies and they operate the national, state, and local levels.

These agencies are led by extension agents and agricultural educators. The 4-H and FFA

programs have focused on developing personal, leadership, and career skills for youth who were

interested in agriculture (Etling, 1994).

4-H is the official youth organization of the United States Department of Agriculture

whose mission is to create supportive environments outside the school system for diverse youth

and adults to reach their fullest potential (Florida 4-H, 2007). The main objective of 4-H is the

development of youth as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. 4-H is

traditionally club-based but is also conducted in tradition school setting. The newest tag line is

"4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship,

and life skills" (National 4-H Council, 2008, 1).

The National FFA Organization (FFA) is different from 4-H in that FFA is part of the

agricultural education program in the public school system (National FFA Organization, 2006).

The structure of agricultural education in schools consists of three parts: classroom/laboratory

instruction, supervised agricultural experience programs, and the FFA student organization









(National FFA Organization, 2006). The agricultural education mission is to "prepare students

for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber,

and natural resources systems" (National FFA Organization, 2006, p. 5). The mission of the

National FFA Organization is to develop members' potential for premier leadership, personal

growth, and career success through agricultural education (National FFA Organization, 2006).

4-H is led by county extension agents, and FFA by the agricultural education teachers in

the local school. These professionals have shared common goals and responsibilities, such as

delivering effective educational programs to their learners by facilitating learning that has been

intentional, organized, and goal oriented (Etling, 1994).

The responsibilities of 4-H extension agents are outlined in the Florida 4-H Program

Handbook (2007, 3).

In a legal sense, the County 4-H Coordinator or the County 4-H Program Leader is
responsible for all local 4-H units since they are instruments of the Extension Service. The
agent assists with 4-H unit formation, often through others and recognizes their existence
through approval for the use of the 4-H name and emblem, and through provision of
training and educational materials. If the unit operates in a discriminatory manner, such
services must be terminated after due notification.

The FFA advisor, also the agricultural education teacher, responsibilities were cited in The

Official FFA Manual (2006, p. 17) as (a) supervise chapter activities year-round, (b) inform

prospective students and parents about the FFA, (c) instruct students in leadership and personal

development, (d) build school and community support for the program, (e) encourage

involvement of all chapter members in activities, and (f) prepare students for involvement in

career development events (CDEs) and leadership programs.

Because the responsibilities of extension agents and agricultural educators are similar and

the 4-H and FFA programs are similar, these professional educators and participating youth can

benefit from cooperation (Gamon, 1994). For example, Cooperative Extension has resources that









can be used by school-sponsored programs. Gamon (1994) stated, "State and field CES

specialists can deliver the program content if teachers can deliver the audience and

arrangements" (p. 4-5). As another example, teachers could follow the advice of extension agents

for implementation of new, research-based activities. High school teachers may find that teaming

up with extension agents results in up-to-date research information in publications, computer

games, videos, and other materials useful for class projects (Gamon).

Dormody and Seevers (1994) agreed that collaboration should be practiced between the

two organizations to develop 4-H and FFA members' leadership skills. Dormody and Seevers

stated that professionals and volunteers should be taught how to teach collaborative leadership.

"Our youth won't learn to collaborate just because they are put on committees. Our youth should

participate in activities where they learn collaborative leadership skills" (Dormody & Seevers,

1994, p. 21).

Pirch (1993) stated that cooperation was a must for extension agents to keep current on the

latest technologies and information. In a time of budget cuts and hiring freezes, "we'll rely on

co-workers for expertise and energy. The co-worker may no longer be in our office. He or she

may be someone from a cluster, region, district, some other part of the state, multi-state region,

or even the nation" (Pirch, 1993, 12). Pirch claimed that if the agents were proud of the work

they had accomplished, they should feel proud to cooperate with other agents and share their

work.

Problem Statement

The problem of minimal cooperation between extension agents and secondary agricultural

educators has occurred in youth programming (Grage, Place, & Ricketts, 2004). Seevers (1994)

stated that agriculture educators and extension agents need to work closely with communities,









business and industry, government agencies, and each other in order to remain on the cutting

edge of the agricultural field.

Instead of cooperation, there often is competition, and instead of collaboration, there has

been duplication. There should be more cooperation and collaboration between the 4-H and FFA

programs to help youth build strong foundations for the future. Extension agents and agricultural

educators are the key administrators of these programs. Their attitudes toward cooperation can

affect the degree and nature of cooperation and collaboration between the two programs.

Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of this study was to describe the level of cooperation between Florida county

extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and Florida agricultural educators who

advise FFA programs. The objectives of this study were

1. To compare and contrast demographic variables among 4-H extension agents and
agricultural educators

2. To identify the self perceived level of cooperation between 4-H extension agents and
agricultural educators

3. To identify past and present cooperative activities between 4-H extension agents and
agricultural educators

4. To identify factors related to levels of cooperation among 4-H extension agents and
agricultural educators

5. To identify the knowledge and perceptions about the 4-H and FFA programs from the
perspective of the 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators

Significance of Study

There has been little research conducted to determine the cooperative relationship between

Florida 4-H extension agents and Florida agricultural educators. The findings of this study can

help educators and administrators who are preparing and advising future extension agents and

agricultural educators. The educators can use the findings from this study to help train future









agents and agricultural educators how to cooperate and why cooperation is beneficial to the 4-H

and FFA programs. The findings can help current extension agents and agricultural educators

determine what is inhibiting or enhancing the cooperative relationship between themselves and

the other professionals. The results of this study could lead to increased levels of cooperation

and collaboration between future extension agents and agricultural educators.

Operational Definitions

* 4-H: It is defined as a non-formal, practical educational program for youth that is the youth
development program of Florida Cooperative Extension, a part of the University of Florida
IFAS (Florida 4-H, 2007b).

* 4-H Extension Agent: In this study, this is defined as anyone who is employed by Florida
Cooperative Extension with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment.

* Competition: "The rivalry between two or more businesses" (Houghton Mifflin Company,
2000, p. 284). In this study, competition will be defined as county extension agents and
agricultural educators not sharing resources, curricula and advice.

* Cooperation: "The association of persons or businesses for common, usually economic,
benefit" (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000, p. 306). In this study, cooperation is defined
as county extension agents and agricultural educators integrating resources, curricula, and
advice.

* Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES): A partnership between county, state,
and federal governments that provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public
(UF/IFAS, 2007). FCES employs 4-H extension agents.

* Agricultural Educator: Teachers employed by a county in Florida who are certified to
teach agriculture curriculum at a middle school, junior high school, high school, or
agriculture academy.

* The National FFA Organization (FFA): The national agricultural youth organization for
students enrolled in agriculture education in grades 6-12 (National FFA Organization,
2006).

Limitations

The use of self-perceptions in this study is a limitation because they are self-reported, not

observed or documented by an external source (Ary, Jacobs, & Razavieh, 2002). The results will

be impacted because they are personal opinions that can not be verified as fact. A second









limitation is that because only teachers and agents in the state of Florida are taking the survey,

the results can not be generalized outside of this population or state. A third limitation is that the

level of cooperation is limited to only those activities that are 4-H and/or FFA related. The

fourth limitation is the use of distributing the survey electronically. Dillman (2007) suggested

that this limitation can have a variety of technical issues that include (a) preventing the

respondent from properly viewing the instrument, (b) Internet connection speed may affect how

the respondent sees the instrument, and (c) the respondents' computer literacy may affect how

they fill out the questionnaire.

Assumptions

* Respondents filled out the instrument truthfully.
* Respondents had the ability to retrieve the instrument online without complications.
* Respondents had the ability to understand the electronic format of the survey instrument.

Chapter Summary

This chapter introduced the importance and need for this study. This chapter addressed the

purpose and objectives of this study. This chapter gave background knowledge of 4-H and the

National FFA Organization. This chapter specified the operational definitions for many terms

that will be used. The limitations and assumptions were also discussed.











CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Theoretical Framework

Theory of Cooperation and Competition

The theory of cooperation and competition was developed by Morton Deutsch in 1949. He

developed this theory to explain how cooperation and competition affect small group

functioning. Before Deutsch, most work in the field of cooperation concerned an individual's

motivation to achieve in a cooperative or competitive situation. Deutsch documented how small

groups reacted in cooperative or competitive social situations. Deutsch used psychological

implications and assumptions to hypothesize the effects of cooperation and competition on group

processes.

Deutsch (1949b) tested his theory using an experimental design of 10 groups made up of

five introductory psychology students. The groups were paired with one treated as a cooperative

group and the other treated as a competitive group. The cooperative situation was created by

giving the cooperative groups a set of instruction stating the group as a whole would be rated in

comparison with the efforts of the four other cooperative groups. The reward, or grade, each

person would receive would be the same as other group members. The grade would be

determined after that group's relative position was compared to the other four groups (Deutsch,

1949b). The competitive situation was created by giving the competitive groups a set of

instructions stating each member would be rated in comparison with the efforts of the other four

members composing his group. The reward, or grade, would be different for each person in that

group and the grade would be determined by the relative contributions of each person to the

situation.









Deutsch found results on an individual level and at the group level. On an individual level,

the cooperative groups perceived themselves agreeably more interdependent and the competitive

groups thought themselves to be less interdependent (Deutsch, 1949b). The cooperative groups

had a greater ability to sustain similar actions between group members than competitive groups.

When working in cooperation, personal actions were conducted in a positive manner in order to

reach the group goal. The opposite was found for competitive groups. Personal actions were

meant to better the individual, not the group. The fourth result that Deutsch stated was that there

was more positive peer pressure to accomplish the goal within the groups that cooperated than in

those that competed. The final result Deutsch stated was that individual cooperation exhibited

more helpfulness and individual competition would exhibit more obtrusiveness.

On a group level, Deutsch found cooperation allowed for more of the following than

competition: (a)coordination of efforts; (b)diversity in amount of contributions per member;

(c)sub-division of activity; (d)achievement pressure; (e)production of signs in the puzzle

problem; (f)attentiveness to fellow members; (g)mutual comprehension of communication;

(h)common appraisals of communication; (i)orientation and orderliness; (j)productivity per unit

time; (k)quality of product and of discussions; (l)friendliness during discussions; (m)favorable

evaluation of group and its products; (n)group functions; (o)perception of favorable effects of

fellow members; and (p)incorporation of the attitude of the generalized other. There were no

significant differences in the amount of interest in the situation, the amount of specialization with

respect to function or the amount of learning.

Deutsch's practical implications stated "greater group or organization productivity will

result when the members or sub-units are cooperative rather than competitive in their

relationships" (p. 230). Intercommunication of ideas, coordination of efforts, friendliness, and









pride in one's group were basic to group harmony and led to more effectiveness when the group

worked cooperatively rather than competitively. There were some indications that

competitiveness produced greater personal insecurity than cooperation.

A study conducted by Crombag (1966) tested Deutsch's (1949a) hypotheses: (a) groups

would be more satisfied with the task; (b) groups would experience more inducibility (mutual

sensitivity for influence) in their group; (c) groups would be more attracted to the group (d)

groups would evaluate the performance of their group and their own individual performance

higher; and (e) groups would evaluate their fellow group members as more congenial. Crombag

found all of the hypotheses were supported by the data collected during the study.

Smith, Madden, and Sobol (1957) conducted a study focused on cooperative and

competitive group discussions. The researchers used 29 groups of five students each to study

this phenomenon. All groups were given a case to read and discuss. Fourteen groups were

instructed that they would be examined for individual intelligence scores based on their group

discussion. The remaining 15 groups were told the groups should work cooperatively because

they were being compared as a group to the other groups for intelligence scores. After six weeks,

the researchers conducted a recall test to see what the participants remembered from their group

discussions. Smith, Madden and Sobol found more ideas were introduced in the cooperative

groups, as suggested by Deutsch's (1949) theory, but there was no significant difference between

the amounts of information recalled from cooperative or competitive groups.

Thomas (1957) conducted a study to determine if working in cooperative groups would

facilitate or hinder a group from reaching its goal. Thomas used 160 female volunteers and

instructed them on how to assemble miniature houses in five steps. In groups of 5, the women

worked to assemble as many of these houses as they could in 30 minutes. Thomas used a 2 X 2









X 2 factorial design with two treatment groups to test his ideas. Thomas found the groups

perceives "very little hindrance, if any" while working in groups (p. 355). Thomas also found

that if there was a division of labor, participants increased their chance of reaching their goal

because they were cooperatively striving toward it.

In 1977, Slavin conducted an analysis of the research based on classroom reward structures

to see if studies had shown if cooperative, competitive, or individual reward structures were the

best way to reward students. Slavin found that unless subjects had important resources to share

or withhold at their discretion, competitive and individual reward structures were more effective

than cooperative ones for increasing performance. Slavin found consistently positive effects of

cooperative reward structures could cause permanent changes in the climate of classrooms in a

way that promotes mutual attraction and acceptance among students. Slavin's final conclusion

was that a mixture of cooperative and competitive or cooperative and individual reward

structures was the most promising for producing positive effects on academic achievement and

on social connectedness, which is consistent with Deutsch's (1949) theory.

Johnson and Johnson (1972) conducted an experiment to see if race had any effect on

cooperation between two individuals. They found that, regardless of race, individuals

cooperated with their partners more when they had similar attitudes and beliefs, as seen in

Deutsch's (1949) study.

Sharan (1980) analyzed five studies that looked at cooperative small-group learning in the

classroom. Sharan concluded competition did not hinder small-group learning. Sharan

suggested there should be competition between cooperative groups to facilitate learning from a

cooperative and competitive view point.









A meta-analysis of 122 studies conducted by Johnson, Maruyama, Johnson, and Nelson

(1981) helped summarize the results of studies that utilized Deutsch's (1949) theory. The authors

used three methods of meta-analysis (the voting method, the effect-size method, and the z-score

method) in their study. From the authors' analysis, four theoretical propositions were found. The

first was that, "cooperation is superior to competition in promoting achievement and

productivity" (p. 56). Johnson, et al. hypothesized that the superiority of cooperation increased

the more the subjects were required to produce a group product. The second proposition was

that cooperation was superior to individualistic efforts in promoting achievement and

productivity. The third proposition was that cooperation without inter-group competition

promoted higher achievement and productivity than cooperation with inter-group competition.

The authors stated this finding had the weakest empirical evidence to support this conclusion.

The final proposition was there was no significant difference between interpersonal competitive

and individualistic goal structures on achievement and productivity.

Tjosvold (1984) conducted a historical analysis with Deutsch's (1949) theory of

cooperation and competition to see how the classic theory had withstood the test of time.

Tjosvold summarized the theory by examining Deutsch's results. Tjosvold stated Deutsch

suggested four possible outcomes in a cooperative situation. The first outcome was that

cooperative groups expected and actually assisted each other in order to reach their common

goal. The second outcome was that communication was more accurate and group members

would use positive peer influence to reach the group goal. The third outcome was that

cooperative groups would divide tasks and encourage group members to complete their assigned

tasks. The fourth outcome was that cooperative people would be more friendly and supportive of









each other. Tjosvold agreed with Deutsch's theory, but stated, "most situations will then have

processes induced by cooperation, competition and individualization" (p. 746).

Slavin (1987) conducted a similar study that compared developmental and motivational

perspectives in cooperative learning. Slavin defined motivational perspectives by stating that

these researchers were more concerned with the reward or goal structure under which group

members operated, unlike the developmental researchers who focused primarily on the quality of

interaction among the students engaged in collaborative activities. For example, Deutsch (1949)

has a motivational perspective while Piaget and Vygotsky had developmental perspectives.

Slavin's study analyzed of 46 studies which all contained a cooperative learning method

compared with a control group, took place in regular elementary or secondary school for at least

two weeks, and had achievement measures that assessed individual learning of objectives taught

equally in experimental and control classes. Slavin found that when studies did not grade or

reward based on the produced group projects, there was little support for cooperative learning.

He did find when there was a group grade or reward, cooperative learning worked well in

classroom settings. Slavin concluded instead of the two perspectives working independently of

each other, a blended (or cooperative) relationship would work best in the classroom.

Outside the classroom setting, Tjosvold (1988) carried out interviews with 39 employees at

a public health agency to identify specific interactions they had with co-workers in their field.

Tjosvold found that employees that thought their goals were the same as their co-workers had

trusting expectations, exchanged information and resources, worked efficiently and productively,

and developed confidence in future collaboration. Tjosvold found when employees had

competitive goals, they treated each other with suspicion, had little exchange of information, had









low productivity, and low morale. Tjosvold concluded independent goals interfered more with

interaction between groups than within them.

Alper, Tjosvold, and Law (1998) had similar findings as Tjosvold (1988) in their study of

60 self-managing teams. The authors found teams with highly cooperative goals were able to

open-mindedly and constructively discuss opposing views. This helped develop confidence in

team dynamics and contributed to effective team performance. Alper, Tjosvold, and Law found

competitive goals interfered with constructive controversy, confidence and effectiveness. They

suggested structuring cooperative goals and constructive controversy could help self-managing

teams gain confidence and work more productively.

Beersma, Hollenbeck, Humphrey, Moon, Conlon, and Ilgen (2003) used Deutsch's (1949)

theory to study the relationship between reward structures and team performance. Beersma, et

al. concluded reward structures should be used based on the objective of the task being rewarded.

For example, "Competitive structures should be used when people are working independently,

whereas cooperative reward structures should be used when people are working

interdependently" (p. 584).

Competition occurs when there is a limited supply of resources (Rocha & Rogers, 1971).

In Rocha and Rogers' (1971) study, they demonstrated this concept by challenging children to

build the tallest tower out of the blocks provided. Following Deutsch's (1949) theory, the

competition allowed for only one child to receive a prize for the tallest tower. The children were

observed showing three signs of aggression: verbal, interference, and overt physical attacks.

Rocha and Rogers concluded that "the more competitive the situation, the more aggressively the

children behaved" but this does not mean that competition always leads to aggression (p. 592).









The theory of cooperation and competition was used in Deutsch and Krauss' (1962) study

of bargaining. The researchers stated that bargainers were more likely to reach an agreement if

their cooperative interests were stronger in comparison to their competitive interests. Deutsch

and Krauss conducted an experiment to test their hypotheses. The experiment allowed

participants to make threats in order to strike a bargain. Deutsch and Krauss found threats

hindered cooperation, and competition was the main focus during the bargaining process.

Deutsch's (1949) theory of cooperation and competition has been tested for almost 60

years. Many studies agree that working in cooperative groups that are competing as a group has

the biggest positive effect on individual learning (Alper, Tjosvold, and Law, 1998; Beersma, et

al., 2003; Deutsch, 1949b; Johnson, et al., 1981; Slavin, 1977, 1987; Smith, Madden & Sobol,

1957; Thomas, 1957; Tjosvold, 1988).

Cooperation among Extension Agents

All extension agents, not just 4-H, can benefit from cooperation. Many studies have been

conducted to demonstrate how partnerships with Cooperative Extension Service/extension agents

can benefit the agents, CES and other parties involved (Barnard, 1985; Kittredge, 1992;

Scutchfield, Harris, Tanner & Murray, 2007)

Kittredge (1992) conducted a Delphi study of 12 northeastern state forestry extension

agents to see how their cooperation in the Northeast Forest Resource Extension Committee

(NEFREC) was helping reduce duplication efforts in producing educational materials. Kittredge

found the committee was helping reduce the duplication of education materials. The committee

had developed the bibliography of Cooperative Extension natural resource educational materials

that had been distributed to each state (Kittredge, 1992). This partnership allowed for

cooperation between multiple agents. This reduced their workload, used time and money more

efficiently and helped create partnership that could be used in the future.









Scutchfield, Harris, Tanner and Murray (2007) developed a model of cooperation between

universities which had a college of agriculture that housed CES and academic health centers.

The model showed how CES worked with the health centers to provide up-to-date research

information to the public. This model was developed from the University of Kentucky's CES

working with its' academic health center. This model showed that CES can cooperate with

outside academic resources and programs to create better, more in-depth materials.

Another example of CES and extension agents cooperating with other agencies came from

Barnard's (1985) explanation of how CES was approached by the Farmers Home Administration

in Indiana about training borrowers how to use the Coordinated Financial Statements of

Agriculture. CES of Indiana worked with the Farmers Home Administration to train agents two

months before conducting workshops on the financial statements. The partnership conducted

workshops in all 45 counties in Indiana plus two at large workshops for a total of 47 workshops.

This partnership and the workshops they conducted helped spread the word about what CES

could do because, "more people were exposed to the Cooperative Extension Service, and county

Extension agents were able to expand their mailing lists" (T15).

Past studies have shown how cooperation between CES/extension agents and other agents,

health centers and outside companies have created positive learning environments for everyone

involved. Fetsch and Yang (2002) conducted a study of 4-H and non-4-H members to see how

competition and cooperation affected the participants' self-perceptions of themselves. The

authors found both participant groups scored similarly on the Cooperative Learning Orientation

assessment but 4-H members scored lower on the Competitive Learning Orientation assessment

than non-4-H members. Fetsch and Yang suggested that 4-H leaders be urged to provide a









system that rewards cooperation even more than individual competition at county, state, and

national fairs, particularly for members in third through fifth grade.

Cooperation among Agricultural Educators

Agricultural educators have worked with a wide variety of people to form cooperative

relationships. Dormody (1992) stated agriculture and science teachers were natural partners and

that it would be logical for them to share resources for integrating the programs into both types

of classrooms. A national study by Dormody found, "except for equipment and supplies, teachers

in agriculture perceived that they had shared more resources with science departments than they

had received" (p. 26). This showed that even natural partners must work at cooperation.

Dormody (1992) used the results to predict what factors were associated with present and

future resource sharing between agriculture and science teachers in another study (Dormody,

1993). He developed a predictive profile of agriculture teachers who share resources with

science departments. This profile included teachers who took in-service courses or workshops

covering science-related teaching methods, taught non-agriculture science courses in the science

department, had a positive attitude toward science, had knowledge and skill in science and

worked in a school with a relatively large number of science teachers. Dormody developed a

second profile for agriculture teachers who used science department resources. That profile

included teachers that had a positive attitude toward science, had positive interpersonal relations

with science department personnel, took in-service courses or workshops covering science-

related teaching methods and taught non-agriculture courses in the science department. After

developing these profiles, Dormody stated that "attitude toward science appears to be the best

overall predictor of resource sharing between teachers of agriculture and science departments"

(p. 58).









Agricultural educators tend to cooperate more with science teachers in a school setting

(Whent, 2000). Whent conducted a panel longitudinal study to determine what factors influenced

resource sharing between agricultural and science teachers. Participation in the Agriscience

Institute and Outreach Program increased cooperation and resource sharing between the pairs of

teachers. Whent found it was possible to increase the amount of cooperation and resource

sharing between the teachers through information sharing, team building, and assigned tasks.

The major factor inhibiting science teachers from utilizing agriculture department resources was

a lack of awareness of both the resources available and similarities in curriculum.

A study by Ubadigbo and Gamon (1988) found little cooperation between Iowa

agribusinesses and other groups. Ubadigbo and Gamon did find a high level of cooperation

between agribusinesses and private individuals. They suggested that the low levels of

cooperation may have been because agri-educators were not aggressive enough in promoting

cooperation with agribusinesses, or that geographical locations made cooperation more difficult.

Eaton and Bruening (1996) studied Pennsylvania secondary agricultural educators to

determine their perceptions regarding implementing recommendations from the National

Research Council after the document "A Nation at Risk" was published. They found that

teachers knew there was a gap in cooperation between agricultural education and other

disciplines and the teachers supported developing partnerships to strengthen their agricultural

programs. Eaton and Bruening stated that science departments should be the top priority when

making these partnerships.

Cooperation between Agricultural Educators and Extension Agents

Numerous government acts have provided the foundations for the development of the

Cooperative Extension Service, 4-H, agricultural education, and FFA in the United States. The

problem with these government acts was that they did not specifically identify a line where









Cooperative Extension stops and school-based agricultural education began, or vice versa. "They

have enough common goals that many officials were concerned that after passages of federal

legislation for each, that there would be a lot of duplication between the two" (Hillison, 1996a, p.

9) in the early years of CES and school-based agriculture education.

In the early years of CES and school-based agricultural education, many problems came

up.

When they were prepared, both vocational teaching and extension work were
comparatively new. With the development of these two closely related and rapidly
expanding lines of public service, problems have arisen which make desirable a re-
statement of the respective fields of Smith-Hughes and Smith-Lever workers and of the
relationships between the two groups (Memorandum of Understanding, 1928, 2).

Wessel and Wessel (1982) said "local extension agents prevented young people from

joining vocational education programs and teachers in the schools kept youth from joining 4-H

clubs" (p. 11) in the early stages of the two organizations.

Because of the competition between the two groups over factors, such as resources and

member participation, the Memorandum of Understanding Relative to the Smith-Hughes and

Smith-Lever Relationships in Agriculture was written in 1928 (Memorandum of Understanding,

1928). This memorandum clearly stated where the line was drawn between agricultural

education and the extension services.

There will be the co-operative agricultural extension system conducted by the State
agricultural colleges in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture and
the county under the provisions of the Smith-Lever Act and under other Federal and State
legislation. There will also be vocational agricultural instruction carried on by the State
board for vocational education in co-operation with the Federal Board for Vocational
Education and the county or the local school district under the provisions of the Smith-
Hughes Act. The extension service and the vocational service will deal with both adults
and youth (Memorandum of Understanding, 1928, 11).

The memorandum clarified the focus of extension work and vocational agriculture in

public schools by stating that vocational agriculture was, "courses of systematic instruction in









agriculture, carried on in schools or classes for those who entered upon or who are planning to

enter upon the work of the farm or of the farm home" (Memorandum of Understanding, 1928,

T28). The memorandum stated extension, "shall consist of the giving of instruction and practical

demonstrations in agriculture and home economics to persons not attending or resident at said

colleges in the several communities and imparting to such person useful and practical

information on said subjects through field demonstrations, publications, and otherwise, and to

encourage the application of the same" (Memorandum of Understanding, 1928, 17).

After defining extension services and vocational agriculture, the memorandum stated:

Any work participated in by the teacher of vocational agriculture not included in all-day,
day unit, evening or part-time instruction, should be done in accordance with the plans of
the extension system for the state and in cooperation with the agent who is in charge of the
extension work in the county. Teachers of vocational agriculture or representatives of
vocational agriculture work should be invited to participate in all meetings conducted by
the extension service for the formulation of county and state agricultural programs
(Memorandum of Understanding, 1928, 13).

With clearly defined lines and cooperation stated, county extension agents and agricultural

educators still had, "a problem of limited cooperation.. particularly in youth programming" in

2004 (Grage, et al., 2004). Grage et al. conducted a qualitative study using secondary agricultural

educators and livestock extension agents in Florida to determine what major themes restricted

levels of cooperation between the two groups. The authors found, "the relationship between the

agricultural educator and the extension agent, the awareness of the other profession, and the

understanding and perceptions of cooperation and competition" were the most influential factors

affecting levels of cooperation (11). The authors concluded, "aspects such as a lack of mutual

respect, resource sharing, scheduling problems and currently held perceptions regarding the

individuals involved contributed to the absence of cooperative relationships between the

disciplines" (T10).









A follow-up quantitative study was conducted by Ricketts and Place (2005). The purpose

of this study was to "explore cooperation between agriculture teachers and extension agents in

Florida and characterize the current environment surrounding cooperation between disciplines"

(T7). Ricketts and Place found conflicting results from the focus groups. The authors found that

72% of extension agents and 80% of agriculture teachers stated they had currently been

cooperating with the other profession. Both disciplines agreed strongly that cooperation allows

for added resource sharing, and they were more likely to cooperate with a committed and

responsible party.

The teachers and agents agreed on the four best reasons for cooperation. The authors stated

that the number one reason was the added value to the youth in the organizations. The following

three reasons included benefit to participation programs, increased awareness of agriculture

education/extension, and agriculture education/extension's mission. On an individual level, both

teachers and agents felt strongly that they had experienced successful results while cooperating.

Bruce and Ricketts (in press) conducted a similar study using Pennsylvania agriculture

teachers (N=83) and extension agents (N=88) as their population. In their qualitative study, they

found three themes for advantages to cooperation and four themes for barriers to cooperation.

The first theme for advantages of cooperation was that cooperation improved programming

offerings. It helped to increase participation, to improve communication and information flow,

and to increase new idea formation. The second theme was that cooperation helped in sharing the

workload for events. This helped reduce stress, made less work for one person, and the

partnership shared successes and failures. The third item was that cooperation increased the

amount and type of resources available to both groups that included personnel, expertise and

materials.









The four themes for barriers of cooperation were time constraints, lack of knowledge or

awareness of the other group, programmatic differences, and resources (Bruce and Ricketts, in

press).The first theme of time constraints was the most common barriers described by

participants. Respondents stated it took time to initiate contact, to formulate action plans or

strategies, and to divide up the workload. The second theme was that a lack of awareness in

reference to programming as well as on a personal level was a barrier to cooperation. The third

theme was that programmatic differences emerged because diversity in the programs did not

have the two professionals crossing paths. The final barrier to cooperation was inequitable

resources. Each group described elements like contact hours, administrative pressures (both

positive and negative), and peer influences as barriers to cooperation.

A similar study conducted by Diatta and Luft (1986) looked at the cooperation between

North Dakota secondary agricultural teachers and county extension agents. They found

cooperation occurred most often when working with crop production or crop enterprise

activities. Cooperation between FFA and 4-H was found the most often in livestock and crop

activities. Diatta and Luft stated in agricultural mechanics, 4-H and FFA were the benefactors of

cooperation while agricultural educators reported adult classes and activities received the most

cooperation. In youth activities, judging activities such as crops and livestock had the greatest

amount of cooperation. The final result was that agents and educators had the most cooperation

on activities that dealt with fairs and shows.

Diatta and Luft studied factors influencing cooperation. The top four factors that had a

negative influence were: (a) difference in age; (b) long distance (greater than 20 miles) between

schools and county extension offices; (c) time conflicts in getting together; and (d) the lack of









clarity of functions. The most positive influence was short distances (less than 20 miles)

between extension offices and schools. Hillison (1996a) stated:

In many ways, a new era is about to begin in the working relationship between agricultural
education and Cooperative Extension. Both organizations have suffered budget cuts, but
still have a very large clientele to serve. Often times the motto for both has been 'Do more
with less.' History indicated that it is possible for the agencies to cooperate (p. 13).

Chapter Summary

This chapter introduced the theory of cooperation and competition by Deutsch (1949) and

examples were given that used the theory. This was followed by empirical evidence about the

cooperative relationships between agricultural educators, between extension agents, and between

agricultural educators and extension agents.









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Introduction

This chapter identifies the type of research used in this study along with the two

populations surveyed. This chapter introduces the procedures that were used to develop the

questionnaire instruments used in this study. Chapter three discusses the type of questions in

both instruments along with a detailed description of the data analysis process.

Research Design

This was a descriptive study that took the form of a single-method research design as

defined by Ary, Jacobs, and Razavieh (2002). The researcher used two Web-based

questionnaires to conduct census survey of all Florida extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H

appointment and of all agricultural educators who advise an FFA program in Florida.

Populations

The study's population consisted of all Florida extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H

appointment and all Florida agricultural educators who advise an FFA program. The researcher

obtained the list of current extension personnel along with their percentages of appointments

from the County Operations Office at the University of Florida. There were 106 extension

agents in the population. The agents were chosen based on their percentage of 4-H. In Florida,

every extension agent is assigned at least a five percent 4-H appointment (M. N. Norman,

personal communication, July 20, 2007). Norman felt that a 20% 4-H appointment would serve

as a good cut-off point for extension agents because these agents have dedicated substantial time

to youth development and youth programs.

The researcher obtained the list of current agricultural educators (N= 333) from the 2006

Florida Agricultural Education Directory. The 2006 Florida Agricultural Education Directory









was chosen as the source for the population frame because it served as the only current,

comprehensive list of Florida agricultural educators in the state.

Instrumentation

The researcher developed two questionnaires in Zoomerang modified from instruments

that Ricketts and Place (2005) and Bruce and Ricketts (in press) used in previous studies.

Slightly different versions of the base questionnaire were developed for each of the two

study populations. The first questionnaire was developed for the extension agents and contained

four sections (Appendix B). The first section asked questions regarding the knowledge and

perceptions of extension agents about school-based agricultural education and the FFA program.

This second section addressed the attitudes of extension agents toward cooperation in general.

The third section asked about personal opinions and experiences related to cooperative activities

with agricultural educators. The final section contained nine demographic questions about the

agent, his/her current position, and extension program. The independent variables for this study

were gender, age, county population, educational background, encouraging children to be

involved in 4-H, encouraging children to be involved in FFA, if they had ever worked as an

agricultural educator before, their primary program area, and their percentage 4-H appointment.

The dependent variables were self perceptions of the level of cooperation between agents and

educators, attitudes toward cooperation, knowledge and perceptions of 4-H and FFA programs,

and knowledge and perceptions of other profession.

The second questionnaire was developed for the agricultural educators and it also

contained four sections (Appendix C). The first section asked questions regarding the knowledge

and perceptions of the agricultural educators about the Cooperative Extension Service and the 4-

H program. This second section addressed the attitudes of agricultural educators toward

cooperation in general. The third section asked about personal opinions and experiences with









cooperative activities with extension agents. The final section contained nine demographic

questions about the educator, his/her current position, and his/her school-based program. The

independent variables for this study were gender, age, county population, educational

background, encouraging children to be involved in 4-H, encouraging children to be involved in

FFA, if they had worked as an extension agent prior to working as an agricultural educator, the

primary focus area of their program, and the type of program conducted (high school, middle

school, or blended).

The original questionnaires were developed from focus group results obtained by Grage,

Place, and Ricketts (2004) from Florida livestock extension agents and Florida secondary

agricultural educators. Ricketts and Place (2005) developed the two questionnaires and

conducted a study using a stratified random sample of Florida extension agents and a random

sample of secondary agricultural educators. Ricketts and Bruce (in press) conducted a similar

study using the same instruments on extension agents and secondary agricultural educators in

Pennsylvania. Ricketts and Bruce (in press) gave the researcher permission to modify the

original instruments.

Internal validity is defined as "the extent to which the changes in a dependent variable are,

in fact, caused by the independent variable in a particular experimental situations rather than by

some extraneous factors" (Ary, et al., 2002, p. 281). History, maturation, testing,

instrumentation, statistical regression, differential selection, mortality and the interaction of these

threats could pose a threat to the internal validity of this study and research design (Campbell &

Stanley, 1966). Because the instruments used in this study were modified by the researcher, the

largest threat to internal validity was instrumentation. The threats of history, maturation, testing,

and mortality were controlled by utilizing two census questionnaires that included the entire









population of extension agents and agricultural educators in Florida. These threats were also

controlled by administrating the questionnaires only one time. By including all of the

individuals in the population, it ensured that participants were selected based on the definition of

the study parameters and not characteristics determined by the researcher.

Since the instruments were modified by the researcher, validity was addressed in more

depth. According to Ary et al. (2002), internal validity based upon the instrument can be

separated into four categories: face validity, content validity, construct validity, and criterion-

related validity. For the purpose of this study, a panel of experts reviewed the instruments to

ensure these types of validity. The panel members were five Agricultural Education and

Communication Department faculty from the University of Florida (Appendix A). Each of these

panel members had previous experience with either the Cooperative Extension Service or the job

responsibilities of an extension agent or teaching agriculture in a secondary school as well as

advising an FFA program.

Face validity is concerned with whether or not an instrument appears valid for the intended

purpose (Ary et al., 2002). Content validity, or the degree to which the data from an instrument

are representative of some defined domain, was also addressed (Ary et al. 2002). Threats to

content validity were reduced by a careful examination by the expert panels and through a

review of the pilot study questionnaires completed prior to the questionnaire distribution. The

pilot study consisted of 40 extension agents from the State of Kansas and 40 agricultural

educators also from the State of Kansas. The pilot study individuals were approved by the panels

of experts as an appropriate representation of the population studied.

Dillman (2007) described nonresponse error as the possibility that those who do not

respond to a questionnaire or do not provide usable responses differ from those who do respond









and provide usable responses. Lindner, Murphy and Briers (2001) cited four generally accepted

procedures for addressing nonresponse error. They include ignoring nonrespondents, comparing

early respondents to late respondents, comparing respondents to the population, and comparing

respondents to nonrespondents. For the purpose of this study, the research decided to compare

respondents to nonrespondents.

Procedure

A pilot test was conducted before the questionnaires were distributed. The original

instruments were developed from focus-group results and were pilot tested before their first use

by Ricketts and Place (2005). The pilot test conducted by the current researcher was necessary to

reestablish reliability and validity for the researcher-modified instrument.

Prior to collection of data, a proposal to conduct the study was submitted to the University

of Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB-02). The proposal was approved (IRB #2007-U-

0671) (Appendix D). The informed consent form described the study, voluntary nature of

participation, and informed participants of any potential risk and/or benefits associated with

participating in the study.

After approval was granted by the IRB, the questionnaires were administered to the pilot

study participants in September, 2008, and the data were collected and analyzed by the

researcher and panel of experts. The pilot test participants consisted of 40 extension agents from

Kansas and 40 agricultural educators from Kansas. The response rate was 37.5% (N =15) for

extension agents and 47.5% (N =19) for agricultural educators. Cronbach's alpha was extracted

using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 14.0 for Windows on the first and

third sections of the questionnaires from the pilot test results. Cronbach's alpha was 0.866 and

this was determined acceptable by the researcher.









For the main study, the researcher used the Web-based program Zoomerang to distribute

the questionnaires to the respondents. The researcher chose this method because the cost was

minimal, distribution was simple and exact, E-mail addresses were available, and submission of

completed questionnaires was easy and had minimal errors. These aspects outweighed the

limitations that were discussed by Dillman (2007). These limitations were that respondents may

not have a computer, respondents may not have Internet access, and respondents may not feel

confident enough in their abilities to work on a computer to take an Internet questionnaire.

However, because all extension agents and agricultural educators had assigned work E-mail

addresses, they would have access to a computer with Internet access and had the computer skills

required to complete an online questionnaire.

The researcher followed the Tailored Design Method for survey collection by Dillman

(2007). The initial contact was a brief pre-notice E-mail that was sent September 24, 2007

(Appendix E). The pre-notice E-mail explained to the respondents that the questionnaire would

be sent out and that responses were greatly appreciated. This E-mail was sent to 109 Florida

extension agents and 407 Florida agricultural educators. Because of invalid E-mail addresses,

five people were removed from the extension population frame and 76 people were removed

from the agricultural educators' list.

A hyperlink to the questionnaire was sent out via E-mail on October 3, 2007 through the

Zoomerang software. The E-mail contained a detailed cover letter along with a Zoomerang

hyperlink to the questionnaire. The E-mails for extension agents contained a link to the

questionnaire for extension agents and the E-mail for agricultural educators contained a link to

the agricultural educator questionnaire. A total of 331 agricultural educator and 104 extension

agent E-mails went out. This round of E-mails resulted in four invalid E-mail addresses from the









agricultural educators' list and one invalid E-mail address from the extension list. These names

were removed before the first reminder was sent out.

A week after the first contact was sent out, a reminder was E-mailed via the Zoomerang

software. From this round of contact, there was one invalid E-mail address removed from the

extension population frame and two E-mail addresses were removed from the agricultural

educators' population frame.

On October 31, 2007, three weeks after the first reminder was E-mailed out, a second

reminder letter and another hyperlink to the questionnaire were E-mailed to 60 extension agents

and 213 agricultural educators. The final contact was made on November 7, 2007, by sending a

third E-mail reminder and hyperlink to the questionnaire to 53 extension agents and 191

agricultural educators.

Data Analysis

The researcher used Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 14.0 for Windows

for the analysis. Descriptive statistics including central tendencies and frequencies along with t-

tests were used to analyze the data describing the level of cooperation between Florida extension

agents and Florida agricultural educators in. Inferential statistics were used in this study because

the populations were treated as a sample from a snapshot in time.

The researcher analyzed the questions relating to the first objective by comparing and

contrasting demographic differences between the extension agents and agricultural educators.

There were eight demographic questions asked to each one of the responders with three specific

questions asked to the extension agents and three specific questions asked to the agricultural

educators. The eight questions were related to: gender, age, encouragement of 4-H,

encouragement of FFA, degrees held (bachelor's, master's, and doctorate) and county

population. The specific questions asked of the extension agents included prior job experience









as an agricultural educator, primary program area, and 4-H percentage appointment. The

agricultural educators were asked if they had prior job experience as an extension agent, primary

focus area of the program they conducted, and the type of program (high school, middle school,

or blended, [both high school and middle school]) conducted.

The researcher used questions about attitudes toward general cooperation and a rating scale

of zero to ten to satisfy the second objective that stated: To identify the self perceptions of the

level of cooperation between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. Questions were

used to complete the third objective of identifying past and present cooperative activities

between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators that asked responders to rate how often

cooperation occurred on certain activities. To fulfill the fourth objective to identify factors

related to levels of cooperation among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, the

researcher used questions that had respondents rate the importance of different variables on the

cooperation relationship. If the respondents did not currently cooperate, they were asked to rate

what factors would have a positive influence on the relationship and to rate why they did not

currently cooperate. The fifth objective, to identify the knowledge and perceptions about the 4-H

and FFA programs from the perspective of the 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators,

the researcher used questions one and two.

Chapter Summary

This chapter described the methods used to study the specific objectives identified in

Chapter One. The research design, population, instrumentation, procedures and data analysis

were discussed. This descriptive study consisted of two census surveys, one for extension agents

and one for agricultural educators. The researcher used two modified versions of a questionnaire

to gather data. A summary and description of the pilot test analysis was addressed.









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

There were a total of 435 questionnaires were sent via E-mail to extension agents and

agricultural educators around in Florida. Two hundred and three questionnaires were returned for

a 46.7% (N 203) overall response rate. There were 104 questionnaires sent via E-mail to

extension agents and 55 were completed for a response rate of 52.8% (N 55). There were 331

questionnaires e-mailed to agricultural educators and 148 were completed for a response rate of

44.7% (N 148).

Based on Dillman's (2007) recommendation to always address nonresponse error, a

comparison of respondents and nonrespondents was conducted. Respondents were all of the

respondents who answered the questionnaire via the Internet while nonrespondents were those

who were contacted by telephone and asked thirteen questions by the researcher. The 10% of the

nonrespondents called were chosen at random from the list of nonrespondents of the initial

questionnaire. There were five extension agents and 18 agricultural educators contacted.

Independent samples t-tests were conducted on the questions answered by the nonrespondents to

compare to the respondents. The results, as shown in Table 4.1, indicate that three of the

questions had a significant difference. Therefore, results cannot be generalized to the entire

population (Lindner, Murphy, & Briers, 2001). The three statements were "I feel like the

agricultural educators/extension agents in my county are too busy to cooperate with me,"

"Students should not be allowed to participate in both 4-H and FFA," and "I have previously

tried to cooperate and it is not worth the time required."









Table 4.1 Comparison of early and late respondents.


Respondents


Questions
I work best with those I have a history with.
I feel that many youth make a choice between participating in either
4-H or FFA.
My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear from other in
my field.
I feel like I'm competing with (FFA/4-H) for participants.
I seek the advice of the (agricultural educators/extension agents) in
my county more than they seek my advice.
My supervisor encourages cooperation between myself and the
(extension agents/agricultural educators) in my county.
4-H and FFA share the same general goals for youth development.
Full participation by all parties is necessary for cooperation to occur
between agricultural educators and extension agents
S My decision to cooperate is dependent upon the other parties'
characteristics such as responsibility, personality, and respect.
I feel like I don't have anything to reciprocate to the (agricultural
educators/extension agents) in my county.
Students should not be allowed to participate in both 4-H and FFA.
I feel like the (agricultural educators/extension agents) in my
county are too busy to cooperate with me.
I have previously tried to cooperate and it is not worth the time
required.
Note. M=mean; SD=standard deviation
*p<.05.


M
3.40
3.60

2.44

2.58
2.95

3.16

3.76
3.91

3.58

2.39

1.65
2.57

2.23


SD
0.99
1.20

0.99

1.26
1.12

1.13

0.99
0.91

0.94

1.05

1.14
1.19

1.08


Nonrespondents


M
3.43
3.52

2.57

2.35
2.74

3.39

4.00
4.13

3.91

2.00

1.13
1.96

1.57


SD
1.16
1.34


t
-0.13
0.29


P
0.89
0.76


1.03 -0.57 0.56

1.22 0.84 0.40
1.21 0.84 0.39

1.30 -0.90 0.36

0.95 -1.08 0.28
0.92 -1.09 0.27

0.94 -1.61 0.10

1.12 1.66 0.09

0.34 2.16 0.03*
0.92 2.38 0.01*

0.78 2.86 <0.01*









Results by Objective


Objective 1

Objective: To compare and contrast demographic variables among 4-H extension agents

and agricultural educators.

There were eight demographic questions included in the questionnaires with three

questions specific to the extension agents and three questions specific to the agricultural

educators.

Gender

Of the 203 respondents, 57.1% (N 116) were female and 42.9% (N 87) were male. Of the

55 extension agents who responded, 80% (N 44) were female and 20% (N=11) were male.

There was a more even split in the agricultural educators with 51.4% (N 76) male and 48.6%

(N 72) female respondents.

Age

The ages of the respondents were found by giving each one a choice of 25 or under, 26-35,

36-45, 46-55, or 56 and older. Figure 4-1 shows the extension agent age group break down and

Figure 4-2 shows the agricultural educator age group break down. The largest group overall was

the 46-55 year olds (30.7%, N=62) followed closely by the 26-35 year old group (28.7%, N=58).

The 36-45 year old group was the third highest with 17.3% (N 35) with 56 years old and older

(15.8%, N=32) in fourth and 25 years old or under (7.4%, N=15) with the smallest response.

Within the extension agents, the 26-35 and 46-55 age groups were tied for the highest percent

(30.9%, N=17), followed by 36-45 with 23.6% (N 13), 56 and older (9.1%, N=5) and 25 or

under (5.5%, N=3). The agricultural educators followed a similar pattern as the overall

breakdown by age. The highest group was 46-55 with 30.7% (N 62), followed by 26-35 with

28.7% (N 58). The agricultural educators deviated from the overall trend because the 56 or










above group had the third highest percent with 18.4% (N 27), pushing the 36-45 group to fourth


with 15% (N 22) and 25 or under at 8.2% (N 12).


Figure 4-1. Extension agent age groups


Figure 4-2. Agricultural educator age groups


Extension Agent Age Groups


E 25 or under
* 26-35
m 36-45
S46-55
* 56 and older


Agricultural Educator Age Groups


E 25 or under
* 26-35
m 36-45
S46-55
56 and older









Educational background

Overall, 95.5% (N 194) of respondents listed that they held a bachelor's degree and 4.4%

(N 9) did not list a bachelor's degree. Of those that did not list a bachelor's degree, four were

extension agents and five were agricultural educators. In Florida, a new hire must have at least a

bachelor's degree to be hired as an agricultural educator or extension agent. It is therefore

believed that this data is missing. There were 53.2% (N 108) of respondents who listed a

master's degree and 46.8% (N 95) of respondents who did not. Of the respondents who listed a

master's degree, 35.2% (N=38) were extension agents and 64.8% (N 70) were agricultural

educators. There were on six respondents who reported they held a doctorate degree: two

extension agents and four agricultural educators.

County population

Figure 4-3 shows extension agent county population break down and Figure 4-4 shows

agricultural educator county population break down. Overall, the largest group of respondents

(39.7%, N-79) were from counties with more than 250,000 people, followed by counties with

90,001-250,000 (26.6%, N-53) and counties with 25,001-90,000 (26.1%, N-52) and counties

under 25,000 with only 7.5% (N 15). The agricultural educators followed the overall trend but

the extension agents did not follow the overall trend. The extension agents had more respondents

from counties with 25,001-90,000 than from counties with 90,001-250,000.



























Figure 4-3. Extension agent county populations.


Figure 4-4. Agricultural educator county populations.


Extension Agent
County Population


* Under 25,000
m 25,001-90,000
1 90,001-250,000
m More than 250,000


Agricultural Educator

County Populations

4%


* Under 25,000
" 25,001-90,000
S90,001-250,000
* Morethan 250,000









Encouragement of 4-H and the National FFA Association

The questions asked respondents if they would/do encourage their children to be involved

in 4-H and FFA. For each question, respondents were given the choices of Yes, No or N/A. Of

203 respondents, 163 (80.3%) encouraged their children to be involved in 4-H while 15 (7.4%)

did not and 25 (12.3%) choose N/A. Of the 55 extension agents, 52 (94.5%) encouraged

involvement, one (1.8%) that did not and two (3.6%) that reported N/A. Of the 148 agricultural

educators, 75% (N 111) encouraged involvement, 9.5% (N 14) did not encourage involvement

and 15.5% (N 23) reported N/A. When asked about encouraging their children to be involved in

FFA, 87.2% (N 177) encouraged involvement, 2% (N 4) did not encourage involvement and

10.8% (N 22) reported N/A. Of the 55 extension agents, 39 (70.9%) encouraged involvement,

three (5.5%) did not encourage involvement, and 13 (23.6%) reported N/A. Of the 148

agricultural educators, 93.2% (N 138) encouraged involvement, 0.7% (N 1) did not encourage

involvement, and 6.1% (N 9) reported N/A.

Extension specific questions: prior job experience, primary program area, percentage 4-H

There were five (5.4%) respondents who reported they had worked as an agricultural

educator before and the time ranged from two to 13 years.

For the primary program area, extension agents were given the choices of

agriculture/natural resources, commercial horticulture, family and consumer sciences,

environmental horticulture, general agriculture, livestock, sea grant/aquatics, 4-H/youth

development, and other. Table 4-2 identifies the respondents by primary program area. The

majority of respondents (85.5%, N=47) were 4-H/youth development agents with only two

agriculture/natural resources agents, four family and consumer sciences agents, one general

agriculture agent and one sea grant/aquatics agent.









Table 4-2. Agent primary program area.
Primary Program Area f %
4-H/Youth Development 47 85.50
Family and Consumer Sciences 4 7.30
Agriculture/Natural Resources 2 3.60
General Agriculture 1 1.80
Sea Grant/Aquatics 1 1.80
Commercial Horticulture 0 0.00
Environmental Horticulture 0 0.00
Livestock 0 0.00
Other 0 0.00
Note. f-frequency.

The percentage 4-H appointment of the agents ranged from 10%-100%. Even though one

of the parameters for being included in the extension agent population was at least a 20% or

higher 4-H appointment, there were four agents who were below 20%. This could be due to

updated 4-H appointments from the time the population frame was gathered and the

questionnaire was returned, or human error. A majority (68.5%, N=37)) of extension agents had

a 100% 4-H appointment. Table 4-3 identifies extension agents by their percentage 4-H

appointment.

Table 4-3. Agent 4-H appointment.
Percent 4-H appointment f %
10 3 5.60
15 1 1.90
25 2 3.70
40 2 3.70
50 4 7.40
60 2 3.70
80 2 3.70
90 1 1.90
100 37 68.50
Note. f-frequency.









Agricultural educator specific questions: prior job experience, primary focus area of
program and type of program conducted

There were eight (5.4%) agricultural educators who reported they had worked as an

extension agent prior to becoming a teacher and the time ranged from a three month internship to

20 years.

To find the primary focus area of the programs conducted, the agricultural educators were

given the choices of agribusiness, agricultural mechanics, agritechnology, animal sciences,

horticulture, natural resources, veterinary assistance, and other with a place to specify what it

was. Table 4-4 identifies the respondents by their primary focus area. The largest group was

"other" with 25.7% (N 38) of respondents, followed by agritechnology with 20.9% (N 31),

horticulture withl9.6% (N 29), and animal sciences with 15.5% (N 23).

Table 4-4. Teacher primary focus area.
Primary focus area f %
Other 38 25.70
Agritechnology 31 20.90
Horticulture 29 19.60
Animal sciences 23 15.50
Veterinary assistance 10 6.80
Agribusiness 8 5.40
Natural Resources 5 3.40
Agricultural mechanics 4 2.70
Note. f-frequency.

Within the "other" category, the answers included agricultural biotechnology (n 1),

aquaculture and marine science (n1=), district supervisor (n=2), some combination of the

categories (n=3), general agriculture (n=12), and agriscience (n=19).

The final demographic was the type of program each agricultural educator conducted.

There were three choices, high school, middle school, or a blended program (both high school

and middle school). Respondents reported working primarily in 57.2% (N 83) high school

programs, 32.4% (N=47) middle school programs, and 6.6% (N 15) blended.









Objective 2

Objective: To identify the self perceived level of cooperation between 4-H extension

agents and agricultural educators.

To satisfy the second objective, the researcher included a section on the questionnaire that

asked questions about general attitudes toward cooperation. Every respondent answered the same

questions, regardless of job title, on the same Likert-like scale where 1=Strongly Disagree,

2=Disagree, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree and 5=Strongly Agree. Table 4-5 identifies the percentage of

extension agents and agricultural educators who rated all of the statements.









Table 4-5. Percent rating of general cooperation statements.
Likert-like scale rating (%)
SD D N A SA
Statement Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed
I work best with those I have a history with. 3.60 3.40 14.50 16.20 38.20 25.00 36.40 43.20 7.30 12.2
Full participation by all parties is necessary for 0.00 1.40 18.20 6.80 12.70 10.10 49.10 55.40 20.00 26.4
cooperation to occur between agricultural teachers and
extension agents.
My decision to cooperate is dependent upon the other 0.00 0.70 21.80 17.60 9.10 18.20 52.70 52.70 16.40 10.8
parties' characteristics such as responsibilities,
personality and respect.
My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear 20.00 14.90 45.50 40.50 25.50 26.40 7.30 15.50 1.80 2.7
from others in my field.
I have previously tried to cooperate and it is not worth 23.60 31.10 47.30 27.90 21.80 30.60 5.50 3.40 1.80 6.8
the time required.
Note. SD=strongly disagree; D=disagree; N=neutral; A=agree; SA=strongly agree; Ext=Extension agents; Ed=Agricultural educators.


0
0


0


0

0









The first statement was "I work best with those I have a history with." Overall, 62.2%

(N 106) agreed or strongly agreed with this statement, while 28.6% (N 58) were neutral and

19.2% (N 39) disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement. The overall mean was 3.41

(neutral) with a standard deviation of 1.00. Of the extension agents, 43.7% (N 24) agreed or

strongly agreed with this statement while 38.2% (N=21) were neutral and 18.1% (N 10)

disagreed or strongly disagreed. More than half (55.4%, N 82) of the agricultural educators

strongly agreed or agreed with the statement while a quarter (25%) were neutral and 19.6%

(N 29) disagreed or strongly disagreed.

With the second statement, "Full participation by all parties is necessary for cooperation to

occur between agriculture teachers and extension agents," more than three quarters of the

respondents (78.3%, N=159) agreed or strongly agreed. There was 10.8% (N 22) that reported

neutral and 10.9% (N 22) disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. The overall mean

was 3.93 (neutral) with a standard deviation of 0.91. From the extension agents, 69.1% (N=38)

agreed or strongly agreed with the statement. There were 12.7% (N 7) who were neutral and

18.2% (N 10) who disagreed. There were no extension agents who strongly disagreed with this

statement. Of the agricultural educators, 81.8% (N 121) agreed or strongly agreed with this

statement while 10.1% (N 15) were neutral and only 8.2% (N 12) disagreed or strongly

disagreed.

The third statement said "My decision to cooperate is dependent upon the other parties'

characteristics such as responsibilities, personality, and respect." Overall, the respondents agreed

with this statement (52.7%, N 107). There was only one respondent (0.7%) who strongly

disagreed with this statement while 18.7% (N=38) disagreed, 15.8% (N 32) were neutral and

12.3% (N 25) strongly agreed. The overall mean was 3.61 (neutral) with a standard deviation of









0.95. Out of the 55 extension agents who responded, no one strongly disagreed with this

statement while 21.8% (N 12) disagreed, 9.1% (N 5) were neutral, 52.7% (N 29) agreed, and

16.4% (N 9) strongly agreed. More than half (52.7%, N=78) of the agricultural educators agreed

with the statement while 10.8% (N=16) strongly agreed, 18.2% (N 27) were neutral, and 17.6%

(N 26) disagreed. The only person who strongly disagreed with this statement was an

agricultural educator.

"My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear from others in my field," was the

fourth statement in this section. Overall, 41.9% (N 85) disagreed and 16.3% (N=33) strongly

disagreed with this statement. There were 26.1% (N 53) of the respondents who were neutral

but only 13.3% (N=27) who agreed and 2.5% (N 5) who strongly agreed with the statement.

The overall mean was 2.45 (disagree) with a standard deviation of 0.99. When broken down by

job title, there were 45.5% (N 25) of the extension agents who disagreed and 20% (N 11) who

strongly disagreed. Of the remaining agents, 25.5% (N=14) were neutral, 7.3% (N=4) agreed

and only 1.8% (N 1) strongly agreed. Within the agricultural educators, 40.5% (N 60)

disagreed and 14.9% (N=22) strongly disagreed with the statement. Of the remaining agricultural

educator respondents, 26.4% (N 39) were neutral, 15.5% (N 23) agreed and only 2.7% (N 4)

strongly agreed.

The final statement was "I have previously tried to cooperate and it is not with the time

required." Almost two-thirds of the respondents (33.2%, N=67) disagreed or strongly disagreed

(29.2%, N=59) with this statement. Of the remaining respondents, 28.2% (N=57) were neutral

while only 4% (N 8) agreed and 5.4% (N 11) strongly agreed with this statement. The overall

mean was 2.16 (disagree) with a standard deviation of 1.07. Of the 11 respondents who strongly

agreed, 10 of them were agricultural educators and only one was an extension agent.









Independent samples t-test were conducted on all of these questions to compare the means

of extension agents and agricultural educators. The results, as shown in Table 4-6, indicate that

two of the questions had a significant difference and do not fall in the same confidence intervals.

The two statements with significant differences were, "My decision to cooperate is based upon

what I hear from others in my field," and "Full participation by all parties is necessary for

cooperation to occur between agricultural teachers and extension agents."

Table 4-6. Comparison of opinions of general cooperation.
Extension Agricultural
Agent Educator
Statement M SD M SD t p
I have previously tried to cooperate and it is not 2.12 0.90 2.18 1.13 -0.40 0.68
worth the time required.
I work best with those I have a history with. 3.33 0.91 3.43 1.04 -0.66 0.51
My decision to cooperate is dependent upon the 3.68 1.00 3.58 0.93 0.69 0.49
other parties' characteristics such as
responsibilities, personality and respect.
My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear 2.23 0.90 2.53 1.01 -1.98 0.04*
from others in my field.
Full participation by all parties is necessary for 3.72 0.95 4.01 0.88 -2.16 0.03*
cooperation to occur between agricultural teachers
and extension agents.
Note. M=mean; SD=standard deviation.
*p<.05
A different type of question was asked of the respondents to get an understanding of what

each person thought was the proper degree to which extension agents and agricultural educators

should cooperate. Each respondent was asked to answer this question on a one to 10 scale where

one was no cooperation, two was low cooperation, five was medium cooperation and 10 was

high cooperation. The average was 8.22 with a standard deviation of 1.68. The scores ranged

from four to 10 with a mode of eight. The average rating for extension agents was 8.25 with a

standard deviation of 1.60. The average rating for agricultural educators was slightly lower at

8.21 and a standard deviation of 1.71. An independent sample t-test revealed no significant

difference between the two groups as shown in Table 4-7.









Table 4-7. Comparison of ratings of cooperation.
Extension Agents Agricultural Educators
Key Variable M SD M SD t p
Cooperation Rating 8.25 1.60 8.21 1.71 0.13 0.89
Note. M=mean; SD=standard deviation.
*p<.05

Objective 3

Objective: To identify past and present cooperative activities between 4-H extension

agents and agricultural educators.

To satisfy the third objective, the questionnaire asked each responder if they participated in

cooperative activities with the other profession. If the respondents answered "Yes," the

questionnaire asked questions pertaining to their previous activities. If the respondents answered

"No," the questionnaire asked questions pertaining to what would help inspire/encourage

cooperation with the other profession. There were 66.5% (N 135) respondents who had

participated in cooperative activities and 33.5% (N 68) who had not. Of the extension agents,

80% (N 44) answered "yes" and 61.5% (N 91) of the agricultural educators answered "yes."

The respondents who answered Yes were asked to rate how often (1=never, 2=sometimes,

3=often, and 4=always) they cooperated with the other profession on different activities. Table 4-

8 identifies the frequency of each answer by job title.

Table 4-8. Percentage of cooperation by activity and job title.
How often cooperation occurred (%)
Never Sometimes Often Always
Activities Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ex
County/State Fair 4.70 2.20 20.90 20.90 30.20 27.50 44.20 49.50
Educational programs 18.20 21.10 40.90 46.70 27.30 17.80 13.60 14.40
Judging contests 11.40 8.90 36.40 25.60 34.10 32.20 18.20 33.30
Share resources 6.80 15.60 38.60 46.70 25.00 18.90 29.50 18.90
Community Service 44.20 42.20 37.20 28.90 11.60 16.70 7.00 12.20
Recruiting students/members 43.30 55.70 34.10 25.00 15.90 11.40 6.80 8.00
Note. Ext=Extension agents; Ed=Agricultural educators.









The respondents were first asked about their cooperation at the county/state fairs. Almost

half of the respondents answered "always" (47.8%, N=64), as 28.4% (N 38) of respondents

answered "often," 20.9% (N 28) reported "sometimes," and 3% (N 4) reported "never". The

overall mean was 3.21 (often) with a standard deviation of 0.87. Both groups followed the same

trend as the overall respondents did. Extension agents and agricultural educators answered

"always" 44.2% (N=19) and 45.5% (N=45) of the time.

When asked about their cooperation when conducting educational programs, almost half

(44.8%, N=60) of the respondents reported "sometimes" while 20.9% (N 28) reported "often,"

20.1% (N 27) reported "never" and only 14.2% (N=19) reported "always." The overall mean

was 2.29 (sometimes) with a standard deviation of 0.94. When broken down by job title, the

extension agents rated "sometimes" the most often (40.9%, N 18), followed by "often" (27.3%,

N 12), "never" (18.2%, N 8) and finally "always" (13.6%, N=6). The agricultural educators

had the same highest rating of "sometimes" with 46.7% (N 42) followed by "never" with 21.1%

(N 19), "often" (17.8%, N=16), and always (14.4%, N=13).

Judging contests were rated the highest as "often" (32.8%, N=44) while "sometimes"

(29.1%, N=39) and "always" (28.4%, N=38) came in second and third place followed by

"never" with 9.7% (N 13). The overall mean was 2.80 (sometimes) with a standard deviation of

0.96. The extension agents did not follow the overall trend because "sometimes" had the highest

percent of responses (36.4%, N 16) followed by "often" (34.1%, N 15), "always" (18.2%,

N=8), and "never" with 11.4% (N 5). The agricultural educators did not follow either trend but

rated "always" first with 33.3% (N 30), "often" second with 32.2% (N 29), "sometimes" third

with 25.6% (N 23), and "never" with 8.9% (N 8).









When asked if the respondents shared resources with the other profession, "sometimes"

(44%, N 59) was the option chosen the most by respondents, followed by "always" (22.4%,

N=30), "often" (20.9%, N=28) and "never" (12.7%, N=17). The overall mean was 2.53 (often)

with a standard deviation of 0.97. Both extension agents and agricultural educators followed the

same trend as the overall respondents. The extension agents rated "sometimes" the most with

38.6% (N 17), followed by "always" with 29.5% (N 13), "often" 25% (N 11), and "never"

with 6.8% (N 3). Agricultural educators rated "sometimes" highest with 46.7% (N=42), "often"

and "always" tied for second with 18.9% (N 17), and never with 15.6% (N=14).

Almost half (42.9%, N=57) of the yes respondents answered "never" when asked about

cooperating during community service projects. "Sometimes" came in at 31.6% (N 42), "often"

was 15% (N=14) and "always" was the lowest with 10.5% (N 14). The overall mean was 1.93

(sometimes) with a standard deviation of 1.00. The breakdown of extension agents and

agricultural educators was the same as the overall trend.

The activity that was rated as having the least amount of cooperation was the recruitment

of new students/members into 4-H and FFA. More than half (51.5%, N=68) of the respondents

reported they "never" cooperated on these activities while 28% (N 37) answered "sometimes."

There were 12.9% (N=17) of the respondents that answered "often" and only 7.6% (N 10)

reported "always." The overall mean was 1.77 (never) with a standard deviation of 0.94. The

extension agents and agricultural educators followed the overall trend of rating cooperation as

"never" the most often. Extension agents had "never" as 43.2% (N 19), "sometimes" as 34.1%

(N 15), "often" as 15.9% (N 7) and "always" as 6.8% (N 3). Agricultural educators had

"never" at 55.7% (N 49), "sometimes" as 28% (N=37), "often" as 12.9% (N=17) and "always"

as 7.6% (N 10).









After looking at all of the activities that respondents were asked to rank, county/state fairs

had the highest mean of cooperation rate with 3.21 (often) followed by sharing resources with

2.80 (sometimes). Educational programs came in at third with a mean of 2.53 (sometimes) while

the judging contests mean was 2.29 (sometimes), community service had a mean of 1.93 (never)

and recruitment of new students/members had a mean of 1.77 (never). Table 4-9 shows the mean

ratings by activity.

Table 4-9. Overall mean rating by activity.
Activity M SD
County/State Fair 3.21 0.87
Sharing resources 2.80 0.96
Educational programs 2.53 0.97
Judging contests 2.29 0.94
Community service projects 1.93 1.00
Recruitment of new students/members 1.77 0.94
Note. M=mean; SD=standard deviation.

Objective 4

Objective: To identify factors related to levels of cooperation among 4-H extension agents

and agricultural educators.

To satisfy this objective, questions were asked relating to the importance of certain factors

in the cooperation relationship between extension agents and agricultural educators. When

respondents answered the question "Do you participate in cooperative activities with extension

agents/agricultural educators?" as yes or no, the questionnaire switched into a swip pattern. The

respondents who answered yes were asked questions about their current and past cooperative

relationship while the others who answered no were asked questions pertaining to why they did

not current cooperate and what factors would be important for cooperation to occur.

The respondents who reported yes to participating in cooperate activities were given seven

items to rank the importance (l=Not very important, 2=Not important, 3=Neutral, 4=Important,









and 5=Very important) of in their cooperative relationship. The seven factors were: (a) increased

value to youth; (b) personal satisfaction; (c) improved professional relationships; (d) greater

ability to specialize in areas) of interest; (e) to make activities more enjoyable; (f) satisfy my

supervisorss; and (g) physical distance between offices. Table 4-10 shows the ratings of all the

factors. The factors with the highest means were increased value to youth (M=4.34, SD=0.80),

improved professional relationship (M=4.18, SD=0.73), and to make activities more enjoyable

(M=4.03, SD=0.76). The factors that had the lowest means were physical distance between

offices (M=2.99, SD=1.17) and to satisfy my supervisors) (M=2.40, SD=1.13).

Table 4-10. Importance rating and mean for those currently cooperate.
Likert-like Scale of Agreement
Factors NVI NI N I VI M SD
Increased value to youth 1.50 2.20 5.20 43.00 48.10 4.34 0.80
Improved professional relationships 0.70 1.50 10.40 53.70 33.60 4.18 0.73
To make activities more enjoyable 1.50 2.20 11.90 60.40 23.90 4.03 0.76
Greater ability to specialize in areas) of 1.50 2.20 19.40 50.00 26.90 3.99 0.83
interest
Personal satisfaction 5.20 3.70 34.10 37.80 19.30 3.62 1.00
Physical distance between offices 14.90 14.90 35.10 26.00 9.00 2.99 1.17
Satisfy my supervisors) 29.10 19.40 38.80 7.50 5.20 2.40 1.13
Note.; NVI=not very important; NI=not important; N=neutral; I=important; VI=very important
M=mean; SD=standard deviation.
The respondents who answered no to participating in cooperative activities were asked

what factors would positively influence their cooperative relationship. The factors were: (a)

greater professional recognition; (b) increased value to youth; (c) more effective time usage; (d)

personal satisfaction; (e) enhancing subject area; (f) improved professional relationships; (g)

greater ability to specialize in areas) of interest; (h) to make activities more enjoyable; (i) satisfy

my supervisorss; and (j) physical distance between offices. Table 4-11 shows the ratings of

agreement and mean for all factors. The factors with the highest mean were enhancing subject

area (M=4.21, SD=0.61), increased value to youth (M=4.19, SD=0.67), and to make activities









more enjoyable M= (4.12, SD=0.68). The factor with the lowest mean was to satisfy my

supervisors) (M=2.74, SD=0.94).

Table 4-11. Agreement scale and mean for those not currently cooperating.
Likert-like Scale of Agreement
Factors SD D N A SA M SD
Enhancing subject area 0.00 0.00 10.30 58.80 30.90 4.21 0.61
Increased value to youth 0.00 1.50 10.30 55.90 32.40 4.19 0.67
To make activities more enjoyable 0.00 0.00 17.60 52.90 29.40 4.12 0.68
Greater ability to specialize in areas) of 0.00 0.00 19.10 54.40 26.50 4.07 0.67
interest
More effective time usage 0.00 0.00 20.60 52.90 26.50 4.06 0.68
Improved professional relationships 0.00 1.50 19.10 58.80 20.60 3.99 0.68
Personal satisfaction 1.00 1.50 41.20 48.50 7.40 3.59 0.71
Physical distance between offices 5.90 7.40 45.60 27.90 13.20 3.35 1.00
Greater professional recognition 4.50 10.40 41.80 32.80 10.40 3.34 0.96
Satisfy my supervisors) 14.70 14.70 54.40 14.70 1.50 2.74 0.94
Note. SD=strongly disagree; D=disagree; N=neutral; A=agree; SA=strongly agree

The final question for the respondents who answered no to participating in cooperative

activities asked what factors had affected their decision not to cooperate. Table 4-12 shows the

ratings of agreement and means for all the factors. The statements with the highest means were

"I do not have time to work with the extension agent/agricultural educator in my county"

(M=3.02, SD=1.18) and "I am too busy to work with the extension agent/agricultural educator in

my county" (M=3.01, SD=1.09). The statement that had the lowest mean was "I am not aware of

any extension agents/agricultural educators in my county" (M=2.28, SD=1.30).









Table 4-12. Reasons for not cooperating.
Likert-like Scale of Agreement (%)
Factors SD D N A SA M SD
I do not have time to work with the 10.60 25.80 25.80 27.30 10.60 3.02 1.18
extension agent/agricultural educator in my
county.
I am too busy to work with the extension 10.40 20.90 31.30 31.30 6.00 3.01 1.09
agent/agricultural educator in my county.
The extension agent/agricultural educator in 7.60 13.60 62.10 7.60 9.10 2.97 0.94
my county are not responsive to change.
The extension agent/ agricultural educator in 12.10 21.20 48.50 7.60 10.60 2.83 1.00
my county do not want to cooperate on
activities.
I have never considered cooperating with 25.00 32.40 17.60 22.10 2.90 2.46 1.10
the extension agent/ agricultural educator in
my county.
The extension agents/agricultural educators 27.50 25.00 38.20 2.90 5.90 2.34 1.10
in my county and I do not work well
together
I am not aware of any extension agents/ 37.30 28.40 14.90 7.50 11.90 2.28 1.30
agricultural educators in my county.
Note. SD=strongly disagree; D=disagree; N=neutral; A=agree; SA=strongly agree; M=mean;
SD=standard deviation.
Objective 5

Objective: To identify the knowledge and perceptions about the 4-H and FFA programs

from the perspective of the 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators.

The researcher had two sections on the questionnaire to satisfy this objective. The first

section contained questions that tried to find each respondent's perceptions about the 4-H and

FFA organizations. The second section asked specific knowledge questions about the 4-H and

FFA programs.

Perceptions

The first section contained four statements that discussed various aspects of the 4-H and

FFA programs. Each respondent was asked to answer each statement on a Likert-like scale

(1=Strongly disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree and 5=Strongly agree). Table 4-13

identifies the frequencies of the ratings for each of the statements.









Table 4-13. Ratings for each perception statement by job title.
Likert-like scale rating (%)
SD D N A SA
Statement Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed
4-H and FFA share the same general goals for youth 3.60 0.70 21.80 9.50 16.40 16.90 40.00 48.00 18.20 25.00
development.
I feel that many youth make a choice between 9.10 6.80 9.10 15.50 12.70 14.90 30.90 43.90 38.20 18.90
participating in either 4-H or FFA.
I feel like I'm competing with 4-H/FFA for 18.20 26.70 20.00 32.20 18.20 18.50 34.50 15.80 9.10 6.80
participants.
Students should not be allowed to participate in both 4- 76.40 64.20 12.70 16.90 5.50 6.80 1.80 6.10 3.60 6.10
H and FFA.
Note. SD=strongly disagree; D=disagree; N=neutral; A=agree; SA=strongly agree; Ext=Extension agent; Ed=Agricultural educator.









The first statement, "4-H and FFA share the same general goals for youth development,"

had almost half of all the respondents (45.8%, N=93) agreeing while 23.2% (N 47) strongly

agreed. Thirty-four (16.7%) were neutral while 12.8% (N 26) disagreed and 1.5% (N 3)

strongly disagreed. The extension agents and agricultural educators followed the same trend as

the overall respondents.

The next question "I feel that many youth make a choice between participating in either 4-

H or FFA" had 40.4% (N 82) respondents agreeing and 24.1% (N 49) strongly agreeing. There

were 14.3% (N 29) that were neutral and 13.8% (N 28) that disagreed and only 7.4% (N 15)

that strongly disagreed. When looking at the results of this question by job title, there were

38.2% (N 21) of extension agents that strongly agreed, 30.9% (N 17) who agreed while 12.75

(N 7) were neutral and 18.2% (N 10) disagree or strongly disagreed. More agricultural

educators agreed (43.9%, N=65) than strongly agreed (18.9%, N=28), while 14.9% (N 22) were

neutral and 22.4% (N 33) disagreed or strongly disagreed.

The third statement was "I feel like I'm competing with 4-H/FFA for participants." The

extension agent question said FFA and the agricultural educator question said 4-H. This

statement had over half of the respondents disagreeing (28.9%, N=58) or strongly disagreeing

(24.4%, N=49). There were 18.4% (N=37) who were neutral and only 28.4% (N 57) who

agreed or strongly agreed. The extension agents agreed with this statement (34.5%, N 19) more

than the agricultural educators did (15.8%, N=23). The agricultural educators disagreed (32.2%,

N=47) and strongly disagreed (26.7%, N=39) more than the extension agents (20%, N 11 and

18.2%, N 10).

The final question on the first part of this objective stated: "Students should not be allowed

to participate in both 4-H and FFA." Even though some of the respondents thought they were









competing with the other organization for participants, more than two/thirds of the respondents

strongly disagreed with this statement. There were 15.8% (N=32) who disagreed while only

6.4% (N 13) were neutral and 10.3% (N 22) agreed or strongly agreed. The extension agents

followed the same overall general trend. The agricultural educators had high strongly disagree

and disagree numbers but had 6.8% (N 10) neutral and 6.1% (N 9) agree and strongly agree for

this statement.

Independent samples t-test were conducted on these four questions to compare the means

of extension agents and agricultural educators. The results, as shown in Table 4-14 indicate that

two of the questions had a significant difference so the means do not fall in the same confidence

interval. The two statements were "4-H and FFA share the same general goals for youth

development," and "I feel like I'm competing with 4-H/FFA for participants."

Table 4-14. Comparison by job title for objective five.
Extension Agricultural
Agent Educator
Statement M SD M SD t p
I feel that many youth make a choice between 3.77 1.28 3.53 1.18 1.29 0.19
participating in either 4-H or FFA.
Students should not be allowed to participate in 1.42 0.92 1.66 1.15 -1.48 0.13
both 4-H and FFA.
4-H and FFA share the same general goals for 3.45 1.11 3.91 0.92 -3.13 <0.01*
youth development.
I feel like I'm competing with 4-H/FFA for 2.92 1.27 2.43 1.23 2.60 0.01*
participants.
Note. M=mean; SD=standard deviation.
*p<.05.
Knowledge

For the second section, extension agents were asked three true/false questions about the

FFA organization. The first question was "The goal of FFA is to prepare students for successful

careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber, and natural









resources systems." This statement is true and 94.5% (N=52) of the extension agents answered

correctly. There were three (5.5%) respondents that answered false.

The second statement was "FFA has a national, state, and local level of operation." This

statement is also true and 96.4% (N 53) answered correctly while 3.6% (N=2) answered false.

The final statement said "Youth can join FFA starting at the age of nine." This statement is false

because youth can not join FFA until they are in 6th grade. Forty-five of the extension agents

(81.8%) were able to correctly answer false to this statement while 18.2% (N=10) answered true.

The agricultural educators had a similar second section with three true/false questions. The

first statement, "The goal of 4-H is to create supportive environments outside the school system

for diverse youth and adults to reach their fullest potential," was a true statement. There were

93.8% (N 137) agricultural educators who answered correctly while only 6.2% (N=9) answered

false. The second statement said "4-H has a national, state, and county level of operation." This

statement is also true and 93.8% (N 136) answered correctly while 6.2% (N 9) reported false.

The final statement said "Youth can join 4-H as early as the age of seven in Florida." This

statement is true because youth may join 4-H at the age of seven in Florida. There were 81.1%

(N 116) agricultural educators who answered this statement correctly while 18.9% (N 27)

answered false.









CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Introduction

This chapter summarizes the study and discusses the conclusions, implications and

recommendations that have been drawn from the study. The first section of this chapter will offer

a brief overview of the purpose, objectives, and methodology for this study. The following

section will discuss and draw conclusions for each objective. The final section will include

implications for practice and suggestions for future research.

Purpose and Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this study was to describe the level of cooperation between Florida county

extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and Florida agricultural educators who

advise FFA programs.

The objectives of this study were:

1. To compare and contrast demographic variables among 4-H extension agents and agricultural
educators

2. To identify the self perceptions of the level of cooperation between 4-H extension agents and
agricultural educators

3. To identify past and present cooperative activities between 4-H extension agents and
agricultural educators

4. To identify factors related to levels of cooperation among 4-H extension agents and
agricultural educators

5. To identify the knowledge and perceptions about the 4-H and FFA programs from the
perspective of the 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators

Methodology

The study was a descriptive study that took the form of a single-method research design as

defined by Ary, Jacobs, and Razavieh (2002). The researcher used two Web-based









questionnaires to conduct a census survey of all Florida extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-

H appointment and of all school-based agricultural educators in Florida.

The researcher obtained the list of current extension personnel along with their percentages

of appointments from the County Operations Office at the University of Florida. The population

of extension agents was 106. The researcher obtained the list of current agricultural educators

from the 2006 Florida Agricultural Education Directory (N 333).

The researcher developed two questionnaires in Zoomerang modified from instruments

that Ricketts and Place (2005) and Bruce and Ricketts (in press) used in previous studies.

Slightly different versions of the base questionnaire were developed for each of the two study

populations.

The researcher used Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 14.0 for Windows

for the analysis. Descriptive statistics including central tendencies and frequencies along with t-

tests were used to analyze the data describing the level of cooperation between Florida extension

agents and Florida agricultural educators.

General Discussion and Conclusions

Objective 1

Objective: To compare and contrast demographic variables among 4-H extension agents

and agricultural educators.

The demographics observed in this study, gender, age, encouragement of 4-H,

encouragement of FFA, degrees held (bachelor's, master's, and doctorate), county population,

prior job experience, primary program area, 4-H percentage appointment, and type of program

conducted were chosen to see how similar or different the two populations were in Florida. With

regards to gender, there were significantly more female extension agents (80%) than male









extension agents (20%) but a more even split in the agricultural educators (51.4% males and

48.6% females).

When looking at age ranges, both groups had the highest percent of responders in the 46-

55 years old range with 26-35 years old age range with the second highest percent. There were

few respondents who were under 25 in both groups. The biggest difference in the age ranges was

in the 56 and older category. There were only five (9.1%) extension agents in that age range but

there were 27 (18.4%) agricultural educators in that age range.

Education background revealed that 95.5% of the respondents held at least a bachelor's

degree. There were 53.2% (N 108) who listed a master's degree and only six who reported

holding a doctorate degree. Of the 108 respondents who held a master's degree, 38 were

extension agents and 70 were agricultural educators. Of the six respondents who reported

holding a doctorate degree, two were extension agents and four were agricultural educators.

The county population demographic question found that more than one-third (36.4%) of

the extension agents and 41% of the agricultural educators worked in a county with more than

250,000 people. This could be because of the higher the county population, the more positions

and funding there are available for agents and educators within those counties.

The final two demographic questions asked if the respondents would/do encourage their

children to be involved in 4-H and FFA. Of 203 respondents, 163 (80.3%) answered yes to

encouraging their children to be involved in 4-H. One extension agent said no to encouraging

his/her children to be involved in 4-H. Of the agricultural educators, 75% (N= 111) reported yes

to encouraging participation in 4-H.

When asked about encouraging their children to be involved in FFA, 87.2% (n-177) of the

respondents reported yes. Of the 55 extension agents, 39 (70.9%) reported yes and of the 148









agricultural educators, 93.2% (N 138) reported yes. One agricultural educator reported no to

encouraging his/her children to participate in FFA.

It can be concluded that there are differences in the two respondent populations but many

similarities can be found in age, educational background, county population, and encouragement

of 4-H and FFA participation. Although Diatta and Luft (1986) found that age difference had a

slight negative effect in their study, the ages of both populations are similar. There does seem to

be a large gender difference in the populations but that could be due to nonresponse error.

Because of these similarities, it is plausible to conclude that cooperation could be increased

(Diatta & Luft, 1986; Ricketts & Place, 2005).

This study did not ask the race or ethnicity of the respondents because Johnson and

Johnson's (1972) study found that race did not have an effect on cooperation between two

individuals. However, Johnson and Johnson did find that partners who had similar attitudes and

beliefs worked more cooperatively together.

Objective 2

Objective: To identify the self perceived level of cooperation between 4-H extension

agents and agricultural educators.

For the second objective, the same questions were asked to each respondent regarding their

general attitude toward cooperation. Respondents rated the five statements on a Likert-like

scale. The statements "I have previously tried to cooperate and it is not worth the time required

(Statement 5)," and "My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear from other in my field

(Statement 4)," had means in the disagree category (M=2.12 and M=2.23). The other three

statements' means were in the neutral category. Those statements were, "I work best with those I

have a history with (Statement 1)," "My decision to cooperate is dependent upon the other

parties' characteristics such as responsibility, personality, and respect (Statement 3)," and "Full











participation by all parties is necessary for cooperation to occur between agricultural teachers


and extension agents (Statement 2)."


Agreement for
90 General Cooperation Statements
81.8
80
N Extension Agent
69.1 69.1
70
63.5 N Agricultural Educator
60 55.4

P so
S 43.7
40

30

20 18.2

9.1 1 10.2
10O





General Cooperation Statements


Figure 5-1. Percentage of "Agree" for general cooperation statements by job title.

From the ratings of these statements, it is concluded that the respondents are not sure what


exactly causes cooperation, but they do know what influences cooperation. The two statements


with the highest means, "Full participation by all parties is necessary for cooperation to occur


between agricultural teachers and extension agents," (M=3.72) and "My decision to cooperate is


dependent upon the other parties' characteristics such as responsibility, personality, and respect,"


(M=3.68) demonstrate the type of relationship the respondents want to have in a cooperative


relationship.


The final question asked to respondents for this objective was to rank on a scale of 1 to 10,


where 1 was no cooperation, 2 was low cooperation, 5 was medium cooperation, and 10 was


high cooperation, the degree that extension agents and agricultural educators should cooperate.









The overall mean was 8.22 with a standard deviation of 1.68. It is concluded that the

respondents think that a cooperative relationship should be in place between extension agents

and agricultural educators.

An independent sample t-test was conducted to compare the means of extension agents

and agricultural educators for this question. The extension agent mean was 8.25 with a standard

deviation of 1.60 and the agricultural educator mean was 8.21 with a standard deviation is 1.71.

The t-test p-value showed no significant difference (a=0.89) in the means. From this test, it is

concluded that the two respondent populations share similar ideas when it comes to determining

the degree to which cooperation should occur between the two groups. The findings of this study

are similar to those of Ricketts and Place (2005).

Objective 3

Objective: To identify past and present cooperative activities between 4-H extension

agents and agricultural educators.

One of the most important questions used to satisfy this objective was asking each

respondent if they cooperated with extension agents/agricultural educators in their counties.

Two-thirds of the respondents said that they did participate in cooperative activities with the

other profession. When broken down by job title, 80% of the extension agents and 61.5% of the

agricultural educators said they cooperated. This corresponds closely with the numbers Ricketts

and Place (2005) found but in their study, 72% of their sample extension agents and 80% of their

sample agriculture teachers stated they cooperated.

After finding how many of the responders participated in cooperative activities, they were

asked to rate how often they cooperated with the other profession for six different activities. As

shown by the previous research, cooperation was highest at the county and state fairs but was the

lowest in recruiting students (Ricketts & Place, 2005). Other similar findings to their study were









the high rating of sharing resources and the low rating of cooperative community service

programs. One of the main differences found in this study compared to the study done by

Ricketts and Place (2005) was that educational programs had the third highest mean of how often

cooperation occurred but had minimal cooperation in their study.

Diatta and Luft (1986) had similar findings in their study although their study looked at a

more defined type of cooperation between agents and educators for specific areas (crops,

livestock, agricultural mechanics, etc). They found that cooperation occurred most often when

working with FFA or 4-H activities. Diatta and Luft (1986) and Ricketts and Place (2005) had

similar findings in that judging contests were rated high for cooperation but in this study, judging

contests were not rated very high in cooperation.

Objective 4

Objective: To identify the factors that explains the level of cooperation among 4-H

extension agents and agricultural educators.

For this objective, respondents were first asked if they participated in cooperative

activities. The respondents who answered "yes" were then asked to rate the importance of seven

factors in their cooperative relationship on a Likert-like scale. The factors that were rated the

most important were increased value to youth (M=4.34), improved professional relationship

(M=4.18) and to make activities more enjoyable (M=4.03). The factors that had the lowest

means, therefore the least important of the seven factors, were physical distance between offices

(M=2.99) and to satisfy my supervisor (M=2.40). For the respondents who answered "no" to

participating in cooperative activities, they were asked to rate ten factors that would have the

most influence if they were to develop a cooperative relationship. The factors with the highest

means were enhancing subject area (M=4.21), increased value to youth (M=4.19) and to make

activities more enjoyable (M=4.12). The factors with the lowest means were to satisfy my









supervisor (M=2.74), greater professional recognition (M=3.34) and physical distance between

offices (M=3.35).

When comparing the most important factors for those who do and not participate in

cooperative activities, the findings are similar. Table 5.1 shows the breakdown by those who

participate and those who do no participate in cooperative activities. The ratings for both groups

show the most important factors for cooperation were focused on youth and improving their

professional relationship with the other party.

Table 5.1. Mean ratings for important factors by those who already participate in cooperative
activities and those who do not currently participate in cooperative activities.
Factors Yes No
M M
Increased value to youth 4.34 4.19
Improved professional relationships 4.18 3.99
To make activities more enjoyable 4.03 4.12
Greater ability to specialize in areas) of interest 3.99 4.07
Personal satisfaction 3.62 3.59
Physical distances between offices 2.99 3.35
Satisfy my supervisors) 2.40 2.74
Enhancing subject area 4.21
More effective time usage -4.06
Greater Professional recognition 3.34
Note. M=mean.

One of the results that does not match the previous literature is the physical distance

between offices. Diatta and Luft's (1986) study found that the shorter the distance between

offices (less than 20 miles), the more positive this factor was rated. They also found that the

longer the distance between offices (more than 20 miles), the more negatively this factor was

rated for a cooperative relationship. This study did not specify a specific distance but neither

group rated physical distance between offices as very important.

The final section of this objective was satisfied by asking those respondents who did not

participate in cooperative activities what factors kept them from choosing to cooperate. None of









the statements had a mean rating of agree or strongly agree which lead the research to conclude

that the respondents either did not know or could not pinpoint why they do not cooperate or they

have other reasons than the ones given. Another conclusion that can be drawn from this section

is that most of the respondents had knowledge and had thought about cooperating with the

professionals in their county, but a relationship had never been formed for other reasons than

those listed. The two statements that dealt with time had the highest means of the section but

were rated as neutral on the Likert-like scale (3.02 and 3.01).

Objective 5

Objective: To identify the knowledge and perceptions about the 4-H and FFA programs

from the perspectives of the 4-H extension agent and agricultural educators.

To find the perceptions that extension agents and agricultural educators held about the 4-H

and FFA programs, each respondent was asked to rate, on a Likert-like scale, how much they

agreed or disagreed with four statements that discussed various aspects of the two programs.

Both populations agreed or strongly agreed that 4-H and FFA share the same general goals for

youth development. This finding coincides with Tjosvold's (1988) finding that stated if

employees thought their goals were similar to their coworkers, they were more trusting,

exchanged information and resources, worked efficiently and productively and developed

confidence in future collaboration.

When asked if they thought youth made a decision to be involved in 4-H or FFA, almost

half of the respondents reported that they agreed and another quarter of the respondents strongly

agreed with this statement. Even though almost half of the respondents reported they felt youth

made a decision between the two organizations, when asked if they thought they were competing

for participants, over half of the respondents reported disagree or strongly disagree. This

disagreement in the two statements could be due to respondents thinking that the age ranges for









the two organizations are extremely different. Youth can join 4-H at the age of seven but can not

join FFA until sixth grade (around 12-years-old).

The final statement, "Students should not be allowed to participate in both 4-H and FFA,"

had more than 2/3 of the respondents strongly disagreeing. This shows that a majority of

respondents believe that youth should be given the choice to join one or both of the

organizations.

It is concluded that agents and educators in this study perceive both programs as valuable

to youth. Even though many respondents feel that youth do make a choice in their participation,

the respondents do not want to force this choice or deny the youth the opportunity of either

program.

The other part of this objective was to find the knowledge that extension agents had about

the FFA organization and to find the knowledge that agricultural educators had about the 4-H

organization. For the extension agents, three true/false questions were asked. The first statement

gave the goal of FFA and 94.5% of the agents answered correctly. The second statement said

FFA had national, state and local levels of operation. More agents (96.4%) answered this

question correctly. The final statement asked about the age in which youth could join FFA. The

statement said nine, which is false and a slightly lower, but still a majority (81.8%), of agents

gave the correct answer.

The knowledge of the agricultural educators was derived by the same general questions

about the 4-H program. The goal of 4-H was given and 93.8% of the educators got the question

correct. The second statement said 4-H had national, state and county levels of operation (true)

and 93.8% got this questions correct. The final question, that asked about the joining age of 4-H,

had a slightly lower (81.1%) percent of correct responses.









It is concluded that most of the extension agents and agricultural educators have the basic

knowledge of the 4-H and FFA programs. Although fine details are not as widely known, the

general idea of both organizations is known by the two professions.

Implications and Recommendations

There has been little research conducted to determine the cooperative relationship between

Florida 4-H extension agents and Florida agricultural educators. Because the responsibilities of

extension agents and agricultural educators are similar and the 4-H and FFA programs are

similar, these professional educators and participating youth can benefit from cooperation

(Gamon, 1994).

The problem of minimal cooperation between the two professions has occurred in youth

programming for many years (Grage, Place, & Ricketts, 2004). Seevers (1994) stated that

agriculture teachers and extension agents need to work closely with communities, business and

industry, government agencies, and each other in order to remain on the cutting edge of the

agricultural field.

The findings of this study can help educators and administrators prepare and advise future

extension agents and agricultural educators on how to successfully integrate cooperation into the

extension/4-H and school-based agriculture education/FFA programs. By instructing future

agents and educators on the benefits of cooperation, they can choose to increase the level of

cooperation and collaboration which would benefit the youth and communities they serve and

their professional relationships. This would help extension agents and agricultural educators

remain on the cutting edge of the agricultural field.

The key finding from this study were that both populations were looking for someone who

can reciprocate and equally exchange time and resources with them. The respondents on this

questionnaire were able to point out that they wanted to have a cooperative relationship but some









did not know how to orchestrate the process. This study found the two populations were similar

in age, educational background, county populations, and opinions of encouragement in 4-H and

FFA. The study found that physical distance between offices was not a very important factor in

maintaining or forming a cooperative relationship. Although most cooperation can be found at

county and state fairs, there is room to grow in community service activities and recruiting

students. The findings have given a clearer picture of what is helping the cooperation

relationship between extension agents and agricultural educators.

The findings of this study correspond to Deutsch's (1949) theory of cooperation and

competition. When groups are able to work cooperatively, there is more coordination of efforts,

division of labor, attentiveness to fellow members, common appraisals of communications,

productivity, quality of product and discussion, and friendliness. All of these factors were

wanted in a cooperative relationship by the extension agents and agricultural educators. Not

only do these characteristics influence the agent and educator but they will influence the youth

involved in both programs. A finding from Thomas' (1957) study concluded that if groups

worked cooperatively together with a division of labor, the chances of reaching the goal

increased.

A final implication from this study was that cooperation was being pushed on 4-H agents

and agricultural educators when these two groups might not be where the most effective

cooperation could occur. If an agricultural educator has a question regarding livestock for his/her

judging team, that educator would probably ask the livestock agent, not the 4-H agent, for help

or information. This study is a good example of how this is happening. The natural relationship

that could/is be developed between 4-H agents and agricultural educators is possible and does









happen, but it should not be forced on every aspect of both programs. It should be up to the

agents and educators which aspects of their programs they choose to cooperate on.

Recommendation for Practioners

Based on the findings of this study, the recommendations for practioners include:

* Encourage cooperation on activities at more than just the county/state fairs and judging
contests. Focusing on community service projects and educational programming can have
a huge effect for both organizations.

* Focus on developing the relationship with new agents/educators when brought into the
county or school district. When a new person is brought into a position, being greeted and
welcomed to the community helps create a positive relationship. This foundation is
essential to developing a cooperative relationship.

* Put aside past bad experiences with cooperation. One of the most important factors pointed
out by respondents of this study on choosing to cooperate is the value it brings to youth. It
is essential to keep an open mind and to put personal issues aside to help the youth of these
programs.

Recommendations for Future Research

* Because this study was a census of extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H
appointment, many agents were excluded. Every extension agent in Florida has at least a
five percent 4-H appointment but cooperation can be found in other areas, not related to 4-
H. Another census study or a random sampling study could be conducted to include all
extension agents.

* In order to address the nonresponse error in this study, it is recommended that the same
study be conducted using a mail in method. Since some of the e-mail addresses that were
collected were invalid, some of the respondents were excluded from the start.

* This study focused on the cooperation relationship between 4-H and FFA activities.
Another study could be conducted that included, but did not focus on 4-H and FFA
activities.

* A study could be conducted within individual counties to determine if cooperation is
occurring and how to improve the relationship between agents and educators.

* The researcher wanted to compare the cooperation relationship of extension agents and
agricultural educators in counties with small and large populations. A study could be
conducted to see how cooperation varies within counties by county population. This could
be done as a qualitative or quantitative study.









* A qualitative study could be conducted in order to find out the specific reasons hindering
the cooperative relationship between extension agents and agricultural educators.

* A qualitative or quantitative study could be conducted to see how cooperation is occurring
between extension agents and agricultural educators.

* A study could be conducted that focused on adult services performed by extension agents
and agricultural educators to see what kind of cooperation is found there.









APPENDIX A
EXPERT PANEL MEMBERS

* Dr. Anna Ball
o Assistant Professor
o Agricultural Education and Communications Department
* Dr. Hannah Carter
o Lecturer and Director (Wedgworth Leadership Institute)
o Agricultural Education and Communications Department
* Dr. Brian Myers
o Assistant Professor
o Agricultural Education and Communications Department
* Dr. Nick Place
o Assistant Professor
o Agricultural Education and Communications Department
* Dr. Shannon Washburn
o Associate Professor
o Agricultural Education and Communications Department











APPENDIX B
EXTENSION AGENT QUESTIONNAIRE


Extension Agent's Cooperation Survey


Thank you for taking time to complete this survey. Please remember that your
responses will be kept anonymous and that your answers are greatly appreciated

The purpose of this study is to determine the cooperative relationship between
Florida county extension agents and agricultural educators.

There are four sections to this survey I. Knowledge and perceptions of school-
based agricultural education and the National FFA Organization; II Attitudes
toward Cooperation, Ill. Personal opinions and experiences with cooperative
activities with agricultural educators, IV. Demographic questions.


In this study, cooperation is defined as county extension agents and agricultural
educators integrating resources, curricula, and advice.



Section I. Knowledge and Perception Section
This section of the questionnaire asks you to answer questions regarding the
knowledge and perceptions you have about school-based agricultural education
and The National FFA Organization.



1 Please answer the following questions using the Likert-like scale.
1=strongly disagree
2=disagree
3=neutral
4=agree
5=strongly agree.
1 2 3 4 5

4-H and FFA share the same general goals for youth development
j -.91 AJ JUaL
My supervisor encourages cooperation between myself and the
agriculture teachers) in my county.


I feel that many youth make a choice between participating in either 4-H
or FFA.


I feel like I'm competing with FFA for participants.
1jj _2J 31 4J _U











I seek the advice of the agriculture teachers) in my county more then
they seek my advice.


I feel like I don't have anything to reciprocate to the agriculture teachers)
in my county.


I feel like the agriculture teachers) in my county is/are too busy to
cooperate with me


Students should not be allowed to participate in both 4-H and FFA.




2 Please answer the following questions

1=True
2=False.
1 2
True False
The goal of FFA is to prepare students for successful careers and a
lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber, and
natural resources systems.


FFA has a national, state and local level of operation.


Youth can join FFA starting at the age of nine.




I J z I












Extension Agent's Cooperation Survey


Section II. Attitudes toward general cooperation
This section of the questionnaire addresses your personal opinions about
cooperation in general.


3 Please answer the following questions using the Likert-like scale.
1=strongly disagree
2=disagree
3=neutral
4=agree
5=strongly agree
1 2 3 4 5

I work best with those I have a history with.

Full participation by all parties is necessary for cooperation to occur
between agriculture teachers and extension agents.

My decision to cooperate is dependent upon the other parties'
characteristics such as responsibility, personality, and respect

My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear from others in my
field
IJ jJ JJ J JJ
I have previously tried to cooperate and it is not worth the time required.
1) 1 J 1 i


a^^^











Extension Agent's Cooperation Survey


Section III. Personal opinions and experiences in cooperative activities
with secondary agricultural educators.
This section addresses questions regarding your personal opinions about
cooperation with secondary agricultural educators. This section also addresses
past and current experiences you have had with secondary agricultural educators.


4 To what degree do you think extension agents and agriculture teachers
should cooperate?
Please answer this question on a 1 to 10 scale.
1=No cooperation
2=Low cooperation
5=Medium cooperation
10=High cooperation






5 Do you participate in cooperative activities with agricultural educatorss?

YES I NO i


a^^^^













Extension Agent's Cooperation Survey


Section III continued.
Personal opinions and experiences in cooperative activities with secondary
agricultural educators



6 Please rate how often you cooperate with agricultural educatorss.
1=Never
2=Sometimes
3=0ften
4=Always
1 2 3 4

I cooperate with agricultural educators) at the county/state fair.


I conduct educational programs with the agricultural educators) in my
county.


I participate in combined 4-H/FFAjudging contests


I share resources with the agricultural educators) in my county


I cooperate with the local FFA chatpers through community service
projects.


I have experienced successful results when I have cooperated with
agricultural educatorss.


The agricultural educators) in my county and I assist each other in
recruiting students/members.




7 What kind of benefits/successes have you encountered when cooperating
with agricultural educatorss?













8 What type of barriers did you overcome in order to have a cooperative
relationship with agricultural educatorss?






9 How important/not important are these factors in your cooperation with
agricultural educatorss?
Please indicate using the Likert-like scale
1=Not very important
2=Not important
3=Neutral
4=lmportant
5=Very important.
1 2 3 4 5

Increased value to youth


Personal satisfaction
jj .. .J .j
Improved professional relationships
JU i ,.WJ Sj JJ
Greater ability to specialize in areas) of interest


To make activities more enjoyable
I. 1 U. J AJ _J
Satisfy my supervisors)
P di JJe Jul oJ
Physical distance between offices
1J -2J J W -J -


a^^11^ p












Extension Agent's Cooperation Survey


Section III continued.
Personal opinions and experiences in cooperative activities with secondary
agricultural educatorss.



10 What factors have affected your decision to not cooperate in activities
with agricultural educatorss?
Please answer using the Likert-like scale.
1=Strongly Disagree
2=Disagree
3=Neutral
4=Agree
5=Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

The agricultural educators) in my county and I do not work well together.


I have never considered cooperating with the agricultural educators) in my
county.
I do not have time to work with the agricultural educators) in my county.
I do noam have time to work with the agricultural educators) in my county.


I am too busy to work with the agricultural educators) in my county


The agricultural educators) in my county do not want to cooperate on
activities


The agricultural educators) in my county are not responsive to change.


I am not aware of any agricultural educators) in my county.




11 What are the specific barriers/problems in the cooperation process
between yourself and agricultural educatorss?













12 Please indicate if the following factors would positively influence you to
cooperate with secondary agricultural educatorss.
Please answer using the Likert-like scale.
1=Strongly Disagree
2=Disagree
3=Neutral
4=Agree
5=Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

Greater professional recognition
_JJ J -2J J SJ
Increased value to youth
-JJ Jw J -Li
More effective time usage
_AJ 2JJ 4 J
Personal satisfaction
l 1ZJ J
Enhancing subject area
JU U J 5 J
Improved professional relationships
JJ JJ .J 4 1J
Greater ability to specialize in areas) of interest
_JU 2___j _JJ
To make activities more enjoyable


Satisfy my supervisors)
Physical d e b n
Physical distance between offices
_U -?J _3J _4 .

w^^^^











Extension Agent's Cooperation survey


Section IV. Demographic Questions
This section asked questions about yourself and the programs) you conduct.



13 Gender:

) Male
J Female


14 I would(do) encourage my children to be involved in 4-H.

Yes
No
) N/A


15 I would(do) encourage my children to be involved in FFA.

) Yes
No
4 N/A



16 How old are you?


25 or under
26-35
36-45
46-55
56 or above












17 Prior to your current position, have you worked as an agricultural
educator?

j Yes
No
j If yes, how long?




18 Your primary program area is:

J Agriculture/Natural Resources
0 Commercial Horticulture
SFamily and Consumer Sciences
SEnvironmental Horticulture
SGeneral Agriculture
SLivestock
SSea Grant/Aquatics
4-H/Youth Development
I Other, please specify




19 Please indicate what percentage of your appointment is 4-H/Youth
Development.

I ]


20 Please indicate any degrees you have earned in the following areas.

Bachelors Degree
Masters Degree
Specialist Degree
Doctorate Degree

-1
21 What best describes the population in your county?

SUnder 25,000
S25,001 90,000
90,001 250,000
SMore than 250,000


SIE~l










APPENDIX C
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATORS QUESTIONNAIRE


Agricultural Educator's Cooperation Survey


Thank you for taking time to complete this survey. Please remember that your
responses will be kept anonymous and that your answers are greatly appreciated.

The purpose of this study is to determine the cooperative relationship between
Florida county extension agents and agricultural educators.

There are four sections to this survey: I. Knowledge and perceptions of the
Cooperative Extension Service and the 4-H program; II. Attitudes toward
Cooperation; III. Personal opinions and experiences with cooperative activities with
extension agents; IV. Demographic questions.

In this study, cooperation is defined as county extension agents and agricultural
educators integrating resources, curricula, and advice.



Section I. Knowledge and Perception Section
This section of the questionnaire asks you to answer questions regarding the
knowledge and perceptions you have about the Cooperative Extension Service and
the 4-H program.



1 Please answer the following questions using the Likert-like scale.
1=Strongly Disagree
2=Disagree
3=Neutral
4=Agree
5=Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

4-H and FFA share the same general goals for youth development


My building level administrators) encourages cooperation between myself
and the extension agents) in my county.


I feel that many youth make a choice between participating in either 4-H
or FFA.
S24










I feel like I'm competing with 4-H for participants.


I seek the advice of the extension agents) in my county more then they
seek my advice.
-1
I feel like I don't have anything to reciprocate to the extension agents) in
my county.


-u


-ZJ


-wi


_U


JU


I feel like the extension agents) in my county is/are too busy to
cooperate with me.
_- D .JJJ W


Students should not be allowed to participate
1J


in both 4-H and FFA.
-L kil


2 Please answer the following questions.
1=True
2=False


True


False


The goal of 4-H is to create supportive environments outside the school
system for diverse youth and adults to reach their fullest potential.


4-H has a national, state and county level of operation.


Youth can join 4-H as early as the age of seven in Florida.
-II


a












Agricultural Educator's Cooperation Survey


Section II. Attitudes toward general cooperation
This section of the questionnaire addresses your personal opinions about
cooperation in general.



3 Please answer the following questions using the Likert-like scale.
1=Strongly Disagree
2=Disagree
3=Neutral
4=Agree
5=Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

I work best with those I have a history with.


Full participation by all parties is necessary for cooperation to occur
between agriculture teachers and extension agents.


My decision to cooperate is dependent upon the other parties'
characteristics such as responsibility, personality, and respect.


My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear from others in my
field.


I have previously tried to cooperate and it is not worth the time required.
JJ aU -i J











Agricultural Educator's Cooperation Survey


Section III. Personal opinions and experiences in cooperative activities
with county extension agents.
This section addresses questions regarding your personal opinions about
cooperation with county extension agents. This section also addresses past and
current experiences you have had with county extension agents.


4 To what degree do you think
should cooperate?
Please answer this question
1=No cooperation
2=Low cooperation
5=Medium cooperation
10=High cooperation


extension agents and agriculture teachers

on a 1 to 10 scale.


D JJ 2o J p ,i i 5J 6J 7JJ JU wU Je



5 Do you participate in cooperative activities with extension agentss?

YESJ NOMI


IaUPI











Agricultural Educator's Cooperation Survey


Section III continued.
Personal opinions and experiences in cooperative activities with county extension
agents.



6 Please rate how often you cooperate with extension agentss.
1=Never
2=Sometimes
3= Often
4=Always

1 2 3 4

I cooperate with extension agents) at the county/state fair.


I conduct educational programs with the extension agents) in my county.


I participate in combined 4-H/FFAjudging contests.
_J _U 5J JJ
I share resources with the extension agents) in my county.


I cooperate with the local 4-H clubs through community service projects.


I have experienced successful results when I have cooperated with
extension agentss.


The extension agents) in my county and I assist each other in recruiting
students/members.
U U -3J


7 What kind of benefits/successes have you encountered when cooperating
with extension agentss?


I I












8 What type of barriers did you overcome in order to have a cooperative
relationship with extension agentss?






9 How important/not important are these factors in your cooperation with
county extension agentss?
Please indicate using the Likert-like scale.
1=Not very important
2=Not important
3=Neutral
4=1mportant
5=Very important
1 2 3 4 5

Increased value to youth
_.U .jJ J.A- AJ _iU
Personal satisfaction
-1J 2? _II _AJ ilil
Improved professional relationships
ii--- Ui W 1
Greater ability to specialize in areas) of interest
I.tJ JJ 3J W.J J
To make activities more enjoyable
-1J w2J JU
Satisfy my supervisors)


Physical distance between offices
_U3


S











Agricultural Educator's Cooperation Survey


Section III continued.
Personal opinions and experiences in cooperative activities with county extension
agents.



10 What factors have affected your decision to not cooperate in activities
with extension agentss?
Please answer using the Likert-like scale:
1=Strongly Disagree
2=Disagree
3=Neutral
4=Agree
5=Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

The extension agents) in my county and I do not work well together.
S^_2j A -5J
I have never considered cooperating with the extension agents) in my
county.


I do not have time to work with the extension agents) in my county.


I am too busy to work with the extension agents) in my county.


The extension agents) in my county do not want to cooperate on
activities.
JJ JJ .J AJ J
The extension agents) in my county are not responsive to change.


I am not aware of any extension agents) in my county.
JU _5j


11 What are the specific barriers/problems in the cooperation process
between yourself and extension agentss?











12 Please indicate if the following factors would positively influence you to
cooperate with your county extension agentss.
Please answer using the Likert-like scale.
1=Strongly Disagree
2=Disagree
3=Neutral
4=Agree
5=Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

Greater professional recognition

Increased value to youth
-1 jJ 345
More effective time usage

Personal satisfaction
JJ JU JJJ wU J
Enhancing subject area

Improved professional relationships

Greater ability to specialize in areas) of interest
JJ UU AJ JU
To make activities more enjoyable

Satisfy my supervisors)
sicl di e b n oic
Physical distance between offices
J_ ?J J 4iJ j


a











Agricultural Educator's Cooperation Survey


Section IV. Demographic Questions
This section asked questions about yourself and the programs) you conduct.



13 Gender:

SMale
) Female


14 I would(do) encourage my children to be involved in 4-H.

4 Yes
SNo
3 N/A



15 I would(do) encourage my children to be involved in FFA.

% Yes
SNo
J N/A



16 How old are you?

25 or under
S26-35
S36-45
S46-55
56 or above













17 Prior to your current position, have you worked as an extension agent?

Yes
No
SIf yes, how long?




'' The primary focus area of my program is:

SAgribusiness
) Agricultural mechanics
J Agritechnology
3 Animal sciences
J Horticulture
SNatural resources
SVeterinary assistance
SOther, please specify




19 Type of program conducted.

SHigh School
SMiddle School
) Blended Program (Middle and High school)


20 What degrees) do you hold and in what area/major?

Bachelors Degree
Masters Degree
Doctorate Degree












21 What best describes the population in your COUNTY?

Under 25,000
25,001 90,000
90,001 250,000
More than 250,000












APPENDIX D
IRB FORM & INFORMED CONSTANT


SInstitutional Review Board
UP LNIVERSITI of FI ORID4


DATE:


PO Box 112250
Gainesville, FL 32611-2250
352-392-0433 (Phone)
352-392-9234 (Fax)
irb2aufl.edu


July 31, 2007


TO: Audrey Vail
PO Box 110540
Campus ,l L

FROM: Ira S. Fischler, PhD, Chair o
University of Florida
Institutional Review Board

SUBJECT: Approval of Protocol #2007-U-0671


Cooperation between 4-H extension
educators in Florida


agents and secondary agricultural


SPONSOR: None

I am pleased to advise you that the University of Florida Institutional Review Board has
recommended approval of this protocol. Based on its review, the UFIRB determined that this
research presents no more than minimal risk to participants, and based on 45 CFR 46.117(c),
authorizes you to administer the informed consent process as specified in the protocol.


If you wish to make any changes to this protocol, including the need to increase the number
of participants authorized, you must disclose your plans before you implement them so that
the Board can assess their impact on your protocol. In addition, you must report to the Board
any unexpected compLicatons that affect your participants.


If you have not completed this protocol by July 27, 2008, please telephone our office (392-
0433), and we will discuss the renewal process with you. It is important that you keep your
Department Chair informed about the status of this research protocol.


ISF:dl


An Equal Opplrtunity Instiuinn


TITLE:













Informed Consent:
Please take a few moments to complete this survey about the cooperation relationship
between Florida 4-H extension agents and secondary agricultural educators. Your
participation is completely voluntary. There is no penalry for not panicip:ting You can
stop at any time without penalty and you do not have to answer any question you do not
wish to answer. Yur parlicipaiion in this study will help describe the relationship
between extension agents and secondary agricultural educators.

All answers are confidential to the extent provided by law. There are no known risks
associated with this study and there is no compensation or other direct benefit to you for
participation. By hitting the submit button, you agree that you have read this statement
and are aware of your rights.

Ifyou have any questions about this research, please contact the study supervisor, Dr.
Brian Myers, Department ofAgricultural Education and Communication, University of
Florida, 308B Rolfs Hall/PO Box 110540, Gar'ws" r c, Fl 32611-0540, (352)392-0502
ext 236, or myself Audrey Vail, Graduate Student, Agricultural Education and
Communication, University ofFlorida, 408 Rolfs Hall/PO Box 110540, Gainesville, FL
32611, (352)392-0502, ext 244. For questions regarding your rights as a research
participant, please contact the UFIRB at (352)392-0433. IRB #





Approved by
University of Florida
Institutional Review Board 02
Protocol # 2007-U-671
Use Through 07/27/2008









APPENDIX E
CONTACT LETTERS

Extension Agents

Initial Contact Letter

Dear (insert name),

My name is Audrey Vail and I am a Masters student in the Agricultural Education and
Communication Department at the University of Florida. I am requesting your help in collecting
data for my thesis study regarding the knowledge, perceptions and attitudes about cooperation
between Florida county extension agents and Florida agricultural educators.

As county extension agent in the state of Florida with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment, your
input to this research is essential. Because of your influence with youth interested in agriculture,
you have the ability to enhance students' future experiences in cooperative and competitive
situations. The results of this study can help you as a current agent by determining what is
enhancing or inhibiting the cooperative relationship between yourself and other agricultural
educators. With this knowledge, you will be able to demonstrate to the youth involved in your
programs the importance of learning cooperation and competition on a professional and personal
level.

You will be receiving a questionnaire from me within the week that contains a link to the
Zoomerang questionnaire for my study. If you choose not to participate in this study for
whatever reason, please send me an e-mail by September 26th SO I can remove you from my list.

Please keep an eye out for the next e-mail that contains the link to the Zoomerang
questionnaire. Thank you in advance for your participation in my study.

Sincerely,


Audrey Vail
Graduate student
University of Florida


Second Contact Letter

Dear (insert name),

My name is Audrey Vail and I am a Masters student in the Agricultural Education and
Communication Department at the University of Florida.









I sent you an e-mail last week about this questionnaire coming. I am requesting your help in
collecting data for my thesis study regarding the knowledge, perceptions and attitudes about
cooperation between Florida county extension agents and Florida agricultural educators.

As county extension agent in the state of Florida with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment, your
input to this research is essential. Because of your influence with youth interested in agriculture,
you have the ability to enhance students' future experiences in cooperative and competitive
situations. The results of this study can help you as a current agent by determining what is
enhancing or inhibiting the cooperative relationship between yourself and other agricultural
educators. With this knowledge, you will be able to demonstrate to the youth involved in your
programs the importance of learning cooperation and competition on a professional and personal
level.

Sincerely,


Audrey Vail
Graduate student
University of Florida


Third Contact Letter

Dear (insert name),

Last week, I sent out an e-mail asking for your help for my Master's thesis study. This e-mail is
simply a reminder about filling out this questionnaire. If you have already completed the
questionnaire, Thank you! If not, please take a few minutes to complete the survey regarding the
cooperation relationship between agricultural educators and county extension agents.

I would appreciate it if you could return this survey by October 31st. Again, thank you for your
time, help, and participation.

Sincerely,


Audrey Vail
Graduate student
University of Florida


Final Contact Letter

October 3rd, I sent out an e-mail asking for your help for my Master's thesis study. This e-mail
is simply a reminder about filling out this questionnaire. If you have already completed the
questionnaire, Thank you! If not, please take a few minutes to complete the survey regarding the
cooperation relationship between agricultural educators and county extension agents.










I would appreciate it if you could return this survey by November 9th. Again, thank you for your
time, help, and participation.

Sincerely,


Audrey Vail
Graduate student
University of Florida



Agricultural Educators

Initial Contact Letter

Dear (insert name),

My name is Audrey Vail and I am a Masters student in the Agricultural Education and
Communication Department at the University of Florida. I am requesting your help in collecting
data for my thesis study regarding the knowledge, perceptions and attitudes about cooperation
between Florida county extension agents and Florida agricultural educators.

As an agricultural educator in the state of Florida, your input to this research is essential.
Because of your influence with youth interested in agriculture, you have the ability to enhance
students' future experiences in cooperative and competitive situations. The results of this study
can help you as a current educator by determining what is enhancing or inhibiting the
cooperative relationship between yourself and the county extension agents. With this knowledge,
you will be able to demonstrate to students the importance of learning cooperation and
competition on a professional and personal level.

You will be receiving a questionnaire from me within the week that contains a link to the
Zoomerang questionnaire for my study. If you choose not to participate in this study for
whatever reason, please send me an e-mail by September 26th SO I can remove you from my list.

Please keep an eye out for the next e-mail that contains the link to the Zoomerang
questionnaire. Thank you in advance for your participation in my study.

Sincerely,


Audrey Vail
Graduate student
University of Florida









Second Contact Letter


Dear (insert name)

My name is Audrey Vail and I am a Masters student in the Agricultural Education and
Communication Department at the University of Florida.

I sent you an e-mail last week about this questionnaire. I am requesting your help in collecting
data for my thesis study regarding the knowledge, perceptions and attitudes about cooperation
between Florida county extension agents and Florida agricultural educators.

As an agricultural educator in the state of Florida, your input to this research is essential.
Because of your influence with youth interested in agriculture, you have the ability to enhance
students' future experiences in cooperative and competitive situations. The results of this study
can help you as a current educator by determining what is enhancing or inhibiting the
cooperative relationship between yourself and the county extension agents. With this knowledge,
you will be able to demonstrate to students the importance of learning cooperation and
competition on a professional and personal level.
Sincerely,

Audrey Vail
Graduate student
University of Florida


Third Contact Letter

Dear (inset name)

Last week, I sent out an e-mail asking for your help for my Master's thesis study. This e-mail is
simply a reminder about filling out this questionnaire. If you have already completed the
questionnaire, Thank you! If not, please take a few minutes to complete the survey regarding the
cooperation relationship between agricultural educators and county extension agents.

I would appreciate it if you could return this survey by October 31st. Again, thank you for your
time, help, and participation.

Sincerely,


Audrey Vail
Graduate student
University of Florida









Final Contact Letter


October 3rd, I sent out an e-mail asking for your help for my Master's thesis study. This e-mail
is simply a reminder about filling out this questionnaire. If you have already completed the
questionnaire, Thank you! If not, please take a few minutes to complete the survey regarding the
cooperation relationship between agricultural educators and county extension agents.

I would appreciate it if you could return this survey by November 9th. Again, thank you for your
time, help, and participation.

Sincerely,


Audrey Vail
Graduate student
University of Florida









LIST OF REFERENCES


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Ary, D. Jacobs, L. C., & Razavieh, A. (2002). Introduction to research in education (6th ed.).
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the impact of 4-H. Journal of Extension, 40(4).

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Beersma, B., Hollenbeck, J. R., Humphrey, S. E., Moon, H., Conlon, D. E., & Ilgen, D. R.
(2003). Cooperation, competition, and team performance: Toward a contingency approach.
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Bruce, J., & Ricketts, K. G. (in press). Exploring cooperation among secondary agricultural
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Campbell, D. T., & Stanley, J. C. (1966). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for
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Crombag, H. F. (1966). Cooperation and competition in means-interdependent triads: A
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Deutsch, M. (1949a). Theory of co-operation and competition. Human Relations, 2, 129-152.

Deutsch, M. (1949b). An experimental study of the effects of cooperation and competition upon
group process. Human Relations, 2(3), 199-231.

Deutsch, M., & Krauss, R. M. (1962). Studies on interpersonal bargaining. The Journal of
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Diatta, S., & Luft, V. D. (1986). Cooperation between North Dakota secondary vocational
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Dillman, D. A. (2007). Mail and internet surveys: The tailored design method (2nd ed.).
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Dormody, T. J. (1992). Exploring resource sharing between secondary school teachers of
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Dormody, T. J. (1993). Prediction modeling of resource sharing between secondary school
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59.

Dormody, T. J., & Seevers, B. S. (1994). Improving leadership development in 4-H and FFA.
The Agricultural Education Magazine, 67(5), 20-21, 23.

Eaton, D. W., & Bruening, T. H. (1996). The strategic plan for agricultural education: An
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Etling, A. (1994). Interorganizational coordination: Why and how. The Agricultural Education
Magazine, 66(1), 18-20.

Fetsch, R. J., & Yang, R. K. (2002). The effect of competitive and cooperative learning
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http://www.joe.org/joe/2002june/a5.html

Florida 4-H Program Handbook. (2007) Section 3: Appendix A -Federal affirmative action
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http://florida4h.org/staff/program_handbook/3_appendix_a.shtml

Florida 4-H. (2007). About 4-H. Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://florida4h.org/about/

Florida 4-H. (2007b). FAQ: Answers you want to know. Retrieved June 7, 2007, from
http://florida4h.org/about/faq.shtml

Gamon, J. A. (1994). Similarities and differences. The Agricultural Education Magazine, 66(1),
4-5.

Grage, K. D., Place, N. T., & Ricketts, J. C. (2004). Exploring cooperation between secondary
agricultural educators and livestock extension agents: A case study. Journal ofExtension,
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Graham, D. L. (1994). Teaching and extension-Career paths and interactions. The Agricultural
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Hillison, J. (1996a). Agricultural education and cooperative extension: The early agreements.
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Tjosvold, D. (1988). Cooperative and competitive dynamics within and between organizational
units. Human Relations, 41(6), 425-436.

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Wessel, T., & Wessel, M. (1982). 4-H. An American idea, 1900-1908 a history of 4-H. Chevy
Chase, MD: National 4-H Council.

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participation the agriscience program. Journal ofAgricultural Education, 35(3), 11-17.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Audrey Lynn Vail was born and raised in Neodesha, Kansas. She participated in 4-H at

early age (five) but joined when she was seven. While she was in 4-H, she held every officer

position at the club and county council level. She earned her Key Award in 2001. She joined

the agriculture education program and FFA in high school where she learned the basics about

agriculture. Throughout her FFA career, she served on many officer teams including holding

chapter president for two years and serving as the Southeast District vice president for a year.

She earned her state degree in 2001 and her American degree in 2004.

After high school graduation, she attended Kansas State University majoring in

Agricultural Communications and Journalism. During her four years at K-State, Audrey was an

ambassador for the College of Agriculture for four years and she served on the Agricultural

Communicators of Tomorrow officer team as secretary and president. Audrey was invited to

join Alpha Zeta Honors Fraternity her junior year and became an active member. While in

Alpha Zeta, she traveled to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita hit to help local

farmers repair the damage done to their farms and she was given the opportunity to present a

workshop at the national level for the National Agricultural Leadership Conference in San Louis

Obispo, California.

After graduating K-State, she moved to Gainesville to pursue her master's degree at the

University of Florida. After graduation, she plans to move back to Kansas to get married (she

got engaged in December 2007) and work in the extension field.





PAGE 1

COOPERATION BETWEEN FLORIDA COUNTY EXTENSION AGENTS AND FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EDUCATORS By AUDREY L. VAIL 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 2008 1

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2008 Audrey L. Vail 2

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To my future husband and my family. To Brandon because he was one of the main reas ons I came to the University of Florida. He encouraged me the entire time I was thinking ab out life after graduation from Kansas State University. He has been there through thick and thin and has accepted and dealt with me living almost 1300 miles from him while he kept going in school in Ka nsas. He is my rock, the one person who can calm and de-stress me. To my family because my mom and dad have help ed me in so many ways that I can not thank them enough. My oldest sister, Melonie, has been right beside me while she works on her Masters degree and its fun to di scuss classes and school with her. My second sister Emily and her family have made the visits home fun a nd entertaining. Phone calls from my 4-year-old niece, Julieona, and pictures of newborn Wyatt, her brother and my nephew, growing up have helped with the homesickness. My younger brother, Scott, is always good for entertainment at home and online with his jokes and random comments. For all of those reasons and more, this work is dedicated to them. 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Numerous people helped and encouraged me throughout the brainstorming, research, writing and defending of this thesis I would like to thank all of th em for their help, generosity and support. I would like first to thank Dr. Brian Myers fo r being my committee chair and advisor while here at the University of Florida. He accepted the responsibility of bein g my advisor after my initial advisor had a great opport unity to accept an associate dean position at a different university. Dr. Myers helped me through the entire journey, from the init ial idea to the final product. He answered my questions and listene d to me complain w ithout a second thought. Dr. Amy Harder, the other member of my co mmittee, was big help as well. She came in with a positive attitude and new ideas to help strengthen my study. She provided the extension agent point of view with her experiences which helped get the real worl d experience into the study. She always kept the environment light by joking around and acting like a friend. Another faculty member to thank is Dr. Nick Pl ace. He was my advisor for my first year in Florida and helped me start down the path of developing my study. A huge thank you goes out to everyone I have ev er shared an office with or bounced ideas off of while at the University of Florida. Roch elle Strickland and Marlen e von Stein were two of the first people that I met in Gainesville. Brian Es tevez took all three of us to Satchels for pizza. The two of them, along with the rest of the graduate students, gave me a toaster for my birthday during the orientation lunch because when I moved to Gainesville, the old toaster I had did not work, along with many other things. It was a rough transition at ti mes but with friends like this, I felt right at home! I also thank the other members of 408 Rolfs Ha ll for listening to my long-winded stories, frustrations and general chatter. Over the past two years, this list has included Jessica Blythe, 4

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Katy Groseta, Carrie Pedreiro, Elio Chiarelli, Katie Chodil, Brian Este vez, Allison Eckhardt, Anna Warner, Diane Mashburn, Charlie Neal is, Aubrey Stoughton, Christy Windham, and Lauren Dillard. In the other offices, there has been Shane Michael, Hannah Ranew, Matt Benge, Ann De Lay, Andrew Thoron, Courtney Me yers, Shannon Arnold, Roslynn Brain, Crystal Matthews, Lucas Maxwell, and Lauri Baker just to name a few. The support and help from the other faculty and staff members can not be overlooked. One of the best things about bei ng part of a department like AEC is that everyone bands together to help out. This help comes in the form of answering questions, helpin g me learn the ropes on campus, hosting dinners and birthday parties, and just caring about me as a person. I think everyone who has helped me along th e way. I could never have gotten this far without their help and support! 5

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........9LIST OF FIGURES.......................................................................................................................10ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................11CHATPER 1 INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE OF STUDY.................................................................13Introduction to the Study........................................................................................................13Problem Statement...........................................................................................................15Purpose and Objectives...................................................................................................16Significance of Study......................................................................................................16Operational Definitions...................................................................................................17Limitations.................................................................................................................... ...17Assumptions.................................................................................................................... 18Chapter Summary...................................................................................................................182 REVIEW OF LITERATURE.................................................................................................19Theoretical Framework.......................................................................................................... .19Theory of Cooperation and Competition.........................................................................19Cooperation among Extension Agents............................................................................26Cooperation among Agricultural Educators....................................................................28Cooperation between Agricultural Ed ucators and Extension Agents.............................29Chapter Summary...................................................................................................................343 METHODOLOGY.................................................................................................................3 5Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........35Research Design.....................................................................................................................35Populations.............................................................................................................................35Instrumentation................................................................................................................ .......36Procedure................................................................................................................................39Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................41Chapter Summary...................................................................................................................42 6

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4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................... .........43Results by Objective........................................................................................................... ....45Objective 1.......................................................................................................................45Gender......................................................................................................................45Age...........................................................................................................................45Educational background...........................................................................................47County population....................................................................................................47Encouragement of 4-H and the National FFA Association......................................49Extension specific questions: prior j ob experience, primary program area, percentage 4-H......................................................................................................49Agricultural educator specific questions : prior job experience, primary focus area of program and type of program conducted..................................................51Objective 2.......................................................................................................................52Objective 3.......................................................................................................................57Objective 4.......................................................................................................................60Objective 5.......................................................................................................................63Perceptions...............................................................................................................63Knowledge...............................................................................................................665 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.................................................................68Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........68Purpose and Objectives of the Study...............................................................................68Methodology....................................................................................................................68General Discussion and Conclusions......................................................................................69Objective 1.......................................................................................................................69Objective 2.......................................................................................................................71Objective 3.......................................................................................................................73Objective 4.......................................................................................................................74Objective 5.......................................................................................................................76Implications and Recommendations.......................................................................................78Recommendation for Practioners...........................................................................................80Recommendations for Future Research..................................................................................80APPENDIX A Expert Panel Members............................................................................................................82B Extension Agent Questionnaire..............................................................................................83C Agricultural Educators Questionnaire....................................................................................93D IRB Form & Informed constent............................................................................................104 7

PAGE 8

E Contact Letters......................................................................................................................106Extension Agents............................................................................................................... ...106Initial Contact Letter......................................................................................................106Second Contact Letter...................................................................................................106Third Contact Letter......................................................................................................107Final Contact Letter.......................................................................................................107Agricultural Educators..........................................................................................................108Initial Contact Letter......................................................................................................108Second Contact Letter...................................................................................................109Third Contact Letter......................................................................................................109Final Contact Letter.......................................................................................................110LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................111BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................115 8

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 4.1 Comparison of early and late respondents.........................................................................444-2 Agent primary program area..............................................................................................504-3 Agent 4-H appointment...................................................................................................... 504-4 Teacher primary focus area................................................................................................5 14-5 Percent rating of gene ral cooperation statements..............................................................534-6 Comparison of opinions of general cooperation................................................................564-7 Comparison of ratings of cooperation................................................................................574-8 Percentage of cooperati on by activity and job title............................................................574-9 Overall mean rating by activity..........................................................................................604-10 Importance rating and mean fo r those currently cooperate...............................................614-11 Agreement scale and mean for those not currently cooperating........................................624-12 Reasons for not cooperating............................................................................................... 634-13 Ratings for each percepti on statement by job title.............................................................644-14 Comparison by job title for objective five.........................................................................665.1 Mean ratings for important factors by t hose who already participate in cooperative activities and those who do not currently participate in coope rative activities.................75 9

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1 Extension agent age groups...............................................................................................464-2 Agricultural educator age groups.......................................................................................464-3 Extension agent county populations..................................................................................484-4 Agricultural educator county populations..........................................................................485-1 Percentage of Agree for general cooperation statements by job title.............................72 10

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Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science COOPERATION BETWEEN FLORIDA COUNTY EXTENSION AGENTS AND FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EDUCATORS By Audrey L. Vail May 2008 Chair: Brian Myers Major: Agricultural Edu cation and Communications A strong foundation is the key for any structure to stand the test of time. This goes for any person as well. In the agriculture industr y, many professionals had help building their foundations. Within the agriculture industry, extension agents, ag ricultural educators, 4-H and The National FFA organization have built the foundations for the ne xt generation of agricultural professionals and workers. Agricu lture educators and extension agen ts need to work closely with communities, business and industry, government agen cies, and each other in order to remain on the cutting edge of the agricultural field. Ther e should be more coopera tion and collaboration between the 4-H and FFA programs to help the youth build strong founda tions for the future (Dormody & Seevers, 1994). The purpose of this study was to describe th e level of cooperation between Florida county extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and Flor ida agricultural educators who advise FFA programs. The objectives of this study were (a) to compare and contrast demographic variables among 4-H extension agents a nd agricultural educators, (b) to identify the self perceived level of cooperati on between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators, (c) to identify past and present coope rative activities between 4-H ex tension agents and agricultural educators, (d) to identify factors that are rela ted to levels of cooperation among 4-H extension 11

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agents and agricultural educators, and (e) to identify the knowledge and perc eptions about the 4H and FFA programs from the pe rspective of the 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. Deutschs (1949) theory of cooperation and competition was used as the theoretical framework for this study. This theory was de veloped to show and explain how cooperation and competition affect small group functioning. This was a descriptive study that used two Web-based questionnaires to conduct a census survey of Florida county extension agents w ith a 20% or higher 4H appointment and schoolbased agricultural educators in Florida. The key finding from this study was that both populations were l ooking for someone who can reciprocate and equally exchange time and resources with them. Th e respondents indicated they wanted to have a coopera tive relationship but some did not know how to orchestrate the process. They were willing to put in the time to create the rela tionship in order to increase the value to youth and improve their professional relationships. This study found the two populations were similar in age, educational background, co unty populations, and opinions of encouragement in 4-H and FFA. The study found that physical distance between offices was not a very important factor in maintaining or form ing a cooperative rela tionship. Although most cooperation can be found at county a nd state fairs, there is room to grow in community service activities and recruiting students. The findings have given a clearer picture of what is helping and what is hindering the coopera tion relationship between extens ion agents and agricultural educators. 12

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE OF STUDY Introduction to the Study A strong foundation is the key for any structure to stand the test of time. This goes for any person as well. In the agriculture industr y, many professionals had help building their foundations. The stories about char acter building from years past can be heard by just asking many of the men and women who have been in th e agriculture industry for many years. In the agriculture industry, numerous agen cies and professionals have built the foundations for the next generation of agricultural professionals and workers (Asthroth & Haynes, 2002). The 4-H and FFA organizations are two of these agencies and they operate the na tional, state, and local levels. These agencies are led by extension agents and agricultural educat ors. The 4-H and FFA programs have focused on developing personal, leadership, and career skills for youth who were interested in agricu lture (Etling, 1994). 4-H is the official youth or ganization of the United States Department of Agriculture whose mission is to create suppor tive environments outside the school system for diverse youth and adults to reach their fullest potential (Flori da 4-H, 2007). The main objective of 4-H is the development of youth as individuals and as responsible and producti ve citizens. 4-H is traditionally club-based but is also conducted in tradition school setting. The newest tag line is -H is a community of young pe ople across America who are lear ning leadership, citizenship, and life skills (National 4-H Council, 2008, ). The National FFA Organization (FFA) is different from 4-H in that FFA is part of the agricultural education pr ogram in the public school system (National FFA Organization, 2006). The structure of agricultural education in school s consists of three parts: classroom/laboratory instruction, supervised agricu ltural experience programs, and the FFA student organization 13

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(National FFA Organization, 2006). The agricultural education mi ssion is to prepare students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber, and natural resources systems (National FFA Organization, 2006, p. 5). The mission of the National FFA Organization is to develop member s potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education (National FFA Organization, 2006). 4-H is led by county extension agents, and FFA by the agricultural education teachers in the local school. These professionals have shar ed common goals and resp onsibilities, such as delivering effective educational programs to thei r learners by facilitating learning that has been intentional, organized, and goa l oriented (Etling, 1994). The responsibilities of 4-H extension agents are outlined in the Florida 4-H Program Handbook (2007, 3). In a legal sense, the County 4-H Coordina tor or the County 4-H Program Leader is responsible for all local 4-H un its since they are instruments of the Extension Service. The agent assists with 4-H unit formation, often th rough others and recognizes their existence through approval for the use of the 4-H name and emblem, and through provision of training and educational materials. If the uni t operates in a discriminatory manner, such services must be terminated after due notification. The FFA advisor, also the agricultural educati on teacher, responsibilitie s were cited in The Official FFA Manual (2006, p. 17) as (a) superv ise chapter activities year-round, (b) inform prospective students and parents about the FFA, (c ) instruct students in leadership and personal development, (d) build school and community support for the program, (e) encourage involvement of all chapter members in activities, and (f) prepare studen ts for involvement in career development events (CDE s) and leadership programs. Because the responsibilities of extension agents and agricultural educators are similar and the 4-H and FFA programs are similar, these pr ofessional educators and participating youth can benefit from cooperation (Gamon, 1994). For exampl e, Cooperative Extension has resources that 14

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can be used by school-sponsored programs. Gamon (1994) stated, State and field CES specialists can deliver the program content if teachers can deliver the audience and arrangements (p. 4-5). As another example, teachers could follow the advice of extension agents for implementation of new, research-based activ ities. High school teachers may find that teaming up with extension agents results in up-to-date research inform ation in publications, computer games, videos, and other materials useful for class projects (Gamon). Dormody and Seevers (1994) agre ed that collaboration should be practiced between the two organizations to develop 4-H and FFA members leadersh ip skills. Dormody and Seevers stated that professionals and volunteers should be taught how to teach collaborative leadership. Our youth wont learn to collaborate just becau se they are put on committees. Our youth should participate in activities where th ey learn collaborative leadership skills (Dormody & Seevers, 1994, p. 21). Pirch (1993) stated that cooperation was a must for extension agents to keep current on the latest technologies and information. In a time of budget cuts and hiri ng freezes, well rely on co-workers for expertise and en ergy. The co-worker may no longer be in our office. He or she may be someone from a cluster, region, district, some other part of the state, multi-state region, or even the nation (Pirch, 1993, ). Pirch claimed that if the agents were proud of the work they had accomplished, they should feel proud to cooperate with other agents and share their work. Problem Statement The problem of minimal cooperation between ex tension agents and secondary agricultural educators has occurred in youth programming (G rage, Place, & Ricketts, 2004). Seevers (1994) stated that agriculture educators and extension agents need to work closely with communities, 15

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business and industry, government agencies, and each other in order to remain on the cutting edge of the ag ricultural field. Instead of cooperation, there often is compe tition, and instead of collaboration, there has been duplication. There should be more cooperati on and collaboration between the 4-H and FFA programs to help youth build strong foundations for the future. Extension agents and agricultural educators are the key administrators of these programs. Their attitudes toward cooperation can affect the degree and nature of cooperation and collaboration between the two programs. Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this study was to describe th e level of cooperation between Florida county extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and Flor ida agricultural educators who advise FFA programs. The objectives of this study were 1. To compare and contrast demographic va riables among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators 2. To identify the self perceived level of c ooperation between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators 3. To identify past and present cooperative ac tivities between 4-H ex tension agents and agricultural educators 4. To identify factors related to levels of cooperation among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators 5. To identify the knowledge and perceptions about the 4-H and FFA programs from the perspective of the 4-H extension ag ents and agricultural educators Significance of Study There has been little research conducted to determine the cooperative relationship between Florida 4-H extension agents and Florida agricultural educators. The findings of this study can help educators and administrators who are prep aring and advising future extension agents and agricultural educators. The educators can use the findings from this study to help train future 16

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agents and agricultural educators how to cooperate and why cooperation is beneficial to the 4-H and FFA programs. The findings can help curren t extension agents and agricultural educators determine what is inhibiting or enhancing the cooperative relationship between themselves and the other professionals. The result s of this study could lead to increased levels of cooperation and collaboration between fu ture extension agents and agricultural educators. Operational Definitions 4-H : It is defined as a non-form al, practical educational prog ram for youth that is the youth development program of Florida Cooperative Exte nsion, a part of the University of Florida IFAS (Florida 4-H, 2007b). 4-H Extension Agent : In this study, this is defined as anyone who is employed by Florida Cooperative Extension with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment. Competition : The rivalry between two or more businesses (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000, p. 284). In this study, competition will be defined as county extension agents and agricultural educators not sharing resources, curricula and advice. Cooperation : The association of persons or businesses for common, usually economic, benefit (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000, p. 306). In this study, cooperation is defined as county extension agents and agricultural educators integrat ing resources, curricula, and advice. Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES): A partnership between county, state, and federal governments that provide scientif ic knowledge and expertise to the public (UF/IFAS, 2007). FCES employs 4-H extension agents. Agricultural Educator: Teachers employed by a county in Florida who are certified to teach agriculture curriculum at a middle school, junior high school, high school, or agriculture academy. The National FFA Organization (FFA): The national agricultura l youth organization for students enrolled in agriculture education in grades 6-12 (National FFA Organization, 2006). Limitations The use of self-perceptions in this study is a limitation because they are self-reported, not observed or documented by an external source (A ry, Jacobs, & Razavieh, 2002). The results will be impacted because they are personal opinions that can not be verified as fact. A second 17

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limitation is that because only teac hers and agents in the state of Florida are taking the survey, the results can not be generalized outside of this population or state. A third limitation is that the level of cooperation is limited to only those ac tivities that are 4-H and/ or FFA related. The fourth limitation is the use of distributing the survey electron ically. Dillman (2007) suggested that this limitation can have a variety of technical issues that include (a) preventing the respondent from properly viewing the instrument, (b) Internet connection speed may affect how the respondent sees the instrument, and (c) the respondents computer li teracy may affect how they fill out the questionnaire. Assumptions Respondents filled out the instrument truthfully. Respondents had the ability to retrieve th e instrument online without complications. Respondents had the ability to understand the el ectronic format of the survey instrument. Chapter Summary This chapter introduced the importance and need for this study. This chapter addressed the purpose and objectives of this study. This chap ter gave background knowledge of 4-H and the National FFA Organization. This chapter specifi ed the operational definitions for many terms that will be used. The limitations an d assumptions were also discussed. 18

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Theoretical Framework Theory of Cooperation and Competition The theory of cooperation and competition was developed by Morton Deutsch in 1949. He developed this theory to explain how coope ration and competition affect small group functioning. Before Deutsch, most work in the field of cooperation concerned an individuals motivation to achieve in a cooperative or comp etitive situation. Deutsch documented how small groups reacted in cooperative or competitive soci al situations. Deutsch used psychological implications and assumptions to hypothesize the effects of cooperation and competition on group processes. Deutsch (1949b) tested his theory using an experimental design of 10 groups made up of five introductory psychology students. The groups were paired with one treated as a cooperative group and the other treated as a competitive gr oup. The cooperative situation was created by giving the cooperative groups a set of instruction stating the group as a whole would be rated in comparison with the efforts of the four other co operative groups. The reward, or grade, each person would receive would be the same as other group members. The grade would be determined after that groups relative position wa s compared to the other four groups (Deutsch, 1949b). The competitive situation was created by giving the competitive groups a set of instructions stating each member would be rated in comparison with the efforts of the other four members composing his group. The reward, or grade, would be different for each person in that group and the grade would be determined by the re lative contributions of each person to the situation. 19

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Deutsch found results on an individual level and at the group level. On an individual level, the cooperative groups perceived themselves agreeably more interdependent and the competitive groups thought themselves to be less interd ependent (Deutsch, 1949b). The cooperative groups had a greater ability to sustai n similar actions between group members than competitive groups. When working in cooperation, personal actions we re conducted in a positiv e manner in order to reach the group goal. The opposite was found fo r competitive groups. Personal actions were meant to better the individual, not the group. The f ourth result that Deutsch stated was that there was more positive peer pressure to accomplish the goal within the groups that cooperated than in those that competed. The final result Deutsch stated was that individual cooperation exhibited more helpfulness and individual competition would exhibit more obtrusiveness. On a group level, Deutsch found cooperation al lowed for more of the following than competition: (a)coordination of efforts; (b)div ersity in amount of contributions per member; (c)sub-division of activity; (d)achievement pre ssure; (e)production of signs in the puzzle problem; (f)attentiveness to fellow members; (g)mutual comprehension of communication; (h)common appraisals of communication; (i)orien tation and orderliness; (j)productivity per unit time; (k)quality of product and of discussions ; (l)friendliness during discussions; (m)favorable evaluation of group and its products; (n)group fu nctions; (o)perception of favorable effects of fellow members; and (p)incorporation of the atti tude of the generalized other. There were no significant differences in the amount of interest in the situation, the amount of specialization with respect to function or the amount of learning. Deutschs practical implications stated greater group or organizat ion productivity will result when the members or sub-units are cooperative rather than competitive in their relationships (p. 230). Intercommunication of ideas, coordination of efforts, friendliness, and 20

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pride in ones group were basic to group harmony and led to more effectiveness when the group worked cooperatively rather than competitiv ely. There were some indications that competitiveness produced greater pers onal insecurity than cooperation. A study conducted by Crombag (1966) tested Deutschs (1949a) hypotheses: (a) groups would be more satisfied with the task; (b) gr oups would experience more inducibility (mutual sensitivity for influence) in their group; (c) groups would be more attracted to the group (d) groups would evaluate the perf ormance of their group and their own individual performance higher; and (e) groups would evaluate their fe llow group members as more congenial. Crombag found all of the hypotheses were supporte d by the data collect ed during the study. Smith, Madden, and Sobol (1957) conduc ted a study focused on cooperative and competitive group discussions. The researchers us ed 29 groups of five students each to study this phenomenon. All groups were given a case to read and discuss. Fourteen groups were instructed that they would be examined for individual intel ligence scores based on their group discussion. The remaining 15 groups were told the groups should work cooperatively because they were being compared as a group to the other groups for intelligence scores. After six weeks, the researchers conduc ted a recall test to see what the participants remembered from their group discussions. Smith, Madden and Sobol found more ideas were introduced in the cooperative groups, as suggested by Deutsch s (1949) theory, but there was no significant difference between the amounts of information recalled from cooperative or competitive groups. Thomas (1957) conducted a study to determin e if working in cooperative groups would facilitate or hinder a group from reaching its goal. Thomas used 160 female volunteers and instructed them on how to assemble miniature houses in five st eps. In groups of 5, the women worked to assemble as many of these houses as they could in 30 minutes. Thomas used a 2 X 2 21

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X 2 factorial design with two treatment groups to test his ideas. Th omas found the groups perceives very little hindrance, if any while working in groups (p. 355). Thomas also found that if there was a division of labor, participants increased th eir chance of reaching their goal because they were cooperatively striving toward it. In 1977, Slavin conducted an analysis of the rese arch based on classroom reward structures to see if studies had shown if c ooperative, competitive, or indivi dual reward structures were the best way to reward students. Sl avin found that unless subjects ha d important resources to share or withhold at their discretion, co mpetitive and individual reward st ructures were more effective than cooperative ones for increas ing performance. Slavin found consistently posi tive effects of cooperative reward structures could cause permanen t changes in the climat e of classrooms in a way that promotes mutual attraction and accepta nce among students. Slavins final conclusion was that a mixture of cooperative and competitive or cooperative and individual reward structures was the most promising for producing positive effects on academic achievement and on social connectedness, which is consistent with Deutschs (1949) theory. Johnson and Johnson (1972) conducted an experiment to see if race had any effect on cooperation between two individu als. They found that, rega rdless of race, individuals cooperated with their partners more when they had similar attitudes and beliefs, as seen in Deutschs (1949) study. Sharan (1980) analyzed five studies that looked at cooperativ e small-group learning in the classroom. Sharan concluded competition did not hinder small-group learning. Sharan suggested there should be competition between cooperative groups to facilitate learning from a cooperative and competitive view point. 22

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A meta-analysis of 122 studies conducted by Johnson, Maruyama, Johnson, and Nelson (1981) helped summarize the results of studies that utilized Deutschs (19 49) theory. The authors used three methods of meta-analysis (the voting method, the effect-size method, and the z -score method) in their study. From the authors analysis four theoretical propositions were found. The first was that, cooperation is superior to competition in promoting achievement and productivity (p. 56). Johnson, et al. hypothesized that the superi ority of cooperation increased the more the subjects were required to pr oduce a group product. The second proposition was that cooperation was superior to individualistic efforts in promoting achievement and productivity. The third proposition was that cooperation without inter-group competition promoted higher achievement and productivity th an cooperation with inter-group competition. The authors stated this finding had the weakest empirical evidence to support this conclusion. The final proposition was there was no significant difference between interpersonal competitive and individualistic goal structures on achievement and productivity. Tjosvold (1984) conducted a historical anal ysis with Deutschs (1949) theory of cooperation and competition to see how the classi c theory had withstood the test of time. Tjosvold summarized the theory by examining De utschs results. Tjosvold stated Deutsch suggested four possible outcomes in a coopera tive situation. The first outcome was that cooperative groups expected and actually assist ed each other in order to reach their common goal. The second outcome was that communication was more accurate and group members would use positive peer influence to reach th e group goal. The third outcome was that cooperative groups would divide tasks and encourage group members to complete their assigned tasks. The fourth outcome wa s that cooperative people would be more friendly and supportive of 23

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each other. Tjosvold agreed with Deutschs theory, but stated, m ost situations will then have processes induced by cooperation, competiti on and individualization (p. 746). Slavin (1987) conducted a similar study that compared developmental and motivational perspectives in cooperative learning. Slavin de fined motivational persp ectives by stating that these researchers were more concerned with the reward or goal structure under which group members operated, unlike the develo pmental researchers who focuse d primarily on the quality of interaction among the students engaged in collaborative activities For example, Deutsch (1949) has a motivational perspective while Piaget and Vygotsky had developmental perspectives. Slavins study analyzed of 46 studies whic h all contained a cooperative learning method compared with a control group, took place in regula r elementary or secondary school for at least two weeks, and had achievement measures that assessed individual learni ng of objectives taught equally in experimental and cont rol classes. Slavin found that when studies did not grade or reward based on the produced group projects, th ere was little support fo r cooperative learning. He did find when there was a group grade or reward, cooperativ e learning worked well in classroom settings. Slavin concluded instead of the two perspectives working independently of each other, a blended (or coope rative) relationship would work best in the classroom. Outside the classroom setting, Tjosvold (1988) carried out interviews with 39 employees at a public health agency to identify specific interact ions they had with co-workers in their field. Tjosvold found that employees that thought their goals were the sa me as their co-workers had trusting expectations, exchanged information and resources, worked effi ciently and productively, and developed confidence in future collabo ration. Tjosvold found when employees had competitive goals, they treated each other with su spicion, had little exchange of information, had 24

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low productivity, and low morale. Tjosvold concl uded independent goals in terfered more with interaction between groups than within them. Alper, Tjosvold, and Law (1998) had similar findings as Tjosvold (1988) in their study of 60 self-managing teams. The authors found teams with highly cooperative goals were able to open-mindedly and constructively discuss opposing vi ews. This helped develop confidence in team dynamics and contributed to effective team performance. Alper, Tjosvold, and Law found competitive goals interfered with constructive co ntroversy, confidence and effectiveness. They suggested structuring cooperative goals and constructive controversy could help self-managing teams gain confidence and work more productively. Beersma, Hollenbeck, Humphrey, Moon, Conlon, and Ilgen (2003) used Deutschs (1949) theory to study the relationship between reward st ructures and team performance. Beersma, et al. concluded reward structures should be used based on the objective of th e task being rewarded. For example, Competitive structures should be used when people are working independently, whereas cooperative reward structures should be used when people are working interdependently (p. 584). Competition occurs when there is a limited supply of resources (Rocha & Rogers, 1971). In Rocha and Rogers (1971) study, they demonstr ated this concept by ch allenging children to build the tallest tower out of the blocks provided. Fo llowing Deutschs (1949) theory, the competition allowed for only one child to receive a prize for the tallest tower. The children were observed showing three signs of aggression: verbal, interference and overt physical attacks. Rocha and Rogers concluded that the more comp etitive the situation, the more aggressively the children behaved but this does not mean that competition always leads to aggression (p. 592). 25

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The theory of cooperation and competition wa s used in Deutsch and Krauss (1962) study of bargaining. The researchers stated that bargaine rs were more likely to reach an agreement if their cooperative interests were stronger in comparison to their competitive interests. Deutsch and Krauss conducted an experiment to test their hypotheses. The experiment allowed participants to make threats in order to st rike a bargain. Deutsch and Krauss found threats hindered cooperation, and competition was the ma in focus during the bargaining process. Deutschs (1949) theory of cooperation and co mpetition has been tested for almost 60 years. Many studies agree that working in c ooperative groups that are competing as a group has the biggest positive effect on individual learni ng (Alper, Tjosvold, and Law, 1998; Beersma, et al., 2003; Deutsch, 1949b; Johnson, et al., 1981 ; Slavin, 1977, 1987; Smith, Madden & Sobol, 1957; Thomas, 1957; Tjosvold, 1988). Cooperation among Extension Agents All extension agents, not just 4-H, can benefit from cooperation. Many studies have been conducted to demonstrate how partnerships with Cooperative Extension Service/extension agents can benefit the agents, CES and other partie s involved (Barnard, 1985; Kittredge, 1992; Scutchfield, Harris, Tanner & Murray, 2007) Kittredge (1992) conducted a Delphi study of 12 northeastern state forestry extension agents to see how their cooperation in the Northeast Forest Resource Extension Committee (NEFREC) was helping reduce duplication efforts in producing educational ma terials. Kittredge found the committee was helping reduce the duplicat ion of education materials. The committee had developed the bibliography of Cooperative Ex tension natural resource educational materials that had been distributed to each state (Kit tredge, 1992). This partnership allowed for cooperation between multiple agents. This reduced their workload, used time and money more efficiently and helped create partnership that could be used in the future. 26

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Scutchfield, Harris, Tanner and Murray (2007) developed a model of cooperation between universities which had a college of agriculture that housed CES and academic health centers. The model showed how CES worked with the hea lth centers to provide up-to-date research information to the public. This model was deve loped from the University of Kentuckys CES working with its academic health center. This model showed that CES can cooperate with outside academic resources and programs to cr eate better, more in-depth materials. Another example of CES and extension agents cooperating with othe r agencies came from Barnards (1985) explanation of how CES was approached by th e Farmers Home Administration in Indiana about training borrowers how to use the Coordinated Fina ncial Statements of Agriculture. CES of Indiana worked with the Farmers Home Administrati on to train agents two months before conducting workshops on the financ ial statements. The partnership conducted workshops in all 45 counties in Indiana plus two at large workshops for a total of 47 workshops. This partnership and the workshops they conduc ted helped spread the word about what CES could do because, more people were exposed to the Cooperative Extension Service, and county Extension agents were able to expand their mailing lists (15). Past studies have shown how cooperation betw een CES/extension agen ts and other agents, health centers and outside companies have created positive learning environments for everyone involved. Fetsch and Yang (2002) conducted a study of 4-H and non-4-H members to see how competition and cooperation affected the partic ipants self-perceptions of themselves. The authors found both participant groups scored si milarly on the Cooperative Learning Orientation assessment but 4-H members scored lower on the Competitive Learning Orientation assessment than non-4-H members. Fetsch and Yang suggest ed that 4-H leaders be urged to provide a 27

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system that rewards cooperation even more th an individual competition at county, state, and national fairs, particularly for members in third through fifth grade. Cooperation among Agri cultural Educators Agricultural educators have worked with a wide variety of people to form cooperative relationships. Dormody (1992) stated agriculture a nd science teachers were natural partners and that it would be logical for them to share resour ces for integrating the programs into both types of classrooms. A national study by Dormody found, except for equipment and supplies, teachers in agriculture perceived that they had shared mo re resources with science departments than they had received (p. 26). This show ed that even natural partne rs must work at cooperation. Dormody (1992) used the results to predict what factors were associat ed with present and future resource sharing between agriculture and science teachers in another study (Dormody, 1993). He developed a predictive profile of ag riculture teachers who share resources with science departments. This prof ile included teachers who took in-service courses or workshops covering science-related teaching methods, taught non-agriculture science courses in the science department, had a positive attitude toward sc ience, had knowledge and skill in science and worked in a school with a relatively large num ber of science teachers. Dormody developed a second profile for agriculture teachers who used science department resources. That profile included teachers that had a posit ive attitude toward science, ha d positive interpersonal relations with science department personnel, took in-s ervice courses or workshops covering sciencerelated teaching methods and taught non-agriculture courses in the science department. After developing these profiles, Dormody stated that at titude toward science appears to be the best overall predictor of resource shar ing between teachers of agricu lture and science departments (p. 58). 28

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Agricultural educators tend to cooperate more with scie nce teachers in a school setting (Whent, 2000). Whent conducted a panel longitudina l study to determine what factors influenced resource sharing between agricu ltural and science teachers. Part icipation in the Agriscience Institute and Outreach Program increased coopera tion and resource sharing between the pairs of teachers. Whent found it was possible to in crease the amount of cooperation and resource sharing between the teachers through informa tion sharing, team building, and assigned tasks. The major factor inhibiting science teachers from utilizing agriculture department resources was a lack of awareness of both the resources available and similarities in curriculum. A study by Ubadigbo and Gamon (1988) f ound little cooperation between Iowa agribusinesses and other groups. Ubadigbo a nd Gamon did find a high level of cooperation between agribusinesses and private individuals They suggested that the low levels of cooperation may have been because agri-educators were not aggressive enough in promoting cooperation with agribusinesses, or that geographical loca tions made cooperation more difficult. Eaton and Bruening (1996) studied Pennsylvania secondary agricultural educators to determine their perceptions regarding impl ementing recommendations from the National Research Council after the doc ument A Nation at Risk was published. They found that teachers knew there was a gap in cooperati on between agricultural education and other disciplines and the teachers suppor ted developing partnerships to strengthen their agricultural programs. Eaton and Bruening stated that scienc e departments should be the top priority when making these partnerships. Cooperation between Agricultural Educators and Extension Agents Numerous government acts have provided th e foundations for the development of the Cooperative Extension Service, 4H, agricultural education, and FFA in the United States. The problem with these government acts was that th ey did not specifically identify a line where 29

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Cooperative Extension stops and sc hool-based agricultura l education began, or vice versa. They have enough common goals that many officials we re concerned that after passages of federal legislation for each, that there would be a lot of duplication between th e two (Hillison, 1996a, p. 9) in the early years of CES and school-based agriculture education. In the early years of CES and school-based agricultural education, many problems came up. When they were prepared, both vocati onal teaching and extension work were comparatively new. With the development of these two closely related and rapidly expanding lines of public service, problems have arisen which make desirable a restatement of the respective fields of Smith -Hughes and Smith-Lever workers and of the relationships between the two groups (M emorandum of Understanding, 1928, ). Wessel and Wessel (1982) said local ex tension agents prevented young people from joining vocational education programs and teach ers in the schools kept youth from joining 4-H clubs (p.11) in the ear ly stages of the two organizations. Because of the competition between the two gr oups over factors, such as resources and member participation, the Me morandum of Understanding Rela tive to the Smith-Hughes and Smith-Lever Relationships in Agriculture was written in 1928 (Memorandum of Understanding, 1928). This memorandum clearly stated wher e the line was drawn between ag ricultural education and the extension services. There will be the co-operative agricultura l extension system conducted by the State agricultural colleges in cooperati on with the United States De partment of Agriculture and the county under the provisions of the Smith-L ever Act and under other Federal and State legislation. There will also be vocational ag ricultural instruction carried on by the State board for vocational education in co-opera tion with the Federal Board for Vocational Education and the county or the local school district under the provisions of the SmithHughes Act. The extension service and the voc ational service will deal with both adults and youth (Memorandum of Understanding, 1928, ). The memorandum clarified the focus of extension work and vocational agriculture in public schools by stating that voca tional agriculture was, courses of systematic instruction in 30

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agriculture, carried on in schools or classes for those who entered upon or who are planning to enter upon the work of the farm or of th e farm home (Memorandum of Understanding, 1928, ). The memorandum stated extension, shall cons ist of the giving of in struction and practical demonstrations in agriculture and home economics to persons not attending or resident at said colleges in the several communities and imparting to such person useful and practical information on said subjects through field demons trations, publications, and otherwise, and to encourage the application of the same (M emorandum of Understanding, 1928, ). After defining extension services and vocational agriculture, the memorandum stated: Any work participated in by the teacher of vo cational agriculture not included in all-day, day unit, evening or part-time instruction, should be done in accordance with the plans of the extension system for the state and in coopera tion with the agent who is in charge of the extension work in the county. Teachers of vocational agriculture or representatives of vocational agriculture work should be invited to participate in a ll meetings conducted by the extension service for the formulation of county and state agricultural programs (Memorandum of Understanding, 1928, ). With clearly defined lines and cooperation stat ed, county extension agen ts and agricultural educators still had, a problem of limited c ooperationparticularly in youth programming in 2004 (Grage, et al., 2004). Grage et al. conducted a qualitative study using secondary agricultural educators and livestock extension agents in Florida to determine what major themes restricted levels of cooperation between the two groups. Th e authors found, the relationship between the agricultural educator an d the extension agent, the awarene ss of the other profession, and the understanding and perceptions of cooperation and co mpetition were the most influential factors affecting levels of cooperation ( 11). The authors concluded, aspect s such as a lack of mutual respect, resource sharing, scheduling problems and currently he ld perceptions regarding the individuals involved contribute d to the absence of cooperative relationships between the disciplines (). 31

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A follow-up quantitative study was conducted by Ricketts and Place (2005). The purpose of this study was to explore cooperation betwee n agriculture teachers and extension agents in Florida and characterize the current environm ent surrounding cooperation between disciplines (). Ricketts and Place found conflicting results from the focus groups. The authors found that 72% of extension agents and 80% of agricultu re teachers stated they had currently been cooperating with the other profe ssion. Both disciplines agreed strongly that cooperation allows for added resource sharing, and they were mo re likely to cooperate with a committed and responsible party. The teachers and agents agreed on the four be st reasons for cooperation. The authors stated that the number one reason was th e added value to the youth in the organizations. The following three reasons included benefit to participati on programs, increased awareness of agriculture education/extension, and agricultu re education/extensions mission. On an individual level, both teachers and agents felt strongly that they had experienced succe ssful results while cooperating. Bruce and Ricketts (in press) conducted a similar study using Pennsylvania agriculture teachers (N=83) and extension agents (N=88) as their population. In their qualitative study, they found three themes for advantages to cooperation and four themes for barriers to cooperation. The first theme for advantages of cooperation was that cooperation improved programming offerings. It helped to incr ease participation, to improve co mmunication and information flow, and to increase new idea formation. The second th eme was that cooperation helped in sharing the workload for events. This helped reduce stress, made less work for one person, and the partnership shared successes and failures. The third item was that cooperation increased the amount and type of resources av ailable to both groups that in cluded personnel, expertise and materials. 32

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The four themes for barriers of cooperation were time constr aints, lack of knowledge or awareness of the other group, programmatic differ ences, and resources (Bruce and Ricketts, in press).The first theme of time constraint s was the most common barriers described by participants. Respondents stated it took time to initiate contact, to formulate action plans or strategies, and to divide up the workload. The second theme was that a lack of awareness in reference to programming as well as on a persona l level was a barrier to cooperation. The third theme was that programmatic differences emerged because diversity in the programs did not have the two professionals crossing paths. The final barrier to cooperation was inequitable resources. Each group described elements lik e contact hours, administ rative pressures (both positive and negative), and peer influences as barriers to cooperation. A similar study conducted by Diatta and Luft (1986) looked at the cooperation between North Dakota secondary agricultural teachers and county extension agents. They found cooperation occurred most often when worki ng with crop production or crop enterprise activities. Cooperation between FFA and 4-H wa s found the most often in livestock and crop activities. Diatta and Luft stated in agricultura l mechanics, 4-H and FFA were the benefactors of cooperation while agricultural educ ators reported adult classes a nd activities received the most cooperation. In youth activities, judging activities such as crops and livestock had the greatest amount of cooperation. The final result was that agents and educators had the most cooperation on activities that dealt with fairs and shows. Diatta and Luft studied factor s influencing cooperation. The top four factors that had a negative influence were: (a) differe nce in age; (b) long distance (g reater than 20 miles) between schools and county extension offices; (c) time conflic ts in getting together ; and (d) the lack of 33

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clarity of functions. The most positive influence was short distances (less than 20 miles) between extension offices and schools. Hillison (1996a) stated: In many ways, a new era is about to begin in the working relationship between agricultural education and Cooperative Extension. Both organizations have suffered budget cuts, but still have a very large clientele to serve. Of ten times the motto for both has been Do more with less. History indi cated that it is possible for th e agencies to cooperate (p. 13). Chapter Summary This chapter introduced the theory of c ooperation and competition by Deutsch (1949) and examples were given that used the theory. Th is was followed by empirical evidence about the cooperative relationships between agricultural educators, between extension agents, and between agricultural educators and extension agents. 34

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction This chapter identifies the type of res earch used in this study along with the two populations surveyed. This chapter introduces th e procedures that were used to develop the questionnaire instruments used in this study. Ch apter three discusses the type of questions in both instruments along with a detailed desc ription of the data analysis process. Research Design This was a descriptive study that took the form of a single-method research design as defined by Ary, Jacobs, and Razavieh (2002) The researcher used two Web-based questionnaires to conduct census surv ey of all Florida extension ag ents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and of all agricultural educator s who advise an FFA program in Florida. Populations The studys population consisted of all Florida extens ion agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and all Florida agricultural educat ors who advise an FFA program. The researcher obtained the list of current ex tension personnel along with thei r percentages of appointments from the County Operations Office at the Univer sity of Florida. There were 106 extension agents in the population. The agents were chosen based on their percentage of 4-H. In Florida, every extension agent is assigne d at least a five percent 4-H appointment (M. N. Norman, personal communication, July 20, 2 007). Norman felt that a 20% 4-H appointment would serve as a good cut-off point for extension agents becaus e these agents have de dicated substantial time to youth development and youth programs. The researcher obtained the list of current agricultural educators ( N== 333) from the 2006 Florida Agricultural Education Directory. The 2006 Florida Agricultural Education Directory 35

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was chosen as the source for the population frame because it served as the only current, comprehensive list of Florida agricultural educators in the state. Instrumentation The researcher developed two questionnaires in Zoomerang modified from instruments that Ricketts and Place (2005) and Bruce and Ricke tts (in press) used in previous studies. Slightly different versions of the base questionnaire were developed for each of the two study populations. The first questionnaire was deve loped for the extension agents and contained four sections (Appendix B). The first secti on asked questions regarding the knowledge and perceptions of extension agents about school-based ag ricultural education and the FFA program. This second section addressed the attitudes of extension agents toward cooperation in general. The third section asked about pers onal opinions and experiences re lated to cooperative activities with agricultural educators. The final section contained nine demogra phic questions about the agent, his/her current position, and extension program. The i ndependent variables for this study were gender, age, county population, educati onal background, encourag ing children to be involved in 4-H, encouraging children to be involved in FFA, if they had ever worked as an agricultural educator before, thei r primary program area, and their percentage 4-H appointment. The dependent variables were self perceptions of the level of cooperation between agents and educators, attitudes toward cooperation, knowledge and perceptions of 4-H and FFA programs, and knowledge and perceptions of other profession. The second questionnaire was developed fo r the agricultural e ducators and it also contained four sections (Appendix C). The first section asked questions regarding the knowledge and perceptions of the agricultu ral educators about the Cooperati ve Extension Service and the 4H program. This second section addressed the attitudes of agricultural educators toward cooperation in general. The third section aske d about personal opinions and experiences with 36

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cooperative activities with extension agents. The final sec tion contained nine demographic questions about the educator, his/her current position, and his/ her school-based program. The independent variables for th is study were gender, age, county population, educational background, encouraging child ren to be involved in 4-H, encour aging children to be involved in FFA, if they had worked as an extension agent pr ior to working as an agricultural educator, the primary focus area of their program, and the type of program conducted (high school, middle school, or blended). The original questionnaires were developed from focus group results obtained by Grage, Place, and Ricketts (2004) from Florida live stock extension agents and Florida secondary agricultural educators. Ricketts and Place (2005) developed the tw o questionnaires and conducted a study using a stratified random sample of Florida extension agents and a random sample of secondary agricultural educators. Ricketts and Bru ce (in press) conducted a similar study using the same instruments on extension ag ents and secondary agricultural educators in Pennsylvania. Ricketts and Bruce (in press) gave the researcher permission to modify the original instruments. Internal validity is defined as the extent to which the changes in a dependent variable are, in fact, caused by the independent va riable in a particular experime ntal situations rather than by some extraneous factors (Ary, et al ., 2002, p. 281). History, maturation, testing, instrumentation, statistical regression, differential selection, mortality and th e interaction of these threats could pose a threat to the internal valid ity of this study and re search design (Campbell & Stanley, 1966). Because the instruments used in this study were modified by the researcher, the largest threat to intern al validity was instrumentation. The th reats of history, maturation, testing, and mortality were controlled by utilizing two census questionnaires that included the entire 37

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population of extension agents and agricultural ed ucators in Florida. These threats were also controlled by administrating th e questionnaires only one time. By including all of the individuals in the population, it en sured that participants were selected based on the definition of the study parameters and not characteri stics determined by the researcher. Since the instruments were modified by the researcher, validity was addressed in more depth. According to Ary et al. (2002), internal validity based upon the instrument can be separated into four categories: face validity, co ntent validity, construc t validity, and criterionrelated validity. For the purpose of this study, a panel of expert s reviewed the instruments to ensure these types of validity. The panel me mbers were five Agricultural Education and Communication Department faculty from the Univer sity of Florida (Appendi x A). Each of these panel members had previous experience with either the Cooperative Extension Service or the job responsibilities of an extension agent or teachi ng agriculture in a sec ondary school as well as advising an FFA program. Face validity is concerned with whether or not an instrument appears valid for the intended purpose (Ary et al., 2002). Conten t validity, or the degree to which the data from an instrument are representative of some defined domain, wa s also addressed (Ary et al. 2002). Threats to content validity were reduced by a careful ex amination by the expert panels and through a review of the pilot st udy questionnaires comple ted prior to the questi onnaire distribution. The pilot study consisted of 40 extension agents from the State of Kansas and 40 agricultural educators also from the State of Kansas. The pi lot study individuals were approved by the panels of experts as an appropriate repres entation of the population studied. Dillman (2007) described nonresponse error as the possibility that those who do not respond to a questionnaire or do not provide usable responses differ from those who do respond 38

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and provide usable responses. Lindner, Murphy and Briers (2001) cited four generally accepted procedures for addressing nonresponse error. They include ignoring nonrespondents, comparing early respondents to late respondents, compar ing respondents to the population, and comparing respondents to nonrespondents. For the purpose of this study, the research decided to compare respondents to nonrespondents. Procedure A pilot test was conducted before the questi onnaires were distributed. The original instruments were developed from focus-group results and were pilot tested before their first use by Ricketts and Place (2005). The pilot test conduc ted by the current researcher was necessary to reestablish reliability and validity for the researcher-modified instrument. Prior to collection of data, a proposal to c onduct the study was submitted to the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (I RB-02). The proposal wa s approved (IRB #2007-U0671) (Appendix D). The informed consent form described the study, voluntary nature of participation, and informed partic ipants of any potential risk a nd/or benefits associated with participating in the study. After approval was granted by the IRB, the que stionnaires were administered to the pilot study participants in September, 2008, and the data were collected and analyzed by the researcher and panel of experts. The pilot test pa rticipants consisted of 40 extension agents from Kansas and 40 agricultural ed ucators from Kansas. The response rate was 37.5% ( N== 15) for extension agents and 47.5% ( N== 19) for agricultural educators. Cronbachs alpha was extracted using Statistical Package for the Social Sc iences (SPSS) 14.0 for Windows on the first and third sections of the questionnaires from the p ilot test results. Cronb achs alpha was 0.866 and this was determined acceptable by the researcher. 39

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For the main study, the researcher used the Web-based program Zoomerang to distribute the questionnaires to the respondents. The rese archer chose this method because the cost was minimal, distribution was simple and exact, E-mail addresses were available, and submission of completed questionnaires was easy and had mini mal errors. These aspects outweighed the limitations that were discussed by Dillman (2007) These limitations were that respondents may not have a computer, respondents may not have Internet access, and respondents may not feel confident enough in their abilities to work on a co mputer to take an Internet questionnaire. However, because all extension agents and agricultural educators had assigned work E-mail addresses, they would have access to a computer with Internet access and had the computer skills required to complete an online questionnaire. The researcher followed the Tailored Design Method for survey collection by Dillman (2007). The initial contact was a brief prenotice E-mail that was sent September 24, 2007 (Appendix E). The pre-notice E-mail explained to the respondents that th e questionnaire would be sent out and that responses were greatly appreciated. This E-mail was sent to 109 Florida extension agents and 407 Florida agricultural educators. Becaus e of invalid E-mail addresses, five people were removed from the extension population frame and 76 people were removed from the agricultural educators list. A hyperlink to the questionnaire was sent out via E-mail on October 3, 2007 through the Zoomerang software. The E-mail contained a de tailed cover letter along with a Zoomerang hyperlink to the questionnaire. The E-mails fo r extension agents contained a link to the questionnaire for extension agents and the E-mail for agricultural educators contained a link to the agricultural educator ques tionnaire. A total of 331 agricult ural educator and 104 extension agent E-mails went out. This round of E-mails resu lted in four invalid E-mail addresses from the 40

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agricultural educators list and one invalid E-mail address from the extension list. These names were removed before the first reminder was sent out. A week after the first contact was sent out, a reminder was E-mailed via the Zoomerang software. From this round of contact, there wa s one invalid E-mail address removed from the extension population frame and two E-mail addresses were removed from the agricultural educators population frame. On October 31, 2007, three weeks after the first reminder was E-mailed out, a second reminder letter and another hyper link to the questionnair e were E-mailed to 60 extension agents and 213 agricultural educators. The final contact was made on November 7, 2007, by sending a third E-mail reminder and hyperlink to the que stionnaire to 53 extens ion agents and 191 agricultural educators. Data Analysis The researcher used Statistical Package fo r the Social Sciences (SPSS) 14.0 for Windows for the analysis. Descriptive statistics includi ng central tendencies and frequencies along with t tests were used to analyze the data describing the level of cooperation between Florida extension agents and Florida agricultural educators in. Infere ntial statistics were used in this study because the populations were treated as a sa mple from a snapshot in time. The researcher analyzed the questions rela ting to the first objective by comparing and contrasting demographic differences between the extension agents and ag ricultural educators. There were eight demographic ques tions asked to each one of the re sponders with three specific questions asked to the extension agents and th ree specific questions as ked to the agricultural educators. The eight questions were relate d to: gender, age, encouragement of 4-H, encouragement of FFA, degrees held (bachel ors, masters, and doctorate) and county population. The specific questions asked of the extension agents included prior job experience 41

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as an agricultural educator, primary program area, and 4-H percentage appointment. The agricultural educators were asked if they had prior job experience as an extension agent, primary focus area of the program they conducted, and th e type of program (high school, middle school, or blended, [both high school and middle school]) conducted. The researcher used questions about attitude s toward general coopera tion and a rating scale of zero to ten to satisfy the second objective that stated: To identify the self perceptions of the level of cooperation between 4-H extension agen ts and agricultural educators. Questions were used to complete the third obj ective of identifying past and present cooperative activities between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators that aske d responders to rate how often cooperation occurred on certain ac tivities. To fulfill the fourth obj ective to identify factors related to levels of cooperation among 4-H exte nsion agents and agricu ltural educators, the researcher used questions that had respondents ra te the importance of di fferent variables on the cooperation relationship. If the respondents did not currently cooperate, they were asked to rate what factors would have a positive influence on the relationship and to rate why they did not currently cooperate. The fifth objective, to iden tify the knowledge and perceptions about the 4-H and FFA programs from the perspective of the 4H extension agents and agricultural educators, the researcher used questions one and two. Chapter Summary This chapter described the methods used to study the specific obj ectives identified in Chapter One. The research design, population, in strumentation, procedures and data analysis were discussed. This descriptive study consisted of two census surveys, one for extension agents and one for agricultural educators. The researcher used two modified vers ions of a questionnaire to gather data. A summary and description of the pilot test analysis was addressed. 42

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43 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS There were a total of 435 questionnaires were sent via E-mail to extension agents and agricultural educators around in Fl orida. Two hundred and three ques tionnaires were returned for a 46.7% ( N= 203) overall response rate. There were 104 questionnaires sent via E-mail to extension agents and 55 were comple ted for a response rate of 52.8% ( N= 55). There were 331 questionnaires e-mailed to agricu ltural educators and 148 were comp leted for a response rate of 44.7% ( N= 148). Based on Dillmans (2007) recommendation to always address nonresponse error, a comparison of respondents and nonrespondents wa s conducted. Respondents were all of the respondents who answered the questionnaire via the Internet while nonrespondents were those who were contacted by telephone and asked thirteen questions by the researcher. The 10% of the nonrespondents called were chosen at random fr om the list of nonresponde nts of the initial questionnaire. There were five extension ag ents and 18 agricultural educators contacted. Independent samples t -tests were conducted on the questions answered by the nonrespondents to compare to the respondents. The results, as sh own in Table 4.1, indicate that three of the questions had a significant differe nce. Therefore, results cannot be generalized to the entire population (Lindner, Murphy, & Briers, 2001). The th ree statements were I feel like the agricultural educators/extension agents in my county are too busy to cooperate with me, Students should not be allowed to participate in both 4-H and FFA, a nd I have previously tried to cooperate and it is not worth the time required.

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44Table 4.1 Comparison of early and late respondents. Respondents Nonrespondents Questions M SD M SD t p I work best with those I have a history with. 3.40 0.99 3.43 1.16 -0.13 0.89 I feel that many youth make a choice between participating in either 4-H or FFA. 3.60 1.20 3.52 1.34 0.29 0.76 My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear from other in my field. 2.44 0.99 2.57 1.03 -0.57 0.56 I feel like Im competing with (FFA /4-H) for participants. 2.58 1.26 2.35 1.22 0.84 0.40 I seek the advice of the (agricultural educators/extension agents) in my county more than they seek my advice. 2.95 1.12 2.74 1.21 0.84 0.39 My supervisor encourages coope ration between myself and the (extension agents/agricultural educators) in my county. 3.16 1.13 3.39 1.30 -0.90 0.36 4-H and FFA share the same general goals for youth development. 3.76 0.99 4.00 0.95 -1.08 0.28 Full participation by all parties is necessary for cooperation to occur between agricultural educat ors and extension agents 3.91 0.91 4.13 0.92 -1.09 0.27 My decision to cooperate is dependent upon the other parties characteristics such as responsibility, personality, and respect. 3.58 0.94 3.91 0.94 -1.61 0.10 I feel like I dont have anything to reciprocate to the (agricultural educators/extension agents) in my county. 2.39 1.05 2.00 1.12 1.66 0.09 Students should not be allowed to particip ate in both 4-H and FFA. 1.65 1.14 1.13 0.34 2.16 0.03* I feel like the (agricultural e ducators/extension agents) in my county are too busy to cooperate with me. 2.57 1.19 1.96 0.92 2.38 0.01* I have previously tried to coopera te and it is not worth the time required. 2.23 1.08 1.57 0.78 2.86 <0.01* Note. M=mean; SD=standard deviation *p<.05.

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Results by Objective Objective 1 Objective: To compare and contrast demographic variables am ong 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. There were eight demographic questions in cluded in the questi onnaires with three questions specific to the extension agents a nd three questions specifi c to the agricultural educators. Gender Of the 203 respondents, 57.1% ( N= 116) were female and 42.9% ( N= 87) were male. Of the 55 extension agents who responded, 80% ( N= 44) were female and 20% ( N= 11) were male. There was a more even split in the agricultural educators with 51.4% ( N= 76) male and 48.6% ( N= 72) female respondents. Age The ages of the respondents were found by giving each one a choice of 25 or under, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, or 56 and older. Figure 4-1 show s the extension agent age group break down and Figure 4-2 shows the agricultural educator age group break down. The largest group overall was the 46-55 year olds (30.7%, N= 62) followed closely by the 26-35 year old group (28.7%, N= 58). The 36-45 year old group was th e third highest with 17.3% ( N= 35) with 56 years old and older (15.8%, N= 32) in fourth and 25 years old or under (7.4%, N= 15) with the smallest response. Within the extension agents, the 26-35 and 46-55 age groups were tied fo r the highest percent (30.9%, N= 17), followed by 36-45 with 23.6% ( N= 13), 56 and older (9.1%, N= 5) and 25 or under (5.5%, N= 3). The agricultural educators followed a similar pattern as the overall breakdown by age. The highest group was 46-55 with 30.7% ( N= 62), followed by 26-35 with 28.7% ( N= 58). The agricultural educators deviated from the overall trend because the 56 or 45

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above group had the third hi ghest percent with 18.4% ( N= 27), pushing the 36-45 group to fourth with 15% ( N= 22) and 25 or under at 8.2% ( N= 12). Figure 4-1. Extension agent age groups Figure 4-2. Agricultural educator age groups 46

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Educational background Overall, 95.5% ( N= 194) of respondents listed that they held a bachelors degree and 4.4% ( N= 9) did not list a bachelors degree. Of those that did not list a bachelors degree, four were extension agents and five were ag ricultural educators. In Florida, a new hire must have at least a bachelors degree to be hired as an agricultural educator or extension ag ent. It is therefore believed that this data is missing. There were 53.2% ( N= 108) of respondents who listed a masters degree and 46.8% ( N= 95) of respondents who did not. Of the respondents who listed a masters degree, 35.2% ( N= 38) were extension agents and 64.8% ( N= 70) were agricultural educators. There were on six respondents w ho reported they held a doctorate degree: two extension agents and four agricultural educators. County population Figure 4-3 shows extension agent county population break down and Figure 4-4 shows agricultural educator county popul ation break down. Overall, th e largest group of respondents (39.7%, N= 79) were from counties with more than 250,000 people, followed by counties with 90,001-250,000 (26.6%, N= 53) and counties with 25,001-90,000 (26.1%, N= 52) and counties under 25,000 with only 7.5% ( N= 15). The agricultural educators followed the overall trend but the extension agents did not follow the overall tr end. The extension agents had more respondents from counties with 25,001-90,000 than from counties with 90,001-250,000. 47

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Figure 4-3. Extension ag ent county populations. Figure 4-4. Agricultural e ducator county populations. 48

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Encouragement of 4-H and the National FFA Association The questions asked respondents if they would/do encourage their children to be involved in 4-H and FFA. For each question, respondents were given the choices of Yes, No or N/A. Of 203 respondents, 163 (80.3%) encourag ed their children to be invol ved in 4-H while 15 (7.4%) did not and 25 (12.3%) choose N/A. Of the 55 extension agents, 52 (94.5%) encouraged involvement, one (1.8%) that did not and two (3.6%) that reported N/A. Of the 148 agricultural educators, 75% (N= 111) encouraged involvement, 9.5% ( N= 14) did not encourage involvement and 15.5% ( N= 23) reported N/A. When asked about encour aging their children to be involved in FFA, 87.2% ( N= 177) encouraged involvement, 2% ( N= 4) did not encourage involvement and 10.8% ( N= 22) reported N/A. Of the 55 extension ag ents, 39 (70.9%) encouraged involvement, three (5.5%) did not encourage involvement, and 13 (23.6%) reported N/A. Of the 148 agricultural edu cators, 93.2% ( N= 138) encouraged involvement, 0.7% (N= 1) did not encourage involvement, and 6.1% ( N= 9) reported N/A. Extension specific questions: prior job experi ence, primary program area, percentage 4-H There were five (5.4%) respondents who repor ted they had worked as an agricultural educator before and the time ranged from two to 13 years. For the primary program area, extensi on agents were given the choices of agriculture/natural resources, commercial ho rticulture, family and consumer sciences, environmental horticulture, ge neral agriculture, livestock, sea grant/aquatics, 4-H/youth development, and other. Tabl e 4-2 identifies the respondents by primary program area. The majority of respondents (85.5%, N =47) were 4-H/youth development agents with only two agriculture/natural resources agents, four fam ily and consumer sciences agents, one general agriculture agent and one sea grant/aquatics agent. 49

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Table 4-2. Agent primary program area. Primary Program Area f % 4-H/Youth Development 47 85.50 Family and Consumer Sciences 4 7.30 Agriculture/Natural Resources 2 3.60 General Agriculture 1 1.80 Sea Grant/Aquatics 1 1.80 Commercial Horticulture 0 0.00 Environmental Horticulture 0 0.00 Livestock 0 0.00 Other 0 0.00 Note. f =frequency. The percentage 4-H appointment of the ag ents ranged from 10%-100%. Even though one of the parameters for being included in the ex tension agent population was at least a 20% or higher 4-H appointment, there were four agents who were below 20%. This could be due to updated 4-H appointments from the time the population frame was gathered and the questionnaire was returned, or human error. A majority (68.5%, N =37)) of extension agents had a 100% 4-H appointment. Table 4-3 identifies extension agents by their percentage 4-H appointment. Table 4-3. Agent 4-H appointment. Percent 4-H appointment f % 10 3 5.60 15 1 1.90 25 2 3.70 40 2 3.70 50 4 7.40 60 2 3.70 80 2 3.70 90 1 1.90 100 37 68.50 Note. f =frequency. 50

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Agricultural educator specific questions: pr ior job experience, primary focus area of program and type of program conducted There were eight (5.4%) agri cultural educators who reported they had worked as an extension agent prior to becoming a teacher and th e time ranged from a three month internship to 20 years. To find the primary focus area of the program s conducted, the agricultural educators were given the choices of agribusine ss, agricultural mechanics, agritechnology, animal sciences, horticulture, natural resour ces, veterinary assistance, and other with a place to specify what it was. Table 4-4 identifies the respondents by th eir primary focus area. The largest group was other with 25.7% (N= 38) of respondents, followe d by agritechnology with 20.9% ( N= 31), horticulture with19.6% ( N= 29), and animal sciences with 15.5% ( N= 23). Table 4-4. Teacher primary focus area. Primary focus area f % Other 38 25.70 Agritechnology 31 20.90 Horticulture 29 19.60 Animal sciences 23 15.50 Veterinary assistance 10 6.80 Agribusiness 8 5.40 Natural Resources 5 3.40 Agricultural mechanics 4 2.70 Note. f =frequency. Within the other category, the answer s included agricu ltural biotechnology ( n=1), aquaculture and marine science ( n=1), district supervisor ( n= 2), some combination of the categories ( n=3), general agriculture ( n=12), and agriscience (n=19). The final demographic was the type of pr ogram each agricultural educator conducted. There were three choices, high school, middle school, or a blended program (both high school and middle school). Respondents reported working primarily in 57.2% ( N= 83) high school programs, 32.4% ( N= 47) middle school programs, and 6.6% ( N= 15) blended. 51

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52 Objective 2 Objective: To identify the self perceived leve l of cooperation between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. To satisfy the second objective, the researcher included a section on the questionnaire that asked questions about general attitudes toward cooperation. Every respondent answered the same questions, regardless of job title, on the same Likert-like scale where 1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree and 5=Strongly Agree. Table 4-5 identifies the percentage of extension agents and agricultural educators who rated all of the statements.

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53Table 4-5. Percent rating of general cooperation statements. Likert-like scale rating (%) SD D N A SA Statement Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed I work best with those I have a history with. 3.60 3.40 14.50 16.20 38.20 25.00 36.40 43.20 7.30 12.20 Full participation by all parties is necessary for cooperation to occur between agricultural teachers and extension agents. 0.00 1.40 18.20 6.80 12.70 10.10 49.10 55.40 20.00 26.40 My decision to cooperate is dependent upon the other parties characteristics such as responsibilities, personality and respect. 0.00 0.70 21.80 17.60 9.10 18.20 52.70 52.70 16.40 10.80 My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear from others in my field. 20.00 14.90 45.50 40.50 25.50 26.40 7.30 15.50 1.80 2.70 I have previously tried to cooperate and it is not worth the time required. 23.60 31.10 47.30 27.90 21.80 30.60 5.50 3.40 1.80 6.80 Note. SD=strongly disagree; D=disagree; N=neutral; A=agree; SA=strongly agree; Ext= Extension agents; Ed=Agr icultural educators.

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The first statement was I work best with those I have a history with. Overall, 62.2% ( N= 106) agreed or strongly agreed w ith this statement, while 28.6% ( N= 58) were neutral and 19.2% ( N= 39) disagreed or strongly di sagreed with this statement. The overall mean was 3.41 (neutral) with a standard deviation of 1.00. Of the extension agents, 43.7% ( N= 24) agreed or strongly agreed with this statement while 38.2% ( N= 21) were neutral and 18.1% ( N= 10) disagreed or strongly disagreed. More than half (55.4%, N= 82) of the agricultural educators strongly agreed or agreed with the statement while a quarter (25%) were neutral and 19.6% ( N= 29) disagreed or strongly disagreed. With the second statement, Full participation by all parties is necessary for cooperation to occur between agriculture teachers and extensio n agents, more than three quarters of the respondents (78.3%, N= 159) agreed or strongly agreed. There was 10.8% ( N= 22) that reported neutral and 10.9% (N= 22) disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. The overall mean was 3.93 (neutral) with a standard deviati on of 0.91. From the extension agents, 69.1% (N= 38) agreed or strongly agreed with the statement. There were 12.7% ( N= 7) who were neutral and 18.2% ( N= 10) who disagreed. There were no extension ag ents who strongly disagreed with this statement. Of the agricu ltural educators, 81.8% ( N= 121) agreed or strongly agreed with this statement while 10.1% ( N= 15) were neutral and only 8.2% ( N= 12) disagreed or strongly disagreed. The third statement said My decision to c ooperate is dependent upon the other parties characteristics such as responsibil ities, personality, and respect. Overall, the respondents agreed with this statement (52.7%, N= 107). There was only one respondent (0.7%) who strongly disagreed with this statement while 18.7% ( N= 38) disagreed, 15.8% ( N= 32) were neutral and 12.3% ( N= 25) strongly agreed. The overall mean was 3.61 (neutral) with a standard deviation of 54

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0.95. Out of the 55 extension agents who res ponded, no one strongly disagreed with this statement while 21.8% ( N= 12) disagreed, 9.1% ( N= 5) were neutral, 52.7% ( N= 29) agreed, and 16.4% ( N= 9) strongly agreed. More than half (52.7%, N= 78) of the agricultural educators agreed with the statement while 10.8% ( N= 16) strongly agreed, 18.2% ( N= 27) were neutral, and 17.6% ( N= 26) disagreed. The only person who strongly disagreed with this statement was an agricultural educator. My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear from others in my field, was the fourth statement in this section. Overall, 41.9% ( N= 85) disagreed and 16.3% ( N= 33) strongly disagreed with this stat ement. There were 26.1% ( N= 53) of the respondents who were neutral but only 13.3% ( N= 27) who agreed and 2.5% ( N= 5) who strongly agreed with the statement. The overall mean was 2.45 (disagree) with a standard deviation of 0.99. When broken down by job title, there were 45.5% ( N= 25) of the extension agents who disagreed and 20% ( N= 11) who strongly disagreed. Of the remaining agents, 25.5% (N= 14) were neutral, 7.3% ( N= 4) agreed and only 1.8% (N= 1) strongly agreed. Within the agricultural educators, 40.5% ( N= 60) disagreed and 14.9% ( N= 22) strongly disagreed with the stat ement. Of the remaining agricultural educator respondents, 26.4% ( N= 39) were neutral, 15.5% ( N= 23) agreed and only 2.7% ( N= 4) strongly agreed. The final statement was I have previously tr ied to cooperate and it is not with the time required. Almost two-thirds of the respondents (33.2%, N= 67) disagreed or st rongly disagreed (29.2%, N= 59) with this statement. Of th e remaining respondents, 28.2% ( N= 57) were neutral while only 4% ( N= 8) agreed and 5.4% ( N= 11) strongly agreed with this statement. The overall mean was 2.16 (disagree) with a standard deviation of 1.07. Of the 11 respondents who strongly agreed, 10 of them were agricultural educat ors and only one was an extension agent. 55

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Independent samples t -test were conducted on all of thes e questions to compare the means of extension agents and agricultural educators. Th e results, as shown in Table 4-6, indicate that two of the questions had a signifi cant difference and do not fall in the same confidence intervals. The two statements with significant differences were, My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear from others in my field, and Fu ll participation by all pa rties is necessary for cooperation to occur between agricultural teachers and extension agents. Table 4-6. Comparison of opinions of general cooperation. Extension Agent Agricultural Educator Statement M SD M SD t p I have previously tried to cooperate and it is not worth the time required. 2.12 0.90 2.18 1.13 -0.40 0.68 I work best with those I have a history with. 3.33 0.91 3.43 1.04 -0.66 0.51 My decision to cooperate is dependent upon the other parties characteristics such as responsibilities, personality and respect. 3.68 1.00 3.58 0.93 0.69 0.49 My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear from others in my field. 2.23 0.90 2.53 1.01 -1.98 0.04* Full participation by all parties is necessary for cooperation to occur between agricultural teachers and extension agents. 3.72 0.95 4.01 0.88 -2.16 0.03* Note. M=mean; SD=standard deviation. *p<.05 A different type of question was asked of th e respondents to get an understanding of what each person thought was the proper degree to which extension agents and agricultural educators should cooperate. Each respondent was asked to answer this que stion on a one to 10 scale where one was no cooperation, two was low cooperati on, five was medium cooperation and 10 was high cooperation. The average was 8.22 with a sta ndard deviation of 1.68. The scores ranged from four to 10 with a mode of eight. The aver age rating for extension agents was 8.25 with a standard deviation of 1.60. The average rating for agricultural educators was slightly lower at 8.21 and a standard deviation of 1.71. An independent sample t -test revealed no significant difference between the two groups as shown in Table 4-7. 56

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Table 4-7. Comparison of ratings of cooperation. Extension Agents Agricultural Educators Key Variable M SD M SD t p Cooperation Rating 8.25 1.60 8.21 1.71 0.13 0.89 Note. M=mean; SD=standard deviation. *p<.05 Objective 3 Objective: To identify past and present coopera tive activities between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. To satisfy the third objective, the questionnaire asked each responder if they participated in cooperative activities wi th the other profession. If the re spondents answered Yes, the questionnaire asked questions pertaining to their previous activities. If the respondents answered No, the questionnaire asked questions pertai ning to what would help inspire/encourage cooperation with the other pr ofession. There were 66.5% ( N= 135) respondents who had participated in cooperati ve activities and 33.5% ( N= 68) who had not. Of the extension agents, 80% ( N= 44) answered yes and 61.5% (N= 91) of the agricultural educ ators answered yes. The respondents who answered Yes were asked to rate how often (1=never, 2=sometimes, 3=often, and 4=always) they cooperated with the other profession on different activities. Table 48 identifies the frequency of each answer by job title. Table 4-8. Percentage of coopera tion by activity and job title. How often cooperation occurred (%) Never Sometimes Often Always Activities Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ex County/State Fair 4.70 2.20 20.90 20.90 30.20 27.50 44.20 49.50 Educational programs 18.20 21.10 40.90 46.70 27.30 17.80 13.60 14.40 Judging contests 11.40 8.90 36.40 25.60 34.10 32.20 18.20 33.30 Share resources 6.80 15.60 38.60 46.70 25.00 18.90 29.50 18.90 Community Service 44.20 42.20 37.20 28.90 11.60 16.70 7.00 12.20 Recruiting students/members 43.30 55.70 34.10 25.00 15.90 11.40 6.80 8.00 Note. Ext=Extension agents; Ed=Agricultural educators. 57

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The respondents were first asked about their c ooperation at the county/ state fairs. Almost half of the respondents an swered always (47.8%, N= 64), as 28.4% ( N= 38) of respondents answered often, 20.9% (N= 28) reported sometimes, and 3% ( N= 4) reported never. The overall mean was 3.21 (often) with a standard deviation of 0.87. Both groups followed the same trend as the overall respondents did. Extension agents and ag ricultural educators answered always 44.2% ( N= 19) and 45.5% ( N= 45) of the time. When asked about their cooperation when c onducting educational programs, almost half (44.8%, N= 60) of the respondents reported sometimes while 20.9% ( N= 28) reported often, 20.1% ( N= 27) reported never and only 14.2% ( N= 19) reported always. The overall mean was 2.29 (sometimes) with a standard deviat ion of 0.94. When broken down by job title, the extension agents rated some times the most often (40.9%, N= 18), followed by often (27.3%, N= 12), never (18.2%, N= 8) and finally always (13.6%, N= 6). The agricultural educators had the same highest rating of sometimes with 46.7% ( N= 42) followed by never with 21.1% ( N= 19), often (17.8%, N= 16), and always (14.4%, N= 13). Judging contests were rated th e highest as often (32.8%, N= 44) while sometimes (29.1%, N= 39) and always (28.4%, N= 38) came in second and third place followed by never with 9.7% (N= 13). The overall mean was 2.80 (sometim es) with a standard deviation of 0.96. The extension agents did not follow the ove rall trend because sometimes had the highest percent of responses (36.4%, N= 16) followed by often (34.1%, N= 15), always (18.2%, N= 8), and never with 11.4% ( N= 5). The agricultural educators did not follow either trend but rated always first with 33.3% ( N= 30), often second with 32.2% ( N= 29), sometimes third with 25.6% ( N= 23), and never with 8.9% ( N= 8). 58

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When asked if the respondents shared resour ces with the other profession, sometimes (44%, N= 59) was the option chosen the most by respondents, followed by always (22.4%, N= 30), often (20.9%, N= 28) and never (12.7%, N= 17). The overall mean was 2.53 (often) with a standard deviation of 0.97. Both extensio n agents and agricultural educators followed the same trend as the overall respondents. The extens ion agents rated sometimes the most with 38.6% ( N= 17), followed by always with 29.5% (N= 13), often 25% ( N= 11), and never with 6.8% ( N= 3). Agricultural educators rated sometimes highest with 46.7% ( N= 42), often and always tied for second with 18.9% ( N= 17), and never with 15.6% ( N= 14). Almost half (42.9%, N= 57) of the yes respondents answer ed never when asked about cooperating during community service proj ects. Sometimes came in at 31.6% ( N= 42), often was 15% ( N= 14) and always was the lowest with 10.5% ( N= 14). The overall mean was 1.93 (sometimes) with a standard deviation of 1.00. The breakdown of extension agents and agricultural educators was the same as the overall trend. The activity that was rated as having the leas t amount of cooperation was the recruitment of new students/members into 4-H and FFA. More than half (51.5%, N= 68) of the respondents reported they never cooperated on these activities while 28% ( N= 37) answered sometimes. There were 12.9% ( N= 17) of the respondents that answ ered often and only 7.6% ( N= 10) reported always. The overall mean was 1.77 (n ever) with a standard deviation of 0.94. The extension agents and ag ricultural educators followed the ove rall trend of rating cooperation as never the most often. Extension agents had never as 43.2% ( N= 19), sometimes as 34.1% ( N= 15), often as 15.9% ( N= 7) and always as 6.8% (N= 3). Agricultural educators had never at 55.7% (N= 49), sometimes as 28% ( N= 37), often as 12.9% ( N= 17) and always as 7.6% ( N= 10). 59

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After looking at all of the act ivities that respondents were asked to rank, county/state fairs had the highest mean of coopera tion rate with 3.21 (often) foll owed by sharing resources with 2.80 (sometimes). Educational programs came in at third with a mean of 2.53 (sometimes) while the judging contests mean was 2.29 (sometimes), community service had a mean of 1.93 (never) and recruitment of new students/members had a m ean of 1.77 (never). Table 4-9 shows the mean ratings by activity. Table 4-9. Overall mean rating by activity. Activity M SD County/State Fair 3.21 0.87 Sharing resources 2.80 0.96 Educational programs 2.53 0.97 Judging contests 2.29 0.94 Community service projects 1.93 1.00 Recruitment of new students/members 1.77 0.94 Note. M=mean; SD=standard deviation. Objective 4 Objective: To identify factors relate d to levels of cooperation among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. To satisfy this objective, questions were aske d relating to the importa nce of certain factors in the cooperation relationship between extensio n agents and agricultural educators. When respondents answered the question Do you participate in cooperativ e activities with extension agents/agricultural educat ors? as yes or no, the questionnaire switched into a swip pattern. The respondents who answered yes were asked questi ons about their current and past cooperative relationship while the others who answered no were asked questions pertaining to why they did not current cooperate and what factors woul d be important for cooperation to occur. The respondents who reported yes to participa ting in cooperate activities were given seven items to rank the importance (1=Not very important, 2=Not important, 3=Neutral, 4=Important, 60

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and 5=Very important) of in thei r cooperative relationship. The se ven factors were: (a) increased value to youth; (b) personal sa tisfaction; (c) improved professional relationships; (d) greater ability to specialize in area(s) of interest; (e) to make activities more en joyable; (f) satisfy my supervisor(s); and (g) ph ysical distance between offices. Tabl e 4-10 shows the ratings of all the factors. The factors with the highest means were increased value to youth ( M =4.34, SD=0.80), improved professional relationship ( M =4.18, SD =0.73), and to make activities more enjoyable ( M =4.03, SD=0.76). The factors that had the lowest means were physical distance between offices ( M =2.99, SD =1.17) and to satisfy my supervisor(s) ( M =2.40, SD =1.13). Table 4-10. Importance rating and mean for those currently cooperate. Likert-like Scale of Agreement Factors NVI NI N I VI M SD Increased value to youth 1.50 2.20 5.20 43.00 48.10 4.34 0.80 Improved professional relationships 0.70 1.50 10.40 53.70 33.60 4.18 0.73 To make activities more enjoyable 1.50 2.20 11.90 60.40 23.90 4.03 0.76 Greater ability to specialize in area(s) of interest 1.50 2.20 19.40 50.00 26.90 3.99 0.83 Personal satisfaction 5.20 3.70 34.10 37.80 19.30 3.62 1.00 Physical distance between offices 14.90 14.90 35.10 26.00 9.00 2.99 1.17 Satisfy my supervisor(s) 29.10 19.40 38.80 7.50 5.20 2.40 1.13 Note. ; NVI=not very important; NI=n ot important; N=neutral; I=important; VI=very important M=mean; SD=standard deviation. The respondents who answered no to participating in coope rative activities were asked what factors would positively influence their co operative relationship. The factors were: (a) greater professional recognition; (b) increased valu e to youth; (c) more effective time usage; (d) personal satisfaction; (e) enhanc ing subject area; (f) improved professional relationships; (g) greater ability to specialize in area( s) of interest; (h) to make activities more enjoyable; (i) satisfy my supervisor(s); and (j) physical distance be tween offices. Table 4-11 shows the ratings of agreement and mean for all factors. The factors with the highest mean were enhancing subject area (M =4.21, SD =0.61), increased value to youth ( M =4.19, SD =0.67), and to make activities 61

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more enjoyable M = (4.12, SD =0.68). The factor with the lo west mean was to satisfy my supervisor(s) (M =2.74, SD =0.94). Table 4-11. Agreement scale and mean for those not currently cooperating. Likert-like Scale of Agreement Factors SD D N A SA M SD Enhancing subject area 0.00 0.00 10.30 58.80 30.90 4.21 0.61 Increased value to youth 0.00 1.50 10.30 55.90 32.40 4.19 0.67 To make activities more enjoyable 0.00 0.00 17.60 52.90 29.40 4.12 0.68 Greater ability to specialize in area(s) of interest 0.00 0.00 19.10 54.40 26.50 4.07 0.67 More effective time usage 0.00 0.00 20.60 52.90 26.50 4.06 0.68 Improved professional relationships 0.00 1.50 19.10 58.80 20.60 3.99 0.68 Personal satisfaction 1.00 1.50 41.20 48.50 7.40 3.59 0.71 Physical distance between offices 5.90 7.40 45.60 27.90 13.20 3.35 1.00 Greater professional recognition 4.50 10.40 41.80 32.80 10.40 3.34 0.96 Satisfy my supervisor(s) 14.70 14.70 54.40 14.70 1.50 2.74 0.94 Note. SD=strongly disagree; D=disagree; N=neutral; A=agree; SA=strongly agree The final question for the re spondents who answered no to participating in cooperative activities asked what factors had affected their decision not to cooperate. Table 4-12 shows the ratings of agreement and means for all the factors. The statements with the highest means were I do not have time to work with the extension agen t/agricultural educator in my county ( M =3.02, SD =1.18) and I am too busy to work with the extension agent/agricultural educator in my county ( M =3.01, SD =1.09). The statement that had the lowest mean was I am not aware of any extension agents/agricultural educator s in my county ( M =2.28, SD =1.30). 62

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63 Table 4-12. Reasons for not cooperating. Likert-like Scale of Agreement (%) Factors SD D N A SA M SD I do not have time to work with the extension agent/agricultural educator in my county. 10.60 25.80 25.80 27.30 10.60 3.02 1.18 I am too busy to work with the extension agent/agricultural educator in my county. 10.40 20.90 31.30 31.30 6.00 3.01 1.09 The extension agent/agricultural educator in my county are not responsive to change. 7.60 13.60 62.10 7.60 9.10 2.97 0.94 The extension agent/ agricultural educator in my county do not want to cooperate on activities. 12.10 21.20 48.50 7.60 10.60 2.83 1.00 I have never considered cooperating with the extension agent/ agricultural educator in my county. 25.00 32.40 17.60 22.10 2.90 2.46 1.10 The extension agents/agricultural educators in my county and I do not work well together 27.50 25.00 38.20 2.90 5.90 2.34 1.10 I am not aware of any extension agents/ agricultural educators in my county. 37.30 28.40 14.90 7.50 11.90 2.28 1.30 Note. SD=strongly disagree; D=disagree; N=neutral; A=agree; SA =strongly agree; M=mean; SD=standard deviation. Objective 5 Objective: To identify the knowledge and percep tions about the 4-H and FFA programs from the perspective of the 4-H extensi on agents and agricultural educators. The researcher had two sections on the questionn aire to satisfy this objective. The first section contained questions that tried to find each respondents perceptions about the 4-H and FFA organizations. The second section asked specific knowledge questions about the 4-H and FFA programs. Perceptions The first section contained four statements that discussed various as pects of the 4-H and FFA programs. Each respondent was asked to answer each statement on a Likert-like scale (1=Strongly disagree, 2=Disagr ee, 3=Neutral, 4=Agree and 5= Strongly agree). Table 4-13 identifies the frequencies of the ratings for each of the statements.

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64Table 4-13. Ratings for each per ception statement by job title. Likert-like scale rating (%) SD D N A SA Statement Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed Ext Ed 4-H and FFA share the same general goals for youth development. 3.60 0.70 21.80 9.50 16.40 16.90 40.00 48.00 18.20 25.00 I feel that many youth make a choice between participating in either 4-H or FFA. 9.10 6.80 9.10 15.50 12.70 14.90 30.90 43.90 38.20 18.90 I feel like Im competing with 4-H/FFA for participants. 18.20 26.70 20.00 32.20 18.20 18.50 34.50 15.80 9.10 6.80 Students should not be allowed to participate in both 4H and FFA. 76.40 64.20 12.70 16.90 5.50 6.80 1.80 6.10 3.60 6.10 Note. SD=strongly disagree; D=disagree; N=neutral; A=agree; SA=strongly agree; Ex t=Extension agent; Ed=Agricultural educator.

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The first statement, -H and FFA share th e same general goals for youth development, had almost half of all the respondents (45.8%, N= 93) agreeing while 23.2% ( N= 47) strongly agreed. Thirty-four (16.7%) were neutral while 12.8% (N= 26) disagreed and 1.5% ( N= 3) strongly disagreed. The extension agents and agricultura l educators followed the same trend as the overall respondents. The next question I feel that many youth make a choice between participating in either 4H or FFA had 40.4% ( N= 82) respondents agreeing and 24.1% ( N= 49) strongly agreeing. There were 14.3% ( N= 29) that were neutral and 13.8% ( N= 28) that disagree d and only 7.4% ( N= 15) that strongly disagreed. When looking at the results of this question by job title, there were 38.2% ( N= 21) of extension agents th at strongly agreed, 30.9% ( N= 17) who agreed while 12.75 ( N= 7) were neutral and 18.2% ( N= 10) disagree or strongly di sagreed. More agricultural educators agreed (43.9%, N= 65) than strongly agreed (18.9%, N= 28), while 14.9% ( N= 22) were neutral and 22.4% (N= 33) disagreed or st rongly disagreed. The third statement was I feel like Im comp eting with 4-H/FFA for participants. The extension agent question said FFA and the agricultural educator question said 4-H. This statement had over half of the respondents disagreeing (28.9%, N= 58) or strongly disagreeing (24.4%, N= 49). There were 18.4% ( N= 37) who were neutral and only 28.4% ( N= 57) who agreed or strongly agreed. The extension ag ents agreed with this statement (34.5%, N= 19) more than the agricultural educators did (15.8%, N= 23). The agricultural educators disagreed (32.2%, N= 47) and strongly disagreed (26.7%, N= 39) more than the extension agents (20%, N= 11 and 18.2%, N= 10). The final question on the first part of this obj ective stated: Students should not be allowed to participate in both 4-H and FFA. Even though some of the respondents thought they were 65

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competing with the other organization for participants, more than two/thirds of the respondents strongly disagreed with this st atement. There were 15.8% (N= 32) who disagreed while only 6.4% ( N= 13) were neutral and 10.3% ( N= 22) agreed or strongly agreed. The extension agents followed the same overall general trend. The agri cultural educators had high strongly disagree and disagree numbers but had 6.8% ( N= 10) neutral and 6.1% ( N= 9) agree and strongly agree for this statement. Independent samples t -test were conducted on these four questions to compare the means of extension agents and agricultural educators. Th e results, as shown in Table 4-14 indicate that two of the questions had a signifi cant difference so the means do not fall in the same confidence interval. The two statements were -H and FFA share the same ge neral goals for youth development, and I feel like Im comp eting with 4-H/FFA for participants. Table 4-14. Comparison by job title for objective five. Extension Agent Agricultural Educator Statement M SD M SD t p I feel that many youth make a choice between participating in either 4-H or FFA. 3.77 1.28 3.53 1.18 1.29 0.19 Students should not be allowed to participate in both 4-H and FFA. 1.42 0.92 1.66 1.15 -1.48 0.13 4-H and FFA share the same general goals for youth development. 3.45 1.11 3.91 0.92 -3.13 <0.01* I feel like Im competing with 4-H/FFA for participants. 2.92 1.27 2.43 1.23 2.60 0.01* Note. M=mean; SD=standard deviation. *p<.05. Knowledge For the second section, extension agents were asked three true/false questions about the FFA organization. The first question was The goal of FFA is to prepare students for successful careers and a lifetime of inform ed choices in the global agricu lture, food, fiber, and natural 66

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resources systems. This statement is true and 94.5% ( N= 52) of the extensi on agents answered correctly. There were three (5.5%) respondents that answered false. The second statement was FFA has a national, state, and local level of operation. This statement is also true and 96.4% ( N= 53) answered correctly while 3.6% ( N= 2) answered false. The final statement said Youth can join FFA starting at the age of nine. This statement is false because youth can not join FFA until they are in 6th grade Forty-five of the extension agents (81.8%) were able to correctly answer false to this statement while 18.2% ( N= 10) answered true. The agricultural educators had a similar second section with three true/false questions. The first statement, The goal of 4-H is to create supportiv e environments outside the school system for diverse youth and adults to reach their fullest potential, was a true statement. There were 93.8% ( N= 137) agricultural educators who answered correctly while only 6.2% ( N= 9) answered false. The second statement said -H has a nati onal, state, and county level of operation. This statement is also true and 93.8% ( N= 136) answered correctly while 6.2% ( N= 9) reported false. The final statement said Youth can join 4-H as early as the age of seven in Florida. This statement is true because youth may join 4-H at the age of seven in Florida. There were 81.1% ( N= 116) agricultural educators who answered this statement correctly while 18.9% ( N= 27) answered false. 67

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CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Introduction This chapter summarizes the study and discu sses the conclusions, implications and recommendations that have been drawn from the study. The first section of this chapter will offer a brief overview of the purpose, objectives, and methodology for this study. The following section will discuss and draw conclusions for each objective. The final section will include implications for practice and s uggestions for future research. Purpose and Objectives of the Study The purpose of this study was to describe th e level of cooperation between Florida county extension agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment and Flor ida agricultural educators who advise FFA programs. The objectives of this study were: 1. To compare and contrast demographic variable s among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators 2. To identify the self perceptions of the level of cooperation between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators 3. To identify past and present cooperative ac tivities between 4-H ex tension agents and agricultural educators 4. To identify factors related to levels of cooperation among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators 5. To identify the knowledge and perceptions about the 4-H and FFA programs from the perspective of the 4-H extension ag ents and agricultural educators Methodology The study was a descriptive study that took the fo rm of a single-method research design as defined by Ary, Jacobs, and Razavieh (2002) The researcher used two Web-based 68

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questionnaires to conduct a census su rvey of all Florida extension agents with a 20% or higher 4H appointment and of all school-based agricultural educators in Florida. The researcher obtained the list of current extension personnel along with their percentages of appointments from the County Operations Office at the University of Florida. The population of extension agents was 106. The researcher obtai ned the list of current agricultural educators from the 2006 Florida Agricultural Education Directory ( N= 333). The researcher developed two questionnaires in Zoomerang modified from instruments that Ricketts and Place (2005) and Bruce and Ricketts (in press) used in previous studies. Slightly different versions of the base questionnaire were developed for each of the two study populations. The researcher used Statistical Package fo r the Social Sciences (SPSS) 14.0 for Windows for the analysis. Descriptive statistics includi ng central tendencies and frequencies along with t tests were used to analyze the data describing the level of cooperation between Florida extension agents and Florida agricultural educators. General Discussion and Conclusions Objective 1 Objective: To compare and contrast demographic variables am ong 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. The demographics observed in this study, gender, age, encouragement of 4-H, encouragement of FFA, degrees held (bachelors masters, and doctora te), county population, prior job experience, primary program area, 4-H percentage appoi ntment, and type of program conducted were chosen to see how similar or differe nt the two populations were in Florida. With regards to gender, there were significantly more female extension agents (80%) than male 69

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extension agents (20%) but a mo re even split in the agricultu ral educators (51.4% males and 48.6% females). When looking at age ranges, both groups had th e highest percent of responders in the 4655 years old range with 26-35 year s old age range with the second highest percent. There were few respondents who were under 25 in both groups. The biggest difference in the age ranges was in the 56 and older category. There were only five (9.1%) extension agents in that age range but there were 27 (18.4%) agricultural educators in that age range. Education background revealed that 95.5% of th e respondents held at least a bachelors degree. There were 53.2% ( N= 108) who listed a masters degr ee and only six who reported holding a doctorate degree. Of the 108 responde nts who held a masters degree, 38 were extension agents and 70 were agricultural e ducators. Of the six respondents who reported holding a doctorate degree, two were extension ag ents and four were agricultural educators. The county population demographic question found that more than one-third (36.4%) of the extension agents and 41% of the agricultural educators worked in a county with more than 250,000 people. This could be because of the higher the county population, the more positions and funding there are availabl e for agents and educators within those counties. The final two demographic questions asked if the respondents woul d/do encourage their children to be involved in 4-H and FFA. Of 203 respondents, 163 (80.3%) answered yes to encouraging their children to be involved in 4-H. One extension agent said no to encouraging his/her children to be involved in 4H. Of the agricultural educators, 75% ( N= 111) reported yes to encouraging participation in 4-H. When asked about encouraging their children to be involved in FFA, 87.2% (n-177) of the respondents reported yes. Of the 55 extension agents, 39 (70.9%) report ed yes and of the 148 70

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agricultural edu cators, 93.2% ( N= 138) reported yes. One agricu ltural educator reported no to encouraging his/her children to participate in FFA. It can be concluded that there are differen ces in the two respondent populations but many similarities can be found in age, educatio nal background, county population, and encouragement of 4-H and FFA participation. Although Diatta and Luft (1986) found that age difference had a slight negative effect in their study, the ages of both populations are similar. There does seem to be a large gender difference in the populations but that could be due to nonresponse error. Because of these similarities, it is plausible to conclude that cooperation could be increased (Diatta & Luft, 1986; Ricketts & Place, 2005). This study did not ask the race or ethnicit y of the respondents because Johnson and Johnsons (1972) study found that race did not ha ve an effect on cooperation between two individuals. However, Johnson a nd Johnson did find that partners who had similar attitudes and beliefs worked more cooperatively together. Objective 2 Objective: To identify the self perceived leve l of cooperation between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. For the second objective, the same questions we re asked to each res pondent regarding their general attitude toward coopera tion. Respondents rated the five statements on a Likert-like scale. The statements I have previously tried to c ooperate and it is not worth the time required (Statement 5), and My decision to cooperate is based upon what I hear from other in my field (Statement 4), had means in the disagree category ( M =2.12 and M =2.23). The other three statements means were in the neutral category. Thos e statements were, I work best with those I have a history with (Statement 1), My deci sion to cooperate is dependent upon the other parties characteristics such as responsibility, pe rsonality, and respect (Statement 3), and Full 71

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participation by all parties is necessary for cooperation to occur between agricultural teachers and extension agents (Statement 2). Figure 5-1. Percentage of Agree for genera l cooperation statements by job title. From the ratings of these statements, it is c oncluded that the responde nts are not sure what exactly causes cooperation, but they do know what influences cooperation. The two statements with the highest means, Full participation by al l parties is necessary for cooperation to occur between agricultural teachers and extension agents, ( M =3.72) and My decision to cooperate is dependent upon the other parties characteristics such as responsibility, pers onality, and respect, ( M =3.68) demonstrate the type of relationship the respondents want to have in a cooperative relationship. The final question asked to respondents for this objective was to rank on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 was no cooperation, 2 was low coopera tion, 5 was medium c ooperation, and 10 was high cooperation, the degree that ex tension agents and agricultural educators should cooperate. 72

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The overall mean was 8.22 with a standard de viation of 1.68. It is concluded that the respondents think that a cooperative relationship should be in place between extension agents and agricultural educators. An independent sample t -test was conducted to compare th e means of extension agents and agricultural educators for this question. Th e extension agent mean was 8.25 with a standard deviation of 1.60 and the agricultu ral educator mean was 8.21 with a standard deviation is 1.71. The t -test p-value showed no significant difference ( =0.89) in the means. From this test, it is concluded that the two respondent populations share similar ideas when it comes to determining the degree to which cooperation should occur be tween the two groups. The findings of this study are similar to those of Ricketts and Place (2005). Objective 3 Objective: To identify past and present coopera tive activities between 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. One of the most important questions used to satisfy this objective was asking each respondent if they cooperated with extension agents/agricultural educators in their counties. Two-thirds of the respondents sa id that they did participate in cooperative activ ities with the other profession. When broken down by job title, 80% of the extens ion agents and 61.5% of the agricultural educators said they cooperated. This corresponds closely with the numbers Ricketts and Place (2005) found but in their study, 72% of thei r sample extension agents and 80% of their sample agriculture teachers stated they cooperated. After finding how many of the responders partic ipated in cooperative activities, they were asked to rate how often they coope rated with the other profession fo r six different activities. As shown by the previous research, cooperation was hi ghest at the county and state fairs but was the lowest in recruiting students (Ricketts & Place, 2005). Other similar findings to their study were 73

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the high rating of sharing resources and the low rating of cooperative community service programs. One of the main differences found in this study compared to the study done by Ricketts and Place (2005) was that educational pr ograms had the third highest mean of how often cooperation occurred but had mini mal cooperation in their study. Diatta and Luft (1986) had similar findings in their study although th eir study looked at a more defined type of cooperation between agen ts and educators for specific areas (crops, livestock, agricultural m echanics, etc). They found that cooperation occurred most often when working with FFA or 4-H activities. Diatta and Luft (1986) and Ricketts and Place (2005) had similar findings in that judging contests were ra ted high for cooperation but in this study, judging contests were not rated very high in cooperation. Objective 4 Objective: To identify the factors that explains the leve l of cooperation among 4-H extension agents and agricultural educators. For this objective, respondent s were first asked if they participated in cooperative activities. The respondents who answered yes we re then asked to rate the importance of seven factors in their cooperative rela tionship on a Likert-like scale. The factors that were rated the most important were increased value to youth ( M =4.34), improved professional relationship ( M =4.18) and to make activ ities more enjoyable ( M =4.03). The factors th at had the lowest means, therefore the least importa nt of the seven factors, were physical distance between offices ( M =2.99) and to satisfy my supervisor ( M =2.40). For the respondents who answered no to participating in cooperative activit ies, they were asked to rate ten factors that would have the most influence if they were to develop a coope rative relationship. The f actors with the highest means were enhancing subject area ( M =4.21), increased value to youth ( M =4.19) and to make activities more enjoyable ( M =4.12). The factors with the lo west means were to satisfy my 74

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supervisor ( M =2.74), greater professional recognition (M =3.34) and physical distance between offices ( M =3.35). When comparing the most important factor s for those who do and not participate in cooperative activities, the findings are similar. Table 5.1 shows the breakdown by those who participate and those who do no participate in coop erative activities. The ratings for both groups show the most important factors for coopera tion were focused on youth and improving their professional relationship with the other party. Table 5.1. Mean ratings for important factors by those who already participate in cooperative activities and those who do not currently participate in coope rative activities. Yes No Factors M M Increased value to youth 4.34 4.19 Improved professional relationships 4.18 3.99 To make activities more enjoyable 4.03 4.12 Greater ability to specialize in area(s) of interest 3.99 4.07 Personal satisfaction 3.62 3.59 Physical distances between offices 2.99 3.35 Satisfy my supervisor(s) 2.40 2.74 Enhancing subject area 4.21 More effective time usage 4.06 Greater Professional recognition 3.34 Note. M=mean. One of the results that does not match the previous literature is the physical distance between offices. Diatta and Lufts (1986) st udy found that the shorte r the distance between offices (less than 20 miles), the more positive th is factor was rated. They also found that the longer the distance between offices (more than 20 miles), the more negatively this factor was rated for a cooperative relationship. This study did not specify a specifi c distance but neither group rated physical distance betwee n offices as very important. The final section of this objective was satisfied by asking those respondents who did not participate in cooperative activities what factors kept them fro m choosing to cooperate. None of 75

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the statements had a mean rating of agree or stro ngly agree which lead the research to conclude that the respondents either did not know or c ould not pinpoint why they do not cooperate or they have other reasons than the ones given. Another c onclusion that can be drawn from this section is that most of the respondents had knowledge and had thought about cooperating with the professionals in their county, but a relationship had never been formed for other reasons than those listed. The two statements that dealt wi th time had the highest means of the section but were rated as neutral on the Li kert-like scale (3.02 and 3.01). Objective 5 Objective: To identify the knowledge and percep tions about the 4-H and FFA programs from the perspectives of the 4-H extens ion agent and agricultural educators. To find the perceptions that ex tension agents and agricultural educators held about the 4-H and FFA programs, each respondent was asked to rate, on a Likert-like scale, how much they agreed or disagreed with four statements that discussed various aspects of the two programs. Both populations agreed or strong ly agreed that 4-H and FFA sh are the same general goals for youth development. This finding coincides with Tjosvolds (1988) findi ng that stated if employees thought their goals were similar to their coworkers, they were more trusting, exchanged information and resources, worked efficiently and produc tively and developed confidence in future collaboration. When asked if they thought youth made a deci sion to be involved in 4-H or FFA, almost half of the respondents reported th at they agreed and another quart er of the respondents strongly agreed with this statement. Even though almost half of the respondents reported they felt youth made a decision between the two or ganizations, when asked if they thought they were competing for participants, over half of the respondents re ported disagree or str ongly disagree. This disagreement in the two statements could be due to respondents thinking that the age ranges for 76

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the two organizations are extremely different. Yout h can join 4-H at the age of seven but can not join FFA until sixth grade (around 12-years-old). The final statement, Students should not be allowed to participate in both 4-H and FFA, had more than 2/3 of the respondents strongly di sagreeing. This shows that a majority of respondents believe that youth s hould be given the choice to join one or both of the organizations. It is concluded that agents and educators in this study perceive both programs as valuable to youth. Even though many respondents feel that youth do make a c hoice in their participation, the respondents do not want to force this choi ce or deny the youth the opportunity of either program. The other part of this objec tive was to find the knowledge that extension agents had about the FFA organization and to find the knowledge th at agricultural educat ors had about the 4-H organization. For the extension agents, three true /false questions were asked. The first statement gave the goal of FFA and 94.5% of the agents an swered correctly. The second statement said FFA had national, state and local levels of ope ration. More agents ( 96.4%) answered this question correctly. The final st atement asked about the age in which youth could join FFA. The statement said nine, which is false and a slightly lower, but still a majority (81.8%), of agents gave the correct answer. The knowledge of the agricultural educators wa s derived by the same general questions about the 4-H program. The goal of 4-H was gi ven and 93.8% of the edu cators got the question correct. The second statement said 4-H had nationa l, state and county levels of operation (true) and 93.8% got this questions correct The final question, that asked about the joining age of 4-H, had a slightly lower (81.1%) percent of correct responses. 77

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It is concluded that most of the extension ag ents and agricultural educators have the basic knowledge of the 4-H and FFA programs. Although fine details are not as widely known, the general idea of both organizations is known by the two professions. Implications and Recommendations There has been little research conducted to determine the cooperative relationship between Florida 4-H extension agents and Florida agricult ural educators. Because the responsibilities of extension agents and agricultural educators are similar and the 4-H and FFA programs are similar, these professional educators and pa rticipating youth can be nefit from cooperation (Gamon, 1994). The problem of minimal cooperation between th e two professions has occurred in youth programming for many years (Grage, Place, & Ri cketts, 2004). Seevers (1994) stated that agriculture teachers and extension agents need to work closely with communities, business and industry, government agencies, and each other in order to remain on the cutting edge of the agricultural field. The findings of this study can help educators and administrators prepare and advise future extension agents and agricultural educators on ho w to successfully integrate cooperation into the extension/4-H and school-based agriculture educ ation/FFA programs. By instructing future agents and educators on the benefits of cooperation, they can choose to increase the level of cooperation and collaboration which would bene fit the youth and commun ities they serve and their professional relationships. This would help extension agen ts and agricultural educators remain on the cutting edge of the agricultural field. The key finding from this study were that both populations were l ooking for someone who can reciprocate and equally exchange time and resources with them. The respondents on this questionnaire were able to point out that they wanted to have a cooperative relationship but some 78

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did not know how to orchestrate the process. Th is study found the two populations were similar in age, educational background, county populations and opinions of encouragement in 4-H and FFA. The study found that physical distance between offices was not a very important factor in maintaining or forming a cooperative relations hip. Although most cooperation can be found at county and state fairs, there is room to grow in community service activities and recruiting students. The findings have given a clearer picture of what is helping the cooperation relationship between extension agen ts and agricultural educators. The findings of this study correspond to Deutschs (1949) theory of cooperation and competition. When groups are able to work coopera tively, there is more coordination of efforts, division of labor, attentiveness to fellow me mbers, common appraisals of communications, productivity, quality of product and discussion, an d friendliness. All of these factors were wanted in a cooperative relationship by the extens ion agents and agricult ural educators. Not only do these characteristics infl uence the agent and educator but they will influence the youth involved in both programs. A fi nding from Thomas (1957) st udy concluded that if groups worked cooperatively together with a division of labor, the chances of reaching the goal increased. A final implication from this study was that cooperation was being pushed on 4-H agents and agricultural educators when these two groups might not be where the most effective cooperation could occur. If an agricultural educator has a ques tion regarding livestock for his/her judging team, that educator would probably ask the livestock agent, not the 4-H agent, for help or information. This study is a good example of how this is happening. The natural relationship that could/is be developed between 4-H agents and agricultural educators is possible and does 79

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happen, but it should not be forced on every aspect of both programs. It should be up to the agents and educators which as pects of their programs they choose to cooperate on. Recommendation for Practioners Based on the findings of this study, the r ecommendations for practioners include: Encourage cooperation on activitie s at more than just the county/state fairs and judging contests. Focusing on community service proj ects and educational programming can have a huge effect for both organizations. Focus on developing the relationship with ne w agents/educators when brought into the county or school district. When a new person is brought into a posit ion, being greeted and welcomed to the community helps create a positive relationship. This foundation is essential to developing a cooperative relationship. Put aside past bad experiences with cooperation. One of the mo st important factors pointed out by respondents of this study on choosing to c ooperate is the value it brings to youth. It is essential to keep an open mind and to put pe rsonal issues aside to help the youth of these programs. Recommendations for Future Research Because this study was a census of extens ion agents with a 20% or higher 4-H appointment, many agents were excluded. Every extension agent in Florida has at least a five percent 4-H appointment but cooperation can be found in other areas, not related to 4H. Another census study or a random samp ling study could be conducted to include all extension agents. In order to address the nonr esponse error in this study, it is recommended that the same study be conducted using a mail in method. Sinc e some of the e-mail addresses that were collected were invalid, some of the res pondents were excluded from the start. This study focused on the cooperation relati onship between 4-H and FFA activities. Another study could be conducted that in cluded, but did not focus on 4-H and FFA activities. A study could be conducted within individual counties to determine if cooperation is occurring and how to improve the relati onship between agents and educators. The researcher wanted to compare the cooperation relationship of extension agents and agricultural educators in c ounties with small and large populations. A study could be conducted to see how cooperation varies with in counties by county population. This could be done as a qualitative or quantitative study. 80

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A qualitative study could be conducted in order to find out the specific reasons hindering the cooperative relationship between extens ion agents and agri cultural educators. A qualitative or quantitative study could be cond ucted to see how cooperation is occurring between extension agents and agricultural educators. A study could be conducted that focused on adu lt services performed by extension agents and agricultural educators to see wh at kind of cooperati on is found there. 81

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APPENDIX A EXPERT PANEL MEMBERS Dr. Anna Ball o Assistant Professor o Agricultural Education and Communications Department Dr. Hannah Carter o Lecturer and Director (Wedgworth Leadership Institute) o Agricultural Education and Co mmunications Department Dr. Brian Myers o Assistant Professor o Agricultural Education and Communications Department Dr. Nick Place o Assistant Professor o Agricultural Education and Communications Department Dr. Shannon Washburn o Associate Professor o Agricultural Education and Communications Department 82

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APPENDIX B EXTENSION AGENT QUESTIONNAIRE 83

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APPENDIX E CONTACT LETTERS Extension Agents Initial Contact Letter Dear (insert name), My name is Audrey Vail and I am a Master s student in the Agricultural Education and Communication Department at the University of Fl orida. I am requesting your help in collecting data for my thesis study regard ing the knowledge, per ceptions and attitude s about cooperation between Florida county extension agents and Florida agricultural educators. As county extension agent in the state of Flor ida with a 20% or highe r 4-H appointment, your input to this research is essent ial. Because of your influence with youth interested in agriculture, you have the ability to enhance students futu re experiences in coope rative and competitive situations. The results of this study can help you as a current agent by determining what is enhancing or inhibiting the cooperative relatio nship between yourself and other agricultural educators. With this knowledge, you will be able to demonstrate to the youth involved in your programs the importance of learning cooperatio n and competition on a professional and personal level. You will be receiving a questionnaire from me within the week that contains a link to the Zoomerang questionnaire for my study. If you c hoose not to participate in this study for whatever reason, please send me an e-mail by September 26th so I can remove you from my list. Please keep an eye out for the next e-mail that contains the link to the Zoomerang questionnaire. Thank you in advance for your participation in my study. Sincerely, Audrey Vail Graduate student University of Florida Second Contact Letter Dear (insert name), My name is Audrey Vail and I am a Master s student in the Agricultural Education and Communication Department at th e University of Florida. 106

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I sent you an e-mail last week about this questio nnaire coming. I am requesting your help in collecting data for my thesis study regarding the knowledge, perceptions and attitudes about cooperation between Florida county extension agents and Florida agricultural educators. As county extension agent in the state of Flor ida with a 20% or highe r 4-H appointment, your input to this research is essent ial. Because of your influence with youth interested in agriculture, you have the ability to enhance students futu re experiences in coope rative and competitive situations. The results of this study can help you as a current agent by determining what is enhancing or inhibiting the cooperative relatio nship between yourself and other agricultural educators. With this knowledge, you will be able to demonstrate to the youth involved in your programs the importance of learning cooperatio n and competition on a professional and personal level. Sincerely, Audrey Vail Graduate student University of Florida Third Contact Letter Dear (insert name), Last week, I sent out an e-mail as king for your help for my Masters thesis study. This e-mail is simply a reminder about filling out this quest ionnaire. If you have already completed the questionnaire, Thank you! If not, please take a fe w minutes to complete the survey regarding the cooperation relationship between agricultural educators and county extension agents. I would appreciate it if you could return this survey by October 31st. Again, thank you for your time, help, and participation. Sincerely, Audrey Vail Graduate student University of Florida Final Contact Letter October 3rd, I sent out an e-mail asking for your help for my Masters thesis study. This e-mail is simply a reminder about filling out this que stionnaire. If you have already completed the questionnaire, Thank you! If not, please take a fe w minutes to complete the survey regarding the cooperation relationship between agricultural educators and county extension agents. 107

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I would appreciate it if you could return this survey by November 9th. Again, thank you for your time, help, and participation. Sincerely, Audrey Vail Graduate student University of Florida Agricultural Educators Initial Contact Letter Dear (insert name), My name is Audrey Vail and I am a Master s student in the Agricultural Education and Communication Department at the University of Fl orida. I am requesting your help in collecting data for my thesis study regard ing the knowledge, per ceptions and attitudes about cooperation between Florida county extension agents and Florida agricultural educators. As an agricultural educator in th e state of Florida, your input to this research is essential. Because of your influence with yout h interested in agriculture, you have the ability to enhance students future experiences in cooperative and competitive situations. The results of this study can help you as a current educator by determ ining what is enhanc ing or inhibiting the cooperative relationship between you rself and the county extension agents. With th is knowledge, you will be able to demonstrate to student s the importance of learning cooperation and competition on a professional and personal level. You will be receiving a questionnaire from me within the week that contains a link to the Zoomerang questionnaire for my study. If you c hoose not to participate in this study for whatever reason, please send me an e-mail by September 26th so I can remove you from my list. Please keep an eye out for the next e-mail that contains the link to the Zoomerang questionnaire. Thank you in advance for your participation in my study. Sincerely, Audrey Vail Graduate student University of Florida 108

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Second Contact Letter Dear (insert name) My name is Audrey Vail and I am a Master s student in the Agricultural Education and Communication Department at th e University of Florida. I sent you an e-mail last week about this questionn aire. I am requesting y our help in collecting data for my thesis study regard ing the knowledge, per ceptions and attitudes about cooperation between Florida county extension agents and Florida agricultural educators. As an agricultural educator in th e state of Florida, your input to this research is essential. Because of your influence with yout h interested in agriculture, you have the ability to enhance students future experiences in cooperative and competitive situations. The results of this study can help you as a current educator by determ ining what is enhanc ing or inhibiting the cooperative relationship between you rself and the county extension agents. With th is knowledge, you will be able to demonstrate to student s the importance of learning cooperation and competition on a professional and personal level. Sincerely, Audrey Vail Graduate student University of Florida Third Contact Letter Dear (inset name) Last week, I sent out an e-mail as king for your help for my Masters thesis study. This e-mail is simply a reminder about filling out this quest ionnaire. If you have already completed the questionnaire, Thank you! If not, please take a fe w minutes to complete the survey regarding the cooperation relationship between agricultural educators and county extension agents. I would appreciate it if you could return this survey by October 31st Again, thank you for your time, help, and participation. Sincerely, Audrey Vail Graduate student University of Florida 109

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Final Contact Letter October 3rd, I sent out an e-mail asking for your help for my Masters thesis study. This e-mail is simply a reminder about filling out this que stionnaire. If you have already completed the questionnaire, Thank you! If not, please take a fe w minutes to complete the survey regarding the cooperation relationship between agricultural educators and county extension agents. I would appreciate it if you could return this survey by November 9th. Again, thank you for your time, help, and participation. Sincerely, Audrey Vail Graduate student University of Florida 110

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LIST OF REFERENCES Alper, S., Tjosvold, D., & Law, K. S. (1998). In terdependence and controversy in group decision making: Antecedents to effective self-managing teams. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 74 (1), 33-52. Ary, D. Jacobs, L. C., & Razavieh, A. (2002). Introduction to research in education (6th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning. Asthroth, K. A., & Haynes, G. W. (2002). More than cows and cooking: Newest research shows the impact of 4-H. Journal of Extension, 40(4). Barnard, F. L. (1985). Coopera tion: A key for extension. Journal of Extension, 23 (2). Retrieved June 10, 2007 from http://www.joe.org/joe/1985summer/a2.html Beersma, B., Hollenbeck, J. R., Humphrey, S. E., Moon, H., Conlon, D. E., & Ilgen, D. R. (2003). Cooperation, competition, and team perfo rmance: Toward a contingency approach. Academy of Manage ment Journal, 46 (5), 572-590. Bruce, J., & Ricketts, K. G. (in press). E xploring cooperation among secondary agricultural educators and extension educators A qualitative analysis. Campbell, D. T., & Stanley, J. C. (1966). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Crombag, H. F. (1966). Cooperation and compe tition in means-interdependent triads: A replication. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4 (6), 692-695. Deutsch, M. (1949a). Theory of co-operation and competition. Human Relations, 2, 129-152. Deutsch, M. (1949b). An experimental study of the effects of cooperation and competition upon group process. Human Relations, 2(3), 199-231. Deutsch, M., & Krauss, R. M. (1962). St udies on interpersonal bargaining. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 6 (1), 52-76. Diatta, S., & Luft, V. D. (1986). Cooperati on between North Dakota secondary vocational agriculture teachers and county agents in ca rrying out selected activities and program. The Journal of the American Association of Teacher Educators in Agriculture, 27 (1) 7-12 Dillman, D. A. (2007). Mail and internet surveys: The tailored design method (2nd ed.) Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Dormody, T. J. (1992). Exploring resource shar ing between secondary school teachers of agriculture teachers and science departments. Journal of Agricultural Education, 33 (3) 2331. 111

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Dormody, T. J. (1993). Prediction modeling of resource sharing between secondary school agriculture teachers and science departments. Journal of Agricultural Education, 34 (1), 5159. Dormody, T. J., & Seevers, B. S. (1994). Impr oving leadership development in 4-H and FFA. The Agricultural Education Magazine, 67 (5), 20-21, 23. Eaton, D. W., & Bruening, T. H. (1996). The stra tegic plan for agricult ural education: An assessment in Pennsylvania. Journal of Agricu ltural Education, 37 (1), 56-64. Etling, A. (1994). Interorganizati onal coordination: Why and how. The Agricultural Education Magazine, 66 (1), 18-20. Fetsch, R. J., & Yang, R. K. (2002). The eff ect of competitive and cooperative learning preferences on childre ns self-perceptions: A comparis on of 4-H and non-4-H members. Journal of Extension, 40 (3). Retrieved June 10, 2007 from http://www.joe.org/joe/2002june/a5.html Florida 4-H Program Handbook. (2007) Section 3: Appendix A Federal affirmative action guidelines. Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://florida4h.org/staff/ program_handbook/3_appendix_a.shtml Florida 4-H. (2007). About 4-H Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://florida4h.org/about/ Florida 4-H. (2007b). FAQ: Answers you want to know Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://florida4h.org/about/faq.shtml Gamon, J. A. (1994). Similarities and differences. The Agricultural Education Magazine, 66 (1), 4-5. Grage, K. D., Place, N. T., & Ricketts, J. C. (2004). Exploring cooperation between secondary agricultural educators and livestock extension agents: A case study. Journal of Extension, 42(6). Retrieved April 20, 2007, from http://www.joe.org/joe/2004december/rb7.shtml Graham, D. L. (1994). Teaching and exte nsionCareer paths and interactions. The Agricultural Education Magazine, 66 (1), 8-9. Hillison, J. (1996a). Agricultural education and c ooperative extension: The early agreements. Journal of Agricultural Education, 37 (1), 9-14. Houghton Mifflin Company. (2000). The American heritage college dictionary (3rd ed.) Boston and New York City: Houghton Mifflin Company. Johnson, D. W., Maruyama, G., Johnson, R., & Nelson, D. (1981). Effects of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic goal structures on achievement: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 89 (1), 47-62. 112

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Johnson, S., & Johnson, D. W. (1972). The effects of others actions, attitude similarity, and race on attraction toward others. Human Relations, 25(2), 121-130. Kittredge, Jr., D. B. (1992). Regional cooperation in forestry. Journal of Extension, 30 (3). Retrieved June 9, 2007 from http://www.joe.org/joe/1992fall/rb2.html Lindner, J. R., Murphy, T. H., & Briers, G. E. (2001). Handling nonresponse in social science research. Journal of Agricultural Education, 42 (4), 43-53. Memorandum of understanding relative to Smith -Hughes and Smith-Lever relationships in agriculture. (1928). Washingt on, DC: National Archives. National 4-H Council. (2008). National 4-H Council homepage. Retrieved February 16, 2008, from www.fourhcouncil.edu National FFA Organization. (2006). Official FFA manual 2006-2007. Alexandria, VA: National FFA Distribution Services. Pirch, R. A. (1993). Impact th rough cooperation and technology. Journal of Extension, 31 (1). Retrieved June 12, 2007 from http://www.joe.org/joe/1993spring/tp3.html Ricketts, K. G., & Place, N. T. (2005). Coopera tion between secondary agricultural educators and extension agents. Journal of Extension, 43 (6). Retrieved May 5, 2007 from http://www.joe.org/joe/2005december/a6.shtml Rocha, R. F., & Rogers, R. W. (1971). Ares a nd Babbitt in the classroom: Effects of competition and reward on childrens aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 33 (5), 588-593. Scutchfield, F. D., Harris, T. T., Tanner, B., & Murray, D. (2007). Academic health centers and cooperative extension service: A model for a working partnership. Journal of Extension, 45(1). Retrieved June 12, 2007 from http://www.joe.org/joe/2007february/a5.shtml Seevers, B. (1994). Preparing agricu lture teachers and extension agents. The Agricultural Education Magazine, 66 (1), 6-7, 11. Sharan, S. (1980). Cooperative learning in small groups: Recent methods and effects on achievement, attitudes and ethnic relations. Review of Educational Research, 50 (2), 241271. Slavin, R. E. (1977). Classroom reward structure: An analytical and practical review. Review of Educational Research, 47 (4), 633-650. Slavin, R. E. (1987). Developmental and motivational perspectives on co operative learning: A reconciliation. Child Development, 58 1161-1167. Smith, A. J., Madden, H. E., & Sobol, R. (1957). Productivity and reca ll in cooperative and competitive discussion groups. Journal of Psychology, 43 193-204. 113

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Thomas, E. J. (1957). Effects of facilitativ e role interdependen ce on group functioning. Human Relations, 10 347-366. Tjosvold, D. (1984). Cooperation theory and organizations. Human Relations, 37(9), 743-767. Tjosvold, D. (1988). Cooperative and competitive dynamics within and between organizational units. Human Relations, 41(6), 425-436. Ubadigbo, F. N., & Gamon, J. A. (1988). Agribus iness educational methods and cooperation with agri-educators. The Journal of the American Asso ciation of Teacher Educators in Agriculture, 29(4), 40-48. UF/IFAS. (2007). About us: Who we are and what we do Retrieved June 6, 2007 from http://www.solutionsforyourlife.com/additional_pages/who_what.html Wessel, T., & Wessel, M. (1982). 4-H: An American idea, 1900-1908 a history of 4-H. Chevy Chase, MD: National 4-H Council. Whent, L. (2000). Factors influencing resource sh aring between agriculture and science teachers participation the agriscience program. Journal of Agricultural Education, 35 (3), 11-17. 114

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Audrey Lynn Vail was born and raised in Neode sha, Kansas. She participated in 4-H at early age (five) but joined when she was seven. While she was in 4-H, she held every officer position at the club and county c ouncil level. She earned her Key Award in 2001. She joined the agriculture education program and FFA in high school where she learned the basics about agriculture. Throughout her FFA career, she served on many o fficer teams including holding chapter president for two years and serving as th e Southeast District vice president for a year. She earned her state degree in 2001 a nd her American degree in 2004. After high school graduation, she attended Kansas State University majoring in Agricultural Communicati ons and Journalism. During her four years at K-State, Audrey was an ambassador for the College of Agriculture for f our years and she served on the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow officer team as secret ary and president. Audrey was invited to join Alpha Zeta Honors Fraternity her junior year and became an active member. While in Alpha Zeta, she traveled to Loui siana after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita hit to help local farmers repair the damage done to their farms and she was given the opportunity to present a workshop at the national level for the National Ag ricultural Leadership C onference in San Louis Obispo, California. After graduating K-State, she moved to Gaines ville to pursue her ma sters degree at the University of Florida. After graduation, she plan s to move back to Kansas to get married (she got engaged in December 2007) and work in the extension field. 115