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Rethinking Outreach in the 21 st Century Susan T. Ratcliffe, Ph.D. Director, North Central IPM Center Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois.

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Presentation on theme: "Rethinking Outreach in the 21 st Century Susan T. Ratcliffe, Ph.D. Director, North Central IPM Center Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rethinking Outreach in the 21 st Century Susan T. Ratcliffe, Ph.D. Director, North Central IPM Center Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois

2 Issues Facing IPM Outreach Agriculture has increased risk – High input costs – Climate volatility – Pest and weed resistance – Invasive species Stakeholders are concerned about: – Food safety – Conservation of natural resources – Nutrient management – Pesticide risk mitigation

3 Demand Driven Changes in Outreach Change in delivery practices – Diversification of Extension roles – Growing clientele base needs pest management knowledge beyond traditional agriculture – Shrinking Extension workforce Shift in consumers attitudes – Desire for instant knowledge – Internet at their fingertips – Self education

4 Be Relevant Listen to our stakeholders – Give them a voice in delivery of IPM information Identify their priorities – Understand the needs of our clientele groups Address their issues – Show them their issues are our issues Tailor your program to meet their needs – Show them we are responding to them

5 Be Strategic Define our mission Articulate our goals (long and short-term) Describe strategies to achieve goals Identify core outreach activities Develop a business plan Use benchmarking to evaluate our programs Revisit our outreach plan annually because of rapid changes in technology and stakeholder needs

6 Be Proactive Make opportunities – Influence policy and legislation Market our programs – Use events and media to raise visibility Leverage funds – Become a financial partner with stakeholders Share our accomplishments – Highlight our programs impacts

7 Be Accountable Show how funds benefit stakeholders – Increase financial transparency Monitor expenses – Review budgets annually for potential savings Coordinate programming efforts – Make sure we invest funds wisely Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate – Reduce duplicity and increase efficiencies

8 Be Accessible Know our partners Encourage engagement at all levels Ask questions and solicit input Build relationships Continue to participate in meetings and events Give our time and talent generously

9 Be Innovative Consider new ideas Add new approaches to proven methods Create new partnerships Continue to expand our audiences Deliver audience-focused messages Make our programs memorable

10 Outreach Session Highlights Use of conventional, digital and social media to meet the needs of our changing clientele Incorporation of bed bug education in to classroom curriculum for grades 3-5 Innovative methods to meet challenges from new invaders and drift issues in fruit and vegetable production Expansion of IPM research and extension collaborations at the multi-national level

11 Outreach Session Highlights Use of triple-layer plastic bags for cowpea storage in West and Central Africa eXtension COP for organics Grower-based marketing incentives for IPM implementation through self-assessment, surveys and certification Standardization of education of new urban IPM technicians and urban engagement with cities

12 Outreach Session Highlights IPM and sustainable food production systems to meet the worlds growing population Collaborations to increase the availability of green products for consumers Evaluation of pest damage to coconut by- products and use of integrated vegetable cropping sequences to suppress nematodes

13 Outreach Session Highlights Use of IPM practices to assist the Native American community address pest issues with a blend of indigenous knowledge and modern western science while protecting human health and the environment Collaboration on an IPM education plan that identifies the required knowledge base and provides various types of curricula to support knowledge transfer

14 Parting thoughts from The Extension Workers Code by T.J. Talbert (1922) Believe in your work Stick to the truth Have a smile for everyone Make opportunities Be energetic – do more than get by Have a vision Keep your eye on the big things All photos courtesy of USDA


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