Date of this Version
Journal of Human Sciences and Extension Volume 2, Number 3, 2014
The purpose of this program evaluation was to utilize short- and long-term surveys to measure the impact of a multi-state Range Beef Cow Symposium on knowledge change and changes in beef cattle production practices. Symposium participants completed end-of-session surveys and ranked their degree of knowledge change, with a 36% return rate. Follow-up surveys were mailed to past symposium participants who noted changes made to their production practices, with a 23% return rate. For symposium survey respondents, 70% were male, a majority were white, over 60% were under 50 years, and they represented 16 states. The estimated annual increase in profitability was positively associated with symposium attendance. Participants gained knowledge across all topics presented. For follow-up survey respondents, 86% were male, a majority were white, 62% were between 50-69 years old, and they represented 9 states. The estimated annual increase in profitability was positively associated with the likelihood to make operational changes, as well as notable changes made to genetics and selection, marketing options and plans for cattle, risk management, and time of calving. Over 70% made notable changes to cattle genetics, nutrition, health, marketing, replacement heifer development, and range management. By using short- and long-term evaluation methods, information was gained on current and past attendee’s conceptual and instrumental knowledge acquisition and provided a context for how the knowledge was used.