From the Editor
Welcome to the Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education (JIAEE). This issue increases our understanding of international agricultural and extension education topics from Australia to Ireland, and Cameroon to Bangladesh. What do you know about improving farmer knowledge and skills to better manage climate variability and climate change in Australia? Probably about as much as I did before reading the article by George et al. Less than one-third of the Australian farmers in this study considered themselves as competent in managing climate risk, but effective, flexible training and resources improved their competencies (p. 5). You will recognize the contributing authors from a previous publication in the JIAEE.
McNamara et al. provide thoughtful views on the incidence and impact of disabilities on Irish farms (p. 21). This topic should be investigated in many countries, as the results worldwide may give us better ideas about reducing farm-related injuries leading to physical disabilities. It would be interesting to learn about the differences between countries when compared by level of mechanization use in each country. Maybe the authors can initiate such a worldwide study.
David (p. 35) explored knowledge improvement and social benefits among farmer field school participants in Cameroon. A focus was placed on farmers who attended cocoa integrated crop and pest management schools. This article expands our recent published efforts on farmer field schools, a topic that has gained much attention and illustrates farmer empowerment through education and training.
Hoque and Usami (p. 51) described the effectiveness of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) training courses for block supervisors’ extension skills in Bangladesh. Although block supervisors perceived course design and delivery, and course evaluations as satisfactory, they were not as pleased with the quality of training materials, transportation arrangements, or refreshments. One lesson learned may be that regardless of location, training and development activities may be only as good as the materials and refreshments. Finally, McGowan, a graduate student, provided her views on study abroad experiences (p. 61). All JIAEE readers who are contemplating study abroad may find her suggestions useful before leaving country.
The 23rd Annual AIAEE Conference was a great success, with a plethora of research paper topics (p. 67), posters, and carousel roundtable presentations. If you missed the beauty that is northwest Montana, then you should not miss next year’s venue at E.A.R.T.H. University in Costa Rica. You must submit your research paper, poster, or workshop proposals earlier than usual because of the earlier (March, 2008) conference date (see our Web site http://www.aiaee.org/index.html, for additional conference details).
Thank you to all JIAEE contributors, reviewers, and board members for assisting in the production of this issue. Enjoy the summer issue and continue doing what you can to promote greater understanding of agricultural and extension education worldwide.
Gary J. Wingenbach, Editor
Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education