Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Agricultural Education and Studies
Robert A. Martin
Literature suggests that food safety is a serious concern all over the world, and lack of it has huge health and economic implications to different stakeholders. The situation in the U.S. is also no different with most of the American public not much knowledgeable about agriculture and food safety. Therefore, food safety education assumes importance. There are many food safety education providers in the U.S. with the Cooperative Extension System (CES) of the land-grant institutions being the most reliable one.
The purpose of this study was to analyze the perceptions and extent of use of food safety educational processes by extension educators in the CES of the North Central Region of the United States. Extension educators': (1) perceptions toward food safety and various components related to food safety educational processes, (2) their inservice need for the identified educational processes, and (3) the extent to which they were using the identified teaching methods and tools in their food safety educational programs were analyzed in order to accomplish the purpose of the study.
Data were collected by using an expert panel-reviewed and reliability-tested electronic questionnaire from extension educators in the program areas of Family and Consumer Sciences and Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the County Extension Directors (CEDs). A disproportionate stratified random sample of 64 extension educators from each of the 12 states of NCR was drawn, amounting to a sample size of 768. The findings were based on the 325 usable questionnaires out of the 416 that were returned.
It was found that a typical extension educator (as operationally defined) was a middle-aged female with substantial years of work experience and held a master's degree. Extension educators had neutral perceptions about food safety, and were in need of inservice education on all five identified food safety inservice educational processes. Further, extension educators perceived most of the educational processes to be important and the identified teaching methods and tools to be effective for conducting food safety educational programs. It was further found that extension educators were using discussions and brochures to the greatest extent compared to the other teaching methods and tools, respectively, in their food safety educational programs.
One-way ANOVA analysis indicated that the findings overall were consistent among the extension educators of the NCR implying that they could be generalized to the entire population. Hence, a food safety education delivery model was developed for extension educators of the NCR that has implications for both inservice education of extension educators and delivery of information to clients. The model was predominantly based on the findings from this study and a review of the literature.
Vikram Swaroop Chandra Koundinya
Koundinya, Vikram Swaroop Chandra, "An analysis of the food safety educational processes in the Cooperative Extension System of the North Central Region of the United States" (2010). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 11216.