Tuesday May 14: Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3 | Session 4

Wednesday May 15: Session 5 | Session 6 | Session 7 | Session 8

Thursday May 16: Session 9

SESSION 1: TUESDAY, MAY 14TH – 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

The Use of Lesson Study as a Professional Development Model for 4-H Volunteers

Presenter:

  • Martin Smith, Specialist in Cooperative Extension, University of California - Davis

Co-Presenters:

  • Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, 4-H Youth Development Advisor - University of California Cooperative Extension
  • Steven M. Worker, 4-H Youth Development Advisor - University of California Cooperative Extension
  • Janet Fox, Department Head, 4-H Youth Development - Louisiana State University

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development Abstract:

Effective professional development is essential to help prepare 4-H volunteers to deliver high quality programming with

youth participants. However, a recent study revealed that most state 4-H professional development opportunities are one- time, episodic events delivered by outside experts’ traditional methods which are considered to be ineffective. Lesson study, a form-based model of professional development that involves educators working in communities of practice to develop a reflective orientation on their teaching. The process is constructivist-based, iterative, occurs over an extended period, and is data-driven.

In the United States, numerous studies have shown lesson study to be a successful model of professional development for classroom teachers and pre-service educators. Outcomes have shown positive effects on individuals’ knowledge, skills, and confidence. In 4-H, however, lesson study was first introduced in 2013, and research on the model has been limited.

Nonetheless, outcomes on the use of lesson study with 4-H volunteers have been similar to results shown in school-based settings. Specifically, finding have shown improvements in volunteers’data-driven decision-making, content knowledge, lesson planning and implementation, social connections, and leadership opportunities.

Finding the Right Fit for Volunteers

Presenter:              

  • Mari Jo Lohmeier, 4-H Program Coordinator, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development

Co-Presenters:    

  • Rebecca Harrington, Extension Educator and Volunteer Systems Director - University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development Abstract:

Welcoming new volunteers, matching their strengths and interests to fit personal and program needs, and building successful long-term volunteer relationships are essential to ensure program sustainability and vitality. Participants in this workshop will explore an approach to building trust with new and diverse volunteers that is person-centered and strength-based. Through large and small group activities, participants will identify ways to welcome and engage new volunteers in roles that meet volunteer and organizational needs. This workshop will engage participants with practical tools and strategies to welcome and build a successful long-term relationship that lead to volunteer retention. We’ll explore ways to identify volunteer goals and interests, and strategies to match volunteer strengths with current program needs.

Tools to share include: conversation guides, interest survey, tips for welcoming volunteers to your program, and ways to communicate with volunteers.  

Session participants will take a look at their volunteer program and develop a plan to apply strategies and resources to welcome and retain volunteers in their program.

Interviewing Potential Volunteers

Presenter:              

  • Jodi Schulz, Senior Extension Educator, Michigan State University Extension 

Co-Presenters:      

  • Christine Heverly, Extension Educator - Michigan State University Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers Abstract:

The interview process is a crucial part of screening volunteers. During this workshop, participants will fine-tune their skills for interviewing volunteers. Participants will learn how to conduct effective volunteer interviews, identify red flags, discuss common interview challenges, ask appropriate interview questions, get to know your volunteer and discover the expectations the volunteer has for the experience. Participants will gain knowledge and skills in interviewing potential volunteers. They will learn how to prepare themselves for the interview, ask questions that provide important information about the volunteer experience, and learn how to use the interview as a tool for screening and accepting/denying potential volunteers. 

Developing Understandings of LGBTQ+ Communities for Volunteers to Enhance Acceptance and Inclusion in Extension Programming

Presenter:              

  • Dr. Jeff Howard, State 4-H Director, University of Maryland Extension Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Abstract:

People who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, and Queer live and work in communities throughout the United States. LGBTQ+ youth are coming out at much earlier ages as well as straight children having same sex parents is an increased norm. Developing an understanding of the LGBTQ+ community will enhance an Extension worker's ability to engage diverse audiences in their Extension programming. This workshop will explore the LGBTQ community characteristics or traits, the latest research known surrounding the topic, statistics regarding LGBTQ youth and adults as well as trends in LGBTQ acceptance. The workshop will showcase supportive resources and emerging best practices for Educators and Volunteers to use in programming. 

I See You: Training for volunteers who choose to work in poverty alleviation

Presenter:           

  • Elaine Johannes, Assoc. Professor and Extension Specialist K-State Research and Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers Abstract:

Poverty continues to rise across the United States especially in rural areas. In 2017, 45 million Americans lived in poverty, which includes one in every five children in the United States. Poor families face incredible hardships, such as food insecurity, lack of affordable and safe housing, and limited access to education and basic services. Most communities have non-profit programs that aim to alleviate poverty thanks to the efforts of volunteers.

These programs usually build volunteer awareness, but few have little experience in preparing volunteers to develop meaningful and transformative relationships with people in poverty. I See You: Training for volunteers who choose to work in poverty alleviation is a 6 hr curriculum that prepares volunteers with the competencies necessary to be effective allies with families making efforts to get out of poverty. Each module includes concise discussion points, two hands-on experiences, a self-reflection, and a community observation. Optional booster activities are included that help learners transition from one module to the next. Opportunities to earn content badges for each module completed is discussed.  

Online Learning: A Process for ALL

Presenter:           

  • Jill Jorgensen, Title/Position: 4-H Youth Development Educator University of Wisconsin

Co-Presenters:      

  • Ellen Andrews, 4-H Youth Development Educator - University of Wisconsin
  • Kandi O'Neil, Associate Program Director/Volunteer Specialist - University of Wisconsin Melinda Pollen, 4-H Youth Development Educator - University of Wisconsin
  • Jennifer Swensen, 4-H Youth Development Educator - University of Wisconsin Dawn Vandevoort, 4-H Youth Development Educator - University of Wisconsin

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers Abstract:

Have you considered local or statewide online learning opportunities for volunteers? Does your state need to have accessible, consistent volunteer training? Volunteers build capacity in Extension programming and consistent training is fundamental for them to be effective.

Wisconsin reviewed statewide evaluations and research around volunteer development and online learning. A need was identified from this process to develop new and innovative ways to reach volunteers statewide. A team developed online learning modules for Extension volunteers and staff to learn about the 4 Essential Elements - Belonging, Independence, Mastery and Generosity. The development of the modules provided an opportunity for staff to build their skills and capacity. Additionally, the applications from the training can be easily used and adapted for cross-programmatic learning.

After participating in this session, colleagues will gain an understanding of online learning research and the process of developing online modules. Staff who developed the modules will share their experience, along with how they have used techniques in other facets of their volunteer work.  

Join us for an interactive session where you will experience the creation of online learning modules, while discussing the benefits, challenges and best practices. Leave with practical tools and access to the final modules.

Volunteer Conflict: Shipwreck or Treasure Quest?

Presenter:              

  • Roubie Younkin, Associate Professor, Montana State University Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Conflict is an interesting phenomenon but is very real when people begin working together. Differences of opinion and the resulting conflict are common in volunteer groups. People are different. They have different backgrounds, a variety of life experiences, and are a kaleidoscope of special interests. When these components come together to share planning and decision-making responsibilities, some disagreements are likely.

Giving how common conflict is in our daily life, and how often Extension volunteer managers deal with conflict, it should be second nature to resolve differences. However, that is not always the case! Most people have very little confidence in their ability to address conflict.

Volunteer Conflict: Shipwreck or Treasure Quest? will present an encouraging conflict management perspective and shed a more positive light on differences within groups. Building on the skills professionals already possess, this workshop will introduce incorporating communication styles, conflict strategies, listening habits, emotional intelligence skills and how each plays a role in creating a “shipwreck or treasure quest”. The importance of honest, open and effective conversations will be stressed. Using hands-on activities, participants will practice a variety of conflict management techniques and leave with a tool box of ideas and skills to manage volunteer conflict.Back to Top

 

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SESSION 2: TUESDAY, MAY 14TH, 1:00 – 2:30 PM

The Winning Plan: Accommodations & Scenarios for Inclusion & Access

Presenter:           

  • Heather Gottke, Educator, 4-H Youth Development Ohio State University Extension, Van Wert County

Co-Presenters:      

  • Laura Akgerman, Disability Services Coordinator - Ohio Agribility OSU Extension
  • Laryssa Hook, Educator, 4-H Youth Development - Ohio State University Extension, Delaware County Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

As Extension professionals, we have an obligation to serve everyone in our community, make sure our spaces and events are accessible and provide needed accommodations when asked. But many of us have little training or know where to start to provide an accommodation or help volunteers be inclusive for those with disabilities. Access and inclusion are created through a combination of creating accessible programming, events, interactions and spaces, with a goal of allowing the individual maximum independence, and minimal intervention from others. This session will include scenarios to practice information learned in the session and help give professionals the resources they need to work successfully with volunteers and families.

Finding the Right Volunteers: Targeted Volunteer Recruitment

Presenter:               

  • Frank Cox, Extension Educator, Michigan State University Extension Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Do you have all the volunteers you need? Most programs struggle to recruit enough volunteers to meet the goals of their program. In this session, we will explore the concept of targeted volunteer recruitment and how you can use it to find volunteers who are likely to stay with your program long term. You will leave this interactive session with ideas to maximize your recruitment efforts and a template for a recruitment plan that can be used by individual staff or a team. In this session, we will focus on areas like types of volunteer recruitment, volunteer motivation, and creating a message for engaging different audiences.

Conflict Quandary

Presenter:           

  • Stacy Buchholz, 4-H/Youth Development Educator University of Wyoming

Co-Presenters:       

  • Sara Fleenor, 4-H/Youth Development Educator - University of Wyoming

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Is conflict rearing its ugly head in your program again? Do you feel more like a therapist than an Educator? Don't fret. Conflict is an ever-present element when people participate in things they are passionate about. This session will focus on the elements of conflict management from start to finish and help you develop the tools needed to effectively manage conflict in your local program. You will leave with skills and resources to use in your life and to teach your volunteers.

Integrated Volunteer Engagement Policies and Practices: A Model to Align Volunteer Policies and Practices Between Multiple Statewide Volunteer Programs

Presenter:           

  • Missy Gable, Director, UC Master Gardener Program University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources

Co-Presenters:    

  • Gemma Miner, Academic Coordinator for Volunteer Engagement, 4-H Youth Development Program - University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers 

This topic intersects with multiple topics as presented in Volunteerism for the Next Generation. It will include information and discussions building on professional capacity around organizational infrastructure, creating a climate for volunteerism, developing volunteer positions, managing risk, as well as supervising and coaching.

Extension programs that rely on volunteers as extenders and educators face similar organizational requirements regardless of their programmatic focus. Integrating the volunteer engagement approach within the land-grant structure streamlines expenses, reduces confusion for managers of multiple programs, reduces confusion for volunteers who serve in multiple programs and reduces administrative burden for staff.

This integrated model was designed to improve volunteer management and engagement competencies in Extension staff and faculty. The model was adopted to decrease disparity across programs in how volunteers are managed; improve volunteer satisfaction, retention and advocacy; and reduce volunteer grievances overall.

The model includes: reorganization of job functions; alignment of volunteer policies and practices across all volunteer programs; professional development for Extension staff and faculty both online and in-person that focus on improving their knowledge and skills in volunteerism; and a comprehensive program evaluation plan that documents outcomes for staff, faculty and volunteers across all programs.

Escalation or De-escalation: A Critical Look at Volunteer Interactions

Presenter:           

  • John Freeborn, Assistant State Master Gardener Coordinator Virginia Tech

Co-Presenters:    

  • Dave Close, Consumer Horticulture and Extension Master Gardener Specialist - Virginia Tech
  • Natalie Bumgarner, Residential and Consumer Extension Specialist - University of Tennessee
  • Charlotte Glen, State Coordinator, NC Extension Master Gardener Program - North Carolina State University

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

As Extension professionals, regardless of program focus, we frequently interact with volunteers in difficult or uncomfortable

situations with the opportunity to guide the conversation. The struggle in managing these conversations relates to multiple variables, such as individual personalities, raw emotions, personal agendas (hidden or overt), and more. This workshop seeks to highlight how we can manage our responses and productively navigate the conversation as we strive for a positive outcome for everyone. With a team led approach and appropriate research references, we will re-enact three common volunteer exchanges and provide both a positive and negative outcome, based on the reaction of the Extension professional. Audience members will be involved to help dissect the conversations, identify where there could be compromises, improvements in behavior, and how sometimes, we just have to proceed through difficult conversations when addressing policy-related issues. 

Are You Ready for Millennials? The Newest Generation of Extension Volunteers 

Presenter:           

  • Darrell Stillwell, Principal Specialist for Camping Programs University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture 

Co-Presenters:      

  • Ken Culp, III, Principal Specialist for Volunteerism, Adjunct Associate Professor - University of Kentucky

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Born from 1/20/81 through 9/11/2001, Millennials have been intensely over-scheduled with dance and music lessons, church and school activities, year-round sports, and volunteer service requirements for high school graduation. They grew up with communication devices, satellite TV, home computers, Internet, Wal-Mart, a 24/7 accessible society, community involvement, and Barney. They’re passionate about issues: environment, animal welfare, health, and the needs of people (particularly children.) 

Millennials are the “greenest,” most environmentally conscious generation in history. They’re all about repurposing, restoring, and revitalizing. Millennials are, perhaps, the easiest generation to recruit for and engage in volunteer service...if you know how to do so. Prepare to work around their schedules and availability. They'll expect to work on issues that are important to them. They have low tolerance for mediocrity, incompetence, and those who don’t share their passion and level of commitment. They're the ultimate episodic volunteers; high expectation activists.

This workshop, presented by a Millennial and a Boomer (with considerable experience in motivating, engaging, and mentoring Millennials), will present effective strategies and best practices for marketing to, recruiting, engaging, supervising, and retaining Millennial volunteers in Extension programs.   

Centralizing the Volunteer Selection Process:Effective Screening of Volunteer Applicants

Presenter:              

  • Jennifer Weichel, Volunteer Specialist Michigan State University

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

MSU Extension helps people improve their lives by bringing the knowledge and resources to individuals, families, businesses and communities. This work is done in large part by volunteers, who reach new audiences and serve more people than could be done with staff alone, making them the backbone of many MSU Extension programs. Because of the critical role volunteers play in our organization, and MSU Extension’s commitment to providing programs and environments that are safe and appropriate, MSU Extension has developed a rigorous Volunteer Selection Process (VSP). This process enables MSU Extension to carefully select and match appropriate adults for volunteer opportunities, while also training and preparing volunteers for success in these roles. In 2017, this process was centralized to increase efficiency, consistency and accountability. The VSP Process includes national and state background checks, an application, references, an interview and orientation modules. VSP must be followed by all MSU Extension staff members who work with volunteers. In this session we will share our process, resources, the lessons learned, and allow time for discussion and questions.  We have screened over 2200 new volunteers since 2017 and integrated over 6000 current volunteers including 4-H, Master Gardener, Health and Nutrition, and Early Childhood. 

 

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SESSION 3: TUESDAY, MAY 14TH – 3:00 – 3:45 PM

The Contributions and Consequences of Volunteering in the 4-H Youth Development Program 

Presenter:           

  • Steven Worker, 4-H Youth Development Advisor University of California 

Co-Presenters:    

  • Dorina Espinoza, Youth, Families and Communities Advisor - University of California Car Mun Kok, 4-H Youth Development Advisor - University of California
  • Charles Go, 4-H Youth Development Advisor - University of California JoLynn Miller, 4-H Youth Development Advisor - University of California

Subject Matter/Program Area: Research Presentation

Volunteers are integral to the delivery of 4-H programs. In 2014, there were more than 369,000 adult volunteers reported

supporting 4-H programs across the U.S. Research on 4-H volunteers has generally focused on motivations, roles, and satisfaction; almost no research has investigated volunteer outcomes. We will share our research exploring consequences of volunteering on the 4-H program and on the volunteers themselves. We collected 1,245 responses from California 4-H volunteers and analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Volunteers described taking action to improve, expand, or maintain programs; providing support, mentorship, and teaching youth; and helping to realize youth knowledge, skill, or developmental outcomes. Through volunteering, participants reported developing skills themselves such as leadership, interpersonal, and pedagogy/teaching; well-being outcomes including improved confidence; developing a sense of gratification from working with youth; and developing and deepening connections with others. We will share our research findings; help participants share, process, and generalize them; and then engage workshop participants in small group discussions to apply these findings to their local contexts. Our intent is to help participants improve their abilities to recruit, train, and retain 4-H volunteers.

4-H  Volunteer Online Learning Preferences

Presenter:           

  • Kari Robideau, Youth Development Extension Educator, Distance Learning Technology University of Minnesota Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Research Presentation

Designing, developing and teaching online learning experiences for Extension volunteers has become an integral part of ourprogrammatic work over the last decade. We've discovered engagement strategies, new technologies and teaching techniques that achieve a high quality environment.

However, how and where volunteers access information has shifted significantly in the past 5-8 years. Pew Research Center found half of all Americans were active on social media platforms in 2011. Today, 69% use some type of social media, with Facebook and YouTube being the most widely used. The introduction of smart hand-held devices have also changed what adults use to learn and interact with others. 

What does this mean for us? We need to recognize that while these are social media platforms, it is where people ARE and where they find information about each other, share recipes, articles, and interests. Where does Extension need to have presence online to reach current and new audiences? 

To answer this, a survey and a follow-up focus group was cons ducted with MN 4-H adult volunteers. The data demonstrates that there are both strategies to hold on to and new directions to consider as we design and develop online learning for volunteers in the future.

ACRES - A Coaching Model for 4-H Staff and Volunteers working in STEM

Presenter:                                         

  • Jen Lobley, Extension Professor, 4-H and Volunteer Development UMaine Cooperative Extension

Co-Presenters:       

  • Kristy Ouellette, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development - UMaine Cooperative Extension Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM (ACRES) is a professional development opportunity designed for 4- H staff and volunteers as well as afterschool and summer learning providers who want to embrace STEM education more deeply. Developed by the Maine Math and Science Alliance (MMSA), the ACRES modules introduce staff to select Click2Science (C2S) skills and use STEM activities as a vehicle for learning and applying the skills. University of Maine 4-H faculty have partnered with MMSA to develop a fully virtual coaching model and have tested it with 4-H staff and volunteers. 

Session participants will be provided with an overview of this virtual professional development opportunity, engage in short, fun and easy-to-replicate activities to help them get youth thinking about the future of STEM and their own career path, and learn how they can have 4-H staff and volunteers participate in the project.

Flip or Flop - Florida's New Hybrid Master Gardener Training

Presenter:             

  • Dr.  William Lester, University of Florida/IFAS Extension

Co-Presenters:       

  • Dr. Whitney Elmore, Dr. - University of Florida/IFAS Extension Subject Matter/Program Area: Master Gardener

To recruit and more effectively train new Florida Master Gardener volunteers, a flipped classroom program for new trainees was created. Initial Master Gardener training in Florida normally consists of students spending an entire day in training each week, but offering much of the instruction on-line results in participation by a wider cross section of the community. This is the first occasion where UF/IFAS Extension in Florida has offered the on-line training and is being offered in only two counties. A total of 52 students have been taught since September 2017 with approximately 50% of those unable to participate in a traditional all-day course. Training with this format has resulted in trainees spending 70% more time in the plant clinic and other volunteer activities during the training than those in the traditional format.

Growth and Development of Volunteers through the Change Process

Presenter:           

  • Shane Potters, State 4-H Volunteer Development Specialist Kansas State University

Co-Presenters:      

  • Chris Mullins, Program Coordinator - Kansas State University Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

One of the few constants in extension work is change. In fact, we are often seen as change agents, championing new and innovative practices and techniques. As exciting and valuable as change can be, it can also cause stress and conflict especially for many of our long-term volunteers. As an extension professional, identifying the key stakeholders involved in the change process and then helping them to effectively cope with the increasing pace of change can greatly improve programming efforts. Through this workshop you will gain tactics to utilize the science of change management, identify roles of change stakeholders, and apply techniques to break the cycle of failed change management.

Youth Volunteers Leading Community Change

Presenter:           

  • JoAnne Leatherman, Prgram Director, Healthy Living National 4-H Council

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development 

Youth volunteers are coming into their own by being seen as equal partners with adults in addressing community problems. The concept of Youth in Governance surfaced around the year 2000, fueling much research into the power of youth-adult partnerships leading to the success of youth civic engagement. One of the premiere web sites is that of Dr. Shep Zeldin, an international researcher and practitioner through the University of Wisconsin, with both research and practitioner resources. Federal agencies such as the Interagency Working Group and FEMA have developed strategic plans and curricula for engaging youth in their work. In 2018, Well Connected Communities became an Extension wide initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Here, youth are envisioned as equal partners in Community Wellness Councils and as Master Health Volunteers. Hear from youth and adults as they tell about their work together in Well Connected Communities.  Learn about the resources that you can utilize to add youth volunteers to your own Extension programming, Assess your readiness to embark on this youth-adult adventure that can add power, innovation and creativity to your work. 

Creating Blended-Learning Opportunities for County-Based Volunteers

Presenter:                   

  • Keri Hobbs, Extension Specialist, The University of Georgia

Co-Presenters:    

  • Brandi McGonagill, County Extension Coordinator - Bleckley, Houston, and Laurens Counties - The University of Georgia
  • Natalie Bock, Program Specialist - The University of Georgia Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Asynchronous trainings allow volunteers to gain a unified message and receive similar training, without regard to location. These trainings are lighter on the budget, reduce instructor teaching time, and allow flexibility for completion by volunteers. However, Extension thrives on building relationships. As new volunteers are on-boarded into Extension programs, it’s important for them to network with other volunteers and build a working relationship with Extension faculty and staff. In addition, volunteers motivated by affiliation may prefer the interaction of community-based trainings, particularly as they begin their volunteer service.

A blended-learning approach joins the benefit of asynchronous trainings while maintaining a face-to-face component for certification. Georgia 4-H launched a series of online volunteer trainings to include a face-to-face class as the capstone for each training’s certification. Through staff guides, county-based staff can tailor the training experience for their unique communities while also keeping a centralized message and developing essential relationships. Understanding the need for unified training but the distinctive differences among local programs, two counties’ volunteers were surveyed to share their opinions on the training format.  This session will share the training design, format, and guides and the perspectives of urban versus rural volunteers as it relates to the trainings. 

 

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SESSION 4: TUESDAY, MAY 14TH – 4:00 – 4:45 PM

Assessing Volunteer Impact: A Regional Perspective on Individual, Organizational and Community Value

Presenter:           

  • Kandi O'Neil, Associate Program Director/Volunteer Specialist University WI Extension

Co-Presenters:            

  • Rachelle Vettern, Leadership & Volunteer Development Specialist - North Dakota State Univ.
  • Sarah Maass, District Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development - K- State Research & Extension Brenda Shafer, Program Leader - University of Minnesota

Subject Matter/Program Area: Research Presentation

In 2018, a study was conducted by 4-H Volunteer Specialists in the North Central Region as a part of a multi-state

effort to document the impact of volunteering in the twelve state region. A literature review indicated a study of this kind had not been published. The research was conducted through an electronic survey (Qualtrics) disseminated by University of Minnesota evaluation staff.

A random sample of 1000 volunteers from each state was selected to participate. The goals were to:

  • Document what individuals felt they gained from their experiences as a 4-H
  • Investigate the organizational benefits our program has received from
  • Assess volunteers’ beliefs about the public value of volunteering with the 4-H

Survey questions asked volunteers to provide feedback on the benefits they personally gained from volunteering (i.e., learning to lead youth programs, learning new facilitation skills); how they contributed to the organization (i.e., through activities with program planning, recruiting new members, and charitable donations); and to share their opinions about how 4-H contributed to public value (i.e., stronger communities, community connects, civic involvement). 

Participants in this session will receive a copy of the preliminary results, timeline, and survey instrument. 

Competencies Needed for Effective Leadership of Extension Master Gardener Volunteers

Presenter:           

  • Charlotte Glen, State Coordinator, NC Extension Master Gardener Program NC State University

Subject Matter/Program Area: Research Presentation 

Master Gardener volunteers greatly expand Extension’s capacity to reach diverse audiences and provide

communities with access to research based information and technology. Nationally, over 89,000 Extension Master Gardeners (EMGs) volunteer five million hours each year in service to their local Extension program, under the leadership of an Extension agent or local volunteer coordinator. Extension staff with volunteer administration responsibilities must be proficient in volunteer leadership and management competencies for Extension to realize fully the tremendous benefits and assets these volunteers bring to the organization, yet most agents come to Extension with a deficit in volunteer administration competencies. Building on the work of Boyd (2004) and Lockett, Cummings and Ripley (2010), this descriptive study identified competencies within the constructs of organizational leadership, systems leadership, organizational culture, personal skills, and management skills that are critical for effective leadership of EMG volunteers. In addition, the study explored the current competency levels of North Carolina Extension agents and utilized the Borich Needs Assessment Model to identify their volunteer administration-related training needs. This study has practical significance for assessing professional development needs at the individual and organizational level that will enhance program effectiveness and success.

A Model for Volunteers to help youth THRIVE 

Presenter:           

  • Stacey MacArthur, Extension Associate Professor Utah State University

Co-Presenters:    

  • Marily Lesmeister, State Volunteer Specialist - Oregon State University
  • Sarah Torbert, State Volunteer Specialist - University of Wyoming
  • Gemma Miner, State Volunteer Specialist – University of California

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

The THRIVE Model of 4-H (Mary Arnold, Oregon State) is being considered for national application. As a positiveyouth development model, volunteers need to understand and have tools to successfully apply the model in their work with youth. Youth in the 4-H program begin with an interest, often times in a 4-H project area. This interest is supported through high-quality 4-H programming of sufficient dosage. Surrounding the program are developmental relationships with 4-H volunteers and other 4-H members. Ongoing research on adolescent development has identified six key indicators of adolescent health and well-being. The following indicators describe thriving in youth as a trajectory, rather than a state at any given moment - Developmental Relationships, Express Care, Challenge Growth, Provide Support, Share Power, and Expand Possibilities.

THRIVE is important to 4-H and other youth development professionals to use and apply research-based practices. Workshop attendees will learn about the Model, receive tools for application, and share ideas for use with volunteer and youth development. 

Pennsylvania Club Guide for 4-H Volunteers

Presenter:                   

  • Dr. Michael J Martin, Area 4-H Educator Penn State Extension Franklin County

Co-Presenters:    

  • Martha Gregory, Extension Educator - 4-H Youth Development - Penn State Extension
  • Dwayne Haye, Extension Educator - 4-H Youth Deveopment - Penn State Extension
  • Philip E. Hoy, Risk and Volunteer Management Coordinator - Penn State Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

As new 4-H volunteers come to us with little or no experience as 4-H members during their youth, the Club Guide for 4-H Volunteers provides an organized tour through 4-H youth development and club management. The hope is for volunteers to provide a positive and meaningful experience for the numerous youth they will reach in their journey as 4-H volunteers. The guide is ordered into brief segments to introduce them to the 4-H organization and to the role of 4-H volunteer.

  • Part One: Welcome to 4-H, Understanding 4-H - Introduces the 4-H colors, pledge, emblem, motto, etc., Eight Essential Elements - Enunciates the foundation to all 4-H youth programming, Who Can Belong to 4- H? – Clarifies our membership policy of openness and inclusion
  • Part Two: Who Are the People in 4-H?, 4-H Volunteer Roles, Protecting Youth and Volunteers
  • Part Three: What IS a 4-H Club, Conducting a 4-H Meeting, The Role of 4-H Club Officers, Marketing tips, Recognizing 4-H’ers Accomplishments

Workshop participants will receive a copy of the guide and practical tips from experienced 4-H Educators to create an atmosphere for success.

Engaging Volunteers Using the Community Capital Framework

Presenter:           

  • JoLynn Miller, 4-H Youth Development Advisor University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Co-Presenters:            

  • Shannon Arnold, Associate Professor - Montana State University

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Recruitment of new volunteers is a continual task Extension professionals must perform. The Community Capital Framework is an assets-based approach to analyze communities and development opportunities from a systems perspective. This approach enables us to examine various elements, resources, and relationships within a community as seven types of capital: Natural, cultural, human, social, political, financial, and built. These capitals are useful planning tools to build partnerships and improve deficiencies. Utilizing local capital to build a volunteer program could greatly increase Extension’s reach and number of clientele served. Partnerships between universities, local businesses, and Extension offer a mutually beneficial experience to accomplish organizational goals and empower community members. This session will focus on assessing how the seven capitals in the Community Capital Framework can create meaningful ways to involve volunteers. Participants will brainstorm opportunities for collaboration and engage in a step-by-step process to develop these partnerships. This session is taught by an Agricultural Education Professor who has collaborated with local 4-H extension staff, and other community programs, along with a regional 4-H Advisor. 

Creating an Organizational Lens for Diversity and First Generation Work

Presenter:           

  • Anne Stevenson, Extension Educator and Extension Professor Univ of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development 

Co-Presenters:    

  • Rebecca Harrington, Extension Educator and Volunteer Systems Director - University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development
  • Sandi Weiland, 4-H Program Coordinator, Roseau County - University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Intentional efforts to reach new, diverse and underserved youth, families and volunteers requires our organizations to thoughtfully and intentionally consider our approaches and the lens through which we view and do our work.

What are the foundational principles of diversity and equity on which we can build or expand our work? We invite you to join our journey of identifying the research, best practices, and implementation strategies that are helping our Center for Youth Development move into more culturally responsive and authentic approaches, resources, and systems for our work to engage with new audiences. Specifically, we will take a look at:

  • The literature around diversity, inclusion and responsiveness as it relates to volunteer recruitment, engagement and support;
  • Five principles which are the foundation for our new “Diversity and First Generation Lens;
  • Guiding questions to assist staff in applying the Lens in their work locally;
  • Ways our state volunteer systems team is applying the lens to the ISOTURE model and our volunteer materials and

Participants will engage in discussion and utilize a reflection tool to think about ways to apply the diversity and first generation lens to their work.

Surviving and Thriving in Conflict

Presenter:           

  • Stacey Ellison, 4-H Regional Specialized Agent UF/IFAS Florida 4-H

Co-Presenters:                                         

  • Brent Broaddus, 4-H Regional Specialized Agent - UF/IFAS Florida 4-H
  • Sophia Cooney, State 4-H Volunteer Coordinator - UF/IFAS Florida 4-H Heather
  • Kent, 4-H Regional Specialized Agent - UF/IFAS Florida 4-H
  • Vanessa Spero, 4-H Regional Specialized Agent - UF/IFAS Florida 4-H
  • Shane Michael, 4-H Regional Specialized Agent – UF/IFAS Florida 4-H

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Conflict is unavoidable, but it doesn't have to be destructive. This session will introduce attendees to five district conflict resolution styles - competing, collaborating, compromising, avoiding, and accomodating (Bell, 2002; Robin, 2002; Wertheim, 2002). Participants will identify their own dominant style using the Conflict Style Assessment

and will further discuss difficult situations with volunteers in which each style may be beneficial and appropriate in terms of reaching a desired outcomes. Participants will further gain hands on-experience in practicing specific strategies of conflict resolution - engage, do not engage, and negotiate (Gatlin, Wysocki, Kepner, Farnsworth, and Clark, 2002. Additionally, participants will be provided with vetted resources related to conflict resolution appropriate for use with Extension volunteers. 

 

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SESSION 5: WEDNESDAY, MAY 15TH – 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Strategies for working with LGBTQ+ Families, Youth, and Volunteers

Presenter:                   

  • Joseph Rand, Extension Educator University of Minnesota, Center for Youth Development

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

Participants will engage in several hands on activities related to sexuality, gender and working with LGBTQ+ families, youth, and adults that can be reproduced in a variety of settings. Staff will also feel better equipped to work with a topic that is often overlooked in our programs. The group will also engage in conversation and planning strategies aimed at defining how we can be more inclusive with the diverse audiences we already serve, specifically with regard to the LGBTQ+ community. We will examine the results of the most recent study conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education network. The study found that students who identify as LGBTQ+ in rural communities are increasingly at risk for bullying and other negative experiences in and out of school, and don’t have access to safe spaces.  How can 4-H be a safe space for them to experience education?  Are we currently a safe space for LGBTQ+ students? Families? How do we begin to address this issue with our volunteers to ensure that the LGBTQ+ students already involved in our programs feel safe? What are some positive strategies moving forward with a topic that is controversial and difficult to talk about?

Empowering the Next Generation of Volunteers to Impact Health: Healthy Texas Youth Ambassador Program

Presenter:           

  • Julie Gardner, Extension Specialist for Healthy Lifestyles Texas A&M AgriLife

Co-Presenters:    

  • Meredith Carter, Extension Program Specialist - Texas A&M AgriLife Extension/Texas 4-H Youth Development

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

Reaching audiences with effective education methodologies is critical to changing behaviors related to health.

Extension educators have demonstrated educational effectiveness throughout the US; however, they often lack the necessary time and resources. Extension educators have long depended on trained adult volunteers for assistance; however, could trained youth volunteers have the same impact? With increasing concerns of increased health risks among all dimensions of health, Extension educators must seek ways to change not only health knowledge but behaviors. A great starting point is to improve the health of young people. What better way to start than to use a peer education concept to address health concerns of young people which may in turn reduce health risks and costs for future generations?

Youth peer education programs have proven to be an effective and efficient way to change behaviors so why not use this methodology to impact various dimensions of health? Discover how the Healthy Texas Youth Ambassador program is building healthier communities throughout the state via young people delivering programs and messages targeted at changing health behaviors. Participants will discover best practices related to training youth volunteers and program delivery techniques through interactive learning during this session.

Puzzle of Collaboration: Best Practices for Building Community Partnerships

Presenter:           

  • Laurie Murrah-Hanson, County Extension Agent University of Georgia

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Community partnerships can be an effective way to connect with, recruit, and retain new groups of volunteers. They are often vital for Extension programs to provide necessary services to target audiences. However, collaboration is often messy, complicated, and difficult. This session will provide participants an understanding of the complex nature of community partnerships including collaborations with nonprofits, businesses, government, and higher education. Participants will engage in discussions on when and why to partner and internal readiness to partner.

Additionally the workshop will cover best practices for developing and maintaining partnerships including establishing common goals and objectives, laying the groundwork, and navigating relationships with partner organizations. Also included will be helpful tools and methods to organize collaborative work and processes, and discussions of various online tools and resources to support your work upon returning home to your community. This workshop will cover both the behavioral theoretical underpinnings of collaboration as well as the real-world hands-on techniques necessary to make partnerships a reality.

Stop the Meeting Madness! Strategies to conduct fewer and better virtual meetings

Presenter:           

  • Kari Robideau, Youth Development Extension Educator,Distance learning technology University of Minnesota Extension

Co-Presenters:            

  • Karen Matthes, Director of Training, Extension Technology - University of Minnesota Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

It's become increasingly common to hold virtual meetings with colleagues and volunteers with online platforms. While technology has increased how easy and less expensive it is to meet, meetings that are too long or occur too frequently can decrease intentional planning and participant engagement. Volunteers join our organization to share their talents, not to sit in meetings!

This workshop will introduce a planning process that increases efficiency while decreasing the hours spent in meetings. Participants will use their own meeting example to walk through the process and use technology tools to facilitate the work in-between meetings as an alternative to same-time discussion.

Recommended: bring your own computer.

Conflict and You: Deal with It!

Presenter:

  • Jamie Morris, Extension Specialist University of Maryland Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Conflict is common when people interact and are passionate about a program, so it is not a surprise the Extension has its fair share of conflict. A natural tendency for dealing with conflict is to avoid it, perhaps hoping it will go away. More often than not, avoiding conflict will lead to either more or worse conflict, or both! Wouldn't it be great to learn ways to deal with it? 

Join this session and you will do just that! Learn ways to deal with conflict early on and in a positive fashion in order to better your programs and connections with the people you work with and who work for you (volunteers!).

Preparing Volunteers to Manage Risk

Presenter:           

  • Becky Harrington, Extension Educator and Volunteer Systems Director University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Extension programs are committed to providing safe and healthy environments for youth and adults participating in programs and activities. Relying on volunteers to deliver programs, Minnesota 4-H determined that volunteers needed to play an important role in our commitment to safety. Risk management tools and training were developed and implemented across the state to ready volunteers to plan for risk as they worked with young people. Key to volunteer readiness was preparing staff to train and support volunteers as they created and carried risk management plans. In this workshop, participants will explore the process to ready staff to prepare volunteers to manage risk.

You’ll check out tools, resources, and communication messages for volunteers and dig into ways to develop and conduct ongoing training for volunteers to help them plan for risk. Participants will review a scenario to apply tools and concepts. Minnesota 4-H materials and practices will be used to help participants apply tools, resources and training in their own volunteer programs, but the concepts apply across program areas.

Putting the SERVICE back into Cooperative Extension: Improving the Extension Customer Service Experience

Presenter:           

  • Rachel E Lyons, State 4-H Program Leader and Department Chair Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Co-Presenters:            

  • Kelly Dziak, County Program Associate - Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

In today's fast-paced world, it seems like we rely on the convenience of bite-sized products and quick-fix solutions. The effects of this societal change can be felt within the Cooperative Extension system where quality customer service has taken a backseat. But it doesn't have to stay this way. There are many simple techniques to improve the customer experience within Cooperative Extension without becoming a burden. Through a series of fun, simple, and interactive training exercises, the customer service skill gaps of both field staff and volunteers can be addressed. Let's put the service back into Cooperative Extension!

This interactive workshop will examine the internal and external Cooperative Extension customer experience which is a key component of volunteer recruitment and retention. Through a series of activities and group discussions, participants will explore the wide range of skills (including soft, technical, and crisis management skills) necessary to create a high quality customer experience. Using an Extension-specific instrument, participants will evaluate the current service culture of their own program. The presenters will share the training methods they developed that address customer service skill gaps. Attendees will try their hand at a few of the training exercise and develop an action plan.

 

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SESSION 6: WEDNESDAY, MAY 15TH – 1:00 – 2:30 PM

Succession Planning: Preparing for Leaders to Leave

Presenter:           

  • Stacy Buchholz, 4-H?Youth Development Educator University of Wyoming

Co-Presenters:            

  • Sarah Torbert, State Volunteer Specialist - University of Wyoming

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

Do you find yourself scrambling to figure out how to plan an event or understand the bookkeeping when an important volunteer leaves your organization? Volunteers are key to providing excellent programming, yet how do you plan for the departure of these valued volunteers? This workshop will outline how to use year-end reports and other processes to help with succession planning when volunteers decide to leave an organization.

4-H Volunteer Orientation: An e-learning model for on-boarding new volunteers

Presenter:                   

  • Gemma Miner, Academic Coordinator University of California

Co-Presenters:                                         

  • Stacey MacArthur, State Volunteer Specialist - Utah State University
  • Marilyn Lesmeister, Associate Professor - Oregon State University
  • Sarah Torbert, Volunteer Specialist - University of Wyoming
  • Meghan Phillippi, Volunteer Specialist - Montana State University
  • Carrie Stark, State Program Leader - University of Nevada

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

Orientation, as described in the Volunteerism for the Next Generation, is most often the first volunteer education experience for 4-H volunteers. It is also one of the most common trainings offered by each state 4-H program.

Capitalizing on the skills and talents of the volunteer specialists in the 4-H Western Region, the content was developed by a team appointed by the Western Region Program Leaders to develop an e-learning course for use by all 4-H programs nationally. The course is divided into four modules that cover the topics of Volunteer Roles and Relationships, Positive Youth Development, Safe and Inclusive Environments and Learning. The courses are available in English and Spanish. The team also worked with a professional designer who translated content to an online platform. Lessons learned include navigating different organizational needs, working with professional course developers, and learning management system hosting.

Building Champions of Change

Presenter:           

  • Carrie Ann Olson, Extension Educator, Associate Extension Professor University of Minnesota Extension - Center for Youth Development

Co-Presenters:            

  • Katie Klosterbuer, Nobles County 4-H Program Coordinator - University of Minnesota Extension - Center for Youth Development
  • Leigh Nelson-Edwards, Becker County 4-H Program Coordinator - University of Minnesota Extension - Center for Youth Development
  • Becky Harrington, Extension Educator and Volunteer Systems Director - University of Minnesota Extension - Center for Youth Development

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers:

Attracting, engaging and retaining diverse youth and volunteer participation in 4-H has long been a challenge demanding the attention of extension youth development professionals.The Volunteer Systems team committed to develop and ensure the delivery of training to expand 4-H volunteer, Federation/Leaders’ Councils, and program delivery partners’ understanding and champion efforts for needed organizational attention to attract, engage, support and retain First Generation 4-H youth and families. Following Kotter’s Change Model of establishing a sense of urgency, a progression of educational resources and just in time tools have been used to guide the conversation with 4-H volunteers and stakeholders to understand the need for change. In leading change, Kotter suggests “an emotional approach is more effective than a dominant intellectual approach”. Providing staff a blending of approaches is starting to build an army of volunteer champions that understand the need and are taking action. This session will use large and small group discussion and hands-on activities to share our charge, approach and resources for participants to consider in building their own action plan of change.

Do Less Busywork: Build a Volunteer Team Focused on Mission

Presenter:           

  • Shannon Brooks, County Extension Director NC State University

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Successful organizations stay focused on their mission and meet goals. They also are better at involving volunteers in meaningful, mission-focused roles. Once volunteers are won over with our cause, keeping volunteers focused on the Extension mission should be the primary concern. However, the passion and motivation that attracts volunteers may not necessarily align them with the overall mission of Extension programming. Mission-focused volunteer management ensures the mission does not get lost along the way in good ideas, rogue projects, time-consuming traditions, and distracting activities that create busywork rather than producing meaningful results. During this workshop, a case study will be presented showing the revitalization of the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer program in Dare County North Carolina. Then, participants will apply a step-by-step structured framework to classify and creatively analyze their own real-world volunteer programs and identifying volunteer projects that are mission-minded. Using the results of the assessment, participants will be able to confidently engage volunteers in creating mission-minded new projects, allowing some projects to die a natural death, and revitalizing valuable projects that have the right focus

Developing Teens as the Next Generation of Volunteers

Presenter:           

  • Kristy Ouellette, Associate Extension Professor, 4-H Youth Development University of Maine

Co-Presenters:    

  • Sarah Sparks, 4-H Science Youth Development Professional - University of Maine
  • Mitch Mason, Associate Professor 4-H Youth Development - University of Maine
  • Vanessa Klein, Assistant Extension Professor 4-H STEM Specialist - University of Maine

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Recruiting a new volunteer base who actually embodies the essence of a community is a challenge for most of Extension. Who are the future volunteers? They may already be engaging in your program!  Using the Teenagers as Teachers: Twelve Essential Elements publication (Lee, Murdock, & Patterson, 2002) and the 4-H PRKC Volunteer Competencies (USDA NIFA, 2017) as a framework, this workshop will focus on strategies to recruit, hire, train, manage, supervise, recognize, and evaluate teens as teachers. Teenagers are a key audience for Extension; it isn’t often we see them as the next generation of Extension volunteers. UMaine 4-H has been utilizing teens as teachers for five years to teach problem-based STEM education during summer months. This workshop crosswalks the PRKC in identifying competencies utilized with teen teaching programs.

Tune into Designing Entertaining Educational Experiences

Presenter:                   

  • Janet Fox, Department Head LSU AgCenter

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Are you looking for new, innovative ways to engaging your volunteers in learning? Are you interested in providing high quality, dynamic training for your volunteers? If you answered yes to either of this questions, this workshop tunes into today’s entertainment trends to enhance training. Learn how today’s entertainment industry provides the perfect scenarios for learning. From “Cash Cab” to “The Amazing Race” to “The Escape Room” to “Survivor” to “Cooking Challenges” to “The Dating Game,” these scenario-based, problem-solving based experiences provides a dynamic training framework for onboarding and training volunteers. Over the past several years, all of these frameworks have been utilized during through volunteer training and staff onboarding with overwhelmingly positive results and affirmative feedback. Through a pilot testing process, these entertainment scenario-based learning have been used to teach skills, learn subject matter content, apply knowledge, build a team, and test problem solving skills. During this workshop, participants will get an overview of scenario-based learning while delving into a hands-on scenario challenges. Participants will get resource material that can be used immediately for training or adapted to a new training scenario. Come see if you’re up for the challenge to transform your volunteer training program into a winning scenario.

Florida 4-H Volunteer Outcomes Evaluation

Presenter:           

  • Sarah Hensley, 4-H Youth Development Curricula & Evaluation SSA III UF IFAS Extension

 Co-Presenters:    

  • Heather Kent, 4-H Youth Development NW RSA IV; Interim State 4-H Program Leader – IF IFAS Extension
  • Brent Broaddus, 4-H Youth Development SW RSA III – UF IFAS Extension
  • Stacey Ellison, 4-H Youth Development NE RSA II – UF IFAS Extension
  • Vanessa Spero, 4-H Youth Development SE RSA II – UF IFAS Extension
  • Shane Michael, 4-H Youth Development C RSA II – UF IFAS Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Research Presentation, 4-H Youth Development

High quality positive youth development (PYD) programs for youth containing best practices such as those reflected by the 4-H Essential Elements (Kress, 2004) promote the attainment of positive youth outcomes. Hager & Brudney (2005) state that “few volunteer programs actively evaluate their progress” and they typically address economic or program assessments. Henceforth, Florida 4-H has recognized a need to systematically evaluate the implementation of PYD best practices in direct youth programming.

Volunteers in 4-H provide a high frequency of direct instruction to youth participants highlighting the importance of quality training for these volunteers. Florida 4-H faculty conducted a quasi-experimental study of all enrolled 4-H volunteers in 2017 resulting in 340 respondents.  Multiple reminders were sent via the 4-HOnline enrollment system. The findings of this evaluation is of practical benefit to Extension practitioners in the field of PYD. Extension Agents should provide training in PYD and not simply hold informational meetings. Extension agents should consider the following: is once a year enough, how else should you offer training besides face-to-face.

Findings show volunteers are implementing PYD practices in Belonging and Independence but can do better with Mastery and Generosity. Finally, trainings should take into consideration what other PYD aspects beyond Essential Elements we should train volunteers.

 

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SESSION 7: WEDNESDAY, MAY 15TH, 3:00 – 3:45 PM

Volunteer Professional Development and Skills: What do 4-H Volunteers Want?

Presenter:           

  • Car Mun Kok, 4-H Youth Development Advisor University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

Co-Presenters:    

  • Steven Worker, 4-H Youth Development Advisor - University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources
  • Dorina Espinoza, 4-H Youth Development Advisor - University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources
  • Charles Go, 4-H Youth Development Advisor - University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources
  • JoLynn Miller, 4-H Youth Development Advisor - University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources

Subject Matter/Program Area: Research Presentation

Volunteers are an essential component of Cooperative Extension programs, especially for 4-H Youth Development

programs. In many states, especially in the North Central and Western regions, the 4-H program relies heavily on volunteers to deliver programming. In order to expand the reach of the 4-H program, it is important for Extension professionals to be well prepared in working with volunteers and for volunteers to be equipped with the skills and professional development opportunities to meet the needs of the program and clientele. Therefore, our study examined the skill areas and competencies that are important to 4-H volunteers and the professional development opportunities through which they want to build those skills. We analyzed 1,245 responses from California 4-H volunteers using inductive thematic analysis. The main areas that volunteers wanted training in are curricula and project-specific subject matter, 4-H policies and procedures, and child development. Other areas included educational practices, organizational skills, and communication skills. Volunteers liked peer-to-peer learning (mentoring, coaching, networking). Other training delivery modes included online, in-person, conferences, and continuous education. In this session, we will share our findings and engage participants in discussions so that participants would be able to utilize this information in their 4-H volunteer development efforts. 

Managing Financial Risk with Your Volunteer Led Clubs and Affiliates

Presenter:                   

  • Jeff Dick, Field Specialist The Ohio State University

Co-Presenters:    

  • Jason Hedrick, Educator and Area Leader - The Ohio State University
  • Mark Light, Educator and Area Leader - The Ohio State University

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

There has never been a more important time than NOW to insure the safe management of our non profit funds! This power packed workshop promises to provide participants with valuable training and tools to reduce risk associated with managing finances within our volunteer led clubs, affiliates, committees and groups. The presenters have 60 combined years of experience in the field and have specialized in and worked with financial management and crisis across Ohio in all Extension program areas. These experiences will allow the presenters to address a large variety of financial risk, create awareness and provide best practices. Participants will also be provided the resources and tools to train volunteers to reduce it and Extension professionals to manage it if misuse occurs. 

Watershed Stewards Academy - A volunteer train the trainer program

Presenter:           

  • Amanda Rockler, Watershed Restoration Specialist University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension

Co-Presenters:    

  • Jennifer Dindinger, Watershed Restoration Specialist - University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Research Presentation

The Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA) is a train-the-trainer program developed to build an army of citizen

stewards capable of identifying stormwater pollution sources and solutions. Once trained, Stewards work with their communities to assess watersheds, educate other community members, reduce pollutants, and take action. To date, this program has trained over 350 volunteer Stewards who have installed hundreds of small-scale stormwater projects, interacted with more than 25,000 people, and leveraged more than $500,000 in funding.

This session will explore the social science aspects of moving a volunteer group of people from learning to action to sustained behavior change. It will highlight pre and post assessments of the Stewards and it will also incorporate the outcomes of a four year, EPA-funded study that developed an innovative diagnostic decision support tool (DDST). The DDST enables Stewards to prioritize stormwater projects in their communities based on a confluence of social and natural parameters. By analyzing not only hydrological influences (% impervious cover, land uses, slope, topography, etc.) on the landscape, but also social factors, such as awareness, knowledge, and willingness to adopt and implement small scale best management practices, Stewards are better able to target communities for voluntary Chesapeake Bay restoration projects.

Digital Literacy: A Personal Readiness Outcome of Extension Volunteer Training Programs

Presenter:           

  • Nicole Pinson, Extension Agent II, Urban Horticulture & Master Gardener Program UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County

Subject Matter/Program Area: Research Presentation

The Extension tradition works with volunteers across program areas, such as 4-H, Master Gardeners, Master Money Mentors and others. These trained volunteers help Extension with essential programs in the community. Volunteers receive training on core curriculum or skills, in exchange for sharing what they know with the community and with youth. Increasingly, Extension faculty and staff teach volunteers how to use computers and web-based resources in their Extension work. A secondary outcome of volunteer training is digital literacy. Digital literacy is defined as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills" (American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy, p. 2). The purpose of this presentation is to provide Extension faculty and volunteer coordinators with examples of how to quantify volunteers’ digital literacy using research-based resources available from journals, reports and studies. Participants will learn how to utilize this research to explain and report digital literacy outcomes. This information can benefit Extension volunteer programs by providing faculty and volunteer coordinators tools to teach and engage citizen volunteers who demonstrate digital literacy in their volunteer work and their community.

Mary Poppins Takes on Advisory Committees!

Presenter:           

  • Amanda Raines, 4-H Youth Development Educator The Ohio State University

Co-Presenter:             

  • Katie Feldhues, 4-H Youth Development Educator - The Ohio State University 

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

“In Every Job that must be Done There is an Element of Fun,” but so often advisory committees are viewed quite the opposite. This session will explore how to develop a 4-H Advisory Committee that is “Practically Perfect in Every Way.” Mary Poppins’ quotes and video snippets will be used to breakdown key components of highly functional advisory committees. Tried and true tips and tricks will be shared on how to develop a committed, informed, involved, and capable board. Session will include a group discussion around key challenges and identification of potential solutions. First, participants will explore roles and limitations of an advisory committee's power. Next, workshop participants will explore membership guidelines and expectations and discuss how much this can determine a committee's success. Together, we will unpack important components that drive an efficient productive meeting. And finally, we will work to identify good and bad committee expectations. Advisory committees are used very differently across the nation and dynamics can make them a blessing or a curse! This session will share examples of an active advisory committee in a specific large traditional 4-H program context but will empower others to apply lessons to other settings.

Engaging Millennials and Xers in Your Extension Programming

Presenter:                                                

  • Emily Goff, 4-H Youth Development Agent North Dakota State University Extension

Co-Presenters:    

  • Rachelle Vettern, NDSU Extension Leadership & Volunteer Development Specialist - North Dakota State University Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Understanding generational characteristics can help Extension professionals engage new community members. Generation X are part of the population born between 1965 and 1980 while Millennials were born 1981-2000. Defining moments in each generation help shape how they make decisions -particularly to how they spend their time. When recruiting Gen Xers you must meet them where they are at; the gym, pediatrician offices, school events, etc. They are busy, just like Millennials. You can recruit Millennials by highlighting the Why-How-What process. This generation is looking to achieve great things in a short amount of time. Once you have recruited these generations, you must keep them engaged in your program by making it fun and hands on.

Join a Millennial and a Gen Xer to learn more about these generations and how to use this knowledge to strengthen your educational efforts when working, learning, and volunteering together. Attendees will participate in activities to design programming and recruitment messaging for these volunteers. We look forward to great group conversation and idea sharing.

Three Phase Approach on Volunteer Interactions through Community Gardens

Presenter:                   

  • Eric Schavey, Regional Extension Agent Auburn University/ ACES

Co-Presenters:    

  • David Koon, Regional Extension Agent - Auburn University/ACES
  • Dani Carroll, Regional Extension Agent - Auburn University/ACES
  • Mallory Kelly, Regional Extension Agent - Auburn University/ACES

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

olunteers are essential to having a community garden. They are the target audience and also the force that creates

and manages the garden for long term success. They can also assist in building a sense of community pride and unity through their involvement. How those volunteers are organized and function can lead the results of the community garden to success or failure. In some community gardens there is a long standing structure that leads the volunteers through functions that create success. An example of a long standing Community garden that has a structure but more open policy of incorporating volunteers is Opelika grows in Opelika Al. Opelika Grows incorporates long term volunteers who also work with community members who flow in and out of the garden as well as youth from the surrounding schools. In contrast the Twelve Stones Community Garden located in Eufaula Al has just a few long term volunteers who take care of ensuring the garden is planted and in place but relies heavily on community members to flow through and do chores as they have time or when they harvest the produce. All three approaches have benefits and drawbacks. 

 

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SESSION 8: WEDNESDAY, MAY 15TH – 4:00 – 4:45 PM

 

Creating New or Evaluating Existing Volunteer Competencies to Guide Recruitment, Education, and Evaluation

Presenter:                   

  • Dustin Homan, Program Manager OSU Extension - 4-H Youth Development

Co-Presenters:    

  • Kirk Bloir, Interim Assistant Director - OSU Extension - 4-H Youth Development
  • Hannah Epley, Extension Specialist - OSU Extension - 4-H Youth Development

Subject Matter/Program Area: Research Presentation

Recruiting, educating, and evaluating volunteers should be guided by a framework of essential knowledge, skills, and abilities volunteers need that align with delivering the organization’s mission. These characteristics are commonly referred to as competencies. But how does an organization go about generating a list of competencies if nothing has been codified? If an organization already has competencies, are they still relevant and how are they used? Who needs to be consulted when creating new or evaluating current competencies?

Results from two Extension studies will be presented in this session to help answer the aforementioned questions. The first, an exploratory study, used a mixed method design to create volunteer competencies for an organization that did not have any. The second, a descriptive, cross-sectional study, evaluated existing competencies created 10 years prior to recommend revisions and inform training agendas. Presenters will also discuss who they invited to participate in the studies and why. The session will conclude with time for participants to brainstorm and discuss how their organization can either create new or evaluate current competencies. 

Examining Trends for Engaging Young Volunteers

Presenter:                   

  • Jenna Daniel, Extension Specialist The University of Georgia

Co-Presenters:            

  • Keri G. Hobbs, Extension Specialist - The University of Georgia

Subject Matter/Program Area: Research Presentation

Unique characteristics surround the current “young” demographic of community-based volunteers. Studies share that Millennials are a charitable generation and may serve organizations in multiple ways. This session will explore the ways engaging "young" volunteers in Extension programs provide the distinct opportunity to increase program impact through stewarding these individuals in multiple roles as volunteers, donors, and advocates. This research presentation will share results from a statewide research project that sought to examine preferences, roles, and experiences of "young" volunteers. These results encourage state and community Extension programs to create a tailored approach for engaging, stewarding, and utilizing these volunteers and supporters. Building upon the experience and research of 4-H programs in Georgia, the presenters will highlight and make meaningful connections between and among all state and community Extension programs that seek to increase their capacity and reach.

Through this presentation, participants will recognize the unique characteristics of young volunteer and supporter populations, identify roles young alumni can contribute to Extension programs, examine the ways in which a community-centered approach to engaging young volunteers and supporters creates a mutually beneficial relationship for the community and Extension, and differentiate the approach, roles, and format most effective to engage young volunteers and supporters.

Taking the First Step to Incorporating Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion in your Master Gardener Volunteer Program

Presenter:           

  • Eva Pabon, Residential Horticulture and Master Gardener Coordinator - University of Florida IFAS Extension

Co-Presenters:    

  • Deirdre Hope, Wayne County Coordinator – Michigan State University Extension Master Gardener Program
  • Michelle Sager, Education Program Coordinator - Oregon State University, Wasco County
  • Susan DeBlieck, Iowa Master Gardener Program Coordinator - Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Subject Matter/Program Area: Master Gardener

Do Master Gardener volunteers represent the diverse community we serve? Although a National Gardening survey has reported an increased interest in gardening from millennials, men, and children, many Master Gardener programs have built a volunteer base primarily made up of retired white women. Diversity, equality, and inclusion are often overlooked and misunderstood, especially when recruiting for a volunteer program, such as Master Gardeners. A national collaboration has started a conversation creating awareness on how to attract and retain Master Gardener volunteers of diverse backgrounds. This workshop, facilitated by Master Gardener coordinators from Florida, Michigan, Oregon, and Iowa, will provide time for reflection on Master Gardener Volunteer programs, and help with identifying individuals who can aid with increasing engagement with the community. Working with community stakeholders to identify areas where we can recruit volunteers from diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences can be highly beneficial in a Master Gardener volunteer program. This workshop will promote diversity, equality, and inclusion awareness for volunteer coordinators to be more intentional during volunteer recruitment. 

Training and Engaging Master Health and Wellness Volunteers: An Introduction

Presenter:           

  • Lisa Washburn, Community Health Associate Professor University of Tennessee Extension

Co-Presenters:    

  • Andy B. Crocker, Extension Program Specialist - Gerontology & Health - Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
  • JoAnne Leatherman, Program Director, Foundations & Healthy Living - National 4-H Council

Subject Matter/Program Area: Master Health & Wellness

Extension has entered an era of unprecedented opportunity to affect family and community health. A renewed focus on community-based approaches in Extension family and consumer sciences, national emphasis on the need for health outreach beyond the medical model, and the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy–endorsed Cooperative Extension National Framework for Health and Wellness show recognition that a new programmatic focus on health is needed within all of Extension. Engagement of community members and volunteers, a historical strength of Extension, must be employed in health outreach efforts if we are to have impact similar in scale to what Extension has done for U.S. agriculture in the last hundred years. Youth played a significant role in the agriculture revolution; the same is true for health. Prior to the Well Connected Communities Initiative, only a few states had health-focused master volunteer programs. This session will highlight volunteer training and engagement approaches in two states, Texas and Arkansas, and how these approaches were integrated into the Well Connected Communities Initiative. An overview of training content and delivery options (direct education, web-based, or a hybrid approach) will be provided. An interactive format will allow participants to test their knowledge of health volunteer engagement.

Volunteer Recognition and Retention: Application of the Volunteer Stages and Transitions Model.

Presenter:                   

  • Gemma Miner, State Volunteer Specialist University of California 4-H YDP

Co-Presenters:    

  • Missy Gable, Master Gardener/Master Food Preserver Director - University of California Master Gardener/Master Food Preserver Programs

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Sustaining volunteer efforts as presented in Volunteerism for the Next Generation includes activities to coach,

recognize and evaluate volunteers. Many Extension professionals understand the importance of these activities, however, they are often one-size-fits-all: everyone gets a plant, a certificate and a pin. While this is good intentioned, it may not be the right motivation at the right time for volunteers at different stages of engagement with the organization.

Based on the research of Haski-Leventhal & Bargal (2008) this session explores five phases of volunteering as a nominee/applicant, new volunteer, emotionally involved, established, or retiring. Existing within each phase are transition points that motivate the volunteer to advance to the next phase. The transition points are intentional events or activities that help move individuals along the engagement continuum culminating in retiring and exiting the organization with grace. According to this research, volunteers at different phases have different emotions, attitudes, perceptions, motivations and relationships. Volunteer managers who consider this model when designing volunteer engagement activities may find greater success motivating, coaching and recognizing volunteers at each stage and in ways that are more meaningful to that volunteer. 

Building Volunteer Capacities in Time Management, Social/Emotional Intelligence and Decision Making - in an hour!

Presenter:                   

  • Jackie Krieger, 4-H Educator Ohio State University

Co-Presenters:            

  • Travis West, 4-H Educator - Ohio State

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

New and seasoned volunteers often struggle with simple basics of club leadership. The result is often frustration and failure.  Strong volunteers (and volunteer leaders) practice excellent time management skills, understand and exercise best practices in social/emotional intelligence and make decisions in a thoughtful, systematic process. This session is designed to assist Extension professionals in leading their volunteers to new heights of effectiveness, which may result in a more rewarding volunteer experience.

Building Volunteers By Building Trust

Presenter:                   

  • Renee Kostick, Extension Educator University of Minnesota Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Trust is the key with volunteers. Whether you’re working with a new committee or re-energizing a stagnant group, this session is designed to help participants learn the importance of building trust in committees as a way of engaging and motivating volunteers. Presenters will introduce areas to build trust that motivate volunteers. This workshop will help participants understand the value of trust in committees as well as identify key factors that will help build trust as a facilitator. This workshop will also touch on barriers of trust within committees.

Tools will be introduced that help participants learn ways to build trust in committees. These tools include, utilizing scenarios to identify key areas where a lack of trust exists and developing ways to build and rebuild trust.

Participants will utilize tools to help them analyze their own committees. Participants will be highly engaged in working through their own specific committee situation to help them identify ways to break down barriers to trust. A form will be shared to allow participants to plan for strengthening trust in a committee they currently work with. Methods of support for staff will be shared that strengthen their level of trust when working with volunteers.

 

SESSION 9: THURSDAY, MAY 16TH – 8:30 – 10:00 AM

Starting off GREEN! Sustainability of First-Generation Volunteers

Presenter:                   

  • Kelly Coble, 4-H Educator The Ohio State University

Co-Presenters:            

  • Cassaundra Dietrich, 4-H Educator - The Ohio State University

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

While an emphasis has been placed on enrolling and retaining first-generation 4-H’ers, there has been a limited focus on first-generation 4-H adult volunteers. First-generation 4-H adult volunteers, while sometimes viewed as needy,can actually bring huge benefits to a local 4-H program. As any professional who works with volunteers knows, poor initial experiences typically result in fleeing volunteers. For volunteers new to 4-H, the ins and outs of the program can be frightening. Ensuring their transition into 4-H volunteerism is smooth and enjoyable is critical to not only retention rates, but also the sustainability and reputation of a program.

This workshop will provide an overview of our GREEN (Gathering and Retaining Engaged and Empowered Newcomers) volunteer training. The GREEN volunteer training program was developed by two educators, one in a small, traditional, rural program and one in a large, urban, non-traditional program, to help new volunteers learn the “ins and outs” of 4-H and what makes a county program successful. Learn about volunteer selection, resources and strategies that adequately engage the foundation of 4-H programming: adult volunteers.

You're Welcome! Supporting New Volunteers and Families with Middle Management Volunteers

Presenter:           

  • Becky Harrington, Extension Educator and Volunteer Systems Director University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development

Co-Presenters:    

  • Renee Kostick, Extension Educator - University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development
  • Ann Marie Ward, 4-H Program Coordinator - University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development
  • Mari Jo Lohmeier, 4-H Program Coordinator - University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development
  • Mitzi Marlin, 4-H Program Coordinator - University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development

Subject Matter/Program Area: 4-H Youth Development

Minnesota 4-H is committed to attracting, engaging and retaining diverse and first generation families and volunteers. One strategy is through the establishment of a club and county middle-management 4-H volunteer system to guide and support new 4-H members, families, and volunteers through the first year or program cycle. This session will focus on middle management roles and tools to welcome and support new 4-H families and volunteers.

Presenters will briefly share their development process that included reviewing practices of other Extension and youth-serving agencies across the country and understanding local data. They will also share how the middle management system was implemented, tested, and evaluated. Session participants will receive access to and explore how to use tools, including middle management roles descriptions, volunteer and family conversation guides, and volunteer interest survey. The session will conclude with guided individual time to apply concepts and tools to their own work.

Equipping Volunteers for Program Success

Presenter:                   

  • Jaime Menon, Program Co-coordinator K-State Research and Extension

Co-Presenters:            

  • Jan Steen, Program Co-coordinator - K-State Research and Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Communities now, more than ever, struggle to remain vital. The Kansas PRIDE Program, a partnership between K- State Research and Extension, the Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas PRIDE, Inc. and the Kansas Masons have worked for nearly 50 years to provide networking, funding and resources to assist communities to reach their highest potential. To assess needs for communities and their volunteers an evaluation is conducted every three years. Evaluation results communicated a need for volunteer training in the areas of: volunteer recruitment and retention; how to raise and handle donations; establishing and clarifying roles and responsibilities; and communicating local community development successes to stakeholders.

Building upon research and Extension programming, the Kansas PRIDE Community Toolkit was developed and piloted in 2018. Two formats were utilized: 1) In person delivery with activities, and 2) webinar based delivery paired with Extension and Commerce expertise.

To date: 27 of 70 PRIDE communities; 10 state specialists; and 5 communities that are not participating in the Kansas PRIDE Program have participated in three modules developed and delivered by face to face delivery and by webinar. Pre and post tests reveal knowledge gained and comments reflect intentions of using knowledge acquired to support local volunteer efforts.

Productive Communication in the Workplace

Presenter:                   

  • Deb Warnock, OSU Extension Agent Oregon State University

Co-Presenters:    

  • Carole Smith, OSU Extension 4-H Specialist in Citizenship and Civic Engagement - Oregon State University

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers 

Extension employees across the county have one thing in common, we all have to communicate! But, how? Orally,

non-verbally, written, email, on social media or other ways? Are we effective and do we have the skills we need? When it comes to a difficult or uncomfortable situation, it is important that we choose to use our best communication skills and have a productive conversation. Communication skills are necessary for the development of self-advocacy and self-determination, which are important skills for lifelong success. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Association of Colleges and Employers, communication skills are ranked first among a job candidate’s “must have” skills and qualities. It is important to develop a variety of skills for both communication TO others and learning how to interpret information received FROM others. One challenge in the workplace is learning the specific communication styles of others, and understanding your own style.

Volunteer Conflict Management System, Revised and Revisited

Presenter:           

  • Jana Ferris, Volunteer Development Specialist Washington State University Extension

Co-Presenters:    

  • Dan Teuteberg, Associate Professor - Washington State University Extension
  • Missy Cummins, Assistant Professor - Washington State University Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

The use of a streamlined conflict management system has demonstrated the reduction in time necessary to

effectively manage conflict. While initially developed to address conflict within the 4-H Youth Development Program, the Volunteer Conflict Management System (VCMS) has now been fully expanded and integrated for use by all WSU Extension volunteer-based programs. This system, joining research-based conflict and communication concepts with effective human resource practices, provides the volunteer development professional with a predictable, consistent response to adverse behaviors. The system components include chain of notification, decision tools using a behavior matrix, documentation forms, statement forms, letter templates, and appropriate follw up. The utilization of this system informs administration prior to the occurence of conflict behaviors of the course of action, and preferred trajectory of volunteer appeals. Initial outcomes demonstrate an increase from 21.5% (n=17) of survey respondents feeling "very prepared" or "quite a bit prepared" in handling volunteer conflict to 86% (n=69). Updated outcome data will be available and distributed during the workshop. Participants will gain awareness and information on use of the model to adopt a clear, consistent statewide approach to dealing with conflict within Extension volunteer-based programs in their state.

So you want to save the world? Try social marketing!

Presenter:           

  • Jennifer Dindinger, Watershed Restoration Specialist UMD Sea Grant Extension

Co-Presenters:            

  • Amanda Rockler, Watershed Restoration Specialist - UMD Sea Grant Extension

Subject Matter/Program Area: Applies to All Volunteers

Social marketing is “a process that applies marketing principles and techniques to influence target audience behaviors that benefit society as well as the target audience,” (Lee and Kotler, 4th ed.). UMD Sea Grant Extension agents will lead a workshop in which participants learn the steps for creating robust behavior change campaigns and work in groups to build campaigns around mock case studies. In the latter half of the workshop, participants will run a mock outreach program through a rapid assessment called the Outreach Program Audit Tool (developed in partnership with Chesapeake Bay Trust) to identify elements of the program that could be modified to better achieve behavior change objectives. The experts will help participants identify appropriate ways to evaluate education programs to ensure they can demonstrate success, even if behavioral objectives are not desired or feasible. For example, is there justification for establishing a foundation of awareness or should the program just focus on behavior change? Is there a need for education, or behavior change, or both? Does a policy need to be in place to achieve implementation? The concluding discussion following the audit exercise will help participants understand how to modify their outreach programs if desired.

California 4-H Adult Volunteer Experience Study: Who and What Roles

Presenter:             

  • Charles Go, 4-H Youth Development Advisor University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

Co-Presenters:     

  • Gemma Miner, Academic Coordinator for Volunteer Engagement – UCANR
  • Jolynn Miller, 4-H Youth Development Advisor – UCANR
  • Steven Worker, 4-H Youth Development Advisor – UCANR
  • Car Mun Kok, 4-H Youth Development Advisor – UCANR Dorina Espinoza, 4-H Youth Development Advisor – UCANR

Subject Matter/Program Area: Research Presentation

"Knowing who and what roles current volunteers are taking on can inform volunteer messaging, outreach and marketing” ultimately helping to increase volunteer participation. Yet a recent search in the Journal of Extension yielded only one study ascertaining who is volunteering in 4-H (Lobley, 2008). We aimed to address this gap by surveying 7,953 California volunteers and 2107 responded - a 26 percent return rate.

“Who” volunteers in the program is more complex than what the average demographic profile of White female aged When we compared volunteer age groups by gender, we found that for ages 18-34, there were no gender differences and for ages 55 and above, there were more male volunteers. For Hispanic volunteers, we found a higher percentage of younger ages (18-24 yrs. and 35-44 yrs.) and more male Hispanic volunteers compared to non- Hispanics. Similar dynamics were found with the ways volunteers chose to be involve in. Using the research workshop, we engaged participants and challenged them to apply the findings to their local 4-H programming, including the possibility of conducting their own volunteer research.