| Forestry training manual for the Africa region |
Total time 2 hours
- To introduce extension work,
- To give historical overview,
- To examine specific goals of extension,
- To begin the process of developing an extension agent.
Each trainee, regardless of their job assignment, will eventually become involved in forestry extension work. This session begins by giving the historical overview of extension work in North America and then discusses the "Six Axioms of Forestry Extension".
1. Extension: Historical Overview and Some Techniques Used in the Past
2. Six Axioms for Forestry Extension
Flip charts, marker pens, tape.
Exercise 1 Extension: Historical Overview and Some Techniques Used in the Past
Total Time 40 minutes
During the introduction to extension, it is important for the trainees to understand that the extension movement has one hundred years of history. Although it may be a new concept in developing countries, it comes as a tried and true system for helping farmers. Experiences are shared to help the trainees understand that the extension worker is one who must interact on a one to one basis in order to help a community develop.
1. Lecture on the history of extension outline:
- 1862 Morrill Act - Land Grant Colleges,
- 1887 Research - Experimentation,
- 1914 Extension, - 1940 - 1950
- Good Neighbor Policy of Harry S. Truman, "Partners in Progress".
For extension to be most effective, it must achieve:
1. National concern to improve agrarian structures,
2. Rural population with high level of self-esteem,
3. Active participation in significant development programs, i.e. agrarian.
Specific Goals of Extension:
1. Significant objectives - precise, measurable, realistic,
2. Appropriate image,
3. Power - legal, money, political,
4. Institutional mystique,
5. Internal efficiency,
6. Effective communication with public,
7. Coordination with other agencies,
8. Democratic procedures.
Exercise 2 Six Axioms of Forestry Extension
Total time 1 hour 30 minutes
Participants become familiar with the basic rules of extension work. Since extension work is such an unstructured activity, the extensionist will find that there are long periods of time when he/she feels as if he/she is not doing anything and is tempted to do more; he/she may also wonder, from time to time, if what he/she is doing is actually advancing or retarding extension work in the community. In extension work, the temperament and sensitivity of the extensionist influences to a large degree how effective the work will be.
1. The trainer posts on newsprint the following axioms and speaks about each one.
- The forestry extensionist should never do anything for people that they are able to do for themselves.
- The forestry extensionist should never encourage the use of resources from outside the community until all the resources within the community have been exhausted.
- The forestry extensionist should never try to organize people to deal with a need they do not recognize themselves (may have to educate them).
- The forestry extensionist's most important dedication must be to the sound local progress of his/her community.
- Forestry extension must be carried out from an understanding of the host culture and in terms of that culture.
- The forestry extensionist role in his/her community is transitory.
Trainer’s Note: It is tempting to add a seventh axiom, which says that the above six should not be taken too seriously. If there is one single encompassing rule in extension work, it is that given the basic goals, the means ultimately are flexible and subject to variations according to specific conditions. The extensionist should understand the axioms of forestry extension well enough to follow them when possible and break them if necessary.
2. The trainer now asks the participants to break into groups of five and discuss ways in which they can be successful extensionists. The ideas are recorded on newsprint and presented to the entire group. The following are some examples that came out of our groups.
Ways to Be Successful Extensionists
We are not alone
Communication - contacts
Know when to compromise
Know where to start
Be aware of problems
Don't push own ideas
Keep it simple
Be a Mr. Tree
Work with counterpart
Be a resource
Be a good example
Get along with officials
Follow up on what you do
Do not spread yourself too thin
Follow the six points of extension
Be aware of external and internal resources
Transfer a system Work with people
Have a good reputation
Help others make decisions do not do it for them
Build extension bridges
Action speaks louder than words
Maintain a sense of humor
Quality vat quantity (do a few things well)
Be aware of group dynamics
20 minutes-small group
30 minutes-large group
3. The trainer summarizes the session, and emphasizes that the trainees are becoming members of a historical tradition extension.