From the Editor
Two years ago, the Journal’s editorial board was expanded to enable a more balanced representation of professional expertise reflecting agricultural and extension education thinking and experience from different regions of the world. New ideas and varied experiences have been brought to bear on the Journal’s editorial and business policies and procedures, and the manuscript review and publication processes. We feel the Journal has been improved as a result of this effort. Continuing this tradition of inclusiveness and to further improve the editorial function, two associate editor positions have been created in the editorial board to oversee the commentary and tools of the profession sections of the Journal during 1998. Jim Long, who has been on the board since January 1996, will be the Associate Editor (Commentary). Cathy Hamilton, who has helped with the Journal for the last two years, will join the board as Associate Editor (Tools of the Profession). Both individuals bring talent, energy, and fresh thinking to invigorate the editorial team. I look forward to working with them. Readers should see the fruits of their labor through the year.
Three issues of volume 5 of the Journal are planned for 1998 - two regular issues in spring and fall, and a special 1998 annual conference issue this summer.
This issue offers several interesting articles. In the Feature Articles section, the first piece by Etling and Radhakrishna is a case study of the way in which a leadership curriculum for nonformal educators evolved, and was taught and received at Penn State University and in Monterrey, Mexico. The authors commend wide adoption of the curriculum to improve the competencies of community-based educators in both the U.S. and Mexico. The next two articles are set in Malaysia. Ahmed and Ismail found that men and women have specific roles in agricultural operations and suggest that extension programs establish objectives, and organize training programs and staffing that take into account the needs of both groups. Muhamad and Teh show how local organizations successfully organized self-sustaining development activities in a Malaysian village and delineate factors facilitating the perpetuation of such groups. Shifting focus to a rice development project in Nigeria, Alonge and Martin found that participation in the Farming Systems Research/Extension approach was the single most powerful predictor of adoption of a rice technology package, and suggest that the approach be strengthened by increasing farmers’ participation. Redmann, Schupp and Richardson round out this section with a study of the international agriculture knowledge of students in a U.S. land grant university.
In the commentary section, Acker and Scanes provide a rationale for globalizing programs in U.S. colleges of agriculture to enhance quality of education and prepare students for an increasingly interdependent world; Karunadasa advocates an agriculture-environmental protection synergy for urban areas of Sri Lanka; Mwangi uses personal experiences in his work in Kenya to show what happens when extension education principles are observed or violated.
Hamilton reviews two companion books from Australia focusing on participative action management strategies in the Tools of the Profession section.