Shrinking budgets, competition for non-mandated government funds, organizational downsizing,changing agricultural context, and a need to embrace increasing clientele promote theconsideration of revisiting the importance and contributions of organizational volunteers.Increasing vertical integration of agricultural enterprises and fewer professionals because ofdownsizing to provide education or services to many audiences contribute to this view.Suggested new roles of volunteers are those of advocacy and doing what other agency personnelhave done in the past. The present study was a descriptive survey of Extension volunteers in onestate. Major results depict the typical volunteer for this study to be a married, white female whois over 50 years of age, a college graduate, above average income, and no children at home.Major reasons for volunteering included: personal satisfaction, building friendships, use one’sknowledge base, and about one-in-three of the volunteers had volunteered to deal with apressing community issue. Volunteers reported that they contributed on the average onehundred hours, their perception of monetary value of their service was $1,700 per year, they hadreceived 24 hours of training, and had been volunteers for an average of ten years. The majoractivity that the volunteers reported for the past year was “extending information” to someonethrough group instruction or one-on-one delivery. Recruitment of volunteers and roles that theyplay may need to be revisited in the context of globalization and privatization. A key element inrecruiting volunteers worldwide may be to match an individual’s interest with community issueswhere the volunteer’s major role would be one of advocacy.

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