From the Executive Editor
Agricultural and extension educators around the world face a myriad of challenges when educating about the latest innovations, supporting communities, addressing stakeholder needs, staying relevant, being nimble in times of adversity, and helping their clients answer questions that often do not have clear-cut right or wrong answers. Despite the gray areas we are all living through right now, these are challenges we all face bravely together. It will take bravery to proactively challenge and adapt our current practices in an effort to lead, educate and communicate with the most up-to-date research-based methods and information to those who need it the most; those who will use it to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. If you read the entire December 2020 issue of the JIAEE it will challenge you to think about your current practices and want to make adjustments.
Each and every article provides research-driven recommendations for practical improvements that, when implemented, will take our educational practices to the next level. For example, Ali et al. challenge us to examine and remove barriers to extension educators’ personal resilience post-disaster, Richardson and Roberts examine traditional versus modern takes on the roles women assume in agricultural systems, and Camillone et al. explore the challenges agricultural extension faces in Nigeria. All three pieces challenge us all to think about how far the world has come and how far we still have yet to go in reducing anxiety while improving resilience among extension educators and ensuring equality in the future.
Readers seeking insights into formal secondary and post-secondary education will find several studies for improving educational practice. Hanagriff et al. offer an application of a needs assessment model for improving agricultural education in Guinea, Mulei et al. share their findings on perceptions of youth moving into agricultural careers in several African countries, Ebner et al. offer insights into the employability of agricultural university graduates in Egypt, and Lane and Murphy provide best practices for international college student experiences based on a thorough synthesis of the literature. You will also find an interesting piece offered by Mukembo et al. that uses the experiences of Ugandan youth to explore how to best integrate youth-adult partnerships into agripreneurship projects.
Finally, Masambuka-Kanchewa et al. offer a retrospective analysis that examines the positive and negative role gatekeepers can play in agricultural extension research; an important thing to keep in mind while conducting research within hard-to-reach communities around the globe. I encourage you to read the articles in this December 2020 edition of JIAEE and think about how you can use the information here to bravely challenge yourself to adapt your current educational practice. For it is only through proactive adaptation that we will remain nimble, relevant and supportive of our clientele no matter where we are in the world and what we are facing.
The entire JIAEE editorial team would like to send best wishes to all of our readers as we approach the end of a challenging year. Wishing you all health and safety now and in 2021.
Alexa J. Lamm, PhD
Executive Editor, Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education