From the Executive Editor
Dr. Norman Borlaug once said “If you desire peace, cultivate justice, but at the same time cultivate the fields to produce more bread; otherwise, there will be no peace." Agricultural educators and extensionists seek to assist in creating peace across the globe, in our own nations, in our communities, in our homes, and inside ourselves. The research you will find in the April 2021 issue of the JIAEE strive to inform the practice of agricultural education to promote peace through cultivating the fields agriculture uses to produce food, disseminate knowledge to ensure sustainability, and focus on cultivating justice around the world through education and enhancing critical thinking. The power of the knowledge transferred through agricultural leaders, educators and communicators should not be overshadowed during trying times and this issue showcases some of the best of our work.
To begin, the research note examines the role extension plays in assisting youth in Uganda in finding careers in agriculture. While it provides a practical application of a single program, Bragoli et al. expand the literature further by examining the impact of a professional development on entrepreneurial fellows (also in African countries) a year after its conclusion. Both showcase examples of evaluation efforts applied in short and long-term contexts.
Cultivating justice and peace, Wilcox et al. provided a voice to women empowered by the INGO Field of Hope in Northern Uganda. I encourage you to take the time to read the words of these women as they express how their educational experience helped them overcome their concerns, fears and dependence. It goes on to showcase how empowerment can lead to greater levels of agricultural production as the women involved emerged stronger; focused on feeding their families and communities. Food security and nutrition education were also explored in El Salvador, South Africa and Myanmar in this issue. All three articles showcase and promote agricultural and extension education efforts using innovative research methods. I encourage you to think about the connections emerging from the implications within these three pieces despite their foci being on different parts of the world; each wrestling with its own challenges.
Two Delphi studies are also included in this issue. One showcases what experts consider the potential of luxury niche agricultural products in Mexico. The other identifies the organizational functioning capacity needs of rural advisory networks around the globe. Both provide insights into industry and government needs as we strive to support the advancement of agricultural production as agricultural educators. Finally, Baker et al. provide a timely and important review of the critical thinking literature by testing the UFCTI in Chinese. Their work is an important reminder that culture plays a role in measurement, and how, as researchers, we must strive to thoroughly test scales before using them to ensure they are culturally appropriate while remaining contextually accurate across languages and cultures.
The JIAEE editorial team is here to support you in publishing your valuable research. Please contact us at any time if you have questions. We wish you all peace, safety and health.
Alexa J. Lamm, PhD
Executive Editor, Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education