Iowa Learning Farms continues to build a Culture of Conservation as we bring together farmers, landowners, agribusiness, researchers and state and federal agency partners.
In 2017, Iowa Learning Farms delivered or participated in 92 outreach events that reached a total of 7,372 people. Our staff, trailer fleet and partners across the state helped us reach new communities and participants as we continue to build a Culture of Conservation.
One of Iowa Learning Farms many strengths is our approach to evaluation. The process is five-fold to help us plan and deliver effective conservation education and outreach.
Here is a glimpse behind the curtain at our evaluation process:
- Event Evaluations – completed by our team immediately following every event. These forms help us to understand the audience’s level of engagement, document the questions that were asked by participants and help us to improve future outreach activities by noting what went well and what could be improved.
The remaining evaluation process is specific for farmer outreach activities that we host:
- Comment Cards – filled out by all participants in order to gain a better understanding of who they are and why they are there.
- Demographic Cards – filled out by all participants and provide a snapshot of attendees in terms of their age, gender, role in agriculture and information about their farming operation. The cards also capture preferences on timing and topics of interest for future outreach events.
- Follow-up Evaluations – mailed within three weeks of the event to participants (for those that happened before November 7). The questions focused on the clarity and accessibility of the information received and inquired whether participants planned to make any changes in their land management as a result of the event. The individual field day report is now available online.
- January Evaluations – mailed to only farmers/operators and landowners. These questionnaires were sent in January 2018 to see if the participants had made the changes they said they were going to make in earlier evaluations.