Experiences from a forestry extension long-term impact evaluation
This report describes a long-term impact evaluation conducted by a Forestry Extension program. Documenting long-term impacts is increasingly important to demonstrate the perceived public value of Extension programming. However, the extended time frame of forestry activities creates challenges for technology transfer, including the realization of learning objectives and reporting to administrators and public officials. Mississippi State University has attempted to address these challenges through in-person impact evaluation. Three years of results are presented from an ongoing long-term impact assessment conducted after clients received forestry information from an educational program. The assessment demonstrated 31% of clients had implemented forestry practices since attending Extension educational programs. Almost 47% planned to implement practices in the future, and over 73% reported Extension educational programs helped them be more profitable in forest management. Methodological challenges and implications for future educational efforts are discussed.