Evaluating Agricultural Extension Agent's Sustainable Cotton Land Production Competencies: Subject Matter Discrepancies Restricting Farmers' Information Adoption Academic Article uri icon


  • Cotton is more chemically intensive than many other commodities, which negatively impacts rural livelihoods at higher rates. Improvement in environmental stewardship of cotton would substantially impact the long-term sustainability of agriculture in cotton producing regions globally. Extension personnel provide producer education to improve these issues that ultimately impact economic growth and quality of life in rural areas, but their proficiency to foster innovation and diffusion of crop-specific content is unknown. A 48-item survey was administered to agricultural extension personnel in five U.S. states to develop an understanding of extension professionals current knowledge in sustainable cotton production and sustainability, identify pertinent training needs to address in future professional development curricula, and to discern the value of crop-specific competency evaluation in organizational needs assessment. A ranked discrepancy model and an exploratory factor analysis of survey results indicated a glaring need for training in all evaluated competency areas to improve sustainability in cotton producing regions. Synchronous or asynchronous trainings could be developed for change agents to better serve the needs of rural cotton producers. Knowledge transfer or adoption diffusion of rural land sustainability recommendations to farmers will be challenging to achieve in the studys region until change agents proficiency of sustainable cotton production practices improves.

published proceedings

  • LAND
  • Land

author list (cited authors)

  • Seitz, P., Strong, R., Hague, S., & Murphrey, T. P.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Seitz, Paige||Strong, Robert||Hague, Steve||Murphrey, Theresa P

publication date

  • 2022


published in