Impacts of learning experiences within an online extension initiative on application of research-based principles by beef stakeholders. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this study was to evaluate, characterize and quantify the learning experiences and subsequent application of research-based technologies by beef producers upon conclusion of an online extension certification program (44 Farms International Beef Cattle Academy, IBCA). Upon conclusion of the program, paricipants were invited to complete a structured interview. Interview transcripts (n = 19) were coded, categorized, and merged into four overarching themes: Strengths, Struggles, Courses, and Geographical origin. Within Strengths, the most frequent codes were Connections, Application, and Instructor Experience, with 61, 53, and 50 coded segments respectively. Within Struggles, the most frequent codes were Time Management, Level of Knowledge, and Language issues, with 27, 18, and 15 coded segments, respectively. For Courses in the program, the most frequently mentioned were Nutrition, Reproduction, and Genetics, with 35, 28, and 24 coded segments respectively. Correlation between codes was evaluated using Pearson and only statistically significant (P 0.05) correlations were included in the matrices for network analysis. Interpretation of the generated network analysis map (P 0.05; Q = 0.468) including all four categories of codes revealed close relationships between Application and the Strengths of Time management, Instructor Experience, and Connections. Application was also directly related to the Courses of Reproduction and Genetics, and the Struggle of Student Engagement and Guidance. Geographical origin was an important factor mediating different correlations. Developing countries (Brazil, Panama, Dominican Republic, and South Africa) were more closely related to the Struggle of Tuition cost, which, in turn was related to the perceived Prestige of the program. In Europe (Romania, Germany, and Kazakhstan), a stronger correlation to the Struggles of Material Relevance and Language Issues was described. Collectively, these results support the positive impact of a comprehensive and interactive extension initiative to leverage application of research-based principles by beef stakeholders around the world. Further, these outcomes indicate that the most valued aspects of the program regarding application are related to interpersonal experience with faculty and peers of the industry (Instructor Experience and Connections) and that perception of struggles and strengths is greatly influenced by socio-cultural aspects of the learning community.

published proceedings

  • Transl Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Brando, A. P., Cooke, R. F., Dunlap, K. A., Lamb, G. C., Pohler, K. G., & Donaldson, J. P.

complete list of authors

  • Brandão, Alice P||Cooke, Reinaldo F||Dunlap, Kathrin A||Lamb, G Cliff||Pohler, Ky G||Donaldson, Jonan P

publication date

  • January 2023