Sustaining Global Food Systems with Youth Digital Livestock Production Curricula Interventions and Adoption to Professionally Develop Agents of Change Academic Article uri icon


  • Improving the sustainability of global food systems requires competent and impactful change agents who are tasked with disseminating knowledge to stakeholders in local communities. Agricultural Extension agents and agricultural educator, who provide mentorship and preparation of youth, are pivotal for the positive outcomes of youth livestock production programs. Digital professional development, as one intervention for both formal and nonformal educators, can be a more effective use of an educators time. This study examined the needs and competency levels of agents and teachers related to their capacity for training youth livestock exhibitors. Through an online course, participants completed a pre-posttest within an interactive module. The data revealed that agents and agricultural teachers were proficient in Texas, USA, youth livestock production programs. This study found that the majority of both groups scored over 90% on the curriculas assessment. There was a significant difference; agricultural education teachers reported higher mean scores than Extension agents on the Effective Teaching assessment. Both groups reported agreement with the Time to Complete, Tool Navigation, and Effective Teaching assessments. The data indicated that participants should additionally receive training materials on ethics policy and livestock validation. Livestock production digital professional development for nonformal agents of change is essential for sustaining global food chains.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Strong, R., Sprayberry, S., Dooley, K., Ahn, J., Richards, J., Kinsella, J., ... Ettekal, A.

complete list of authors

  • Strong, Robert||Sprayberry, Sarah||Dooley, Kim||Ahn, Jaehyun||Richards, Jennifer||Kinsella, Jim||Lee, Chin-Ling||Ray, Nicole||Cardey, Sarah||Benson, Carmen||Ettekal, Andrea

publication date

  • 2023