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Structural Change in Higher Education: Implications for Agricultural Economics Extension; or Does Diffedence, Decadence and Dissonance Make a Difference?

  • George McDowell (a1)

Abstract

Discussion of changes taking place in American agriculture followed by a review of the traditional model of extension suggests there is dissonance between what is needed to inform contemporary agriculture and what extension actually does. The paper further suggests that difficulty in packaging the newly needed information in ways that achieve the institutional maintenance objectives of extension explain a part of the system's decadence and reluctance to change. Since the intellectual problems of market failure, even political market failure, are within the domain of economists, diffidence by agricultural economists to those issues within the Land-Grant system can make a difference.

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Bromley, Daniel, “Technology, Technical Change, and Public Policy: The Need for Collective Decisions.” CHOICES, Second Quarter, 1991.
Castle, Emery N., “Is Farming a Constant Cost Industry?Amer. J. Agr. Econ., Vol. 71, No. 3, August, 1989.
Cooperative State Research Service,Program Description, Guidelines for Proposal Preparation and Submission, National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program,” CSRS, USDA, 1992.
Jones, Eluned, (Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.), Personal Conversation, January 4, 1993.
McDowell, George, “The Political Economy of Extension Program Design: Institutional Maintenance Issues in the Organization and Delivery of Extension programs.Amer. J. Agr. Econ., November, 1985.
McDowell, George R.The New Political Economy of Extension Education for Agriculture And Rural Communities.” Invited Paper, 1992 AAEA Annual Meetings, Baltimore, MD., forthcoming, Amer. J. Agr. Econ., 1993.
McGuire, Richard, “Food, Energy, and Environmental Quality: The Necessity For Balance.CHOICES, Second Quarter, 1991.
Rockwell, Norman, “The Work of the County Agent,” Office of the Dean of the College of Food and Natural Resources, Stockbridge Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.
Swiger, L.A., Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University., Personal Communication, January 5, 1993.

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