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Writing Effective Impact Statements: Who Cares? So What”

Source: CALS Office of Communications & Marketing

http://www.communications.cals.vt.edu/resources/impact
-
statements.html


I.

Why Impact Statements?

S
hows the economic, environmental and quality
-
of
-
life impact of
VCE

work.

Impact statements demonstrate how our work makes a difference in the lives of people, c
ommunities, and the
environment. Documenting the results of our efforts is also increasingly expected by funders and stakeholders.
Those of us in the public sector identify and illustrate how our work makes a difference in our clientele’s
economic, environ
mental, and social well
-
being through impact statements and impact reports.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture asks land
-
grant universities to collect and submit information on "impacts"
of teaching, research, and Cooperative Extension programs.

At the fed
eral level, impact statements are shared with members of Congress and other key decision makers.
In Virginia, impact statements are used to highlight the value of our work to the Congressional delegation,
members of the Virginia General Assembly, and other

supporters and stakeholders.

Impact reporting is important because it:



Helps us reflect on and improve our work.



Demonstrates the difference we make in people’s lives, communities, and the environment.



Improves visibility of programs (local, state,
national).



Generates support.



Is a repository of results for speeches and other communication.



Builds greater understanding of our programs by the public. Illustrates our accountability.

Impact reporting is important to land
-
grant faculty and staff because
:



Good impact reports can enhance performance appraisal as well as promotion and tenure/continued
appointment.



Stakeholders are asking for it.



It lessens urgent requests for program examples, etc.



Your work receives more visibility.



Your work is exposed to

potential funders.



It can summarize and celebrate a job well done.


II.

What is Impact?

Impact means the reportable and verifiable difference a land
-
grant program makes in the lives of people. Impacts
are the documented results of a program, course, or
research project.

Impact reporting:



Illustrates the importance of the land
-
grant effort.



Describes the positive change we make in social, economic, and environmental conditions in Virginia, the nation,
and around the world.



Provides public accountability.

Shows the economic value of our work through:

o

Increased income

o

Savings

o

Increased productivity

o

Value added

o

Expected values of outcomes.

o

Alternative opportunity cost of capital.

o

Willingness to pay.

o

Multiplier effect.

o

Increased quality of life (health,
education, etc.).

o

Non
-
market benefits (cost effectiveness, e.g.).

o

Values of indirect outcomes.

o

High rates of return on investment.




Provides teaching/learning, research/discovery, and extension and outreach/engagement program accountability.



Shows a return

on investment.



Fosters better public understanding of the whole picture of teaching/learning, research/discovery, and extension
and outreach/engagement.



Provides a reputation that improves future funding opportunities.



Increases awareness of programs wit
hin the institution.



Helps us reflect and learn from our work.


An impact statement is a brief summary, in lay terms, of the economic, environmental, and/or
social impact of our efforts. It states accomplishments and their payoff to society by answering
the questions:



Who cares?



So what?

VCE

impact audiences include:



State officials,



Federal officials,



Local governing bodies,



The general public,



Peers,



External funding sources,



Industry representatives,



Alumni, and



Students.

VCE

audiences have:



Some
influence and control over our programs.



Want information for decision
-
making.



Have many people competing for their attention.



Want quantifiable differences brought about by investments in our programs.


III.

Writing an Impact Statement

An Impact Statement:



Briefly summarizes, in lay terms, the difference your teaching/learning, research/discovery, and extension and
outreach/engagement efforts have made.



States accomplishment and creates strong support for programs.



Answers the questions... "So what?” and “Wh
o cares?"



Conveys accomplishments in simple language free of technical jargon.



Is submitted by faculty for three to five efforts each year.


Audience for Impact Statements:

Your impact audience is the public: local, state, and federal officials, your
peers, external grantors, and industry
representatives. Keep in mind that both basic and applied studies have impacts.


Impact Statements Follow a Simple Formula:

1.

Describe the issue or problem statement (relevance) in simple terms appropriate for your pri
ncipal audience.



Why are we doing this teaching/learning, research/discovery, and extension and outreach/engagement
program?



What needs were expressed?



What was the situation/problem, and why was it a problem?



What college initiative and/or Cooperative
State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)
planned program is addressed?






Provide an action statement (response).



What did you do?




What were the key elements?



Who was the target audience?



What resources were expended?

5.

Describe the impact

(results).



The impact of your works is in the answer to the question "What is the payoff socially, economically, and
environmentally?"



What happened to the audience as a result of the work described?

o

What knowledge was gained?

o

What skills were
increased?

o

What practices/behavior changed? How many people changed?


o

H
ow much money was saved?

o

Were policies changed as a result?

o

What were the end results (quantitative and qualitative)



How was evidence collected to document the impacts (surveys,
observation, etc.)?



What was the scope of the impact (campus, regional, statewide, etc.)

4.
Who was responsible?



List collaborators or contributors.


5.
Your name and contact information.











T:
\
workgroups
\
VCE
Planning Accountability & Impacts
\
Impact Statement Resources
\
CALS
-

Writing
Effective Impact Statements.docx

Examples


Teaching/Learning


Small Business Management and
Entrepreneurship (AAEC 3454)

Relevance:

Small businesses account for over 50 percent of the U.S. gross national product. This is a significant
potential career outlet for my students. Further, innovation and entrepreneurism are becoming increasingly more
important in the corporate environment,
allowing organizations to adapt to rapidly changing environments.

Response:

My students learned the basics of conceptualizing, opening, and managing a small business.
Principles, such as goal setting, strategic planning, market analysis, labor management,
marketing management,
financial management, and contingency planning, will serve these students in whatever career they decide to
pursue.

Results:

Students gained an appreciation for the amount of time, effort, and planning that goes into managing a
small
business. Further, students gained real
-
world experience by working on assignments involving nine actual
businesses. These real
-
world assignments provided students with experience working in pragmatic situations.
Further, the business owners gained additio
nal ideas and insight from the student projects. In the future, the course
evaluation will incorporate student assessment through a student survey.

Collaborators:

I taught this course with the assistance of five undergraduate teaching assistants
--

Sarah M
arpet,
Caitlin Blaskewicz, Ritchie Vaughan, Steve Moritz, and Brandy Foster.

Contact:

Alex White



Research/Discovery

Agricultural and Food Biosecurity:


Glucosinolates

as Biofumigation Agents

Relevance:

Cover crops and green manures are beneficial in sustainable organic farming because they provide
nutrition, aeration, and weed suppression for the subsequently cultivated crops. Crucifer crops contain
glucosinolates, nat
ural products uniquely associated with crucifer plants. Some crops have glucosinolates with a
biofumigation potential. The nematicidal properties of Brassica spp. used as cover crops are well
-
documented and
are due to the breakdown of glucosinolates in the

soil that leads to the formation of a safe, natural pesticide for
nematode control. However, the range and additional benefits of biofumigation have had limited documentation.

Response:

In collaboration with organic transitions research, this project monitors the glucosinolates content of
various crucifer cover crops used in the program. The long
-
term plan is to design experiments to address the
possibility that different glucosinolates
compounds and their concentration in the cover crop biomass will influence
the rhizosphere microbial community of the subsequent crops.

Expected Results:

With the inclusion of a microbial ecologist in the collaboration, the project will identify both
posit
ive and negative effects due to the biofumigation activities of glucosinolates breakdown in the rhizosphere.

Collaborators:

Ron Morse and Brinkley Benson

Contact:

James Tokuhisa

Agricultural Systems:

Utilization of Biodiesel
-
Derived Glycerol Waste for Pro
ducing Omega
-
3 Fatty Acids

Relevance:

The crude glycerol is the primary by
-
product in the biodiesel industry, which is impure and of little
economic value. Converting crude glycerol into omega
-
3 polyunsaturated fatty acids provides a viable alternative
for

glycerol disposal and its surplus problems, and also provides consumers with a health food with therapeutic
capabilities to fight cardiovascular diseases, cancers, Schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s.

Response:

This study examines the feasibility of using crud
e glycerol as a carbon source for growing algae, which
produces omega
-
3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The effects of impurities contained in crude glycerol on algal
biomass composition are further examined.

Results:

The research showed that crude glycerol r
esulted in a comparable growth performance and omega
-
3 fatty
acid production level with the control, in which glucose was used as a carbon source. The methanol and soap
residues contained in crude glycerol negatively influenced the cell growth; therefore,
these two impurities need to
be removed. The algal biomass does not have any heavy metal contamination, thus, it can be used as a safe food
product and/or animal feed additive.

Collaborators:

None



--

Contact:

Wen, Zhiyou

Animals and Anim
al Products:


Enhancing In Vitro Production of Porcine Embryos

Relevance:

Oxidative stress during oocyte maturation hinders nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation and may cause
cell death. The formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a result of oxidative

stress disrupts proper cell
function. The biochemical mechanisms and oxidative stress pathways have not been extensively studied in the
porcine system. Additionally, no research has been conducted to determine how antioxidants affect oxidative stress
in m
aturing oocytes. This project will enhance scientific understanding of the role of oxidative stress in fertilization
and early embryonic development and may aid in reducing infertility and enhancing embryo viability. This
enhancement could have tremendous
economic application through increasing the efficacy of in vitro embryo
production, including enhancing the efficiency of producing transgenic animals, as well as serving as a model for
examining the potential effects of oxidative stress on infertility in
humans.

Response:

This project will: 1) determine the mechanisms of oxidative stress in maturating oocytes, 2) determine
how the oocytes

alleviate oxidative stress, and 3) determine how antioxidants affect the oxidative stress
mechanisms. The project focuses on superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH) peroxidase, catalyze, and
intracellular GSH concentrations with respect to DNA fragm
entation evaluated using the single cell Comet assay.

Results:

Results indicated that when SOD was inhibited, the GSH peroxide levels and length of DNA migration
significantly increased (P<0.05). Catalase levels significantly decreased (P<
0.05) and intracellular GSH remained
unchanged. When GSH peroxidase was inhibited, the SOD levels and catalase levels significantly decreased
(P<0.05) but the intracellular GSH and DNA migration length significantly increased (P<0.05). The supplementation
of 1.5mM N
-
acetyl
-
cysteine (NAC) and 1.5 mM NAC
-
amide (NACA) had multiple effects on the enzyme levels.
Specifically, supplementation of 1.5mM NAC or 1.5 mM NACA significantly decreased (P<0.05) the length of DNA
migration when other enzymes were inhibited

compared to no antioxidant supplementation. The mechanistic
pathway that the oocyte utilizes to alleviate oxidative stress is very complex and includes many locations to target
for regulation. Oxidative stress due to the accumulation of ROS is not an abso
lute phenomenon. There are a
multitude of levels of oxidative stress so the oocyte can adapt to the fluctuating environment. However, if the cell
cannot adapt to high levels of oxidative stress, the ROS produced are detrimental to the cell. These results i
ndicate
that antioxidant supplementation may alleviate the free radicals associated with the oxidative stress in the maturing
porcine oocyte.

Collaborators:

None

Contact:

James Knight






Biotechnology and Genomics:

Early Warning Systems for High Risk Pl
ant Pathogens: New Tools for Plant Biosecurity

Relevance:

Improved technologies are needed to anticipate, prevent, prepare for, and respond to the introduction
of high risk plant pathogens (HRPPs) into the United States. Many HRPPs are transported over lon
g distances in
the atmosphere (e.g., stem rust of wheat, soybean rust, and tobacco blue mold), threatening agriculture in the
United States from inside and outside the country. The ability to detect, monitor, and forecast the movement of
HRPPs in the atmos
phere is essential for establishing effective quarantine measures, preventing the spread of
plant disease, and preventing potentially damaging events targeted at the nation’s agriculture and food supply. The
Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sc
iences has a key initiative in infectious diseases.

Response:

In 2007, the Schmale lab developed and implemented self
-
controlling aircraft to study the movement of
HRPPs in the atmosphere, tens to hundreds of meters above the surface of the earth. The prog
ram cuts across
traditional boundaries of scientific disciplines, blending advanced technologies in biology and engineering. A three
-
year grant proposal of nearly $1 million was funded by the USDA
-
NRI for this work.

Results:

In 2007, over 130 sampling flig
hts were conducted tens to hundreds of meters above agricultural fields at
Virginia Tech’s Kentland Farm. The findings resulted in a regional evaluation of disease spread potential for
HRPPs, assisting growers and producers by providing an early warning sy
stem for these diseases. This work led to
measurable improvements in the management of agricultural ecosystems through emergency control measures,
infrastructure and human resources, and reporting and communication. The project developed new tools necessar
y
for on
-
site detection of HRPPs collected from the atmosphere and identified limits of long
-
distance transport for
HRPPs. This work continues to help predict/forecast the distribution and spread of HRPPs in the atmosphere.

Collaborators:

Virginia Tech fac
ulty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of
Engineering, Cornell University faculty, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station faculty

Contact:

David Schmale, III


Economics and Commerce/International:

Valuing Environmental
and Health Benefits from GM Crops

Relevance:

The benefits of many genetically modified crops stem from environmental or health effects resulting
from reduced pesticide use. Few studies have attempted to place a value on these types of benefits, in part due

to
measurement difficulties.

Response:

An experimental technique was developed and applied to value environmental and health benefits from
a genetically modified product. The elicitation process involved was inexpensive and replicable in diverse settings
allowing for comparable values to be collected from a variety of stakeholders. The technique was tested in the
Philippines using multiple
-
virus resistant tomatoes and fruit and shoot borer resistant (Bt) eggplant.

Results:

In the Philippines, it was estima
ted farmers are willing to pay $9.00 per person for research leading to GM
products that significantly reduce pesticide use on tomato and eggplant. This estimated economic value, in addition
to estimated direct economic benefits, can help governments decid
e whether benefits exceed risks when they are
asked to approve, release, or expedite the regulatory process for transgenic products. Research to estimate the
health and environmental benefits of biotechnologies helps policy makers understand the full value

of the
technologies, and helps them to design regulations that protect human safety and environmental quality without
sacrificing economic and other benefits from the increased production and sales of the affected commodities.

Collaborators:

Jason Maupin

Contact:

George Norton


Food, Nutrition, and Health:

Technical Assistance to a Seafood Processor

Relevance:

Technical and scientific assistance allows seafood processors to increase profitability. One of the
largest seafood processors in Virginia was noti
fied by their main customer (Campbell’s Soup Company) that they
needed to modify the textural properties of their clams without affecting flavor and quality.

Response:

The company asked for scientific and technical assistance to improve the texture of thei
r clams. This
research included experiments at the VSAREC to determine the best approach to tenderize clams without affecting
flavor and overall quality. After several different experiments, a logical and cost effective approach was determined.

Results:

Th
e Virginia Seafood processing company developed a new approach for tenderizing clams. Campbell
Soup Company will use this method to produce more tender clams for its soups and other products.

Collaborators:

Robert Lane

Contact:

Michael Jahncke


Natural Re
sources and Environment:

Development of Novel Methods to Assess P
-
Cycling Processes in Soil

Relevance:

The scarcity of information on the transformation of phytic acid (myo
-
inositol 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
-
hexakisphosphate), myo
-
IP6), to nutrient P (orthophosphat
e) remains a stumbling point in efforts to develop a
thorough understanding of the P
-
cycling process in environmentally sensitive soil including P
-
burdened manure
amended soils, soils where organic pools dominate (e.g., Histosols) or soils with very low to
tal P content (e.g.
tropical soils). This situation is particularly troublesome since inositol phosphates, including myo
-
IP6, comprise up
to 58% of soil organic P. Phytase plays a key role in the biogeochemical P
-
cycling process because of its
effectivenes
s in catalyzing hydrolysis of one of the most prominent organic P compounds in soil, phytic acid.
Presently, there are no reliable methods available for measuring phytase activity in complex natural environments
(e.g., soil, sediment, and rumen). What is n
eeded to solve this dilemma is a direct, highly specific, sensitive,
convenient assay; capable of accurately measuring the fate of phytic acid during phytase
-
catalyzed
dephosphorylation.

Response:

This project developed a new approach for measuring phyase
activity using a novel chromophoric
substrate analog of phytic acid, 5
-
O
-
[6
-
(benzoylamino)hexyl]
-
D
-
myo
-
inositol
-
1,2,3,4,6
-
pentakisphosphate
(benzamido T
-
IP5) that permits direct measurement of the phosphate ester bond
-
hydrolysis reaction. Further, T
-
inosit
ol phosphate intermediates, benzamido T
-
IP4, T
-
IP3, T
-
IP2, T
-
IP1 and the final product, benzamido T
-
myo
-
inositol are readily quantified using reversed phase high
-
performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with UV
detection. Since the detection of benzamido T
-
IP5 and T
-
inositol phosphate intermediates relies on the same UV
-
sensitive benzamido chromophore, which is not affected by the number of phosphate groups present on the inositol
moiety, the parent compound, benzamido T
-
IP5, can be used as an external stan
dard for the quantification (on a
molar basis) of all phosphorylated intermediate species.

Results:

The novel chromophoric substrate analog of phytic acid, benzamido T
-
IP5, is apparently capable of
serving as an artificial substrate for measuring soil phya
se activity. The new molecular probe will provide
soil/environmental scientists with a convenient tool they can use to evaluate the fate of phytate
-
P in soil and
sediment environments.

Collaborators:

none

Contact:

Duane Berry


Pest Management:

Improving
Disease Control and Profitability in Virginia
-
type Peanuts

Relevance:

Land area planted to peanuts since 2002 has declined steadily as a result of the high cost of
production and reduced market value of peanuts. Annual escalations in costs for fuel, fertil
izers, seed, and
chemicals for pest and disease management have compounded problems in the sustainability of peanut
production.

Response:

Three field trials in 2006 and 2007 evaluated variety selection and tillage practices for increasing
profitability and

disease control. Each trial included Virginia
-

and runner
-
type varieties with traits adaptable to the
shorter growing season in Virginia. Disease incidence was monitored in all trials and management inputs recorded.
Yield, grade and value of harvest were
determined in each trial.

Results:

Virginia
-

and runner
-
type peanuts performed similarly in conventional and strip tillage, but varieties were
significantly different in disease, yield and value. Perry, GA 05E, and Florida Fancy under heavy pressure by
Cylindrocladium black rot (CBR) were superior to other Virginia
-
type cultivars for yield and value. Florida 07, GA
Green, and McCloud under heavy CBR pressure had superior yield and value among runner
-
type cultivars. Without
disease pressure, Florida Fancy
, GA 05E, Phillips, and Champs had the highest yield and value of Virginia
-
types,
and Florida 07 and McCloud were the best performers of runner
-
types. Strip tillage can reduce fuel and labor costs
($30/A) compared to conventional tillage and may qualify fo
r government payments for reducing soil erosion by
wind and water. The cost of land plaster ($35/A) can be eliminated in growing runner types since they are not likely
to require supplemental calcium. At seeding rates of 100 lb./A for runner
-
types and 120
lb./A for Virginia
-
types, the
difference in seed costs for runners ($0.63/lb.) compared to Virginia
-
types ($0.66/lb.) can save $16/A. Overall,
these findings indicated that the value of peanut production can be increased by $132 to 181/A for Virginia types

and $214 to 237/A for runner types sold at the USDA market loan rate of $335/ton. With contract rates in 2008
reaching $600/ton for Virginia types and $450/ton for runner types, the profitability of Virginia types could exceed
that of runner types.

Collab
orators:

Jiahuai Hu

Contact:

Pat Phipps


Plants and Plant Products:

Developing Novel Germplasm of Mountain Laurel

Relevance:

Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is an evergreen blooming shrub in the family Ericaceae, found in the
entire eastern portion of
the United States from southwestern Maine to northern Florida. It is one of the most
desirable ornamental plants of landscape architects. However, only a few of the over 80 cultivars of mountain laurel
on the market are able to survive in the southern reac
hes of its range. This explains the great demand for cultivars
able to easily establish, grow, and perform in warmer locations. Demonstrating a genetic basis for the inability of
most cultivars currently in trade to survive in the south would establish the

need for a breeding program designed to
create a greater variety of commercially available Kalmia germplasm that can reliably perform in the southern
landscapes.

Response:

The only viable Kalmia breeding program in the U.S. is located in Connecticut. In 2
007 this project was
established to determine whether or not there are ecotypes of mountain laurel. Ecotype determination will be
accomplished through several comparative studies. First, germination rates and dynamics of seed collected from
natural standin
gs from the northern (N) and southern (S) limits of the mountain laurel habitat will be compared
within a gradient of temperatures. Next the whole plant growth, development, and physiological responses will be
studied in N and S genotypes, as well as of cu
ltivars considered as industry standard (IS) subjected to contrasting
environmental parameters. The photosynthetic rate, the chlorophyll fluorescence parameter Fv/Fm, and the
dynamics of dormancy completion will be determined in all three groups of plants
grown in two environment
controlled growth chambers simulating the environmental conditions of northernmost and southernmost natural
ranges of mountain laurel. Additionally, an analysis of small heat shock proteins and 25 kDa dehydrin productions
will be p
erformed to uncover the differences in genetic potential for heat and cold acclimation in all three groups of
plants. Such differences may in part explain not only heat tolerance and freezing tolerance, respectively, but could
possibly be used as markers f
or determining inheritance of these traits.

Results:

By the end of 2007 methodology was developed and experiment parameters designed. Representative
germplasm was collected and propagated to achieve best possible uniformity of age and size of the experimen
tal
material. Seed populations from open pollination of native or well established cultivated Kalmia plants grown in
warm locations across Virginia were created. Several thousand seedlings were germinated and now grow in a
controlled environment chamber. A

total of 31 accessions have been collected from Florida, Alabama, and South
Carolina. The effect of various pre
-
treatments on the seed germination rate and dynamics has been established in
several Kalmia genotypes collected from colder and warmer localiti
es in Virginia.

Collaborators:

Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association

Contact:

Rumen Conev





























Virginia Cooperative Extensio
n/Outreach

Improving Childcare in Southside Virginia Tech


Relevance:

According to the Virginia Department of Health data and statistics, 68 percent of women and 85
percent of men in Virginia with children under age six are employed outside the home. According to the

National
Association of Childcare Resources and Referral Association, 364,654 children in Virginia are in need of quality
childcare. According to Kids Count, children in quality childcare develop more advanced language skills, display
more advanced cognit
ive development, experience more success in school, and demonstrate more positive social
skills.

Response:

To enhance the quality of early childhood education, Extension conducted childcare provider trainings
reaching participants from 11 cities and counti
es in Southside Virginia. One hundred eighty
-
six participants
representing family day homes, childcare facilities, public school pre
-
K, Head Start, and other groups attended to
learn about effective guidelines for successful early childhood program operati
ons and increase quality childcare for
2,814 children this year.

Results:

Knowledge change was assessed by a post evaluation and behavior change was identified by a six
month follow
-
up evaluation. As a result of attending these training sessions, participa
nts reported the following
knowledge gains:



72 percent learned new ideas to help children get along with others



81 percent learned new activities to promote early language and literacy development



79 percent children learned healthy food choices and new
activities to increase physical activity



75 percent learned new ideas for dealing with stress at work

On a six month follow
-
up survey 27 percent of the participants surveyed returned the completed survey. These
assessments showed:



82 percent of providers h
ave made changes to help children get along with others



64 percent have started including activities to help children explore the world around them through math
and science



82 percent have started procedures that will help control illness in their center



4
5 perce
n
t have started using more movement activities in their center



45 percent have started using more activities to help children learn to read.

Contact:

Patsy Pelland






E
-
campaign Encourages County Employees to Maintain Their Weight over the Holida
ys


Relevance:

Current data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 60 percent of
Virginia's adult population is overweight or obese. Many adults have commented that the holiday season between
Thanksgiving and New Years is the most diffic
ult time to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid the temptation to
overeat.

Response:

A "Maintain, Don't Gain" Holiday Challenge e
-
newsletter series was created and distributed
electronically to 238 county employees in Fauquier, Fairfax, Culpeper, Prince

William, and Spotsylvania counties.
The newsletter contains educational information regarding nutrition, physical activity, stress maintenance, healthy
recipes, and more. Participants submitted their weight at the beginning and end of the eight
-
week holid
ay period,
and incentives were provided for those who maintained their weight. The program was expanded to include face
-
to
-
face gatherings of participants to provide additional training and encouragement.

Results:

An online survey was conducted to measure the knowledge, attitudes, and behavior change of
participants. The educational effort was successful with 90 percent reporting they had lost or either maintained
weight during the healthy holiday challenge. Commen
ts included: “I found it easier to say NO with all your helpful
information. I have found it easier to say yes to the gym. Although I am not a big fan of water I try to get my daily
intake. Thanks to Week 7 of the campaign.”; “I would like to receive more
information from the VA Coop Extension
office. They have a range of subject matters that would be interesting to know about such as the items listed in the
last newsletter edition. (Learning more about preparing healthy meals, learn about your credit score

or how to buy a
home or car, learn about how to fertilizing your yard affects the environment, classes/lectures offered, etc.”

Contact:

Mena Forrester


Wool Pool Economically Benefits Producers

Relevance:

Regional medium
-
grade wool and mohair producers a
re limited in their ability to market their wool due
to a low commodity price tied to economy of scale production. Shearing cost in relation to wool value is of utmost
concern to producers. The Clarke Area Wool Growers Association, the Loudoun Valley Sheep

Producers
Association, and the Jefferson Wool Growers asked Cooperative Extension to help producers realize increased
revenues for their wool.

Response:

The Loudoun Extension staff worked with the sheep Extension specialist and Mid
-
States Wool Growers
Ass
ociation to provide a regional wool marketing opportunity for producers. Wool was collected and shipped to Mid
-
States Wool Growers, Ohio, for weighing, grading, sorting, and repacking in comingled, graded bales. Mid
-
State
purchased the wool and paid produc
ers by the pound on a greased weight basis.

Results:

Forty
-
eight producers representing VA, MD, PA, and WV collected 17,800 lbs of raw wool that was
marketed through Mid
-
States Wool Growers in Ohio on contract at 40 cents per pound. This allowed wool
produ
cers to cover shearing costs and avoided disposal of the wool in ways that have negative environmental
impact or fill landfill space. This effort also helped producers realize a .50 per lb. increase in the value of the wool
shipped compared to individual s
ales of less than 2,500 lbs. and associated shipping costs for the producers.

Collaborators:

VCE Agriculture and Natural Resource agents, West Virginia Extension Agriculture and Natural
Resource agents, Virginia Extension Sheep Specialist and local produce
r wool grower associations

Contact:

Corey Childs


Improving Profitability for Wheat Producers

Relevance:

Wheat production in 2008 received much interest due to increased demand and high prices. Wheat
production has historically been an important part of t
he row crop scheme in the lower middle peninsula of Virginia
and accounted for more than 10,000 acres in 2008. To stay productive and competitive, wheat producers need
updated information on varieties, production practices, new technologies, and marketing
strategies.

Response:

Wheat producers in the lower middle peninsula received small grain production research results and
information through e
-
mails, newsletters, and mailings. The group also requested that wheat varieties be planted in
on farm plots for v
isual comparisons. These plots were planted in the fall and evaluated during the winter and
spring. Producers attended a field day to see and learn about the varieties from Extension agents and researchers.
The group also discussed the current market situa
tion and marketing strategies at this event.

Results:

In 2008, more than 60 percent of these growers selected varieties to plant in the fall based on visual and
statistical data gathered at the field day. Use of this data in their operations could benefit
them by increasing
income by $35 per acre. Wheat acres in the lower middle peninsula could benefit by over $350,000. Ninety percent
of the producers stated that as a result of attending this field day, they could more easily identify wheat diseases
and wer
e better prepared to make treatment decisions. Sixty percent of the attendees stated they received valuable
marketing information that they will use in their individual marketing program.

Collaborators:

Keith Balderson, Jason Benton and Dr. Wade Thomason

C
ontact:

David Moore






Local Foods Initiative: Connecting Producers and Consumers

Relevance:

There is a trend of increased public demand for locally
-
grown produce, meats, and dairy products over
organically grown products, many of which must be transpor
ted long distances to reach markets. This movement
has been accelerated with recent continued fuel cost increases.

Response:

Extension faculty and researchers have assisted producers and raised public awareness about the
local foods movement. Local growers

of fresh produce have been assisted with marketing strategies and tools,
including an
internet

site and other educational opportunities such as an agriculture conference hosted by
Congressman Rick Boucher. This conference provided information on developing markets for locally
-
grown meats,
fruits, and vegetables delivered by many experts and practio
ners. Also, a workshop on state and federal regulations
and risk management issues of directly marketing eggs, meat, dairy, fruit, vegetable, and value
-
added products
was held, along with a good
a
gricultural practices information session. Lastly, assistanc
e was given to several
farmers' markets.

Emerging Results:

While it is difficult to assess the monetary impact a year’s worth of work has had on the local
economy, producers participating in this program indicate the demand for their products is increasing faster than in
years previous. Some producers will expand

operations to meet this need, thanks in part to this program. Other
evidence of local food demand includes a new farmers' market opening and another farmers’ market planning a
renovation and enlargement project due to increasing numbers of farm vendors an
d overwhelming consumer
demand. This market also initiated a yearly farm visit by the market director and Extension faculty. Several inquiries
and subsequent assistance have resulted from this face
-
to
-
face interaction. Many of the long
-
time producers have
shared that they see a more helpful and responsive effort from Extension. Last but not least, this work helped
increase the productivity and marketability of the small family
-
owned farm, keeping it in production, sometimes via a
conservation easement.

Coll
aborators:

Jon Vest, Danny Neel, Wythe Morris, Dr. Denise Mainville, Jesse Richardson, Christine Gabbard,
Andrew Sarjahani, Dr. Elena Serrano, Beth Obenshain, Jenny Schwanke, Melissa Pilkington, Becky Haupt, Dennis
Dove and Tenley Weaver

Contact:

Barry Rob
inson


Virginia 4
-
H History Bowl Boasts SOL Scores


Relevance:

To make the greatest impact in the area of citizenship, it is critical that young people understand the
history of the society in which they live and work. The Virginia education system recogn
izes this and has developed
Standards of Learning (SOL) in Virginia History in which all 4th
-
grade students must be proficient to pass the
associated exam.

Response:

To increase knowledge and understanding of Virginia history and increase Virginia History
SOL scores
of Washington County 4th
-
grade students, Washington County 4
-
H developed the 4
-
H History Bowl contest.

Results:

Washington County School System administrators attributed the following results to the Virginia 4
-
H
History Bowl:



Washington County 4
th
-
grade students' SOL history scores increased by nine points in 2006, and up
another 1.3 percent county
-
wide in 2008.



The county champion school in the 4
-
H Virginia History Bowl competition increased their SOL scores by
seven points.



Of the four members
on the champion team; three scored 100 percent and one scored 96 percent Virginia
History SOL proficiency.



During testing at individual schools, the Supervisor for Elementary Education, Dr. Janet Lester, called the
Washington County Extension office elated

over incoming test results.

Collaborators:

Crystal L. Peek, Washington County 4
-
H Extension Agent, Phil Blevins, Washington County
Agricultural Extension Agent

Contact:

Crystal L. Peek


The Campbell County 4
-
H Teen Counselor Program…Building Tomorrow’s
Leaders

Relevance:

The 2008 Campbell County situation analysis listed “Structured activities to build life skills and
leadership in youth” as a priority focus area for programming. Research shows that youth development is a
pressing issue facing the United

States today. “The future of the nation, and the future of world civilization, will soon
rest in the hands of today's youth. To become productive and contributing individuals who can be effective and
proactive in determining the course of tomorrow's world
, today's youth must develop positive leadership knowledge,
attitudes, skills and aspirations. Preparing today's youth for their roles as tomorrow's leaders is a challenge we all

face." (Cox, 1996)

Response:

The 2008 Campbell County 4
-
H teen counselor prog
ram provided teenage youth opportunities to build
life skills and leadership. Teenage youth must complete an application, interview, and reference checks to be a
counselor. Those selected participate in intensive camp training to supervise approximately 20
0 campers for a
week long residential camping program. Senior teen counselors are elected by their peers to the positions of teen
junior camp director, teen junior camp assistant director, or group leader. All teen counselors participate in a camp
planning

committee.

Results:

The Campbell County 4
-
H teen counselor program had 41 teen counselors in 2008. Teen counselors
assisted and led camp classes, evening programs, and afternoon recreation events. All teen counselors were
placed in a leadership role as th
e primary supervisors of 4
-
H campers ages 9
-
13. The positions of Teen Junior
Camp Director and Teen Junior Assistant Director gave teens the responsibility of supervising their peers in
counselor duties, program organization and planning, and camp classes
taught. The Campbell County 4
-
H
counselor program opened the door to other leadership opportunities. For example, during the 2007
-
2008 4
-
H year
three Campbell County 4
-
H members were elected to positions on the Virginia 4
-
H State Cabinet. This provided
Cam
pbell County with more cabinet members than any other county in the state.

Collaborators:

Cherie Roberts, 4
-
H Technician

Contact:

Elizabeth Narehood



















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Writing Effective
Impact Statements.docx