Volume 3, Issue 1

Addressing Critical Issues - Special Edition

This special issue of OIQ focuses on the overarching impact of Utah State University (USU) Extension during 2022. As the Land-Grant University for Utah, USU is a key partner in the Land-Grant University System with the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA). NIFA is the federal partner in a vast network of scientists, educators, and Extension staff that address critical issues about agriculture, food, the environment, and communities.

Please read on to discover evidence-based success stories about USU Extension programs, events, and activities that improved the lives of Utahns.

Building Vibrant Communities

Utah consists of many rural counties spread out over vast areas of land, and only a few urban counties in centralized locations. As a result, there is an increasing disparity in economic opportunities for residents in rural counties. Therefore, the aim of the Vibrant Communities program at Utah State University (USU) Extension is to strengthen communities across Utah through to facilitate economic and social well-being. The desired long-term outcomes of the Vibrant Communities program are to (a) connect rural communities to economic opportunities in urban centers through innovative workplace practices (e.g., remote working arrangements), and (b) facilitate educational interventions, and community partnerships and coalitions to reduce substance abuse disorders in rural counties. Read the full article to learn about USU's impacts in the following Building Vibrant Communities areas:

  • Suicide Prevention Training for Workers
  • Certified Remote Work Professional Course

Read the full article here.

Sustainable Natural Resources & Ecosystems

The efficient management of natural resources is a primary concern for all individuals, and this is particularly true for Utah where natural resources are used for a variety of economic and social benefits. The goal of this Extension program is to provide non-formal education to residents, stakeholders, and organizations to promote, facilitate, and strengthen environmental stewardship and sustainable natural resource use in Utah. The project targets adults and youth, and the desired long-term outcomes are to (a) equip residents with the competency to effectively engage in natural resource conservation and preservation, and (b) facilitate partnerships between community members and public and private stakeholders to strengthen natural resource conservation and enable sustainable resource use. Read the full article to learn about USU's impacts in the following Sustainable Natural Resources and Ecosystems areas:

  • USU Water Quality Extension Education
  • Forecasting and Adapting to Drought

Read the full article here.

Public Food Safety

Foodborne illness is a major cause of death, claiming the lives of our most vulnerable populations; the elderly, young, pregnant women, people with impaired immune function, and the chronically ill. The Public Food Safety Education program at Utah State University (USU) Extension aims to provide relevant research-based education to Utah residents on best practices to reduce the risk of food contamination and foodborne illnesses. The major focus areas of this program are food preservation techniques and household food storage. The desired long-term outcomes of the Public Food Safety Education program are to (a) reduce the occurrences of foodborne illnesses in Utah through research-based education on food safety practices in households, and (b) to reduce food contamination in the food supply chain by providing relevant education on best practices to processors and producers. Read the full article to learn about USU's impacts in the following Public Food Safety areas:

  • Preserve the Harvest Education
  • Food Preservation and Safety

Read the full article here.


Public Nutrition and Health

There is a need to provide effective nutrition information and education to the public to enable consumers to make wise dietary choices. As the relationships between diet, physical and mental health, and disease prevention become clearer, the promotion of healthy eating behaviors and lifestyles for both youth and adults has received increased attention in recent years. Therefore, the desired long-term outcomes are the Public Nutrition and Health Education program are to (a) empower residents to make healthy food choices and improve their nutritional intake, and (b) reduce the economic cost of chronic diseases in Utah through ongoing nutrition education to youth and adults. Read the full article to learn about USU's impacts in the following Public Nutrition and Health areas:

  • Diabetes Prevention and Management
  • Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Statewide Create Better Health Programming

Read the full article here.

Positive Youth Development

4-H programs are grounded in the belief that youth learn best by doing. Kids and teens complete hands-on projects in many educational areas including science, health, agriculture, and civic engagement. 4-H allows youth to engage in their educational interests in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors, while also being encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. The long-term goals of Utah 4-H are to (a) facilitate positive youth development through educational activities that foster youth competence, character, connection, caring, confidence, and contribution, and (b) empower youth to pursue their passion for successful careers and healthy life. Read the full article to learn about USU's impacts in the following Positive Youth Development areas:

  • Community Gardens for Youth
  • Adventure Oriented Confidence Curriculum for Youth
  • Remote Work Education for Youth

Read the full article here.

Personal and Family Wellbeing

A major goal of Home & Community Extension programming is to enhance individual and family resource management (FRM). FRM, which relates to financial management, also ties to other aspects of family health, such as healthy marital and family relationships, and mental health and well-being. As a broad program area, the target audience for this program includes youth, adults, and families in Utah. Desired long-term outcomes are to (a) strengthen family relationships, and (b) improve the economic well-being of individuals and families.  Read the full article to learn about USU's impacts in the following Personal and Family Wellbeing areas:

  • Strengthening Marital Relationships
  • Homebuyer Education
  • Celebrating Women
  • Wellness Walks
  • Family Finance Education

Read the full article here.

Agricultural Productivity

Utah has over 18,000 farms and ranches spanning 11 million acres, which generate more than $21 billion in total economic output (after adjusting for the multiplier effect). While it is true that Utah becomes more urbanized each year, it is also true that agriculture continues to play a vital part in our state. Extension continues to meet the needs of traditional agriculture while evolving to meet the needs of developing agricultural industries. The long-term goals of the Agriculture and Natural Resource (AG/NR) program are to (a) increase the productivity and efficiency of Utah agricultural operations, and (b) promote sustainable natural resource use through relevant education on conservation practices. Read the full article to learn about USU's impacts in the following Agricultural Productivity areas:

  • Beginning Beekeeping Extension Education
  • Preventing Injury Among Master Gardeners
  • Utah Agriculture in the Classroom Preservice Teacher Seminar
  • Inclusive Farmers Markets
  • IPM Demonstration Farms

Read the full article here.

Click here to read the full issue of Outcomes & Impact Quarterly

Submit your research to the next issue!


For more information,

please contact the editors:

Dr. Lendel Narine

Dr. Cris Meier

Dr. Paul Hill

Andree' Walker Bravo

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