An Assessment of Awareness and Knoweldge of Zoonotic Diseases by Agricultural Science Teachers, 4-H and Youth Development Extension Agents, and Agricultural and Natural Resource Extension Agents
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The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge and awareness of agriculture science teachers, 4-H and youth development and agricultural and natural resource extension agents about zoonotic diseases. A needs assessment was conducted to assist in determining if agricultural science teachers, agricultural and natural resource agents, and agricultural extension agents were aware of and could identify zoonotic diseases, and whether they had received training or professional development regarding zoonotic diseases. Descriptive survey methodology and comparative analyses were used. The dependent variable was knowledge of zoonotic diseases. For the purpose of this study, knowledge of zoonotic diseases was limited to the prevention, detection, and control of the spread of zoonotic diseases. The target population of this study included agricultural science teachers, agricultural and natural resource agents, and 4-H and youth development agents in the state of Texas. A response rate of 66% (N=344) was achieved using an online survey. In general, participants had not received training or taken a course about zoonotic diseases. They were not confident regarding their understanding of ways to reduce diseases that can occur with animal contact, and they were not very aware of information, from any source, about zoonotic diseases. Interestingly, participants identified themselves as having the educational responsibility for teaching youth about zoonotic diseases. Recommendations emerging from these findings included training/professional development for 4-H and youth development and agricultural and natural resource extension agents, and course work for agricultural science teachers. Several courses and trainings that are readily available are the North Carolina Institute for Public Health course, Zoonotic Diseases and Public Health, and the zoonotic disease curriculum for K-12 classrooms produced by the Foreign Animal Zoonotic Disease Center. To increase the confidence level of extension agents and agricultural science teachers about zoonotic diseases and increase the percent of extension agents and animal science teachers who receive information about zoonotic diseases.
Holub, Merrideth Kuhl (2017). An Assessment of Awareness and Knoweldge of Zoonotic Diseases by Agricultural Science Teachers, 4-H and Youth Development Extension Agents, and Agricultural and Natural Resource Extension Agents. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from