Increasing Program Effectiveness Through use of Principles of Andragogy in Tennessee Beef Quality Assurance Programs

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Virginia Tech


Tennessee Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) programs teach beef producers the importance of quality within beef industries. BQA programs assure consumers of the quality and safety of supplied beef, as well as the environmental orientation of farm production practices (Tsakiridis et al., 2021). Any active BQA certificate holder in Tennessee can apply for the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP). TAEP significantly benefits both farmers and the economy. The TAEP is a cost-share system funding over $106 million dollars funding over thirty-seven thousand programs in the agricultural community statewide (Farm Bureau, Tennessee 2019 Resolutions, 2019). The cost-share program aids farmers to begin projects that could not have been financially feasible if the cost-share program was not available (Menard et al., 2019). The BQA program is an educational program taught as Cooperative Extensions efforts. The program aims to predominately adult beef cattle producers. Andragogy, also known as adult learning theory, was created by Malcolm Knowles to effectively teach adults. In this study, qualitative methods and quantitative methods were used to accurately identify how andragogy is being used in Tennessee BQA programs. The results showed Extension agents followed the seven-step andragogical design process and showed that BQA participants have the six andragogical principles. Recommendations for future research were identified to adapt the Andragogy in practice inventory for instructors, conduct a research study that addresses counties with smaller participation, and conduct studies with county agents in early career stages. Recommendations for the Tennessee BQA program are to have trainings for Extension agents around the andragogical process and to reevaluate the requirement for additional programs.



Andragogy, Beef Quality Assurance, Educational Programming, Extension Programming, Non-Formal Education