The team leaders and co-leaders for the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center serve as topic editors for their section of web content. They are also responsible for encouraging and connecting a national group of professionals with an interest and expertise in the chosen topic. Every team is slightly different in their dynamics and their momentum at any given time. This page represents an overarching goal. It is fully expected that some teams will place greater emphasis on some areas than others based on the makeup of their team and its talents/needs/goals. In other words, some teams will excel in some of these areas and others will excel in others. Wherever your team’s talents and energy lie, you should feel empowered to emphasize those areas.
It is expected that grant funded projects, which function like the topic teams in most ways, will need to use their project goals, roles, and responsibilities as the determining factor in what they produce. This page is largely meant as a guideline for the topic teams and may not necessarily reflect a grant project.
Virtual Work Days
Serve as a catalyst to create nationally relevant and timely content and help increase the usage of good state/regional content through curation.
Organize an annual virtual work day that focuses on reviewing and improving content on the website (http://www.extension.org/animal_manure_management). This can be original content, emerging topics for which there is not a lot of existing material, or updates/summaries of research or programs in which team members are involved. Nationally applicable information is especially appropriate to become original content on the LPELC site.
Since most state extension programs are much more heavily invested in their own web presence than they were in the early days of the LPELC and eXtension, it is expected that much content will be curated from existing materials. For example, a page might embed a Youtube video from one state, links to a couple of extension publications from others, and some photos from others. This curated content needs to be more than a “link farm” and be tied together with a short piece of relevant text that calls the reader to some type of action. It exemplifies our original mission to connect people with the “best of the best”.
Curation also helps achieve another core mission (we do not want to compete with existing efforts, but enhance them). By curating good content, we can increase views and usage of excellent state and regional resources, or of those developed by other partners and collaborators.
Evaluation and Analytics
Work with LPELC staff to make sure content is structured for evaluation/impact potential and provide statistics to team members on their contributions.
Every team will have a different set of needs on feedback they need. Reach and “quantity” type statistics are readily available by working with Jill. Impact data requires more planning and long-term design, and team leaders should feel free to bring their local resources/expertise (or those of other team members) to bear–in addition to working with LPELC leadership. Tagging, embedding feedback forms, surveys, gathering contact lists, and similar activities are all important parts of this.
To really get a handle on impact, we belive it really important to have team members that have local or face-to-face responsibilities with farmers or other members of the target audience. These local connections are critical to gathering information on how knowledge is being used.
Identify and fill the need for training on skills or technical knowledge as needed or identified by team members.
The LPELC topic teams are encouraged to develop content that not only informs our target audience, but also serves a role in developing technically-sound professionals in animal agriculture stewardship topics. In many ways, the line between “audience” and “expert” is blurred in the current online world. Skills in the use of outreach tools (organizing a demonstration day, social media, etc.) are also important. In many cases, people within the team itself can provide the needed information.
Collaboration and Connection
Encourage collaboration, connections, and networking.
Most extension systems have experienced significant cutbacks in recent years. Where there was once the potential to walk down the hall to consult with colleague, there is now a need to reach out beyond our geographical borders for advice and collaborators. We cannot afford to spend time on developing new resources from scratch when we could utilize exiting ones and modify them for our audience/location.
Contributing to Product Development (In Addition to Website)
The topic teams and leaders are encouraged to organize webcasts and sessions at the Waste to Worth conference. Identifying high priority topics, recruiting speakers, and serving as moderator are among the activities where help is needed.
Rotation of Leadership
It was recommended that a team leader serve a two year stint. First year as a co-leader and second year as leader. Each team has approached this differently but it is good to spell it out so team members have some idea what to expect.