i-Three Issue Corps 2016 – Project ALPHA: Alaskan Livestock Production and Health Action

Lisa Lunn

Veterinary Livestock Specialist, Associate Professor of Veterinary Medicine

University of Alaska

What is the change you are designing to achieve?

I want to help Alaskan livestock producers build their skillset so that they can be more productive, resulting in more milk/meat production, thus reducing the food insecurity in our communities. Designing a platform of information that producers can access as needed, utilizing practical homework assignments, and building a community mentoring network will combine to create a powerful program that will demonstrate changes in knowledge and practical behavior in the individual producer and hopefully the community.

How will you measure that change?

  1. For each of the 18 learning modules:
    1. Pre/post assessments – to measure change in knowledge
    2. Homework assignment utilizing a management technique – to measure change in behavior
  2. Follow-up interview/questionnaire – follow-up after year 1(6 modules), 2 year (after 12 modules), 3 year (all 18 modules)

What is the innovative component or strategy you will implement as a result of the design-a-thon?

  1. Adaptive release content – to reach beginners, while not boring producers that have some prior knowledge of subject matter
  2. Zaption – interactive videos with questions to use as advertising for project

How did the design-a-thon help you?

Opened my eyes to new technologies and ways of presenting information. It was great to bounce ideas off people who have not previously heard about my project.

Summary:

Alaska’s geographical location presents a challenge to those raising livestock. Climate extremes and limited resources, such as veterinary care, can lead to frustration and lowered overall production. Alaskan livestock producers are looking to Extension to provide easily accessible information on how to increase livestock production, while maintaining a healthy herd. The goal of this project is to deliver information relevant to livestock health and production to help producers develop better herd practices and set achievable goals, which will help to advance animal agriculture and reduce food insecurity in Alaska.

The Alaskan Livestock Production and Health Action (ALPHA) is an online program designed to administer instructional and experiential modules relevant to livestock health, biosecurity, and production-based concepts pertinent to Alaskan producers. Lisa is currently working with eXtension staff to design innovative components using the Moodle platform in campus.extension.org.

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