Gender differences in an on-line certification program for goat producers
R. C. Merkel, T. A. Gipson, and T. SahluProceedings of the 9th International Conference on Goats. Page 141. International Goat Association. 2008
In 2006, a Langston University-led consortium of 11 universities and 5 meat goat producer groups unveiled an on-line training and certification program (http://www2.luresext.edu/training/qa.html). The program consists of 22 learning modules. Participants take pre- and post-tests and must record a minimum score of 85% to pass the 16 required and a minimum of 3 elective modules for certification. Should a score of 85% be achieved on the pre-test, the participant has no need to take a post-test. As of November, 2007, 416 participants had registered for the program and 39 had completed the requirements for certification. A greater proportion of males (230) than females (186) enrolled in the certification program ( 2=4.65; P<0.05). The same gender proportion of enrolled participants also existed for those becoming certified, 24 males vs 15 females, ( 2=0.45; P=0.45). For those responding to a question concerning employment, a greater proportion of females than males enrolled in the program were engaged in full-time farming compared to part-time farming 51 vs 36 and 113 vs 145 for females and males engaged in full- and part-time farming, respectively, ( 2=5.73; P<0.02). However, this trend did not hold for the certified participants and more certified females than males responded as being full-time farmers, 7 vs 4 and 6 vs 15 for females and males engaged in full- and part-time farming, respectively, ( 2=3.67; P<0.06). No differences were found between males and female participants in farm size ( 2=8.29; P=0.30) or herd size ( 2=2.22; P=0.70). Females tended to score higher on pre-tests than males (85.4 vs 80.3%, P<0.06) and a proportionately higher percentage of males than females were required to take post-tests ( 2=6.94; P<0.01). There was no difference in post-test scores between genders. Males tended to record a greater difference between pre- and post-test scores than females (11.0 vs 5.2%, P<0.06). Results show that women goat farmers will actively participate in an on-line certification program. Pre-test scores show that the knowledge of women producers was on par or above that of male producers. The similarity in post-test scores is an indicator of the effectiveness of the training modules.
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