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Volume

56

Issue

2

Abstract

We sought to determine Extension agents' attitudes and perceptions related to Tennessee Extension professional associations. We conducted one-on-one interviews with association members and nonmembers and used a thematic analysis method to analyze the results. Themes common to members and nonmembers were (a) networking and connection, (b) value, and (c) membership costs. Member-only themes included (a) awards and (b) motivation to join. Nonmember-only themes included (a) lack of information and understanding of function and (b) recruitment. Recommendations for practice and future research revolve around motivation, effective recruitment, professional development, networking, and awards. Our findings and recommendations may serve as guiding elements for others evaluating Extension professional associations.

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