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Volume

58

Issue

6

Abstract

Extension agents serve important roles in communities but often begin their careers lacking skills crucial for success. We aimed to understand the professional development needs of Florida early-career Extension agents beyond the first year as perceived by eight county Extension directors (CEDs). Through semistructured interviews, CEDs indicated that building community relationships, managing volunteers, communicating effectively, and other Extension-related skills are areas for which early-career Extension agents need professional development. These results suggest a need for additional development opportunities beyond the first year, with a professional development model that is continually adapted as an Extension professional's skill set changes. Our findings have implications for those involved in Extension practice and research beyond Florida.

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