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Agriculture Today

Feral hog ‘community of practice’ website available for viewing

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June 20, 2012 | 3,915 views | Post a comment

Texas AgriLife Extension Service, part of the Texas A&M University System, along with other land-grant university Extension entities and agencies in a multi-state Feral Hog Community of Practice, have launched an important new resource, said a top project participant.

The Feral Hog Community of Practice within eXtension.org is ready for viewing, said Dr. Jim Cathey, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist who for the past year has served as leader for this effort. To see the site, go to http://www.extension.org/feral_hogs.

Cathey said in a June 11 Texas AgriLife Extension press release that a “community of practice” is typically a group of professional educators with expertise in a topic or subject matter area who join together to address that area of mutual interest. It is usually a multi-institutional, multi-state, and multi-disciplinary educational and informational effort to bring the best and most timely educational resources to the public.

Cathey said the website includes many creative resources aimed at the public and natural resource professionals. Through eXtension.org, there are already 35 communities of practice related to other important public resource areas that can be viewed at http://www.extension.org.

Leaders of this community of practice represent a mix of researchers, managers, and Extension specialists, bridging the gap between research, management, and outreach, he explained. Researchers and educators within universities and state and federal natural resource agencies also make up the community.

Cathey said so far community of practice efforts related to feral hogs have led to recruiting 15 leaders and 38 members representing 17 states; resolving numerous Ask the Expert inquiries; face-to-face meetings; web trainings; developing a cache of FAQs, articles and videos; coordinating national feral hog webinars; and creating a Feral Hog Community of Practice Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/FeralHogCoP.

Cathey said those interested in joining the community may provide contact information and will be sent an invitation to join. They may then establish an eXtension ID and password to access the group.

“You do not have to work for Extension to participate,” Cathey said. “Resource professionals are welcome.”

He said some of the benefits of participation in the group include collaboration with peers from across the nation, reaching a large audience of Internet users and getting practical experience, while developing peer-reviewed articles and other materials to help hone professional writing skills.

To learn more about the Feral Hog Community of Practice, contact Cathey at 979-845-7471 or jccathey@tamu.edu.

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