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Title:Developing a livestock producer-centered approach to design and optimize training programs in antimicrobial stewardship
Author(s):Ramirez, Chelsey Renee
Advisor(s):Lowe, James F; Aldridge, Brian M.
Contributor(s):Firkins, Lawrence D.
Department / Program:Vet Clinical Medicine
Discipline:VMS-Veterinary Clinical Medcne
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Illinois livestock producer
Learning style
Antimicrobial use
Abstract:Recently, the emergence of antimicrobial resistance has provoked numerous nation-wide initiatives that encourage the prudent use of antimicrobials in both human and veterinary medicine. The importance of effective education and training programs has been increasingly emphasized as a key area of expansion for improving antimicrobial stewardship at all levels. Large-scale, highly integrated livestock production systems have discovered that adoption of education and training helps livestock producers incorporate essential principles of antimicrobial stewardship and the latest advances in science and technology into their day to day operations. In many ways, there appears to be significant incongruity in availability, uptake, and impact of training between these large, cooperate agriculture entities, and the more common small-scale, owner-operator units. When evaluating Illinois livestock producers, age, farm size, farm diversity, and employment demographics provide ample evidence of this traditional, small-scale family farm culture. While the importance and benefit of training and education is well-established, the question of how to best provide these opportunities to differing demographics and learner preferences, and of how delivery and format can be engineered to maximize effectiveness, remains unanswered. The long term goal of the projects represented in this thesis is to develop effective, evidence-and outcomes-based educational platforms that align with the needs and preferences of Illinois livestock producers. In the first project, a survey was conducted to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses in knowledge, attitude, behavior, and practice in antimicrobial usage in Illinois dairy producers. The survey data highlighted the need for producer training in several key areas of antimicrobial stewardship and management. The results from this study can be used to guide development of producer-focused education and training programs aimed at encouraging best practices surrounding the practical antimicrobial stewardship necessary to foster high health animal care systems. While it is evident that adults learn different than children, little work has been done investigating the role of adult learning in the workplace, specifically in an agricultural setting. In attempt to understand more about the educational needs of Illinois livestock producers, the second project in this series consisted of development and distribution of a survey regarding producer demographics, current methods or resources used for continuing education, level of engagement in their on-farm work environment, and learning style preferences, which was administered to Illinois livestock producers throughout the state. The goal of this project was to apply established adult learning tools and theories to identify previously uncharacterized attributes of mature learners currently employed in the Illinois livestock-based food production sector, and to explore the role of these attributes in the potential effectiveness of learning and training programs. The results of this study demonstrated previously undocumented patterns of learning style among livestock producers indicating a preference for a combination of reflective and theoretic learning. In addition, demographic variables were noted to be associated with learner preference. Understanding how to leverage this information to facilitate an atmosphere for effective adult learning is paramount for the transfer of information to improve on-farm livestock practices. Future studies are needed to examine the impact of these differences in adult learning styles on the design and delivery of effective training programs in the livestock production sector.
Issue Date:2017-04-27
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Chelsey Renee Ramirez
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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