Stakeholder and Grantee Perceptions of the Kenedy County Agricultural Conservation Education Center
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Agricultural conservation education is an important concept globally and locally. The Kenedy County Agricultural Conservation Education (ACE) Center will be established in the very rural and agriculturally-based community of Sarita, Texas, using federal funds from a Coastal Impact Assistance Program grant. The purpose of this study was to identify grantee and stakeholder perceptions of the Kenedy County ACE Center. The results identified beliefs about the Center's purpose, who its stakeholders were, possible concerns about the center, and use of the center by the 4-H program. Additionally, intentions and expectations about the Center were identified; these included operation and management, benefits, programs and activities, and others intentions and expectations. Differences between grantees' and stakeholders' perceptions were found about main focus of the ACE Center, management, and degree of concern for the center's future. This study showed that overall, grantees and participants perceive a great deal of educational benefits from the ACE Center, mainly relating to topics important to Kenedy County's livelihood, including agriculture, livestock production, wildlife management, and range management. Other major expected and intended benefits are pride for Kenedy County, ability to use a new facility in Sarita, and an increase in youth 4-H participation. This case study produced knowledge that will allow the Kenedy County ACE Center to have a clearer sense of purpose and direction and to be successful.