Perceptions of Czech and Slovak participants of the usefulness of the Iowa State University "Farm Management in a Market Economy Workshop"
The purpose of this investigation was to assess the perception of the participants who attended Farm Management in a Market Economy (Workshop I), which was presented at the three agriculture universities in the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. The workshop was designed to assist them in their efforts in moving from a centrally controlled economy (society) to a market economy (society). Objectives of the study were to determine: (1) to what extent the participants were able to understand the information presented in the workshop; (2) the usefulness of the workshop to the participants in their efforts to understand a market economy; and (3) to what extent the workshop was effectively planned and organized;For the study's first objective, 99.2 percent of the respondents indicated they completely understood the information or they understood most, but not all, of the information presented;The composite overall mean score for the second objective was 4.25 (useful to very useful). The respondents indicated that they felt that the question and response period was the most useful. Least useful were audio visual presentations;For the study's third objective, that of assessing if the participants felt "the workshop was effectively planned and organized," the overall mean score for this objective was 4.06 (more than adequate);Significant differences (=.05) were observed among group means for the objectives when the respondents were grouped by age, professional responsibility, years in current position, and location in which they participated in the workshop;Several of the participants indicated that they felt the workshop was very well presented and several indicated they were going to try to use the information to make changes in their work. The most striking example was given by a participant from the Nitra workshop, Jan' Goldsmith. On Thursday, during the open discussion period set aside for evaluation comments, he publicly announced, "Because of this workshop, I quit my job on the cooperative farm last night and I am going to be a private farmer." Participants also indicated that they felt the workshop was useful to them in their efforts to understand a market economy.