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Discussing Extension Agents’ Role in Moderating Contentious Issue Conversations

Extension agents are finding themselves engaged in problem-solving roles as public needs adjust to a climate where issues facing the agricultural and natural resource industry are more often contentious than benign. As connectors between the Land-grant university system and the public, Extension agents need to know how to effectively communicate about contentious issues with clientele. This study used an online survey design to determine Extension agents’ attitudes toward contentious issues, challenges that they face, and effective means of communication.