This paper examines the categories of skills necessary to conduct Public Issues Education programs that address complex and contentious natural resource issues facing communities. Skills of effective Public Issues Educators are presented and a survey methodology is used to classify, characterize and describe the skills needed. Statistical tests conducted using survey data collected at the 2003 National Association of County Agricultural Agents conference indicate that the skills needed to do this kind of work can be characterized as 1) facilitation, 2) interpersonal communication and 3) traditional. The analysis provides information to help land grant and agricultural college faculty to tailor curriculum to target the explicit training needs of agricultural and natural resource outreach professionals engaged in community decision-making and problem solving.
outreach professionals, public issues, education programs