Using social network analysis to characterize the collaboration network of backyard poultry trainers in ackCalifornia

M. Cadena, M. Hoffman, R. A. Gallardo, A. Figueroa, M. Lubell, M. Pitesky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In order to better understand collaboration among trainers in the backyard poultry community (i.e. feed store managers, youth development programs (i.e. 4-H), veterinarians, government agencies, extension resources and backyard poultry club leaders), Social Network Analysis (SNA) was used as a tool to better characterize and quantify the current collaboration network structure of backyard poultry trainers in California. Invited trainer attendees of two “Train-the-Trainers” poultry workshops (n = 67) held in Northern and Southern California were given a survey that asked them to list contacts that they collaborated with on backyard poultry (BYP) related work. The collaboration network in this study included a total of 109 trainers, 18 practitioners, and 32 individuals who are both trainers and practitioners for a total of 170 nodes (11 individuals did not have affiliation information available). In order to help identify central actors or collaboration leaders, the surveys were analyzed using Social Network Analysis (SNA), which allows for a quantitative analysis of relationships among various stakeholders. While the SNA showed that the existing collaboration network is disconnected with a clustering coefficient of 0.043 and median total degree centrality of 1 (range 9) and therefore not conducive for collaboration, key insights that could help restructure and improve the network were identified. As an example, among different poultry groups, 4-H was identified as the organization with the second highest median coverage score and fifth highest median centrality score. In addition, 4-H group leaders act as both trainers and practitioners. Consequently, outreach to 4-H group leaders throughout the state would potentially have the greatest impact with respect to overall coverage both inside and outside the 4-H network due to their high centrality and boundary spanning roles. Using SNA to strengthen the collaboration network infrastructure of backyard poultry trainers ultimately offers a more targeted approach toward extension for backyard poultry owners, which could ultimately facilitate communication and knowledge-sharing with BYP owners during a disease outbreak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume158
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Keywords

  • Backyard Poultry Trainers
  • Collaboration Network
  • Social Network Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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