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Friday, November 1, 2013

Matagorda County Coastal Marine Resource Agent

New Man on the Job!!!!

We have a new man on our team , welcome Mr. Dru Garson, as our new Coastal Marine Resource Agent in Matagorda County.  Dru was processed today at the District office and will assume his new role and duties starting on Monday morning Nov. 4th  in Bay City.  Dru comes to us from Alaska where worked a community development agent.  Dru will work to provide leadership in the areas of community development in Matagorda County particularly associated with coastal/marine issues. Help me to welcome Dru to District 11.

Finishing up Program Planning

We are finishing up program planning and looking forward to your new year of programing with all the great new ideas and opportunities to assist our local clientele with outreach education. Please remember that we must finish up our current year with our Making a Difference annual reports complied by our outcome summaries.  Several of you attended a very good lync meeting this week where Dr. Ripley provided good information on writing your outcome summaries.  I will soon provide you with updated templates for your reports.

October went by very fast and November looks to be as busy as ever
Events coming up in November:

D11 ANR Retreat - Sealy
Extension Foundations, Academy I and II - College Station
4-H Crossroads - San Antonio
Thanksgiving Holidays

Friday, October 25, 2013

40 years of Service to Texas Agriculure

Roy Parker, Extension Entomologist

This week we celebrated Dr. Roy Parker's career with our agency, his retirement celebration, was a great success.  Over 100 family members, coworkers, acquaintances, producers, and administration attended this weeks event at the center in Corpus Christi.

Dr. Parkers service to the agricultural industry in our area is legendary, his work ethic and commitment to the producers was evident by the many testimonials that were presented at the event.

The department of Entomology will soon be seeking Dr. Parkers replacement as we move to the next chapter in meeting the needs of our producers for the next 40 years.


Dairy Max Trainings

Many of FCS agents and 4-H agents have attended or will attend the dairy max trainings soon.  The trainings are just the begging of a great partnership in moving toward a new audience in the health and wellness arena.

Potential educational programs:

-          Family Nutrition Nights (nutrition, physical activity, food demonstrations, etc)

-          Dinner Tonight (healthy cooking demonstrations)

-          Dinner Tonight e-blasts (participants can sign up to get a weekly food demonstration video showing the preparation of a healthy, quick, budget friendly recipe)

-          Provide nutrition and health information at health fairs

-          Master Wellness Volunteer training (volunteers receive 40 hours of research-based training in nutrition, food safety, food demonstrations, walking program, etc.  In return, participants help support Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Cooperative Extension Programs in a volunteer capacity for a minimum of 40 hours)

The FUTP60 program is flexible and tailored to the needs/wants of each school campus.  The basic components to work your way through the playbook include:

-          Program advisor identified for the school (coach, counselor, teacher, etc.)

-          Create FUTP60 youth committee to discuss and identify ideas on initiatives for that school (engages other youth)

-          Provide opportunities for engaging identified health and wellness ideas at the campus

-          Making this a “team” effort

Strategies to support the potential of many school campuses in enrolling in the FUTP60 program with the help of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Cooperative Extension Program will need to include train the trainer models.  Suggestions include (but not limited to):

-          Training for identified program advisors

-          Training for youth committees

-          Training for parent or community volunteers
 
 
District 11 ANR Retreat, Northern District 11
 Upcoming next month is the District 11 Ag Retreat, to be held on November 6th and 7th,  in the northern part of the district.  I want to be clear that this is our annual District 11 ANR professional development retreat, that is sponsored by The Texas Agricultural Agents Association and coordinated by the agents in the northern part of the district.   It is an expectation that all agents with agricultural duties be at this training.   You are certainly encouraged to be a member of TCAAA, however, If you are not a member you do not have to stay for the business meeting.  The agenda looks really good, and we also have the opportunity to visit with one of our state’s legislative representatives.
On the second day of the retreat, we will have our ANR/4-H agent presentations.  I am soliciting from you 5 professional presentations, involving power points and or other forms of audio visuals for the presentation.  This is your time to share your outcome summaries, result demonstration summaries, innovative program ideas, and any other presentations that you believe would be beneficial to your peers in the district.  The presentations can be in either in adult or 4-H youth ANR programing.  I need 5 presentations , each presentation 15 min in length.  I need you confirmation to present by Oct. 23, if I do not get 5 presentations, I will designate to whom will present at the retreat.  Please take advantage of this great opportunity to share your programing efforts, and for enhancement of your dossier.  
 
 
 
 
 
 



Friday, October 4, 2013

District 11 Awards and Recognition Committee

District 11 Awards and Recognition Committee


I want to thank Mr. Corrie Bowen and Mr. Matt Bochat for chairing the newly reorganized District awards and recognition committee. Members of the committee working to nominate their peers are Adrian Arredondo, Kara Matheney, Kayla Kaspar, Anthony Netardus, Brent Batchelor, and Michelle Allen. 

The last of the award applications were due today.   In all, 8 Superior Service Award Applications and 1 Vice Chancellor’s Award Application were submitted from District 11!  Thanks to the committee and other agents  for all of your time and effort to get this applications completed and submitted on time.  All of our applications were of very high quality.   Thanks Again!

Awards
Person Nominated
Status of application
County Extension Agent
Brent Batchelor
submitted 9/18 by C. Bowen
Kayla Kaspar
submitted 9/24 by K. Matheney
Specialist
Jason Cleere
submitted 9/24 by K. Matheney
Team
Multi-County Beef Quality Team - Philip, Larry, Kara, Scott, Dr. Hide
submitted 9/24 by K. Matheney
Western Rice Beef Production Conf.
submitted by B. Batchelor
Food Preservation in the 21st Century
submitted by M. Allen
Sally G., Michelle Allen, Phillip S., Scott Willey, Dr. Jenna Anding
 Diversity
Ardrian Arrendondo's San Patricio County Extra Special Livestock Show
Submitted by Adrian Arrendondo
Distinguished Career
Jeff Stapper
Submitted by M. Bochat
Vice Chancellor's Award
Phillip Shackelford
Submitted by C. Bowen on 10/4




























Texas AgExchange Farm and Ranch Show
Corpus Christi Texas

I had a chance to attend an afternoon of the farm show this week , there was a big turn out from the south Texas and Coastal Bend agricultural community as moisture has once again renewed producers optimism for their fields, range and pasture.  It was good to see some old friends and visit with producers once again.

A big turn out for educational programs, conducted by the Nueces County/San Patrico County office was held on both days,  Monty Dozier, Bobby McCool and the Nueces County staff need to be commended for an outstanding program. Helen Orsak in particular provided great leadership in facilitating the meetings prior to Jason Ott getting to the office.  I want to also thank Joe Paschal and Megan Clayton for providing very informative programs.

Dr. Doug Steel, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Director attended the program and  show on Wednesday. It was great to see our director come out to one of our programs in District 11, we really appreciate his support.

Program Planning Conferences
We start Monday morning -through Thursday  on this years PPC's I will be sending out lync meetings the day before each conference, again please be ready and plan to for the entire day till you are excused by the RPD's and myself.   Have a good weekend, DM

Friday, September 27, 2013

District 11 Extension News:
I know I have not posted in a very long time, but yes the blog is not dead!!! I wanted to provide you some reminders to some recent administrative communication, if you have any questions give me a call.

Honoring 40 Years of Service

Below and attached is an invitation to Dr. Parker's Retirement Celebration being sent out by the our office.  Hopefully most of you will be able to attend, as Dr. Parker touched many County Agents lives in working with Texas Agriculture.  Please share this information with Ag Producers in your counties that you think would be interested.  I know some agents have included the invitation in their county Ag newsletters, and some were going to do an email blast to producers.  Also, please share this information with retired agents living in your counties, who would be interested in attending. 

Let’s all try to make Roy’s Celebration something very special! This retirement celebration is not only a celebration for Dr.Parker it is a celebration of 40 years of Extension Programing in Texas. Dr. Parker's driving work ethic translated into many of the agents that worked with him and the demonstration cooperators and producers that learned from his wealth of knowledge. His efforts clearly made a difference in the lives of so many Ag producers making them more productive by his persistence to be the best Extension Entomologist in the Nation.  We have just been fortunate to call him our own.


  Program Planning Conferences
As planned at our recent district workshop, attached is the schedule and agenda for the program planning conferences for the week of Oct 7th thru Oct 10th. The conferences will be conducted using the lync program. You will soon be getting an invitation to a lync meeting on your outlook calendar.  I would suggest that you test your lync program for working  order, prior to the morning of the conference.  It is acceptable to join another coworker at their computer for the group and county sessions.  However you will be required to lync with the RPD’s and possibly myself for the individuals sessions.  Austin County please send me some possible dates in order to schedule your conference.

I want to remind you that this is one of the most important tasks that you must complete as a county Extension agent.  Identifying the issues of your clientele and addressing their needs with your plans is what should drive you in Making a Difference in 2014.

Please plan on the entire day for the conference, however I believe that most of you will be done early afternoon.  Please be prepared by entering you 2014 plans into Texas by Oct 1st.  If your first draft of plans are not in the system by your designated PPC you will have to come to Rosenberg for the regional face to face program planning conference, November 1st.  

I also want to remind you , new this year you are required to send me your updated curriculum vita, as it is also important that you work on your dossier each year.

I look forward to our conferences, and reviewing you plans of work,  please call if you have any questions.

 
The Texas 4-H & Youth Development Program is pleased to announce the capability for volunteers to report their activities and accomplishments. As you well know, the 4-H Program relies heavily on volunteers to reach more youth, lead educational programs, coordinate activities, and manage clubs and groups. We know that volunteers are doing great things in the 4-H Program! In order to assess the impact they are making, we have developed two online reporting options for volunteers to report their activities and accomplishments.
 
4-H Club Manager Reporting: This reporting system is for 4-H club managers and is accessible on 4-H CONNECT. Club Managers will need access to their 4-H clubs in order to report club meeting numbers and activities. The information inputted by volunteers is accessible at any time by County Extension Agents.
4-H Volunteer Reporting: This online reporting system is available for any type of volunteer to report an activity. Volunteers can use it to report club meetings, project activities, workshops, project visits, and community service activities, just to name a few. Club managers are welcome to report using this online system; however, they should not report to both systems. Information reported to this site will be sent by the 5th of each month to County Extension Agents.
 
More information about these two reporting options can be found on the Volunteer Resources web page at: http://texas4-h.tamu.edu/volunteerresas well as the one-pager attached. How-to videos are also available on the site to walk you and volunteers through the reporting systems.
 
Several online trainings, using the TTVN Web Meeting Program, will also be hosted this Fall to showcase the two volunteer reporting options. The trainings are scheduled for the following dates and times.
Friday, October 4th at 10:00 am - Event ID: HPL435605; Link: https://ebs-saba.ads.tamu.edu:443/GA/main/000000686cea000001413d996d4cbab5
Tuesday, October 22nd at 2:00 pm - Event ID: LLL482406; Link: https://ebs-saba.ads.tamu.edu:443/GA/main/000000686cea000001413d996d4cbabf
Monday, November 4th at 10:00 am - Event ID: HRP524963; Link: https://ebs-saba.ads.tamu.edu:443/GA/main/000000686cea000001413d996d4cbac9
 
Please feel free to contact Courtney Dodd or Toby Lepley with any questions about these two volunteer reporting systems.
 
Personnel News:
I want to announce that  Mr. Jason Ott, has accepted the ANR position in Nueces County. Jason will transfer to Nueces County from Medina County in District 10 effective October 1st. We are fortunate to have Jason join the staff in Nueces County and the our D11 team. He comes highly recommended as an agent with great knowledge of production agriculture and will prove to be a great asset to the Nueces County agricultural community. Please join me in welcoming Jason to the Coastal Bend.
 
October 6-12 is National 4-H Week, which culminates with “one day 4-H” — a day of community service set for Oct. 12.   I know you all have many activities planned for this important week , pleas let us know how the District office can help support your efforts.
 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Developing a Mentoring Culture/ Honoring a Pioneer in Extension Programing


Developing a Mentoring Culture

A mentoring culture continuously focuses on building the mentoring capacity, competence, and capability of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has a very organized mentoring program as a part of our new agent on boarding program, but mentoring should be encouraged beyond our formal program and should permeate the entire organization. A mentoring culture with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service encourages the practice of mentoring excellence by continuously:

  • creating readiness for mentoring within Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service,
  • facilitating multiple mentoring opportunities, and
  • Building in support mechanisms to ensure individual and organizational mentoring success.

In a mentoring culture, six hallmarks build on and strengthen each other. All are present, at least to some degree; however they manifest themselves differently depending on the organizational expectations related to mentoring. When each hallmark is consistently present, the mentoring culture is more robust. As more and more of each hallmark is found in an organization, the mentoring culture becomes progressively more sustainable.

The Six Hallmarks of a Mentoring Culture

  1. Accountability.
  2. Communication
  3. Value and Visibility.
  4. Demand.
  5. Education and Training.
  6. Safety Nets.

A mentoring culture is an expression of an organization’s vitality. Its presence enables an organization to augment learning, maximize time and effort, and better utilize its resources. The relationship skills learned through mentoring benefit relationships throughout the organization; as these relationships increase, people feel more connected to the organization. Ultimately, the learning that results creates value for the entire organization.  Dr. Darrell Dromgoole Associate Director for County Programs contributed to this article.

Recently , we had three new mentors trained in the District at a special training last week,  Brian Yanta, Janice Pfeffer, and Kayla Kaspar, were trained as new mentors and will be assenting as we continue to onboard new agents into the district.  These three individuals have all conducted excellent programs in their counties and have established themselves as resource individuals in their field of expertise.  Congratulations!!! to Brian, Janice and Kayla as District 11 newest mentors.

 
Honoring a Pioneer in Extension Programing

Today we will be honoring Mr. Pete Flores,our retiring Information Technology specialist.  We will have a reception at the District office for Pete, and I am looking forward to the event.  Pete Flores in my opinion is one of our pioneers in Extension programing.



I am old enough to remember the times when we did not have computers in the Extension office.  Back in the mid 1980’s Extension offices were only just staring to learn how to use the personal and business computer in our programing and accountability efforts.  If the county office had a single computer it was usually in a common area so everyone could use it, or more often on the secretary’s desk.   We now carry our computers on our pocket.

Mr. Pete Flores was one of the first individuals as a county Extension agent to actively use computer technology in his programing.  He developed ways to incorporate the technology into his programs and was one of the first to use the computer to run a stock show and complete a  result demonstration report.  This may seem really elementary to some of you all, but back then it was a big deal to run a stock show on a spread sheet ( SuperCal ) for some of you all that might remember.  

Pete has been a leader in teaching agents on how to use the new tools we have not for outreach.  His willingness to provide tips and suggestions for using programs has been extremely valuable for agents over the years.

Pete Flores served Extension as a county Extension agent and IT specialist for over 30 years, and has been a great asset to Extension especially in training agents on how to use the technology to help them be more productive.  He is a true specialist working for the county Extension agent; he is always willing to drop anything he is doing to solve problems during the day. 

As you all know if your computer goes down, you might as well go home, Pete knows the work of a county Extension agent and identifies with their needs, I believe this is why Pete has been so valuable to our agency. 

Please join me in thanking Pete for his many years of great service to our agency, and wishing him well in his retirement.    Hope he finds things to do, and especially I hope he does not change his cell number.  DM

District 11 Personnel News

We have new Agent in District 11 , help me to welcome Dr. Kirsten Corda, our new Family ad Consumer Science agent in Aransas County. Kirsten , is currently in her first step role in San Patricio County and will start in Aransas County after the start of the new year.  Kirsten comes to us from the academic arena as she has extensive experience in grant work in Nutrition education.  Kirsten will move into assisting Ginger Easton Smith with her new role as an Extension agent in a diverse program in Aransas County.
Merry Christmas D11 
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas , please make time to spend with your family, and enjoy them during the best part of the year.  As we come to another close of the year, I am reminded how important our jobs are as we help people solve problems and you have truly have helped many people in your counties this year.  I am in the mist of updating myself prior to performance reviews and can see the great outcomes that you have accomplished. I am really lucky to have the opportunity to work with all of you in the District.  Happy Holidays and be safe on the roads, DM

Friday, November 30, 2012

Establishing Preformance Review Confrences

One of most important management processes conducted by a District Extension Administrators is managing an effective performance management system. Performance Management goes well beyond conducting an effective Performance Review Conference and monitoring agent performance through the TExAS reporting system.  There are various components that must be successfully implemented to successfully manage agent performance. The following are elements that are involved in a performance management system with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service;

  • Conducting an effective Program Planning Conference- Any Performance Management System begins with District Extension Administrators and Regional Program Directors establishing clearly defined performance expectations.
  • Professional Development and Training- All effective performance management systems have effective professional development and training in place to provide County Extension Agents with the professional competencies to accomplish the programmatic goals established during Program Planning Conferences.
  • Monitoring Agent Performance- District Extension Administrators monitor performance on a monthly basis to determine if goals and tactical plans that are developed during the performance planning conference is being successfully implemented by agents.
  • Coaching- Providing agents with feedback regarding performance on an on-going basis is critical component to a successful performance management system.
  • Performance Appraisal Conference- Conducting a successful Performance Appraisal Conference involves effective preparation, effective implementation of the conference and appropriate followup.
 
Ms. Barbara Moretich, our District office manager will be contacting you through email with a doodle poll next week to identify the best days for your upcoming conference in late December, January, February, and, or  March.  Please be looking for the email and respond as soon as possible so your conference can be scheduled.  I plan on going to all the D11 offices this year for your reviews. DM
 
District 11 Shooting Sports Organizational Meeting
 
A organizational meeting of all disciplines was held in Victoria on Tuesday evening to discuss many of the new changes that have taken place this year in the 4-H program.  The majority of the district was represented by leaders. Agents in attendance were Mike Hiller, Ryan Damborsky, and Kara Matheney.  Dr. Boleman and Larry Hysmith representing the state 4-H program discussed many of the new changes and challenges facing the shooting sports program. 
 
Meredith Carter and myself provided new ways that the district office could support existing and future program opportunities for our young people.  It was great to meet so many leaders in our District that I had not met before and to see the great passion that they have for coaching our young people to be the best.  The district office will become more active in providing direction to the the Shooting Shorts program especially in providing communication to all involved.  There many new opportunities that will soon be showcased by our state office for shooting sports and the leaders were privileged to see them at the meeting.  If you have any questions please let me know.

Colorado County Shooting Sports (Archery) Club featured In JOAD Spotlight

Attached below is a good article was sent to me by Kara Matheney on the spotlight interview of a Colorado County 4-H archery club.  2004 Olympian John Magera, the club's director answers questions for the article.

http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Archery/Features/2012/November/07/JOAD-Club-Spotlight-on-THE-JOAD-Club.aspx

 
Better Living for Texans Program Assistants Training

Logan Respess demonstration on  how to fillet a fish
 
I had the opportunity to attend the BLT program assistants meeting on Padre Island on Wednesday.  It was good to visit with our BLT staff in our region.  These ladies provide many hours of Extension outreach to many non traditional audiences that benefit from the educational opportunities. 
 
Mr. Logan Respess, Sea Grant Associate Director provided an excellent program on the Seafood industry and information on food safety that the assistants could use as they teach.  The participants also boarded the KARMA for and educational cruse of Corpus Christi Bay providing more information on the gulf coast marine educational opportunities.
 

District Personnel News

Dr. Kirsten Corda, has been approved by the Aransas County Court as their new Family and Consumer Agent.  Dr. Corda is a graduate of Texas A&M University (bachelors) UTSA( Masters) and received her Phd for Rutgers University in New Jersey. Dr. Corda has vast experience in the field of nutrition and is familiar with Extension's commitment to outreach education.  Kirsten will soon  assist Ginger Easton Smith in Aransas County.  Kirsten will start her first step program in San Patricio County with Kathy Farrow as her mentor on Monday December 3rd. Please join me in welcoming Kirsten to the D11 team. 


Joseph Janak, named County Extension Emeritus by the Board of Regents. The official board of regents’ minuets read as follows:

"In recognition of his long and distinguished service to Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the The Texas A&M University System, the title of County Extension Agent Emeritus is conferred upon Mr. Joseph Janak, Jr. and his is granted all rights and privileges of this title effective November 2nd, 2012."

Please help me in congratulating Joe on his great career and being awarded this prestigious honor. Also thank you to the recognition and awards committee for assisting with the nomination.

 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

2012-2013 District Program Planning

Program Planning is one of the most important processes  that you as a County Extension Agent can provide leadership to. This process provides an excellent venue to motivate and move Extension Program areas committees in a positive direction with in your counties.
One of the critical components to Extension program building is program the planning workshop. Our District Program Development Conference and Workshop will be conducted on  Wednesday and Thursday September 5th, and 6th in Corpus Christi at the District office.
Our training will be devoted to program development and will set the stage for effective and quality program planning for the upcoming year.
In preparation for these workshops  Associate Department Heads or Program Leaders will provide one page briefs on new projects and initiatives.  Regional Program Directors will  share these one-pagers with agents in the region.
All agents should have program area committee meeting(s) and/or youth board meeting(s) prior to our workshop.  Agents will use the minutes of those meeting(s) along with a prioritized set of issues that have been identified to be addressed during the coming program year if possible please share with appropriate Regional Program Directors and District Extension Administrator  prior to the workshop.
The following are elements of this workshop that are critical for effective planning and effective allocation of resources;
  • Overview of Program Planning Expectations- The District Extension Administrator  will provide general expectations related to Organizational Support Plans, Individual Development Plans, and other interdisciplinary and team efforts.
  • Discussion regarding Partial Cost Recovery- District Extension Administrators and Regional Program Directors should emphasize that Partial Cost Recovery and 4-H Participation fees has been implemented to assist in sustaining Texas AgriLife Extension Service’s program delivery capacity.  Texas AgriLife Extension Service provides our clientele with a product that has value and makes a difference on an individual and community basis.
  • Community Resource and Economic Development- Regional Program Directors  will provide expectations and suggested strategies for addressing emergency management and other CRED program needs
  • 4-H and Youth Development Expectations and Discussion- The District Extension Administrator or Regional Program Directors  will provide general expectations related to 4-H management and leadership plans.  Regional Program Directors will provide expectations related to support of 4-H subject matter projects and youth outcome plans.  District 4-H Specialist will provide training related to youth trends and goals for improving 4-H participation.  County staffs should be provided time to meet together to discuss 4-H program planning for the coming year, CRED, and other team efforts.
  • Program Planning Subject Matter Break-Out Groups – Regional Program Director-FCS will work with FCS agents, Regional Program Director – Agriculture and Natural Resources will work with Ag/Nr Agents, and the District 4-H Specialist  will work with 4-H and Youth Development Agents.
The Topics for these Subject Matter Break-Out Sessions will include:
  1. Overview of regional program priorities - Key specialists may be asked to provide some subject matter updates based on the regional program priorities.
  2. Specific information or reminders per discipline – For example, Texas AgriLife Extension Prescribed Burn Policy, Guidelines for Result Demonstrations, Better Living for Texans requirements, 4-H Management Items, etc.
  3. Issue planning groups – Based on the issues identified by PACs/Youth Boards, agents will group together to discuss more in-depth program ideas, interventions and strategies that are specific to the key issues in their county.  Regional Program Directors will review the list submitted and pre-assign agents to the groups.  It would be appropriate to invite specialists to participate in these meetings if they are located on site.  If support is needed from other specialists who are unable to travel to the district, they could participate via speaker phone or other technology such as Lync.
  4. Cluster planning groups –  We will also allow time for agents to plan multi-county efforts.
  5. Specialist engagement and scheduling -  Specialists based at the district office will be invited to work with agents in scheduling programs for the upcoming year.  Specialists who are not based in the district office, could be involved via phone or centra or Lync as necessary.
The main focus of this program planning philosophy is assisting you as agents  to better manage your time and program.  Program planning must be about ensuring that Extension is efficiently allocating resources that results in program excellence not just focused on approving a plan on the TeXas System,  committed to developing better programs that result in measurable outcomes, and devoted to assisting agents to better allocate their time which leads to efficiency.

Reminder- Superior Service Nominations Due August 31 , 2012

Agent/staff recognition is a tool that reinforces and rewards the most important outcomes agents and staff create for your District/County. When we recognize agents and staff effectively, we reinforce the actions and behaviors we most want to see agents and staff to repeat. An effective agent/staff recognition system is extremely effective.

One of the methods that can be utilized to recognize agents and staff is by nominating them for the 2012 Texas AgriLife Extension Service Superior Service Award.

The 2012 Superior Service Nominations are due August 31, 2012.

Guidelines and online application can be found at http://agrilife.org/extemployees/
The online nomination can be found at http://agrilife-extadmin.tamu.edu/SSA/

Michelle Allen, and Anthony Netardus will chair the awards and recognition committe this year and will be meeting this week to identify potential nominations for the SSA process. If you have suggestions for nominations please call Michelle and or Anthony.

Coastal Bend Agricultural Grant

We have an unique opportunity to apply for grant funds to support coastal bend agriculture each year through a local foundation. Pete Flores and I were awarded a technology grant to develop the use of a Ipad or electronic tablet for agricultural and or 4-H agricultural programing.  We will be awarding an Ipad or android tablet to an agent in District 11 that sends in a proposal to Pete and I by September 1st on how they would use the new technology to program for agricultural or 4-H programs. The focus on programing must include adoption of new technology to enhance agricultural profitability. Please limit the proposal to a two page word document. Creativity in the proposal is also encouraged. If the agent is awarded the Ipad, either a outcome or output plan must be adopted for 2013. If you have any questions please give Pete or I a call.

New District 11 4-H Policy

With the official start of the 4-H year on September 1, there will be some policy changes made from the District Office. There will be official notice coming soon, but in short, these will help the District 4-H program run more efficiently.
  • We will initiate a late fee on 4-H connect of $25 per person up to 24 hours prior to the day of the event.  We will have regular registration and fees like we have been doing , however after the deadline we will still take entries with the regular and late fee combined up to the day prior to the event. We will use this policy across the board for all events and contests that use 4-H connect. 
  • In following suit with the Texas 4-H Guidelines, no youth will be allowed to compete with their recordbook at District competition in ANY category if they have won 1st place at the state level competition.
  • If a youth is to drive themselves to any district function, the keys will be picked up by their County Agent or District Specialist and returned at the completion of the event.  This is to ensure the safety of all youth involved at the event.

District 11 Personnel News

Please welcome Ms. Laura Reyna to our District as she started this month in her new role as Matagorda County 4-H Agent. Laura is a product of the District 11 4-H program raised in Wharton County. Laura first steeped in Fort Bend County.

We will meet the court shortly in San Patricio County to present a candidate for the ANR position. Interviews are ongoing for the Lavaca FCS position , a finalist has been identified for the Aransas County FCS position and in the process of filling both positions.

Wharton County FCS and ANR position are open internally, Karnes County FCS is open internally an I am currently training to recruit existing agents to move into these roles.
Last week I assisted our CEP-FCS program director Ms. Jackie White in interviewing for the new  Nueces County CEP-FCS position. 

I also want to congratulate Diana Weise Dewitt County FCS agent. Diana retired at the end of July after serving 28 years with our agency. Diana provided leadership to many county and district programs over her tenure. Diana truly made a difference in helping the clientele that she served. We wish her well in her well deserved retirement.

Ms. Barbara Sulak  Matagroda County FCS Agent, has also informed me that she will also be retiring at the end of September. Barbara has also been a great leader in several counties over her Extension career.  Please join me in congratulating her on a great career!