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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas District 11

I would like to wish our District 11 Extension Team a Merry Christmas and a happy new year. As I read your making a difference reports and your outcome summaries, I am amazed at the great programs that you are providing your clientele each year. We certainly have the best district in the state but only because we continue to have the best agents in the state. As we prepare for a new year just around the corner, I encourage you to take some time to enjoy your family and all of what the holiday season is meant to be. If you are going to try to start shopping like me this week, be careful on the roads and as you travel to see family and friends. This has certainly been an eventful year for me and as I look back upon this year I am thankful for the many blessings my family and I have received. I am sure you can also reflect on your your year not only professionally but personally. Get some well deserved rest and come back ready to continue to Make a Difference in your counties.

The District office will be closed during the holiday break from Wednesday, December 23 through January 1st; we will resume regular business hours on January 4th, 2010. I know that many of your county offices will be open for some time during these days. If for some reason your office must be closed during the non-county holiday times, make sure that your clientele can reach you or a designated person if they need to. I will be available on my cell phone (361)543-7595.

District 11 Personnel news:

January 4th, 2010 we will have four new county Extension Agents start their new appointments. Virgina Smith ANR agent in Aransas County, J.D. Folbre ANR Agent in Karnes County, he will first step in Wilson County. Kara Metheney, ANR Agent in Colorado County, she will first step in Austin and Wharton Counties. I will meet with the Matagorda County Court this Morning to approve a the new 4-H agent , this person will not first step and be in Matagorda County on January 4th, 2010.

I will start to interview candidates for the open San Patricio County 4-H agent in January. Ms. Kelsey Hill will start her new role as Regional Cancer Awareness and prevention program assistant on January 4th, and be based out of the District office. Ms. Bethany Bowman FCS Agent in Calhoun County has resigned effective on January 4th. I wish Bethany well in her future and thank her for her service in Calhoun County.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

TExAS Monthly Reports

I have recently had a chance to review your reports on a more regular schedule. Many of you do a good job of submitting these reports in a timely and efficient matter. The reports are usually short to the point and provide relevance, response and results for the many tasks that have been scheduled by you during the program planning process. However, some of you do need to improve in reporting to the TExAS web based program. I would like to remind you that you are in control of your calendar and only you can make the adequate time it takes to report effectively. Some of the best county Extension agents in our district are not efficient reporters. Much of the great programming and response to our clientele’s needs is not documented each month.

As the new District Extension Administrator, it is my job to evaluate the Extension agents in the district each year. This process will be coming around shortly in January and February, as may be into March. It is extremely hard for me as your new supervisor to be aware of the many tasks that you have completed this year, if they are not adequately reported. The southern regional program directors also evaluate you on your ability to report on a timely and efficient matter. They provide me with input on your program successes and shortfalls. Our Director Dr. Ed Smith has been quoted “If it was not reported. It did not happen”. If you provide the best response and results in your county programming but do not take the time to successfully report to those accomplishments; how can administration provide you proper credit for your efforts? The documentation for evaluations in our performance appraisals is the TExAS system. I have been reviewing these reports in preparation for your performance reviews, if you know you have not adequately reported. It is imperative to have proper documentation available for our performance appraisals. This week you will be provided an email with a letter on what is expected for your scheduled progress reviews and or comprehensive performance reviews.

Making the Difference annual report and outcome summaries

Your counties annual report and your individual outcome summaries, and significant program successes summaries are due on Tuesday December 15th, many of your have already sent in your summaries. I continue to be amazed at the great programs and successes that our District 11 agents are accomplishing. Remember the main purpose for completing your outcome summaries is so you can interpret these results to your stakeholders. Don’t file your outcome summaries use them to get the word out about the great programs you are doing in your counties.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

CB-5 and Certificate of Expendetures

I want to emphasize that all reports are extremely important and are all tied somehow to the way a county Extension agent's gets their funding. The CB-5 is the report that tells me how much your county is providing toward your salary and the support that your county is providing toward your program. The CB-5 is a reflection of the many years of support and the great work that you all do. It is imperative that we have these reports in as soon as you can get your auditor to check and approve the report. Try to assist the auditor in compiling the information making it easier for them to approve. Ultimately they are responsible for approving the CB-5 with the seal of the county. The CB-5 is the contract with the county that they will support your position and your office with the financial commitment. When I fill positions in the your county the CB-5 becomes one of my most important documents as I need to know exactly how much the county is providing in order to manage my salary pool. We now have all the CB-5 for counties with a October to September fiscal year. We now need the forms from those counties that have January to December fiscal years. Those CB-5 are due in our office January 15th,2009.

The Certificate of Expenditures is the document that our administration requires that your auditor approves and documents the funds that were used during the past year. This document is also extremely important to know how the county supported our county programs. These documents are due in our office on January 29th, 2009.

Agricultural Increment Reports- The Ag increment reports are due on January 11th, 2009 in our District office. These reports are important due to the significance of agricultural production in your counties. Ag Agents are considered a very credible source because you are charged with compiling the best estimate of financial impact in your county each year. This document is used by many agencies in the state as well as financial institutions. For assistance please contact Dr. Larry Falconer.

Experience Works :

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is funded under Title V of the Older Americans Act as well as state and local grants, enables us to help thousands of low-income individuals, age 55 and older, throughout the United States.

Through this program, seniors benefit from training, counseling, and community service assignments at faith-based and community organizations in their communities, prior to transitioning into the workforce.

Participants are placed at eligible host agencies (primarily at faith-based and community organizations) for which they are paid the minimum wage for an average of 20 hours per week. A host agency is either a private nonprofit organization (other than a political party) that is tax exempt under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code of 1954, or a public agency operated by a unit of government.

This program may support your situation in your office if you need more assistance, for example assisting you support staff, answering the phone, filing etc. This may free up your support staff to do those things that done get done due to lack of time. If you are interested the web site is I will be visiting with a representative soon in how we can work together in some counties.

Agricultural Crop Reports:
Ag agents your weekly crop reports are due by each Monday at 9:00 am. In completing your reports you must also provide some comments in relation to the crop weather conditions. It is important that you do this so we can provide a summary of the reports each week. I am checking reports each week, please take time to complete this short report each Friday.

Performance Appraisals: This week you will be getting an email on scheduling your performance appraisals for 2009. As you request a date that I have available, please consider before you schedule the date that your can be ready with all of your information, reports, summaries etc... It is important that your don't waist your time and mine if your are not ready. I will reschedule the appraisal if you are not ready at the time of your scheduled appraisal.

District 11 4-H Food Show: Satuarday we hosted our annual food show in Victoria. There was a big turn out with majority of our counties represented in the food challange and the food show. Agents that provided leadership on the committee as well as Jodi McManus need to be commended for providing an excellent oppertunity for our young people.

District 11 Personnel news: Barbara Moretich, and I have been really busy trying to fill our vacant positions in our district. This month I will meet with three county courts to present candidates for approval to fill positions in Matagorda, Colorado and Karnes. I have also had the unique opportunity to transfer Mr. Chance Crossland from his 4-H appointment to the ANR Agent position in Calhoun County. Chance and the other four new agents will start in their new positions on January 4th, 2010. The 4-H agent position in San Patricio County has been announced internal. I am looking forward to working on this position next.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I would like to wish our District 11 Extension family a Happy Thanksgiving. Everybody looks forward to the thanksgiving feast. The turkey, the pies, and the celebration. However, thanksgiving is incomplete without a moment of reflection. Spare a moment, and say a prayer of gratitude for life's little blessings. For, it is these little blessings that enrich our life.

I hope you can send some quality time with your family this Thanksgiving. If you will be traveling be careful on those busy highways.

Leadership Extension , Application Deadline Due December 1st.
Texas AgriLife Extension Service and San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo have teamed up to sponsor the San Antonio Livestock Exposition-Leadership Extension Program (SALE-LE). This model program allows for a two year, four session (some 90 hours of actual training) comprehensive leadership development program for 32 Extension faculty. Since 1991, the program has utilized some of the most noted experts in leadership development and management techniques as resource people to transform 193 Extension leaders into a group ready and able to assume new leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels.

To apply go to for an application and more information on application process.

AgriLife IT-FirstCall is a centralized help desk service made available to employees of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Research and the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.

Through this customer portal you can create support request tickets, check real-time status of open tickets, edit your personal profile, and find answers to common issues in the FAQ section. As an added bonus, you can also pull up previous tickets for additional "self-service" support. You just need to create an account to stat using fistcall.

Workman's Compensation:
If you endure an injury during your work duties, please report the injury to me as soon as possible, your injury may not be very substantial at first , however your condition may be more serious than you suspect and by then it may be to late. In order to qualify for workman's compensation benefits you must notify your supervisor within thirty days of the incident.

Major Show Entries due December 1st. Those of you all that are preparing your entries for the major stock shows, please be aware of the December 1st deadlines. It would be a good idea to review your validation information so no one gets left out.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Teamwork a vital part of Agrilife Extension"

Of course it is Football season, and I enjoy going to high school and college football games. There is nothing that I enjoy more than attending my daughter's high school team sports games.

Those teams that have success are those that work together to achieve a common goal. Just as in sports, Extension works much like a team. Teamwork is a very important aspect of achieving our goal of serving the citizens of our counties in District 11. Much like football or basketball coaches try to direct their team to success, Extension has coaches in District ll , I would be the head coach, the RPD’s would be the offensive or defensive coordinators, and the specialists could be the position coaches. You could use the same concept in your counties with your office staff and as you work with volunteers. Here is a link that Jodi McManus District 11 4-H Specialist sent me, it is short but Powerful Video on Teamwork

"Extension Education - Making a Difference" Initiative Documents

The formula for greater support from elected officials is excellent Extension programming, program visibility, and effective interpretation.Key components of the Interpretation Initiative include:

  • Involvement of County Judge, County Commissioners, and Legislators in at least one “showcase” Extension activity or program. Conduct at least one formal interpretation event with the County Commissioners Court and Legislators.
  • Prepare and distribute a “Extension Education - Making a Difference” document (annual report) to the County Commissioners Court, Legislators and other key decision makers and stakeholders.
  • Form a District Marketing and Interpretation Committee to develop effective interpretation strategies.
  • Host a District County Judges and Commissioners Conference, December 15th, 2009
This week you should get a email from me concerning our interpretation initiative, I will provide you a shell for your county interpretation piece. I will also provide you with a shell for your outcome summaries. These two interpretation documents need to be sent to me at the district office by December 15th.

District 11 Personnel News:
Last Thursday was a productive day in that we have identified several finalists for the agent vacant positions in Karnes and Colorado Counties, I am in the process of requesting authorization to hire the finalists. Today I will be in Matagorda County interviewing applicants for the vacant 4-H agent position with the assistance form Luis Saldana our 4-H Southern Regional Program Director.

County Swine Validations:
As many of you work with your local market swine validation committees to validate show pigs for this years show season, be aware of our publications to make exhibitors proactive in the recent events concerning the H1N1 virus.

Biosecurity Practices for Swine Validation” and "Biosecurity Practices for Swine Shows and Exhibitions". Texas AgriLife Extension has taken a proactive approach to educating swine exhibitors and those associated with the swine project about proper biosecurity practices. These recommendations have been reviewed by veterinarians, animal scientists, and county Extension agents. These resources are meant to be shared with your county validation committee, livestock show committee members, 4-H leaders and exhibitors. These publications are available at the Extension bookstore.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Who is the Boss?

An agent seeks direction form the local county commissioners court, local committees, 4-H leaders, and not to mention Extension administration.

However, the main boss of an agent is the local public. The taxpayer and local stakeholder is ultimately the supervisor of the Extension agent. The local county leadership advisory boards, program area committees, and youth boards provides the direction.

We all must understand that we must be accountable to our local customer and be assessable to their needs. We need to have our Extension office assessable to our clientele from 8 am to 12 noon and from 1 pm to 5 pm. Our county offices must open at 8 am every working day. We must re-open at 1 pm after our lunch breaks, and close at 5 pm. Our support staff must me diligent in keeping this schedule to consistently provide our accessability to our clientele. The Extension agent is often out of the office and we must have our offices open for business. County support staff must know where the agent is and what he or she is doing in support of county programing. Even though an agent is out of the office much of the time he or she must make time for office work and be assessable to our local stakeholders.

South Region 4-H Professionals:

I hope each of you have had the opportunity to reflect on your participation in the various sessions provided through South Region 4-H University. Please take a few minutes to respond to this brief evaluation. Your responses will help us frame future professional development opportunities for CEAs in the region. The evaluation focuses on the sessions as well as the facilities. There is also a section to give you the opportunity to express any specific thoughts you may have about the conference.

Collective responses will be shared with presenters and 4-H faculty to assist in reviewing the effectiveness of sessions offered and format.

Please respond by November 13th by clicking here...

for more information contact Mr. Luis Saldana.

TCAAA Professional Improvement Retreat held in Fayette County.

I would like to express my appreciation to Phillip Shackelford, Scott Willey , Larry Pierce and Kelvin Neal for being excellent hosts of our very successful TCAAA Ag retreat last week, in Fayette County at the Winedale Historical Center.

We had an excellent program the first day on S.A.R.E programing efforts by John Smith, Viticulture in Texas by Fritz Westover, and Mr. Jim Reaves provided information on the 4-H Foundation. That afternoon we went on a tour of the Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham. After a sporting clay tournament at the Day Ranch, an excellent meal was prepared by our host agents. On our second day Dr. Juan Landivar, Research Resident Director from Corpus Christi provided a program on how Extension and Research can work better together. Anthony Netardus, Brent Bachelor, Joe Janak, Scott Willey, and Peter McGuill provided informative professional presentations on result demonstration work.

Again, I would like to thank our TCAAA leadership Phillip Shackelford and Brian Yanta for their outstanding planning of the event.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Volunteer Trends and Statistics

A new document entitled, "2009 Volunteering in America Research Report" is available on this website ,, and provides the key findings of research conducted regarding trends and demographics in volunteering. Some of the key findings include the following;

  • In 2008, 61.8 million Americans (26.4% of the adult population) contributed 8 billion hours of volunteer service. This service is worth $162 billion (using the independent Sector's value of a volunteer's time at $20.25 per hour).
  • More young adults, age 16-24, volunteered in 2008 than 2007, with more than 8.2 million giving their time in service.
  • Neighborhood engagement levels have risen sharply since 2007, with a 31% increase in the number of people who worked with their neighbors to fix a problem in their community.

If you have not checked out the Volunteering in America website (, you may want to take a look! Provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the site is a great resource for information on volunteering and civic engagement. Through this website, agents will be able to access information on volunteer trends, tools, resources and information for the nation, U.S. regions, and major cities.

District 11 TCAAA Professional Improvement Retreat

November 3rd-4th, Winedale, Tx

This week TCAAA members will participate in there annual retreat, a excellent program has been developed by Phillip Schackelford and agents in the northern counties of our district. Agents will participate in professional presentations on subject matter involving their result demonstration work and other aspects of their programing. Dr. Juan Landivar,AgriLife Research Resident Director, will also provide a program on his vision of Texas AgriLife Research in the Coastal Bend Area of Texas and how Extension and Reserch and better work together.

County Judges and Commissioners Conference - December 15th, 2009-Edna, Tx

Thanks to our Marketing and Interpretation committee an excellent program has been planned for next month. We will be working on getting invitations out to your county court members. I would appreciate a special effort in letting your elected officials know about the conference. Items to be discussed will be legislative updates, pesticide regulations, H1N1 awareness, and outcome program updates by the RPD's. We need three displays dealing with each of our three disciplines. If you have a unique program success that we could use, please let Kathy Farrow or Amy Freeman know.

District 11 Personnel News

Interviews have been set for positions in Karnes, Colorado, and Matagorda, in the month of November, We hope to identify a candidate by the end of the month for all three positions. New open positions for agents in Calhoun and San Patricio Counties will be announced soon.

We would like to congratulate Shamain St.Julien she has been selected to travel to Washington D.C. with our Texas 4-H delegation to the National 4-H Congress on November 28- December 1st. We know she will represent us well.

Chance Crossland has recently completed his Extension Foundation training in College Station. Extension Foundations is our new onboarding training for new county Extension agents. Formally (NEO) New Employee Orientation.

I would also like to congratulate the Victoria County staff for continuing to provide leadership to the Victoria Farm and Ranch Show. The show is an excellent opportunity for local farmers, ranchers, and young people in the Victoria area and surrounding counties to gain information about agriculture and much more. Also thank you to those other area agents that support the educational effort. This was the 25th anniversary year of the show. The show continues to grow each year due to local county committee involvement, volunteer leadership and the excellent support of our Extension staff

Agent Reports Due by the 5th working day of the month, Friday November 6th, 2009.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

“Image is Everything”

As you all know, I have had the opportunity to wear a tie a lot more in my new role. It is amazing how people treat a person just on how they dress.

The same can be said for you as an agent and how your clientele see you in your county and in your leadership role. You are looked upon as a role model to many individuals in your county. Your Image is everything, especially as a first impression.

Your professional dress : typical day in the Extension Office: 4-H project, Home and farm visit: less formal educational events; 4-H club meetings, etc.

Females- Less dressy ensembles including jean jackets, denim dresses and skirts, khaki slacks, capri sets, slacks. Scarves and shawls, vests with long or short sleeve shirt or top. Flats, sandals.
Males- No tie; dockers/slacks/creased jeans and nice short or long sleeved shirt( no t-shirts) Cleaned and polished shoes or boots. If you are not growing a beard or mustache-please shave daily.

What not to Wear:
Females- Short tight revealing tops, jeans with holes, clothing that is too tight, no shorts, short skirts or mini skirts, t-shirts, No flip flops or house slippers.
Males- jeans with holes, t-shirts, sleeveless shirts, jogging suits, biker jackets, tennis shoes, sandals, flip flops, and muddy boots. If you are going to wear a hat please have it cleaned and caps with sweat stains need to be replaced.

South Region 4-H University, Holiday Inn Emerald Beach – Corpus Christi, Texas, November 4-5, 2009

The South Region 4-H University has been organized to provide professional development
for county Extension agents who provide significant leadership and support for the 4-H and
youth development programs at the county level. South Region 4-H U courses were
identified through various sources including the agents, supervisors, specialists, and
TAE4-HA representatives from across the region. Topics are centered on two main areas:
Program Development and Program Enhancement. Each is important and valuable to the
4-H professional as you work to improve the educational opportunities for youth and
volunteers at the local level.

It is our expectation that all CEAs-4-H, CEAs-Urban Youth Development, EAs-4-H CEP, and
County 4-H Coordinators attend. All other CEA’s and program assistants who may find
these courses beneficial, are also invited to attend. These courses are intended to create or
extend the competencies of Extension 4-H and youth professionals through interactive and
in-depth instruction.

Registration via Extension Conference Services (, keyword
“4-H”) must be completed by October 26th.

Texas Plant Protection Conference

Dr. Dromgoole has agreed once again to pay the registration fee for agents in District 11 that want to attend the Texas Plant Protection Conference in College Station on December 2 and 3. I will need to know if you will be attending along and your registration form by October 28th of this week. The state office will submit the registration for all of our agents, do not submit your registrations individually.

End of the year Deadlines

November and December can be very stressful months for county Extension agents, due to the many deadlines involved by the end of the year. Please be aware of these deadlines and make a special effort to meet all these deadlines.

Major Show entries, must be done accurately and timely make your exhibitors and leaders aware of the many deadlines and be prepared to have all entries and summaries on the web by the shows deadline. Fort Worth is November 15th, all others are December 1st. This is an extremely challenging task for many agents due to exhibitors procrastinating till the deadline.
Planning Group Membership Database Update

With the new program year approaching, we need to have your Planning Group (EPC) Database updated. The deadline for County Coordinators to ensure that all changes to their Program Area Committees, Task Forces, Coalitions, Youth Boards and Leadership Advisory Boards for their respected counties is complete is January 4th, 2010.

Annual Agricultural Increment Report

Discuss estimates for the increment report with your committee, visit with Dr. Falconer for assistance , the deadline for Ag increment report is due December 15th,2009. The Ag increment report may be the most important report that a ag agent completes each year.

Competing and evaluation of out-come plans as well as completing your out-come summaries.

D11 Personnel NewsBold
Last Monday, the Washington County commissioners approved the appointment of
Mr. Rodney Finch as 4-H and Youth Agent. Mr. Finch comes to District 11 form Grimes County where he is the current ANR agent. Mr. Finch has also served as and ag agent in McClendon County. Rodney is a great addition to our faculty in District 11. He will provide the much needed stability in the 4-H position in Washington County. Washington County has one of our most active 4-H programs in the State. We are very fortunate to have Rodney join the District 11 Staff.

Join me in congratulating Jerry and Jennifer Gray as they start their new partnership in marriage. It was an honor for Thelma and I to attend their wedding on Saturday. They had a wonderful wedding and a great start to their life together.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Volunteers are vital to all Extension programs.

Volunteers are vital to all Extension programs. Volunteers allow Extension staff to expand the capacity of programming in a county and they help to develop the social capital of our communities. They have been vital to our success in the past and will become even more important in the months and years to come!

Everyone Ready® is an online volunteer management training program developed by Energize Inc. National 4-H Council, through a grant from Monsanto, is making this program available to all Extension staff nationwide regardless of program area or title. There is no cost to states or individuals (although the cost ordinarily for states is $12-18,000 per year and the cost to individuals is $495 per year).

A reminder that a new volunteer management training topic is set to be released the third Monday of each month. The topic that will be released this coming Monday, October 19th, is "Focus on the Volunteer Program Manager." This is an introductory topic, relating to the personal readiness of staff to maintain an effective volunteer delivery system. A promotional flyer for the October topic is attached. Please be assured that the September topic, "Building the Foundation for Volunteer Involvement" will be archived but will remain available for future viewing.

I hope each of you will take advantage of the self-paced professional development opportunity by participating in the online volunteer management training program developed by Energize Inc.

Online 4-H Online orientation course for 4-H Volunteers

The Texas 4-H & Youth Development Program is pleased to announce the availability of an online orientation course for 4-H volunteers. Orientation is only one step in the process of managing volunteers, but a very important one. The orientation step is key to getting the best and most from your volunteers. In fact, it is best to never assume that your volunteers fully understand Extension and the 4-H program and the roles they play to support its mission.

The course is available online at: and can be completed within one hour. If a volunteer cannot complete the orientation in one sitting, they do have the capabilities to come back to it at a later time. Once the course is complete, volunteers may print off a completion certificate.

Please share this valuable resource with your 4-H volunteers. If volunteers clearly understand Extension and the expectations for their positions, they are more likely to be confident and motivated to fulfill their job responsibilities and represent Extension in the community, serving as an advocate for our programs.

For more information on these topics contact Courtney Dodd Extension Program Specialist.

Program Planning Deadline November 1st

I was pleased how prepared everyone was prior to our program planning conferences last week. The majority of you were well prepared by completing your plans on TExAS. The conferences went smoothly due to your diligence towards developing the best plans possible.

Please make appropriate corrections and use the suggestions and recommendations from the RPD's. It is important that District 11 has all their plans submitted with corrections and approved by the November 1st deadline. Thank you for making District 11 the best district in the State. We have the best Extension professionals in District 11. Our plans will prove to be our direction for a great 2010.

On Day 4-H Interpretation Opportunity

On October 10, 2009, We provided the leadership in conducting a very effective service project called One Day 4-H through our 4-H and Youth Development Program in a majority of the counties in our District . This program resulted in tremendous success and agents should make a special effort to interpret the results of their county project.

The following is the type information that could be utilized in a effective interpretation effort;

  • Number of Projects in the county.
  • Number of 4-H Youth Involved.
  • Number of NON-4-H Youth Involved.
  • Number of Adults Involved.
  • Total Number of People Project reached/assisted.
  • Hours Took to Complete Project.
  • Value of Time Contributed (Independent Sector Value).
  • Number of lbs of food collected.
  • Value of the food collected.
  • Number of care packets made.
  • Value of care packets made.
  • Number of miles of road/beach/park cleaned.
  • Number of lbs of Trash collected or materials recycled.
  • Number of people reached by Educational Projects.
  • Money raised for other organizations.
  • Number of new 4-H members recruited because of One Day 4-H.

It is important that agents use the great success of the One Day 4-H projects in their county to nurture elected officials and key stakeholders awareness of Extension's role in volunteer management and community service.

District 11 Personnel News

Congratulations to Mr. Kyle McManus on approval by the Bee County Court on his appointment as County Extension Agent-ANR. Mr. McManus will assume his new duties on November 1st in Bee County. I would like to thank Kyle for his outstanding leadership in the 4-H program in San Patricio County. We look forward to even more successes in joining Kelsey Hill in supporting the strong program in Bee County.

We will also welcome Ms. Virginia Smith as the new County Extension Agent-ANR in Aransas County on January 4th, 2010. Ms. Smith comes to District 11 from Hawaii where she was a county Extension Agent for the last 17 years. Ms. Smith will join Amy Freeman in continuing to provide direction to a great program in Aransas County. I will have more good news next week on filling our other vacant positions.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

District 11 Extension Marketing and Interpretation Committee

I would like to thank the following agents for volunteering to serve on our marketing and interpretation committee Brent Batchlor, Meredith Carter, Sam Womble, Kathy Farrow, Jennifer Jansen, Amy Freeman, Larry Pierce, and Jerry Gray.

These individuals will help in hosting the County Judges and commissioners conference on December 15th, in Edna, Texas. I will schedule a planning meeting soon.

Making Progress on Filling Vacant Positions in the District

This morning I will be in Aransas County presenting a candidate to the County commissioners court for the vacant Agriculture/Natural Resource agent position. In Bee County a candidate will also be presented to the court as my recommendation for the Ag agent position. With the court’s approval I will be able to announce these two individuals next week.

I also have identified a finalist for the 4-H and youth agent position in Washington County and we are in the process of arranging court approval. I will also be scheduling interviews for the positions in Colorado(ANR), and Matagorda(4-H) this week.
The ANR position in Karnes County has been released for external applicants. Mr. Dozier and myself will soon have an opportunity to identify some applicants for this position.

South Texas Farm and Ranch Show -25 Anniversary Show

The annual South Texas Farm and Ranch Show will be held on October 28-29, 2009 at the Victoria Community Center 2905 E. North St. Victoria, Texas

LUNCHEON:Climate Change and Texas Agriculture October 28th, Dr. Jerry L. Hatfield, Laboratory Director, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, Iowa

LUNCHEON: Food, Biofuels & Climate: How Can Agriculture Survive? October 29th, Dennis Avery, Director, Center for Global Food Issues, Hudson Institute, Washington D.C.

Agents make your producers know of this great opportunity to acquire there necessary CEU's. CEU’s Offered: TDA 21 hours BQA’s - 2 CCA 25 hours 3 - L&R, 7.5 - IPM, 10.5 - Gen. 14 - Pest; 7 - Crop; 2 - S&W; 2 – PD

Ag agents this is an excellent oppertunity to learn more about the many ag products, services and equipment that is used in our area. Many Ag industry representatives will be at the show and you will have a great opportunity to visit with them and make contacts.

Top ten reasons to come to Texas 4-H Round-up

Top ten reasons not to miss a day at the 2010 Texas 4-H Roundup June 7-11, 2010.
10. Trade Show featuring different universities, businesses, livestock shows, and many more that support the mission of Texas 4-H
9. Opportunity to play Nintendo Wii during the trade show
8. Try your hand at news casting and sport casting during the trade show
7. 4-K For 4-H Walk and Run that will take place on Kyle Field (Thursday)
6. Daily State 4-H Council Assemblies/Pep Rallies
5. Scholarship Banquet
4. 4-H Has Talent Competition (Wednesday)
3. Brison Bursey Concert (Tuesday)
2. Healthy Lifestyles and Livestock Sweepstakes
1. Six New Invitational Contests open to all Intermediates and Seniors (Thursday)

On Day – 4-H Community Service Saturday 10th, 2009

We are all absolutely amazed about what occurred on October 10th!!! Please thank every youth for their work that made this one of the most influential community service days ever!
Also, ask them to send videos and pictures of their project. We will be opening up the website to upload their videos and pictures after October 10th.Continue to check the web link below for more information:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Program Planning Confrences-Excellent Time to Raise the Bar

Program Planning Conferences are one of the most important meetings conducted by a District Extension Administrator. This process provides an excellent venue to coach, motivate and encourage County Extension Agents to raise the bar in their programing efforts.

  • Program Planning Conferences will assist County Extension Agents plan programs that address issues in a rapidly changing world. Agents should be challenged to investigate new delivery techniques, begin new programs, and challenge themselves to expand their clientele base.

  • PPC's increase agents alignment behind Texas AgriLife Extension's County Program initiatives.

  • PPC's increase accountability within Texas AgriLife Extension Service. This goes beyond just submitting reports in the timely manner-- it also involves agents holding themselves accountable to improve professionally, to challenge themselves, and to view change as an opportunity.

  • PPC's blend generations into a cohesive team of agents that are focused on clearly defined goals.

  • The DEA will establish clear and defined program performance expectations. County Extension Agents will know what is expected and should work with their District Extension Administrator/Regional Program Directors to develop clearly defined performance goals.

  • The DEA will clearly communicate a vision for the future and strive to establish a shared vision with agents. This shared vision should embrace the program development process, committee/task force input, program expansion, and diversity.

  • Part of the conference will address agents regarding developing their skills and career. Program Planning Conferences is an excellent opportunity to discuss dossier development, establish goals for promotion, professional development opportunities and career goals. However, it is important that we are honest with our programing efforts and expectations in discussing future career goals.
District 11 Program Planning Conferences will begin on October 13th-15th and will start at 9 am held in Edna at the Jackson County Service Building. Please have your plans on Texas System by Monday October 5th, 2009, as stated at our Fall Faculty Confrence. RPD's and my self must have ample time to review plans prior to the conferences. As stated before we will stay in Edna till the plans are complete and submitted. I look forward to discussing your 2010 plans with you. Program Planning Conferences will be the start to a successful and productive year for District 11.

Texas 4-H Program Online Seminars for CEAs

The Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program is offering online Centra seminars for any interested County Extension Agent on a variety of Youth Development Programs in 2010. These seminars are open to anyone who is willing to participate.

To enroll, please go to: and login. Once there, click on Manage Events. From there, you will see a folder entitled, “4-H and YD Webinars.” Then, click on the one(s) you would like to attend.

ANR Strike Team ICS 300 Certified

The District 11 Emergency Management Strike Team attended the Incident Command System 300 training . This was as a intense two day training held in Refugio,Texas. Agents attending were Peter McGuill, Jeff Stapper, Jerry Gray, Duane Campion, and Anthony Netardus. Other D11 agents attending were Brent Batchelor and John O'Connell. Others attending were the D12 agent strike team and individuals with Emergency Management responsibilities. I would like to recognize our D11 agents for committing to developing themselves as first responders in an event of emergancy.

Wind Lease Seminar-Thursday, October 15th, 2009 2 pm to 4 pm,
Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center , Corpus Christi Texas

The Nueces County Ag/Natural Resources Committee in association with AgriLife Extension-Nueces County has scheduled an excellent opportunity to inform local landowners in the Coastal Bend with issues involving wind farms. for more information call Jeff Stapper at 361-767-5223.

District Judges and Commissioners Conferences Critical Component to Program Interpretation

One of the components of the 2010 County Programs Interpretation Initiative are District Judges and Commissioners Conferences that will be conducted in ten of our twelve Extension Districts. District 11 Commissioners Conference is scheduled for December 15th, 2009 in Edna, Texas.

All District 11 County Extension Agents should be reminded that the 2010 County Programs Interpretation Initiative includes the following;

  • District Judges and Commissioners Conferences hosted by District Extension Administrators.
  • All Counties conduct formal interpretation events with County Commissioners Courts annually that communicates Texas AgriLife Extension's public value.
  • All Counties involve elected officials in Extension "showcase" events.
  • All Districts will have a Marketing and Interpretation Committee.

I would like to thank Meredith Carter and Sam Womble for volunteering to be part of our Marketing and Interpretation committee, however I need at least 8 more CEA's to step up and volunteer to be on the committee, especially our county coordinators. If you would like to assist me in hosting this years District 11 Judges and County Commissioners Conference let me know by October 7th. I will be establishing a planning meeting soon there after.