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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.