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.