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Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 Summer College Interns

This summer , District 11 will host several college interns regardless to the fact that all these interns will be unpaid. Research indicates that providing college students with meaningful internship opportunities with employers increases the chance that they will stay in that career field after graduation.

It is important that we take the time to carefully plan an effective internship program., Listed below are several key elements that are crucial to a successful internship program;

  • Effective Supervision- Due to the training nature of an internship, it is imperative that interns are provided with sufficient supervision. Considerable time investment will be needed, especially on the front-end, to plan for and implement necessary training. It is also recommended that the host/mentor agent plan ongoing weekly meetings to stay up-to-date with the intern's progress.

  • Meaningful Assignments- Gone are the days of using interns as simple "go-fers". Students are seeking opportunities that will stimulate them and provide real experience.

  • Appropriate Documentation- Documentation is very important for effective learning to take place. It is strongly advisable that an host/mentor agent and intern create mutually agreed upon learning objectives.

  • Ensure Interns Feel Welcome- Just as you would a new full-time employee, it is very important that interns be provided with a warm introduction to Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

  • Evaluation- An internship can only be a true learning experience if constructive feedback is provided. An effective evaluation will focus on the interns’ learning objectives that were identified at the start of the internship.

If you know of an college student in your county that would like to participate or would like to host an intern this summer please give me a call so we can set them up with the proper administrative materials and agreements.

Program area committee and leadership advisory board centra trainings scheduled

A series Centra trainings for County Extension Agents have been planned that relate to working with Program Area Committees and Leadership Advisory Boards. These trainings are appropriate for new County Extension Agents as well as those with several years of experience. Those Agents who are participating in the upcoming Program Excellence Academy should not participate, as most of the topics will be covered fully at the Academy. Details of the four scheduled Centra's are outlined below:

May 3-2010, 10:00 Central Time (US & Canada);

* Selection, Rotation and Training of PAC Members- (HFS153187) Event ID: HFS153187

June 21-2010, 10:00 AM Central Time (US & Canada);

* Selection, Rotation and Training of LAB Members(PPN497890) Event ID: PPN497890

July 12 2010, 10:00 AM Central Time (US & Canada);

* Identifying Issues with the Leadership Advisory Board (HKT149078) Event ID: HKT149078

August 9 2010, 10:00 AM Central Time (US & Canada);

* Engaging Planning Groups in Program Development (JDH030125) Event ID: JDH030125

In order for agents to enroll in these sessions, participants need to go to the Centra site at : http://webconference.tamus.edu/main/tce and search for the Event ID for the session they choose to attend. All of these are public events and are located in the event folder "Program Development -2010". For more information and assistance please contact Dr. Jeff Ripley, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist.

Farm Assistance -Planning Solutions

As the size and risks associated with agricultural production have grown larger, farmers and ranches are finding that more of the information they need to make sound financial decisions is either unavailable or beyond their field of expertise. The FARM Assistance program, which is part of Texas AgriLife Extension Service's Risk Management Education Program, seeks to bridge this gap and provide individuals with a sound, statistically-based strategic financial analysis. The data garnered from these analysis provide a significant amount insight on the agricultural industry, as a whole, and enables FARM Assistance to conduct research to help industry groups, policymakers, and individuals identify trends and gauge impacts at the industry-level. This extensive research element, coupled with the analysis conducted at the producer level, enables FARM Assistance to fulfill its primary duty of helping Texas agriculture make informed decisions.

Mac Young, Extension Specialist Risk Management, heads up FARM Assistance in the Coastal Bend area of Texas and has assembled several publications that can be viewed on his home page http://coastalbend.tamu.edu/Extension/Risk%20Management/AgEco.htm, these publications provide a great value to your local producers and I would like to remind you that Mac is available to present any of these publications at various field days and seminars that you have planned this spring and summer. These publications have been complied with data directly from your producers and can be extremely valuable to those needing to make important decisions.

BLT Match Hours For FY11 Proposal

Just a reminder that proposals are due, including electronic signatures by all personnel on the proposal, this Friday, April 23rd. Any forms, space match, teacher match and cost-share, are due to Norma Davila by Friday, April 30th.

I know there are a couple of counties that are having some technical difficulties, and we're working on those. BLT Match hours for the second quarter( January -March), are due by Monday May 3rd at 5 pm . FCS agents, please visit with your coworkers to get these proposals submitted as well as the quarter matching hours.

For any quesitons give Norma , Elaine, or my self a call, DM