I want to thank agents and specialists that attended our recent Program Planning Workshop in Victoria last week, I felt the workshop went well, expect for some of the internet connection concerns. I appreciate all you do and the attitude that you have as we start a new programing year. Also I do understand that our Administrative team does ask a lot from you during the fall of the year and toward the end of the year. With the many deadlines established it is sometimes overwhelming to an agent at any level in their career.
As you continue to submit plans I want to remind you that you are in control of your calendar. Your programing calendar as well as your reporting calendar . It is not a coincidence that we use the same program to plan and report. As I mentioned at our workshop you(agents) will be held accountable for your programing through your reporting. Please tailor your plans to fit your county situation as model plans sometimes may not fit all situations and all counties.
During times that present challenges it is important that we reflect on this vision and focus our efforts individually and collectively on efforts that will enable Texas AgriLife Extension Service to achieve a level of success that accomplishes our vision. Some fundamental elements that Extension Agents should continue to focus on that enable Texas AgriLife Extension Service to be the best outreach and continuing education organization include;
* Outcome and Output Plans- Ensuring that County Extension Agents are providing quality programs that address local issues and results in measurable outcomes. Remember, our programs are how clientele, stakeholders, and elected officials judge Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
* Showcase Programs and Events -Ensuring that Texas AgriLife Extension Service programs are visible in the community. Quality programs are of limited value if only a small number of people in the county are aware of the programs.
* Individual Development Plans - Ensuring that our County Extension Agents are competent and professional. Competency and professionalism is only accomplished through effective on boarding of new agents and on going professional development for more tenured agents.
* Plans should include Evaluation and Interpretation - Ensuring that our stakeholders and elected officials are aware of the impact of Texas AgriLife Extension Service programs. This is only accomplished through program interpretation strategies that communicate public value to clientele ,elected officials and stakeholders.
Many plans have been submitted since our workshop, I commend you for being so diligent in completing your plans on time. Our final day for plans to be submitted for exemption consideration status will be October 1st. As you complete your plans for 2011. Try to remember the statement form Jodi McManus presentation on 4-HYD outcomes,
Why? We need to concentrate on measuring the most impactful things we do.
I believe if we continue to concentrate on the most impactful things we do and evaluate and interpret them to our stakeholders we will be in a better place in the near future. DM
County Web Sites Updates:
I have been evaluating our county websites and most of our counties are using the websites to provide useful information to our clientele, however some of the information posted needs to be updated regularly.
We need to remember we are in a technology enhanced age and our capacity to provide information to our clientele does not stop as we close the office at 5 pm on weekdays. Our websites are our face to our county offices and are open 24 hours a day. Today's clientele needs their information now and if they can't get it when they need it ,they'll go somewhere else. We are in competition with other educational information sources, our information provided needs to be research based . References to other web links need to be carefully considered as to not endorse products and or services. Please stay as neutral as possible with recommendations.
We need to update information regularly.The information that is no longer useful needs to come off and replaced with information that can be used by our clientele. All agents need to be using their web site to provide information in their respected discipline. Train your support staff to update the websites at least monthly. If you need assistance with updating your websites contact Mr. Pete Flores IT specialist or myself for help. DM