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Monday, October 18, 2010

Building Effective Relationship with Newly Elected Officials

This fall together we will be developing comprehensive interpretation strategies to ensure that there is a county strategy to implement the County Program's interpretation initiative. This comprehensive initiative includes four basic components in District 11 which collectively make up the County Program Extension Interpretation Initiative as follows;
¨  District County Judges and Commissioners Court Conferences.
¨  Extension Making a Difference Newsletter
¨  Formal Interpretation Events
¨  Involvement of Elected Officials in "Showcase Events"

One of the prerequisites to effectively implementing any of these components is establishing effective working relationships with the elected official on the part of the agents and DEA.  With upcoming elections at the county level which could potentially result in the election of two new County Commissioners and a new County Judge. The following suggestions to establish relationships with newly elected officials that should be considered by District Extension Administrators, and agents.

Suggestions for Building Effective Relationships

District Extension Administrator and/or Agent could send a congratulatory letter to the new elected officials. This letter could provide an overview of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and briefly outline their specific responsibilities related to working with Commissioners Court.

Provide personal visit to newly elected officials to provide overview of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and briefly outline the District Extension Administrator responsibilities related to working with Commissioners Court

Conduct formal meeting shortly after introductory meetings and letter is sent with County Extension Agent(s) to provide briefing of Extension programs in that county that are specifically of interest to newly elected official and specifically outlines measurable outcomes . For example, if the newly elected has a high percentage of individuals in their precinct who are undeserved and at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and hypertension, focus of the conversation may be on the recent results and public value of Extension's Do-Well-Be-Well with Diabetes or Walk Across Texas programs.

County Extension Directors or agents in larger populated counties may provide information to newly elected officials that is specific to their precinct--such as Extension in Precinct #3.

Conduct a reception for newly elected officials prior to District Judges and Commissioners Conference, December 14th, Edna, Texas, for the purpose of enhancing the newly elected official's knowledge and understanding of Extension's relationship.

Showcase Extension Programs through educational exhibits on display at District County Commissioners Conference. Commissioner Court members like to see programs from their counties highlighted through these exhibits.

Conduct newly elected officials reception or Extension Open House for the purpose of enhancing the newly elected official's knowledge and understanding of Extension's relationship.

Program Planning Conferences

We had three very productive days last week as we completed our 2011 plans.  I want to commend each and every one of you for your outstanding commitment to submitting your plans on a timely basis. We are still finalizing a few plans for individuals that were having county fairs. Compared to last year, plans have come in quickly and with minor changes. Dr. Dozier and Dr. Fries along with Ms. McManus have provided great leadership in helping the agents submit quality plans. DM

4-H News From Jodi's Desk :

District Judging Contests: Quick Update and Reminders…..
Dairy Judging Contest will be held in conjunction with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Dairy Judging Contest.  We will use team/individual scores from the Houston Contest to determine our district placings.  Please make sure to get teams registered by the December 1, 2010 deadline via the HLSR online registration.  Additionally, please email Jodi with the number of teams entered after December 1.

NO DISTRICT WOOL & MOHAIR JUDGING CONTEST OFFERED IN COLLEGE STATION
Wool Judging Contest will be held in conjunction with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Wool Judging Contest.  We will use team/individual scores from Houston to determine district placings.   Teams must be registered by the HLSR December 1 deadline.  Please email Jodi with the number of teams entered after December 1.
Mohair Judging Contest: As of today, we do not have plans to conduct a district Mohair Judging Contest.  If your county has a team or is interested in a district contest, please contact Jodi ASAP.  We will find a contest in West Texas to use as our district event and send interested mohair teams.

Horse Judging: DATE CHANGE!!!  The district horse judging contest will be held on Saturday, April 9 (not April 2 as previously announced).  The contest will be held in College Station at Freeman Arena.  All senior contestants will be required to give 3 sets of oral reasons.  All intermediate contestants will be required to give 1 set of oral reasons. 

Livestock Judging: Still scheduled for April 30 in College Station.  All senior contestants will be required to give 4 sets of oral reasons; intermediates will give 2 sets of reasons.  Begin preparing your teams now!

Consumer Decision Making Contest will NOT be held in College Station with District 9 this year.  We will host the district event somewhere within the district.  The CDM committee will be meeting soon to identify a date and location.  If you are interested in hosting the event in your county, please let Jodi know!
All other district judging contests (soils, entomology, meats, plant id) will be conducted as in the past.