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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Email Conversion Comming Soon

AgriLife as whole will soon transition to a new email system. Groupwise has served us well over the years but we have the opportunity to consolidate and modernize our ability to communicate and collaborate with others. This change will enhance your capability to communicate and the overall Extension mission.
We are changing to a Microsoft Exchange mail system. You will use Microsoft Outlook or the Outlook Web App on your web browser to access your email, address books and calendars.
Many of you already have Outlook on your computers, it comes with Microsoft Office.  If you do not we will provide a copy of Outlook for your primary daily use computer.  On other computers you will use the Outlook Web App to get your email.  The Outlook Web App (called “OWA”) allows you to use only a web browser and is full featured enough that many people use it exclusively.
 IT will take a carefully planned stepwise approach on making the email migration. The steps will be
1.      A general cleanup of the GroupWise mail system and collection of information
2.      Converting existing online GroupWise mail boxes to caching mode
3.      Scheduling a day to migrate everyone in the office
4.      On the scheduled day a AIT Specialist will help you migrate your mailbox
The total migration for AgriLife Extension will cover several months. During this time there will no doubt be some glitches in communications as some will be on GroupWise and some will be on Exchange.
AgriLife IT will attempt to convert by Districts as much as possible. This will minimize the time distribution lists and groups that commonly communicate are on different systems. IT is working on a schedule, but the goal is to focus conversions by District and tie the county office conversions as closely as possible to the District Center conversion.  There will be two to three weeks notice before a District conversion. This strategy will minimize the time counties and District staffs are on separate systems. 
A team of  our regional IT Specialists will help with Districts, so you may be working with a different Specialist at times. In addition the First Call help desk staff will be trained and able to help.
I attached instructions on my email sent out today on  how to clean up your Groupwise mail box. Agents please follow through with the steps and send the information needed back to IT, keep a copy for your files. DM 
2010 Ag Retreat-Cuero-Shiner
I am looking forward to next weeks Ag Retreat in the Cuero-Shiner area. I know that Anthony and Shannon will be great hosts. Thanks to Phillip and Brian for putting together a excellent program on Tuesday November  2nd, along with a tour in the Shiner area.  We will here programs from Monty Dozier, Megan Dominguez and AgriLife Research Entomologist Micheal Brewer we will also have time to here from other specialists from our district.  On our second day I look forward to presentations from some of our Ag agents, Brent Batchelor, Brian Yanta, Kyle McManus(Tue) JD Folbre, Phillip Shackelford, and Jeff Stapper, we will also have some late additions to the program.  These presentations will provide useful information on Result Demonstration reports, professional development tours, New 4-H project ideas, and alternative crops, etc.  I also hope that most of the agents and specialists can take some time to take part in the fellowship opportunities on Tuesday evening after our tours.  See you there, DM 
4-H Virtual Summit
This year's 4-H Summit will be a virtual summit using Centra Technology.   You can enroll in any of the 34 sessions you wish to attend.  The Course Catalog for the Virtual 4-H Summit can be downloaded using the link below:

To enroll in one of the sessions, please follow the directions below:
1. - and click on Centra Login
2.  Once there, login
3.  Click on "Enrollment"
4.  Then click on the folder "4-H and YD Webinars"
5.  When you get there, click on the "4-H Summit" folder (right under 4-H and YD Webinars)
6.  Enroll from there!  Please note there are two pages.  

Also, the one event entitled, "Coaching - Take a Stand Program Oriented" will include a presentation from Brooks Gibbs author of "Love > Hate."  Also, please note that is only a one hour program.  

Note: It is an expectation that D11 4-H agents and 4-H coordinators register and attend at least two sessions on each day.  Most Ag agents will be attending  next weeks Ag retreat in Cuero, on Tuesday and Wednesday, if you are a 4-H coordinator please plan on attending 4-H summit sessions on Monday and Friday. 

All 4-H agents and or 4-H coordinators  please let me know what sessions you will be attending, 
Tuesday, November 2nd is election day 
Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.
Franklin D. Roosevelt 
I wanted to remind everyone that Tuesday, November 2nd is election day. Please exercise your right to vote.