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Thursday, January 20, 2011

District 11 Legislative Quarterly Reports

Interpretation of our great programs in our District, County, and communities is more important than ever. You certainly know how important it is in a difficult time in our states history, and you also are aware that I have reinforced this during our performance reviews this year. 

In 2011, I will implement and expect for each District 11 county to provide a one page quarterly email report to your State senator and state representative and their staffers. It is not appropriate to have formal interpretation with our state legislators during the session. We must let them get to business in Austin. However we can keep them updated and most importantly update their district staff. I want you to get to know your legislative district staff especially they new staff members of newly elected state leadership. It is appropriate to invite your state legislators and their staff to your show case events in your counties.  Several of you have invited your state leaders to your stock shows during this stock show season. This is a great way for them to interact with our volunteers, and youth in action. If they come to your events involve them in an opportunity such as a presentation, opening ceremony and or award presentation.  As representatives of state government and funding partners, our programs are theirs as well. I want to remind our agents and specialists that we must stay positive in our interpretation efforts. We may start to see some negative publicity from other areas especially the media, it is imperative that we stay positive! in providing information of our successful programs great programs are our best interpretation. 

The quarterly reports can be creative with limited amount of pictures, and video, including much of the same information that you provide in your county commissioner reports, highlight timely events during the year. Keep it short to the point and include public value and or economic effectiveness of our programs each time. 

I am not asking for you to do much more than you are doing already as you complete your reports each month.  I know that you can clearly understand that completion of this and other special reports is a critical professional obligation associated with professional educators with Texas AgriLife Extension Service. If you want more ideas on completing this report , I would suggest you contact Nueces, Victoria and or Karnes County. These counties already do a great job in providing a quarterly email update to their state senator, representative and their staff.Give me a call if you have any questions, DM

Cost Recovery
Recently we have received several notices of some significant changes in how we will do business in our counties concerning cost recovery and others ares, and will be receiving even more direction soon. I want to also make it clear that we should be open minded in looking to the future. County Extension agents are extremely resourceful individuals, for example  just look back at your human and material resource allocations for this past year in your PAS materials.  I am always amazed of how we allocate resources to acquire what we need to be productive.

I believe this will make our agency stronger, and make our programs better. Giving the choice of paying more taxes or paying for information clientele need, I believe our customers will choose to pay for relevant, research based knowledge from trained reputable educators such as yourselves. We must all (Agents, Specialists, and Volunteers) buy into our new changes and be unified as a team across the district. If you have any questions or concerns on cost recovery or other areas please give me a call. 

District 11 4-H News from Jodi
District 11 Consumer Decision Making Contest
The district CDM Contest will be held on MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011 at the KC Hall in Hallettsville, TX.  Registration will be after lunch with a contest start time around 2 p.m.   More details will be emailed soon!

District 11 Photography Contest
Thank you to everyone that participated in the photography poll.  For the 2011 District 11 Contest (junior & intermediates only), we will continue to submit printed/mounted photos.  However, the 2011 contest will use the NEW STATE CATEGORIES!  Complete photo contest rules and guidelines will be emailed soon and posted on the District 11 4-H website.  NOTE:  The 2012 D11 Contest will be moving to electronic submission and judging.  Please make your clientele aware of this change now!

REMINDER:  4-H OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIPS due to the District Office by February 11, 2011.