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Monday, January 31, 2011

Engaging the Leadership Advisory Board in Identifying Critical Issues

Developing educational programs based on community needs is the foundation of Texas AgriLife Extension’s success. The Leadership Advisory Board’s Issue Identification process provides an avenue to hear from all types of clientele and people within a county. Providing solutions to county problems and issues will allow AgriLife Extension to remain viable to constituents. What could be more important to AgriLife Extension than listening to its “customers” – the people of Texas?
Our ability to meet educational needs depends on knowing what local residents see as their issues that impact their lives. There is no way to know the answers to these questions unless they are asked. Therefore, AgriLife Extension will involve the Leadership Advisory Boards in a process to ask residents what is important to them.

This activity is just one part of the needs assessment process. Other processes to collect information include, but are not limited to:
  •  State and National Trends
  •  Commodity/Industry Groups
  • State and Federal Mandates
  •  Emerging Issues
  •  County Committees/Planning Groups
The issues that surface should be discussed with county committees, task forces, and subject matter specialists to determine the appropriate action for educational programming.
Texas AgriLife Extension is unique because it has faculty in every area of the state who is dedicated to educating Texans in many areas of need. This uniqueness provides an opportunity to bring together the people of Texas, other service agencies, and educational groups to help provide solutions to the problems and issues facing Texans.
Remember the mission of AgriLife Extension: “Improving the lives of people, businesses, and communities across Texas and beyond through high-quality, relevant education.”

For more information, call the Organizational Development Unit at 979-845-7280, visit the website dedicated to this process at, or go to the Organizational Development Unit’s website at

In visiting with you and your coworkers during our recent Performance Appraisal Confreres, I have asked each one of you how and when you would be implementing your identification of issues. I want to remind you that the process must be completed by May 15th. With the busy spring of the year just upon us please know that each staff must complete this very important task. Thanks to many of you that have already entered your information on to the web site.

Engaging the Leadership Advisory Board in Identifying Critical Issues---Time Line
Sept-Oct., 2010 – Discuss with DEA/RPD the process for your county
Oct.-Dec., 2010 – Meet with LAB (or Chair) to begin plans.
Dec.-Apr. – Implement Process
May 15 – Enter issues online

Degree Information

In Extension, degrees are central to career ladder advancement and are a recognized means of professional development and learning. please go to the organizational site for proper forms that need to be submitted as you enroll in classes. Many of you have already done so, but if you have not you can get many of your questions answered on this site.

4-H & Youth News

Take A Stand website! 

A new section called "In The News" has been added which showcases news articles and other resources that you may find of interest.  There may be information in the articles or materials you wish to replicate in your county as you market and conduct the Take A Stand program with youth.  Please take some time to go to the website and check out the information!  I think you will find some great ideas there, including a "Keep Your Cool Rap", a Rumors Activity, and some great news articles!

If you have had a news article about the program in your local paper, please scan and send it to me!  If you have developed an activity to supplement Take A Stand, please send them to Cheryl Newberry, the instructions for the activity and if you have pictures to go with it, that is a bonus!  I will format it and post it on the web! 

Program Update:  We have completed the first year of the program and I am pleased to report that there were a total of 377 educational sessions conducted reaching over 20,000 youth and adults!  That is GREAT!   
MOST of those contacts were not supported with evaluations being submitted to Paul Pope for scanning (only about 1100 were sent in).   Whether or not you do an outcome with Take A Stand, if you complete the program with a group, PLEASE USE THE EVALUATION AND SEND IT IN FOR SCANNING so that we can have the data for state-wide impact!  If you hand tabulate the data, we still need you to send it in for scanning -- especially if you are doing an outcome!!!  This is very important!!!  Time restraints on due dates for outcome summaries may require you to hand tabulate, but I can still use the data if you will send it on in for scanning!!!

District 11 Reminders:
  • We have many Take a Stand Outcomes in District 11 please help to report your successes.
  • REMINDER:  4-H OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIPS due to the District Office by February 11, 2011.
  •  Agent Monthly reports due by February 7th, Commissioners Court Activity Report, Travel and Texas Reports. Accountability is more important than ever. If need to ask why you have been in a cave, please leave your cave and take care of business, thanks for what you do everyday,  DM