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Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a good Holiday Break and are ready for the new year. I wish each an every District 11 staff member a prosperous and productive 2011. It is clear as I continue my tour of District 11 during our performance appraisal evaluations, how effective and productive each one of you were last year.  You certainly made a difference in the lives of your clientele in 2010. I truly appreciate all that you do to make District 11 one of the best Extension Districts in the state.

I would like to remind you to please have your staff job responsibilities assignments for the year ready for review. This is the time we evaluate your specific area of work and tasks associated with these job responsibilities.  I also want to commend those of you that have completed your civil rights reviews, the process goes much smoother if you have your observation record completed prior to my visit. If you are to have a CR review please pay attention to this detail.

Utilizing Volunteers in Interpreting Extension Programs

The utilization of volunteers who serve on various committees and task forces is an excellent strategy to implement in both formal and informal interpretation efforts. The involvement of volunteers in the interpretation process is ingrained in many county’s interpretation culture. In counties where volunteers are utilized in interpretation agents have spent quality time arming committee and task force members with the type of information needed for them to effectively interpret Extension educational programs. However, there are many counties across District 11  where volunteers could be more effectively utilized in formal or informal interpretation efforts. Elected officials place tremendous creditability on information related to Extension educational programs when it is provided by constituents. However, volunteers don’t provide interpretation by chance– it happens as a result of planning, training, and design.

In order for volunteers to be effective in interpreting programs they must:

  • Be an individual whose opinion is valued and respected by your elected officials.
  • Have an active role along with agent to plan,implement, evaluate and interpret effective county programs that results in measurable outcomes.
  • Have an understanding of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service as an organization.
  • Your volunteers should be armed with appropriate data related to Texas AgriLife Extension’s roles in providing educational programming efforts your county.
  • They should Embrace the philosophy that an investment in Texas AgriLife Extension Service programs is an investment that provides a return in your county in terms of economic, environmental, and/or social outcomes.
  • Be equipped with information related to specific program(s) outcomes in your county.

Making a Difference Interpretation Templates/ County One Pagers

These templates have been posted for County Annual Report and Outcome Summary reports. It is imperative that these be consistently utilized when developing interpretation pieces. The link to download these documents is as follows: http://agrilife.org/communications/resources/extension/documents/

Your outcome summaries should be uploaded to Texas. I am also asking for you to update your county one pagers. Some of you already have, this was an extremely useful tool for me in my first full year. please make the necessary adjustments and send them in to me by  January 15th, thanks, DM

Annual Agricultural Income Increment Report
Due Date:January 14th, 2011 my office, please send thorough email and cc Barbara Moretich

Agricultural Agents, I appreciate your leadership and cooperation in providing the annual estimate of Ag Production Value from your county. These are the only current annual income data available to represent Texas Agriculture to county, state, and federal agencies, news media, new commercial industrial prospects and agribusiness.