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Monday, April 25, 2011

District 11 Spring Faculty Confrence and 4-H Scheduling(May 24-25)

Plans are under way for our Spring Faculty Conference and 4-H Scheduling, at the San Patricio County Fairgrounds(Civic Center) in Sinton, Texas.  Please make arrangements to participate in our annual conference. The event will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday  May 24 and 25th.  Tuesday May 24th a BLT Centra will be held for agents involved in a group setting form 9 am to 12 noon.

The general session will begin with all AgriLIFE and CEP Agents in attendance, registration at 1:00 pm the conference will start at 1:15 pm. on afternoon of the 24th.  We will discuss Distance Education and Engagement: The Value of Technology.  We will also have an administrative update from Dr. Bonnie McGee, followed by a evening social , dinner and award presentations at the fairgrounds, not the Welder Wildlife Foundation as once announce.

Wednesday May 25th will be a full day with optional professional association breakfast meetings prior to the general session starting at 8:30 am. Check with your association chair as to where and when your meeting will take place.  I will provide  some administrative updates, then will  provide a short program on interpreting public value for your programs. To follow my program we are fortunate to have Dr. Chris Boleman in District 11 as he will provide a program on marketing  your Extension programs.

Next RPD's Monty Dozier and Elaine Fries will provide programing updates. The remaining of the program will involve 4-H updates, calendar, agent assignments with breakout sessions.  An updated agenda will be provided soon. The registration fee will be announced and registration is on 4-H connect.

Please be prepared to stay till the end on both days. If you have prior commitments make every effort to change them.  Tuesday evening Dr. McGee will help to present awards and recognize our D11 agents. It is important that you stay to participate in the awards presentation as we recognize our agent's outstanding accomplishments.

Outlook Migration and LYNC

I believe that all District 11 staff and offices have migrated to our new Microsoft Exchange Outlook email program. I am going to select a few of you to start the process of installing LYNC a instant messaging software associated with Outlook,  the program integrates, messaging, phone conversations, video, and presentations. This would be a alternative to our Centra system and even phone conferences. The software instillation instructions can be viewed on the AgriLIFE first call IT website.  I will be contacting a few of you soon and  prior to our May training so we can show our staff how it works. It is my goal to have every agent using LYNC in the near future. It will be a great tool to conduct meetings, share ideas, and just simple communication on a daily basis.  For you early adopters here is the link on information on LYNC, or just go to our AgriLIFE IT web site.

Credit for Life Fair 
Information about a great program submitted by Kara Matheney: 

  The new credit for life fair event was a great success!!  The students were engaged and seemed to have a somewhat realistic grasp on how the real world works by the time the fair was over.  Student evaluations have been sent to the bean counters and should be back soon.  Every volunteer (30 + from the community), including the Principal, Superintendent, and Assistant Superintendent, raved about the event and are on-board to host the event again and serve as volunteers in the future.  As of now Angela McCorkle and  Kara are working together on a grant to make this a training opportunity and eventually a viable outcome program for other agents/counties. 

Altair participated in the first-ever Credit for Life Fair held April 15 in the school’s gymnasium.  The fair, appropriately presented during national Financial Literacy Month, was designed to provide young adults with “real-world” experience in managing personal finances, said event coordinators. 

Approximately 30 volunteers from area businesses, the school and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service assisted with the fair, presenting students with budget-related options and money-management challenges and advice. Each student was given a career and monthly salary, as well as a credit score based on how well they performed on a financial pre-test. They were then provided choices relating to financial essentials, including rent and transportation, as well as “luxuries” such as having their hair styled. The goal of the exercise was for them to remain within their monthly budget.

“The students learned quickly how hard it was to stay within a budget.  They were in awe of the expenses associated with real life living, how quickly things added up, and how easy it was to exceed their budget,” said Kara Matheney, AgriLife Extension agent in Colorado County. “They also learned some careers were not as glamorous as they thought and didn’t pay as much as they expected.”

“The event was great,” said Rice Consolidated ISD superintendent Mike Lanier. “Giving the students a chance to see real-world situations and to interact and make choices was much better than reading about it from a textbook or off a blackboard. I was also impressed with how smart many of the kids were in the choices they made.”   

Lesley Carey of Trafco Industries in Eagle Lake, served as the committee chairperson for the event and added that, “At the fair, the kids got a better understanding of how things really are, and how important it is to establish and maintain good credit.” 

District 11 4-H Fashion Show a Success

Story Boards

Excellent Attendance

The 4-H fashion show was held in Victoria, Texas on Saturday,  April 16th in the Victoria Mall. The event was a great success with many complements from the leaders , volunteers and parents. It seemed that the young people in the event were having a really good time. The participants were also excited to be in a small fashion show at the mall.  

The event also gave an opportunity for 4-H promotion and outreach as many shoppers stopped to see what was going on. A big thanks to the Victoria County Staff, area agents and committee members for organizing this great new but traditional event.  Our District 4-H Council also assisted greatly with the event. 

Thanks to Jodi McManus for her coordination of the event and the Victoria Mall staff for allowing us to have the event in their facility at no charge.