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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quality Counts Verification is now active and ready to be used!

Quality Counts Verification is now active and ready to be used!  Moving forward into the 2011-2012 Major Show Season, Quality Counts Verification will be a part of the process for entry in all major shows.  This means youth exhibitors will need to demonstrate their knowledge of the Six Pillars of Character and the Eight Core Concepts presented in the Quality Counts Curriculum. To do this, they will need to pass an online test on the website ( http://qualitycounts.tamu.edu/ ) and acquire a Quality Counts Verification number.

Things you need to know about Verification:
* 2011 - State Fair of Texas will implement Quality Counts Verification on a voluntary basis.
* 2012 - All Major Livestock Shows in Texas will require Quality Counts Verification at the time of entry - This means youth will need to be verified prior to entry in the fall of 2011.
* A Verification number is obtained by answering 80% of the questions correctly on an online test.
* You will have access to the Verification Records for your county by logging in as a County Extension Agent. 
* Your initial username and password is your email address and your county name.  Example:  Username - kchilek@ag.tamu.edu  Password - brazos.  (please note:  you may need to try both variations of your email address:  @ag.tamu.edu and  @tamu.edu)
* You should log in and set up your own unique password.

The Quality Counts website ( http://qualitycounts.tamu.edu/ ) will serve as your portal to the online test, Verification Records, and educational resources related to Quality Counts.  From this website, you can access all of the Quality Counts curriculum and various PowerPoint presentations for use with 4-H livestock exhibitors, 4-H leaders, and local support groups and organizations. 

Distance Educational Tools for our Youth Educators

4-H Social Media: Choosing Your Channels
May 18, 2011: 1pm CST
Start off your social media ventures by discovering how a quick survey of your audience can help you understand their interest and investment in social media. This session will also focus on finding your primary audience and how they will affect your engagement online. Finally, examine how a social media strategy can help you meet your organizational goals.
View and Participate: http://www.4-h.org/get-involved/social-media/training.aspx

4-H Social Media: Starting Your Own Pages
May 25, 2011 1pm CST
Should you develop a page or a group? Who will build and manage your pages? What privacy settings should you consider? What is a hashtag anyway? Get to the nuts and bolts of creating your own social media channels, as National 4-H Council’s social media team lead you through a step-by-step process of preparing your own Facebook and Twitter pages.
View and Participate: http://www.4-h.org/get-involved/social-media/training.aspx

4-H Social Media: Content Generation
June 1, 2011 1pm CST
Generating content can be easy when you use the incredible resources of the 4-H Community. Learn how to build an editorial calendar, schedule your updates in advance using tools like Hootsuite, and how to use eXtension to collect general content for your social media outlets.
View and Participate: http://www.4-h.org/get-involved/social-media/training.aspx

4-H Social Media: Online Safety Best Practices
June 8, 2011  1pm CST
The best way to build a 4-H network is to create a secure online community for both adults and youth. Social media experts will provide you with an outline of best practices for adult volunteers who may be interacting with youth online, as well as a series of recommended privacy settings to keep youth and adults safe on your pages.

View and Participate: http://www.4-h.org/get-involved/social-media/training.aspx
These are listed on http://learn.extension.org.  No registration is required, just log in to the link on the training day. District Extension Administrators should let agents know about these online training opportunities.

Meaningful Internships Pay off 

In the summer of 2011, Texas AgriLife Extension will host a number college interns regardless to the fact that all these interns will be unpaid. Research indicates that providing college students with meaningful internship opportunities with employers increases the chance that they will stay in that career field after graduation.

Agents, if you  have contact with college students ( former 4-H members) that show and interest in a possible internship with our agency and in District 11 please direct them to me for proper protocol in getting them on board.

Remember, even though Extension is currently in limited hiring capacity our future success is dependent on our ability to attract a talented, diverse and competent workforce.  The time we spend with interns now is an investment in our future.

Spring Faculty Conference and 4-H Scheduling

Jodi and I are looking forward to our Spring Faculty Conference next week in Sinton, we have a full agenda for our two day meeting.  You are running out of time to register so please get this done ASAP. We need to prepare for the meals , meeting rooms, etc..  You have recently been emailed more information on the conference by Sharon Thompson, see the map of the fairgrounds as it is not the easiest place to get to if you don't know where you are going.  In advance, I want to thank the San Patricio County staff for hosting this year. I know they have gone over an beyond to plan in making our conference a success.

Please come prepared to stay for the entire conference.  We will also have an opportunity to recognize our outstanding agents and their accomplishments at our social, dinner and award presentation on Tuesday evening. The dress for the conference will be professional casual  nice office attire (for the men that means,no ties ladies you know what this means, we will be outside for the social, dinner and the presentation of awards.I need for one of the agents to volunteer to be the official photographer for the presentation of awards. I you have a good camera and know how to use it, I would really appreciate someone taking pictures so we can forward the pictures to the agents for recognition in their counties.