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Friday, September 30, 2011

District 11 County Judges and Commissioners Confrence Scheduled

One of the components of the County Programs “Making a Difference” Interpretation Initiative are District Judges and Commissioners Conferences that will be conducted in all of our Extension Districts .
  • District 11 Confrence - December 13, 2011- Sinton, Texas
These conferences provide a tremendous benefit for both our County Commissioner Court members and Texas AgriLife Extension Service. The following are some of the reasons that this component of our interpretation plan is critical;

  • Enables me to solidify partnerships with County Commissioners Court members in their District 11.
  • Demonstrates Texas AgriLife Extension Service’s commitment to county government.
  • Provides an opportunity for Texas AgriLife Extension Service to showcase effective educational programs conducted in the District.
  • Provides customized professional development for County Commissioners within a District.
  • Provides a venue for quality interpretation.
Agents should be reminded that District 11 “Making a Difference” Interpretation Initiative includes the following;
  • District Judges and Commissioners Conferences hosted by Marketing and Interpretation committee.
  • Utilization of the Extension Making a Difference Newsletters that communicates Texas AgriLife Extension’s public value. This newsletter will be published on an annual basis.
  • Utilization of the Extension Making a Difference annual reports that communicates Texas AgriLife Extension’s public value.
  • All Counties conduct formal interpretation events with County Commissioners Courts annually that communicates Texas AgriLife Extension’s public value.
  • All Counties involve elected officials in Extension “showcase” events.
Our marketing and interpretation committee will meet on Thursday October 6th, starting at 9:30 am over LYNC.  Individuals were contacted to join in the conference.  All agents can provide suggestions for programs and interpretation ideas for the the upcoming Judges and Commissioners conference.  Please give me a call if you have suggestions to share.

District 11 Professional Development Contract Due by your Desiganted Program Planning Conference

As you know we no longer have plans and or tasks in TeXas for your professional development activates. Please refer to the email I sent you this past Wednesday for the attached contract that you will sign and forward back to me for the approval of the RPD and myself. Please review the contract and select the activities that you will be attending in 2012.  Please mail me a signed paper copy  or use the (fillable form) version to make it easier to complete, you can sign electronically and then forward to me by email . I will accept them on paper or electronically signed , I will forward to the RPDs for their approval and signature. I need these contracts in by your designated Program planning conference.

As you can imagine it is not easy to include all of the activities, so please add any other conferences , professional meetings , symposiums, workshops, etc.. that you plan on attending during the year.  I have also selected some of these activities and added them to our D11 Extension outlook calendar for your reference.  

I also would like to remind you that this will be our contract and your investment in your Professional Development for 2012.  This contract will also be used by the RPD’s and myself as a tool to gage your commitment in developing yourself as a professional educator in your county.  Please give me a call if you have any questions. DM

Personnel News
Give Matt Bochat ,new agent in Bee County a call next week to welcome him to the District , he will start Monday October 3rd.   News comming soon on Washington County 4-H and Refugio County ANR.  Victoria County 4-H came open internally this week, help me recruit internally in bringing another great agent to D11.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Program Planning Confrences Scheduled

I believe we had a good productive workshop this week in Edna, some things have changed slightly but the process is still simple in that your plans are your contract with administration on how you are going to program in 2012.  You are in charge of your work calendar and it all starts with developing your plans. Remember you will be evaluated on your performance directly from your plans in 2012.  I wanted to thank all of the specialists that participated in the workshop. I would also like to thank Logan Respess, Director of the Texas Sea Grant program, and Jacquelin White , Interim Program Leader for FCS for the Cooperative Extension program for spending both days with us and supporting the agents they work with.  A big thanks to Mike Hiller and his support staff for hosting us at their great facility.
I also wanted you to know that because of this situation of TExAS being offline we will allow flexibility on the deadline once the system is up and running. It’s Important that you all continue in working with RPDs and local planning groups in developing program plans for 2012.

Program Planning has been around a lot longer than the TExAS System and the system no way influences how we work to develop the plans. It is simply mechanism that we utilize to publish and report to our plans with administration , stakeholders and supporters.  The key is that the plans are of high quality regardless if they are up on the system or hand written on a tablet. The importance is that they are developed before you ever sit down to type into the system. Computer Systems don’t dictate planning and they don’t identify issues that need to be addressed in our counties, that’s done thru committees and the issue identification forums that were done earlier in the year. I know that Scott and the OD crew will work hard to get the system up and running soon, and they have worked hard to make it better for our agency.
Scheduled Program Planning Conferences for 2012
Ø   Wharton County – October 7th, 2011 – 8:30 am - Lync Webcam Conference
Ø   Group 1 – October 11th , 2011 - 8:30 a.m. - Lync Webcam Conference – Aransas, San Patricio, Nueces, Nueces EFNEP
Ø   Group  2 – October 12th, 2011 - 8:30 a.m. - Lync Webcam Conference  - Washington, Colorado, Fayette
Ø   Group 3 – October 13th, 2011 - 8:30 a.m. - Lync Webcam Conference – Jackson, Matagorda, Victoria
Ø   Group 4 – October 14th, 2011 - 8:30 a.m. -  Lync Webcam Conference – Dewitt, Lavaca, Karnes, Goliad,
Ø   TBA – Bee, Calhoun, and Austin / Face to Face PPC to be determined depending on need

Heather Ware, New Coastal Comminity Development Agent
Logan Respess,  received a few questions from Agents and others who attended the D11 PPW in Edna regarding our newest hire Heather Wade. Heather is new to us and new to Extension. She is the first ever Coastal Community Development Agent in Texas. She fills a two-year soft money partnership position between the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (UT) and Texas Sea Grant (TAMU). Logan will be actively working to extend her position through grants and contracts beyond the two-year time frame.
Heather’s position will be similar in her geographic setup to our IPM agents. Her area of operation will be the counties bordering the NERR (Calhoun, Refugio, Aransas, San Patricio, and Nueces), but could potentially help others outside this area. Heather is an Urban Planner by training and will be working almost exclusively in the realm of CRED.
Attached you will find her hiring announcement. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Logan ( or Heather (
Matt Bochat, New Bee County Agricultural and
Natural Resourse Agent
Matt Bochat will assume his new appointment in Bee County on October 3rd. Matt is a former Ag agent serving in our agency for 11 years.  Matt served in Gonzales, Jasper, Smith and Brazoria Counties.  We are fortuante to have Matt come back to Extension and bring his experence and energy to the Bee County Extension program.  I know that Kathy Ball our office manager in Bee County is eager to have an agent to work with. Please give Matt a call to welcome him to his new role. 

Monica Flores, New Refugio County office manger and
4-H program assistant
Today is Monica's first day on the job and after several months of having no one at the office it is great to have Monica ansewering the phones and helping clientele in Refugio County.
Monica is a native of Refugio, and a former 4-H member, she is also a graduate of Texas A&M University.  Help me in welcoming Monica to our District team.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Training Opportunities for TExAS Version 3

As plans for the roll out of TExAS Version 3 continue to move forward, Organizational Development has scheduled a series of online training sessions to provide agents with an overview of the changes. These sessions will predominately be conducted via Lync. However, there is likely to a be a few sessions that are Centra based to provide opportunities for those who do not have access to Lync. Each of the sessions listed below will be limited to 20 participants. The Organizational Development Unit will use an RSVP system to enroll individuals in a session. Below is a schedule of the training opportunities.
  • September 21st – 9:30 am & 2:30 pm
  • September 22nd – 9:30 am & 2:30 pm
  • September 27th – 9:30 am & 2:30 pm
  • September 28th – 9:30 am & 2:30 pm
  • September 29th – 9:30 am & 2:30 pm
  • October 4th – 9:30 am & 2:30 pm
  • October 5th – 9:30 am & 2:30 pm
  • October 6th – 9:30 am & 2:30 pm
Organizational Development has indicated that they will add sessions by providing concurrent sessions or new sessions if needed.   You are encouraged to participate and to RSVP for the session of their choice.

Major Livestock Show Calf Scramble Information

Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo – January 13 – February 4, 2012
  • Purchase certificate value of $500
  • Certificates used to purchase a breeding beef or dairy heifer
  • Entry process
1. To obtain Calf Scramble entry applications by mail, you as CEA must contact the Stock Show Office prior to October 1 to make your request. Entry applications will be mailed on October 1 to all CEAs and ASTs who have requested the applications.
2. Entry applications will also be available on the Stock Show website on October 1.
3. Entries are sent directly to the show.
4. Entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. After all the positions have been filled, the remaining applications will be kept on file and used on an as needed basis.
5. Each County 4-H Program is limited to a maximum of six entries.
San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo – February 9-26, 2012
  • Purchase certificate value of $800
  • Certificates used to purchase an animal in these Junior Breeding Departments – Beef, Dairy, Swine, Sheep, or Goat
  •  Must show the animal in the 2013 San Antonio Stock Show
  •  Entry process
1. Entry Application and Release and Indemnification Agreement were e-mailed on August 25, 2011
2. Completed Entry Applications and Release and Indemnification Agreements must be returned to the District Extension Administration as a county group by September 19, 2011
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo – February 28 – March 18, 2012
  • Purchase certificate value of $1,500
  •  Certificates used to purchase a breeding beef or dairy heifer or market steer
  • Must show the animal in the 2013 Houston Livestock Show
  • Entry process
1. Online entry applications will be available on the Livestock Show website from October 1 through December 1, 2011.
2. Entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. After all the positions have been filled, the remaining applications will be kept on file and used on an as needed basis.
Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo – March 9-24, 2012
  • New format for 2012 – Ultimate Scramble Championship
  • Purchase certificate value of at least $1000 while others could be awarded $1,500, $2,000, $2,500, or $5,000
  • Certificates used to purchase market steer, market lamb, market goat, market barrow, breeding heifer, or breeding goat.
  • Must show the animal in the 2013 Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo.
  • Entries begin January 15, 2012 directly to the show.
  • Entry fee is $25.
Monthly Reports Due September 8th, 2011 !!!!
  • September 8, 2011-  All reports for June, July, and August must be entered into the old version of TExAS.  An initial lock of the records will occur at this time. Daily compliance reports will be provided to DEA.
  • September 9 – 14, 2011- The old version of TExAS will be taken offline to convert to TExAS Version 3.  No activity in TExAS will be allowed during this time.
  • September 15, 2011- TExAS Version 3 will be online.  Entry of plans and reports will resume.
The 4th quarter of the 2011 fiscal year ends in August  (June, July, and August).  Agents should ensure that they have met their professional obligations of completion of Commissioners Court reports, Travel, Quarterly Legislative one page email, PCR monthly reports and of course reports on the TEXAS system before September 8th.

District 11 OUTLOOK Calenders
Two 2012 District Calendars on our outlook system are being developed , a 4-H Calendar, and an a Administrative/ Professional Development Calendar.  These calendars will  be ready to be shared with you on your email by our upcoming conference .

If you have any dates that you would like on the calendars for 2012 please send them to Sharon Thompson (4-H0 or Sylvia Falcon (ADM-PD ) calendar.

Some of the dates will certainly overlap and that’s ok. We are also planning to post the 4-H calendar on the web , the other ADM/Prf. Development calendar is only for staff internally. Trainings, district meetings, retreats, annual meetings, selected multi county programs, specialist trainings , Professional Development training series etc….. are items we will need.  These calendars will be shared read-only , updates will only be done by our support staff at the D11 office.  Please send in dates by Thursday September 8th

District 11 Personnel News:
I am currently in the process of identifying a finalist for each of these positions, Bee County ANR, Refugio ANR, Washington 4-H, Calhoun ANR.

Mandi Wallace, has resigned her position as Lavaca County FCS agent as of August 31st. I wish Mandi much success in her new career choice, and thank her for her service to Lavaca County and to our District.

Labor Day Holiday!
If you read this post before the Holiday, have a good safe time, If you are reading this after Monday, hope you had a good restful time off , but if you have not done so, you only have three days to finish up your reports before the lock down! Thanks for all you do to keep our programs strong in our Counties. DM