Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Conducting Effective Performance Appraisals- Pre – Appraisal Process

An agent’s performance has a significant impact on The Texas AgriLIFE Extension Service capacity to fulfill its mission. However, the effectiveness of the performance appraisal conference is directly correlated to the preparation prior to the conference itself. If the Pre-Appraisal process is to be effective the Extension agent must …
  • Finalize monthly reports on the TeXas System.
  • Finalize all County Commissioner’s Court reports.
  • Submit annual outcome summaries
  • Review support materials provided to DEA in monthly reports.
  • Review interpretation materials that communicate programmatic outcomes.
  • Review County Media Efforts, such as program area newsletters, radio programs, news releases
  • Complete our Making a Difference Documents- out come and/or out put summaries
  • Review 4-H enrollment goals
  • Review your inter disciplinary programs
  • Review your Showcase Events(including participation of Elected officials)
  • Review Multi-County Programs, Result Demonstrations and tours.
  • Review Leadership Advisory Board and Youth Board Events.
Your Performance Reviews are being scheduled starting in December. Barbara Moretich will be giving you a call to schedule your PAS. I am going to complete this task this year by going to five locations in the District. I may conduct some of these confrences on LYNC.

 I will also send you an email this week in preparation for your PAS as to know what to prepare for. I truly appreciate all of you hard work, on my behalf it is great to get see all the excellent programs you provide to your clientele during the year. I am very fortunate to work with the best agents in the state.

San Antonio Livestock Exposition- Leadership Extension

The “Leadership Extension” program is designed to provide Extension faculty with an opportunity to develop comprehensive leadership skills.  Beginning in May 2012, Class X will consist of four, four day sessions held at six month intervals.  The sessions will be held at three different locations across the state and one session in Louisiana.  Each session will cover a wide variety of leadership topics.

 Extension faculty with at least five years of Extension experience who aspires to enhance their leadership skills are eligible to apply. I would ecourage  perspective agents to the SALE-LE website at http://sale.tamu.edu. Completed applications are due in our office by December 1, 2011.

District 11 4-H Events and Activities

Looks like we had a great District 11 Crossroads, a big thanks to those of you that assisted with the planning and implementation of the event. We now move on over to the District 11 Food Show and The Coastal Bend Classic both on December 3rd , Looks like we are getting good participation for both events. We still need judges for the food show please find judges and send the information in to Sharon.
Our focus needs to continue to be provide our 4-H members and leaders with the best quality experience possible. If we can remember to keep our focus among our many tasks associated at the end of the year these two events will be greatly successful.

Major Show Entries due December 1st. Those of you that are preparing your entries for the major stock shows, please be aware of the December 1st deadlines. It would be a good idea to review your validation information so no one gets left out. I know this is a process that can bring on much stress right before the holiday, however, please make sure you double check your entries and validations keep good documentation as every year problems always shows up. Cover your tracks!!!!!

District 11 Personnel News
This morning Refugio County Court approved Michael Donalson, as their new County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Michael will start on December 1st. Michael will start first step in San Patricio County. Michael comes highly recommended from Tarlton State University he will also be receiving his Masters Degree next month. Please help me to welcome Michael to District 11.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I would like to wish our District 11 Extension family a Happy Thanksgiving.  I am fortunate to work with a great group of agents, specialists, and support staff in District 11 thank you for all you do.

Everybody looks forward to the thanksgiving feast. The turkey, the pies, and the celebration, football,shopping or even sitting in a deer blind.

However, thanksgiving is incomplete without a moment of reflection. Spare a moment, and say a prayer of gratitude for life's little blessings.

For, it is these little blessings that enrich our life. Here is a quote, that I was forwarded on Twitter, that I wanted to share.
If you learn to appreciate more of what you already have, you'll find yourself having more to appreciate. -Michael Angier
I hope you can send some quality time with your family and friends this Thanksgiving. If you will be traveling be careful on those busy highways. DM

Friday, November 11, 2011

2011 Outcome Summaries Due Dec. 1st

Telling our Story”. You will hear this as one of the most important jobs we do as employees for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.Accountability is central to the relevance of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. As a state agency, who receives funding from federal, state, local, and grant/contract sources, we must be good stewards of the funding we receive.
Accountability Framework
Accountability of our program is a high priority for everyone in Texas AgriLife Extension Service. It allows us to tell our story as well as make corrections in educational programs.
Interpreting evaluation results and marketing those results to stakeholders is very important. If the Extension educator does not interpret and market these results, how will the community and stakeholders know the results of the evaluation?
When interpreting program results, the Extension educator should address the “3 R’s”. These are: Relevance, Response, and Results.
  • Relevance – What was the relevance of the program?
  • Response – How did Texas AgriLife Extension Service respond to the relevant program?
  • Results – What are the results? What happened as a result of the educational program?
Answering the “3 R’s” provides the stakeholder with sufficient background and evidence of what the program was, how it was addressed, and what happened as a result of the program. Typically, the Extension educator would develop a one-two page summary revealing the “3 R’s.” This is the time to be creative and so something exciting that will draw the stakeholder in. It is important to use table, graphs, and / or pictures to reveal the impact of the program. The template that all County Extension Agents should use for their outcome summary and the county annual report can be found at:
Annual Report - CountyThe new templates including public value statements can also be found in the task bar on the right of the web site.

Most organizations have numerous stakeholders. Extension educators must decide who they should market their results to. Some examples include:
  • The Community – through media outlets if possible.
  • The County Committee
  • Program participants
  • Extension colleagues
  • Commissioner’s court and county judge
  • Texas AgriLife Extension Service administrators / County Directors / District Extension Administrators / Regional Program Directors
  • Community and state legislators
Texas AgriLife Extension Service’s mission is to provide quality, relevant outreach and continuing education programs and services to the people of Texas. In order to this effectively, it is imperative that each Extension educator in the agency develop educational programs in a strategic and systematic way. Texas AgriLife Extension Service’s Program Development Model provides these steps to address when developing educational programs. The success of this agency is based on providing quality, relevant programs that have defensible results.

  • District 11 County Extension Agents Outcome summaries are due on December 1st, please send your document by email to me and cc Barbara Moretich. Your County Making a Diffrence Document (Annual Report) is due by December 15th.

District 11 County Judges and Commissioner Conference set for December 13th
Our annual County judges and commissioners conference is set for December 13th, at the San Patricio County Civic Center located on the grounds of the San Patricio County Fairgrounds in Sinton, Texas.  The conference has been developed by our District marketing and interpretation committee.  Topics of discussion will include, use of social media in the workplace, Economic implications of pipeline infrastructure within the Eagle Ford Shale, Rural Fire Emergency management panel, and updates on legislative issues.  Also in attendance we will have State Representatives Todd Hunter and Raul Torres both from Corpus Christi. Each County Judge and Commissioner in our District will be getting a letter of invitation to the conference. I expect for each agent to make personally follow up on the invitation and personally invite your judge and or commissioners to the the conference. The conference will provide 5 hours of continuing education toward their requirements.  Our members of the marketing and interpretation committee are: Ginger Easton-Smith, Shamaine St. Julian, Rhonda Cummins, Anthony Netardus, Kayla Kaspar, Becky Ham, JD Folbre, Brent Batchelor, Zach Davis, Kathy Farrow, Kelvin Neal, and Dianne Gertson.

District 11 Ag Retreat- El Campo, Texas

The District 11 Ag Retreat was held this past week in El Campo Texas hosted by Peter McGuill, Brent Batchelor, and John O'Connel. This was an excellent retreat including great tours of Prasek's Hillge Smokehouse and Green Leaf Nursery.  I want to thank Dr. Megan Domiguez for conducting the grass identification contest for agents and Dupont and Dow Agrisciences for providing the excellent prizes.  Congratulations to Phillp Shackelford for winning the pair of boots and 1st place, also Congratulations to Scott Willey for winning the rookie award.  Thanks to Dr. Larry Falconer , Dr. Monty Dozier and Dr. Roy Parker for attending and providing their updates for our agents. 

Agents that presented at the retreat were Clyde Crumbley, Brian Yanta, John O'Connel and Jeff Stapper. These agents did a great job in presenting result demonstration data, using relevance, response and results with in their outcomes.  Philip Shackleford presented a very good disucssion on how to develp a professional poster for professional meetings and other interprative events. 

The 2012 District Ag Retreat has been set for November 6th and 7th in Karnes County. There will be a clear expectation for all Agricultural agents to attend next year.  TCAAA will still provide leadership to this Ag retreat each year.  However all agents  members of TCAAA or not will be expected to attend. 4-H agents with agricultural appointments will also be expected to attend next year.   A big thanks goes out to the host agents for a great retreat and a great admosphere for fellowship.

Flip Video HD Cameras

MinoHD 8GB | 2 hrEach District 11 county will soon get a new Flip camera to use with your programing. These cameras are very easy to use in capturing just about anything associated with your programs and uploading the video to your computers, YouTube and your websites. The support of the Behmann Foundation provided an opportunity for Pete Flores to apply for a grant to supply all of our counties with the Flip Cameras. It will be required for each county to upload a total of four videos each year associated with all disciplines of county programing.

County Email Boxes
I was just made aware that some of our counties are not checking their county boxes since support staff have their own email addresses.  It is important that the county boxes get checked once a day. Information is still being sent to the county box. For example if a client requests information for you though your web site they may choose the county box email to request information. I want to remind all agents and support staff that our web sites are no different than our front door of our offices. We should be inviting and accessible to our clientele. Agents ---you are ultimatly responsible for checking the county box , please designate some one to do so or check it yourselves.  There are no plans that I know to do away with county boxes, till then we need to use our county boxes.

District 11 Personnel News:
More changes this month in our District.  Amy O'Brien-Glenn has resigned her position of FCS agent in Aransas County. Amy will help to run her parents business in Eastland Texas. We wish Amy luck in her future.

Sam Womble has trasfered to Bandara County as the ANR agent in District 10 and started his new role this week.  Shamaine St. Julian has accepted the position of 4-H agent in Harris County effective December 1st.  Sam an Shamaine have provided great leadership in their respective counties and to District 11, I know that District 9 and 10 will be getting very high quality agents and we wish them much luck in their new counties. 

 Joe Janak will be resigning after 34 years of service to Extension. Joe last day will be at the end of February. Please join me in congratulating Joe on his long distinguished Extension Career.
I will meet with the Refugio County (ANR) and Washington County (4-H) County Courts this month to approve agents,  soon these new agents will assume first step duties in San Patricio County and Austin County.  We are in the process of identifying a finalist for the Victoria County FCS position and interviewing for the open 4-H position in Victoria County.
Molly Grace ready to go home
We also have a new addition to the District 11 family, Miss Molly Grace McManus, she came into the world on Monday Nov. 7th,  8 lbs. 6 oz. and according to her dad , with a great pair of lungs.  Congratulations to Kyle and Jodi McManus for their great blessing.