Friday, November 1, 2013

Matagorda County Coastal Marine Resource Agent

New Man on the Job!!!!

We have a new man on our team , welcome Mr. Dru Garson, as our new Coastal Marine Resource Agent in Matagorda County.  Dru was processed today at the District office and will assume his new role and duties starting on Monday morning Nov. 4th  in Bay City.  Dru comes to us from Alaska where worked a community development agent.  Dru will work to provide leadership in the areas of community development in Matagorda County particularly associated with coastal/marine issues. Help me to welcome Dru to District 11.

Finishing up Program Planning

We are finishing up program planning and looking forward to your new year of programing with all the great new ideas and opportunities to assist our local clientele with outreach education. Please remember that we must finish up our current year with our Making a Difference annual reports complied by our outcome summaries.  Several of you attended a very good lync meeting this week where Dr. Ripley provided good information on writing your outcome summaries.  I will soon provide you with updated templates for your reports.

October went by very fast and November looks to be as busy as ever
Events coming up in November:

D11 ANR Retreat - Sealy
Extension Foundations, Academy I and II - College Station
4-H Crossroads - San Antonio
Thanksgiving Holidays

Friday, October 25, 2013

40 years of Service to Texas Agriculure

Roy Parker, Extension Entomologist

This week we celebrated Dr. Roy Parker's career with our agency, his retirement celebration, was a great success.  Over 100 family members, coworkers, acquaintances, producers, and administration attended this weeks event at the center in Corpus Christi.

Dr. Parkers service to the agricultural industry in our area is legendary, his work ethic and commitment to the producers was evident by the many testimonials that were presented at the event.

The department of Entomology will soon be seeking Dr. Parkers replacement as we move to the next chapter in meeting the needs of our producers for the next 40 years.

Dairy Max Trainings

Many of FCS agents and 4-H agents have attended or will attend the dairy max trainings soon.  The trainings are just the begging of a great partnership in moving toward a new audience in the health and wellness arena.

Potential educational programs:

-          Family Nutrition Nights (nutrition, physical activity, food demonstrations, etc)

-          Dinner Tonight (healthy cooking demonstrations)

-          Dinner Tonight e-blasts (participants can sign up to get a weekly food demonstration video showing the preparation of a healthy, quick, budget friendly recipe)

-          Provide nutrition and health information at health fairs

-          Master Wellness Volunteer training (volunteers receive 40 hours of research-based training in nutrition, food safety, food demonstrations, walking program, etc.  In return, participants help support Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Cooperative Extension Programs in a volunteer capacity for a minimum of 40 hours)

The FUTP60 program is flexible and tailored to the needs/wants of each school campus.  The basic components to work your way through the playbook include:

-          Program advisor identified for the school (coach, counselor, teacher, etc.)

-          Create FUTP60 youth committee to discuss and identify ideas on initiatives for that school (engages other youth)

-          Provide opportunities for engaging identified health and wellness ideas at the campus

-          Making this a “team” effort

Strategies to support the potential of many school campuses in enrolling in the FUTP60 program with the help of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Cooperative Extension Program will need to include train the trainer models.  Suggestions include (but not limited to):

-          Training for identified program advisors

-          Training for youth committees

-          Training for parent or community volunteers
District 11 ANR Retreat, Northern District 11
 Upcoming next month is the District 11 Ag Retreat, to be held on November 6th and 7th,  in the northern part of the district.  I want to be clear that this is our annual District 11 ANR professional development retreat, that is sponsored by The Texas Agricultural Agents Association and coordinated by the agents in the northern part of the district.   It is an expectation that all agents with agricultural duties be at this training.   You are certainly encouraged to be a member of TCAAA, however, If you are not a member you do not have to stay for the business meeting.  The agenda looks really good, and we also have the opportunity to visit with one of our state’s legislative representatives.
On the second day of the retreat, we will have our ANR/4-H agent presentations.  I am soliciting from you 5 professional presentations, involving power points and or other forms of audio visuals for the presentation.  This is your time to share your outcome summaries, result demonstration summaries, innovative program ideas, and any other presentations that you believe would be beneficial to your peers in the district.  The presentations can be in either in adult or 4-H youth ANR programing.  I need 5 presentations , each presentation 15 min in length.  I need you confirmation to present by Oct. 23, if I do not get 5 presentations, I will designate to whom will present at the retreat.  Please take advantage of this great opportunity to share your programing efforts, and for enhancement of your dossier.  

Friday, October 4, 2013

District 11 Awards and Recognition Committee

District 11 Awards and Recognition Committee

I want to thank Mr. Corrie Bowen and Mr. Matt Bochat for chairing the newly reorganized District awards and recognition committee. Members of the committee working to nominate their peers are Adrian Arredondo, Kara Matheney, Kayla Kaspar, Anthony Netardus, Brent Batchelor, and Michelle Allen. 

The last of the award applications were due today.   In all, 8 Superior Service Award Applications and 1 Vice Chancellor’s Award Application were submitted from District 11!  Thanks to the committee and other agents  for all of your time and effort to get this applications completed and submitted on time.  All of our applications were of very high quality.   Thanks Again!

Person Nominated
Status of application
County Extension Agent
Brent Batchelor
submitted 9/18 by C. Bowen
Kayla Kaspar
submitted 9/24 by K. Matheney
Jason Cleere
submitted 9/24 by K. Matheney
Multi-County Beef Quality Team - Philip, Larry, Kara, Scott, Dr. Hide
submitted 9/24 by K. Matheney
Western Rice Beef Production Conf.
submitted by B. Batchelor
Food Preservation in the 21st Century
submitted by M. Allen
Sally G., Michelle Allen, Phillip S., Scott Willey, Dr. Jenna Anding
Ardrian Arrendondo's San Patricio County Extra Special Livestock Show
Submitted by Adrian Arrendondo
Distinguished Career
Jeff Stapper
Submitted by M. Bochat
Vice Chancellor's Award
Phillip Shackelford
Submitted by C. Bowen on 10/4

Texas AgExchange Farm and Ranch Show
Corpus Christi Texas

I had a chance to attend an afternoon of the farm show this week , there was a big turn out from the south Texas and Coastal Bend agricultural community as moisture has once again renewed producers optimism for their fields, range and pasture.  It was good to see some old friends and visit with producers once again.

A big turn out for educational programs, conducted by the Nueces County/San Patrico County office was held on both days,  Monty Dozier, Bobby McCool and the Nueces County staff need to be commended for an outstanding program. Helen Orsak in particular provided great leadership in facilitating the meetings prior to Jason Ott getting to the office.  I want to also thank Joe Paschal and Megan Clayton for providing very informative programs.

Dr. Doug Steel, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Director attended the program and  show on Wednesday. It was great to see our director come out to one of our programs in District 11, we really appreciate his support.

Program Planning Conferences
We start Monday morning -through Thursday  on this years PPC's I will be sending out lync meetings the day before each conference, again please be ready and plan to for the entire day till you are excused by the RPD's and myself.   Have a good weekend, DM

Friday, September 27, 2013

District 11 Extension News:
I know I have not posted in a very long time, but yes the blog is not dead!!! I wanted to provide you some reminders to some recent administrative communication, if you have any questions give me a call.

Honoring 40 Years of Service

Below and attached is an invitation to Dr. Parker's Retirement Celebration being sent out by the our office.  Hopefully most of you will be able to attend, as Dr. Parker touched many County Agents lives in working with Texas Agriculture.  Please share this information with Ag Producers in your counties that you think would be interested.  I know some agents have included the invitation in their county Ag newsletters, and some were going to do an email blast to producers.  Also, please share this information with retired agents living in your counties, who would be interested in attending. 

Let’s all try to make Roy’s Celebration something very special! This retirement celebration is not only a celebration for Dr.Parker it is a celebration of 40 years of Extension Programing in Texas. Dr. Parker's driving work ethic translated into many of the agents that worked with him and the demonstration cooperators and producers that learned from his wealth of knowledge. His efforts clearly made a difference in the lives of so many Ag producers making them more productive by his persistence to be the best Extension Entomologist in the Nation.  We have just been fortunate to call him our own.

  Program Planning Conferences
As planned at our recent district workshop, attached is the schedule and agenda for the program planning conferences for the week of Oct 7th thru Oct 10th. The conferences will be conducted using the lync program. You will soon be getting an invitation to a lync meeting on your outlook calendar.  I would suggest that you test your lync program for working  order, prior to the morning of the conference.  It is acceptable to join another coworker at their computer for the group and county sessions.  However you will be required to lync with the RPD’s and possibly myself for the individuals sessions.  Austin County please send me some possible dates in order to schedule your conference.

I want to remind you that this is one of the most important tasks that you must complete as a county Extension agent.  Identifying the issues of your clientele and addressing their needs with your plans is what should drive you in Making a Difference in 2014.

Please plan on the entire day for the conference, however I believe that most of you will be done early afternoon.  Please be prepared by entering you 2014 plans into Texas by Oct 1st.  If your first draft of plans are not in the system by your designated PPC you will have to come to Rosenberg for the regional face to face program planning conference, November 1st.  

I also want to remind you , new this year you are required to send me your updated curriculum vita, as it is also important that you work on your dossier each year.

I look forward to our conferences, and reviewing you plans of work,  please call if you have any questions.

The Texas 4-H & Youth Development Program is pleased to announce the capability for volunteers to report their activities and accomplishments. As you well know, the 4-H Program relies heavily on volunteers to reach more youth, lead educational programs, coordinate activities, and manage clubs and groups. We know that volunteers are doing great things in the 4-H Program! In order to assess the impact they are making, we have developed two online reporting options for volunteers to report their activities and accomplishments.
4-H Club Manager Reporting: This reporting system is for 4-H club managers and is accessible on 4-H CONNECT. Club Managers will need access to their 4-H clubs in order to report club meeting numbers and activities. The information inputted by volunteers is accessible at any time by County Extension Agents.
4-H Volunteer Reporting: This online reporting system is available for any type of volunteer to report an activity. Volunteers can use it to report club meetings, project activities, workshops, project visits, and community service activities, just to name a few. Club managers are welcome to report using this online system; however, they should not report to both systems. Information reported to this site will be sent by the 5th of each month to County Extension Agents.
More information about these two reporting options can be found on the Volunteer Resources web page at: well as the one-pager attached. How-to videos are also available on the site to walk you and volunteers through the reporting systems.
Several online trainings, using the TTVN Web Meeting Program, will also be hosted this Fall to showcase the two volunteer reporting options. The trainings are scheduled for the following dates and times.
Friday, October 4th at 10:00 am - Event ID: HPL435605; Link:
Tuesday, October 22nd at 2:00 pm - Event ID: LLL482406; Link:
Monday, November 4th at 10:00 am - Event ID: HRP524963; Link:
Please feel free to contact Courtney Dodd or Toby Lepley with any questions about these two volunteer reporting systems.
Personnel News:
I want to announce that  Mr. Jason Ott, has accepted the ANR position in Nueces County. Jason will transfer to Nueces County from Medina County in District 10 effective October 1st. We are fortunate to have Jason join the staff in Nueces County and the our D11 team. He comes highly recommended as an agent with great knowledge of production agriculture and will prove to be a great asset to the Nueces County agricultural community. Please join me in welcoming Jason to the Coastal Bend.
October 6-12 is National 4-H Week, which culminates with “one day 4-H” — a day of community service set for Oct. 12.   I know you all have many activities planned for this important week , pleas let us know how the District office can help support your efforts.