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Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy Friday !!!


The Progress Challenge Reveled

Progress means: forward movement , advance , gradual betterment. It takes awareness , character, discipline, and effort to progress. 
 Change is inevitable.
Progress is a choice.

The word progress carries a forward thrust and focus, and vibrant and transcendent quality that the words change and even success don't deliver. With every success comes the desire for more success. 

When we focus on daily progress we are able to feel daily satisfaction. With every forward step, we see more clearly, our confidence grows, our passion improves, and our options multiply. We progress toward today's goals on the strength of our pat progress. Once achieved, today 's goal becomes tomorrow's launching pad. 

-----Dean Lindsay, The Progress Challenge 

Texas Rural Leadership Program orientation and training for County Agents 

Extension Agents TRLP Orientation
July 8, 2014 and July 9, 2014
La Grange, Texas 

On behalf of Ronnie McDonald,and  Dr. Steel regarding a Texas Rural Leadership Program orientation and training for County Agents originally geared to a few pilot counties.  Ronnie attended many of the District meetings last fall and presented information on the Texas Rural Leadership Program.  In working with Dr. Steel, he asked that I ask if there were any more agents that would like to attend the training.

We have asked that any county agents interested in attending the training to please respond with their availability so they can be included in the orientation and training.  Dr. Steel will be providing the county agents with a hotel room for the night of the 8th, meals during the training and mileage. If you are interested in attending please contact Dr. Elaine Fries or Ronnie McDonald. 

Make sure these dates are on your calendar:  Regional Program Planning Workshop September 3-4, Rosenberg Texas. 

4-H News

We are still working on our Memorandum of Understanding to be presented to our Club Managers for fiscal accountability in reference to their 4-H accounts.  We should get clearance to send to you soon. 

4-H Horse Show and Leadership Lab come and gone for another year.  I want to thank agents and Meredith for your leadership and professionalism during these two D11 events.  For the most part they both went well, we do have to continue to find was to improve both events as to meet the needs of our stakeholders. 

We will be scheduling a parent volunteer input meeting for our District 11 horse show this fall much like we had a few years ago.  This will give our 4-H horse parents a chance to provide constructive input to our event and assist our 4-H Horse show management team to provide a better opportunity. 

It was good to go up to the hill country for leadership lab to a different location, I am eager to see the evaluations as to get some feed back for the event.  However it is clear that we have a great set of young people in our District and that is a direct reflection on their parents, guardians and you as youth development professionals. 

I also want to thank our three interns Chad, Ashton, and Whitney, for their assistance with lab. I appreciate them being so engaged and willing to participate in preparing for the sessions and assisting their agent mentors.  Also appreciate their help at the D11 Horse Show. 


4-H Range Day 

We have an upcoming deadline for the 4-H Range Day of July 8th – so we have time to make plans!  Range Day is August 8th at La Copita Ranch, Ben Bolt, TX. Hope some kiddos and leaders from each of your counties can make it.  Please call or email Dr. Megan Clayton megan.clayton.ag.tamu.edu  with any questions.

Professional Association Meetings 

I encourage you to attend and participate in your respected professional association meetings this summer, this is a great time to interact with agents from across the state and share professional improvement ideas.  I have visited with many of your lately and glad you have made plans to attend.  Soon it will be our turn to host these important meetings, so keep that in mind as you attend this year so we can host the best meetings in our district in the next few years. 

Personnel News 

We have a new agent in Calhoun County, Ms. Katelynn Curry was approved by the Calhoun County Court yesterday, and will be in CC at our center on Monday for new employee processing.  She will first step in Victoria County starting on Tuesday for up to about a month.  She starts in Calhoun County at the end of July.  Katelynn, is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and a native of Richmond, Texas.  Please help me welcome Katelynn to D11 as she will work to provide leadership to the Calhoun County 4-H program. 


New Entomologist 

Dr. Robert Bowling has agreed to become the new Extension Entomologist at Corpus Christi. Dr. Bowling’s first day will be July 1, 2014. Please help me welcome Dr. Bowling to our district.  Give him a call if you get a chance next Tuesday.  


"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their commons sense"
--- Gertrude Stein 







Friday, June 6, 2014

Should I Fire My Doctor

A few weeks ago at my recent Admin retreat we had two speakers that were excellent, to help us in our daily duties as administrators and of course in every day life,


Both speakers were selling books and Dr. Steele provide us each with a copy,  The Progress Challenge:  Working and Winning in a world of Change. is one of the books.   A quote from its author, Dean Lindsay was “Change is inevitable, progress is optional.”  We certainly are seeing change in Extension and more to come. Change will happen, but how we deal with it will prove how well we progress.

Another session we had related to wellness and our speaker was Patsy Sulak, M.D.  She’s with Scott &  White  and among physicians who believe that by the time people need a doctor to help them with their health, we’re too late in providing the type of support and assistance that will truly make a lasting difference in their health and quality of life.  Her book is Should I Fire My Doctor? but the context of that question relates to the role your doctor plays in helping patients makes the changes necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Her book begins with a testimonial from an attorney who was one of her patients and tells her story about health issues she had that required frequent medical attention and care.  However, the “treatment” that changed her life wasn’t medical but educational and occurred as a result of a seminar and subsequent visits with her NEW doctor that helped her make the lifestyle changes that have significantly improved her health and wellness, lowered her weight, blood pressure, stress, etc.   


 Dr. Sulak promotes “eleven essential elements to living WELL aware.”  Some are medical in nature but most as just common sense things we all know but just don’t practice. @LivingWELLAware  ,her twitter username

I made reference to the book , last week at our region 4-H meeting,  I have started reading the book, but her program was so interesting I wrote down her 11 essential elements as she explained them , here they are :

 
1.  Normal Numbers Now.  This was one of the most important to me and includes blood pressure, weight, BMI, cholesterol, and a multitude of other “numbers” that need to be normalized.  She covered a range of statistics on disease and death along with research, science, and facts that were sobering.  Most things that happen to us medically are the result of choices we make. 


2. Critique Caloric Consumption.  We put way too much in our mouths and of the wrong kinds of things too.  Very little food to us, in some places could feed 4 people.  Unhealthy intake and their relationship to diseases and disorders are well documented.




3. Make Movement Mandatory.  EXERCISE!  There’s obviously more to it than that, but it’s important to move…walking, gardening, anything that keeps us moving and active 


4. Address Adverse Addictions/Halt Harmful Habits.  These include the obvious, such as tobacco, alcohol, and related substances but could also include food, social media, and television. 


5.Meticulously Manage Money & Minutes.  When it comes to health, the two most common excuses are the lack of time and money.  Yet, Dr. Sulak says, we spend enormous amounts of time and money on two things – superficial appearance and seeking entertainment.  We spent lots of time and money trying to grow hair where it doesn’t grow and removing hair from where it does grow, pedicures, manicures, massages, coloring, styling, removing wrinkles, applying makeup, piercing & tattooing, excessive clothing and jewelry, hours of tv and movies, houses, cars, and pets that exceed our income, and of course facebooking and twittering.  We have time and money for these things, but not for things that promote wellness and health.


6. Graciously Give Our Gifts.  “When you cease to make a contribution, you die.”  Eleanor Roosevelt


7. FORGIVE:  Family, Friends, Foes, and Ourselves.  Dr. Sulak points out that there are typically two things that make us angry…when someone DOES something to us and when someone THINKS about something differently than we do.  How we manage and handle these things affects our wellness.


8.Passionately Pursue Purpose and Priorities.  Live your passion.


9. Stifle Stress/Sever Suffering.  Stress is mental strain resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.  Sulak suggests that stress is inevitable but suffering is optional.

 


10. Periodically PAUSE/PONDER/PLAY/PRAY.  “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”  Albert Einstein.  This element deals with thoughtful meditation, prayer, or whatever you can do to remove yourself from the everyday grind long enough to clear your mind and reset. 


11. Seek and Secure Support.  In this chapter, Sulak visits a variety of strategies that support the positive behaviors and choices that she shares in previous chapters.  It’s a great book but the presentation is what adds color and meaning to the written word. 


Our jobs are not easy jobs and provide a good share of stress that contribute to our well being.  Please take time to reflex on these 11 points that Dr. Sulak provides and try to make a positive change to even just one of these elements.  Remember every one can be at least 1% better at something.





Wellness Begins Here     doc


As part of the Chancellor’s Wellness Initiative, The Texas A&M University System is taking a more active role in the health of its employees.  If you have not done so, you will need to have your physical/wellness exam by June 30th to receive the lower wellness premium for Plan Year 2014-15.  This will be an annual requirement and applies to you and your spouse, if he/she is covered under your health plan.
Schedule your exam NOW if you have not done so.
Good luck to those of you going to State 4-H Round Up!!! next week and congratulations to all our scholarship recipients for such a great accomplishment and a terrific way to finish your 4-H Careers.  Agents take pride in your 4-H members scholarships this great opportunity was provided to them due to your capacity to lead.


Personnel news
Welcome to Ms. Rachel Berry , our new 4-H agent in Wharton County, she just completed her first week on the job. 






 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

2014-15 Career Ladder Timeline

Career Ladder Timeline


Smith-Lever logo

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Cooperative Extension  Program agents implement innovative and contemporary programs that meet the needs of local clientele and communities. 

These programs result in measurable outcomes that truly “Make a Difference”.  One of the methods agents are recognized and rewarded for effective programming is through the County Extension Agent Career Ladder system.

The purpose of the career ladder is to provide a system for measuring and documenting the progress of Extension Agents in their profession and to reward their professional accomplishments.

The following table provides a timeline from June through September for managing promotion in the Professional Career Ladder System for County Extension Agents;



The effectiveness of the career ladder process is directly correlated to our  Level IV “mentors” RPL's and myself with engagement in coaching D11 County Extension Agents.  The success of this system is important for Extension to maintain a competent, committed, and dedicated workforce.