Program Leadership Committee
Report to Directors and Administrators
October 1998

ACTION ITEMS

1. Communications / Information Technology Committees

The Southern PLC recommends that an additional committee be formed and be represented at the Southern Region Program Leaders meeting. The new committee would be called the Information Technology Committee and would consist of one representative from each institution who is deemed by that institution's director or administrator, to have primary responsibility for overseeing information technology for their respective organization.

2. Location for 1999 and 2000 meetings of Southern Region Program Committee

The PLC recommends that the 1999 meeting be held in Biloxi, Mississippi, and will explore the possibility of having the 2000 meeting in Puerto Rico.

3. Support for Southern Rural Development Center

The Southern PLC acknowledges the ongoing support of the SRDC to facilitate multi-state, multi-discipline programmatic efforts in the region and would support a proposal that would establish a formal relationship between the SRDC and SPLC.

4. Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee

Two action items are recommended to the Directors/Administrators for approval:

Southern Region Extension Small Farm Committee is recommended to be continued to address emerging issues at the National level.
The deactivation of the "Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Committee" is recommended.

5. Community Development Committee

Joint CES and RC&D Planning at the Local Level

Issue:

The Cooperative Extension System (CES) and the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) programs of NRCS both have complementary missions in support of rural communities. The specific missions of the two organizations are as follows:

The RC&D program was initiated in 1962 to help people care for and protect their natural resources and to improve local economies, environment, and living standards. The voluntary, grassroots-driven program provides a way for local residents to work together and plan how they can actively solve environmental, economic, and social problems facing their communities. The program activities fit into four areas: land conservation, community development, water management, and environmental enhancement.

The Cooperative Extension Service was established through the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 to help people improve their lives through an educational process that uses scientific knowledge focused on issues and needs. The educational programs of CES are developed through a network of county, area and state level professional development, family and consumer education, and community development. The CES is a leader for positive change for individuals, families, and communities through the following ways: by providing research and education in a practical and applicable way; by using the latest technology and teaching techniques to serve clients; by developing and using volunteers to help disseminate programs and information; by cooperating with other groups and agencies; and by maintaining a culturally diverse staff response to the needs of various audiences at all socioeconomic levels.

Proposed Opportunity:

Increased program support of individuals, families and communities in their efforts to become more economically, socially and environmentally viable through joint programming efforts of CES and RC&D

Strategy:

A joint strategic planning meeting of the two organizations with the following representatives:

(2) Cooperative Extension Directors
(2) State Conservationists
(2) RC&D State Coordinators
(2) State CRD Program Leaders
(2) RC&D District Coordinators
(2) District CES Representatives (Middle Management) Bob Koopman,
CSREES / Joan Comanor, RC&D
(2) Southern Rural Development Center Representatives

Possible Outcomes:

(1) Joint Regional Workshop to develop partnerships, linkages and possible joint programming;
(2) Joint Vision Sessions at regional, sub-regional, state or sub-state level for specific issue areas and possible collaborative programming;
(3) Joint efforts to seek extramural funding to support common interests; and
(4) Memorandum of Agreement between CES and RC&D for improved local planning;

6. Family and Consumer Science Committee

The Southern Region FCS Program Leaders would like to invite the North Central Region FCS Program Leaders to participate in our annual meeting in 2000. Purpose of the meeting would be to explore mutual issues of concern and identify opportunities for future collaborative efforts.

The Southern Region FCS Program Leaders request approval to conduct a midyear committee meeting in April, 1999. The Southern Region FCS PL committee has identified topics of mutual interest and concern. Increased communication among the program leaders is needed to position our program efforts to respond to changing needs and issues. The midyear meeting will provide an opportunity to continue dialogue and develop strategies to address issues of concern identified during the August meeting.

7. 4-H and Youth Development Committee

No items requiring action by PLC.

8. Middle Management Committee

No items requiring action by PLC.

9. Program and Staff Development Committee

  • As we look at customer-driven organizations (Extension Services) there is a national trend to measure customer satisfaction. In some instances, this data is mandated by state governments. Areas of data collection might include Demographic Information, Satisfaction with Logistics, Satisfaction with Information, Future Actions Resulting from Extension Programs, and Overall Satisfaction with Extension Educational Events. Glenn Israel (Florida) will convene a working group to look at the development of a regional instrument to measure customer satisfaction. Some of the potential issues to be addressed include consistency of scales and how data is reported.
  • In light of the discussion on state accountability systems and future funding tied to regional programming efforts, the question was raised if a subcommittee on state accountability systems should be formed and charged to develop a proposal related to a regional accountability system? Howard Ladewig will chair a group to explore this issue.

INFORMATION ITEMS

1. Current Members of Southern Region Program Leaders Committee:

ANR Representatives

Michael Ouart, Mississippi State (chair)
Nathaniel Keys, Prairie View A&M

Communications

John Bentley, Fort Valley State University
Carla Craycraft, University of Kentucky

Community Development

Charles Artis, South Carolina State University
Rick Maurer, University of Kentucky

Family and Consumer Sciences

Carolyn Nobles, Prairie View A&M University
Nayda Torres, University of Florida

4-H Youth Development

Samuel Felder, South Carolina State University
Steve Mullen, Louisiana State University

Middle Management

Fred Broughton, South Carolina State University
Charlene Jacobs, University of Kentucky

Program and Staff Development

Margaret Johnson, South Carolina State University (vice-chair)
Jerry Whiteside, University of Georgia

Advisors

Bill Hicks, University of Tennessee
Noland Williams, Kentucky State

Ex Officio

Bo Beaulieu/Bonnie Teater, SRDC

2. Southern Region Middle Management Conference

The meeting is scheduled for March 1-4, 1999, in Biloxi, Mississippi. The planning committee includes the following: Patrick Morgan, Frederick Custis, Dan Jones, Bonnie Teater, Helen Brooks, Rosalie Biven, Severn Doughty, Bill Davis, Russell King, Charlene Jacobs, Susan Lyday and Mitchell Flinchum.

3. Community-Based Approach to Extension Programming

Upon approval last fall of the Southern Directors and Administrators, a committee has been formed an includes the following persons: Warren McCord, Auburn (co-chair); Chris Sieverdes, Clemson (co-chair); Bill Harris, Texas A&M, Mike French, U. of Arkansas; Sarah Anderson, U. of Arkansas; Raygene Paige, Mississippi State; Bill Umscheid, U. of Kentucky; Mike Davis, North Carolina State; Charles Artis, South Carolina State; Ernie Hughes, Southern University; Bo Beaulieu/Bonnie Teater, SRDC. Plans are for the conference to be held in the Spring 1999.

4. Southern Region Water Quality Conference

The Southern Region Water Quality Coordinators are planning to convene a regional Water Quality Workshop in Raleigh, North Carolina. The proposed dates are April 17-20, 1999, with the host hotel the Raleigh Plaza Hotel. The workshop will be structured around the seven proposed national water quality goals developed in Kansas City for USDA/CSREES in 1997.

The Coordinators met and outlined Six (6) Tracks and identified committee members from throughout the region as follows:

Track 1: Increase the delivery of education programs about water quality, water-related health risks, and water and waste treatment systems in under-served communities. (Chairman: Mike Smolen, Oklahoma State University; Members: Iris Cole-Crosby, Alcorn State University, William A. Hodge, Tuskegee University, Asmure Atalay, Virginia State University)

A. Demographics - Defining the Clientele
B. Strategies for Dealing with Underserved Clientele
C. Approaches and Methods (Youth, Volunteers, Other Partners - churches, Indian tribes)
D. Securing Resources (Local, State and Federal Agency programs and/or funds)
E. Locating and Developing Materials

Track 2 (Original Tracks 2 & 3, combined): Develop and deliver education programs that teach the hydrologic functions and the dynamics of watersheds and aquifers, enabling landowners and policy makers to protect the quantity and quality of the Nation's water resources. Increase the public's knowledge of pollution control systems and personal actions they can employ to conserve and protect stream systems. (Co-Chairman: George Smith, University of Tennessee, Art Hornsby, University of Florida, and Bill Thom, University of Kentucky; Members: Rockie English, Clemson University, Mark L. McFarland, Texas A&M University, Robert Evans, North Carolina State University, Gobena Huluka, Tuskegee University, Mitch Woodward, North Carolina State University)

A. Watershed Hydrology (Function of streams and wetlands)
B. Impacts of Human Activities in Watersheds
C. Best Management Practices: What Does and Does Not Work
D. Information and Educational Tools (Watershed Monitoring)
E. Natural Resource-Based Industry Involvement

Track 3: Increase public understanding and involvement in community decision-making and in the creation of public policy on water resource issues. (Chairman: Walden Kerns, Virginia Tech; Members: Leon Danielson, North Carolina State University, C. Hudson, K. Overstreet, Bill Yates, Clemson University)

A. Decision Process on the Neuse River Project - Extension's role in allocating reductions.
B. Cost Effectiveness and Financing of Best Management Practices
C. Conflict Resolution
D. Tools for Encouraging Involvement
E. Watershed Solutions for Officials and Communities

Track 4: Develop and deliver educational programs that enable individuals to safeguard their won drinking water quality. (Cochairman: Bill Segars, University of Georgia and Jim Hairston, Auburn University; Members: Mark Latimore, Jr., Fort Valley State University, Cass Gardner, Florida A&M University, Frank Henning, University of Georgia)

A. Public and Private Water Supplies (Source Water and NPS Programs)
B. Assessing Potential Problems Through Education Programs (Home-A-Syst, Farm-A-Syst)
C. Sampling, Testing and Monitoring Programs
D. Education to Improve Awareness (Focus on Limited Resource Families)
E. Water Conservation

Track 5: Promote youth and adult volunteers' involvement in protecting and enhancing the quantity and quality of the nation's ground and surface water. (Cochairman: Jimmy Bonner, Mississippi State University and Barbara Speziale, Clemson University; Members: Beverly H. Maddox, Mississippi State University, Michele Abington-Cooper, Louisiana State University, Marianne S. Clark, Mississippi State University)

A. Building Partnerships in Water Quality Programs
B. Innovative Water Quality Programs
C. Dealing with Controversial Issues (e.g., Hypoxia)
D. Urban Water Quality Programs
E. Utilizing Farm-A-Syst in Youth and Volunteer Programs

Track 6: Develop and maintain partnerships for more effective and sustained solutions to long-term water quality and quantity issues. (Chairman: Bill Branch, Louisiana State University; Members: Stanley L. Chapman, University of Arkansas, Greg Jennings North Carolina State University)

A. NRCS/Extension Partnerships (Local, State, Federal)
B. EPA/Extension Partnerships (Regional, Federal)
C. Environmental Groups/Extension Partnerships (EDF, TNC, WRF, Sierra Club)
D. Partnerships in Manure Management
E. Addressing Extensive Issues (Nutrients, Hypoxia, Pfisteria)

5. Strategies for Recruitment, Selection and Retention of Culturally Diverse Staff

The Conference was held in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 21 and 22, 1998. Fifty-one persons attended from twelve states. The attendees represented both 1862 and 1890 institutions and were very diverse in culture and background. The workshop was sponsored by the Southern Region Program and Staff Development Committee, the National Center for Diversity, and the Southern Rural Development Center.

The objectives of the workshop were as follows:

  • To increase knowledge of marketing strategies for identifying and communicating with potential candidates of diverse backgrounds.
  • To share strategies utilized in recruiting, selecting, and retaining diverse staff.
  • To foster awareness of practices that contribute to an inclusive organization.

The workshop set out to develop an awareness and sensitivity to issues related to recruiting and retaining diverse personnel, to share strategies and approaches that have been found to be successful, to establish partnerships and networks with persons from other states, and to begin to develop a state action plan to guide recruitment, selection and retention strategies in the attendees' home states.

A post-workshop evaluation was conducted. On a scale of 1 to 5, attendees gave the workshop an overall rating of 4.85. In other words, they considered it one of the best they have attended. Workshop feedback communicated an increase in confidence on the topic (4.22), trainer effectiveness (3.92), and usefulness of the content and materials distributed (3.89).

The highlight of the workshop for most was a panel comprised of a retired African American female agent, a Puerto Rican female in her first year as an agent, and a male African American agent in training. They provided a frank and open discussion of the good and the bad aspects of our recruitment, selection and retention efforts. Another strength of the workshop was state sharing and learning how others have addressed the topic. A third highlight was the contribution of the staff of the National Center for Diversify in the form of presentations and materials. They were well prepared and brought ideas from outside the region. And finally, participants appreciated the interactive sessions and the opportunity to begin to develop a state action plan.

The workshop was successful in raising the awareness and sharing concrete approaches to increasing the diversity of the Extension workforce in the southern region. However, it is recognized that most of the efforts will have to be implemented within each state.

The workshop planning committee was:

Joanne Bankston, National Center for Diversity
William Flemming, North Carolina
Joan Gillespie, Texas
Martha Thompson, Kentucky
Charles Norman, Tennessee
Pat Simmons, Georgia
Bonnie Teater, Southern Rural Development Center
Paul Warner, So. Region Program & Staff Development Committee

6. Home-Based Business Training for the 1890 and 1862 Southern Extension Educators

A regional training was hosted by the Virginia State University Extension Service in the spring of 1998. Sixty-five (65) educators from five states participated in three days of training. This conference used the newly-published curriculum "Ca$hing in on Business," which was developed by a national design team and published by the Southern Rural Development Center and Mississippi State University Extension Service.

7. Building Rural Health Partnerships Regional Conference

State teams from 12 of the Southern states participated in this meeting which was designed to develop state teams to address rural health issues. Representatives on the state teams included land-grant university personnel (1862 and 1890), state offices of rural health, state departments of health, the medical community, etc. The conference was supported by the Southern Rural Development Center, Farm Foundation, and W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Members of the planning committee included representatives from the Southern Extension Research Activity (SERA-19) on Rural Health and Safety. As a follow-up to this conference, which was attended by nearly 100 persons, a mini-grant program was offered, with proposals submitted and peer reviewed for follow-up activity. The following states were awarded follow-up mini-grants:

Alabama--Randall Weaver, MD, Coosa Action Network
Arkansas--Mike Hedges, Cooperative Extension Service
Kentucky--Steve Fricker, University of Kentucky Center for Rural Health
Mississippi--Dorian Rodgers, Mississippi State University Extension Service
Oklahoma--Val Schott, Office of Rural Health
Texas--Steven Shwiff, Center for Regional and Economic Development Studies

 

ANR

Participants:

Bill Harris Jim App
Dave Foster Michael Ouart
Rafael F. Olmeda Bob Isaac
Ray Humberd John O'Sullivan
Bill Lambert Chuck Ogburn
Fred Woods Nelson Daniels
Curtis Absher Roger Crickenberger
Ross Love Billy Caldwell
James Hill Dan Smith
Clint Depew Steve Umberger
Louie Rivers Glenwood Hill
Mike French Visitor, Jim Lukens
Larry Alberton  

 

Officers:

Chairman, Dr. Bill Harris, Texas
Vice Chairman, Dr. John O'Sullivan, North Carolina
Secretary, Dr. Clint Depew, Louisiana,

Administrative Advisor:

David Foster, Arkansas

PLC Representatives:

Michael Ouart - 1999 term
Nathanial Keys - 1998 term

SUMMARY:

The meeting was opened by Dr. Bill Harris and the minutes of the May meeting were passed and approved. Nominating Committee comprised of: Mike French, Curtis Absher, and Bill Lambert will select an 1890 representative for PLC and a secretary for next year for the ANR group.

NCAAA Meeting Report

Dr. Harris reported on the National Meeting in San Antonio, Texas with the National County Agents' Association Meeting. Discussions at that meeting included the Farm Bill (National Meeting for Small Farm Initiative, October 12-15, 1999 in St. Louis) ways of measuring adoption of IPM, and relationships with NRCS with particular emphasis on building bridges and collaboration. Additionally, GPRA plans were approved with recommendations for improvements by USDA, and the possibility of developing a training programs for new ANR program leaders was discussed. This resulted in a motion to develop a 3/4 day ANR Program

Leader training at the National County Agents' Association for new ANR leaders. Additionally, the meeting should be held separately from the regular meeting, the motion was made by Ross Love and seconded by Jim App and approved.

Base Program Support

The need for support for base programs was discussed. Base programs need to be broad based so that a national data base can be developed. A Base Program Committee will highlight one or two programs per year based on large number of states involvement. Each ANR leader is

requested to send significant base programs to. Ross Love and/or Mike French for inclusion in the Base Program Committee's deliberations.

Administrative Report

Dr. Dave Foster gave an administrative report from ECOP. He thanked the group for the South Carolina meeting and indicated that it was a excellent meeting with good work being accomplished. He discussed the desire of the Economic Research Service to discontinue service on marketing and outlook data and indicated that ECOP had requested that they continue to provide this service. Indications are that the process of shutting down was too far along to readily change.

Title 8 of the Farm Bill was discussed and working groups are developing guidelines for program management. ECOP and ESCOP have appointed members to the working group. There are three committees working on the plan. The plan will include:

1. Plans of work and reporting are required. The CRIS system is being used by research and more accountability is needed for the Extension plan.

2. Multi-state efforts will be required.

3. Stakeholders input is required and the advisory committee system must be implemented. Evaluations are critical.

4. 1890's matching requirements are being developed by a committee. The committee should have all the information out by September to go into effect in October.

5. There will be a committee on merit review and issue review.

ECOP and the directors need critical evaluations on the SERA-IEGs (Southern Extension and Research Activity - Information Exchange Group). Additionally, the directors would like a report of what we are doing and where we are going with each of these committees.

Managing Change - Billy Caldwell

The managing change initiative emphasis has changed. A meeting in March 1999 is planned with the location to be announced. It will involve risk management, survival and other aspects of managing change which will teach people how to deal with change.

EPA Liaison - Region 4

Jim App reported on the EPA liaison position in Region 4 which is now defined to be a water quality position. There is about $30,000 and office space available from EPA. Eight states will supply the other $38,000 needed. The person will work in EPA offices and report to the

Extension Service. Additionally, the person who applies and is successful will need to have a strong Extension background to be effective.

USDA Reports

Larry Biles and Fred Woods from USDA gave a report on federal initiatives:

1. GPRA is operational. Significant issues remain. Base line figures for states vary greatly and most of the information is historian in nature. Preliminary results indicate that there is not much quantifiable information in the GPRA plans.

2. Funding and/or budget information. The Senate has indicated an increase of 3% in formula funds and with zero from the house. Neither branch has indicated if any funds are available for The Fund for Rural America program. Considerable deliberations are still required in the conferencing committee.

3. There has been a number of personnel changes at USDA and a sheet was passed out indicating those persons responsible for various units.

4. Key words for future ARREP's are "high priority, stakeholders, plans of work, multiple state, and multi discipline"

5. Small farm programs have been studied by a commission which has reported approximately 50 goals and 100 plus recommendations. They are developing action plans for each of those recommendations. A committee has recommended increases in budget from 2 to 10 million the first year and 10 to 15 the subsequent year. The commission report should be available in the next few months.

6. NRCS relationships are being worked on to develop more collaborations but there are a number of difficulties which still need to be addressed.

7. The USDA/EPA clean water action plan will be out by September 17 and there will be a 90 day response period. Two new RFP's will be available: one on hydraulic systems, the others on center proposals. Additionally, there will be a national advisory leadership team for water quality and nominations are being taken.

8. There is an interest in health care provider training.

9. Pesticides and IPM committees are working. There was a question about labeling of IPM pesticide free products. New guidelines are needed to make it a reality.

10. Sustainable forestry is an initiative with a "Forest-A-Syst"program being developed. Additionally, logger training programs have been asked to include transportation safety in their curriculum and a request was made to encourage forestry award nominations for the NCAAA meeting to take advantage of the opportunities to recognize outstanding work.

Fred Woods commented further that the Congress wants the money that they spend to be spent on agriculture, that the budget will have disaster money in it up to a billion dollars and he has a synopsis of the budget bill that is available via e-mail if someone wants a copy. Five economists are working in ag issues in USDA. Risk Management is one of the key components of their program and the FY 2000 budget will include Risk Management. There was a discussion of competitive funds. Problems were indicated with the peer review process as result of some of the "good ole boy"and name recognition problems. (the process can be political and does not necessarily focus on the needs of agriculture).

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture was discussed by Roger Crickenberger and John O'Sulllivan; they indicated that funding is basically level. They are trying to measure the impact of the program. Additionally sustainable agriculture needs to be mainstreamed into ongoing commodity programs. The evaluation plan needs to include the competitive projects, state training program, and the regional impacts. Jim Lukens from the PDP management team reported that the leadership committee is in need of new members. They have four farmers on the committee, four institution representatives and four non-governmental organization representatives.

Recommendations are requested by state and states that are not represented should provide recommended names. Names of mainstream agriculture type people with an interest in sustainability issues should be given consideration.

Southern Regional Extension Committee reports were given and revised. Reports from most committees were passed out and are attached.

Managing Change

A managing change workshop is planned in March 1999 in a central location in the southern region. ANR program leaders will meet in conjunction with that meeting. Date and location will be determined by Billy Caldwell and others.

Farm Foundation

Steve Holbrook reported on Farm Foundation activities.

1. They will no longer be funding Regional committee meetings. They will fund projects and activities.

2. A Land Use Conference is planned for September 10-11 in Columbus, Ohio. A Public Policy-Land Use conference is planned for September 20-23 in Portland, Oregon. Additionally, they are working with several leadership programs.

3. They are looking for partners to collaborate with on program emphasis in the areas of: precision agriculture, bio technology (particularly as it relates to public acceptance) and ethics of the emerging agriculture community, which will build interaction of communities (consolidation integration issues).

Regional Forester's Report

Bill Hubbard provided a handout indicated that reforestation is a primary issue and they are seeking external funds. The Forest Service is aggressively seeking new funds to address reforestation.

Nomination Committee Report

The committee nominated John O'Sullivan as chairman, Clint Depew as Vice Chairman, Ross Love as secretary, and Nathan Keys as the 1890 representative, for a three year term on the PLC. The motion was made by Michael French and seconded by Ray Humberd to accept the nomination committees report and elect the recommended candidates. Motion passed.

Southern Region Extension Committees

The next item was revision of the Southern Regional Extension committees, which Bill Harris will correct and distribute. A special note was made that the chairman of the Farm Management Public Affairs and Marketing committees rotates through those three entities and the advisor rotates accordingly, since all three committees meet at the same time.

Small Farm Committee

The next item was an action item and it was a motion made by Ray Humberd and seconded by Ross Love that a request being made to the Directors for a "small farm program committee." If approved, it would address emerging issues at the national level. John O'Sullivan will develop the statement for the PLC to forward to the Directors.

PLC Report

The PLC report was given by Michael Ouart. The following requests were made.

1. They need the minutes of our meeting by September 30.

2. Location of the 1999 and 2000 PLC are being investigated with several possible locations available, including Tulsa, Oklahoma, Biloxi, Mississippi, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Louisville, Kentucky.

National ANR Leaders Meeting

A national PLC meeting has been suggested, possibly in conjunction with the National County Agents Association meeting, which is September 12-16, 1999 in Omaha, Nebraska.

The next proposed program is, "Community-Based Approaches To Extension Programming". It is sponsored by the Southern Rural Development Center and would require that teams from each state participate. It is a train the trainer type of program that deals with pubic policy training

issues. The ANR leaders expressed the desire to have printed material provided and a train the trainer type format. Support is being requested from each state. ANR leaders requested that the program be planned in more detail before they commit support.

Water Quality Committee

Jim App made a motion, seconded by Curtis Absher to request approval to hold a water quality committee meeting. Motion passed. This action item will go through the PLC to the Directors.

State Reports

Reports were given by Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia. Written reports were either passed out or will be sent from all the states. Additionally, 1890 reports were given from three of the 1890 institutions.

Urban Programs

Bill Harris handed out materials on Texas AES program and indicated that their emphasis is on getting ag and natural resources information into their urban areas. Their best programs have been horticulture and pest management. They indicated that there is a concern for business education and they are entertaining the possibility of requiring business degrees for agents in some of their urban areas. Their promotion system for agents is tied to one of seven categories for counties; and ultimately, agents can get promoted into larger counties where they are not necessarily suited from a training and interest perspective. Additionally, they have had a Dominos pizza type fair where they taught kids all of the ag products that are in pizza; milk, bread, etc.

Mississippi talked about a medallion program for plants that they use in urban areas. They evaluate plant species for adaptation to an area and put a certification stamp on it. They charge five cents per stamp for plants and it has been a good fundraiser. The master gardener program and a wood projects fair has worked well. Texas indicated that there is an agri-food master program that they have initiated which basically teaches business, industry and professional folks to be spokes people for agriculture. This group has developed a speakers bureau that speaks about agriculture.

Alabama has developed a botanical garden in Birmingham that has been very effective in the urban area and several states indicated that urban forestry has been an effective program in urban areas.

Farm Labor Handbook

Bill Harris discussed the Texas Farm Labor Handbook and the possible Regional collaboration. He passed out a handbook as an example. Additionally, they have a done an agribusiness summary in several counties on community development which indicates the value of

agriculture and communities. It has improved the relationship between communities and their agri-partners. The person doing that program would work with others interested in that program.

Waste Management

There is a national initiative on animal waste management. Bill Harris will send a list of members to keep others updated.

Southern Rural Development Center Report

Bo Beaulieu indicated nine areas of activity.

1. The reorganization of advisory committee with fifteen members.
2. Newsletter.
3. Grant opportunities that are available through them and others they distribute information on.
4. Training for community development.
5. Public conflict remediation program.
6. Rural Labor Conference.
7. Rural labor research group.
8. Food assistance issues particularly as it deals with 1890 institutions.
9. A series of papers on rural and social problems.

Virtual Centers

This discussion was in collaboration with the computer and communications group centered around virtual centers. The question is how we cooperate and collaborate to utilize the expertise in limited resources in the southern region. It was indicated a need to:

1. Share information.
2. Have a Diagnostic Center.
3. Develop Continuing Education programs.

The problems are:
1. Equipment.
2. Program.
3. Long term maintenance support.

The needs are:
1. Interlinking websites.
2. Agent Training.
3. Material sharing on websites.
4. Sharing of key people.

Discussion indicated there is a need for a fee based programming, protection of copyrighted materials. In order to develop a virtual center, we must have clear objectives, accountability and a pay off at the end. There was a need to develop a proposal for the directors at their October 12 -14 meeting in North Carolina. Ultimately, programs need to be developed in several areas. Those mentioned most frequently were farm safety, farm labor, animal waste management, dairy, marketing, risk management and rural development. A committee was formed that included the technology people from North Carolina ; John O'Sullivan, Roger Crickenberger and others to present a proposal to the Directors in October.

Farm Safety

Each state makes a plan and funds comes to all states with an approved plan. The conclusion was that the $18,000 per state is not adequate to justify extensive grant writing and proposals; therefore, a simple allocation with assistance from a federal partner to improve plans is desired. This could be used to support the virtual center as a pilot effort focusing on a regional farm safety program.

Midyear Meeting

Indications are that most people would like to select three to five topics and discuss them more thoroughly as opposed to a menagerie of topics. Topics mentioned were:

1. Staffing patterns.
2. Program priorities.

Additionally, only one Washington update per year is needed so it would not be included at the Spring meeting.

Aflatoxin

Most states have experienced severe drought and heat which resulted in aflatoxin in corn, and some is also anticipated in cottonseed and soybeans.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 11:30.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

Participants:

John Bentley, GA Gloria Mosby, TX
Angela Corbett, SC Don Poucher, FL
Carla Craycraft, KY Bob Reynolds, AR
LaRae Donnellan, TN Ellen Ritter, TX
Mike Futrell, LA Charles Stott, VA
Barry Jones, GA W.L.Strain, AL
Tom Knecht, MS  

For the second year, the communications committee invited southern region information technology leaders to attend the SRPLC as guests of the committee. Two joint sessions were conducted with both groups and other sessions were held independently. The following information technology leaders were present representing 11 institutions:

Anne Adrain, AL Kevin Gamble, NC
Mike Allen, LA Don Hamilton, GA
Gene Baker, LA Tom Hintz, FL
Nina Boston, AR Dwayne Hunter, OK
Dan Brook, MS Larry Lippke, TX
Steven Burns, TN Fedro Zazueta, FL
Robert Fehr, KY  

Officers:

Co-chairs
Don Poucher (representative of 1862, term expires 1998)
John Bentley (representative of 1890, term expires 1999) presided over the sessions.

SUMMARY:

Accountability

Tom Knecht, Charles Stott, and Ellen Ritter comprised a subcommittee to evaluate accountability models for communications. LaRae Donnellen volunteered to join the subcommittee. Tom Knecht presented a report that outlines accountability objectives including the value of products and services received based upon resources expended, demonstrating that clients of the unit receive products and services in proportion to their investment in the unit, and levels of unit productivity. The report also outlined levels of accountability. The committee agreed the next steps will be a summary of southern region activities on a state basis, a public relations literature search, and an outsourcing study relative to products and services produced. The subcommittee will continue with Tom Knecht as subcommittee chair.

Virtual Centers

The ANR committee, communications committee and IT leaders met for a discussion of the possible creation of virtual centers in the southern region based upon subject matter. These joint projects will continue to evolve. It was agreed that several of the IT leaders and communications leaders will continue to explore the feasibility and design of these virtual centers, working with the ANR committee.

Carla Craycraft was elected as the new 1862 representative to SRPLC. Her term will expire in 2002.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Participants:

Joe McGilberry, Chair, MS Greg Taylor, TX
Warren McCord, Vice Chair, AL Mike Hedges, AR
Edwin Jones, Secretary, NC Lionel Beaulieu, MS
Karen Overstreet, LA Bonnie Teater, MS
Sandy Dooley, LA Bill Hubbard, GA
Chester Fehlis, Advisor, TX Bob Koopman, CSREES
Ramon Torres, PR Fred Woods, CSREES
Clark Garland, TN Steve Halbrook, Farm Foundation
Rick Maurer, KY Joan Comanor, USDA, NRCS-RC&D
Charles Artis, SC Walt Walla, KY
Chris Sieverdes, SC Myron Johnsrud, NASULGC
Gerald Doeksen, OK  

Officers:

Chair, Warren McCord, Auburn University
Vice-chair, Edwin Jones, North Carolina State University
Secretary, Sandy Dooley, Louisiana State University

Administrator Advisor:

Chester Fehlis, Texas A&M University

PLC Representatives:

1862 representative, Rick Maurer, University of Kentucky, 3 year term
1890 representative, Charles Artis, South Carolina State University, 2 year term

SUMMARY:

1. A matrix was developed of the various capacities and strengths of the individual state programs to determine areas of multistate programming and support of SRDC efforts. It demonstrates the evolving development of a regional faculty and the effectiveness of

functional regional infrastructure.

2. The Community Development Institute will be continued in 1999.

3. Support received from other groups on the Community Approaches to Extension Programming Workshop. Plans are to hold in the spring of 1999.

 

FAMILY AND CONSUMERS SCIENCES

Participants:

Martha Johnson, AL Lynda Harriman, OK
Sarah Anderson, AR Teresa Nieves de Guriia, PR
Diana Edlow, FL Princetta Jones, SC
Nayda Torres, FL Brenda Thames, SC
Don Bower, GA Pat Ganter Sobrero, TN
Janet Kurzynske, KY Margaret Hale, TX
Carolyn Carter, LA Carolyn Nobles, TX
Gina Eubanks, LA John Dooley, VA
Raygene Paige, MS Gladys Vaughn, CSREES
Judieth Mock, NC Myron Johnsrud, NASULGC
Dorothy Wilson, OK  

Officers:

Chair--Margaret Hale, Texas
Secretary--Gina Eubanks, Louisiana
Incoming Chair--Gina Eubanks, Louisiana
Incoming Secretary--Dr. Carolyn Carter, Louisiana

Administrative Advisor:

C. Clark Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension

PLC Representatives:

Nayda Torres, Florida (term ends--1999)
Carolyn Nobles, Texas (1998-2000)

SUMMARY:

The Southern Region FCS Program Leaders participated in a workshop session led by Dr Pat Sobrero that addressed the question "As FCS Program Leaders what steps will we take to insure political viability and maintain a strong position of leadership?" As a result of the workshop discussion, the FCS program leaders identified areas for future development throughout the administrative group in our region. Teams have been formed to develop the recommended strategies for addressing the identified topics.

Dr. Gladys Vaughn, CSREES, Families, 4-H, and Nutrition provided an overview of current and future program support by our federal partners during the meeting. Information was provided on Program initiatives that included Child Care, Healthy People, Healthy Communities and the National Diabetes Education Program. During her presentation Dr. Vaughn identified the following issues that will impact Extension in the next century:

Aging
Education
Health
Race/Ethnic Diversity
Safety and Security
Technology
Economic Development

Dr. Gladys Vaughn and Dr. Myron Johnsrud, NASULGC, led a discussion that addressed the question, "What will make the Extension FCS Program Leaders politically viable in each of our states, in the Southern region and nationally?" Dr. Vaughn suggested that we need to market and package CES differently and more effectively. She also recommended that we need to move from short-term episodic activity to long term sustained and sustainable programs that result in concerted efforts toward specific outcomes. Dr. Johnsrud provided an array of suggestions for marketing and interpreting Extension programs. He also recommended the "1:1:1" rule to have every key decision maker see one program for one hour. Through the testimonials of clients, decision makers are able to understand the differences that are being made as a result of program efforts.

The Southern Region FCS Program Leaders have requested a Food Stamp Nutrition Program pre-conference be held prior to the National FCS Program Leaders conference scheduled in February, 1999. As a result of this request to CSREES, the Southern Region FCS Program Leaders will coordinate plans for the pre-conference. The pre-conference will provide the opportunity for FCS program leaders to share effective strategies for utilizing food stamp nutrition education resources and address issues of mutual concern which includes accountability expectations.

Plans were developed for the Southern Region FCS Program Leaders to participate in quarterly teleconferences throughout the next year to increase communication, identify opportunities for collaboration and address issues of administrative concern.

 

4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT REPORT

Participants:

W. Ruffin, Auburn S. Holder, MS
B. Hines, AR M. Davis, NC
D. Hall, AR C. Cox, OK
D. Smathers, SC C. Y. Carrasquillo, PR
T. Pipkins, SC S. Felder, SC
D. Miller, FL M. J. Tolley, TN
B. Ryles, GA M. Couch, TX
B. Umsheid, KY J. Dooley, VA
D. Wilson, OK C. Phillips, National 4-H Council
S. Mullen, LA A. Smith, USDA

Officers:

Regional Chair: Susan Holder, Mississippi
Vice Chair: Mike Davis, North Carolina
Secretary: Martha Couch, Texas

Administrative Advisor:

Dr. Dorothy Hall, University of Arkansas

PLC Representatives:

Dr. Steve Mullen, Louisiana State University
Mr. Sam Felder, South Carolina State University

SUMMARY:

National Ad Campaign

Christie Phillips presented the new television ad for the national ad campaign. It was received extremely well by those in attendance. Most of the glitches from the first year have been resolved.

Two concerns were discussed about the ad campaign. The first concerns the delay from the time a young person calls the "888" number until counties/parishes receive his/her name. In many cases over a month is elapsing. A second concern related to trade-marking the ad campaign slogan "Are You Into It?" and possibly the "Power of YOUth". It is understood that Council's intention was to use sales of merchandise with the slogan to pay for additional years of the ad campaign but the prices of t-shirts and other merchandise is not competitive with purchase prices within the states.

National 4-H Impact Study

At least 25 states have joined in partnership with support from USDA to design an impact evaluation which includes like skills, leadership development, community service learning and volunteer development. All states have been asked to provide funding support, staff involvement in development and testing of evaluation design and in implementation. Approximately $95,000 has been raised thus far.

Triannual Meeting

The Southern Region State 4-H Staff Triannual meeting is scheduled for March 15-17, 1999 in Williamsburg, Virginia. The program will be extremely full with tracks for specialists with similar job responsibilities. New program successes will also be shared by states.

Proposed Child Care Initiative

Discussion about a proposed Child Care Initiative was very favorable.

National 4-H Congress

Susan Stewart is doing an outstanding job of putting together an excellent program while keeping down costs. Congress will be held in Atlanta for the next three years, through 2000.

 

MIDDLE MANAGEMENT

Participants:

Irene Lee, AR Mary McInnis, SC
Marth Dwyer, LA Fred Broughton, SC
Helen Brooks, MS Dan Jones, MS
Jacquelyn Wright, MS Kyle Smith, TX
Starlene Taylor, DE Lott Rolfe, III, AR
Jackie Courson, MS Thelma Feaster, NC
James McKee, TN Clarene Johnson, AL
Russell King, NC Jacquelyn Ifill, AL
Claude Bess, OK Charlene Jacobs, KY
Kent Rorie, AR Susan Lyday, NC
Dorothy Rodgers, AR John Mowbray, KY
Jannie Carter, AL Patrick Morgan, MS
Terril Faul, LA Carol Webb, SC
Howard Gryder, LA Ilene Dailey, GA
Bill Davis, LA Mitchell Flinchum, FL
Debra Davis, LA Severn Doughty, LA
Bobby Flelcher, LA Frederick J. Custis, VA
Rosalie Bivin, LA  

Officers:

Chair, Severn Doughty, Louisiana State University
Vice Chair, Susan Lyday, North Carolina State
Secretary, Frederick J. Custis, Virginia Tech

Administrative Advisor:

Dr. Jack Bagent, Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service

PLC Representatives:

Charlene Jacobs, Univ of Kentucky (2 year term);
Fred Broughton, SC State (2 year term)

SUMMARY:

Severn Doughty: Talked about the importance and opportunity for PLC/MM. He asked how many new Middle Managers were attending for the first time. There were 5 new middle managers in attendance. He thanked Patrick Morgan for representing PLC/MM Committee. Patrick will be rotating off. He introduced Susan Lyday as Vice-Chair and Frederick J. Custis as Secretary. He asked for volunteers for Nominations Committee. Fred Broughton and Susan Lyday volunteered. He asked members in attendance to introduce themselves.

He talked about list-service and encourage participation. Thanks to Charlene Jacobs for putting the list-serv together.

He reported on Western Region MM Conference in the Utah. The Western Region encourage County Directors participation. He asked group how did they feel about extending invitation to other region to attend Southern Region Conference. Group agreed to extend invitation. He shared highlights of the conference in detail from Dr. Myron Johnsrud, Director of Extension and Outreach for NASULGC.

He talked about comments from Cuco Gonzalez, Lyla Houghum, Milan Rerverts (Co), Jean Kobayaski (UT), Stuart Parkinson (ID), Bob Gilliland (UT), Frank Liebrock, National Extension Leadership Development.

Topics individuals presented at Western Region
What is importance of identifying needs?
What can Cooperative Extension Service do to your preception?
What advise would you give middle managers?

The above three questions were addressed by Panel Group.

Martha Gwyer: Urban Programming in Metro New Orleans Jefferson Parish. Made reference to Dr. Fletcher Ifill and Dr. Jackie Carter Urban program mandate by legislature establish urban program as 6 base unit, urban centers have been establish in 5 cities.

Carol Webb: Funding Partners - New President believe and is driving leverage funding. Partners with Clemson Extension, Cypress Garden Commercial Nursery, County local government and schools.

Charlene Jacobs: Motivating factors of County Extension Agents - A Kentucky Study - Dissertation for her Ph.D. degree.

Background of Study:

Motivating employee's in today's organizations
Changes in society
Diversity is increasing in the work place
High technology influencing the work place
Interest in human factors of the organization
Motivation more intents

Challenges for Administrators - Purpose of Study

How to motivate employees in all age categories.

Severn brought up for discussion the Southern Region Extension Middle Conference to be held March 1-4, 1999 in Biloxi, Mississippi. There was a question about the budget for the conference, Severn, Susan and Charlene shared the budget information and seed money for the conference.

Severn announced planning committee for conference:

Patrick Morgan Severn Doughty
Frederick J. Custis Dr. Bill Davis
Dan Jones Russell King
Bonnie Teater Charlene Jacobs
Helen Brooks Susan Lyday
Dr. Rosalie Biven Mitchell Flinchum

Severn asked group for possible theme. The group kicked around several titles before deciding on "Transformation Leadership -- Journey into the 21st Century". There was a group discussion in reference to the beginning time and date to start conference after discussion the group

decided to follow planned program. Thee was a discussion for opening address speaker. Frank Liebrock name was suggested and committee will select speaker. The group continued with the discussion of workshop titles and presenters.

Dr. Bill Davis: Louisiana's new performance appraisal and how it impacts programming. Did a power point presentation on Louisiana's appraisal system. The new system verus the old system.

Severn Doughty, Chairman announced that minutes from last year's meeting were on the Mid Managers' list-serv. Charlene Jacobs explained that minutes were "bounced" back to the list-serv if not read or received by the individual within a certain time frame (10 days?).

Report on PLC Meeting

Charlene Jacobs and newly elected Mid Managers' Representative to the PLC, Fred Broughton received guidelines for formatting minutes by all committees for submission to the PLC. These guidelines were not reported orally but were given in writing to the temporary secretary (Mitch Flinchum) who was replacing Frederick Custis due to his early departure. The report, due September 30, 1998, should include:

List of participants
Officers of the committee
Administrative advisors to the committee
PLC representatives and terms
Action Items
Information Items
Minutes

PLC meeting locations for the new two years were discussed. San Juan was suggested along with 4 other locations. PLC decided to have Bonnie Teater do a cost analysis for the new 2 year locations. PLC will have a conference call in October to decide. After some discussion introduced by Kyle Smith, the Mid Management Committee decided in favor of recommending San Juan as the next meeting site assuming that the cost analysis permitted it.

PLC asked for Mid Managers input regarding proposals for including IT (Information Technology) personnel in the annual meeting how to structure the group within the PLC organization. PLC's "PROPOSAL A" which included putting IT and Communications as one committee was recommended by the Mid Managers.

PLC reminded Mid Managers to complete the program evaluations forms prior to their departure and leave them on the tables.

PLC may be considering an effort to support Southern Rural Development Center via state contributions to acquire services of Bonnie Teater such as planning various meetings, developing a web-site for PLC, etc.

SHARE Session

A. Texas (Kyle Smith)
1. Texas Commodity Futures Forum...a different approach to identify programmatic issues.
2. Explained efforts to address Urban programs
3. Social Marketing Training activities

B. Kentucky (Charlene Jocobs and John?)

1. Formalized many practices
2. New hiring practices
3. Core Training requirements and standardized resource check sheet.
4. Developed cumulative transcript for each agent's in-service training history.
5. Mentoring system in place. Mentors are required to get training.
6. Agent at Large Program
7. Performance Evaluation Instrument
8. General overview of Planning/Reporting System (moved report forms directly to the web).
9. Marketing Extension Efforts in Kentucky

C. South Carolina State University (Fred Broughton and Mary Jo McInnis)

1. Overview of Marketing Efforts through personal contacts
2. Leadership Institute
3. Interactions with Army at Ft. Jackson
4. Heifer Project International
5. Welfare to Work/EFNEP

D. Tennessee (Jim McKee)

1. 4-H Endowment for each District (matched by State)
2. Private Endowment for Staff Development
3. Increased salary levels to $26,500 for Masters Degree
4. Minority Interns paid $3,500 for 10 weeks
5. Established Agent in Training program
6. College senior internships with salary
7. County funding to the system is improving. With Area Agents, all counties contribute now.
8. Received Grant Funds for a Media Center
9. Discussion ensued on intern salaries and procedures.

E. Arkansas (Dorothy Rodgers)

1. Amendment 4 Tax issue critical if passed.
2. Two to 6.7% merit increases to faculty salaries, an equity increase and increases in travel budgets.
3. Agent salaries $24,000 for BS and $26,000 for MS. Also pay interns.
4. Established "Winter Schools" which awards 6 hours credits in 6 weeks for a Master's degree.
5. New Logo
6. Still working on equity funding
7. Now have a computer person per district and working toward getting a "computer on every desk".
8. Dorothy announced that this would be her last meeting with the Mid Management Committee. Severn complimented Dorothy as being a mentor to many of us on the Mid Management Committee.

F. Alabama (Jacquelyn Ifill)

1. Business as usual with "court order merger"
2. Changed name from Service to System
3. Urban Centers developed - by 2000 will have 10.
4. Down-sizing Middle Management. Ag. Task Force recommended eliminating District Director positions. Appears that positions will go from 9 to 4 District Directors.
5. Trying to get 4-H License Plates for funding support
6. Good funding in county programs
7. 2% salary increases last year, 8% this year
8. $23,000 for BS and $30,000 for Masters
9. Two Ag. Extension Centers developed.
10. County operations possibly moving to multi-county clusters
11. Recommended that next year each state should bring "vacancy lists" or position announcements.

G. Louisiana (Bobby Fletcher)

1. Received legislative funds for "Character Education" programs in each parish. (Teaching older youth to teach youngsters)
2. 4-H Clubs are in schools during school hours
3. Faculty Proficiency and Interest Inventory Program (a recognition step for field faculty which allows them to receive specialty recognition
4. At Chancellor's level hired an Institutional Relations person (Lobbyist) and a Cultural Diversity person.
5. Had 5 summer interns -- worked 10 weeks at $7.00/hr. plus travel
6. BS salary $22,500; MS salary $25,500 and PhD salary $32,000
7. Hiring "nontraditional" degrees now
8. From computer perspective will network every office in the future.

H. Mississippi (Dan Jones and Jackie Courson)

1. Health Programs for Youth -- "Tobacco" money being used in 4-H is funneled through Extension to establish coalitions for dispersal of funds.
2. Program reviews in all counties using random selections of volunteers to be interviewed. Other states endorsed this approach.
3. Gave excellent examples of their new Director who supports Human Resources Development.
4. Revamping Evaluation system.
5. Simplifying web-based Intranet

I. Oklahoma (Rod??)

1. As a result of "Focus on Future Task Force" looking at major reorganization. Might see less mid-management, more local specialization.
2. Requesting a 5% increase in County contributions.
3. Working on a 4% salary increase for October 1. (Carol Webb from Clemson state that they use state dollars for salary and federal dollars for operating. This allows more money to be given from the state when it comes to receiving salary increases)
4. Currently requires MS degree within 7 years. This policy will be "tested" this year.

J. Georgia (Irene Dailey)

1. Past legislative sessions good. 6% salary increases for past 4 years. Gained 22 Agent position, $125,000 for 4-H program assistants, and $250,000 for FCS.
2. Bs SALARY IS $25,000. Master's salary was $32,000 this past July and will increase that to $35,000 in January, 1999.
3. Support by Foundation for equipment has been good.
4. As a result of "cutbacks" their county organization is clustered, but still maintaining county offices (This has been a programmatic clustering rather than administrative clustering
5. Have paid interns and agents in training.
6. Just initiated a 4-ranked promotion process
7. Will send copy of new agent training programs if requested.
8. As agents specialize, units are developing more in-depth courses for Agent training.
9. District heads worked on long-range county budgets (?)

K. Clemson (Carol Webb)

1. New Director
2. Creating new marketing unit under ?????
3. FCS moved out of Agriculture to another college. Don't know how this will affect field faculty for support.
4. Gone back to making Master's degree a requirement for employment
5. Received increases in operating funds.
6. After a periods of down-sizing, have now been given more positions.
7. Conducting "file checks" for Civil Rights review.

L. Florida (Mitch Flinchum)

1. EDIS, print on demand publication system working reasonably well. Many are satisfied.
2. Current BS salary is $23,500 and $26,000 for Master's. It is expected that these will be increased by $2,000 in January, 1999.
3. First distance education Master's degree in Ag. Education and Communication has been developed and student's are starting this fall with first course. Dr. Jimmy Cheek would be the person to contact if anyone is interested in having access to this program. (It was suggested that any "regional" courses be listed on our Mid Management List-serv.)
4. Legislature mandated 2.78% across the board salary increases effective October 1 this year.

WRAP-UP

Prior to adjourning the meeting at 11:35 a.m., Severn handed out literature on Distance Learning and Copyrighting and reminded everyone to complete evaluations to be left on the table.

 

PROGRAM AND STAFF DEVELOPMENT

Participants:

Rosa Albino, PR Carolyn Reedus, AL
LaVerne Blount, AL Roger Rennekamp, KY
Leticia Colon, PR John Richardson, NC
Chinella Henderson, AL Ronald Shearon, NC
Glenn Israel, FL James Smith, AL
Margaret Johnson, SC Satish Verma, LA
Howard Ladewig, TX Paul Warner, KY
Richard Liles, NC Joe Waldrum, AR
Jim Miller, SC Bernadette Watts, NC
Bill Murphy, VA Ron White, MS
David Mustian, NC Jerry Whiteside, GA
Michael Newman, MS Ron Williams, AL

Officers:

Glenn Israel, Chair
Bill Murphy, Vice-chair
Ronnie White, Secretary

Administrative Advisor:

Paul Warner, Kentucky

PLC Representatives:

Jerry Whiteside, 1998-2001
Margaret Johnson, 1996-1999

SUMMARY:

Paul Warner (Kentucky) discussed the Southern Region Diversity workshop sponsored by our committee. 51 participants from 12 states in the southern region participated in the program. The process of developing state plans dealing with diversity and hiring practices began at the workshop.

Satish Verma (Louisiana) presented information about specialization/certification (17 areas) for field faculty. To become certified, agents are required to have at least 15 hours of graduate work in the specialty area. Those being certified will receive monetary compensation.

Discussions were held on using competency models to assist in hiring extension employees and developing inservice training. Louisiana used a faculty self-assessment instrument (Personnel Proficiency and Interest Inventory).

Jerry Whiteside (Georgia) shared a new agent orientation/training (core curriculum) called Foundation Program for New Agents. Program elements include a mentor program, a week of program development training, and a week of specialty training.

Glenn Israel (Florida) and Howard Ladewig (Texas) presented tools used for assessing customer satisfaction. It is required in Texas that agencies provide customer satisfaction data as an indication of program quality. Both Texas and Florida report great success with the process, which is ongoing and not a one-time program activity. It was noted that customer satisfaction is one of many indicators of program quality. Extension agents have had great success in using this data with local government.

John Richardson (North Carolina), Roger Rennekamp (Kentucky), Howard Ladewig (Texas), Ronnie White (Mississippi) and Bill Murphy (Virginia) reported on State Accountability Systems. All the systems are Web-based and allow for greater flexibility in reporting program outcomes to various stakeholder groups. In addition, many of the systems emphasize the planning component of program development. The Mississippi system has allowed them to more effectively respond to the state mandate of impact budgeting.

Glen Israel reported on a GPRA Survey conducted by Glen and Howard Ladewig. Overall, states responded they would get the job done. The GPRA format is not that different from the old reporting system. The observed strength of GPRA was the integration of the three missions of teaching, research and extension. Numerical and narrative components were also recognized as a strength. A number of weaknesses identified, including how GPRA was constructed, as well as instructions detailing how you put a plan together. There was some concerns regarding Impact Indicators and their relevance, inconsistencies in definitions and language, and the loss of data regarding customer satisfaction.

In summary, GPRA allows us to develop information system regarding programs and outcome indicators that can identify behavioral changes in clientele. It will be difficult, however, to collapse data to see regional and national implications and overall accomplishments.

In a special presentation, Dr. Satish Verma (Louisiana) was acknowledged as the first recipient of the Harry Clayton Sanders, Sr. Endowed Professorship in Extension and International Education, College of Agriculture at Louisiana State University. Dave Mustian, committee chair, presented a plaque to Satish on behalf of the committee.