Program Leadership Committee
August 1999
August 1999

Action Items

Request approval to plan and hold - Workshop on Sustainable Community Development - A Southern Region Conference on Sustainable Farms, Forests, Communities and Families. Attached is a proposal, revised from a previous planned workshop to address the need for development of additional skills in agents and specialists to address the changing rural community and economy. Detailed planning to begin at the Southern Region Program Committee Meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi to determine earliest possible date to hold the workshop and specific program components.

A communication to the chair relative to support for the continuation of the accountability workshop. Monthly conference calls have provided Family and Consumer Sciences/Program Leaders (FCS/PL) with the opportunity to assess the 1999 workshop. Based on the discussion and feedback from others, FCS/PL request administrative support to have a 2000 Accountability Workshop. The programming focus will be health and family economics.

Information Items

     Committee Chair: Susan Holder, Mississippi State University

Information Items:

National 4-H Impact Study: The National group of State 4-H Leaders have committed to begin the process of a National Impact Study for 4-H. The pilot tests of the instrumentation have been completed and the three states that were randomly selected to participate from the South include: Oklahoma, Puerto Rico and Mississippi. North Carolina will be involved in the collection of data for the "after-school childcare" delivery system.

Strategic Directions Team: The National 4-H Strategic Directions Team presented a strategic planning process to ECOP in July. The process was endorsed by ECOP. The broad expanse of stakeholders in the 4-H program will be represented in the planning process.

     Committee Chair: John M. O'Sullivan, North Carolina A&T State University

Information Items:

Farm Crisis. ANR leaders are focusing on the unfolding farm and agriculture sector crisis and CES responses at the upcoming PLC meeting. The Managing Change workshop held in March in Nashville is the basis for the programs being developed in some states. Other states have focused on farm management analysis and business planning. Other states are looking at community involvement and sustainable growth approaches.

Sustainable Agriculture. The Annual Meeting will be held at Jekyll Island GA with the Southern SAWG (Sustainable Agriculture Working Group) on January 20-21, 2000. The Call for Proposals for competitive grants is out for both Chapter 1 & 3. The Leadership Committee (Professional Development Program) is looking for nominations (especially from SC, TX, VI). This year there may be major changes in the configuration of the Chapter 1 and Chapter 3 (PDP) arrangement of the southern region SARE. This may have important implications for Extension and the 1862, 1890 and NGO partnership which is the present PDP management team partnership.

Upcoming meetings of note:
The national ANR Leadership meeting will be held in San Antonio Texas, March 27-29, 2000. It will supersede and be the site for the Southern Regional ANR Leaders Meeting.

The NACAA is meeting in Omaha NE on September 12-16, 1999. Next year's meeting will be in Jackson MS on August 6-10, 2000.

     Committee Chair: John Bentley, Fort Valley State University

Information Items:

Several institutions still have not submitted names of their official delegates to this committee. The listserve for the committee is being maintained at the University of Kentucky.

Proposed committee organizational structure will be discussed and voted on at the next SRPLC meeting. Proposal is that the officers be Chair, Vice-chair and Secretary with one elected from each of the following groups, Communications reps, 1890's reps and IT reps. The officers will rotate up (vice-chair becomes chair, secretary becomes vice-chair, new secretary elected), therefore serving a three year term. Elections would take place within the group represented.

Reports will be given at Biloxi on Virtual Centers, the Internet Radio Project and Accountability Study.

Brainstorming session is planned for joint SR projects "Working Smarter in IT and Communications across state lines.

A discussion on "people sharing" among southern region in IT and Communications is planned for Biloxi.

     Committee Chair: Edwin J. Jones, North Carolina State University

Information Items:

With resignation of Warren McCord as chair earlier this year, Ed Jones, vice chair, assumed that role.

Community Development Institute - Second session held in 1999 in North Carolina with 39 participants. This regionally developed and conducted workshop has been highly successful and is expected to be continued. Among future considerations are how often to offer as well as the need for an advanced workshop. An alumni group can be the core for future planning and community development program initiation.

     Committee Chair: Gina E. Eubanks, Southern University Cooperative Extension Program

Information items:

Dr. Alma Hobbs, Deputy Administrator, Family, 4-H and Youth Development will be our guest speaker for the Southern Region Family and Consumer Sciences/Program Leaders Meeting in Biloxi. Dr. Hobbs has been asked to share information concerning food safety and quality, child care initiative, food and nutrition education program and health. Additional information to be covered at the meeting: welfare/workforce preparation, relationship of operation to programs, violence prevention, multi-state programming, and elderly (use of senior series).

Discussion has been established with Program Leaders in the North Central Region. Conference calls have been the primary method of communication. A face-to-face meeting is scheduled as a pre-meeting to the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences Annual Conference.

Monthly conference calls have focused on: health, relationship with the Board on Human Sciences, food and nutrition education program, multi-state programing, Y2K/emergency preparedness, present and future initiatives and other items as deemed important by the program leaders.

The chair, as member of the Leadership Council (convened by Dr. Anna Mae Kobbe, Family, 4-H and Youth Development), met with chairs from other regions to discuss what is needed and required for the IPA for the Family Nutrition Education Program. The anticipated start date is October 1, 1999, and the individual will be housed with Family, 4-H and Youth Development.

     Committee Chair: Susan Lyday, North Carolina University

Information Item:

The Middle Management Committee is discussing the location of the Middle Management Conference for 2001. South Carolina has reconsidered hosting the meeting and felt is was not feasible at this time to host the 2001 conference. Two states have offered to look into hosting the meeting in 2001, Florida and Kentucky. A discussion of the location of the 2001 conference will take place at the PLC in Biloxi.

     No report.


Sustainable Community Development: A Southern Region Conference on Sustainable Farms, Forests, Communities and Families


The education and information needs of Extension's customers are becoming increasingly more complex. All citizens, farmers and consumers, need to understand the interdependence of the economic and social well being of farms, forests, communities, and families in the South. The work of agriculture/natural resources Extension agents, for example, is no longer limited to responding to the commodity specific activities of the farm sector. Rather, agents must attend to the set of sustainable issues that have moved discussions of on-farm practices to the broader community setting. For example, the use and management of water, land, and pesticides by the agricultural sector, and the associated impacts on the nonagricultural community, have emerged as highly volatile public policy issues at the local level. With low prices and lack of government involvement in the market, agricultural producers are faced with challenging economic constraints and decisions. Within the human sciences arena, there is clear recognition that child, youth and family well-being are dependent, in part, on the community context in which they are embedded. Addressing the needs of children, youth and families, requires a comprehensive approach, one that necessitates active investment on the part of the community. The effectiveness of the new welfare reform program, for example, is dependent in no small way on the community. Not only is the availability of job training programs and decent jobs deemed essential to assist individuals in moving from welfare dependence to gainful employment, so is access to good transportation and child care programs. It is within the community setting that many of these issues are likely to be considered.

In order to respond to the new demands and opportunities being presented to them, Extension professionals in all program areas must strengthen their understanding of how communities operate; determine the set of tools that they can utilize to better address the significant issues impacting their Extension customers.

Objectives and Expected Outcomes:

Extension professionals will improve their understanding of how communities operate, including the role of local government in policy and regulatory activities, the community's institutional and leadership structures, and the nature of its economic and social infrastructure. Extension professionals must develop skills in addressing the change taking place in agriculture and communities.

Extension professionals will learn to: (1) map the assets that exist in their community; (2) engage community citizens in discussions that more fully address public policy options for addressing priority concerns in the community; and, (3) employ a step-by- step process for resolving important local issues.

Extension professionals will develop a better understanding of how to manage community conflicts, including the use of negotiation and mediation skills, and how to create collaboration among local organizations and individuals.

Extension professionals will learn about successful community-based strategies that have been used by agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, and community resource development agents in response to locally identified needs of their customers.

Proposed Products:

A regional workshop involving presentations on basic principles of community structure, politics, and economics, followed by presentations on successful approaches from all program areas.

This workshop will produce teams of agents and/or specialists that will be able to facilitate discussions and understanding of the factors of sustainability and will have the ability to help local citizens develop intervention strategies that will mediate the effects of global change.

Notebook for each participant containing materials on successful community approaches in solving problems facing families, youths, producers, and communities.

Suggested Membership:

To be determined at a planning session to be held at Southern Region Program Committee Meeting. It is intended to include ANR, CRD, FCS, and 4-H representatives with participation by 1890 institutions.

Current proposal revised and submitted by Curtis Absher, John O'Sullivan, ANR committee, Chris Sieverdes and Ed Jones, CRD committee, and Bo Beaulieu and Bonnie Teater of Southern Rural Development Center. These individuals would continue on planning committee.


The workshop will be assisted by the Southern Rural Development Center, who will also work with the planning committee in developing an evaluation of the participants' perception of the value of the workshop and the materials to their programming efforts. In addition, a follow-up survey of the participants will be conducted to determine how much and in what ways the information obtained at the workshop improved their state and county programs.

Cost: Individual states will pay costs of participants. Funds may be acquired through available sources at USDA.