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April 24, 2009

April 24 Message

Good Afternoon: I hope all of you have had a good week.

Extension Committee meetings: This week Lincoln and Lac qui Parle County Extension Committees met. The next County Extension Committee meetings will be in July. That meeting schedule is as follows:

July 9, 4:00 p.m. Redwood
July 9, 7:00 p.m. Lyon
July 13, 12:00 noon Kandiyohi
July 13, 5:00 p.m. Chipewa
July 13, 7:30 p.m. Lincoln
July 15, 7:00 p.m. Renville
July 16, 7:00 p.m. Yellow Medicine
July 21, 4:30 p.m. Lac qui Parle

AMC Legislative Conference: The Association Of Minnesota Counties Legislative Conference will be held Wednesday, April 29. As you know from an earlier e-mail from me that part of the Extension display will feature “then and Now” statements for each county that highlight historically significant programming that or staffing that is still relevant today in each of our counties. I thought you might be interested in the “then and Now” statements that will be featured for each of your counties:

Lyon: In 1866 Oren C Gregg, Pioneer Lyon County Farmer was appointed Superintendent of Farmer Institutes and provided his Lyon County “coteau” farm as an Experiment station. A permanent Experiment station was later established in Redwood County near Lamberton.

Lincoln: IN 1917 A.W. Malcomsen moved from second assistant county agent in Renville County to Lincoln County as the first Extension Employee. The Courthouse was constructed two years later and continues to house the County Extension Office

Lac qui Parle: On August 14, 1913 W.W. Underwood was hired as the first County Extension Staff in Lac qui Parle County. The current staff in the County includes a 4H Program Coordinator, Youth Mentor Coordinator, Nutrition Education Assistant and Support Staff.

Redwood: The Minnesota Association of County Agricultural Agents was formed in January, 1920. The first president was F.L.French of Redwood County. The organization continues today under the name of the Minnesota Association of Extension Agricultural Professionals.

Chipewa: On August 20, 1913, J.E. Glasspoole was hired as the first Extension Staff in Chipewa County. The present staff in Chipewa County includes a 4H Program Coordinator, nutrition Education Assistant and Support Staff.

Kandiyohi: On September 1, 1913 R.M. Poe was hired as the first Extesnion Staff in Kandiyohi County. Current staff in Kandiyohi County includes a 4H Program Coordinator, 4H After School Ag in the Classroom coordinator, Agriculture Extension Educator and two Nutrition Education Assistants.

Yellow Medicine: In 1924 Skuli Rutford was appointed County Agent in Yellow Medicine County. In 1928 he transferred to a number of different assignments and was appointed State Extension Director in 1954, retiring in 1963. The current Director of the University of Minnesota Extension is Dr. Bev Durgan.

Renville: At the turn of the century Renville County was identified as having wonderful soil for farming, but was too wet for major production. With the assistance of Extension and the cutting edge research and painstaking work decades ago, from digging ditches by hand to today’s modern technology, our county has been called an “agricultural superstar”. Water quality and conscientious farming practices continue to place Renville County as a leader in agriculture.

Have a good weekend,


April 17, 2009

April 17 message

April 17 message:

I hope all of you have had a good week and are able to take full advantage of our nice weather. In this week’s blog I will spend some time discussing summer staff positions.

County Interns: Each of your counties has a 4H summer Intern funded in the county budget. With one exception, the hiring has been competed for the interns. The purpose of the Intern positions is twofold. The first goal is to involve the Intern in programming that would not have been possible if the Intern position was not available. The second purpose of the position is to expose the Intern to Extension Educational program leadership in hopes that they will potentially consider Extension as a career when they complete their collegiate studies. As we all know, these are not clerical support positions. Rather, these are positions that will be directly involved with programming.

Regional Interns: This year five Regional Interns have been funded by Extension Administration. These five positions were selected from fourteen Intern proposals considered. These five Intern positions include one in Marshall and one in Hutchinson.

The Marshall Intern will be Alena Rivera whose intern project will assist in researching the actual and perceived service and civic life needs and expectations of Latino audiences in Southwest Minnesota.

The Hutchinson Intern will be Tanya Olson who will focus on farm surveys of livestock farms to determine the “Carbon Footprint” of dairy operations and possible impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

Extension Committees: Kandiyohi, Chipewa and Lyon County Committees met this week. Lincoln and Lac qui Parle Extension Committees meet Monday and Tuesday.

Have a great weekend.


April 9, 2009

April 9 Message

Good Afternoon: My blog comes a day early this week because I am planning to take a day of vacation tomorrow, Friday April 10. I do have a few things to share today.

Extension Committee meetings: Next week the Kandiyohi and Chipewa Extension Committee meetings meet. What are we covering in this round of Extension Committee meetings? Several of the agenda items include:

-Budget update on the first quarter expenditures in your county.
-Program Updates for your program staff, (4H PC’s, NEA’s and Local Educators).
-The Current MOA, (Memorandum of Agreement). In all of our counties we are in year two of a three year MOA. I am discussing with the committees the recommendation that will be forthcoming from the Association of Minnesota Counties Extension Sub Committee to freeze the MOA cost for 2010 and eliminate the inconsistent language in the notification period if a change is made to the MOA.
-Staffing changes. This includes the hiring of the Summer Intern, and in a few of your counties there are some staff updates. For example, in Redwood County Debra Braulick is the new NEA. In Lincoln County NEA Ilene Sorenson will be retiring in June. In Kandiyohi County we have a new baby, (4H PC Jodi Bakke gave birth to a baby girl). Jodi is doing well and will return to work on July 6th. Jeanna Lilleberg will be serving in the interim position until Jodi’s return.
-University of Minnesota Farm Family program. The Extensions Committees do the selection for their county at this meeting.

Please feel free to use this blog if you have any comments or questions to pose to me or the group.

Have a great Easter weekend.


April 3, 2009

April 3 Blog

Good Afternoon, I hope you have all had a good week. I have a few items to discuss in this week’s blog. I welcome your comments on the blog content or format. Also, since I really don’t know if everyone is receiving or reading the blog, please help out anyone who may say “I wonder why Bob quit sending out his Friday messages?” by directing them to this blog site.

Extension Committee meetings: This week we will have only one Extension Committee meeting, (Redwood). We tried to avoid scheduling Committee meetings this week due to Easter week.

Extension Upgrade to Office 2007: As you read in yesterday’s Extension Weekly, Extension is now upgrading to Office 2007. Many of the Computers in our Regional and Campus offices have already upgraded with the goal that all University owned computers will be upgraded to Office 2007 by August 1.
So, what does this mean for County owned computers in local Extension offices used by Support staff, 4H PC’s, NEA’s or local Educators? One option is to upgrade these machines if this upgrade is in agreement with the County IT procedure. Since the University of Minnesota Microsoft License is applicable only to University owned computers, the cost for the upgrade to Microsoft Office 2007 is a County expense. The other option is to not upgrade, and continue using Office 2003 or Office 2000. In these situations the Microsoft Compatibility Patch should take care of any issues that may be encountered. The compatibility patch is most likely already loaded onto your computers. Questions? Talk to Mary Jo or Karla in the Marshall Regional Office or Janel or Pam in the Hutchinson Regional Office.

Flood Recovery: As we all know, Northwest Minnesota is dealing with the impacts of a record flood level and is bracing for the return of a second river crest that may be at similar or higher levels. Extension is responding with many educational resources to help the people and communities deal with the impact on their homes, businesses, families and communities. I invite you to check out the revamped Extension Flood page.

For some views of what that area has dealt with check out the photos on this photo page.

My Calendar: Due to my role with MnEDEN, my schedule has changed. I will be in Moorhead on Monday and Tuesday, and will return to the Marshall office on Weds. Feel free to access my calendar if you have questions or need to add anything to my calendar.

Enjoy the weekend.