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March 26, 2010

March26 message

Good Morning: I hope you have all had a good week. A few things to share today:

Extension Committee meetings: The next round of Extension Committee meetings in our regions are coming up soon. Please be sure that the budget updates and program reports from your staff are sent to Mary Jo in the Marshall Regional Office prior to the meeting so they can be in the agenda packets. Meetings schedules are as follows:

Chippewa 5:00 p.m.
April 12
July 12
November 8

Kandiyohi Noon
April 12
July 12
November 8

Lac qui Parle 4:30 p.m.
April 7
July 20
November 17

Lincoln 7:30 p.m.
April 12
July 12
November 8

Lyon 7:00 p.m.
May 6
July 8
December 2

Redwood 4:00 p.m.
April 15
July 22
November 18

Renville 7:00 p.m.
April 5
July 19
November 15

Yellow Medicine 7:00 p.m.
April 8


Meeker 1:00 p.m.
June 15

McLeod 7:00 p.m.
June 29


2011 - 2013 MOA for local staff: One of the agenda items on the Extension Committee meetings will be the 2011 - 2013 MOA's. I will be asking the Committees to approve the new MOA's and recommend the approval be ratified by the County Board. The language in the new MOA's will not change and the 2011 MOA cost is at 0% increase. The MOA also did not increase in cost in 2010. The 2011 MOA and price has been approved and recommended by the Association of Minnesota Counties Extension Sub-committee.

President's recommendation on salary and furloughs: In recent weeks you have received communications from University Administration on the proposed University Salary increases, Salary decreases, 27th pay period and mandatory and voluntary furloughs. The Presidents recommendation was conditioned on approval of a vote of the U of M faculty. In a vote taken this week, the administration recommendations were approved, so we will likely see the recommendations implemented. Many more details will be coming out, but the operational implications for our offices are the furlough. The proposal is that all University Civil Service and AFSCME employees (including 4H PC's and NEA's in County offices), will receive a 2 per cent salary increase and a 1.15 salary decrease which will be taken as a mandatory three day furlough. The mandatory furlough will be on the three work days between Christmas and New Years. The other two days in that work week are University Holidays. Other University employees including faculty and P & A staff, (includes Regional Extension Educators and Regional Directors), will receive the same salary reduction but will be expected to work during the three day furlough (unpaid). Again there are many more details to the proposal, but the point to know at this time is that Program Coordinators and NEA's in County offices and Regional Support staff and program managers in Regional Extension offices will be covered by the mandatory three day furlough December 28, 29 and 30, 2010.

April 22 Staff Development: Keep April 22 reserved on your calendar for a staff development day for Support staff in County and Regional Offices in the Worthington, Marshall and Hutchinson regions and 4H Program Coordinators in the Marshall and Worthington 4H Districts. Agenda and RSVP details will come to you as early as next week.

Enjoy the weekend.


Bob

March 18, 2010

March 18 message

Good Morning, I hope you have had a good week. A few things to share this week:

Flooding: As of this time on Thursday morning, the communities of Montevideo, Granite Falls and Morton on the Minnesota River and Russell, Marshall and Redwood Falls on the Redwood river along with other areas along rivers, streams and drainage areas are experiencing minor flooding. The following website gives current and projected flood stages at the network of gauges that transmit current data to satellite. Just click on the location for the data from that measurement site: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=mpx

Flood Response: University of Minnesota Extension's EDEN, (Extension Disaster Education Network) response includes the following components:
1. Telephone:
Farm Information Line (800-232-9077) The Extension Educators on that line are prepared with resources for homeowners and agriculture (i.e. lawns, trees, crops, out buildings, equipment, etc.)
Answerline (800-854-1678) This consumer line handles "how to clean up homes safely" (i.e. how to clean up basements, how to deal with electrical outages, food safety, how to dispose of wet items, how to launder, how to avoid mold, how to dry out items safely, etc.)
2. Web-based information: www.extension.umn.edu/flood

3. Print piece: Picking up the Pieces, an Extension publication, will be distributed through Emergency Operations Centers in the impacted regions.


Please direct callers/drop ins to these resources. You might want to familiarize yourself with the website so you can more efficiently direct clients. Give me a call with any questions.

University Floating Holiday: Friday, March 19 is a designated floating holiday. As such, the Regional Offices will be closed Friday March 19. The following excerpt from 4H administration previous year's discussion with staff addresses the inevitable question of how this affects University employees in County offices:

With the holidays just around the corner, I want to send a quick reminder regarding holidays and remind you how to determine holiday pay for part-time program coordinators. All program coordinators earn 11 holidays per year. Seven of those holidays are pre-determined ( New Year's Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day). The other four are floating holidays to be used in conjunction with holidays taken by the county. If the county has more than 11 holidays, the Program Coordinator needs to choose which of the four floating holidays to observe; if the county has less than 11 holidays than the PC can observe a holiday

Have a great weekend,

Bob

March 11, 2010

March 11 Message

Good Afternoon: I hope you have all had a good week. A few things to share this week:

Flood Potential. As we all know, the extended snow pack, snow melt and rain leads to higher than normal potential for flooding. The MnEDEN team, (which I coordinate) has been working hard for the past few months to have the Extension Educational resources available to respond to the flooding situations. You can access the Extension Flood resources.

The following message I received from Extension Climatologist Mark Seeley gives information on current and forecasted river stages and flooding potential.

After numerous conversations with NOAA hydrologists and meteorologists this week, I have some updated information.....

With the recent rains and warmer temperatures snow melt runoff has increased and rivers are starting to respond. As a result, beginning this week NOAA will offer daily deterministic hydrologic forecasts on selected watersheds. On their home page, go to the navigation bar across the top of the map or on the left and click on Rivers and Lakes.

The points on the map with circles are gaging stations with a deterministic forecast that is updated daily. The points depicted by squares are simply showing what the current river stage is and they are not yet being forecasted.

If you click on the navigation bar over the top of the map (River Forecasts within 48 hours) you will get the latest forecasts.

If you want to look at other watersheds under the jurisdiction of different regional NOAA Offices simply use the navigation arrows in the upper left corner of the web page.

This round of precipitation may not end until mid-weekend, then a warm-up with temperatures in the 50's. In this scenario, southern Minnesota rivers will begin rising significantly next week. The upper reaches of the Minnesota River and the Red River may see significant rises beginning the week of March 24....

Extension Committee meetings: The following is a list of the remaining Extension Committee meetings in the region this year. Please arrange for a meeting room and send the meeting notice prior to the meetings:

Chippewa 5:00 p.m.
April 12
July 12
November 8

Kandiyohi Noon
April 12
July 12
November 8

Lac qui Parle 4:30 p.m.
April 7
July 20
November 17

Lincoln 7:30 p.m.
April 12
July 12
November 8

Lyon 7:00 p.m.
May 6
July 8
December 2

Redwood 4:00 p.m.
April 15
July 22
November 18

Renville 7:00 p.m.
April 5
July 19
November 15

Yellow Medicine 7:00 p.m.
April 8
July TBA
November TBA

Have a good week,

Bob

March 5, 2010

March 5 Message

Good Morning: I hope you have had a good week. A few things to share this week.

Upcoming meetings: 4H Update webinar. Earlier this week the County Support Staff, Regional Support staff for 4H and 4H Program Coordinators received the announcement of the 4H Update webinars. Two dates were announced. One of the dates conflicts with the combined Regional and County Support Staff and 4H Program Coordinator staff devel0pment day, so I would highly encourage sign up for the other date, which is April 20.

County and Support and 4H Program Coordinator Staff Development day will be held Thursday, April 22 at the Redwood Falls Community Center. Staff invited to this day includes County Support Staff and 4H Program Coordinators from 4H District 11 and 12 and Regional Support Staff from the Marshall, Worthington and Hutchinson Regional Offices. The agenda will be finalized by mid March. We welcome any input you have to topics that should be on the agenda. Forward me any ideas you may have.

New Wordmark: This week, all Extension staff were invited to begin using the updated version of the Extension wordmark. This new wordmark fulfills the requirements of the University brand policy that was implemented by the Board of Regents in May 2009.
The rollout of the new wordmark will occur in two phases throughout the 2010 calendar year, allowing for a natural and fiscally responsible replacement of the majority of Extension materials and publications.

Phase I: Implementation of the new wordmark and stationery system
University brand policy requires Extension (and all other University units) to transition to the new wordmark by December 2010. Throughout the remainder of 2010, the new wordmark should be applied to electronic materials-including web sites and online publications-as well as newly created Extension printed materials and publications when possible. Application of the new wordmark to existing print materials is not necessary until current inventories are depleted and a reorder is required, or by the end of 2010-whichever comes first.

In addition to the new wordmark, we are also implementing a new stationery system that is consistent with the new University policies calling for all units to use the same University stationery. Extension staff will now be able to place stationery orders online, making the process easier and more efficient.

Phase II: Implementation of the new Extension identity system
In addition to the revised wordmarks, University brand policy also requires the consistent use of University maroon and gold on all University materials and the elimination of existing unit logos and wordmarks by December 2010. Extension Communications is working closely with Extension center communications staff to develop guidelines and examples of how to align with the University's new policies while also representing the diversity and complexity of our Extension centers and programs. More information about Phase II will be available this summer.

WORDMARK AND STATIONERY RESOURCES
The following resources are available on the Extension employee website to assist you in using the new wordmark. If you have questions about these resources, contact Sarah Bjorkman.

Downloadable Wordmark Files and Usage Guidelines
Use these files whenever you are working with the wordmark. Easy to download graphic files are available in multiple formats, minimum sizes and the approved color options.

Wordmark Fast Guide
One page wordmark fast guide includes the basics of what you need to know to use the wordmark.

Letterhead, Envelopes and Business Cards
Stationery materials will now be available for order via a new online stationery order form on the employee website. (Costs for stationery orders will be charged to your budget accounts.)

PowerPoint templates
Downloadable PowerPoint files reflect the new wordmark.

COMING SOON:
Promotional Items imprinted with the new wordmark that will be available through the Extension Store.

Display Items including tabletop displays, name badges, banners, signs and tablecloths.
Identity Standards Manual will include guidelines and resources for Extension employees on how to incorporate the Extension wordmark in communications and marketing materials and instructions on how to phase out current program marks and logos.

Additional Templates that utilize the new wordmark and other Extension identity elements.

Guidelines and Rollout Plan for phasing out existing unit logos and wordmarks.

Required Statements: Key stements required by federal and state civil rights laws and regulations, as well as University policy must appear on University of Minnesota publications. Review the required statement policies.


Have a good weekend

Bob