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February 4, 2011

February 4 Message

Good Afternoon: I hope you have all had a good week. Once again the weather has challenged our schedules and work. One hopeful sign this week was that the Ground Hog saw his shadow indicating only six more weeks of winter, (although six weeks sounds like a long time). Perhaps a more hopeful note is that the first day of spring is March 20, or maybe even better, the Minnesota Twins Pitchers and Catchers report for practice February 16th. So spring will come.

Winter weather protocol: County based staff follow the direction of County Administration. Regional office weather closure decisions are made individually based on the local and regional conditions by Regional Directors. Of course, everyone should use their best judgment for their own personal safety.

Programming update: This week two of the three Extension committees scheduled were held, (one was postponed for a second time due to weather). An important part of the Extension Committee meetings is the program reports These reports and the summary of the local staff work plan for the year are important in communicating to the Extension Committee members the important programming happening in their county. This week, the Regional Quarterly Report was delivered electronically to Extension Committee members, County Commissioners and other local and regional stakeholders. Again, this report shares important programming that is occurring in the region.

The importance of great programming: Last week in his State of the Union Address the President spoke of the Sputnik moment, a reference to a time 50 plus years ago when the country was challenged to accomplish the extraordinary. Perhaps the Sputnik metaphor resonated with me because I was born on the day and year when the Russians launched the Sputnik satellite into space. However, I think we can also identify with Extension's Sputnik moment, when in the face of extraordinary budget challenges faced by state and local governments, our staff of local and regional programmers and educators are challenged to deliver extraordinary programming that is making a difference in the lives and future of our counties and region. The reports to our County Extension Committees and Regional reports are examples of effective communication of this work.

The week Ahead: Renville (rescheduled) and Lyon County Extension Committees are scheduled to meet, (weather permitting).

Checking on Phone Books: As new phone books are being delivered to your homes or offices, please be sure that your offices are listed correctly and in the correct locations in the phone books. Please review the guidelines for phone book listings for your offices and procedures for making revsions.Checking and correcting phone listings is done locally by each office.

Have a good weekend, (Go Packers)