September 23 message
Good Afternoon: I hope you are all enjoying this first weekend of fall. A couple of things to share this week:
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler inauguration: This week was the inauguration of Eric Kaler as the 16th President of the University of Minnesota. President Kaler's inauguration speech recognized a student from the region, who is also the son of the Farm Family recognized from Lyon County this year. Here is the excerpt of that portion of the speech:
No, we won't abandon these roots because of students like Kenny Deutz.
Kenny grew up on his family's farm near Marshall, Minnesota, tending crops and milking cows. Since he was a little boy he has wanted to be a veterinarian. Kenny came to the University of Minnesota to achieve that goal.
A few months ago, right after his freshman year, Kenny was accepted into VetFast, an accelerated veterinarian degree program. Across the nation, there's an acute shortage of large animal veterinarians. As the only veterinary college in the state, the University of Minnesota has an obligation to help meet this workforce shortage.
VetFast students receive their bachelor of science and doctor of veterinary medicine degrees in seven years instead of eight. It saves a year's tuition. It's good for the economy. It allows young people like Kenny to give back to his community, and live the dream he first had in kindergarten.
Kenny, congratulations, please stand so we can honor you ...
Retirement events: This fall there are many events celebrating the accomplishments of the 40 plus individuals retiring from Extension. Just a quick reminder for those of you who process expenses that mileage is not paid for staff to attend retirement celebrations.
Extension regional operations leadership is being redesigned to provide management of our regional offices, support Extension in all 87 counties and continue to meet statewide program needs while using fewer administrative resources. Under the new model, the state will be divided into five regions and each region will have a field operations leadership team that will be responsible for the regional offices and county and local relationships in that region. That team will be led by two Regional Directors and will include program staff who will serve in an advisory leadership capacity for the region. This reduces the number of Regional Directors to 10. A national search process is currently under way for four of these positions with the remaining six being incumbent Regional Directors. As you know, I will be leaving my role as Regional Director to assume the role of Director of Field Operations. That appointment is effective January 1, 2012.
Fall County Extension Committee meetings: Here is the schedule of upcoming county Extension Committee meetings in the region:
October 26 5:30 p.m. Swift County
November 7 12:00 Noon Kandiyohi County
November 7 5:00 p.m. Chippewa County
November 7 7:30 p.m. Lincoln County
November 10 7:00 p.m. Lyon County
November 15 4:30 p.m. Lac qui Parle County
November 17 7:00 p.m. Big Stone County
November 28 7:00 p.m. Renville County
December 1 4:00 p.m. Redwood County
December 1 7:00 p.m. Yellow Medicine County
Enjoy the weekend,