In the past month, many of you have read my message regarding program business plans. As much as you all are involved in educational activities throughout the state, it is critical that we are very deliberate in having a grand plan for these efforts. This leads to my statement that each program team will need to write and submit a program business plan by Program Conference in October. I am aware that there is moderate discussion occurring about this effort. I think the biggest item "buzzing" right now is defining "programs," which certainly makes sense. You'll see resources to help along the way from staff here in Coffey Hall and on our website (http://extension.agplan.umn.edu/).
A reminder about grants
I am pleased to see the success many of you have had in securing grants. Grants require us to clearly establish our intentions and deliverables (many of the same principles we expect in our program business plans). Grants also allow us to develop relationships with these funding organizations--this is good! While we want to be a team player, please remember that we are part of University of Minnesota Extension and not an independent subcontractor! Even though you may have funds to create products and conduct programs on your own, branding/co-branding is still critical to us. Consult with our communications folks (Katie Gallagher, Maggie Frazier, and Sarah Dornink) in advance to understand the resources required to complete the print or online portion of your project. As a general recommendation, sharing proposals with us is very helpful so we can provide guidance and assistance along the way.
-Mike Schmitt, associate dean