Board Excellence Newsletter - Summer 2012

Board Excellence

Information for Local K-State Research and Extension Board Members
Volume II, Issue 3 — July 2012

From the Associate Director ...

Welcome to the summer issue of Board Excellence — a newsletter intended to strengthen the partnership between Kansas State University and local units of K-State Research and Extension.

During the next few months many extension agents will attend national meetings of their professional associations. I am an advocate for belonging to a professional association.

National associations give agents the opportunity to build professional and personal skills. They are able to network with their peers from across Kansas and the nation. The conferences provide agents with  opportunities to share programming outcomes by preparing posters or presenting educational sessions. I trust their involvement helps each of them to bring back ideas and opportunities to consider in their future educational programming.

Thanks to you for supporting your agents as they seek to enhance their professional effectiveness. To learn more about the extension professional associations go to the right column at:

– Daryl Buchholz,

Review Each Board’s Responsibilities in Coordinating Local Fairs
Fairs are important learning environments for many of K-State Research and Extension’s educational programs. A fair provides a setting to evaluate and recognize individual achievements.  A long history and variety of local traditions exist among fairs in Kansas: county fairs, community fairs, multi-county fairs, and 4-H fairs. The fairs vary in terms of funding and organizational structure, but are often the cooperative responsibility of local extension and fair boards. 
Generally the local extension board, agents, and volunteers are responsible for:
  • coordinating 4-H fair events and activities;
  • communicating about 4-H fair events to members,judges, volunteers, and families of members;
  • maintaining regular contact with the local fair board regarding specific 4-H fair policies and procedures;
  • designing exhibits that reflect the learning experiences of 4-H Youth Development; and
  • ensuring reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities.
Local fair boards are usually responsible for:
  • providing accessible facilities, equipment, and personnel to operate the fair;
  • maintaining, managing, and providing security of facilities;
  • managing open class divisions;
  • providing clerical support for fair board responsibilities;
  • providing premiums and awards for exhibits;
  • securing commercial exhibits and entertainment;and
  • managing the livestock auction.
Plan for Effective Boards
The April 2012 edition of Board Excellence listed some strategies that lead to an effective board. Following are some additional recommendations.
The board:
  • uses the Recruiting Board and PDC Members module to identify prospective members;
  • includes both new and experienced members to foster continuity of business and new ideas;
  • reviews policies and revises as necessary;
  • maintains appropriate insurance coverage for board members, employees, and volunteers;
  • researches major purchases and prepares an equipment replacement plan to budget long-range expenses; and
  • provides benefits for office professionals and program assistants, including sick and vacation leave, a retirement plan, and health insurance.
Additional information can be found at Select “Excellence in Board Leadership Assessment” in the purple box at the lower left of the center screen.
Start Recruiting New Members Now for Local Boards and PDCs

At recent partnership meetings, board members and agents identified qualities of effective board members. A few of these were: knowledge about K-State Research and Extension, vision, motivation, dependability, and community spirit.
This is the time of year to begin thinking about recruiting members for program development committees and boards. A tool is available to help: the board leadership module Recruiting Board and PDC Members.
The module, which provides a step-by-step process to help identify potential board members, has been successfully used for recruitment both by counties and districts.

These steps are included in the module:
  • List characteristics desired in future members.
  • Determine local groups or audiences where potential members might be recruited.
  • Consider possible nominees.
  • Decide who will contact potential nominees.
  • Contact possible nominees and describe the responsibilities of PDC and board members.
  • Ask nominees to complete the “Consent to be Nominated” form.
This module is available on the Board Leadership website at:

Resources for Effective Board Meetings

The Board Leadership website contains a number of resources that can contribute to effective board meetings. Some of these include duties of the officers, sample notebooks, agendas, minutes template, and a suggested calendar for routine board meeting agenda topics.

To view these resources go to Click on “Duties of the Board,” then “Effective Meetings.”

Weed Management in Field Crops Adds to Profitability

Weeds cause tremendous economic loss in cropland each year from reduced yields, control cost, harvest-related issues, and lower harvested crop value.

Weed management schools are part of educational efforts planned by the Crop Production Program Focus Team composed of agents and specialists.

More than 150 participants who represented management of approximately 860,000 acres responded to surveys from six of the schools last year. Survey participants indicated the knowledge gained was expected to increase profitability by $4.25 per acre for a total increase of more than $3.5 million.


Volume II, Issue 3 – July 2012