Board Excellence Newsletter - Summer 2013
Information for Local K-State Research and Extension Board Members
Volume III, Issue 3 — Summer 2013

From the Associate Director …
As a member of your local extension board you’ve probably been working on a budget for next year.  The Cooperative Extension Service is a partnership supported by federal, state, and local funding. We also have been involved with federal and state budget development. 
 
As of this writing, K-State Research and Extension federal funding is 8 percent (roughly $800,000) less than last year. Our funding from the  Kansas legislature decreased by $2.7 million. Fortunately, Kansas State University central administration believes in the value of our work and has committed to cover $2.4 million of the reduction through a tuition proposal approved by the Board of Regents. That action allows us to maintain the $4.5 million we put into local extension operations for this fiscal year.
 
As we go through turbulent times I am reminded how important it is to remain focused on providing high-quality educational programming to address the opportunities and needs of Kansans, the people we serve. It is important that we communicate our programming successes with stakeholders. Commissioners and legislators often consult with local “influencers”.  Be sure to keep them informed.  Some specific ideas are included in the following article.
 
Thank you for partnering in this important mission.

– Daryl Buchholz, dbuchhol@ksu.edu
 

Work with Local Elected Officials to Share Programming Success Stories
Public officials, such as county commissioners and legislators, are interested in the issues and programming their constituents feel are important. They will appreciate the efforts of extension agents and local board members in providing opportunities for them to stay informed about educational  programing that has an impact on the lives of people they serve.
 
Following are some ideas board members can use when working with elected officials in your area:
  • Get to know county commissioners and local legislators on a first-name basis.
  • Attend local briefings that legislators schedule during the legislative session.
  • Share local programming success stories with county commissioners and legislators.
  • Invite commissioners and legislators to the extension council’s annual meeting.
  • Involve county commissioners and legislators when delivering educational programming and in special events (i.e., Walk Kansas recognition, crop production tours, district appreciation events).
  • Introduce commissioners or legislators at events and meetings.
  • Place the names of commissioners and legislators on appropriate mailing lists.
For more ideas see the new resource, Working with Elected Officials.

Review Each Board’s Responsibilities for Coordinating Local Fairs
Fairs are important learning environments for many of K-State Research and Extension’s educational programs. They provide opportunities to evaluate and recognize individual achievements. A long history and variety of local traditions exist among fairs in Kansas: county, community, multicounty, and 4-H fairs. They vary in terms of funding and 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 and their families as well as to judges and volunteers;
  • maintaining regular contact with the fair board regarding specific 4-H fair policies and procedures;
  • designing exhibits that reflect the learning experiences of 4-H Youth Development; and
  • ensuring that reasonable accommodation exists 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 fair facilities;
  • managing open-class divisions;
  • providing clerical support for the local fair board;
  • arranging for premiums and awards for exhibits;
  • securing commercial exhibits and entertainment; and
  • managing the livestock auction.
Start Recruiting New Members Now for Local Extension Board and PDCs
At recent partnership meetings, board members and agents identified qualities of effective board members. Important qualities include 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 module Recruiting Board and PDC Members.
 
This module, which provides a step-by-step guide to help identify potential board members, has been used for recruitment both by counties and districts.
 
These steps are included in the module:
  • List characteristics desired in future members.
  • Discuss local groups or audiences where potential members might be recruited.
  • Consider possible nominees.
  • Contact possible nominees and describe the responsibilities of PDC and board members.
  • Ask nominees to complete the Consent to be Nominated form.
The module is available on the Board Leadership website at: www.ksre.ksu.edu/boardleadership.
 
 
Kansas’ adult obesity rate is 29 percent — more than double the 13.5 percent rate of 15 years ago. K-State Research and Extension educators who focus on research-based nutrition education use the following strategies to help combat the trend:
  • Monthly training for 4-H Youth Development paraprofessionals helps them provide nutrition and fitness education in after-school sites.
  • The Walk Kansas fitness challenge attracts more than 15,000 participants annually who commit to increasing activity and eating more healthfully.
  • Expanded Family Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) participants report caring about eating healthful  foods, planning to eat breakfast daily, and encouraging others to eat more healthfully.


Volume III, Issue 3 — Summer 2013
 

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service
K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.