Board Excellence Newsletter - Spring 2014
Information for Local K-State Research and Extension Board Members
Volume IV, Issue 2 — Spring 2014
From the Associate Director
May 8, 2014, marks the 100th anniversary of the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service as a shared partnership among federal, state, and local governments. The purpose of the partnership was — and remains today — to share research-based information from the state land-grant universities with the people of the state.
Early programming in Kansas addressed tree borers, forest tree culture, and farm economics. Today’s educational programming focuses on five grand challenges Kansans currently face: global food systems, water, health, community vitality, and developing
Thanks to you — the members of the local extension board — for your commitment to keeping this partnership strong and relevant.
To learn more about the grand challenges go to: http://www.k-state.edu/solutions/2014Report.pdf
— Daryl D. Buchholz, email@example.com
Board Leadership Assessment Includes New Section on Volunteers
K-State Research and Extension relies — indeed thrives — on a strong ethic of volunteerism. To reflect the importance of volunteerism, a new section on “Volunteer Leadership” was recently added to the Board Leadership Assessment.
The Board Leadership Assessment can be used at the beginning of the year to help local boards set goals based on best practices to guide their work. Throughout the year, board members review their goals together and complete the self-assessment. The board submits the document to the area director by the following January 1. Boards that achieve a standard for 2014 will be recognized for their accomplishments at the January 2015 Partnership Meetings.
The 2014 self-assessment is on the Board Leadership website. Click on the purple box labeled “Excellence in Board Leadership Assessment” at the lower left.
During 2013, 56 youth in Grant County joined 4-H as members of the Tiger Trails 4-H SPIN Club. They learned skills in food science, robotics, ceramics, and gardening. Ninety-five percent of these youth have continued into their second year of membership.
4-H SPIN (SPecial INterest) Clubs represent a pilot program designed to provide additional opportunities for a positive youth development experience. These clubs are designed to engage youth and families who have not been part of the 4-H Youth Development program.
Clubs meet for a minimum of six sessions to focus on a specific project. Volunteers lead the youth, using the “Learn by Doing” model. Each meeting begins with the 4-H pledge, and then members focus on learning about the subject. When projects are completed, the youth share what they have learned at a special event.
Currently seven counties and one district are piloting 4-H SPIN Clubs through a grant provided by the Kansas 4-H Foundation. Watch for future opportunities for expansion.
Revised Board Leadership Modules Now Available Online
Two recently revised modules have been posted to the Board Leadership website. Boards are encouraged to review these modules at upcoming board meetings.
“Program Development Committee (PDC) Orientation” is designed to help PDC members understand their responsibilities.
“Reaching New Audiences” will assist board members and extension professionals in examining local demographics, identifying audiences that are not being reached, developing strategies to reach those new audiences, and expanding program development committees to better represent the local population.
For a link to these modules please click here.
Communicate Success Stories to Local Elected Officials
The “Rule of Seven” is a marketing theory that says customers need to see or hear a message at least seven times before they take action. Oklahoma Extension professionals put this theory into action by providing a brief (one-page — front and back) report to locally elected officials once a month. Extension agents were encouraged to use pictures to help tell the story of their successes.
Agents report that decision-makers in their counties seem to be better informed of the extension educational programs and the impact they have on the community. They have been successful in increasing county contributions significantly over the past two years, and they attribute much of the success to better marketing.
Kansas local units can incorporate the state’s grand challenges and start with “why” as we communicate the impact K-State Research and Extension makes in communities.
For more ideas, go to Local Government Extension Training (LGET), http://lget.org to participate in upcoming webinars.
Boards — whether for a municipality, corporation, or not-for-profit organization — play an important role in society. Despite this, few people are trained in how to serve effectively as a board member. K-State Research and Extension periodically offers the Board Leadership Workshop series. The series is offered simultaneously in multiple locations throughout Kansas, using a mix of distance education technology and local facilitation. Topics include Board Basics, Understanding Your Fellow Board Members, Financial Management, and Strategic Planning.
During the 2012–2013 programming year, more than 150 participants — representing a variety of boards — attended the training. Their comments included the following:
- “This format of distance presenters in a local area with local organizations is fabulous.”
- “We’ve had lots of good ideas and discussion come about because of this. Great to hear from other groups as well, and hear that we aren’t alone in some of our struggles.”
Check with the local K-State Research and Extension office for dates of upcoming training sessions.
Volume IV, Issue 2 – Spring 2014
Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service
K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.