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Board Leadership

Extension Board Leadership

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Board Excellence Newsletter - Spring 2015

Information for Local K-State Research and Extension Board Members
Volume V, Issue 2 — Spring 2015

From the Associate Director

K-State Research and Extension programing focuses on five grand challenges that directly or indirectly affect all Kansans — global food systems, water, health, developing tomorrow’s leaders, and community vitality.

We won’t solve these challenges alone. By developing partnerships within Kansas, across the United States, and internationally we continue to make progress. In the next several issues of the Board Excellence newsletter we will highlight examples of programming offered, along with results related to each of the five challenges.

I encourage members of the board and program development committees to spend some time at an upcoming board or PDC meeting reflecting on how your local extension program is addressing these challenges.

— Daryl D. Buchholz, dbuchhol@ksu.edu


Grand Challenge: Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders

Did you know that 65,000 Kansas youth annually participate in Kansas 4-H? Or that, in 2013, 62 percent of Kansas counties and districts increased the number of 4-H memberships?


The complex global society of the future will require leaders who have effective teamwork and communication skills. Through the 4-H Youth Development program — as well as adult leadership programs — K-State Research and Extension works to prepare leaders of all ages who can contribute to a vibrant Kansas economy for years to come.

Some examples of programming for tomorrow’s leaders include:

  • establishing a national model for bringing ethnically diverse families to the 4-H program,
  • providing programming targeted to children of deployed members of the Kansas National Guard and Army Reserve units, and
  • continuing successful 4-H programming that results in members who are twice as likely to attend college and pursue careers in science, engineering, and computer technology.

This kind of programming introduced 710 youth to 4-H through multicultural and SPecial INterest (SPIN) 4-H clubs in 12 Kansas counties last year.


Programs aimed at adults have also shown success:

Since 1993, 360 adults have participated in the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program and gone on to serve their communities and the state in a number of leadership roles.

For additional information about efforts to develop tomorrow’s leaders see: www.ksu.edu/challenges.



“Healthy You” is the K-State Research and Extension employee wellness program. By participating in wellness activities, employees are encouraged to increase physical activity, participate in health screenings, consume nutrient-dense foods, and learn to effectively manage stress.

All K-State Research and Extension offices have the opportunity to apply for recognition of their efforts to create a healthy workplace. The following offices were recognized at the organization’s most recent annual conference: Barton, Douglas, Ellis, Ford, Grant, Miami, Pratt, Rice, Shawnee, and Wyandotte counties; Central Kansas and Post Rock districts; and the Oskaloosa office of Meadowlark District.


Self-Assessment Assists Boards in Developing Leadership Skills

Excellence in the local extension program reflects the leadership and commitment of each board member. The Excellence in Board Leadership Assessment is a tool intended to guide boards to develop and measure their leadership skills. Early in the year, boards set goals based on best practices to guide their work. Throughout the year, members review the goals together, complete the self-assessment, and submit the document to the area director by the following January 1. Boards are then recognized at the annual Partnership Meetings.

April and May meetings are great times to review the assessment and measure the board’s progress. The self-assessment is available here.




According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 18.4 percent of Kansans are age 60 or over, and the population is trending older as baby boomers move into later life. Because older adults are more likely to experience disability and chronic disease, the need for caregiving is also likely to increase. In 2009, 26 percent of Kansans reported providing care to a family member or friend with a health problem, long-term illness, or disability.

K-State Research and Extension addresses issues of growing older with various programs. Agents provide programming directed at older adults and their caregivers and coordinate Aging Expos in northwest and southeast Kansas.

A survey conducted after a previous Aging Expo indicated that 92 percent of those responding had a better understanding of aging issues and 81 percent said they had taken action or changed something in their lives as a result of attending the expo.


Volume V, Issue 2 – Spring 2015

Click here for a link to the weekly K-State Research and Extension Tuesday Letter.


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