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KSRE Employee Resources


The 2023 K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference will be held, October 24-26, 2023.

Annual Conference Documents:
Welcome Message (PDF)
One-Page Agenda

2023 K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference Schedule


Monday, October 23, 2023



Grassroots Engagement: Elevating Our Community Presence
K-State Student Union: Bluemont Room

Join us for a fun, educational, and interactive workshop prior to KSRE Annual Conference. The event will help participants to gain a better understanding of how agents 'see' themselves in making progress on community issues, with a centered connection to the K-State 105 initiative. Agents will identify how to capitalize on their skillsets and develop the capacity to facilitate change and progress at the community level.

This workshop will teach agents how to use and facilitate the gap exercise within their own communities/units/etc. Overall, the training provides an opportunity to energize people to make progress on adaptive challenges.

FREE Grassroots Engagement Leadership Book and ESP goodies are available on a first come first serve bases, register early! 

Cost; $25 for ESP Members, $40 for Non-ESP Members

For more information, contact Marlin Bates (batesm@ksu.edu)

Tuesday, October 24, 2023




State and Regional Extension Professionals Networking Breakfast - Bluemont Room

Please RSVP for this when you register


Registration Opens - 2nd Floor K-State Student Union


A Peace of Mind Studio Opens - Outside of Big 12 Room, K-State Student Union


Federal Benefits Update - Flint Hills Room


State Benefits Update - Big 12 Room


Wildcat Women Day - KAE4-H Committee - Room 204


Professional Development KAE4-H Committee - Room 202


First Timer's Orientation - Cottonwood Room
Staff who are attending annual conference for the first time are invited to join the KSRE Coaching Team for networking and a preview of the conference


Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) - Alpha Rho Chapter Luncheon - Bluemont Room


KACAA Board Meeting - Room 202


Kansas Extension Association of Family Consumer Sciences (KEAFCS) Board Meeting - Big 12 Room


Retirees - Reconnect with Colleagues and Administrative Report - Cottonwood Room

1:15 to 4:30 

Association Meetings

  • Kansas Association of Extension 4-H Agents (KAE4-HA) - Flint Hills Room

  • Kansas Association of Community Development Professionals (KACDP) -  Room 209


Kansas Association of County Agriculture Agents (KACAA) - Standing Committee Meetings
4-H & Youth                            Room 204
Early Career Development.       Room 206
Communications                      Room 226
SMIXER                                     Room 208
Teaching & Education Tech      Room 202
Policy                                       Wildcat Chamber
Extension Programs                 Wildcat Chamber
National Meeting                      Wildcat Chamber
Professional Excellence            Wildcat Chamber
Scholarship                              Wildcat Chamber
Friends of County Agent/         Wildcat Chamber
Ask the Admin
Administrative Skills.               Wildcat Chamber
Life Members                           Wildcat Chamber


Kansas Association of County Agriculture Agents (KACAA) - Professional Improvement Committees
Agronomy & Pest Management        Room 202
Animal Science & Industry                Room 208
Horticulture & Turfgrass                  Room 204
Natural Resources/Aquaculture       Room 206
Sustainable Agriculture                    Room 226
Ag Economics & Comm. Develop.    Wildcat Chamber


Kansas Association of County Agriculture Agents (KACAA)- Association Meeting - Wildcat Chamber 


Kansas Extension Association of Family Consumer Sciences (KEAFCS) - Association Meeting - Big 12 Room


A Peace of Mind Studio Closes -

5:30 - 7:30

KSRE Annual Conference Social 
Bill Snyder Family Stadium - West Side
Heavy Hors D'oeuvres Provided 
Awards will be presented during this event

          Please RSVP for this event when you register

Wednesday, October 25, 2023


Registration Opens - Entrance of Forum Hall


Building The Engaged Land Grant of the Future - Forum Hall 
Dr. Marshall Stewart, Senior Vice President for Executive Affairs, University Engagement, and Partnerships, Kansas State University 
Dr. Ernie Minton, Dean of College of Agriculture, Kansas State University
Dr. Gregg Hadley, Associate Professor and Director of Extension, Kansas State University 


A Peace of Mind Studio Opens - Outside of Big 12 Room, K-State Student Union


Networking Break 


Building The Engaged Land Grant of the Future - Forum Hall 
Dr. Marshall Stewart, Senior Vice President for Executive Affairs, University Engagement, and Partnerships, Kansas State University 
Dr. Ernie Minton, Dean of College of Agriculture, Kansas State University
Dr. Gregg Hadley, Associate Professor and Director of Extension, Kansas State University 

12:00 Kansas-Joint Council of Extension Professionals (KSJCEP)  - Main Ballroom 

 Breakout Sessions

  • Utilizing the Welcome A-Board Leadership Program to Support and Encourage New Leaders in your Community
    Wildcat Chamber 
    Learn about this recently retooled program that is available for extension agents and specialists to adapt and use to teach board leadership skills to community leaders.  Hear from new and experienced agents who have utilized the Welcome A-Board curriculum in their local communities and hear their success stories! The Welcome A-Board curriculum was redesigned in 2019 to provide a different format and approach to reach new and experienced leaders in local communities who want basic leadership training or simply a refresher course. The series was redesigned into multiple mini-sessions and can be offered remotely or in person.  

    Presented by: David Key, Director, Meadowlark District; Marlin Bates, Director, Douglas County; Candis Meerpohl, Director, Shawnee County

  • Best Practices for Disability Inclusion and Awareness in 4-H Livestock Expositions
    Bluemont Room
    A presentation on the need for disability awareness and inclusion training/resources for 4-H Extension Educators based on research conducted by Kansas State University. This presentation would promote an infographic on the best practices for including 4-H members with disabilities in livestock shows and other 4-H events. The infographic would contain guidelines on addressing disability in 4-H programs, resources to refer to, and an overview of inclusive practices that are applicable to all 4-H events. We would also present a video that pairs with the infographic and covers general disability etiquette that can be implemented into daily life. This presentation would allow for discussion amongst Extension Educators to share their lived experiences when interacting with 4-H members with disabilities and the accommodations/adaptations they have made to allow for inclusion. 
    Presented by: Regan Culp,  Agriculture Education; Dr. Jonathan Ulmer, Agriculture Education
  • Marketing Programming to Local Audiences 
    Big 12 Room
    Learn social media and design basics that will help market your programming to local audiences. This hands-on learning session will step agents through how to leverage social media and Canva design tools to create scroll-stopping social media posts and eye-catching graphics intended to target local audiences. To make sure you’re adequately prepared for the session, bring a laptop and create or have access to a Canva account (https://www.canva.com/). It’s free to sign up.

    Presentations include:
    2. How to Use Social Media to Reach Local Extension Audiences Presented by K-State Research and Extension Digital Media Specialist, Kirsten Conard
    3. Design Basics Using Canva Presented by K-State Research and Extension Graphic Design Specialist, Phylicia Mau

    Presented by: Meg Stopps, Communication Solutions; Phylicia Mau, Communication Solutions; Kirsten Conard, Communication Solutions

  • Engaging Community Partners to Build a Collaborative Local Food System
    Flint Hills Room
    Join us for a hands-on demonstration of a local food system community roundtable. During the session, you will have the opportunity to provide your own insights and feedback on what extension agents need to be successful when engaging critical community partners on local food projects. Do you grow, prepare, or eat food?  This this session is for you!

    Presented by: Rebecca McMahon, Local Food System Program Administrator 

  • Succession Planning for Local Communities
    Room 227
    With the potential of 40% of Agricultural Land turning over in the next 15 years, succession planning resources become a great concern to local communities. Extension offices will be an authority of providing information on succession for farm families. Agents who attend this presentation will learn tools to help navigate family business succession planning, i.e. the initial steps in the process, clarifying questions, goal setting exercises, and communication guidelines. 

    Presented by: Kay Prather, Office of Farm and Ranch Transition
2:30 - 3:20

Breakout Sessions

  • Engaging Food Safety Knowledge with Interactive Learning
    Bluemont Room
    K-State Research and Extension plays a pivotal role in providing education to heighten awareness and understanding of the importance of food safety throughout the production, distribution, processing, preparation, and consumption of food. Attendees will gain tools that can be utilized in food safety education programs such as ServSafe and other food safety-related programming to increase retention and understanding of the role we each play in safe food preparation and consumption.

    Presented by: Christina Holmes, Southeast Research and Extension Center
  • Using Social Determinants of Health to Create Pathways to a Healthy Kansas
    Wildcat Chamber
    Cooperative Extension has been an integral part of providing personal health and well-being education for over a century. However, research shows that substantial improvements to health will also require policy, systems, and environmental changes that center around the social determinants of health (SDOH). There continues to be a need for individuals to learn and understand more about the SDOH. Resident-led, grassroots initiatives are critical to the improvement of SDOH outcomes. This lesson will introduce the SDOH, and why they matter and will encourage attendees to spark change within themselves and their communities. 

    Presented by: Chuckie Hessong, SNAP-ED Southeast Regional Specialist


  • Tree Free, Weed Free: New Concepts in Woody Plant Control in Rangelands
    Big 12 Room
    In this session, we will work through the basic concepts of identifying areas of woody enroachment risk, determining appropriate treatment measures for each level of enroachment, and learn how to identify which pastures or areas of pastures are at risk for future enroachment or re-enroachment. Decades of indiscriminate windbreak proliferation and lack of prescribed burning, combined with changing weather patterns, have changed where and how much woody enroachment is occurring. it is urgent that partners across agencies work together to understand and treat the problem. A key resource, the publication Reducing woody encroachment in grasslands: A pocket guide for planning and design was recently distributed to every county Extension office and we will discuss how to use this guide, including how to identify landscapes at risk and how to work with landowners to address the loss of their rangelands to woody species.

    Presented by: Carol Baldwin, Extension Operations; Lori Bammerlin, Extension Assistant, Outreach Coordinator, Great Plains Fire Science Exchange, Kansas State University and Dr. Dillon Fogarty, Research Assistant Professor, Program Coordinator, Working Lands Conservation, University of Nebraska- Lincoln

  • Community Gardens 101
    Flint Hills Room
    Community gardens are ideally a place of learning and growth that brings people together across generations, social classes, and backgrounds. In reality, we do not always see diversity in our volunteers, and many public gardens become a patch of weeds without sustained attention. In this presentation, I will talk about common pitfalls in community gardens, ways to encourage diverse involvement, and how to build robust communication systems that help sustain interest to foster long-lasting and impactful community gardens.
    Presented by: Laura Phillips, Meadowlark District
  • Navigating Difference in Extension: Meeting the Needs of Kansans
    Room 227
    • Kansas State Research and Extension (KSRE) is a statewide network of educators sharing research, analysis and education to achieve a safe sustainable food system in Kansas communities. Yet, as diversity increases, cultural competence amongst extension employees is an essential component of creating a healthy working environment and meeting the need of underserved audiences in Kansas. To meet this need, KSRE has made strides to increase the cultural awareness of its workforce through a training - Navigating Difference. Implemented in 2012, Navigating Difference has a goal to enhance cultural competency skills for new and seasoned agents. Since inception, there has been a total of 20 trainings. This session will teach the audience an important skill set to navigate diversity in extension, help extension better meet the needs of the audiences they serve, and share the training's success. Overall, the session will aid in the University's initiative to become a more engaged institution.

      Presented by: Dr. Zelia Wiley, Assistant Dean and Director College of Agriculture 



A Peace of Mind of Mind Studio Closes - Outside of Big 12 Room, K-State Student Union


Breakout Sessions

  • Your Community by the Numbers: Digging for Data Simplified
    Wildcat Chamber

An established data baseline for your community is critical to show movement on capacity-building efforts related to your PSE work and programming. To know how far you’ve come, you must know where you’ve started. In this WORKshop we will drill down on primary and secondary data indicators framed around the community capitals. You’ll walk away with an up-to-date snapshot as we simplify the process of gathering robust data about your communities.

Presented by: Deborah L Kohl, Project Coordinator, Department of Agricultural Economics and Bradford Wiles, Extension Specialist, College of Health and Human Services

  • Program Planning: Setting the Stage for Success 
    Big 12 Room
The art of program planning is a practice that takes time and attention to detail.  Participants will be guided through a program planning process from the University of Minnesota Extension that plans for the who, what, when, where and why.  Tips and tricks for activity pacing, asking purposeful questions, and creating an inclusive learning environment will also be shared.    

Presented by: Kaitlyn Peine, Community Health and Wellness Agent, Douglas County

  • Striving for Thriving- 4-H Clubs That THRIVE 
    Bluemont Room

It’s not always about the business meeting!  Implementing the components of a thriving 4-H Club will ultimately result in young people who thrive.  In this session you’ll be given the tools to assess your 4-H clubs and utilize volunteers to build upon the club’s strengths.   

Presenters: Beth Hinshaw, 4-H Extension Specialist; Amy Sollock, 4-H Extension Specialist; Kelsey Nordyke, 4-H Extension Specialist; and Chandra Plate, 4-H Extension Specialist

  • Blue-Green Algae Program and Rapid Test Evaluation Project
    Flint Hills Room
Blue-green algae issues have been increasing in frequency over the last decade or two. The Natural Resources Program Focus Team developed and implemented a multi-faceted signature program. We developed a variety of local unit program resources and conducted a mini-trial evaluating the accuracy and usefulness of blue-green algae rapid test kits. This break-out session will include an update on resources and our BGA rapid test kit trial results, ways to incorporate blue-green algae in your local programming, tips to involve local pond owners in your program efforts, and how to build other educational content directed and marketed toward a variety of learners. 

Presented by: Shannon Blocker, Agriculture and National Resources Agent, Pottawatomie County

  • Happy Healthy Snack Project
    Room 227

The Happy Healthy Snack Project is a new program effort to equip local Elementary School Kindergarten teachers better to provide their students with a healthy afternoon snack during their school day. Children need a steady supply of nutrients to fuel their bodies and brains so that they grow and develop properly. Healthy snacks should be a part of every child's school day. They provide a much-needed energy boost and prevent your child from overeating at their next meal. Young children have smaller stomachs than adults. They are incapable of eating a lot of food at one meal and typically get hungry between meals. The afternoon snack that these teachers provide eliminates hunger, fear, and anxiety for their students going home with empty bellies. We have worked with these teachers to create the Healthy Happy Policy Guide, as well as leveraging other partnerships for education. The local library was able to create a "Nutrition" box that has several books and activities that the teachers can check out on a semester basis and return to the library for updates. After gaining some grant writing skills, the Kindergarten teachers decided to apply for a grant to secure funds to purchase and install a sensory sidewalk outside the kindergartner classrooms.

Presented by: Katherine Pinto, Wildcat Extension District

SMIXER - KACAA - RC McGraws, Blue Hills Room - 2317 Tuttle Creek Blvd.
5:00PM -
6:00PM -

$25 for KACAA Members, $35 for Non-KCAA Members

Make sure to RSVP and pay for this when you register.


Friendship Night - KEAFCS - KSU Agronomy Center, 2200 Kimball Ave.
Cost: $35

Make sure to RSVP and pay for this when you register.



KACDEP Night - Wine + Dive, 121 N. 4th St, Manhattan, KS
Make sure to RSVP when you register


Clover Night - Axe to Grind 925 Enoch Lane – Be sure to wear CLOSED TOE SHOES
Cost: $30 - Please pay directly to KAE4-HA

Make sure to RSVP for this when you register.


Thursday, October 26, 2023



Epsilon Sigma Phi, Alpha Rho Chapter Council Meeting - Cottonwood Room


Closing Remarks


A Peace of Mind - Capstone Presentation

10:00 - 10:30

Break2nd Floor - K-State Student Union


PFT Teams - Continue to Meet as Needed until 5PM

  • Adult Development and Aging - Room 226
  • Community Vitality - Room 207
  • Crop Production - S Ballroom
  • Family and Child Development - Room 227
  • Family Resource Management - U Ballroom
  • Farm Management - Room 209
  • Horticulture - Flint Hills Room
  • Livestock Production - Big 12 Room
  • Natural Resources - Cottonwood Room
  • Nutrition, Food Safety and Health - K Ballroom
  • Youth Development - Bluemont Room


Lunch on your own


Addtional PFT Time (If Needed)