2009 Forum Q & a With Administrative Panel
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Federation Forum Questions
Can state travel, including the state car, be used at association meetings that offer training? That is one of the reasons that associations are building training into their meetings.
Every 3 or 4 years all Extension Secretaries have a two-day professional development training. In August of 2009 our training was canceled due to the budget. Are there any plans to hold this training in 2010?
Explain the funding structure differences between NC A&T and NCSU. During the budget freeze, A&T was still hiring and had travel, while NC State did not.
How are NC A&T and NC State working together on emergency planning? The two universities seem to be working individually and not collaborating.
Does administration have any advice on how to maintain morale and excellence in trying times with fewer staff and limited support?
What is the plan for recruiting and replacing 30 year retirees in Extension?
With so many extension agents and specialists retiring/retired, is there a mechanism in Extension for those interested, with expertise and experience, that could be effectively used on a formal scale to assist Extension programming? We are facing downsizing, changing priorities, limited resources, loss of permanent positions and a poor economic climate. A resource pool of temporary extension workers (retirees) may play a vital role in assisting current staff in meeting clientele needs. Examples include mentoring, working with agents, producers, home owners, commodity organizations and associations, demonstrations etc. Some of this could be volunteering, so obviously payment would not adversely affect federal, state or county retirements. Research and teaching have utilized such a resource effectively and Extension could possibly do likewise. A collaboration agreement and a pool to process requests and match a request with a collaborator would need to be established. Many retired extension workers are interested and welcome collaboration, fellowship and social interaction.
Administration’s Response to NCFCEA Question – May 2009
With travel being frozen, subject matter agents being unable to travel even in the county, why is the State 4-H Program going forward with District Activity Days? If other subject matter agents do not have travel for programming, this seems unfair for 4-H Agents to still be out in the field. Agents are paying out of pocket just to get their jobs done, are telling producers they cannot come out to their farm, are staying put in the office and addressing needs as best they can. Yet if 4-H Agents are “out and about” this will send a different message about our travel problems.
Administrative Response –
The NC 4-H Youth Development Program touches the lives of over 239,000 youth each year. One of the major activities for 4-H youth is the participation in the presentation program. For many youth, their presentations at District Activity Day represents months of work for which they have been promised the opportunity to participate and compete for recognition. To go back on a promise that is made to 4-H youth across the state is simply not acceptable. Therefore, it was decided by Extension Administration that support for District Activity Days would be a priority this year, regardless of the financial challenges.