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Extension Update – June 5, 2017   arrow

On behalf of PLT:

Program Leadership Team (PLT) met May 23, 2017, at University Square. Planning and Reporting Unit (PRU) leaders shared updates that are included in this Admin Update.  The next PLT meeting is face-to-face on Tuesday, August 22, Noon – 4 p.m. at University Square.  PLT draft agendas and meeting notes are posted at http://extension.colostate.edu/staff-resources/plt-minutes/ .


Upcoming Events

Reminder to mark your calendars for the 2017 Annual Extension Forum – October 23-26, 2017.

New Staff Orientation for Extension will be held on CSU campus September 25-28, 2017.



FAFS – Christine & Laurel

The FAFS PRU held a training in April to 1) learn to use the “All My Money” curriculum developed by University of Illinois Extension, and 2) participate in the Mental Health First Aide training.  Laurel Kubin and Glenda Wentworth, team members, led the “All My Money” training. Volunteers from SummitStone Health Partners led the mental health training, which is a statewide initiative and part of the Mental Health First Aide Colorado. Following the training, PRU members met to consider 1) how they would use and report the financial education curriculum in their counties, and 2) future directions for the PRU. In the future, members will be developing additional short videos on financial management, discussing potential programming and educational opportunities around marijuana effects on individuals, families, and communities with faculty affiliates from the CSU Prevention Research Center.  PRU members are also investigating the possibility of doing additional programming to connect community members whom are vulnerable to social isolation.


Food Systems – Becca & Dawn

The Food Systems PRU is holding a joint retreat with the Community Development PRU on June 1 and 2 in Glenwood Springs. There are 24 team members expected to attend. At last year’s retreat, the Food Systems PRU divided into four core areas: stewardship; business development; food security quality and public health; and investing in community food assets. At the PRU meeting the emphasis will be moving the core areas forward, including analyzing ongoing work/programming in each area. We also want to consider opportunities emerging from the Denver Food Vision/Plan (https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-office-of-economic-development/newsroom/2016/DenverFoodVision.html) and the CO Blueprint of Food and Agriculture (http://foodsystems.colostate.edu/research/colorado-blueprint/).

In addition, our PRU spent much of the last year creating a new website that is integrated between research, Extension, and professional development. We encourage everyone to take a look: http://foodsystems.colostate.edu/. Please note that region specific Blueprint information (Regional Opportunity Reports) is available by clicking on the map.


Livestock & Range – Todd

The Livestock and Range PRU is working on several projects with our new livestock and range specialists.  On the livestock side, Extension Beef Specialist Ryan Rhoades is working with agents and industry leaders to survey beef producers on their needs so we can create appropriate programming for producers.  The team is also working on completing a CSU Beef Program Report to synthesize the research efforts being done for beef production on campus, at our research stations, and with Extension.  Our range programming is getting a revamp, too, with Extension Range Specialists Retta Breugger and Don Schoderbek leading an effort to update and deliver new range school curriculum and to launch a new range management website, which can be viewed at http://rangemanagement.extension.colostate.edu/

Information on other programming efforts will come out as program specifics are developed, but these events should go on calendars now:

  • L&R PRU Range Training and CCAA Retreat will be held in Routt County at Stagecoach State Park September 13-15. Registration and specific agenda will be coming out in the next couple of months.
  • The 2017 Stocker Summit is being held September 19th at CPER in Nunn.  Bringing together a diverse set of cattle producers, this will be a peer-to-peer learning event hosted by CSU, UW, and USDA-ARS.


Environmental Horticulture – Tony

The Colorado Master Gardener Program recently completed training for new apprentice volunteers, with 322 new volunteers being trained across the state. The first of 5 monthly live lunch and learn updates (CO-Horts Live!) was offered statewide in mid-May; these updates are recorded and then offered as continuing education opportunities for Master Gardeners who were unable to attend the live presentation. The Environmental Hort PRU will be meeting in Durango on June 7-8, in conjunction with the Four Corners Horticulture Meeting (June 8-10). Planning for content updates at Extension Forum will take place at this meeting.


NFSH – Jessica

The NFSH PRU held a two day spring workshop in April. Workshop components include best practices for maintaining and contributing to a newly developed Family and Consumer Science (FCS) blog (Live Smart Colorado), a food safety thermometer campaign, and a Mediterranean diet toolkit.  Participants received updated information on the Mediterranean diet and tips for following the lifestyle. They also took part in an olive oil tasting and a hummus making demonstration. Additionally, agents and specialists worked together to begin planning and designing a thermometer campaign, identifying key points and messages as well as images to include in campaign materials. During our blogging session, Jeff Woods walked our team through the best practices of blogging and Tony and Allison from the Horticulture PRU talked with us about their experiences with their CO-Horts Blog and passed on any tips they had.

Our PRU is also in the end stages of finalizing a PRU marketing video, that we plan to launch this fall. We look forward to sharing it with everyone.


Energy – Cary

  • We’ve released new Home Energy Guides and sent them to counties that requested them in our survey a few months ago. The guides star Average Jane and her dog Pepe, who walk you through different ways to improve your home’s energy performance with a series of engaging infographics. Contact Cary Weiner to order more, and partner organizations can purchase copies with their logos on the back.
  • Ten counties have received educational signs to hang in the lighting aisle of local retail stores. The signs help consumers learn about “how to buy a light bulb” at the point of purchase while promoting CSU Extension and Your Energy Colorado.
  • We’ve started a series of ‘Know Before You Go (Solar)’ workshops, which have been very well attended so far. Tim Aston has organized a couple of these workshops through Xcel Energy’s Partners in Energy program in Littleton and Englewood.
  • New ‘one-stop-shop’ energy kits have been delivered to Peaks & Plains counties that requested them in the energy survey, with kits being delivered to counties in our other regions later this spring and summer. The kits can be used by 4-H agents working with youth, as public demos at booths, and to continue the Home Energy Audit Loan (HEAL) program. Short videos show kit users how to use materials in the kit, and small instructional cards in the kits make them truly ‘grab N go’.
  • Cary Weiner, Brent Young, and Jenny Beiermann have received a USDA grant to conduct solar economic feasibility assessments at animal feeding operations in Colorado.4-H – Jean 


4-H – Jean 

The State 4-H Program had their annual meeting in April, in connection with the CAE4HA Professional Development Conference. 4-H staff used the 4-H Professional, Research, Knowledge and Competencies 2017 (4-H PRKC 2017) to perform a self-assessment and a State 4-H Program assessment. Outcomes will be used to develop specific strategies for individual and group professional development and organizational development. The competencies identified connect with the outcomes identified in the National 4-H Strategic Plan (4-H Youth Development: A 2025 Vision) and are being used to develop local strategies. Our focus is in the domains of Effective Organizational Systems, and Access, Equity and Opportunity. These tools support development of local program planning and delivery to the 114,000 youth and 11,000 volunteers enrolled in 4-H Youth Development programs.


Community Development – Gen for Greg & Annette

During our PRU Zoom meetings, we have had invited guests speaking on CD topics. At our 1/10/17 meeting, Western Rural Development (WRDC) Director, Don Albrecht gave a talk on resources and programs WRDC offers.  At our 3/28/17 meeting, retired Dolores County Extension Agent Dan Fernandez joined our meeting.  Dan talked to us about his experience with the Region 9 Economic Development district and other CD topics.  He also shared with us his recent China trip experience representing CSU-E and other land grant universities.

Looking ahead, the National Association of Community Development for Extension Professionals takes place in Big Sky, MT June 11-14.  Greg Felsen will be attending as a representative for CSU-E.


Natural Resources – Robin, Brian & Mark

The Natural Resource group is working on finalizing a few deliverables that will be available by annual forum. The first of those are two Apps one is educating Coloradoans on the invasive Emerald Ash Boers as the other is working on helping Coloradoans identify woody plants of the state.  Our teams are also hard at work informing our communities about rain barrel collection and what the law says about it. These classes will be offered around the regions this summer. Our last deliverable is a filed tree guide of the common native Colorado trees. This guide will be available at the resource center later this summer.

If you would like to be part of the work that is being done in Natural Resources please contact Robin Young Robin.young@colostate.edu or Brian Kailey brian.kailey@colostate.edu for more information.  We would also like to invite you to our work session at annual forum this year to learn more about us.


Cropping Systems

The Cropping Systems PRU is planning a professional development conference in late August of this year.  Location will be Burlington.  Available funding will be used to provide travel and lodging expenses for Colorado State University Agents and Specialists who will be attending.  In addition, plant science colleagues will be invited guests from Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Nebraska and the University of Wyoming.  These colleagues along with some Specialists will be assigned technical topics for presentations at this conference.  Certified Crop Advisor credits will also be offered for those professionals that need them.