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Extension Update – March 24, 2017   arrow

On behalf of PLT:

CPRS output definitions – Jan Carroll

The output definitions for our planning and reporting system (CPRS) are updated.  Please review the attached four pages so as you begin to report 2017 educational activities, your data easily can be compiled for reports.  The definitions are also posted on line at Cary Weiner and I will host a Zoom meeting to answer questions on the definitions, and Darrin Goodman will be on the call for technical reporting questions. The Zoom meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 14 at 2:00 pm

PLT – Jan Carroll & Bill Nobles

The next PLT meeting is Tuesday, May 23, on campus.  Please be in touch with PRU leaders with any agenda items.

Extension Brand Refresh – Joanne Littlefield

We are in the midst of a brand refresh for Extension, with the goal of developing materials that will align all parts of the Extension family with the new Colorado State University brand and graphic standards ( (A process that the colleges underwent last year.)

Part of this process will include a visual communication audit of all of our materials, so that a greater understanding of the various partnerships and programs in which Extension is involved. This will give the CSU External Relations design team the full scope of the project as they move forward with design approaches. The approaches will take into consideration educational programs, sub-brands, counties, region, areas, and colleges, etc.

There is a small working group from Extension assisting with this effort. Materials will be developed over the summer and presented at Forum in late October.

Until the new materials are created, we ask that you please use the new Extension logo (with the Ram’s head and the words Colorado State University Extension and no swoosh) available at We also ask that you be patient as we go through this process.

Please feel free to contact me with any suggestions you might have.

Performance Appraisal Document – Best Practices

A couple staff have reported problems using and saving the PAS document.

In the interim, here are some important guidelines to remember:

  • Download the file and then “save as” under a new file name to your desktop.
    • Keeping the renamed file on your desktop will provide you quick and easy access as you continue to work on it.
    • How the file downloads, opens, and saves depends on how your browser and computer are set up.
      • Adobe Acrobat Reader may not be the default PDF reader.
        • A fail proof way is to open Acrobat first, then open your renamed file from the Acrobat menu options.
      • The download may save to a mystery location. This may cause it to look like the file is lost.
        • Did you save to your desktop? Is the renamed file on your desktop?
          • If yes, open Acrobat then open your renamed file from Acrobat menu options.
          • If no, repeat Step 1 and be sure to designate your desktop as the location you want the file saved to.
        • Before you start filling out the document (renamed file that is saved to your desktop), do a small test run.
          • Enter data only in the first field then save and close the file.
          • Reopen the file and see if your test run was successful. Is the data still there after you closed and re-opened the file?
            • If yes, then you are on the road to successfully completing the remainder of the document.
            • If no, confirm that you are using Acrobat.
              • If you are using Acrobat but your changes are not saved, call Sonjia.
            • The PAS document will work in Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Pro, and Adobe DC. It will not work well with Preview (macOS) or Edge, so please stay with Acrobat.

If you are using Windows 10, your default PDF reader is likely Microsoft Edge. In order for the new performance appraisal document to function properly, we recommend setting Adobe as your default PDF reader. Visit for complete instructions including screen shots or follow the directions below.

Change the Default by Using Settings (easiest method)

  1. Click Windows button
  2. Click settings > system > default apps > choose default apps by file type. You will need to scroll to “.pdf”
  3. Click on “Default app” column icon located next to the “.pdf” entry
  4. A pop-up will appear. From this window, click Adobe Acrobat to select. You may need to scroll down to view this option.

Change the Default by Using Default Programs in Control Panel

  1. Open Control Panel (icon view) and select “Default Programs”. Click the link labeled “Associate a file type or protocol with a program”, and wait for a few seconds for all file types to load.
  2. Scroll down the list to see “.PDF” entry. Click on “.PDF” entry, then click the “Change program” button. A pop-up will appear that should let you choose Adobe Pro or Reader from the list. Click Adobe Pro or Reader from this window.

Change the Default by Using Open Within File Explorer

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to a folder containing your PDF file. Right-click on a file and choose “Open with”
  2. You might see Adobe Pro or Reader listed as an option. If so, click on either option. If you do not see Adobe Pro or Reader, click on “Choose another app”
  3. A pop-up should appear. From this window, choose the Adobe Pro or Reader. Select the “Always use this app” link to make Adobe your default PDF reader.

If none of these options work, please contact Jan Behunek or Tyler Rayburn at (970) 491-3913 for assistance. If you have questions about using the performance appraisal document, call Sonjia Graham at (970) 491-2806.

Planning & Reporting Unit Updates

Community Development – Greg Felsen

We will be working with the Food Systems PRU on a combined meeting for early June.  Next week we will have a work team video conference call. Dan Fernandez will be joining us to share his experiences in and out of Extension in regards to Community and Economic Development.

Energy – Cary Weiner

The Energy PRU has rebranded all of our energy programming to align with our new website, all now called Your Energy Colorado (logo below).

We were also excited to announce the release of a long-awaited online solar calculator. We’ve been humming along with new 4-H curricula, educational signs for retail stores, a kit revamping initiative, upcoming webinars, and more. Contact Cary Weiner with questions or to get involved.

Environmental Horticulture – Alison O’Connor

Colorado Master Gardener and Colorado Gardener Certificate training is coming to an end in the next few weeks. A total of 320 apprentices and certificate students trained in 24 counties in 2017.

Horticulture agents, coordinators, specialists and staff have been bombarded with questions from the public due to the mid-winter warm-up that most of Colorado experienced. We saw an early start to trees and shrubs leafing out and early weed growth. One concern is the potential for blossom damage on fruit trees on the Western Slope.

Mark your calendars for the 2017 CSU Horticulture Short Course: Thursday, July 6 at the CSU Annual Trial Gardens and Center for the Performing Arts (1401 Remington Street, Fort Collins). This event is for green industry personnel and Master Gardener volunteers.

The Horticulture Agents meeting will be June 7-8 in Durango, preceding the Durango Horticulture Workshop June 8-10. The Hort PRU was awarded $3500 (including an additional $1000 from CJ Mucklow) to support this meeting. Details are being coordinated by Darrin Parmenter.

Finally, a collaboration with the Natural Resources and Water Re-Use group will provide several rain barrel kits for demonstrations throughout the state. More details to come!

Livestock & Range – Chris Shelley

The Livestock and Range PRU is planning to host a rangeland training on September 13-15, 2017 in Steamboat Springs, CO.  This training opportunity for agents and faculty, and possibly other agencies, is unique in that it will take place on private property, making it easier to educate on long-term range management systems.  This type of training specifically addresses sustainable and resilient range management and livestock production systems.

During forum 2016, five committees were formed to focus our programmatic efforts for 2017.  The committees are drought, invasive species, rangelands, next generation of ranching/legacy planning and beef production.  Fifty-five members of the Livestock and Range PRU volunteered to help drive and innovate programming in these areas.

The Rangelands team has begun establishing a Colorado rangeland interagency technical team.  A consortium of Extension, CSU Campus (WCNR and An Sci), the Forest Service, USDA Ag Research Service & Natural Resource Conservation Service, Bureau of Land Management, the Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Independent Cattlemen Association, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have all been invited to collaborate with this effort.  They plan to begin reviewing materials to revive the non-credit range school that once was taught in Colorado.

The agents and specialists in the Next Generation of Ranching committee have already collaborated on over 13 trainings and meetings in 2017 reaching more than 286 farmers and ranchers.

Much of Colorado is experiencing abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions (drought monitor).  Our drought team has scheduled a conference call to discuss the implications and our programmatic efforts.

The Beef team has several programmatic efforts they are deliberating contingent upon a statewide needs assessment.  A survey has been sent out to thousands of ranchers throughout Colorado from our new Beef Extension Specialist Ryan Rhoades, who anticipates the results over the next several months.

Nutrition, Food Safety & Health – Jessica Clifford

The Nutrition Food Safety and Health (NFSH) PRU will be hosting a spring workshop April 4 and 5. 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.

The NFSH PRU in partnership with the Family and Financial Stability PRU has launched its Family and Consumer Science Blog, Live Smart Colorado! Follow our blog here:

The NE Colorado FCS agents have 216 participants in the 2017 A Healthier Weigh 12-week Health and Fitness Challenge. The challenge will finish around April 1st.  Some data below:

County Teams Individuals Total
Sedgwick 0 0 0
Phillips 15 12 72
Logan 4 9 25
Yuma 4 18 34
Kit Carson 1 4
Morgan 8 1 33
Washington 12 2 48
County Males Females Total
Sedgwick 0 0 0
Phillips 13 59 72
Logan 8 17 25
Yuma 12 22 34
Kit Carson 0 4 4
Morgan 11 22 33
Washington 4 44 48
TOTAL 48 168 216
County White Hispanic Black Total
Sedgwick 0 0 0 0
Phillips 66 6 0 72
Logan 24 1 0 25
Yuma 30 4 0 34
Kit Carson 3 1 0 4
Morgan 30 3 0 33
Washington 44 4 0 48
TOTAL 197 19 0 216


In addition, in January, Gisele Jefferson in Washington County hosted a luncheon program on the MIND Diet for 27 participants.

Sheila Gains and Anne Zander in Arapahoe and Boulder Counties have wrapped up their Preserve at Home Classes, taking place January 17 – March 16. Additionally, they completed six Cottage Food Safety Trainings so far this year. Sheila represented Extension at the Family Winter Wellness Fair in Aurora providing educational resources.