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Extension Updates – March 6, 2015   arrow

To assure that all of you are kept up to date on a regular basis, the three regional directors and the state Extension Administration Office provides bi-weekly Extension Updates. This forum is for all Extension announcements, so if you have something to distribute, please forward it to Lori Bates with FOR EXTENSION UPDATE noted.


March 6, 2015

On Behalf of JoAnn Powell:

Greetings all:

There is a lot going on. Here are some reminders to start with:

  • March 6: AmeriCorps Letters of County Support and Primary Partners Letters due to the team.
  • March 15: Supervisor approval of individual plans to invest to be completed.
  • March 26 @ 1:30 p.m.: Fair Treatment Webinar presented by Jean Glowacki. A must for all who work with volunteers and those who supervise staff with volunteers.
  • April 27 & 28: Front Range Spring Meeting, Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch just west of Loveland.
  • May 15: Last day to submit annual conflict of interest forms for review.
  • November 9-13: Annual Forum.

The AmeriCorps team (Annette, Claire, Jeff, Jessi, Sonjia, and JoAnn) is readying a grant application requesting 14 AmeriCorps members to assist 4-H programs statewide in delivering out-of school STEM education. Members are selected locally, and work with agents and partners to implement programs that are of interest and value to the community. We are requesting are a combination of full-time (1700 hour of service) and part-time (900 hours) AmeriCorps members who will be trained to deliver 4-H STEM education to youth in low income areas. Our goal—positively impact high school graduation rates. Cost to counties is approximately $4.50/hour, excluding health insurance for any full-time member that is uninsured. Benefits to the members, communities, and counties involved are many. We anticipate opportunities for additional counties to OPT-in up to and through the grant due date of March 25. Please visit with one of the team members if your county would like to be considered for this opportunity.

Performance Appraisals are well underway. All county staff, along with county liaisons and advisory board chairs, have or will have the opportunity to provide input for their county directors this year. You will receive the invitation to participate via e-mail. It will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and provides you the opportunity to rate various professional, communication and programming skills as well as provide comments. Including your name is optional. Qualtrics will combine your inputs and comments with those of others into a report that is shared with your director.

Farewell

Nicole Wright who joined Extension as Larimer County’s 4-H youth development agent in October of 2014 is leaving her position effective March 6. Nicole indicates she will be moving out-of-state. Thank you, Nicole. We wish you and your family all the best.

Hello

Emily Killeen will be joining us as the new 4-H youth development agent in El Paso County. Her start date is set for April 20. Emily comes with a variety of 4-H experiences from member, to support staff and county fair coordinator, to 4-H coordinator (agent) in Thurston County Washington. She has spent the last several years incorporating youth outreach and education into her position as a community affairs specialist for the Maricopa County Arizona Attorney’s office. Her family also has strong ties to the military.

The Denver Horticulture position has been filled and in the next couple of weeks we hope to share with you who the new agent is. We are providing this person with a couple extra weeks of anonymity so they can inform their current employer. The search committee is excited to have this person join us. Anticipated start date is April 22.

And the Oscar Goes to…

Thank you Darrin Parmenter (La Plata) and Patti O’Neal (Jefferson) for agreeing to star in March CSU Alumni Association webinars. Darrin will be presenting “Vegetable Seed and Variety Selection” on March 11 and Patti will present “The Top 10 Best Management Practices for Starting Your First Vegetable Garden” on March 24. For more information to promote or register for these programs, go to the upcoming events section of the Alumni website at http://alumni.colostate.edu/.

The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association hosted their first annual conference February 25 with over 255 ag industry professionals attending. There was great content and plenty of opportunity for networking. Producers were able to connect with buyers such as Douglas and Greeley-Evans school districts, MadGreens, King Soopers, Sysco, Whole Foods, LoCo Food Distribution, and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage. Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association first conference A huge thanks to the planning committee: Adrian Card, Mike Bartolo, Martha Sullins, Aaron Perry, Steve Cochenour, Bruce Talbott, Amy Kunugi, and Robert Sakata.

Our Lands to Your Hands – February 25 & 26

In this two day event, over 1,400 kids from St. Vrain Valley School District in Boulder County were able to see farm and ranch displays, demonstrations, exhibits, and animals. They also had the opportunity to sit in large tractors. Local farmers and ranchers shared their experiences to help kids better understand how their food is grown and harvested. Hosted by Natural Resource Conservation Service, Boulder Valley and Longmont Conservation Districts, CSU Extension Boulder County, Farm Service Agency, Boulder County Parks and Open Space, and Farmers Alliance for Integrated Resources (FAIR). Colorado Energy Masters

Colorado Energy Master – February 28

Arapahoe County Extension was pleased to host the well-regarded and popular Colorado Energy Masters program in their county! Twenty individuals (the largest county registration pool this year) are collaborating on pressing energy issues in Colorado. Colorado Energy Masters Topics include energy policy, climate change, fossil fuels, and renewable electricity. Cary Weiner leads this effort from campus; Tim Aston, Arapahoe County Extension director, is facilitating. Emily Spada, program assistant, is providing valuable support.

Beef Cattle Seminar in Weld County – February 21

Weld County Extension partnered with Colorado State University and the Weld County Livestock Association to provide educational programming to adult cattle producers and 4-H families in Weld and surrounding counties to improve their knowledge base. Beef Cattle Seminar This seminar is generally held twice a year (February & November). Experienced local vendors are invited to help solve current issues producers may be experiencing; and relationships are built in the process. 50 pre-registered in February. Sponsors include 4Rivers Equipment and Zoetis Animal Health.

Front Range FCS Agents Team Up to Offer Cottage Foods Trainings

Family and consumer science agents all along the Front Range have teamed up to offer cottage foods training in Aurora, Denver, Golden, and Longmont, successfully training over 200 so far. The training covers basic food safety and operating a food business from a home kitchen. Cottage Foods Training Participants also learn what foods are permissible and how to meet the ingredient labeling requirements of the Cottage Foods Act. Those who complete the training and pass a test receive a 3 year certification. More trainings to come.