I can hardly believe that two months have already passed, and I have experienced so much already. Last weekend was my first Breakfast on the Farm, and it was a great experience for Dick and me. It was very well-organized by our staff and 200 volunteers. Around 2,000 other participants and I enjoyed breakfast and a beautiful educational day at DeGrins Oer Dairy near Blanchard.
At this point, Ray Hammerschmidt and I have met with every department chair and have received input on how we can strengthen relationships between Extension and the departments where we have investments and between specialists and staff. We want to have high-functioning work teams with strong working relationships and involvement with campus and field partners; quick engagement with department chairs was a priority for us.
A true highlight has been visiting the District Extension Advisory Councils. I have visited four of the councils so far. I love interfacing with our constituents and hearing their ideas/priorities for programs. My goal is to strengthen the leadership in these councils so that they could lead an issue identification process for us that would set the priorities for the direction of Extension programs in the state.
I have been out to some of your programs – but not enough yet! I love doing that! Seems there are just not enough hours in the day. In addition to Breakfast on the Farm, I was able to get to Chatham for their field day, I saw the Summer Day Camp program up close and personal at Tollgate, I experienced the rain simulator at the Lake City Experiment Station (fascinating!) and just last evening, I attended the MSU Extension Evening in the 4-H Children’s Garden. I hope to get out to more programs before my six months are complete, but I do need to tend to the administrative duties too!
I want to say thank you for making me feel so welcome in coming back. I am really enjoying the interactions and return visit to MSU Extension!