Tag Archives: fall conference

FEC 2015: You spoke, we listened

Mark your calendars for Fall Extension Conference (FEC) 2015. This year’s event takes place at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on the Michigan State University campus Oct. 13-14.

The conference really kicks off on Monday, Oct. 12, with pre-conference sessions. We have two full days of sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Awards Banquet runs Tuesday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The banquet helps us acknowledge and thank our Key Partners and our Friends of Extension that allow us to be successful across the state. We’ll also honor our colleagues for a variety of awards. One post-conference session takes place Thursday, Oct. 15.

Betty Blase chairs our FEC planning committee, a large group of 16 members, representative of all of our staff across the state. We’ve designed this year’s conference with staff in mind. We listened to what you wanted from a conference and we’ve delivered. FEC 2015 focuses on two core competencies: program planning and reporting, and educational and information technology. You’ll learn more about MSU resources and you’ll connect to MSU faculty. We’ll have attendees up and moving with 11 tours and 58 sessions. We even have an FEC 2015 mobile app.

Tuesday’s keynote speaker is Walt Drenth, director of MSU cross country and track and field, who led the 2014 women’s team to a national championship. Wednesday’s keynote is June Youatt, MSU provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Youatt has a history with Extension both professionally and personally.

Registration will be open by Wednesday, Aug. 26. You must register by Oct. 4.

Visit the FEC website (http://fec.msue.msu.edu/) to register, to find a schedule and a listing of discounted accommodations.

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Building a colorful future

Back at the 2014 Fall Extension Conference, Margaret Bethel, Patrick Cudney and I laid out plans to improve our organizational culture in Michigan State University Extension. We received the results of the Denison Model, saw where there were weaknesses and asked you all where you thought improvements could be made. Using all of that information, the entire administrative team determined our recommendations for what we should do in the next year to try to reach those goals and add more color to our wheel.

We have already started many of the initiatives we set out to, and some are still in the planning phases. In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions and creating smart goals, I thought it would be wise for us to revisit the goals we set at Fall Extension Conference, and see how far we’ve come. I will continue to update this page as we move forward with these initiatives, to help us all keep track of our progress.

Planning Processes

  • An action team is forming to address the issue identification process.

Reporting Processes

  • We won’t scrap the reporting system but will continue to work on simplifying and improving it.

Teams

Program Planning

Campus-Field Interaction

  • Specialists with significant assignments with Extension will be expected to be involved on a team.
  • Administration and IDs will continue to visit with faculty and department chairs on engagement opportunities.

Districts

  • We will be adding District 14, and counties that are impacted by the change have received communications about the district realignment.
  • District coordinator position for District 14 – The position has been posted and closes Jan. 11.
  • Internship program for district coordinators – The application information was sent out on Jan. 6; applications are due Jan. 19.
  • An action team has been formed to develop MSU Extension strategic connections and communications plans. We received a strong response following fall conference, and the committee convenes for their first working meeting on Feb. 6. Learn about some of the resources we already have to support your strategic communications.

Institutes

Performance Evaluation

  • An action team is being formed to look at issues of accountability and effective strategies for providing team feedback on individual performance reviews.

The action teams listed above had a huge turnout rate, and the chairs of those teams are already starting to get their teams together to come up with solutions to these important issues. We will continue to update you all on the progress we are making during the next year, and hope that you will continue to be involved in building a more colorful future. Happy New Year!

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Fall Extension Conference is next week!

I just wanted to remind you all that the Michigan State University Extension Fall Extension Conference is coming up next week, Nov. 5-6 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Michigan. We have now rolled into late/onsite registration (which started on Oct. 25) that will cost $200 for both days or $100 for a single day if you have not registered already. You can find more information on the Fall Extension Conference website. If you need to make any changes after registration, email Mary Slevin at mcguir63@anr.msu.edu.

In addition to the great opportunities for professional development we have lined up, FEC is a great time for us all to come together and celebrate what makes us an amazing organization and brainstorm how we can continue to build upon our success. We will be discussing the results of the listening sessions that we have conducted across the state over the past few months, and exploring ways in which we can implement some of the great ideas that came from it. It’s an exciting time to be a part of MSU Extension, and I look forward to seeing you all at Fall Extension Conference this year!

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Don’t forget to register for Fall Extension Conference!

I just wanted to remind you all that the Michigan State Unviersity Extension Fall Extension Conference is coming up Nov. 5-6 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Registration is $100 for the entire conference or $50 for a single day, including the MSU Extension and Key Partner Awards Dinner Banquet. (Late/onsite registration after Oct. 24 will be $200 for both days or $100 for a single day.) Registration is now open. You can find more information on the Fall Extension Conference website. If you need to make any changes after registration, email Mary Slevin at mcguir63@anr.msu.edu.

The theme for this year’s event is “The Extension Organization in the 21st Century and Beyond ‒ Systems, Structures and Working Relationships.” I’m very excited about our speakers who will be adding to this theme: Dr. Keith Smith of the Ohio State University will present “Extension Now and Into the Future,” and Dr. Mary Emory of South Dakota State University will present “Extension Work in Communities From a 21st Century Perspective.”

Also, keep in mind that Nov. 4 is Election Day, so if you will be out of town for the conference, you can request an absentee ballot online.

I look forward to seeing you all at Fall Extension Conference this year!

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Results unveiled for organizational culture assessment

Last week, I attended the North Central Cooperative Extension Association (NCCEA) Conference in Fargo, North Dakota. A highlight of the conference was the unveiling of the results of the 2014 Extension North Central Regional Organizational Culture Assessment led by the Ohio State University. Michigan State University Extension participated in completing survey forms last July, and I am proud to report that we had a 47 percent response rate to the questionnaire. If you recall from this Monday’s webinar, Dr. Keith Smith, director of Ohio State Extension, will come and give a report on Michigan’s individualized assessment at Fall Extension Conference. I am really looking forward to sharing that with all of you.

Denison Consulting is the group that worked with the Ohio State University to do the survey. They define organizational culture as “… a collection of shared beliefs, values, meanings, and behaviors that a group has adopted over time; as a way to survive and succeed.” Or simply put: “the way things are done around here”.

I believe that with this report and our listening posts now being conducted, we will identify clear focus areas we can work on for making improvements in our organization. That work will require the efforts of all of us to make MSU Extension the best organization it can be.

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New offerings abound at Fall Extension Conference

It may seem far away in the future, but November is right around the corner, so planning for the Michigan State University Extension Fall Extension Conference (FEC) is well under way. This year’s event will take place November 5-6 at theFEC Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Registration is $100 for the entire conference or $50 for a single day, including the MSU Extension and Key Partner Awards Dinner Banquet. Registration will open tomorrow, so keep an eye out for announcements from the Events Management team or look for additional information on the Fall Extension Conference website.

The theme of FEC this year is “The Extension Organization in the 21st Century and Beyond ‒ Systems, Structures and Working Relationships.” Ever since I have come back into my role as director of MSU Extension, I have been impressed with how much our organization has embraced new and upcoming resources to help us do our work, and the presenters that we have chosen to speak will help point out even more ways we can continue on with that momentum.

With the departure of Nancy Axtell, Julie Chapin, MSU Extension Children and Youth Institute director, has been working very closely with Mary Slevin of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Event Services to help put together the program. This year, ANR Event Services Headquarters and refreshments will be located in the Kellogg Center’s Lounge rather than in the hallway. The Michigan Council of Extension Associations (MCEA) Auction, ANR Tech Room (to answer your questions about technology and social media), Ask an Expert and more will be located in the Centennial Room.

Lodging is available at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. A discounted room rate of $81 per night will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. For reservations, book online at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center website, and when searching for rooms select, “Click Here for Special Rates”, and enter group code EXT101414. You can also call 517-432-4000, and mention the group code EXT101414 to get your discounted rate.

If you have any questions, you can direct them to ANR Event Services at events@anr.msu.edu or 517-353-3175, or you can follow Fall Extension Conference on Facebook to stay connected.

Watch for registration information to come out this Friday!

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Congratulations to our award recipients

This week, Fall Extension Conference took place at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. Many of our Michigan State University Extension employees and partners were recognized this week at the conference for outstanding work and service. These people honor the mission of Extension by helping people improve their lives by equipping Michigan residents with information they need to do their jobs better, raise healthy and safe families, build their communities and empower our children. Here’s your chance to congratulate them if you were not able to do so in person. Click on the Fall Extension Conference award winner recognition pages at http://fec.msue.msu.edu/fec/awards. Click on the award winners’ names, scroll down and leave a congratulations or thank-you to these worthy recipients.

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Please complete this Fall Extension Conference survey

Thanks to those of you who took the time out from your important work to attend the 2013 Fall Extension Conference. I’m asking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes of your time to complete a survey that contains questions about your overall conference experience. You’ll find specific questions related to the conference content and objectives.

Of course, the survey is optional and results are confidential and are not tied to your name.

Help us to continue improving your conference experience in future years. We take your honest and constructive feedback seriously.

Click on the following link to take the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FallExtensionConference2013

Thank you for your time!

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SERV deadline is nearly upon us

It’s great to see the proposals that have been submitted to date for our upcoming Sharing Extension Resources Virtually (SERV) conference, but the clock hasn’t hit zero yet. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 25 and I encourage anyone who has been on the fence or thinks they have a great idea to take the plunge and submit a Request for Proposal.

There have been at least 20 proposals submitted for the various sessions and it is going to be a great learning opportunity for everyone — me included.

SERV is a series of professional development sessions conducted online. The first SERV date is March 18 and will be followed by other SERV sessions on June 17 and Sept. 23. All run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is our way of taking the online experience we’ve developed at Fall Extension Conference and extending it throughout the year.

The SERV sessions fall under three categories:

  • Ignite: 5-minute presentation with 20 PowerPoint slides or fewer
  • Lightning Round: 25-minute session with at least 10 minutes of interaction and discussion
  • Traditional Interactive: 50-minute session with at least 15 minutes of interaction and discussion

You may have a particular professional development need you’d like a colleague to cover in SERV. Please share this information with that person – even if they are an Extension employee from another state or someone outside of Extension. We can tap into a wealth of resources to assist us in doing our jobs more effectively.

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Fall Extension Conference 2012 – Thanks!

Another Fall Extension Conference has come and gone, and I want to send my thanks out to all who helped make it a valuable and productive experience. I’m always overwhelmed by FEC as it approaches, worried not so much about how things will work – we have great colleagues who worry about that for us and their worry produces a well-run and cost-efficient conference – but more about how to make the most of this opportunity. In my comments on Monday and Tuesday, I tried to convey how grateful I am for the work this organization does and the people who work so hard to make it successful. I’m never satisfied that I’ve fully expressed how much this organization means to me and to Michigan. You are awesome, and I take great pleasure in each day that I get to work with you to help people improve their lives. You teach me a great deal. I hope you found the conference to be as nourishing (not only in food) as I did. And I thank you for being part of it.

The organizing team – Betsy Braid, Megghan Honke and Doug Brahee as co-chairs, and Julie Chapin, Dawn Contreras, Dave Ivan and Wendy Powers as steering committee members deserve many thanks and credit for making this as productive and meaningful as it was. I would also like to offer a special thanks to George Silva and Marilyn Thelen for helping develop the cross-institute session.

Watch your inbox for a survey to provide feedback on FEC 2012.

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