Larimer County Extension Advisory Committee

September 2, 2009

 

The meeting was held in the Extension Office meeting room in Fort Collins.  Those present were Suzanne Jarboe-Simpson, Ralph Bender, Valerie Clark, Pam Harrold, Marsha Dooley, Trena Anastasia, Dixie Dick, Jesse Mae Hendrickson, Kristina Meyers, Mel Hilgenberg, David Lee, Sonia Koetting, guest Rob Knebl, Extension Director Laurel Kubin, Agriculture Agent Karen Crumbaker, 4-H / Youth Agents Kathy Wolfe  & Wendy Woerner, and Fred McClanahan, Jr.

 

The meeting was called to order at 8:05 a.m.  Introductions were made.  Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.  New members were welcomed and outgoing members were recognized and thanked.

 

Agent Reports

 

Wendy Woerner, 4-H / Youth agent reported on highlights of 2009:

 

MQA Mobile Experiential Learning Laboratory

  • Multi-county effort
  • Three years ago – lecture format
  • Now - - Audio/visual, hands-on and interactive communication
  • Learning modules – 13
  • Created a mobile, standardized educational program for multiple county use
  • Topics: Animal welfare, food safety, consumer protection, ethics

-  Digital picture frames

-  Life-size livestock models

-  Real-life livestock scenarios

  • Over 1,000 Colorado 4-H youth have participated thus far

 

Youth Livestock Field Day

  • Multi county effort
  • Free to 4-H youth – 450 youth
  • Full day- Educational programs geared to kids
  • Trained 300 on MQA/PQA
  • Three general sessions: Livestock Ethics, Animal Health, Responsibility to Meat Consumers
  • Thirteen additional: Nutrition, Biosecurity, Showmanship, Health, Selection, Record Book, and others
  • Planning 2nd annual for March, 2010
  • Adding ½ day of live animal demonstrations

 

The Terrific Trek: The Journey of my FIRST year in 4-H

  • Goal: Increase retention of first year 4-H members
  • Small booklet in Q&A format
  • Covers all the questions 1st year kids ask
  • Will distribute to all first year 4-Hers
  • ~$2.00/booklet
  • Still in draft stage; Roll out Oct. 1st

 

Other

  • Meat Judging Team
  • Achievement Night
  • Survey Monkey

 

 

Kathy Wolfe, 4-H / Youth agent reported on highlights of 2009:

 

Fiber Fun Fest – February 28

  • Workshops – 22 with 270 participants
  • Community Service – 29 fleece blankets made and donated Project Linus
  • Vendors – 25 non-profits and businesses
  • Kids Activities – spinning, weaving, sewing tote bags, bookmarks, knitting, yarn octopus
  • Door Prizes
  • Donations Received in excess of $5,000
  • On a scale of 1-5,  4.65 overall rating by attendees

 

4-H Science Discovery – June and July – CEY/CORE

  • Aerospace - Rockets
  • Chemistry - Experiments
  • Microbiology – Science of making ice cream
  • Astronomy – View through a solar telescope
  • “On behalf of our students, families, and staff, I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful program you provided our students this past summer.  From the feedback and comments that we have received from our children, Thursday was a day that they looked forward to each week.  We know that they enjoyed this special opportunity of exploring and experimenting different kinds of things without realizing that they were learning about science.”  Marilyn Thayer, Director, Community Organizing to Reach Empowerment Center

 

Estes Park After-School Grant - $2,320

  • Estes Park Public Library and Estes Park School District
  • Aerospace, Robotics, Theatre Arts, Science Discovery, Astronomy
  • 75 youth participating

 

Other

  • New club in Estes Park
  • End of CEY Grant

 

 

Extension Regionalization

 

Committee members received a copy of Extension's Regionalization talking points that answered common questions about regionalization.

 

  • Counties working together would be Larimer, Boulder, Weld and Adams.
  • Not a lot of travel involved.
  • How can CSU and counties best serve their Extension missions?

 

Comments from Committee Members:

 

  • We're concerned that service to other counties will dilute services to our county.
  • We have a very high quality Extension program in Larimer County. We want to maintain it.
  • Larimer County needs to increase Extension’s budget.
  • It seems like this could increase the administrative oversight, thus reducing direct education.
  • Our commissioners should encourage their commissioner colleagues to step up their support of Extension, too.
  • This is an uncomfortable change.
  • Will our Commissioners eventually decrease funding for our Extension program because our programs become diluted?
  • Weld County seems to be backing away from the table, except for support for 4-H.

 

Director's Report

 

  • County Budget

o  Extension's county budget is being decreased for 2010.

o  Extension does not rank highly enough on county prioritization list.

o  Increased costs with decreased income

o  No increase to CSU employee salaries in 2009

o  No increase in County employee salaries in 2010.

o  Budget reduction caused Kathy Wolfe's salary to go to 80% time starting January, 2010.

o  Possible furlough to entire front office staff was considered but it would affect entire office.

o  Cuts have been made in operating costs, office supplies, travel, phones and computers.

o  Future years could be even tighter.

 

  • Success of County Fair and Fair Budget
    • Attendance doubled from previous year
    • Overall the 2009 County Fair went very well.
    • Budget was cut 10% in 2009
    • An additional 10% cut will take place in 2010

           

  • Personnel Changes

o  Due to personal family and business obligations, LuAnn Goodyear has resigned as 4-H Horse Program Coordinator.  We anticipate having a new coordinator hired by January 2010.

o  Karen Crumbaker is the new Agriculture / Natural Resources Agent.

 

  • Flu Pandemic

The Health Department encourages everyone to become aware of basic precautions to prevent the spread of flu this year.  Be informed, be prepared and make a plan. Wash your hands frequently.

 

Trends and Issues

  • Fort Collins and Loveland are faring better than national average in unemployment claims.  Unemployed individuals are thankful for the reduced extended benefits to help them out.
  • Bee Family Farm, Hover Family Farm and Timber Lane Farm are great venues to visit for staycations.
  • County Fair attendance may have been up due to people staying closer to home this summer.
  • There are three openings for youth members on the Extension Advisory Committee if you know someone.
  • People are sitting on cash as they are fearful of what the future economy holds.
  • Even when the economy rebounds, people will be more hesitant to incur debt.

 

Extension Showcase

Extension Showcase will be December 4 at The Ranch.  Committee members chose legislators and key officials they will contact to "save the date."

 

The meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.

 ---

Next meeting will be Wednesday, November 4, 2009 in the meeting room of the Larimer County Extension Office.

 

                                                                                    Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                    Fred McClanahan, Jr.