Archive for category Work

It’s a Scary World Out There

Everyone connected in the world of Cooperative Extension knows the budget issues we are facing. We know that the government wants to take away a bigger portion of our funding (Smith-Lever) than anyone else’s, but not many of us know that agriculture and the work we do with farmers and youth programming, is keeping some State’s above water right now.

This morning, South Dakota State University College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences  announced they would be restructuring their Cooperative Extension System into regionally located centers. They will remove their University and Extension presence from each county in the State and move some Extension Educators to these new ‘centers’, creating a new job title of Extension Field Specialist.

On October 21 of this year, all jobs in South Dakota Extension will cease to exist as Extension Educators.  The new job title will mean a REQUIRED Master’s degree (at the minimum) and will shift responsibility of these positions to the academic departments for administration.

4-H advisors will be created so that 4-H programming, and State Fair activities will continue.  The Director of Extension position will be a joint position held by the Dean of the college, a associate director will be appointed from existing staff members.  Three district director positions will be eliminated.

The full article can be found here :

What worries me the most is how close this is to Nebraska and if it works out well….will we be far behind?


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Fall Conference

1:30am Wednesday morning, 1:30 Thursday morning, 2:30 am Friday morning….glad that Friday was the last day at Fall Conference…it might have been more amazing! I love the time spent in the hospitality room!

I think this year fall conference for me went better.  I don’t feel as confused or overwhelmed with things to do or to think about.   Some things didn’t go better, some went worse, but overall, it was a good time.   I think that staying by myself helped give me some alone time (although I wasn’t in my room much) and made me more alert and not so overwhelmed.

I have many more ideas of things I need to do, people I need to get involved in those things and really an idea of how to do some of those things. Last year I was just so overwhelmed by meeting so many new people, trying to figure out how to write my goals, and what I needed to do to get there.

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Fall Conference

Off to Fall Conference this morning….be back on Friday!


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Positive Youth Development

Tuffs University recently released a report which included data from 18 land grant universities, including the University of Nebraska.  This report focused on the first five waves of research in the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development. Many early researchers in the field of adolescents based their theories and observations of the assumption that youth are inherently ‘at risk’, were ‘broken’ and needed to be ‘fixed’.  Because of this premise, that is a largely what they saw.

Some features of Positive Youth Development (PYD) include traits known to researchers as the 5 C’s.  These C’s include competence, confidence, connection, character and caring/compassion.

  • Competence – a positive view of one’s actions in specific areas of life.  These areas include social, academic, cognitive, health and vocational.
    • Social competence refers to interpersonal skills,
    • Cognitive competence refers to cognitive abilities or decision making,
    • Academic competence refers to school performance as shown in part by grades, attendance and test scores,
    • Health competence includes using nutrition, exercise and rest to keep oneself fit,
    • Vocational competence includes work habits and exploration of career choices.
  • Confidence – an internal sense of overall positive self-worth and self-efficacy.
  • Connection – having positive bonds with people and institutions that are reflected in exchanges between the individual and his or her peers, family, school and community in which both parties contribute to the relationship.
  • Character – respect for societal and cultural norms, possession of standards for correct behaviors, a sense of right and wrong, and integrity.

A 6th C exists but can only be obtained when the other 5 have been or are being met. The 6th C encompasses contributions to self, family, community and the institutions of a civil society.

The relationship between PYD and risk behaviors is not perfectly simple or uniform.  Because youth each have a unique background also aiding in their development, not all those who are from environments full of resources and support stay away from the many troubles of life.  Studies have indicated that there is a link between PYD and programs that go beyond simple extracurricular activities and actually focus on promoting youth development.  Creating a program which effectively serves the youth population with programming and activities holds three traits.  Those traits include positive and sustained relationships between youth and adults (youth/adult partnerships), activities that build on important life skills and opportunities for children to use these life skills as both participants and as leaders in valued community activities.

This is only a small introduction to the Tuff’s report and we will continue to explore it over the next few months.  But ask yourself this… If fostering the 5 C’s is the only way the 6th C, ever occurs, what are we currently doing or not doing to foster the growth of those 5 traits in our youth today?

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Thursday Update

So Thursday is over….wow…what a difference an hour of sleep makes! I’m glad I stayed with Alyssa’s mom and dad last night…I’m staying again tonight….

We only had a small hiccup during the swine show, one which could have been avoided, but we took care of it…its good to have the support of the Fairboard in my decision making….

We’ll see how the beef show goes tomorrow…I’m assuming that is going to be the show which gives me trouble, if any of them….after the beef show…shows are DONE!


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Butler County Fair 2009…Wednesday Update…

Well today went well, or at least I think it did…all of the judges showed up this morning, and while we had a few questions, everything went well.  Last night I was here until 11:45…in a fairboard meeting…that could have been over in an hour…but whatever.  Got 5 hours of sleep…I think I should have found a place to stay the rest of the week, but I am staying with Alyssa’s parent’s tomorrow night and on Friday night….Saturday I’m going to go back to Lincoln and pick up Lil’ Green from the office…we are having him out at the Fair on Sunday.  Monday will be a tough day to get through…final check out of exhibits, and picking up everything and take things back to the office….I am taking Tuesday of next week off… sleep…

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Monmouth College


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