June 1, 2007 Section 1. Introduction and Accomplishments: The UW Cooperative Extension Service has been in a strategic plan implementation mode since 2002. Plan implementation has fallen into four essential categories; first, movement toward specialized field educators with specific knowledge and skills and more defined teaching expectations; second, implementation of a team based leadership structure where program leadership falls upon teams of educators and specialists; third, the organization of the field into nine extension areas where field educators work within the extension area but across county boundaries; and fourth, a concerted move toward getting and using the best instructional technologies. Each aspect of this annual report has been touched by the changes CES has undergone the past five years. Six years into the implementation, CES is clearly more productive. Reliance on teams for organizational leadership has empowered employees and unlocked the creativity of UW CES. The success of the organizational transition, demonstrated by the successes and accomplishments outlined in this report shows this to be true. In April 2007, an external, USDA led review of University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension was conducted. It is hoped that the observations and suggestions of the review team will provide a useful beginning for the development of the new academic plan for Cooperative Extension.
It is important to note that extension specialists and resources are spread throughout the departments in the College of Agriculture. Many of the accomplishments of specialists will be captured in the departments’ reports and will not be duplicated here.
Highlighted accomplishments follow:
Nutrition for Limited Resource Audiences: One of the premier programs of the Nutrition and Food Safety initiative team is the Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP), CES’s food and nutrition program for limited resource audiences. In FY 2006, CNP educators in 22 counties and one reservation office enrolled 1,315 participants in a lesson series, and 11,106 persons participated in one-time lessons. Previously aired Cent$ible Nutrition 1/2 hour television programs were aired once a week for 45 weeks on Wyoming Public Television with a potential to reach over 100,000 low-income contacts. Educators helped clients learn to plan meals, compare prices, use grocery lists, and provide food for the entire month. Results of these efforts included: 85 percent of graduates showed improvement in one or more food resource practices. Families saved an average of $53.00 per month on food purchases for an average savings of $636 per year. This represents $836,340 saved by the 1,315 Wyoming graduates who completed the exit survey.
Community Leadership: Leadership is an important foundation for effective community development. Studies and surveys repeatedly document the need for leaders in rural communities. The leadership program developed through CES seeks to get communities involved in producing their own cadre of local leaders. Leadership Institutes that meet monthly for six to nine sessions and run six hours in length have been initiated in seven counties in Wyoming with over 146 participants. Leadership Institute participants reported the following outcomes: skills improved in communication, problem solving, decision making, building relations, and leadership abilities. As a result of the success of these institutes in Wyoming, in 2006, the Community Development Education initiative team hosted training, sponsored by Idaho on Extension Volunteer Organization for Leadership, Vitality and Enterprise (EVOLVE). The EVOLVE curriculum developed by UW CES has become a model for the nation. Participants in the EVOLVE training indicated the curriculum was excellent and over 60 percent stated they planned to implement the leadership program in their state; two programs have been initiated in Idaho. One Wyoming CDE educator was invited to present the EVOLVE curriculum at the Western Regional Mid-Managers meeting held in Monterey, California, reaching 82 extension professionals.
Youth in Governance: A major thrust of the 4-H/Youth initiative team is Wyoming Youth Leadership Education (WYLE). This program is currently implemented in all 23 Wyoming counties. The WYLE curriculum was developed to ensure youth have the necessary skills and abilities to provide leadership, growth, and vision into the 21st century. It is imperative to give youth members an in-depth leadership training program to develop the necessary skills and abilities to not only serve in a decision-making role, but also to feel confident and secure about decisions made. A Daniels Fund Grant of $100,000 plus an additional $10,000 in external funding made this program possible. Character, communication, teambuilding, group dynamics, and business etiquette are part of the seven-session program. Assessment of impact will be available in 2007.
Cooperative Permittee Monitoring (CPM): Rangeland monitoring has been an effort of UW CES for a number of years. A core group, consisting of UW CES educators and specialists, ranchers, federal agency natural resource specialists, and Wyoming Grazing Board members, met to brainstorm new approaches for promoting monitoring. The group agreed to work toward expansion of monitoring programs, emphasizing efforts to introduce permittee monitoring onto Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and to promote the process of starting and maintaining monitoring programs. UW CES has developed and disseminated nation-wide an instructional booklet and DVD on CPM. This information can serve as an investment in the value of the affected firm and can result in considerable dollar and time savings on the part of federal agencies. A delegation from Wyoming including CES was invited to attend the spring 2006 meeting of the National Public Lands Council to present educational materials to its membership, receiving its endorsement and cooperation in advancing the use of the educational materials. In the long-term, Wyoming’s rangeland resources will be better managed, and ranches holding permits to graze livestock on federal lands will attain greater sustainability as a result of expansion of CPM in Wyoming.
Small Acreage Management: Wyoming is undergoing a very rapid shift in land use. Thousands of acres of former ranch, farm or wildlands are being subdivided into small acreage parcels. To meet the educational needs of these landowners, a collaborative, multi-pronged approach to land management education was identified. Recognizing this need, the UW CES Profitable and Sustainable Agricultural Systems and Sustainable Management of Rangeland Resources initiative teams, Historic Trails Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Conservation Districts, Wyoming State Forestry Division, Audubon Wyoming, and others joined forces as the Small Acreage Issue Team to create the Small Acreage Conservation Education and Outreach Project. CES’s partnership with other agencies has resulted in external funding exceeding $95,815 to support this educational program.
The objective is to help landowners maintain or improve the quality of life in Wyoming by raising healthier crops, lawns, and animals, while protecting their natural resources such as water, soil, and plants. Working in cooperation with landowners, this project includes a series of activities: door-to-door visits with landowners in pilot areas of the state, surveys of landowner needs, publication of the Barnyards & Backyards quarterly magazine distributed by paid subscription to 2,200 landowners, and 270 individuals took part in informational workshops held across the state.
Section 2. Academic Planning Implementation: Academic Planning actions for the UW Academic Plan II (UW AP II), UW College of Agriculture Academic Plan (UW COA) and the UW Cooperative Extension Service Academic Plan (UW CES) are listed below. Where similar they are listed together.
UW AP II Action 124, UW COA Action 41, UW CES Action 1: Implement the UW CES Strategic Plan.Implementation of the Strategic Plan including the recommendations of the “Blue Ribbon Task Force” is completed.
UW AP II Action 126, UW COA Action 5: Develop assessment plans for UW CES programs. See Section 10 of this report.
UW AP III Action 130, UW COA Action 18, UW CES Action 3: Statewide needs assessment. A significant statewide needs assessment of Extension and Research needs was completed in 2004. The assessment conducted by the UW Survey Research Center included mail as well as phone interview data collection. The assessment of needs is summarized in “Extension and Research Needs Assessment 2004”, UW Cooperative Extension Bulletin B-1159. Stakeholder advisory committees will each meet at least once in 2007/08 providing an assessment of need for each of the nine extension areas. In addition, the Extension Committee of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association, another stakeholder group, will meet in September 2007.
UW AP II Action 131, UW COA Action 44 & 46, UW CES Action 4: Coordinate the Outreach School and Cooperative Extension Service. Actions proposed to strengthen the coordination between the Outreach School and UW CES and increase the impact of the university’s total outreach program include:
Community Learning Centers: Enhanced community learning facilities have been developed in Casper to support Natrona County and a facility is under construction in Worland to support Washakie County. –Ongoing
Enhanced Partnership: Interaction between UW CES and the Outreach School on communication and instructional technology areas are a focus. Dr. Duane Williams’ extension leadership project is focused on all outreach activities of the University. –Ongoing
Regular Coordination: Leadership of UW CES and the Outreach School meet together to discuss a variety of common issues. Discussion is ongoing and issue determined. Examples of recent discussions are: The Snowy Range Non-Profit Institute; UW Outreach School/UW CES shared space at Western Wyoming Community College; and the UW presence on the Wind River Reservation.
UW COA Action 12: Programming to support rural community development. The CES Community Development Education team is functioning well. New efforts include expansion of EVOLVE Community Leadership Programs, training for appointed boards and the Sublette County and Wamsutter Community Development Partnership.
UW COA Action 22 & 47, UW CES Action 2:Build UW CES programming capability through competitive and other soft funding. The UW CES grants coordinator has been on board for about 30 months. Her efforts are showing fruits for the organization. Examples of successful efforts include the Extension Indian Reservation Program funding, small acreage program funding and a number of other efforts. –Ongoing
UW COA Action 31: Foster relations with Native Americans in Wyoming. A needs assessment for Cooperative Extension Programs was conducted for the Wind River Extension program and a Federal EIRP grant to fund the program was written and received. The reservation educator position has been filled ensuring a continuing UW presence on the Wind River Reservation.
UW COA Action 41: Explore hiring of contract specialists. Completed.
UW COA 45: Identify contacts in other colleges for UW CES. This effort is not complete. The UW outreach cataloguing and Web site effort initiated by CES is underway and will be completed in 2007.
UW COA Action 48: Improve coordination and relations with UW Economic Development Programs. Glen Whipple and Tex Taylor continue to attend Economic Development Roundtable meetings as organized to foster coordination.
UW COA Action 58: Improve service expertise in the College. Three extension positions were added in the FY 2007 University budget. One has been filled and searches are underway for the other two.
UW CES Action 5: Enhance responsiveness and efficacy of specialist resources. Consolidate extension specialist positions for greater impact. To our best ability, extension specialist hires will have a two-thirds or greater extension assignment.
UW CES Action 6: Serve as front-line offices for the University of Wyoming, ensuring that residents of the state have easy access to university information. Tactical strategies include:
Explore, with the Outreach School, ways to facilitate and share information among University Outreach employees, groups and offices. Currently exploring opportunities to co-locate UW CES and Outreach employees in a common space.
Provide up-to-date, high-quality, public interest publications and improve client access. UW CES had many such publications this past year and will continue this effort in 2008. An example is the Barnyards & Backyards magazine and newspaper inserts addressing the issues of small acreage land owners.
UW CES Action 7: Position UW CES to be recognized as the State’s premier provider of high-quality educational programs addressing priority issues in Wyoming. The whole organization is working on this. It is in essence our mission. Rather than recap all that is mentioned in other actions I simply refer the reader to the rest of the report.
UW CES Action 8: Provide staff development opportunities to better serve internal and external clients.State Initiative teams have the responsibility to organize and conduct training for those working in their initiative on relevant disciplinary and public policy issue related topics. Each team has conducted training this past year and has training planned for 2008. Training on more general topics such as customer service, civil rights, team building, leadership, marketing, and public relations will be conducted at our annual all employee conference (EPIC).
UW CES Action 9: Utilize advanced communications technologies to deliver educational programs to Wyoming residents. This is an ongoing quest for UW CES to find an affordable video conferencing/teaching system. We evaluated Web-ex Web conferencing this past year and will utilize the Breeze product in 2008.
Section 5. Service, Extension and Outreach Activities: Cooperative Extension collectively measures its contributions in terms of impacts and contacts. A committee working at the national level has developed a set of measures and benchmarks for cooperative extension systems. Although both impacts and contacts are somewhat subjective, they are the best gauge we have at this time. A discussion of impacts and contacts for UW CES during 2006 follows.
Impacts: UW CES educators and specialists provide pace setting programming in each of the five UW CES areas of distinction. Selected program impacts for 2006, which have been published for stakeholder use, are available on the Web at http://ces.uwyo.edu/esusda.asp. The impacts included in this Impacts 2006 publication highlight some excellent, new, and innovative extension programming. The UW Cent$ible Nutrition program is nationally recognized for its profound effects on low income clients. The Small Acreage Conservation, Education, and Outreach project statement highlights the impact of collaborative partnerships with seven state agencies and organizations to deliver educational programming on topics relevant to small acreage owners. The Dealing with Angry People impact statement illustrates how CES responded to an identified need expressed by over 200 participants in facilitation training; the need is so great the course is offered annually. The impact statement on Livestock Producers Implement Change to Improve Profitability describes how agriculture educational programs can financially impact producers. The statement on Finding You! describes a program targeted at high risk youth which teaches character education, one of the key components of the 4-H and Youth Development program. This set of impact statements documents a high quality extension system.
Contacts: UW CES educators and specialists made 364,255 contacts during FY 2006 for an average 3,195 contacts per FTE. Approximately 46 percent of UW CES contacts were in 4-H and Youth Development and 17 percent were Nutrition and Food Safety contacts. Twenty-eight percent were in Profitable and Sustainable Agricultural Systems, three percent in Sustainable Management of Rangeland Resources, and six percent in Community Development Education. Significant visibility and awareness for UW and CES were achieved through television spots aired weekly on Channel 13 in Casper on horticulture and natural resources topics. Viewership numbers for the TV spots are not included in the contact information. Contacts are a less than perfect mechanism to measure engagement of citizens. It does, however, give an idea of the extensive interactions of UW CES personnel with the people of the state.
Section 7. Development Activities and Public Relations:
A. Development: UW Cooperative Extension Service’s development and fundraising efforts have continued to progress during the past year. Grant writer Jennifer Jones and extension educators Tom Heald and Eric Peterson received funds from EnCana to underwrite the Exploring the Nature of Wyoming public service TV and educational series. This series will be aired on local TV stations and used for educational purposes throughout Wyoming. Jennifer has also been active in submitting grants to state and federal agencies.
CES continues to explore new partnership opportunities with local corporations. The Wamsutter community development position, funded in conjunction with Love’s Truck Stop, BP America and other industry partners is an example. Various extension programs are also part of the development efforts of the College of Agriculture. Recent proposals for major gifts to the college have included extension programs such as an endowed extension educator position in small acre land management. Alumni volunteer, Tom Davidson, has secured underwriting support for Barnyards & Backyards. The department also engages in an active donor stewardship program, acknowledging all departmental donors and, where appropriate, providing annual reports to donors. Norma Frary and family, who established an extension educator continuing education award approximately three years ago, has continued to sponsor the award in part because of the thank you letters from extension employees and the annual report prepared by this office.
B. Public relations: The CES Communications and Technology group has primary responsibility for news releases, newsletters, publications, maintaining Web sites, college magazines, and special interest publications that promote CES, the College of Agriculture (COA), and the University of Wyoming (UW) as a whole.
Support of computer hardware and software for CES is also administered through this group. The group has two full-time software and hardware supporter personnel as well as one part-time consultant.
Web conferencing was introduced this year allowing personnel from across the state to meet electronically and to provide education to clientele, reducing time and travel cost and furthering the exposure of CES, COA and UW to the citizens across the state. This is an ongoing effort to increase usage and help CES to become more efficient.
This department has a full-time and a part-time editor. They are responsible for editing Extension publications, college magazines, internal and external newsletters publicizing CES, COA, and UW. They also conduct interviews and write many of the articles for these publications as well as provide news releases to in-state and out-of-state media outlets, both printed and radio.
Awards: National awards from the International Agricultural Communicators in Excellence (ACE) organization have been awarded both for editorial content and graphic content in the Reflections publication.
The Pioneer Award was awarded to our graphic artist (Tana Stith) this year from the ACE organization. This award honors communicators who demonstrate exceptional leadership and technical skills during their early careers of membership in ACE.
The publication Barnyards and Backyards won the National County Agriculture Agents Association Communication Excellence Award in the “Team Newsletter” category. The publication is a finalist for the same association for the “Creative Excellence Award for Small Farms”.
Web Pages: The CES Web site is used to promote Extension and the College of Agriculture, and University of Wyoming to the public. This work is ongoing to maintain Web site compliance and quality.
News Releases: Over 350 press releases were written during the past year. These go to all Wyoming newspapers, radio and television stations, and regional agriculture media. The C&T department has now included MP3 sound bits for selected stories. Editors also meet the requests for photos to accompany media releases and for special stories from newspapers, Ag publications, the public, and internally from personnel in the college, and AES and CES organizations.
Publications: Publications written by extension specialists and educators for use and access by the general public are edited and graphically laid out by the C&T department. These publications are available on the CES Web site as well as in hard copy format if requested. Additionally, a CD is created semi-annually containing all currently available publications. This CD is available to extension offices and individuals who wish to print off multiple documents rather than download off the Web.
Reflections: A 40 to 50 page publication which is published once a year and distributed to all deans, administrators, division heads, high schools, community colleges, CARET, National AES Directors, Federal Offices, Alumni Board, AES Advisory Board, miscellaneous donors, research partners, and R&E Visitor Centers for distribution to their walk-in clientele, CES county offices, Ag College personnel, and State Agency Directors. Approximately 5,000 copies are distributed.
This magazine highlights research and extension efforts by our personnel as well as public interest stories and has been noted several times for its outstanding graphic layout as well as content.
AgNews: Published and printed quarterly for distribution to donors, alumni, constituent groups, elected officials, CES county offices, trustees, and alumni board. Approximately 8,300 copies are distributed.
AgAdemics: This is a monthly Web only publication that is distributed to the College of Agriculture and CES personnel as well as the Ag Committee of the state legislature, UW administration, and WyGISC. This publication highlights activities, awards, and grants by College of Agriculture personnel. These articles are written by the two editors in the CES C&T office and are graphically laid out in this office as well.
Extension Connections: Approximately 1,800 copies are distributed twice a year to all land grant colleges, elected officials, Wyoming Ag Business, media outlets, College of Agriculture personnel, and CES county offices. Again, articles are researched and written by the editorial staff in C&T. Layout and design is accomplished by the department as well.
Barnyards & Backyards: This is a new quarterly publication in its third year of publication. The articles in this publication are written by various educators and conservation district personnel and directed towards the small acreage interest clientele across the state. This publication receives editing and graphic support from the C&T department, as well as having the subscriptions managed by the department through the Resource Center.
Thirteen Barnyards & Backyards monthly pages have been published in the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Each usually contains three stories. Two different eight-page Barnyards & Backyards special sections were published in February and May. The first section was published in 13 newspapers designated rural. The second section was published in four Wyoming newspapers designated urban. Total distribution was about 56,000. Each section contained about 12 stories.
Section 8. Classified and Professional Staffing:In March 2005, a change in Unireg 408 was approved which allowed bachelor degree credentialed field educators to be hired as Assistant University Extension Educators (UEE), non-extended term track. Prior to this change, CES hired bachelor degree applicants as exempt staff, Program Associates. Since summer 2005, all county 4-H youth educators have been hired as Assistant UEE’s, non-extended term track. This change has allowed for greater consistency in expectations, performance appraisal, and a career path for all CES staff.
Section 9. Diversity: Cooperative Extension conducted 21 national searches for academic professional and staff positions during the past year. All positions are advertised on multiple Web sites and print media in addition to position announcements distributed nationally. Local search committees receive training and are encouraged to seek diverse candidates. CES has had success in filling several agriculture educator positions with females, which have traditionally been filled with males. An effort to recruit employees with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds continues to be a challenge, but we were successful in hiring one Native American agriculture educator for the Wind River Reservation and an Asian nutrition and food safety educator.
The CES Civil Rights coordinating committee, comprised of six field educators and one state-based coordinator, conducted five county civil rights training reviews during the past year. During these reviews, comprehensive training is provided to assure that all Extension employees are committed to serving all clientele and targeting underserved audiences when identified or needed. All 27 CES county offices have gone through a comprehensive training and assessment review on Civil Rights and Diversity. The state Staff Development Coordinator conducted training for support staff based in county offices during their annual training conference on diversity and civil rights.
UW Extension professionals were committed to reaching the total population of Wyoming including the under-served and under-represented Native American and Hispanic population. Such activities include staffing bi-lingual coordinators for the Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP), and preparing nutrition materials in Spanish and Braille. 4-H educators have developed programs to work with children with limited English proficiency (LEP) and programs specifically for children of migrant workers. CNP expanded collaborative efforts with the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes that enabled CNP to increase funding for nutrition education on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Two nutrition educators and a coordinator were hired to serve this area.
Civil Rights and diversity are components of annual performance appraisals. CES annually recognizes one staff member for diversity efforts.
Section 10. Assessment of Student Learning:CES utilizes a systematic process for program planning and assessment. The logic model was implemented in development of a five-year federal plan of work. The logic model is utilized in all program development training by CES. The logic model outlines objectives, resources, methods, outputs, and short, medium, and long term outcomes to allow more effective documentation of program impact. All CES educators provide assessment of their efforts through impact statements and annual reports.
Program goals for CES are identified in Plans of Work written to address issues identified in five initiative areas: Profitable and Sustainable Agricultural Systems; Nutrition and Food Safety; Sustainable Management of Rangeland Resources; Community Development Education; and 4-H and Youth Development. Plans cover a five-year period, 2007–2011. The residents of the state are Cooperative Extension’s “student base”.
Educators in all initiative areas are required to document outcomes and impact of educational efforts through formal and informal assessment methods. In the past year, 50 field educators and 16 state specialists completed reports and impact statements which provided assessment of over 831 educational programs reaching over 39,037 adults and youth. A representative sample of program impact statements are published annually for distribution to stakeholders. 2006 impact statements may be viewed at: http://ces.uwyo.edu/esusda.asp. Cooperative Extension provides educational programs to adults and youth throughout the state. Follow-up assessments through surveys, focus groups, and informal evaluations have been utilized by CES to document outcomes and impact.
Cooperative Extension is continuing training efforts on program assessment to meet the challenge of documenting outcomes and impact of educational efforts. In several initiative areas, CES is directing efforts toward media methods to reach a broader audience. Use of print (magazine and newspaper inserts) media, television and radio provide challenges in assessing impact on clientele. UW CES will look at methods used by other states to document results of media efforts.
Impacts on clientele as a result of educational efforts are a component of extension educator performance evaluation, and extended term and promotion documentation.