eNEAFCS-August 2014
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August 2014


Table of Contents

President's Message

NEAFCS 2014 Slate of National Office Candidates

Gearing Up for Annual Session 2014!

$100 for Extension's 100th Anniversary - NEAFCS Endowment Campaign

It's Not Too Late to Join us in Kentucky

JCEP Leadership Conference 2015

Tour Time

Some Parting Reflections on This Year’s PILD Conference

NEAFCS 100th Anniversary Celebration Committee

Meet the Board


Important Dates

Members-only Webinar • Aug 21
Website Update

Members-only Webinar • Sept 3
First Timer's Webinar

NEAFCS Annual Session • Sept 15-18
Hyatt Regency, Lexington, KY

Members-only Webinar Oct 15
Webinar on Webinars

View All Events...



National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Science

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President's Message
Kathleen Olson (MN)

It’s hard to believe that I am writing my final President’s Message for E-news.  My year as President will be officially over at the NEAFCS Annual Session awards banquet.  I will be making some remarks during the conference, but these are my final words for the newsletter. 

Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to read my message over the past year.  I have avoided simply relating to you what I have done and where I have been.  I have also avoided simply rehashing what you will find in the newsletter.  Instead, I have tried to utilize this space to illustrate things that are important to me, share my philosophy, and hopefully share some things that are important to you in your work and personal life.

I have written a lot about volunteering and giving back to our association.  Yes, our association.  It’s as much yours as it is mine.  Give more than you take, and consider how you might get involved in our association.

This year has been an important one for me, however credit for the real work behind the scenes goes to many others.  I am most appreciative of our Board members for their support and hard work, and also our National Office staff.  Unless you attend Annual Session, are in a leadership position or on the Board, you are probably not aware of the enormous time and energy it takes to run this organization.  We are mostly volunteers who love NEAFCS, are passionate about our profession, and we do what we do for that reason only.

Finally, thanks to all of you who have taken the time to talk, write, or email me with your comments.  I have really enjoyed communicating with each of you and getting to know our members.  It has been such an honor serving you and NEAFCS this past year.  It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that I will always look back on with affection. 

My theme this year has been, “NEAFCS IS Magic”.  Being an effective leader is a lot like being a magician – one needs to connect to people, influence them to a common goal and believe that anything is possible.

Kathleen Olson


P.S.  Look for the magic wand embedded in an article in this newsletter. The first 3 members to email me at [email protected] with the exact location of the wand will qualify for a chance to be placed in a drawing to qualify for a free Annual Session registration, drawn in August; this contest runs October through August to increase newsletter readership.  HINT: The graphic below does not count.

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NEAFCS 2014 Slate of National Office Candidates
Carol Chandler (OH), Past President & National Nominating Committee Chair

Carol ChandlerThe NEAFCS National Nominating Committee is pleased to present the following slate of officers for your consideration. The committee worked hard to contact these candidates and provide the encouragement and information needed to secure their applications. We believe you will find them all highly qualified.

The NEAFCS National Board has approved this slate of candidates. Eastern and Western Directors will be elected by National Voting Delegates in their respective Business Meetings on Wednesday, September 17 from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.  The remaining slate will be voted on at the NEAFCS Business Meeting on Thursday, September 18th from 9:00 -11:00 a.m. at the Convention Center.

If you are a voting delegate for your affiliate, it is your responsibility to read through these position statements. Encourage others in your affiliate to do the same, and decide as an affiliate which candidate you support for office. Candidate applications will be available for review at the Candidate Display at Annual Session. The position statements can be found by clicking here.

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Gearing Up for Annual Session 2014!
Sonja Koukel, PhD (NM), Vice-President for Professional Development

Sonja KoukelBy the time this newsletter goes to print, there will be about 30 days left to plan for the 2014 Annual Session in Lexington, KY.  It’s hard to believe two years of planning and preparation have taken place and we are ready to meet, greet, and explore new ideas with our NEAFCS friends from across the nation.

Hopefully, in your preparations, you have stayed abreast of changes and updates by visiting the NEAFCS website. Our KY Affiliates have worked diligently in promoting events and whetting our appetites for the treats they have in store for us.

If you plan to come in early or stay after the conference, check out the Blue Grass Tours organized for Sunday (9/14), Friday (9/19), and Saturday (9/20). Explore KY and learn more about this beautiful state through a variety of guided tours. Find the link on the NEAFCS website.

Haven’t registered for a pre-conference? There’s still time to register for the American Cleaning Institute pre-conference session. Nancy Bock and a team of professionals spent the summer months gathering questions from NEAFCS members about product safety, new products, sustainability and more. Answers will be provided during this interactive and engaging session. Plus! Leave the session with a toolkit that contains the list of questions and answers, and a top ten list of cleaning practices that help save water and energy in the home. Visit the NEAFCS registration website to log in and add this exciting session.

Bringing your spouse or partner to KY? There are a number of tours planned by central KY Ag/NR Extension Agents with options for both Tuesday (9/16) and Wednesday (9/17).  The golfers among us may enjoy playing a round at either the University Club of KY Wildcat Course or the Kearney Hill Golf Links. Both courses are beautiful and promise a relaxing day spent among rolling hills, creeks and ponds. Visit the NEAFCS website for a link to the Spouse Tours.

Advanced Registration continues until September 1, 2014. After that date, registration will be accepted onsite only. So, don’t hesitate – get registered today.

And, if you have completed all your planning, we look forward to seeing you in beautiful Lexington, KY! September 15-18, 2014.

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$100 for Extension's 100th Anniversary - NEAFCS Endowment Campaign
Marsha Lockard (ID), NEAFCS Endowment Chair

2014 marks the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which officially created the national Cooperative Extension System.  NEAFCS has launched a special endowment campaign to celebrate this historic occasion.  The $100 for Extension’s 100 Anniversary campaign will end at the close of this year so join the campaign effort and help celebrate our legacy and shape the future of NEAFCS through a donation to our endowment.

To mark this special event the endowment committee will have special ribbons for donors at our booth in the exhibit hall at annual session and during the regional meetings.  For members who donate $100 for the 100th a special commemorative lapel pin will be awarded to them at Annual Session.  You can donate online at the NEAFCS Endowment Donor site at https://neafcs.memberclicks.net/endowment  or at Annual Session.  All members who donate $100 during 2014 will receive the commemorative pin even if they are unable to attend Annual Session. 

Consider donating in the name of the people who have made a difference in your life: mentors, parents, colleagues, spouses, or 4-H leaders.  You can honor them with a donation to the NEAFCS endowment.  A special thanks goes to all those who have supported the endowment and donated to the future of NEAFCS.  We are currently about halfway to our goal of $300,000.  The interest from the endowment will be used to finance special projects, scholarships and awards, based on how the gifts were designated. Todate the endowment contains donations of life insurance, IRA’s, stocks and cash.   

Join the $100 for the 100th campaign and help NEAFCS reach its endowment goal.

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It's Not Too Late to Join us in Kentucky 
Kathy Byrnes and Sally Mineer, Annual Session Co-liaisons

The 121 members of the Kentucky Affiliate of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences are excited to be hosting this year’s Annual Session. It’s hard to believe that after our years of planning that the meeting is only six weeks away!  

Those of you who have registered for the meeting –terrific! We are looking forward to welcoming you to the Bluegrass State.  You will receive an e-blast before the meeting with last minute details and reminders about the meeting. 

If you have not registered yet, take a minute to review these photos.  You still have an opportunity to join us!  Visit the website at: http://www.neafcs.org/2014-annual-session

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JCEP Leadership Conference 2015
Kathleen Olson (MN), JCEP Leadership Conference Chair

Make plans now to participate in the JCEP Leadership conference to be held February 11 & 12, 2015 at the Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. 

 Who should attend this conference? 

  • Professionals seeking a top quality professional development opportunity and leadership development training. 
  • State and National leaders of any of the six JCEP (Joint Council of Extension Professionals) member associations.
  • Professionals who are active at the state level and may be ready for a national committee or board leadership.
  • Professionals with a leadership role on the job such as a county director, district or regional director or other administrative position. 

Proposals for presentations submissions are being solicited on leadership development topics for the conference.  Three submissions will be granted complimentary registration to assist them in participating at the conference.  Go to the link for the RFP and the submission form online at.http://jcep.org/images/Leadership%20Conf/2015-JLC-RFP.pdf

In addition to a nationally known keynote speaker, participants will receive updates from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP), and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU).  Association time and presentations from the 2014 JCEP team award winners, as well as peer reviewed concurrent sessions related to leadership will be provided.  Note that the format for the conference has been changed to include 2 full days rather than spread throughout 3 days.  Go to www.jcep.org for more information.

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Tour Time
Kathy Byrnes and Sally Mineer, Annual Session Co-liaisons

Members - It’s not too late to sign up for a tour as a part of this year’s NEAFCS Annual Session experience.

Pre tours will be offered Sunday, September 14, and Post meeting tours are being offered Friday, September 19 and Saturday, September 20. Visit the Bluegrass Tours website for tour offerings.  http://www.neafcs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=345:2014-tours&catid=81:2014-annual-session&Itemid=265. You will register directly for the tours by following the links; they are not tied into your Annual Session registration.

Spouses attending the NEAFCS conference will enjoy the many options our county agriculture agents have planned for Tuesday and Wednesday, (September 16 and 17).  These tours include visiting several of our beautiful and historic sites, many famous agriculture and other state enterprises, plus golfing options at two of our great courses. To review and register for spouse tours, visit: http://garrard.ca.uky.edu/

Discover even more about Kentucky by taking a tour!

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Some Parting Reflections on This Year’s PILD Conference
Theresa C. Mayhew (NY), Vice President for Public Affairs

Theresa MayhewSummer may be winding down but things are just gearing up for planning next year’s JCEP Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference, which takes place April 12-15, 2015 at a new location, the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City. By the time you’re reading this I will be either at or just returning from the first planning meeting, so I will keep you posted as things move forward. I’ll be sharing the comments from the 20 NEAFCS members that attended this year’s PILD session as first timers with the planning committee. It’s my pleasure to share the last of those reflections* with you now:

“PILD was a wonderful professional development opportunity for me. I now better understand how the big picture of the Cooperative Extension System and our government work at the federal level. The presentations and breakout sessions all contributed to a tremendous experience on Capitol Hill. Meeting with legislators and their staff was the highlight of the conference for me. It was powerful to be an advocate for University of Minnesota Extension, our programs and, specifically, my role as a food safety educator and member of NEAFCS. Thank you for the opportunity!”  ~ Kathy Brandt, University of Minnesota

“Thank you for providing PILD scholarships for NEAFCS educators. I have downloaded all the presentations and shared the one from our NIFA Program Leaders with our state membership. I was happily surprised to learn about the resources we could get and the conversations they are having on behalf of our programming needs in our states. I also sent our membership the presentation on telling our story using the ‘public value’ concept. By adding public value to our impact reports, I will better convey the importance to those not using our services but benefitting because we are improving lives in our communities and state.” ~ Linda Floyd-Chappell, University of Arkansas

“I found the PILD experience to be wonderful. Thank you for providing financial support to defray my expenses. I really appreciated hearing highlights about what was being included in the newly passed Farm Bill, especially the Food Insecurity Nutrition incentives. Although Extension cannot directly receive the funds, we are encouraged to be a partner. I also enjoyed hearing about Extension’s rich history, but most importantly about how we need to be ready for the future. Each time I attend a JCEP conference I build a greater understanding of – and feel more connected to – NEAFCS.  I appreciated all the great work of our national leadership team. Our state will get a lot of use from the NEAFCS impact statements.” ~ Cindy Evans, Kansas State University

“Thank you for helping make the PILD trip a great experience. What a wonderful opportunity to network and meet with other educators across the states. As a result, I was able to develop a working relationship with other educators of various areas of extension and beyond. Building personal networking bridges was fun and fascinating, along with helping others connect, find information and share experiences – it was beyond expectations. The session that really stood out for me was Marshall Stewart, 100 Years and Counting. As a leader, knowing your story or elevator speech will carry a big impact as to what we have done in the last 100 years, but the greatest impact will be when we share the amazing things we are planning for the future.” ~ Pat Jones, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

“PILD was a great venue to learn about Cooperative Extension’s rich history and the revolutionary changes that it went through these past 100 years. I particularly enjoyed the sessions that addressed public issues and how to be an effective advocate versus lobbyist. The community circle concept session helped me realize the creative ways I can engage communities and be effective at program implementation by involving community volunteers and workforces. I appreciate all the hard work involved in creating the impact statements. I was most grateful to attend this conference.” ~ Dhruti Patel, University of Maryland

“This was a great opportunity for me to hear from our national program leaders and NIFA, and to gain knowledge on funding and program initiatives at the national level. I gained new program ideas by attending the breakout sessions. It was also an honor being part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension through the Smith-Lever Act. I was able to network with colleagues from around the nation and gather ideas and insights from them. It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to go to “the hill” and meet with congressional representatives and share our great Extension work and thank them for their support. Thanks, again, for the opportunity.” ~ Jennifer Stefancik, Purdue University

*Note:  Some recipients’ comments had to be edited and/or shortened due to space considerations.

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NEAFCS 100th Anniversary Celebration Committee
Carol Schlitt (IL), Historian

Early Extension Agent – Clara Brian

NEAFCS will mark the anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act at the Annual Session September 15—19 in Lexington, Kentucky.  Family and consumer science educators have been a significant part of the 100-year history of the Cooperative Extension System, and one we will highlight in this article was the 4th president of NEAFCS – Clara Brian from Illinois.

Clara served as “Home Bureau” agent in McLean County from 1918-1948.  As she traveled to remote parts of McLean County she carried with her a folding 3 x 4 camera which she used to document the women she served, their families, homes, schools, and other aspects of their lives. Brian impressed upon rural women the notion that they deserved some "down time" from their daily grind that they should take time for recreation, reading, and other "self -improvements." She also encouraged her members to spend more time with their children and to take a more active role in encouraging their education.

The following are several of the photo’s she took which the Past Presidents of NEAFCS purchased this year to be part of the NEAFCS historical collection.

Outdoor canning – 1919

Children eating a cold lunch at school - 1920  One of Clara's big efforts was to get the local school boards to install  kitchens in the country schools so the children could have at least one hot nutritious meal daily.  For some of the kids it would be the only one of the day.

An early homemaker’s meeting on how to care for chickens.  Notice that each woman has a chicken in her lap!

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Meet the Board
Alexandra Grenci (NJ), Eastern Region Director

Alexandra GrenciGreetings from the Garden State of New Jersey!

My name is Alexandra Grenci, but most folks call me Sandra, and I am in my final year as Eastern Region Director. I am from New Jersey, and consider myself a Jersey Girl through and through! I was born in the big city of Newark but have lived in more suburban Somerset County (Branchburg) for the last 30 years with my husband Tom. My Extension appointment is in neighboring and equally beautiful Hunterdon County. We have two daughters in their 20s and two cats, and live in a 100-year-old home.  In my leisure time I enjoy gardening, music, estate sales, and history, and I currently serve as President of our local Historical Society.

I am a second career Registered Dietitian. I spent my first career working in the field of environmental science, but I always had a love for medicine, nutrition and health sciences. About a decade ago I went back to school to pursue dietetics and then practiced as a Certified Diabetes Educator at a community hospital, before coming to Rutgers Cooperative Extension. I have been working as Family & Community Health Sciences Educator for RCE based in Hunterdon County, where I am in my 8th year. That’s hard to believe, because it seems like just yesterday and a million years, all at the same time!  I love the diversity in my job as an Extension Educator.  My current focus areas include programs aimed at chronic disease prevention, school wellness, and garden-based nutrition education. My position allows me to interact with consumers of all ages. It’s so rewarding, and also a privilege, to have the trust of consumers in matters regarding their health and wellness. I am sure many of you feel the same way!

We are a small but unified Affiliate in NJ, and I have come up the leadership ranks, learning a lot about Extension along the way. I have enjoyed my work on the Board during this exciting time of our 100th year anniversary in Extension, attending JCEP and helping to plan the Annual Session.  I am looking forward to meeting many of you at our Regional Meeting, and during my remaining months as Eastern Region Director!

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