eNEAFCS-June 2015
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June 2015

Table of Contents

President's Message

Highlights of May Board Meeting

Check Out Archived Webinars

Generational Diversity- Finding a Balance

PILD - Let's Start at the Very Beginning

Journal of Extension Update 

West Virginia Welcomes You

Meet the Board - Carol Schlitt (IL), Historian

Important Dates

Members-only Webinar • July 16
Home Food Preservation Research and Practice Today

Members-only Webinar • Totally Veggies
Part A: Aug 4
Part B: Sept 15

NEAFCS 2015 Annual Session • Nov 2-5
White Sulphur Springs, WV

NEAFCS 2016 Annual Session • Sept 12-15
Big Sky, MT

NEAFCS 2017 Annual Session • Oct 15-19
Omaha, NE

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National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Science

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(561) 477-8100
[email protected]



President's Message
Peggy Ehlers, Ed.D. (IN), President
Peg Ehlers

Dear NEAFCS Members,

Have you been thinking about your professional development and growth? In less than 150 days you will have the opportunity to attend the NEAFCS Annual Session at White Sulphur Springs, WV. The theme of Tradition, Knowledge, Innovation fits well with the keynote presentation of Tim Moore. Understanding the attitudes and expectations of each generation is crucial in today’s Extension work. Mr. Moore is a key part of a team that has become the leading voice on the impact of generational differences. He combines the research of Generational Insights with his own professional experience to provide generational strategies and solutions.The registration is now open, please see the NEAFCS website for additional information.

Congratulations members – Rita Ussatis, Judy Corbus and Jane Conroy, who found the key in the May, 2015 newsletter. Look for the hidden key in the newsletter.  Remember you are the KEY – Knowledge, Experience, and You of NEAFCS.

My Best to all. Have a great month.

[email protected]

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Highlights of May Board Meeting
Julie Cascio (AK), Secretary

Julie Cascio

With registration for Annual Session opening June 1, the board reviewed and approved final plans for general sessions and In-depth sessions. The three pre-conference sessions are set. Patty Merk, VP Professional Development, shared that 55 concurrent sessions and 23 Showcase of Excellence displays have been approved.

Sign Up Genius software has been tested by the regional directors and arrangements committee. It will be used for volunteers to sign up to help with registration, moderating sessions and other opportunities at Annual Session.

President Peg Ehlers will appoint Glenda Hyde, Oregon State University, to represent NEAFCS on the PILD planning committee for 2016.

Requests were reviewed for sharing information from outside organizations with NEAFCS members. The policies already established were used for deciding how to handle these requests.

The board discussed suggestions made by NEAFCS members attending JCEP in February 2015. The information for some of these are already on the website. Articles in future e-news will highlight where these topics are located. The board encourages all members to log in to the website and search for the job bank http://www.neafcs.org/job-opportunities, letterhead https://neafcs.memberclicks.net/assets/documents/forms-templates/neafcs-letterhead.dot, the membership brochure https://neafcs.memberclicks.net/assets/documents/membership-docs/neafcs-membership-brochure-web.pdf and experiment with using social circles from within the members-only website.  

Margie Memmot, VP Member Resources will take suggestions for mentoring members for leadership and preparing a video about the benefits of membership in NEAFCS to Member Resource subcommittees for discussion. Terri Mayhew, VP Public Affairs, will follow up on the You-tube videos about impact statements.

Information for Affiliate Officers in on the NEAFCS.org under officer toolkit section https://neafcs.memberclicks.net/affiliate-officer-toolkit. Taped webinars from each affiliate officer meeting at Annual Session could be a helpful addition on the website.

One key point in the book “Road To Relevance” was building capacity for leadership within the organization. Ideas such as asking past presidents, who have a wealth of knowledge about the organization, to offer a session on NEAFCS leadership roles; offering a session on leadership skills, look for members at local, state and in committee work at the national level and work with them to take on new responsibilities. Another suggestion was to engage members who do not get to Annual Session, and involve them in developing action plans.

Peg will look into the shift FNS has made to not allow SNAPed grant funds to be used for agents to attend NEAFCS Annual Session for professional development.

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Check Out Archived Webinars  
Julia Zee (HI), Webinar Subcommittee Chair

Julie Zee
NEAFCS webinars feature experts within our association of Extension colleagues as well as an occasional guest presenter. Topics include social media and marketing, food and nutrition, financial information, and many others. We even have a webinar on presenting webinars! Find the Webinar Archives (www.neafcs.org/webinar-archives) on the NEAFCS website, under Professional Development. You’ll be able to view the recordings and download the presenters’ slides and handouts.

Coming up next this summer, learn about the latest in home food preservation research and resources on July 16 with Elizabeth L. Andress, PhD, Professor, Foods and Nutrition and Extension Food Safety Specialist, University of Georgia. Online registration is now open. And mark your calendar to learn about all about vegetables—“Totally Veggies” will be presented by Mary Ehret, Frances Alloway, and Dori Campbell of Pennsylvania State University. Part A on August 4 gives an overview of vegetables, focusing on leafy greens, and Part B on September 15 will be an in-depth review of orange, cruciferous and root vegetables.

If you have a program that you'd like to share with NEAFCS members, submit a proposal online anytime. NEAFCS webinars are peer-reviewed and presented to a nationwide audience. Visit the webinars webpage (http://www.neafcs.org/webinars). Email me ([email protected]) if you have any questions or a suggestion for a future webinar.

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Generational Diversity- Finding a Balance
Lorrie Coop (TX), Diversity Sub-Committee Chair Elect

Lorrie Coop

When we think of diversity in the workplace, we tend to start with the topics of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Something we don’t always associate with this topic is generational diversity. However, in today‘s workforce, the modern workplace resembles a one-room school house, with all ages working side by side. Whether we are talking about employees, volunteers or committee members, three to four generations are likely involved. A multitude of charts, graphs and research can be found showing that each generation comes with unique values, views, communication styles, and attributes which are associated with the era in which they were raised. While it is true that every generation is influenced by its experiences, rushing to judgement can be just as harmful as ignoring the differences. In looking at the research, we may find that we identify with characteristics across several generations. We must work together to find what motivates each of us to become and remain engaged, thus creating organizational effectiveness.  According to Jennifer J. Deal, a research scientist with the Center for Creative Leadership, all age groups have some characteristics in common such as:

  • Everyone has something to contribute.
  • Everyone wants to feel valued.
  • Everyone wants to learn.
  • Everyone likes feedback.
  • Everyone wants recognition for a job well done.

It is true that not everyone likes to be rewarded in the same way, to learn in the same format or contribute at the same level. Communication is the key. Engaging all generations in conversation will lead to stronger, more cohesive organizations. General knowledge of the differences throughout the generations is important and will certainly help us navigate possible conflicts that arise. However, don’t assume that no Traditionalist likes to receive text messages or that a Millennial is the only one that can hook up the laptop to the projector. It is up to us to get to know the person, not the stereotype, in order to create a work environment that is respectful of differences.

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PILD - Let’s Start at the Very Beginning
Theresa C. Mayhew (NY), Vice President for Public Affairs

Theresa C. Mayhew
The Sound of Music’s Maria von Trapp had it right. Starting at the very beginning is a very good place to start. So here are reflections from Jennifer Abel, Laura Barr and Naomi Bechtold to get things going. We’ll move through the alphabet over the next several months so you’ll get a feel for what this group of first time attendees came away with as a result of attending this year’s conference.

“The breakout sessions were the highlight of the conference. Is it Lobbying or Advocacy? How to Communicate Programmatic Impact to Stakeholders was extremely valuable. In VA, we have been told to be cautious about talking to legislators, but session presenters explained that as long as we are not asking legislators to vote for a specific bill it is acceptable to inform and educate them about program impacts and ask for their support. How the Four Generations Impact Extension explained the differences between traditionalists, baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials. Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce in 10 years so we need to pay special attention to attract them as volunteers, staff, and program participants. Methods that worked for the other generations will not work for them. Instead, we will need to:  provide access to high level information; help them understand how their role plugs into Extension; and provide a work culture where they can feel good about where they work. The PILD conference provided sessions that complement those we get at NEAFCS Annual Sessions. I highly encourage those with the resources and time to attend both. I think that PILD can help people become better Extension professionals.”  -- Jennifer Abel, Senior Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension

“The PILD conference was an effective tool to prepare volunteers and University of Illinois Extension staff for the visit to Capitol Hill. The clarification between lobbying and advocating was valuable to understand our roles in dialogue. NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy was engaging and offered great communication strategies to share our work with legislators. I feel I have a greater understanding of my work and the history of land grant universities.  The opportunity to meet with Extension employees from other States was great for networking and program development.” – Laura Barr, Nutrition & Wellness Educator, University of Illinois Extension

“As Public Affairs committee chair, I was asked to represent the Indiana Affiliate at PILD.  Our very own Peggy Ehlers described PILD best in her April e-News message: ‘The PILD Conference is designed to provide professional development and personal growth opportunities regarding the political process at the national level, allow time for interaction with key leaders from [USDA’s] National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and… learn about building public support for Extension through consistent and targeted communication.’  What this conference does is educate participants on what Extension’s priorities are at the national level and how that affects us locally. Two aspects of the conference were worth the price of admission -- the morning with the NIFA/FCS Program Leaders/Specialists and the day on Capitol Hill. The NIFA staff updated us on their current projects and asked us for our pressing issues. We truly have some top notch colleagues who want to hear from us! On the Hill we met with our senators, congressmen/women and/or their aides who took the time to sit down and ask us about the programs we are presenting in our counties. It was a wonderful opportunity to inform our legislators of the innovative and transformational programs we are offering at Purdue Extension.  I highly recommend this conference to educators from all program areas.” -- Naomi Bechtold, Extension Educator, Purdue Extension

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Journal of Extension Update
Luann Boyer (CO), NEAFCS Representative to JOE Board

Luann BoyerThe search for a new Editor for the "Journal of Extension" was re-opened in May with applications due May 31.  The search committee is reviewing applications and will hold interviews in late June.  The Board plans to announce the selection of a new Editor early in the fall.   The Editor will replace Laura Hoelscher who is retiring at the end of 2015 after 15 years as the "Journal of Extension" editor. 

The National Job Bank which is operated by Extension Journal Inc. is busy with lots of job postings.   This is a due to a combination of Baby Boomers retiring and also Extension budgets increasing professional staff positions.   A 30-day posting of positions on the Job Bank only costs $125 for the institution.  There is no charge for those looking for jobs.  While most jobs are posted by university HR representatives, some states have county positions which are hired by the county or regional government.  If your state or county has that situation, you may want to encourage them to post those positions on the Job Bank.  Go to www.joe.org/jobbank for details about the Job Bank. 

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West Virginia Welcomes You
Elaine Bowen (WV), Health Promotion Specialist

Elaine Bowen
We can’t wait to welcome you to our beautiful state and the historic Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV.  Monday evening’s Welcome Event is your opportunity to learn about the unique culture and history of our state.

At the Welcome Event, The Greenbrier will be decked in its holiday finest with lighted trees, wreaths, and candlelight. In this delightful setting, you will enjoy a buffet style meal featuring West Virginia’s finest foods and the Greenbrier’s famous peaches and cream.  A talented young brother and sister duo www.marteka-n-williamlakebluegrass.com will sing mountain music and play instruments in a way that will truly astound you. And, the world renowned storyteller Bill Lepp http://leppstorytelling.com/ will draw you into another West Virginia tradition of sitting together to listen to laugh-out-loud stories steeped in Appalachian heritage. Famous figures, such as Civil War General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and others will greet you and share their fascinating parts in state history.

We hope to welcome you to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia in November. The Welcome Event will orient conference participants in West Virginia’s rich history and traditions. This event will set the stage for a successful NEAFCS Annual Session and a memorable and educational experience nestled within these beautiful, rolling hills.

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Meet the Board
Carol Schlitt (IL), Historian

Carol Schlitt

I’m excited to serve as your NEAFCS historian as NEAFCS is very near and dear to my heart. 

I started my career with University of Illinois Extension in 1976 and believe it or not, I selected the county where I was going to interview by the flip of a coin.  I wanted to serve in an urban county and at the time I applied, two urban counties – one in the north of Illinois, the other in the south –had openings for Assistant Home Economics Advisors. Heads won, and I decided to apply for the job in the South, and low and behold, I’m still here 39 years later.  I met my husband when he served as a 4-H public speaking judge soon after I started work and we celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary last October.

I worked for University of Illinois Extension for five years, 1976-1981. When I had a young child – our first son Brian –I decided to stay home and be a full-time mother. In 1985 I taught vocational food service at a local vocation school and loved it but was cut due to the budget. But I was able to find another position as an assistant food service administrator for a large school district in St. Louis and served in that position from 1986-1991. One of my former Extension colleagues informed me of an opening for an EFNEP advisor in the same county where I started my Extension career in 1976 so applied and got the job in July 1991.  I loved being back with Extension and felt like I was now back where I belonged.  In 1993 I became an Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness serving seven counties in southwestern Illinois. By the time I retired in 2010, I was serving 31 counties.

Attending my first Annual Session in 1979 was a real thrill, and I knew even then that one day I wanted to be involved in the leadership of this great organization.  After returning to Extension in 1991 I became involved in my state association, serving as president in 1995.  I ran as an “unknown” in 1998 for NEAFCS Secretary and to my surprise was elected.  After serving as Secretary, I served as Central Region Director and was elected NEAFCS President-elect in 2005.  I had the great fortune to serve as JCEP President during Galaxy III in Indianapolis in 2008. My years on the NEAFCS and JCEP boards were some of the best professional years of my Extension career.

Since retiring from Extension, I formed my own company “Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc.” (www.safeandsavorysolutions.com) and now do freelance and custom food presentations, demonstrations and food safety education.  I love being an entrepreneur and working just as much as I want to – when I want to.  And there are no monthly reports!

My husband, Glennon, is also retired and together we enjoy volunteering at our church, where I’m the adult choir director and cantor and he is a minister of hospitality. He’s also on the “chair and table putting up” crew and has become close to some of the other retired men in the parish. They now meet every 2nd and 4th Friday morning for coffee whether there are chairs to be put up or not!  We have two sons – Brian (36) and Kevin (32) and neither is married – or even dating –but both are happy and enjoying their work and life.

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