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Extension E-Newsletter

Extension E-News

Greetings for January 2013

Beverly SparksBeverly Sparks, Associate Dean for Extension, 706/542-3824,

Extension Colleagues:

Happy New Year! I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday break and were able to spend quality time with friends and family. And I hope you returned to work rested and ready to take on the opportunities and challenges that will come our way in 2013. The new year is certainly off to an interesting start and there have already been several events we should take note of and celebrate. Let us not forget the close of the Bulldog season with a Capitol One Bowl victory over Nebraska (35-41)! In addition, the state budget revenue collection picture continues to be positive with revenue numbers for December 2012 up 9.8 percent over December 2011. Our district directors are reporting in on local meetings with state legislators and telling us there is strong support and appreciation for our Extension programs. Again, thanks for all your efforts to keep our legislators and local funding partners informed on our programs, the impact of our work and our funding needs.

The start of a new year is an excellent time to set and voice professional goals for the upcoming year. As we post the first edition of this newsletter for 2013, I want to share with you the three highest priority goals of your Extension administrative team. They are as follows:

In 2013 we will strive to make the best use of our current human resources and place those resources in high priority areas. We will seek out additional resources to fund positions.

  • Specifically, the CAES Extension administrative and research administrative teams will work diligently with department heads and the related agricultural industries to identify and secure additional funding for our highest priority specialist/research faculty positions in the state. In 2013 our Extension goal is to recruit and hire high quality individuals to positions in the areas of horticulture (vegetable production, small fruit production and peach production), entomology (peanut production), crop and soil science irrigation specialist, IPM coordinator, variety testing coordinator, and animal science dairy/youth program coordinator.
  • The Extension administrative team, including our program leaders and district directors, will continue the process of screening, interviewing and filling high priority county Extension agent and county Extension coordinator positions as funds are identified and become available.

We will continue to build the leadership team for University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and work to build the leadership capacity of our faculty and staff through training, leadership and mentoring programs.

  • In the spring of 2013 we will advertise and begin the process to fill the position of director of county operations. Our ANR program coordinators are critical to ANR programming at the district and state levels and serve as mentors to new agents. Our goal is to advertise and fill the SE District ANR-PDC position as soon as possible. Later this year, when Ken Lewis wraps up his first year as a rehire in the ANR-PDC role, we will reconsider the SW District ANR-PDC slot and make a decision on when to move to fill this position.

We will strive to improve and maximize the use of our facilities. Working with CAES administrative team, legislators and private donors, we will continue to seek funding to maintain and improve our facilities and operate these facilities with a goal of efficiency and increased utilization.

Requesting your participation in two important Extension surveys.

We need your input on two important issues. At the following link you will find a brief survey that will help us assess the effectiveness of this electronic newsletter. Are you benefitting from this communication tool?

Please take the time to give us your comments/input:

A second survey will be coming your way next week. It will help us assess the direction/next steps for our Extension marketing plan. We need your input and I greatly appreciate your time and willingness to respond to both of these short/focused surveys.

In this issue of Extension E-News:

  • Tony Tyson explores the issue of charging fees for county Extension programs;
  • Arch Smith writes about his holiday break (Arch actually took a holiday break!), 4-H Camp counselor selection, filing annual tax returns and summer camp;
  • Deborah Murray writes of her memory of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream…" speech and updates us on activities in programs in Family and Consumer Sciences; and
  • Steve Brown's topic this month is "Do You Trust Science?".

County Operations

Tony TysonTony Tyson, Director of Extension County Operations, 706/542-1060,

Should We Charge a Fee for County Extension Programs?

For several years we have discussed generating more funds that are required to operate effective Extension programs. This conversation has been brought about primarily by cuts in our traditional sources of funding (federal, state and local). Our state Extension budget has been decreased by more than 25 percent in the past five years! To meet these cuts, we have been forced to reduce our operating budgets which include funds for travel, postage and printing among other things. Some counties have also seen cuts in their county operating budgets. In the past, most counties included professional development funds in their budgets for agents to attend professional society meetings and pursue other professional development opportunities. In many instances these funds have been reduced or eliminated.

Georgia Extension is not alone when it comes to the need to generate funds. In fact, in February 2011 Texas Agrilife Extension adopted a cost recovery program wherein they now charge for many of the programs and services they offer. Read more about their guidelines at

There are a number of programs that we already charge for in Georgia. One good example is ServSafe training. For this program we have adopted a standard charge for clientele enrolled in the program. The funds generated go into the agent's county Extension account to cover the cost of the program and to provide a pool of funds that the agent can use for professional development and other program enhancements. Some counties also charge for pesticide license recertification programs as well as other programs that are offered at the local level.

Over time there have been more and more questions relating to this topic and agents are asking questions about whether they can or should charge a fee for certain programs, how much to charge, the procedure for collecting the money, and what the funds can be used for. As a result, we are in the process of appointing a task force to examine this issue and to make recommendations to administration. This task force will be made up of agents, PDCs and at least one DED.

Some of the questions that will be asked are:

  1. Which programs should we charge for?
  2. Should there be a standard fee across the state for various types of programs?
  3. How should we determine the appropriate fee?
  4. What restrictions should we place on the use of the generated funds?
  5. Should the funds be collected locally and deposited in the local Extension checking account or should there be a centralized system to collect the funds and then allocate them back to the agents who were responsible for generating the funds?

I'm sure other questions will arise as we begin to discuss the issue, but these are examples of the types of questions we hope to answer.

Concurrent with this discussion, we have also begun discussions with the Ag Business Office and UGA's Director of Internal Auditing to explore ways that we can process credit cards at the local level for payments of all kinds, including diagnostic services, 4-H events and program registrations. We hope to have some guidelines and recommendations on this in the not too distant future. In the meantime, we welcome input from everyone on either of these issues.


Agriculture and Natural Resources

Steve Brown Steve Brown, ANR State Program Leader, 706/542-1060,

Do You Trust Science?

Scientific achievement transformed human beings from a primitive existence to our current lifestyle, yet sometimes we still don't trust it. After all, we are human and sometimes poor research gives us bad information. And sometimes we misinterpret valid research results. Other times we humans make up science to support corporate profits (just watch TV ads and see how much real science you see). We should always be wary of bad science, but those distractions sometimes make us distrust real science.

The physical sciences are pretty easy to trust. If you mix chemical A and chemical B, then heat the mixture to a certain temperature, science knows exactly what will happen. The biological sciences are not as predictable. We are all genetically unique and how we react to a drug can vary a great deal. This biological variability is a huge factor in agricultural sciences. We can't always predict which variety of cotton will perform the best because we can't predict environmental and pest conditions that influence that variety's performance.

If you work in the world of Cooperative Extension ANR, you are exposed to all levels of science. Sometimes we see bad science, misinterpreted science, fake science for profit, and the incredible natural diversity surrounding even good science. It's our job to sort it all out. Sooner or later, we have to trust something. We have to believe that when we plant a crop under certain conditions, or give cattle a certain type of feed, or fertilize our lawn in a certain manner, we know what will happen.

This trust comes easier if you have years of experience, maybe not so easy if you are a brand new agent. Sometimes we have to go with the best information we have at the time and it turns out to be wrong, or more often, just not the whole story. Our clientele understand that we don't always have the perfect answer, but at least we are THE source of unbiased, research-based information. Our job in Cooperative Extension is not always as easy as looking up an answer in a publication. When you are faced with conflicting information, find the best science available and trust it. Real science won't let you down.


Family and Consumer Sciences

Deborah MurrayDeborah Murray, FACS State Program Leader, 706/542-4862,

I Have a Dream...

Many of you are too young to recall the Civil Rights Movement in the United States or recall the very different world of the 1950s, 60s or 70s. Many political and social events have had a powerful impact on society impacting the direction of lives and careers of baby boomers and future generations of all races. As we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and his impact on the fabric of our country, I would like to share with you his impact on my life. I remember as a young child, vividly watching the Aug. 28, 1963 March on Washington, D.C. where Dr. King delivered his most memorable I Have a Dream speech. Television was not what it is today and I was transfixed by the sea of people who all looked like shades of gray which is how the old black and white television operated. There were people of all colors, ages, denominations, political beliefs, rich and poor who spoke of equality and a vision for a future where we all were given the same opportunities. I was mesmerized by Dr. King's words and can remember that day as if it were yesterday. That event is one of many during that time period that helped frame my perspective on social justice issues and my passion for serving the people we serve in Cooperative Extension. As a young Extension agent, I was always told you don't see the "real fruits" of your work until years later. How right they were. When someone who was impacted by your work seeks you out on Facebook to tell you how you made a difference in their lives, or you see the change in your community because of something that Extension had a hand in 10 or 20 years ago, you have an "Ah Ha" moment. What would Dr. King say about his impact? I don't think he would be satisfied with the status quo and neither should we. We should always "Have a Dream" for the people we touch and the communities we serve.

If you are interested in knowing more about this historical event as well as the Georgians providing leadership during that time you can view a copy of the day's agenda and view 20 minutes of the black and white unedited video footage from the event.

FACS Positions

I want to express appreciation for the work that is going on in the counties by county agents, CECs, district directors and program development specialists to get FACS positions approved and posted. Currently the following positions have been posted and are at different stages of being filled in Houston, Rockdale, Washington and Muscogee Counties. We continue to work to fund and fill additional positions across the state.

Health Newsletter Debut

Connie Crawley, Extension health specialist, is now publishing a new health newsletter that is available for every county to use. With the concern and interest in health by many of our stakeholders, it gives you an opportunity to provide sound information for the family. You may wish to email this newsletter to individuals in your county who have expressed interest in health or to your Extension email or mailing lists.

You may also want to post it on your web pages or Facebook pages.
Llink to the first edition of the Nutrition and Health Newsletter.


4-H and Youth Development

Arch SmithArch Smith, 4-H & Youth Development State Program Leader, 706/542-4H4H,

As I write this column, the temperature is 72 degrees in Athens, 77 at Rock Eagle, and 82 in Brunswick. It is a little warm for January. The holidays brought some much needed rain and we could use more. I went to Orlando and saw the Dawgs win again and I am already getting excited about the 2013 football season! Brenda and I enjoyed having our children home for a few days, and we spent time with our extended families, too. In mid-December we saw our son, Daniel, graduate with his degree in agricultural engineering. It was a good Christmas for our family, and I hope each of you enjoyed the holiday season.

On New Year's Day I hurried back from the Capital One Bowl so I could greet Kay Brown, the new administrative specialist who replaces Charlene Carpenter who retired after 40 years of service to the University of Georgia. Charlene had served as secretary to the State 4-H leader since 1985. Kay has worked for the university since 2007 and her daughter, Leanna, was an active Oconee County 4-H member. We are glad to have Kay join us in the State 4-H Office.

With the warm temperatures, I am reminded that the month of June and summer camp will be here before we know it. Many of you are already promoting summer camp and during the first weekend of the year we held the first year counselor selection process. Eighty-eight young people interviewed for 30 to 35 first year counselor positions. We are fortunate to be able to select from an excellent pool of candidates. We appreciate the following county agents, state 4-H staff, and 4-H volunteers who assisted with counselor selection weekend:

Kelvin Bailey NW District volunteer
Melanie Biersmith State 4-H staff
Lori Bledsoe NW PDC
Jenny Brown Butts Co. Extension agent
Paul Coote Burton 4-H Center director
Angie Daughtry Candler Co. Extension agent
Lynn Davis Turner Co. Extension agent
Ricky Ensley Polk Co. Extension agent
Tammy Gilland 4-H counselor alumna
Judy Harrison Extension FACS specialist
Mandy Marable State 4-H staff
Casey Mull State 4-H staff
Allen Nasworthy Fortson 4-H center director
Billy Ray 4-H counselor alumnus
Kaycie Rogers 4-H counselor alumna
Arch Smith State 4-H leader
Rich Thompson 4-H counselor alumnus and 4-H Advisory Committee member
Laura Waters State 4-H staff
Travis Williams Wahsega 4-H Center director
Charlie Wurst State 4-H staff


Also assisting with counselor selection weekend were the following 2013 summer leadership counselors:

Ellie Baldwin Bleckley (Lead counselor, RE/S&R coordinator)
Jeremy Bonds Oglethorpe (Shawnee Mico)
Erine-Fay Dennis Haralson (Lead counselor, Burton)
Kelsey Gomez Oglethorpe (Cherokee Mico)
Matthew Hicks Chattooga (CAP coordinator)
Blake Kennedy Oconee (SIP coordinator)
Katlyn LaVelle Spalding (Muskogee Mico)
Ben Mayfield Lumpkin (Lead counselor, Wahsega)
Lauren Morris Oconee (Shawnee Mico)
Jonathan Moss Oglethorpe (Muskogee Mico)
Maia Price Spalding (MI Mico)
Reese Simmons Spalding (Lead counselor, Fortson)
Jazmin Thomas Houston (Lead counselor, Jekyll)
Vincent Thomas Houston (Cherokee Mico)
Lillie Williams Mitchell (H2O Mico)


Each county 4-H program should file its annual tax return or Form 990, due by May 15, 2013.

4-H clubs that have gross receipts of $50,000 or less should use the Form 990-N, electronic Notice (e-postcard). This process takes about five minutes to complete.

Clubs with gross receipts greater than $50,000 and less than $200,000 should use the Form 990-EZ. Make sure you include Form 990 Schedule A and Schedule B.

4-H Clubs with gross receipts of $200,000 or greater should file the Form 990. Make sure you include Form 990 Schedule A and Schedule B.

Over the years, some counties have received penalty notices from the IRS. Most of those penalty notices are a result of filing late or failure to include the Form 990 Schedule A and Schedule B.

If you need guidance on which Form 990 to file or assistance with filing, please contact Mark Zeigler or me.

Most importantly make sure you file you form 990 before May 15, 2013.

School club meetings, project achievement and summer camp have long been the backbone of the success of our 4-H program in Georgia. As we begin a new year let's do we can to promote summer 4-H camping opportunities to the youth in Georgia. We hear many positive comments from 4-H alumni about their experience at camp. 4-H camp also encourages children to stay involved in 4-H. Last summer one camper shared the following on their evaluation "That staying involved with 4-H can help you and give you benefits later on." A young person that has a positive 4-H summer camp experience often becomes a lifelong advocate for Cooperative Extension.


Personnel actions since December 1, 2012

New Hires

  • Berrien County—Eddie Beasley, ANR Agent, 1/1/13
  • Colquitt County—Matt Roberts, ANR Agent, 1/1/13
  • Dougherty County—Sheniedra Fudge, EFNEP (FACS), 1/1/13
  • Effingham County—Karen Jenkins Looper, County Extension Associate-Resource Manager, 11/1/12
  • Fulton County—Rolando Orellana, ANR Agent, 12/1/12
  • Jenkins County—Jill Clayton, County Extension Associate-Resource Manager, 12/1/12
  • Lowndes County—Laura Walton, 4-H Agent, 1/1/13
  • Muscogee County—Chesley Davis, 4-H Agent, 12/1/12
  • Randolph County—Rebecca Bray, VISTA-CEPA (grant-funded), 1/1/13
  • Terrell County—Nick McGhee, CEC/CEA-ANR, 1/1/13
  • Turner County—Hannah Pilkinton, Americorps Community Service Specialist (grant-funded), 1/7/13

Part-time Positions:

  • Haralson County—Sandra Couch, Program Assistant, 12/13/12
  • Haralson County—Josh Ledbetter, AmeriCorps Member, 12/1/12

Transfers/Position Changes

  • Cobb County—Cindee Sweda, FACS Agent, transferred from Rockdale County, 1/1/13
  • Dooly County—Ronnie Barentine, CEC/CEA-ANR, transferred from Pulaski County CEC, 1/1/13
  • Southeast District Office—Joann Milam, District Extension Director, formerly CEC-FACS in Washington Co., 12/1/12
  • Washington County—Brent Allen, Co. Extension Agent-ANR to Co. Extension Coordinator-ANR, 12/1/12
  • Worth County—Melissa Norton, CEAssociate to Resource Manager, 1/1/13

Moved from Temporary to Part-time Positions:

  • Clarke County—Jessica Moore, County Ext. Prog. Asst., 1/3/13
  • Glascock County—Candice Hadden, County Ext. Prog. Asst., 1/3/13
  • Greene County—William Mathews, County Ext. Prog. Asst., 1/3/13
  • Gilmer County—Toni M. Gill, County Ext. Prog. Asst., 1/3/13
  • Madison County—Deborah Wofford, County Ext. Prog. Asst., 1/3/13
  • Richmond County—Winfred Garrett, County Ext. Prog. Asst., 1/3/13
  • Richmond County—Suzanne Holmes, County Ext. Prog. Asst., 1/3/13
  • Richmond County—Lisa McGuire, County Ext. Prog. Asst., 1/3/13


  • Dade County—Alice Black, Program Asst., 12/21/12
  • Gwinnett County—Kitty Shepard, Secretary, 11/23/12
  • Gwinnett County—Patricia Smith, Secretary, 11/16/12


  • Bryan County—Ashley Duffany, Program Assistant (part-time, county-funded), 12/10/12
  • Crisp County—Emmy Reid, 4-H Agent, 1/1/13
  • Houston County—Stacey Ellison, 4-H Agent, 1/1/13