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Extension E-Newsletter

Extension E-News

September 2014

Steve BrownSteve Brown, Interim Associate Dean for Extension, 706/542-3824,

Extension Colleagues:

Last week was Program Planning Week. Most of you didn't notice. Take my word for it - it's an important week in our program planning process. Our District Extension Directors, Program Development Coordinators, Program Leaders, and the entire Program Development Team worked hard attempting to do all the things that have to be done behind the scenes to make Extension programs work smoothly.

Although many of those in Extension leadership positions are fairly new to their roles, Georgia Cooperative Extension is blessed with some incredibly dedicated leaders. The new Associate Dean for Extension will have an enormous job ahead, but he or she will have a great team with which to work. Dedicated, hard-working people keep us among the very best.

I've been involved in this process for about 12 years now, as an Extension Coordinator for entomology, an ANR Program Leader and now as an Interim Associate Dean. What continues to haunt me is the fact most of us in Extension aren't engaged or even aware of the program planning process. Never in our 100 year history has it been more important to prioritize what we do and plan how we allocate resources to our priority programs.

If you're a specialist, agent, county staff or a member of a critical support unit, and you don't know what goes on during Program Planning Week, don't feel bad. It's not your fault. Our process is flawed and we fail to engage the broad spectrum of people that should be involved. It's not that we try to exclude anyone. Most of us are too busy cutting down our individual trees to be worried about a path through the forest. In fact, even though we work hard and accomplish some important things during Program Planning Week, we really don't plan programs.

If program planning doesn't happen during Program Planning Week, when does it happen? Does it happen at all? I'm not claiming I have the magic solution, but I believe that in order for an educational program to be effective, a single person needs to be in charge of that program, everyone involved has to have a common goal and everyone has to know their role in accomplishing that goal. In my opinion, we need a clearer program planning process. The process should acknowledge that we need to not only identify local needs and identify plans to address those needs, but should also plan for all the resources that need to come together to execute that plan all the way up and down the flow of information (specialists, agents, county staff, IT, communications, accountability, staff development, etc.). Too often, our programs (despite their noble intentions) are poorly coordinated. We have a plan, but the plan doesn't account for all the resources that must come together to be successful.

In this short communication I know it seems that I'm excessively critical. Actually, as I near the end of my Extension career, I'm more proud than ever of what Extension has accomplished. This is an incredible organization and I've had the pleasure to work with some of the most dedicated and talented people anywhere. But I do believe that we have not yet recognized the impact of the Great Recession on our organization. Our capacity to deliver programs has taken a pretty good hit. Perhaps we are starting a rebuilding phase, but we can't expect everything to just fall together like it used to. We must get better at program planning if our program implementation is going to meet our high standards. Let's come up with a better way.

In this issue of Extension E-News:

  • Greg Price explains the importance of protecting clients' privacy, including their email addresses, and provides some tips from the Office of Information Technology;
  • Deborah Murray congratulates the four newly-named FACS program development coordinators; and
  • Arch Smith reflects over 4-H's past and how the program has grown and adapted to changes since 1904.


County Operations

Greg PriceGreg Price, Director of Extension County Operations, 706/542-1060,

Blind Carbon Copy, your new best friend

This month, I've asked Emily Pitts of our college's web team to address the issue of email addresses and client privacy. Below, please read Emily's advice and tips on how to protect our clients' email addresses when sending mass email messages.

Email is a very prominent form of communication for us as professionals. We use it more times than we can count every day, and rely on it to get important messages to our clients. Email is also an excellent way to send information to a lot of people at one time, or "mass email" groups of people.

However, when you do this, be careful that you keep your clients' contact information private. Your clients trust the messages that you send them, and they also trust you to protect their information. Part of this trust is an unspoken rule to not expose them to SPAM, computer viruses, phishing scams, or people that should not be able to contact them directly. When mass emails are sent, and all email addresses are included in the TO or CC field, you put your clients' email inboxes at risk for all of these problems.

There are a few ways to keep email addresses private from other recipients on an email message. The most basic method is to use BCC, or Blind Carbon Copy, when you write a message from your email program (like Outlook or Gmail). To do this, locate the BCC field in any email message you compose and include client email addresses in that field. Include your own email address in the TO field and click send. This will send the email message to all people included, hide all of the email addresses included in the BCC field, and give the appearance that the message was sent to only a single address – yours.

If you are unsure when to use BCC, consider these guidelines.

Use the TO or CC field when:

  • there are less than 5-10 recipients
  • all the people you're emailing know each other
  • there is a reason for everyone receiving the email to know who else received it

Use the BCC field when:

  • you are emailing more than 5-10 people
  • the people you are emailing do not know each other

LISTSERVs and Email Newsletter Services are two additional ways to send mass email while keeping email addresses private. Both of these options allow you to send a single message to many people without exposing their contact information. These also allow people to unsubscribe from your messages if they choose.

For more information see the following:


Family and Consumer Sciences

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

A great NEAFCS meeting

It was great to have so many Georgia Extension professionals at the annual National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences meeting in Kentucky this month. Thirty-three of us registered including Dean Fox. What a great representation from Georgia. Congratulations to Rhea Bentley, secretary, and Roxie Price, vice-president for awards and recognition, for their service on the national board. It speaks well of Georgia to have two members at this level of leadership in our professional organization. Congratulations to Rhea Bentley and Lisa Jordan, Continued Excellence Award Winners.

The keynote opening speaker was author and motivational speaker Jon Gordon who wrote The Energy Bus, Fuel Your Life, Work and Team with Positive Energy. If you are not familiar with Jon's work, you can learn more at Jon has worked with Coach Richt and UGA's football team on his ten lessons for building a team. It is well worth a quick read. Congratulations to all of our award winners.

New District Program Coordinators

We are excited to have four new program development coordinators starting Nov. 1, pending the final UGA approvals. I look forward to working with these new members of our FACS and Extension leadership team. Welcome to your new role in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Ms. Andrea Scarrow has accepted the position of SW District FACS program development coordinator. Andrea is the current FACS agent in Colquitt County and has been with UGA Extension for 7 years. She has a bachelor's in divinity and counseling and a master's in agricultural leadership from UGA. She has a very broad and balanced FACS program in Colquitt County with many areas of focus. She has particular expertise in managing grant programs and personnel and is bilingual as well.

Ms. Janet Hollingsworth has accepted the position of SE District FACS program development coordinator. Janet is the current county Extension coordinator for Appling County and has been with UGA Extension for 20 years. She received her bachelor of science of home economics at UGA and a master's of adult education from Georgia Southern University.

Ms. Kisha Faulk has accepted the position of NW District FACS program development coordinator. Kisha is the current FACS agent in Fulton County and has been with UGA Extension for 7 years. She has a bachelor of science in political science from Hampton University and a master's in public administration from Georgia State University.

Ms. Denise Everson has accepted the position of NE District FACS program development coordinator. Denise is the current FACS agent in Clarke and Oconee Counties and has a bachelor of science in family and consumer sciences from UGA and a master's of education from UGA.


4-H and Youth Development

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

Some Rambling Thoughts about Change in 4-H in Georgia

Aug. 1, 2014, marked the beginning of the 111th year of Georgia 4-H.  4-H has changed over the years, but children need 4-H as much today as they did in 1904.

Rock Eagle 4-H Center was dedicated on Saturday, Oct. 30, 1954, and WSB radio carried a live broadcast of the program. That was almost 60 years ago. Even with the many changes throughout the years at Rock Eagle 4-H Center, it continues to be a special home base for 4-H in Georgia.

Georgia 4-H began operating the Jekyll Island 4-H Center in 1982 and Dec. 4, 2014, will be the last day that Georgia 4-H operates the Jekyll Island 4-H Center. We understand that the new Jekyll Island Youth Center will reopen in the fall of 2016. It will be different, but Extension and 4-H will adapt to change as we always have.

On Friday, Sept. 5, Mary Ann Parsons, Andrea Burruss, and I celebrated with Mr. Harold Darden his 94th birthday. Mr. Darden is an associate state 4-H leader emeritus, a National 4-H Hall of Fame member and holds Georgia 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award. One of his first questions was, "How was State 4-H Congress?" Congress has changed since Mr. Darden last attended, but the lessons learned are still valuable to 4-H members.

Even the USDA and the IRS change their ways of conducting business. On April 24, 1946, the IRS recognized that 4-H clubs were exempt from income tax. Later, the IRS indicated that the 1946 ruling for 4-H clubs corresponded to Section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code of 1954. As of May 15, 2013, this ruling was no longer in effect.

On Dec. 18, 2013, University of Georgia Extension was notified by the IRS that the Georgia Extension 4-H Foundation had been approved for 501(c)3 status and that all local 4-H programs in Georgia would be granted tax exempt status under this umbrella.

On Feb. 3, 2014, each county Extension coordinator received a new 4-H charter letter and a copy of the Georgia Extension 4-H Foundation, Inc. 501(c)3 determination letter from the IRS.

On March 3, 2014, each county office received an e-mail with instructions to change the name on the county 4-H account to ____________ County Extension/4-H. Read the e-mail and instructions (pdf).

Each September, the Georgia Extension 4-H Foundation must send to the IRS an updated list of its subordinates. The list must include the EIN, the name of the local entity, contact name, and mailing address. Last week, each county Extension coordinator and uge e-mail address received an e-mail request to update their tax information. We appreciate everyone’s prompt attention to this request. The instructions can be found on the 4-H Enrollment website.

Later this month, the state 4-H faculty will begin to review other areas of our 4-H program. We will begin discussions concerning one of our core 4-H programs, 4-H Project Achievement. We will also begin conversations around greater efforts to improve retention of middle school youth in 4-H. Finally, 4-H Issue Teams have been a great way to conduct conversations and encourage collaboration between county and state 4-H faculty members. We will continue to look for additional methods to strengthen these conversations and collaborations that result in a stronger 4-H team in Georgia.

We have one of the strongest 4-H programs in the country; how can we change “To Make the Best Better?”


Outstanding Extension program

The September winner of the Outstanding Extension Program contest is the Georgia Master Composter Program coordinated by Amanda Tedrow with Athens-Clarke County Extension.

The Georgia Master Composter Program was created in 2011 as a partnership between Athens-Clarke County Extension and the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division. The program addresses the need for composting education and resources in the state. Held each January through March, the program is an adult education course and Extension volunteer program. Through a comprehensive nine-week training, participants learn the chemistry and microbiology of compost, types of and reasons for composting, backyard composting techniques and teaching tools.

Facilitators collaborate with public and private entities to provide hands-on activities such as making vermicompost bins and touring small and large-scale composting facilities. To culminate the course, each student prepares a final educational project that he or she presents to the class. To share their composting knowledge with the community, each Master Composter commits to serving 40 volunteer hours within the first year of completing the course. Participants then continue to volunteer 20 hours each year thereafter to retain their certification.

Approved volunteer projects include leading workshops, giving presentations for community groups and school children and staffing information booths at farmers markets, fairs and expos. To date, the Georgia Master Composter Program has trained 44 participants. Seventy percent of these participants have fulfilled the 40-hour volunteer commitment during their first year. 90% of participants would recommend the program to a friend. Master Composters provide new visibility for Extension and are an asset to the local community and environment.

Athens Master Composter Lisa Sehannie volunteers at a UGA Extension educational booth.

The Georgia Master Composter Program is advertised through print and social media. Marketing avenues include local newspapers, radio stations, Extension, county listservs and Facebook. Program information is posted on the Athens-Clarke County Extension website, the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division website and the UGA Extension calendar. Flyers are displayed throughout the Athens area and distributed at farmers markets and local events.

The program is open to any adult who expresses an interest in both composting education and teaching. Varying in age from 20s to 70s, Master Composters are a diverse group of students, professionals and retirees. They range in gender, race and background.

In 2012 and 2013, 21 Master Composter Extension Volunteers served nearly 1,000 volunteer hours and interacted with 2,280 community members. In 2014, Master Composters have already served 300 hours and are expected to interact with thousands of adults and children before the end of the year.


Personnel actions since August 1, 2014

New Hires

  • Atkinson County – Tony Barnes, Public Serv Rep, 9/1/2014
  • Ben Hill – Joseph Crabtree, Public Serv Rep, 8/1/2014
  • Bleckley County – Raynor Churchwell, Public Serv Rep, 8/1/2014
  • Chattooga County – Caleb Millican, County Ext Assoc, 9/1/2014
  • Colquitt County – Christine Odom, County Ext Assoc, 9/1/2014
  • Fulton County – Ashley Wadley, Public Serv Asst, 9/1/2014
  • Gordon County – Alexandria Griner, Public Serv Asst, 9/1/2014
  • Macon County – Mark Bailey, Public Serv Rep, 9/1/2014
  • Pulaski County – Jason Smith, County Ext Assoc, 9/1/2014
  • Rockdale County – Stephen Pettis, Public Serv Asst, 8/1/2014
  • Talbot County – Tamara Harris, County Extension Assoc, 8/1/2014
  • Ware County – Morgan Slusher, Public Serv Asst, 8/1/2014
  • Whitfield County – Tifffany Cantrell, County Ext Assoc, 9/4/2014
  • Worth County – Emily Burdine, Public Serv Rep, 9/1/2014

Transfers/Position Changes

  • Brooks County – Benjamin Shirley, from Bacon to Brooks County, 9/1/2014
  • Bryan County – Patricia West, from Chatham to Bryan County, 9/1/2014
  • Coffee County – Mark von Waldner, from Atkinson to Coffee County, 9/1/2014
  • Effingham County – Sammuel Ingram, from Jackson to Effingham County, 9/1/2014
  • Jones County – Brennan Jackson, from County Ext Assoc to Public Serv Rep, 9/1/2014
  • Lumpkin County – Chesley Davis, from Muscogee to Lumpkin County, 9/1/2014
  • Walton County – Joel Burnsed, from Twiggs to Walton County, 9/1/2014


  • Bartow County – Brielle Shinall, County Ext Assoc, 9/5/2014
  • Cook County – Katie Walker, County Secretary, 8/15/2014
  • SE District Office – Linda Humphries, Admin Specialist, 8/8/2014