- Author: Wendy Powers
I hope everyone has power restored. At least we don't have the temperatures to accompany the winter storm that those along the Eastern Seaboard are facing.
We presented the updated strategic plan to President Drake this week. I believe it was well received by him. He asked about the ‘so what' of our plan. The question immediately transformed me in time to a meeting where the then Governor posed the same question to me as I defended against eliminating our budget. I stumbled for the response because we lacked the evidence to make a case. After the meeting, I sat in my car, still storming about the situation, and realized that it is on us to overtly convey our ‘so what'. This time, we were well prepared for the response, but it doesn't mean we become complacent. Now, it is time to get to work making the goals happen. I have some interesting partnership discussions underway to increase our programmatic footprint. This is in addition to the good things outlined in the Governor's January budget release.
Program Council met this week. We completed presentations and discussions with Statewide Program Directors. The presentations were very informative, giving Program Council a chance to hear from the Directors what they are thinking as far as opportunities for the future. I will meet with the Statewide Program Directors later this week to brainstorm a bit about future collaborations. I met as part of a group early this week to brainstorm specifically about the 4-H program. I felt that was a great conversation.
I have had several meetings with members of NIFA lately. Last week as few of us met with the new NIFA director, Dr. Carrie Castille. She is no stranger to Cooperative Extension and specifically called out the 4-H at Home efforts as particularly important during this time. In a separate meeting this week, a small group discussed with NIFA leadership direction for the Cooperative Extension System and evolution of our partnership with NIFA.
It is time for me to get started reviewing dossiers and annual evaluation documents. In between, I look forward to reading about our programs from sources outside of California. Check out this post that shares how one of our Master Food Preservers helped prevent widespread sharing of poor canning practices. Way to go, Colleen! And California was featured as an example for reporting practices by NIFA. That should feel good for all who have been getting their program information and outcomes into Project Board!
The First Friday is here. That means a day of Zoom calls for standing meetings. In addition to REC, CD, and ECOP calls, this month I have a meeting with a newly formed systemwide group to explore transparency in animal research. That promises to be interesting and another important aspect of the ‘so what'.