December 22, 2015
The REAL Work of Extension
At this time of the year, I find myself reflecting a bit, and this year I am again reflecting on the REAL work of Extension. I hear from several of you in various conversations with thoughts and comments back that reflect your examples and beliefs in the REAL work of Extension. For me, I still embrace a quote from years back by Madie McClean, "If you want to understand what we do here, you have to understand, it's not about the rice." Follow this link to provide the background story to this quote. I believe it is worth the time to read, and especially if you take some time to reflect on your work during the holiday season! It comes out of a book by Peters, S.J. and M. Hittleman, eds. (2003). We Grow People: Profiles of Extension Educators. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University
Chuck Otte, Geary County Extension Agent, threw me a couple of his favorite quotes that he has posted in his office. "It's about making a difference. (If you have to ask "What is?" then you've missed the point!)" and "What would it take to really make a difference?"
It is difficult to put hard facts and figures on the REAL impact of Extension. It is critically important that we all articulate that value through the examples and stories that grow out of our work. And, always remember, people are much more interested in knowing what is happening with someone else as a result of your efforts, than simply a chronology of activities that convey that you have been busy! Your value isn't measured by how busy you are, but by the difference you are making for others. (Everyone is busy, and if you don't believe it, just ask anyone.)
I thank you for making my year among the best ever. I appreciate all you do to make a positive difference for the people and communities all across this great state. I hope you have found time to prepare for the holidays! Travel safe through the holiday season. I wish you all a most blessed holiday with family and friends, and happy new year!
P.S. The University is closing on December 24 and will largely be shut down for the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Our next “Tuesday Letter” will be coming to you on Tuesday, January 5, 2016.