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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

February 23, 2016

Engaging in Community Vitality Programming

Submitted by Daryl Buchholz

Many of you have heard me say, “The only REAL reason we (K-State Research and Extension) exist is for programming.” Strong local extension programs are the outcome of a partnership between extension agents and members of the local Program Development Committee (PDC).

Are you struggling with ways to engage your local unit Community Development PDC in a meaningful way? If so, mark your calendars now to attend an upcoming Community Vitality Update during the week of April 25, 2016. These will be one day trainings held at four different locations (Ulysses, Norton, Wilson, and Melvern) across the state. For more information and to register visit: http://www.ksre.k-state.edu/community/index.html.

Kansas extension county and district laws require four program development committees with six or more members serving on each committee. Committees focus on four core areas: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Community Development, Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H Youth Development. http://www.k-state.edu/boardleadership/cooperative-extension/Extension%20Council%20Law.pdf.

Based on conversations from past K-State Research and Extension Partnership meetings related to our Strengthening Program Development Committee initiative it is evident that the program area that many find most challenging to engage with is the area of Community Development. These workshops will provide an opportunity for agents, executive board members, and Community Development PDC members to learn about current programs that can be implemented at the local level to address the issues related to community vitality as well as highlight successful programming in the host communities. These will include PRIDE, Entrepreneurship, Facilitation, and First Impressions.

Our K-State Research and Extension Community Vitality specialist team is a growing entity ready and willing to work with local units to expand programming efforts to address Community Vitality, one of our five Grand Challenges. This team of four professionals have worked closely with the Community Development Program Focus Team to identify state wide needs and develop current programs related to leadership, entrepreneurship, and community improvement.

I strongly encourage each local unit to take advantage of this upcoming professional development opportunity for agents, boards, PDC members, and local leaders the week of April 25, 2016.