July 11, 2017
Does Anyone Ever Use My Reports?
When scanning through the Extension Worker’s Code (1922) recently, I found the following statement, “Answer letters promptly and make reports on time and as required. Procrastination may be the path of least resistance but it leads to a sea of troubles. Your work may be excellent, but if not properly reported, part of its value is lost to you, as well as to the Extension service, the College of Agriculture, and the United States Department of Agriculture.”
Even in 1922, Extension was talking about the importance of reporting. As a tax supported organization, the public has a right to know about our productivity and impact. It also shows our relevancy and importance to the state.
In a few recent meetings, the question “Does Anyone Ever Use My Reports” was asked. From my perspective, I can offer the following examples of how the information is used:
* Educational contacts from the quarterly effort reports are included in the Federal Report that we are required to submit on an annual basis in order to continue to receive federal capacity funds. In addition to reporting on specific program impacts, NIFA asks us to report numbers of educational contacts.
For 2015-2016, KSRE Extension professionals reported 863,310 educational contacts. When broken down by the Grand Challenges, we reported the following numbers:
Community Vitality – 140,629
Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders – 265,393
Global Food Systems – 211,304
Health – 181,914
Water – 64,070
* Each year, we ask each Program Focus Team to develop a PFT Making a Difference Report. In January, we were able to utilize the information from those reports to develop “Our Impact: 2015-2016 Extension Programs Report” –a companion piece to the College of Agriculture/KSRE Annual Report that provided specific examples of the impact of programs developed by agents and specialists to address the Grand Challenges.
Earlier this year, State Extension Advisory Council members took this report to share with state legislators and members of our Congressional delegation. According to Daryl Buchholz, retired Associate Director, “Our stakeholders were grateful to have this report because it provided simple examples of educational outcomes and impacts, along with why that impact was important to the broader society we serve. It provided them with the ability to toot our horn and be the best advocate they could be!"
* We also utilize information from Local Units Making a Difference Reports and from Quarterly Effort and Impact Reports and Success Stories to address legislator's questions.
So from my perspective, the answer to the question, "Does Anyone Ever Use My Reports?" is YES! Thank you for your efforts to complete the reports and to communicating the value of Extension to our stakeholders. We look forward to reading about the impact of your programs!