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KSRE Tuesday Letter

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

November 14, 2017


Submitted by Gregg Hadley

Summertime brought us fair time, and the day (August 1) when our PFT action plans and professional development opportunities are due. September and October brought us:
• state fair time;
• our agents needed to submit their action plans, professional development plans, and annual performance review materials;
• our PFT leadership needed to prepare their Making a Difference report for November 1 submission; and,
• a cash callback announcement was made.

Of course, the normal, ongoing duties of an Extension professional – networking, partnering, facilitating, educating, advising, program development, and evaluation to name just a few – needed to be completed during this time, too. While all of these activities are very important and greatly appreciated, it is no wonder that the work related stress of the past few months have left many of us to be on edge and a little “chippy” towards our inner selves, each other, and perhaps even our family and friends.

Now, November is here, our traditional month of reflection and being thankful. A common November Facebook tradition is to post something you are thankful for everyday up through the Thanksgiving holiday. This weekend we reflected on and gave thanks for the service of our military veterans. We will also gather next week with our family and friends at Thanksgiving to reflect on and give thanks for our harvest, our efficient and safe food system, and that time of togetherness with family and friends.

While the summer through fall season for Extension is stressful, I think November offers us an opportunity to pause and reflect on what we are thankful for with regard to our lives as Extension professionals. We get to empower the people of Kansas by helping to or directly providing the research-backed education they need to make the important decisions necessary to improve their lives, livelihoods and communities. We get to help youth develop into competent and confident adults. We get to help Kansas address its and our Grand Challenges of health, global food systems, water, community vitality and developing tomorrow’s leaders. We get paid to learn even more about the subjects we love and to become better Extension professionals. Finally, we get to work with professional and volunteer colleagues who are just as passionately devoted to our Extension mission as we are.

I want to close this week with three things. First, I ask that you set aside time this annual period of reflection and thanksgiving to think of the great things you are afforded due to your career as an Extension professional. Second, I want to thank you for all of the great and impactful Extension work you have done and will continue to do. Finally, thank you for being so dedicated to the people of Kansas, our mission, our profession, K-State Research and Extension, and each other.