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KSRE Tuesday Letter

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

February 8, 2022

Important Qualities in Extension Professionals and Volunteers

Submitted by Gregg Hadley

What are the more important qualities of an extension professional or volunteer?

We extend and enhance knowledge, so one might be tempted to say intelligence. I contend that intelligence--while undoubtedly important--isn’t necessarily the most important quality for an extension professional or volunteer. A person can be intelligent but not have the ability or the willingness to share that intelligence.

Back when I was the agriculture, natural resources, and community vitality program leader, I used to love looking up and posting motivational quotes and phrases on social media. I haven’t done that for a long time, but the following anonymously sourced motivational phrase recently caught my eye:

“A person’s most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, an ear willing to listen and a hand willing to help others.”

Extension professionals and volunteers need a heart full of love to be passionate about helping others. We must have a listening ear to understand how we can help others. Finally, we need a willing hand to be able to act to help and serve others.

Intelligence, love, listening and a willingness to serve are four qualities of great extension professionals and volunteers.

I am thankful we have a system full of great extension professionals and volunteers.