Director’s e-Memo │ August 14, 2017

Committed to Diversity
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is committed to providing an employment and work environment that is conducive to the personal and professional development of every employee. As Director, I am responsible for providing an equal opportunity environment and each agency employee is accountable for creating an atmosphere that values and nurtures community, respect, and accessibility.

The vision of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to “help Texans better their lives” is achieved by our mission, “…to create high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.” We can best fulfill this mission through a dynamic and diverse workforce that effectively responds to our constituents. We will expand our efforts to build on each other’s ideas, expertise, values, styles, expressions, perspectives, and experiences.

Accordingly, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service does not discriminate or permit harassment against any individual on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity in either employment or educational programming.

It is my firm commitment to ensure that equal opportunity and access will be provided throughout the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to all current and prospective employees, and the public.  If you have any questions related to equal opportunity, access, or affirmative action, please review the “Diversity and Civil Rights Resources” page on our employee website or contact Jennifer Hobbs, Chief Human Resources Officer, 979/845-2423, JMHobbs@ag.tamu.edu.

Please join me in this commitment.

More information and resources about our commitment to diversity, including the approved equal opportunity and accessibility statements, can be found on this website at https://extensionemployees.tamu.edu/resources/diversity-and-civil-rights-resources

September 10 Deadline for Superior Service Award Nominations
Don’t forget – nominations are now being accepted for AgriLife Extension Superior Service Awards.

All Texas A&M AgriLife personnel are welcome to nominate any member or team of the Extension faculty and staff. Eligible nominees include individuals who are assigned to support Extension (county secretaries, for example), regardless of source of funds.

Links to the guidelines, as well as tips and FAQs, are posted at https://extensionemployees.tamu.edu/extension-superior-service-awards.

I encourage you to consider nominating a worthy colleague and help us to recognize our deserving employees. Get your nominations in by September 10!

The Evolution of FCS
We believe Extension can do for health what we have done for agriculture – create a transformative educational experience that teaches our residents about the critical link between healthy food and healthy lives. Over the years we’ve increasingly shifted the focus of our work to addressing chronic disease, nutrition and wellness.

To better support this focus, we intend to transition our county agent titles from Family and Consumer Science to Family and Community Health.

We look at this title change as another step in the evolution of Extension and the impact we can have in our communities. Health and nutrition has grown into a larger emphasis in our program planning and we’ve seen many professional associations make similar name changes over the years.  The fact is, the majority of agents hired in the past 5-10 years to work in the ‘human sciences’ area of our agency have specialized degrees in health or nutrition.

As we have consulted with many of you over the past year we have overwhelmingly heard feedback that incorporating the term ‘Health’ in our agent titles will raise our credibility as health educators, help our stakeholders better understand the work that we do, and position us to remain relevant to the evolving needs of our communities.

You are welcome to share any comments or concerns about this with Dr. Ballabina. Feel free to email her at sgballabina@ag.tamu.edu

Another Successful Beef Cattle Short Course
The 63rd annual Beef Cattle Short Course brought in a record-breaking crowd last week. More than 2,200 participants from not only Texas, but all over the world, convened in College Station to learn the latest on cattle operations, market trends and industry research.

The Beef Cattle Short Course is one of the largest beef educational events in the U.S. and continues to grow each year. Congratulation to conference coordinator Dr. Jason Cleere and everyone involved in the event!

Douglas L. Steele, PhD
Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
600 John Kimbrough Blvd., Suite 509
7101 TAMU, College Station TX 77843-7101
Tel. 979.845.7967, dsteele@tamu.edu
Rebekah See-Hruska, Assistant to the Director
See-Hruska@tamu.edu

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