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Extension County Operations

Review of County Operations 2010

Implementing the Plan

The focus of our work on the Review of County Operations has now shifted to formulating the strategic details of the plan. We expect the implementation phase to take up to 18 months.

Next steps (as published in October 2010 Extension E-News):

  • District directors will submit final recommendations for staffing for tiered counties in mid October;
  • District directors will contact effected counties/employees to discuss pending changes;
  • A list of high priority positions will be internally advertised in late October and we will begin filling these positions prior to the end of 2010;
  • We will continue working with agents from the Atlanta metro counties and the Urban Ag Center to develop a more cohesive delivery system for urban programs; and
  • By the end of October, Dr. Sparks will make recommendations to Dean Angle on potential consolidation of key administrative/management positions and recommendations on filling our most critical administrative positions.

Support materials:

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: The video file below should be saved and viewed locally on your computer. In order to save it, right-click on the link and choose "Save As". You can put it on a flash drive or CD to share it with your local officials.

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Report to Dean Angle

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Refining the County Delivery Model

During the past two years Georgia Cooperative Extension has experienced a reduction in our state budget of approximately 20%. One of the ways we have absorbed these cuts has been through faculty retirements. These retirements have had a profound impact on Extension county operations. From July, 2008 until mid-March 2010 we have accrued 75 county agent vacancies. We also have two retired District Directors and two vacant district Program Development Coordinator positions. We have been able to minimize the impact of many of these cuts through temporary rehires of recent retirees. Most likely, we will not be able to continue all of the rehires into FY11.

We currently have 249 state funded county agents. With 159 counties and three program areas, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain effective programming in all counties in the state. Most people agree that Georgia Extension has the best possible model for county delivery of Extension programs. However, with 75 county agent vacancies, we cannot continue to do everything the way we are currently doing it. We can't continue to ask our current workforce to do more with less. We are committed to the county delivery system and we realize that in order to continue the support we get from local governments, we must have a presence in the counties. We need the best thinking of each and every Extension employee to help us figure out the course ahead.

In March we initiated a process we will call a Review of County Operations. We have appointed a steering committee to help us facilitate the process (members listed below), but our goal as we move forward is to ensure that every Extension employee has the opportunity to provide meaningful input as we develop our plan.

The purpose of this website is to keep you informed about the process. We intend for the process to be completely open and we will share information here as it is available. One of our goals is to share background information so that when we ask for your input, you can give informed responses. We will be sharing information about the specifics of our budget situation, about where our vacancies are and other information that will be helpful in the process. We will also provide links to previous strategic plans that Extension has developed over the years (ie. Focus Forward plan from 1993 and the Review of Extension Delivery from 2005).

Please let us know if there is information that you would like to see here that we haven't thought of. You will be hearing more from us soon regarding your role in helping us to make Extension even better than it is today.

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Steering Committee

On March 11-12, 2010 a steering committee of 20 individuals convened at Rock Eagle to begin discussions as to how we will conduct this process. Our goal at this meeting was to explore the facts relating to our current situation, define the issues to be addressed, and design a process to engage the entire organization in the process. In selecting the members of the steering committee, we tried to make sure that all program areas were adequately represented. We included agents as well as specialists and administrators. The meeting at Rock Eagle was facilitated by Sherri Lawless of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

Please contact one of the individuals on our steering committee if you have thoughts or ideas that you would like to share.

Steering Committee for Review of County Operations
Tony Tyson – Chair Steve Brown Ken Lewis
Lannie Lanier John Parks Greg Price
Arch Smith Jorge Atiles Sheldon Hammond
Laura Perry Johnson Laurie Cantrell Sidney Law
Kim Siebert Grace Garnier Jenny Jordan
Gail Hanula Dennis Hancock Travis Zetterower
Faith Peppers David Langston Nick Fuhrman - Advisor
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2010 Timeline for Review of County Operations

In June and early July we plan to hold meetings with many of our stakeholder groups including commodity organizations, ACCG and school officials. The purpose of these meetings will be to explain our current situation and to seek their input as we move forward in the process. The upcoming dates and locations are as follows:

June 14 Review Listening Session Results with Department Heads Athens
Late June Survey of County Officials and School Officials  
June-July Interviews and Listening Sessions with Commodity Groups, County Officials, School Officials and Other Stakeholders
  • Peanut Commission - June 10
  • Green Industry Assn. - June 11
  • Cotton Commission - June 16
  • GCA Executive Committee - July 12
  • GFVGA - July 15
  • Poultry Federation - July 23
  • Others to be scheduled
Tifton
Rock Eagle
August 1-2 Extension Leaders Planning Retreat Rock Eagle
August 16-17 Steering Committee Meeting Rock Eagle
August 31 Report to Dean Angle  
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Resource Links

Background Information:

County Staffing Maps:

The following maps show the counties where agents are home-based for each of the three program areas. There are also maps showing where Fort Valley State Agents and Archway Professionals are located. Some agents have multi-county assignments, so just because there is not an agent for a particular program area in a county does not necessarily mean the county is not being served by an agent. Each map is interactive – if you scroll your mouse over the county it will show you every Extension employee located in the county, along with their job title, program area and funding source. The maps do not show retiree rehires. The data for this map was generated in early April, 2010 so it may not reflect changes after that date.

County Agent Staffing Plan Maps for 2010 and 2012:

  • 2010 (Scroll down to see all three program areas.)
  • 2012 (Scroll down to see all three program areas.)

Extension Professional's Creed on YouTube:

Extension Restructuring in Other States:

Journal Articles:

Marketing Extension to Georgia:

Presentations:

Stakeholders' Input:

SURVEYS:

These are the results of the statewide survey of Extension employees conducted in May. The first document is the quantitative data and the second document is the qualitative data.

SUMMARY REPORTS:

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