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Extension News


Vol. 3 – No. 11
May 30, 2003

Current Events

Benefit Tournament: The 3rd Annual Oklahoma Turfgrass Research Foundation/Oklahoma Golf Course Superintendents Association Benefit Tournament is set for Monday, June 2 at the Oklahoma City Golf and County Club, 7000 NW Grand Blvd. Proceeds from the tournament benefit OSU Turfgrass Research and the OGCSA Scholarship fund. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by lunch at 11:00 a.m. The shotgun start for the 4-person scramble will be at 12:00 p.m. For more information contact Tonya Murray, OTRF Executive Secretary at 800-936-7071.

 Field Day Slated: The Lane Ag Center Field Day will take place on Saturday, June 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The public is invited to view the research trials on onions, honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupes, squash, cucumbers, collards, spinach, cotton, soybeans, southern peas, dry beans, sweet corn, transgenic BT sweet corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, poblano peppers, okra, ornamental landscaping plants, Bermuda grass forages, cool season forage grasses, St. Augustine turf grass, and Bermuda turf grass. The event is hosted by Oklahoma State University and the United States Department of Agriculture. The event will feature live music, antique tractors, cold watermelon, and food vendors. For more information call 580-889-7343.


Budget Update:  The legislature has passed the higher education budget, setting the reduction for the year at 9.9% in addition to the 1.0% reduction that occurred when the budget was set on July 1, 2002. Although the exact amount of the total budget reduction is not known, the approximate amount is $2,450,000. Final budget figures will be set by the higher education regents and announced early next week. The exact amount of the FY04 Extension budget as well as the amount of any tuition offset Extension might receive will be known at that time. Where do we go from here? Although the early and optional retirement program will significantly reduce the impact of the budget shortfall, it is clear that Extension must further reduce its personnel commitment. It is also clear that a comprehensive plan that includes staff reductions at all levels must be done in concert with the Experiment Station and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. That process will take several months. Meanwhile, Extension will have to take a number of interim measures in order to remain solvent through the coming fiscal year. Those interim measures will be finalized and announced as quickly as possible. 

 Initiative for the Future of Rural Oklahoma: Good things are happening with the Initiative for the Future of Rural Oklahoma grant projects. To learn more about what has taken place in these Oklahoma communities, go to the Initiative Web site at http://ifro.okstate.edu/. A link to the Initiative First Quarter Briefs for 2003 has been developed. Click on either the "What's New" link or the "Announcements" link.  You can view this newsletter on both pages.

 Article Accepted: Sue Williams, Family Policy Specialist, and Renee Daugherty, Educational Methods Specialist, have had an article accepted in the Journal of Higher Education and Outreach Engagement. The article is titled "Building Community Partnerships:  Determining Organizational Capacity to Support Public Deliberation in Oklahoma." This article is based on a presentation they made at the Outreach Scholarship 2002 Conference: Catalyst for Change hosted by Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Wisconsin. In addition, the pair also was notified that their paper proposal for the 2003 Outreach Scholarship Conference:  Excellence Through Engagement has been accepted. Only 45 percent of the paper proposals were accepted. The paper is titled “Partnering with Rural Populations to Build Community Through Leadership.”  The conference will be held in Madison, Wisconsin later this year. 

 New Grant: Terry Bidwell, Extension Rangeland Management Specialist, has received a grant for $165,000 from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry, Forestry Services Division through the National Fire Plan - Hazard Mitigation Grants program.  The grant is for the production of both printed and video informational materials on the effects of eastern redcedar on Oklahoma's natural resources, public health, and public safety.  Project facilitators also will include Gayle Hiner, Senior Communications Specialist, Paul Thomas, Senior TV Producer/Director, and other staff members from Agricultural Communications Services.

 Leader Award: Sue Williams, Family Policy Specialist, has been selected by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences for their Leader Award. She will receive this award during the AAFCS Annual Convention to be held in Washington, D.C. from June 28 to July 1.

 Award Winner: Maretta Toler, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth Development, Comanche County, received the Ralph Holman Distinguished Service Award from the Lawton/Ft. Sill Community Education Advisory Council. The award is in recognition of serving six or more years on the Council, as well as demonstrating exemplary dedication to furthering communication education.

 Japanese Resident Visits Tulsa County Extension Office: Staff in the Tulsa County Extension Office recently was treated to a visit from Koji Hanai. He is a Senior Researcher at the Japan Research Institute for Local Community and Culture and is in the United States to study both foreign and domestic agricultural policy, food safety, biotechnology, and grassroots organizations. As a researcher in charge of Agriculture and Environment for Japan's cabinet office, Hanai was very interested in how we interact in our community to teach best management practices in agriculture. He told us that Japan shares the same emerging issues, including water quality, urban encroachment, and securing a healthy food supply. He took great interest in the 4-H program, especially urban 4-H.  He also learned about Barbara Tricinella's Food Safety program for restaurant managers and her emphasis on family issues. Mitsue Smith, a Tulsa County Master Gardener, and native of Japan, served as an interpreter and was able to make him feel welcome to the office. Smith showed Hanai all the great work the Master Gardeners are doing around the building.  Although Japan has no Master Gardener program, he took great interest in the program.  Japan's urban centers have very few public gardens and most buildings are entirely of concrete.  As a result, depression and other disorders are common among workers and school children.  Researchers in that country have concluded that the use of wood in interior decor, coupled with gardens, both indoors and out, will reduce this sociological problem. Hanai observed the gardens maintained by volunteers, and realized that this program could be conducted in his country to maintain those proposed public gardens and school gardens.

Celebration of Service: A special “celebration of service” reception will take place on Monday, June 30 in recognition of Janie Morrow, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, and Claire Powell, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth Development, both of Oklahoma County. The reception will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Oklahoma County Extension Office. Memory books are being created in their honor. Anyone wishing to submit letters, photos, or cards should send the contribution pages (unfolded) to Bill Geer, Oklahoma County Extension Office, 930 N. Portland, Oklahoma City, OK  73107.

 Graduate Award: Jonathan Ulmer, a master’s degree graduate in Agricultural Education, received a Graduate Research Excellence Award during the Spring 2003 Graduate Hooding Ceremony.  His thesis studied the knowledge and perceptions of Oklahoma voters toward alternative energy sources.

 Educational Workshop: The Department of Agricultural Education, Communications, and 4-H Youth Development hosted the Livestock Publications Council Dare to Design workshops and critique contest during the regional conference May 19-20. Approximately 50 agricultural communications students and livestock publications individuals from the surrounding states attended the workshops and entered materials including advertisements, feature stories, and photos.

Telephone Number Correction: The phone number for Haskell County Extension Office is incorrect in the 2003 Personnel Directory.  The number should be 918-967-4330. Please make this correction in your directory. 

 Congratulations to: Leigh Harrison, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth Development, Grady County, and her husband, Guy Heldermon, on the birth of their daughter, Kye Leigh Heldermon. She was born March 26, weighed  7 pounds, 4 ounces, and was 21 1/2 inches long.

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Coming Events

June 2-3: Southeast District Horse Show (Ardmore)

June 4: Caddo County 4-H Day Camp (Anadarko)

June 6-8: Southwest District Horse Show (Chickasha)

June 7: Northwest District Horse Show (Guthrie)

June 7: Citizenship Washington Focus Orientation (Oklahoma City)

June 10-12: Caddo County 4-H Mini-Society Camp (Anadarko)

June 11: Understanding Health Disparities – Core Training (Stillwater)

June 11: Citizenship Washington Focus Orientation (Stillwater)

June 12: Healthy Families Annual State In-Service (Stillwater)

June 12: CNEP NEAs Annual In-Service (Stillwater)

June 19: Basic Food Preparation Skills: Vegetables and Fruits – Core Training (Stillwater)

June 19-21: Oklahoma State Horse Show (Enid)

June 26: Memory Lesson – “Yes, Older People Can Remember” (Pauls Valley)

June 26-27: 4-H Leadership Team Retreat (Stillwater)

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