I want to give you all an update on the most recent meeting of the Creating Our Futures Committee. We had a short survey about Cooperative Extension awareness and use at the College of Ag state fair booth. About 200 people participated. The results were interesting, but perhaps of more use is how such an instrument can be used at public events. Look for those results to be posted on our web page and Facebook link. We also developed a more detailed survey for input about Cooperative Extension programs, values, and the future. This survey can be used for County Extension Council input this fall, and for other Extension related groups that you might be meeting with. If you use this survey, please send your results to either me or Ken Jones by November 2. If you need an electronic copy of this survey, contact me or again look for the file that will be posted on our web page. We are also working on a format for input and discussion at the District Forums that will take place in November. Later this fall we will begin to gather similar input from our own staff, so look for that as well.
At our last meeting, the committee looked at recent trends in both funding and staffing patterns for our organization. As you know, total budgets are shrinking, and the relative proportion of the various funding sources is shifting, especially with a higher proportion from county funds and a lower proportion from federal funds. Grant funds are also increasing in proportion of the total budget. Funding will obviously have an impact on staffing patterns as well as programs, and the committee will be looking further at those implications. FYI, Kentucky Cooperative Extension current has 968 employees: 395 agents, 184 program assistants, 208 county secretaries, 121 specialists, 19 administrators, and 35 associates.
As always, if you have any comments or suggestions for the committee, please feel free to contact me or any of the committee members. We’ll keep you posted on the committee discussions as we continue during this next program year. Thanks for your help with this.
Rick Maurer, Committee Chair