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Director Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Candidate Pete G. Gibbs Associate Director for State Programs. Seminar Outline. Background Qualifications & Interest “ A Vision for Extension in the Land-Grant University System ” Immediate steps

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Director texas agrilife extension service

Director Texas AgriLife Extension Service


Pete G. Gibbs

Associate Director for State Programs

Seminar outline
Seminar Outline

  • Background

  • Qualifications & Interest

  • “A Vision for Extension in the Land-Grant University System”

  • Immediate steps

  • Summary of vision points

Early background
Early Background

  • Born 1955

  • Raised on farm in Rolling Plains

    -horses, hay production, feed mill

    -parents self-employed

  • Active in 4-H and FFA

    -horses, steers, lambs, hogs, broilers,

    racing homing pigeons

    -4-H Gold Star Award

    -worked hard, studied little

Slow start stronger finishes
Slow Start & Stronger Finishes

  • Misguided tour of universities

  • Credit Extension for opportunity

  • Transferred into TAMU 1975

    Distinguished Student several semesters

  • Undergraduate Degree – Dec 1977

  • Began M.S. – Jan 1978 – finished 18 months

    Graduate Teaching Assistant

    Variety of Extension activities

  • Completed PhD – 1982

Kansas state university
Kansas State University

  • 1 of 4 candidates for Specialist

    Kansas Cooperative Extension

    - Nov 1982 - 5 ½ years

    - earned tenure and promotion

    - high emphasis on fee-based &

    new programs

  • 1 of 3 candidates for Specialist

    Texas Agricultural Extension Service

    Returned to TAM System – 1988


  • Married Colette on April Fool’s Day – 1983

    -runs day-to-day operations

  • 1 son Tyler born 1987

    -2011 graduate Mays Business School

    Finance degree & Entrepreneur certificate

    -Integrated Real Estate Development &

    Construction Company – Site Manager

Extension work experience
Extension Work Experience

  • Program Assistant – 3 summers

    1st official work with county

    program delivery – 1974, 75 & 76

  • Specialist – 25.75 years

    -Graduate Faculty member

    Associate Department Head – 2.5 years

  • Associate Director – 45 months

    -ANR & CRED

    -FCS & 4-H – added in 2011

Experience in senior administration
Experience in Senior Administration

  • Agriculture & Natural Resources

    + Wildlife Services

  • Health & Safety Education

  • Leadership Education

    Our State Strategic Goals

Responsibility for state programs
Responsibility for State Programs

  • 16 Units

    -13 departmentalized

    - 3 stand alone

  • 3 Institutes

    -includes Borlaug International work

  • Sea Grant Extension (in Geosciences)

  • Wildlife Service Unit

  • 4 Programmatic Regions

    -ANR & FCS Regional Program Directors

Current involvement
Current Involvement

  • State Technical Advisory Committee

    - key agricultural topics & issues

  • Chief Research Officer – OSRS

  • Research Compliance Officer – newly formed Office of Compliance

  • TVMDL Advisory Committee

  • Texas 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees

  • TRE Council – V.C & Dean

  • Southern Region Program Leaders’

    Network – ANR & FCS

  • National FCS Leaders’ Group

Qualifications for director
Qualifications for Director

  • Understand our successful Model. Support county

    programming with strong specialist backstop

  • Science-trained

  • Value relationships with AgriLife Research & Corporate Relations, Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab,

    Texas Forest Service

  • High value on 4-H & Youth Development

  • Personal record of fee-based programs, contracts/grants

  • Experience with almost 60% of agency budget

  • Strong stakeholder relations – know the commodity leadership well and value those relationships

  • Work well with our External Relations group in Austin

Director texas agrilife extension service

  • Value honesty and genuine attitudes

  • Seek & respect input

  • Decisive

  • Delegate…with expectation & trust

  • Diplomatic & good natured, can be blunt

  • Strong work ethic, consistent and truly care

  • Communicate inside/outside the agency, not just when something is needed

  • Advocate for the mission and delivery system at all levels

  • Believe in the land grant system(s)

  • This job is not a prize to be won

Why interested
Why Interested?

  • Extension raised

  • Extension is only career

  • Our work matters…is rewarding

  • Our people’s careers combined with our clientele’s needs are vitally important

  • We are Relevant, it’s worth fighting for

  • Agency has good

    opportunities ahead

  • Enjoy the relationships &

    can handle the pace

Core values
Core Values



Agency is Respected because

Reputation- science based

Relevance – Issues ID

Relationships – local

Responsive & Objective

  • Faith

  • Family

  • Texas & the U.S.

  • Friendships

  • Work hard & play hard

Across the agency
Across the Agency

  • Know our own people

  • Know our clientele and

    anticipate what could be our

    future clientele

  • Care….simply care

  • Have intensity with good attitude

  • Never tear down from within

  • Start…..and finish anything worth doing with quality performance

A vision for texas agrilife extension service
A Vision for Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Must include all the components

  • Social opportunities

  • Political considerations

  • Economic priorities

    Reality is ---all linked together

The synergies that exist
The Synergies that Exist

  • Are crucial

  • Capture opportunities

    -we need one another

  • Combine for public value & greater good

    Most people think we are in 1 room!

    Agencies are the unique part of the land-grant

Prairie View CEP

All things are local
All Things are Local

84% Off-Campus ‘by design’

We have the Network

Our relationships are everything
Our Relationships are Everything

Each Other

Our Clientele

Key Associations

Elected Officials

  • Socially

  • Politically

  • Economically

    ….and driven Locally

Agricultural Commodity Groups

Council of Resident Directors

TALL Foundation


  • 254 (9%) of 3000 counties nationwide

  • 2 land grants

  • 2nd most populated state (grows daily)

  • 3rd most populated county in nation

  • 1st least populated county in nation

  • 42% Anglo/White

  • 38% Hispanic/Latino(a)

  • 12% Black/African American

  • 8% Asian, Indian, Pacific Islander, ≥ 2 races

    We must be driven by the needs of the people

Director texas agrilife extension service

Educational Programs and Resources

98,573 Volunteers

26 million direct teaching contacts





County Agents (555)

Needs Assessment

12,055 Participants

Program Development

and Delivery Process


Social challenge opportunities
Social Challenge & Opportunities

  • Expand reach to larger audiences

    without working longer

    -Technology utilization & online


    -Increase diversity

    -Non traditional locations & approaches

    -Maximize committees and volunteer


    -Integrated, systems delivery to clientele

Technology utilization
Technology Utilization

  • Multiple delivery


  • Cater to people’s schedules and preferences

  • Use Technology

    - for stronger programs

    - for efficiency

  • Help people see us & learn what we offer

Ranch TV

Dinner Tonight!

Increase diversity
Increase Diversity

  • Understand

    -Population changes

    -Approaches, ideas, needs

    of different audiences

  • Committees

    -Diversity of Texas goes

    hand in hand with our

    network, if our committees

    are right.

    -1st must appear interested

    in being diverse.

  • Audience Increase

    -based on Issues ID

    -educational topics &

    delivery approaches

  • Recruit

    -Grow our own

    -Look for good fit across

    entire agency

    -Visit universities often

    -Advertise in diverse


Non traditional locations approaches
Non Traditional Locations & Approaches

  • Go where the people are

  • Online use to find new audiences - Urban

  • Expand collaborations for educational delivery from feed stores to grocery stores, from production agriculture to human health care systems

Local committees volunteers
Local Committees & Volunteers

  • Give us focus & direction

  • Expand our reach

    At All Levels We Must

  • Revitalize some committees

  • Identify new people & diverse makeup

  • Train our faculty/staff to:

    -Manage our volunteers with clear

    boundaries and routine communication

    -Let committees and volunteers work

    with and for us

Integrated approaches
Integrated Approaches

Example: Large scale producers

  • Demonstrations & applied work - exists

  • Individual contacts - exist

    Increase interdisciplinary approaches:

  • Advanced Programs – focused at high level on state-of-the science/technology & held multi-county

    -for producers, managers, consultants

Integrated solutions
Integrated Solutions

Example: Feeding Texas

Requires a system approach to address the food needs of people

  • At least 8 of our discipline units need

    to be in sync & working together

  • All of our counties are affected

    Who better to tie it all together than this agency?

4 h youth very important
4-H & Youth Very Important

  • Parents were volunteer leaders

  • Active in 4-H at county, district, state & regional levels

  • 1st trip to College Station was in a County Agent pickup

  • Son Tyler was active

  • As Specialist, ~50% work was 4-H/Youth

Keep as high priority 4 h youth
Keep as High Priority – 4-H & Youth

  • The responsibility is all of ours

  • Job titles should never be a limitation

  • Grow enrollment with quality offerings

    [A cotton grower will appreciate our

    help with a crop…..and will love us

    forever…..for what we offer the

    family and children]

     State is full of 4-H Alumni

Political considerations local state federal
Political Considerations Local, State, Federal

  • Communications & relations

    built around our model & network

  • Tell our story via accountability & interpretation

  • We must all learn to value the outcomes and impacts


Impact Briefs

Public Value Statements

Local, District, Regional &

Statewide Interpretations


  • Judges

  • Commissioners

  • City officials

  • Local businesses

  • Local leaders

  • Stay relevant with

    Needs Assessment

  • Functional & current committees

  • Volunteer support

  • Local interpretation

    This drives our entire process

State of texas
State of Texas

  • 31 Senate

  • 150 House

  • 140 days

  • Best case scenario

    -11 of 31 (33%)

    with rural emphasis

    due to district size

    -38 of 150 (25%)

    rural or rural priorities

  • Representation follows population

  • We must expand our reach



Regional national
Regional & National

More Involvement/Presence

  • Coastal states alliances

  • Regional development teams

  • National associations/groups

  • Federal review teams

  • NIFA committees

    Will have to spend some money to increase our people’s involvement

Remain focused on our role
Remain Focused on our Role

  • Educational

  • Never Regulatory

    We don’t set or promote policy, laws, regulations

The best politics communicate work interpret
The Best PoliticsCommunicate – Work - Interpret

  • Do our jobs very well every day

  • Invite elected officials to educational programs

  • Interpret the value of our education at all levels

  • Let our audience and the industries advocate for us

  • Stay out of trouble – every comment we make matters

Regarding the budget
Regarding the Budget

Now vs. 2009

  • County constant

  • Federal constant

    -could decrease

  • State – balanced budget state

    -hope is for level


  • Contracts & Grants

    - increased

  • Partial cost recovery

    - significant impact

Partial cost recovery
Partial Cost Recovery

  • The hard part is accomplished

  • Legislature understands

  • Key stakeholders mostly understand

  • Has affected staffing patterns already

  • Stay hitched and pull together

  • Be sure our programs are worth it

  • Deliver what we advertise

  • Emphasis to include:

    -Regional and statewide programs

    that also support county efforts

Economic goals
Economic Goals

  • Maintain consistent appropriated funding

  • Grow soft sources

    -for resilience & flexibility

  • Address salaries

    It’s not agents vs specialists or state vs county programs….it is us….this is our network, with strong commitment to a local presence

Discuss decide
Discuss & Decide

  • ‘Optimum’ Staffing Patterns to achieve statewide reach and representation

    (likely always need to evaluate)

  • Tighten up on Program Priorities & turn loose where appropriate (reluctance exists)

  • Delegate & Manage - our Volunteers and Extension committees (renewed emphasis)

    -Best advocates for all levels of funding

Administration to re evaluate
Administration to Re-evaluate

  • Salary policy on faculty vacancies

    on staff vacancies

    Agency Should:

  • Maintain decentralized process with strong expectations for middle managers to make the decisions

  • Be Realistic – Salary adjustments and increased position #’s not likely with appropriated sources alone

Address retention equity
Address Retention & Equity

  • Serious discussion and approaches

  • Get more comparative data for analysis

  • Contrary to ‘talk’, # of Agents

    leaving has not increased

  • Specialist departures are a mix:

    -‘going home’ with/without salary increase

    -career change to Research

    -join industry – often with no move

    For some, Extension not viewed as

    ‘safe haven’ any longer

Administration to re evaluate1
Administration to Re-evaluate

Cash management procedures

  • Payment methods -credit/debit

    -must be fast and user friendly

  • Deposits, transfers

    -efficient and accountable

    - compliant with state law

Senior administrative leadership team
Senior Administrative Leadership Team

  • Currently very efficient

  • Keep it lean

  • Consider realignment of the 3 current positions:

    - County Programs

    - State Programs

    - Executive Associate Director

    regarding titles and responsibilities

State of texas budget process
State of Texas Budget Process

  • Advocate for the agency

    -no singular asks

  • Documentation of

    -wise use of funds

    -LBB contacts accurate

    -level 3-4 Outcomes

  • Exceptional Items

    developed carefully

Federal budget process
Federal Budget Process

  • States ought to combine advocacy for Smith-Lever

  • Regional (13 states)

    - organized voice

    - emphasis on key impacts

  • Know what resonates…..

    kids, water, health &

    nutrition, gardening, etc.

  • Federal Integrated Report cannot be our best/only Texas story

  • Many states discuss logic models…..

    AgriLife Extension

    has the follow-through

    with tangible outcomes

    Nationwide – Extension

    matches Smith-Lever 9:1.

Federal priorities
Federal Priorities

Continue to:

  • Keep elected officials aware of our impacts

  • Interpret our work between 1862’s & 1890’s

  • Promote federal formula funding

  • Support Ag & Food Policy Center work with Congress & Farm Bill

  • Meet with our federal relations people (D.C.)

    so we all know one another well

  • Competitive - Lead more AFRI proposals

Regarding contracts grants
Regarding Contracts & Grants

  • Never be consultants with bias

    -objectivity makes

    companies want our

    evaluation & applied work

    -preserve position of trust

  • Always go after funding

    with ‘good fit’

Organize for system approaches
Organize for System Approaches

  • Multiple departments

  • Region wide

  • Multi- agency

  • Other state agencies

  • Internal grant writing


    Our best shot at big $

Scoot our silos closer
‘Scoot our Silos Closer’

Initiative Teams – examples

  • Water Team – index & CEA support

    -integrate to achieve larger funding

    -#1 Issue statewide

  • Small Acreage Management Team

    -index developed

    -good county programs & limited funding

  • Produce Safety Team

    -successful with a multi-unit grant

Donor support contracts
Donor Support & Contracts

  • Strategic Funding Needs documents

    - prepare, update routinely, high quality

    (just formalized for 4-H)

    - get completely organized

    - know what we need, why and how much

    - be positioned for small to large levels of

    support on all fronts

  • Development Officer – maximize efforts

    Corporate Relations – consider opportunity

    3 % of our C&G are corporate

Think bigger on funding collaboration
Think Bigger on Funding & Collaboration

  • Habit of doing things cheaply as possible

  • Don’t under-promote our capability & network….it has value.


  • Health Care systems

  • Home Improvement Centers

  • Grocery store chains

  • Professional sports

  • Industry groups & corporations

    (animal health, crops)

Immediate steps communication
Immediate Steps - Communication

  • Director’s Office


    Communications are vital. Can be our biggest strength or our biggest issue.

  • Listening Sessions

    -In all 4 Regions

    Perspective and suggestions, or issues with solutions have value.

Immediate agency to address
Immediate - Agency to Address

  • Career Ladder System advancement

    - Cumulative Faculty Achievement


    - Preparation of packets

    - Committees & review process

Communicate support for balance
Communicate Support for Balance

  • of Professional Career and Personal Life

    Our approaches should never suggest 24/7

    Care about yourself….to care about others

Future of texas agrilife extension
Future of Texas AgriLife Extension

Hinges on being

  • Timely

  • Accurate

  • Adjustable to changing needs

  • Excellent at delivery with objectivityand reliabilitywhat people cannot get anywhere else

  • Able to interpret value

  • Willing to adjust to the budgets

Summary vision points
Summary – Vision Points

  • Grow relationships

  • Collaborate bigger

  • More technology

  • Multiple delivery methods/approaches

  • Refresh committees

  • Serious on diversity

  • Nurture volunteers

  • Grow 4-H & Youth

  • Focused on education

  • Smith-Lever – multi-states advocacy

  • Fiscal realists

  • Evaluate cash management process

  • Grant writing workshops

  • Fee-based culture

  • Contracts & Grants – seek

    good fit not just dollars

  • Communication – always high priority

Summary vision points1
Summary – Vision Points

  • Maintain strong network

  • Make tough decisions as necessary

  • Re-evaluate procedures

    to be current & efficient

  • Prioritize what we can & should do best

  • Emphasis on ‘optimum’

    to get the job done

Director search
Director Search

  • These are my thoughts




  • Task is serious

  • Process is inclusive

  • Choice and a Voice

    This agency is ‘Making a Difference’ by improving lives through quality, relevant education.