Proposed by: Walter Battle

Presenter: Battle, W., Director/agent, University of Tennessee, Brownsville, TN 38012

Proposer and Presenter: Walter Battle, County Director, University of Tennessee Extension, Brownsville, TN 38012

As the population continues to transition from a rural (farm-based) to suburban and urban demographic, Extension agents are being replaced by private consultants, webinars, DIY television shows, and YouTube. Extension must face this challenge of providing educational programs to an ever expanding and changing population. In this day and age of constant change many are questioning the essentialness of Extension. As the internet continues to be a vehicle of rapid information dissemination and cell phone technology placing answers to questions in client’s “pockets and purses”, many “solution providing services” (such as Extension) are being challenged to show their fiscal relevancy, governmental purpose, and societal need.

The key dynamic to Extension surviving is the enhancement of its County-based supervisory skill set. To accomplish this task, agricultural agents that have managerial duties must transition to being programmers with administrative responsibilities. As a result of changing the aforementioned perception, participants of this seminar will gain insight into: 1) budget expansion, 2) staff cohesiveness, and 3) gaining the non-traditional audience’s trust to expand Extension’s ever-changing educational role.

The presentation will utilize as a template for the training the concepts of Laird, D. "Performance Solution Tree" (Approaches to Training and Development, 1978, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company). Also featured are the concepts of Bolger, M. whose work "COACH to Win: Five Tips for Effective Performance Management." It is the adaptation of these principles which have enabled the author to transition from Agent (Coworker) to County Director.

As part of this seminar, participants will engage in discussion of the aforementioned ideals. It is by this method newly appointed County Administrators can obtain knowledge from experienced Directors. Another by product of this approach is the acquiring of new approaches to administrative matters for other career level Directors.

All Accepted Proposals