ACES wants to hear from you

Published 2:57 pm Monday, August 16, 2010

We want to know what’s on your mind.

We are beginning a new five-year journey of organizational renewal, a reevaluation of our role in how we can best equip ourselves to address some of your most basic problems now and in the future.

What we learn from you and others will form much of the basis for this renewal.

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We want to learn what you and other Alabamians think are the state’s most pressing issues and how we can structure our programs to effectively meet those needs. We will use what we learn to identify five to seven key issues that will be reflected throughout Extension’s local, regional and statewide programs as well as additional concerns that can be addressed through local or regional programming.

Ensure that your voice is heard by visiting our website at between now and Aug. 31 and taking our Future Talk survey.

Your opinions will help the Alabama Cooperative Extension System meet your changing needs.

The survey is part of a much wider effort in which Extension educators throughout the state will conduct conversations with our stakeholders. What is learned from these exchanges, known as Future Talks, will form a vital element of our new five-year plan — a comprehensive re-envisioning of Extension’s role in helping Alabamians identify the most significant issues facing the state at this point in our history and make positive changes for our future.

The effort follows a similar assessment of 200 key Extension stakeholders — government, business, professional and commodity group leaders — to identify the most critical issues facing the people of Alabama.

The grassroots assessment will form the basis for Extension’s priority program planning, a process it intends to update on a continuing basis.

We hope that the data gathered through the online survey will enhance these efforts.

Groups that will be reached through the conversations will include established county advisory committees, program advisory committees and other traditional Extension groups.

However, Extension professionals at all levels are making a special effort to identify people who previously have not been considered traditional clients. The online survey will be an important component of that effort.

The statewide assessment and the new five-year plan will ensure that Extension is better equipped to respond to rapidly changing needs, to leverage its limited resources through enhanced public and private partnerships, to capitalize on new sources of funding and to increase the visibility of its programming efforts throughout the state.