2017 Impact Statements Now Online

78% of Minnesota’s program impact submissions landed a spot in National’s final copy. The National NEAFCS Impact Statement reports are shared with our USDA stakeholders and legislatures. In addition, we created a Minnesota impact statement, which Anita Harris Hering will bring to Washington representing our association at the Public Issues Leadership Development Conference. Congratulations and thank you for your submissions.

The Minnesota programs featured in the 2017 NEAFCS Impact Statements are:

HEALTH AND NUTRITIONSchool food staff putting food on plate

  • Smarter Lunchrooms incorporates research-based strategies to increase healthy food choices by students. Extension Educators trained and certified 57 Smarter Lunchroom Technical Assistance Providers in Minnesota schools. As a result, children make healthier food choices.
  • Food pantries across Minnesota learned how to use techniques encouraging clients to make healthier food choices. Techniques include product placement on shelving, produce display containers, client choice, signage, recipes and support from volunteers. Through Extension’s Healthy Nudges at Your Food Shelf and Nudging to Health for Volunteers programs, over 200 staff and volunteers are now trained nudgers.

IMPROVING CHILDREN’S LIVES

  • Parenting in the Age of Overindulgence online course taught 149 participants to identify and avoid overindulgence utilizing learning tools. 98% identified examples of overindulgence and 95% chose the “Test of Four” tool to determine overindulgence situations.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT 

Lori, Becky, Sara webinar photo

  • 165 professionals use Taxes 101 while working with low- to moderate-income Minnesotans. 97% felt confident or very confident using Extension’s information to help their clients make the most of tax season.
  • Your Money, Your Goals financial toolkit trainings empowered 151 front-line staff from 77 agencies. 95% of the trainers agreed the training prepared them to use the toolkit.

FOOD SAFETY 

  • Homemade food from cupcakes to pickles sold in Minnesota are safer because of Extension’s Cottage Food: Keep it Safe! Keep it Legal program. As a result, cottage food producer registrations increased by 95% to 1930 producers. Each producer can earn up $18,000/year—an economic impact of over $9 million to Minnesota’s economy.

These impact statements are an excellent resource to find out what other Extension educators are doing in your field. We look forward to seeing your impact stories from this year!

Suzanne Driessen and Becky Hagen Jokela
NEAFCS-MN Affiliate Public Policy & Relations Co-chairs

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Public Policy and Relations Committee Update 3-3-17

Writing a good impact statement is hard to do

We had 11 impact submissions this year. Thank you! We will compile them for Anita to take to the Public Institute Leadership Development Conference in Washington, D.C.

NEAFCS impact statement template limits us to 40 words. This gives us no choice but to be concise. Many times our statements are too general. They read more like reports with not a lot of impact. True impact statements are hard to write.

Consider three questions as you frame your statement

(AFNR intranet, January 1, 2017)

  1. What was the need or problem you were trying to solve?
    • Focus on one issue.
    • Target the audience you want to reach.
    • One impact statement does not fit all audience. Select messages from statement and tailor to each audience.
  2. What service (course, conference, materials, curriculum, etc.) did you provide/facilitate to address the need?
    • Pick 1 or 2 things that had the biggest bang.
    • Include the relevance to improve people’s health, the economy, the environment.
    • Use active verbs.
  3. How did your service improve the lives of people in the community, etc.? The results
    • Lay it out like a sports page—
      • who’s playing– identify your audience
      • what happened and how
      • what was the score or so what–numbers with $ or %
      • Why does this score (program) matter?
      • What is interesting or surprising?
      • See Top 9 Tips for  your Impact Statement, Purdue Extension,

Quotes should extend the story

Our NEAFCS impact statements ask for quotes on the benefit of the program. Quotes should illustrate and extend your story.

This: “Though, I was skeptical at first, planting cover crops improved my overall yields over the past three years.”

Not this: “Of course, Food Safety Training was the main reason we attended this academy. These classes teach the specifics. It was very interesting and informative, as well as, being a requirement to legally sell cottage foods.”

Snap a photo

Pictures tell a story! Our Extension program story. Be sure to take action photos when out and about. Take photos to help educate your point. Take photos to tell the story about your program and its impact. Be sure to have your subject(s) complete Extension’s PhotoVideo Release form.

Resources for you

Impact statements tell a compelling story, gets attention (published in the national NEAFCS impact statement report) and gets funded. Check out Pitching your Story on our extension Intranet.

More to come! The professional development committee is exploring this topic for our professional development day.

Suzanne Driessen and Becky Hagen Jokela

Outcomes and Impacts: The difference between ho-hum and projects with punch!

Outcomes and Impacts: The difference between ho-hum and projects with punch! 

Focus on relevance, relationships and results

Outputs, Outcomes and Impact are easily confused, because they all sound results oriented. What is the difference? Outputs, generally, are numbers of classes you offered or the number of participants that were reached. Outcomes and Impacts answer the question, “So What?” Impacts, generally, are the numbers with “$” or “%” next to them.

Outputs show where you directed your efforts, but Impacts show the strongest results of your efforts! We need both Outputs and Outcomes and/or Impacts to tell a compelling story; one that gets attention, funding or continues to get funded.

If you only have Outputs to report and no Outcomes or Impacts, you need to take the time to plan for impact data collection when you plan your project. Think ahead and incorporate the generation of Impact data in your plan of work.

Impacts, the best quality data, considered the Golden Egg in reporting project results, is what our legislators and stakeholders need to make compelling arguments to support or sustain Extension efforts. Without a large industry base to advocate for FCS Extension, it is up to us all to share powerful results of our work.

Here are 2016 NEAFCS IMPACT example sections that show Outputs and Outcomes and/or Impact:

Kansas educated 7,117 Kansans through Medicare plan comparisons and benefits covered explanations. Nearly half of participants changed prescription drug or Medicare advantage plans to a plan that better met their needs. This resulted in total savings of $3,699,295, or an average savings of $1,180 per person changing plans.

Wisconsin has over 16,000 children experiencing their parents’ divorce each year. To help families in need, Supporting Children with Parent’s Divorce or Separation was offered in 268 co-parenting programs to over 3000 participants that affected over 2400 children. Results included a reduction of inter-parental conflict and increased cooperation.

Arkansas taught personal finance in 200 communities reaching 5,896 people. As a result, program participants reported a total of $15,553 saved and in reduced debt.

In 2000 classrooms in Michigan, Extension educators provided classes to 54,329 students. Ninety-nine percent of teachers reported that children have an improved awareness about good nutrition with 85% reporting improvement in trying new foods, 73% increase in fruit and 67% increase in choosing vegetables. Overall, children are making healthier food choices.

Join us to help elevate the quality of our 2017 NEAFCS IMPACT statements. Data is due to Suzanne Driessen, driessen@umn.edu by January 20, 2017.

Adapted from: Hyde, G., Garden-Robinson, J. (2016). Outcomes and Impacts: The difference between ho-hum and projects with punch! A Memo to NEAFCS Members from the Public Affairs Education Subcommittee. National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences.

Promote “Dine In” Campaign and Take the Pledge

Promote “Dine In” Campaign and Take the PledgeDiningInLogo.jpg

December 3rd, 2016 is “Dine In” day. National Extension of Family Consumer Sciences  and American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences, sponsors of the Family Consumer Science day, ask you to prepare and eat a healthy meal with your family on December 3rd. Here is checklist to promote this event:

  • Commit to dining in on December 3rd. Take the dine in pledge.
  • Take a photo of your family preparing a healthy meal and post it to Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram using #FCSday and #healthyfamselfie.
  • Change your Facebook profile photo to the I’m “Dining In” logo.
  • Ask your friends and family to “Dine In.”
  • Pin your favorite family meal recipes to a “Dining In” Pinterest board.
  • Add the “Dining In” logo to your email signature.
  • Promote “Dining In” to family, friends and program participants.
  • Visit the “Dine In”  to access resources.
  • Send us photos and stories about your “Dine In” experience to driessen@umn.edu.

Thanks for getting involved in your association’s public relation campaign.

Suzanne Driessen & Becky Hagen Jokela, NEAFCS-MN, Public Policy/Public Relations Co-Chairs

 

Public Issues leadership Development Conference (PILD) 2011 Report

NEAFCS Scholarship Fund PILD Recipient Report
April 3-6, 2011, Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
By Suzanne Driessen, NEAFCS, Minnesota Affiliate
This was my first Public Issues leadership Development Conference (PILD) and my first trip to our nations’ capitol. I had heard from past attendees what a great experience it is to go to PILD. After attending I too will encourage others to attend this unique staff development opportunity. PILD brings together leaders from six Extension professional organizations and volunteers from across the nation to focus on how the Extension system and our government work at the federal level.
The theme Cooperative Extension: Relevant Now and Beyond explored relevant issues for Extension to prepare for meeting with federal and local decision makers. National Program Leaders from USDA held roundtable discussions which provided a networking time with these leaders and others that work on specific issues. I attended the Food Safety and Family Consumer Science round table discussions. These leaders were very interested in issues in our states. They wanted to know what USDA should include in future grant proposals to help us continue to respond to emerging issues.
This was an interesting time to be in Washington with the potential for a government shut down and Smith Lever funding at risk. Our ‘ask’ of our legislators was to restore these funds at 2010 levels. Some take-home messages and ideas that I learned about communications with decision makers include:
Smith Lever funding requires a 1:1 University match; most leverage 4 to 5 times that amount.
Research the issues and background of the legislator. Know who they are. My congresswoman is Michelle Bachmann. I went to her website and found out that a week earlier she presented a congressional statement to honor and recognize Coborns Grocery for receiving the Independent Retailer of the Year award. I tied that story into how Extension has worked with Coborns on a produce food handling practice research study explaining how private industry reaches out to the University to partner on research projects.
Visit with the legislature from your district and mention you are a constituent. Be sure to mention the town in their district where programs were conducted and its impact.
Allow times for the staffer to ask questions. Engage them in the conversation.
Extension makes a difference in the lives of individuals by proactively engaging communities to solve issues and problems.
Communicate public value with message that show value of programs to those who did not participate. We need to show why our programs are worthy of public funding by explaining how society benefits.
The session on Branding Counts: Ensuring Cooperative Extension is No Longer the Best Kept Secret key points includes:
A brand lives in the mind of the consumer.
A brand is everything your name evokes in the mind of your customer.
A brand is a promise you make to your customer, a promise of quality, of experience—good or bad.
Every employee is responsible to portray a positive brand everyday and in every interaction.
It takes 8 impressions to make someone remember you–each impression builds on another.
Strong brands deliver strong benefits including: 1) strong funding; 2) greater customer loyalty; and 3) greater flexibility and adaptability.
We need to get better at telling our story. We can’t afford to be the ‘best kept secret’ and it is our fault if funders do not know who we are.
Take the credit! We are essential to people lives.
ABCs of storytelling: A) Define the problem within the community and how you’ve begun to solve it. B) How are we part of the solution by explaining our relevance regarding issues of today? C) What was the impact on the community because of your involvement?

JCEP 2010 President’s Report

JCEP brings together leaders from six Extension professional organizations from across the national. It was a chance to learn from others’ experience and explore best practices.
The Family-Friendly Work Place theme explored relevant issues for Extension professionals as well as those we educate. A panel of human resource experts shared strategies, policies and trends related to family friendly workplaces. Some take-home messages and ideas include:

  • Work-life balance is rated one of the most important workplace attributes, second only to compensation.
  • Generational diversity is evident throughout the workforce. Understanding and respecting each group from the traditionalist to generations X and Y can help attract and retain the best people.
  • Take a ‘bottom up’ approach not ‘top down’. Ask people what they need.
  • Tools – Ask what are the tool you need to get the job done?
  • Consider cross-training – creates greater flexibility to take time-off for family and increases team cooperation and flexibility.
  • Do more ‘commercials’ of benefits. A benefit may not apply at time of hire but now does because of life changes.

Some family/work balance ideas/suggestions in round-table discussions for Extension to consider:

    • Discussions on what to drop when something new is added
    • Mandatory vacation
    • Cross-training to increase team work and schedule flexibility
    • Compensation/credit/recognition for overnight travel
    • Adopt a ‘family matters’ philosophy top-down
    • Explore new staffing models to meet generational diversity.
    • Tuition benefits to pursue degrees across state lines (reciprocity)
    • Support after illness
    • Build in FUN

Eight hours of this conference was spent in professional Association meetings. As the Minnesota NEAFCS Affiliate President, I attended along with Mary Caskey, President-Elect. We spent some time brainstorming and talking about promoting and marketing the NEAFCS Living Well: More than a Cookbook reference book. The purpose of this book is to promote NEAFCS and provide financial security. See http://www.neafcs.org/ and Rosi Heins, NEAFCS, Minnesota Affiliate Living Well: More than a Cookbook representative at heins002@umn.edu ,(763) 767-3879 for more information.
The next JCEP sponsored event is PILD (Public Issues Leadership Development Conference). NEAFCS will be collecting impact information from each state regarding food safety educational efforts. The purpose is to feature NEAFCS professionals’ efforts in reducing the incidence of foodborne illness across the nation.

PILD 2009 Report by Jo Musich

Public Issues and Leadership Development Conference
Connectivity: Community to the Capitol
April 27-29, 2009, Arlington, Virginia
Sponsored by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals
Report by Jo Musich, University of Minnesota Extension
music001@umn.edu
The conference provided a close up look at the issues that impact Extension and the communities we serve. It also provided Extension professionals and volunteers the unique opportunity to interact with decision-makers in Congress and those who support our work.
PILD provided great professional development and opportunity to interact with decision makers and staff of elected officials. The 2009 conference focused on CHANGE – in Washington, in the executive and legislative branches of government, and in the creation of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). A highlight of PILD was attending both a session and round table discussion where Janie Simms Hipp, a national program leader CSREES Liason and an agricultural attorney, discussed risk management in the broader context, specifically focusing on how businesses, families and communities address financial, production, marketing, legal and human resource risks and what changes must occur at all levels to respond to rapidly evolving risk environments. Families in cities, on farms, ranches and woodland owners face risk and must learn ways to respond to tough economic times.
We received a welcome to Washington, D.C. from Jeanne Markell, and visited National Association of Counties (NACo) offices. Enjoying the monuments, museums and eating venues with the diverse people who visit and live in the Washington, D.C. area was most enjoyable and memorable.