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Earth Team Coordinators' Meeting | September 2012

Quarterly Earth Team Volunteer Coordinators' Meeting Minutes - September 25, 2012

Attendees were as follows:

  • Jan Klaus, State ET Coordinator
  • Area Coordinators (ACs)
    • Toni Flax (Area 1)
    • Jamie Johnson (Area 2)
    • Alex Miller (Area 4)
    • Tracey Martin (state office [SO] & Plant Materials Center [PMC])
  • Jeff Schmidt (Area 3) was absent due to illness

The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m.

Action Items Completed:

  • All ACs sent Tracey an email with one or two items that would be "Did You Know You Can Count" ideas—Jan was cc'd on all emails; examples included—Contractor Checkout; someone taking the recycling after hours, etc.; Tracey finalized the "Did You Know You Can Count" Fact Sheet and it was sent to all field offices (FOs) by the ACs during the month of July
  • Award bulletin was issued and ACs did an outstanding job of soliciting and obtaining award nominations
  • Email was sent out to remind supervisor that volunteers driving a government owned vehicle (GOV) must take the required AgLearn Fleet Card training

State ET Coordinator Report—Jan Klaus

  • Participated in the National Office training on the new e-auth process
  • Worked with Diane Edwards at the SO to get the following items posted to the Kansas Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Web site:
    • KS-PER-49, Earth Team Timesheet; KS-PER-50, Request for a Background Investigation; and Fact Sheet on "What Tasks Can Volunteers Perform"
  • Prepared the draft Kansas bulletin for fiscal year (FY) 2012 award nominations and worked with Diane Edwards to ensure the bulletin was posted to the Kansas NRCS Web site
  • Invited by the National ET Office to present at the national training conference (NTC) in Des Moines, Iowa, on how we work with our FOs
  • Held a teleconference with the ACs to discuss how we would present to the other state and ACs at the NTC
  • Followed up again to the SO on the revisions to the Kansas GM Amendment under 360, Part 428; the amendment is currently under review by Muriel Morgenthaler at the SO and it will need to go to the National Office for review before it is posted to the Kansas NRCS Web site
  • Prepared the AD-700 for the 2012 ET volunteer awards and recognition items and submitted to the SO for approval
  • Developed the PowerPoint presentation for the NTC with input from the ACs
  • Attended the NTC in Des Moines, Iowa, September 17-20
  • Pulled the first round of the 4th quarter reports for the meeting
  • Answered questions and requests from coordinators and the National Office on an as-needed basis

AC Reports

Area 1—Toni Flax
  • July
    • Forwarded email from Jan about volunteers that drive GOVs needing to take the AgLearn Fleet Card training
    • Attended the Hoxie management unit (MU) Staff meeting to do the "Needs Assessment" and show the "Common Errors in the Tracking System" PowerPoint
  • August
    • Emailed out the request for ET award nominations
    • Worked on minutes and emailed the draft to Jan
    • Emailed status report to all district conservationists (DCs) so they would know where they are at on hours
  • September
    • Participated in the coordinator teleconference to discuss our presentation for the NTC in Des Moines, Iowa
    • Worked on presentation for the NTC
    • Worked on the ET awards nominations
    • Sent reminders about ET awards nominations
    • Attended the NTC in Des Moines, Iowa
      • Individual presentation on Needs Assessments
      • Group presentation on "Working with Field Offices"
    • Finished preparing awards nominations
    • Emailed reminders of hours and to get hours entered in tracking system
    • Answered many questions and emails about what hours count
Area 2—Jamie Johnson
  • Assisted the following FOs with ET information: Marion, Larned, Kingman, and Kinsley
  • Participated in an ET teleconference with Jan
  • Emailed all DCs and District Managers the following:
    • "Did You Know" facts sheet
    • Make sure to capture hours from your local work group
    • Reminder to FOs that volunteers who drive a GOV need to complete the AgLearn Fleet Card training
    • Volunteer tracking system enhancements
    • Report showing current volunteers and hours that have been entered into the tracking system in preparation for their PWA
  • Followed up with FO and area office regarding fingerprint charts and background investigation for Hugoton MU
  • Solicited field offices for Earth Team Award nominations
  • Attended NTC in Des Moines, Iowa, gave presentation on "Working with Field Offices"
  • Checked and corrected the ET tracking system for volunteer activities which were inadvertently captured under "No Activity"
  • Checked ET tracking system for duplicate entries
  • Will email all offices to remind them to enter hours into the database prior to end of the 4th quarter, National Office will pull end of year report on October 15th
Area 3—Jeff Schmidt-absent
Area 4—Alex Miller
  • Sought nominations for the Area 4 ET awards
  • Contacted several offices to seek nominations for the ET awards
  • Prepared five nomination write-ups for the state volunteer awards
  • Monitored the ET hours for Area 4; five offices were under their 60 hour goal, so I sent out 2 reminder emails to all of the offices
  • Sent out several emails to assist FO in capturing more hours
  • Attended the NTC meeting in Des Moines, Iowa
  • After sending two reminder emails, I notified our Assistant State Conservationist-Field Operations (ASTC-FOs), Troy Munsch, and he reminded offices of their 60 hour goal
  • Corrected several volunteer group entries that had used the 'No Activity' code
  • Mailed the Troy FO a keepsake for one of their ET volunteers
State Office—Tracey Martin
  • Scheduled volunteers to assist with several projects for SO personnel
  • Sent email to all SO employees and PMC asking for nominations for ET awards
  • Sent email asking for volunteer hours to be reported in the tracking system
  • Entered volunteer hours in tracking system
  • Sent email to PMC asking if they utilized any partner volunteers during the year that could be nominated for award
  • Prepared award nomination for Salina South High School
  • Scheduled to work with volunteer on use of the phone system later today
  • Tendered resignation effective September 30, 2012

Earth Team 4th Quarter Reports

  • Area 1—699 volunteers, 4,380.00 hours
  • Area 2—491 volunteers, 3,819.75 hours
  • Area 3—424 volunteers, 3,634.50 hours
  • Area 4—560 volunteers, 3,802.25 hours
  • SO/PMC—50 volunteers, 369 hours
  • Statewide office participation 101/101 Offices (100 percent)

Apprentice Report by Area

  • Area 1—3 apprentices
  • Area 2—2 apprentices
  • Area 3—1 apprentice
  • Area 4—none
  • SO/PMC-1 apprentice

Review 2012 Earth Team Volunteer Award Nominations

  • Each coordinator brought along nominations from their areas
  • The nominations were then reviewed for 7 categories
  • The write-ups were peer reviewed for any changes that needed to be corrected

New Action Items

  • Jan requested that the final award nominations be submitted to her by Oct 5th so she can put them together for judging
  • Jan also requested input and suggestions for the Chief's Cup write-up by Oct. 22nd
  • The Apprentice Program was discussed and feedback was shared from the field offices with apprentices; Kansas has 7 apprentices statewide for FY 2012
  • The group then discussed the purchase of recognition items
    • Jan will look into the costs of the items and will get back with the group via email
  • ACs should begin to collect addresses for all nominations so letters can be sent; ACs should email Jan with suggestions for changes to the ET business plan
  • Jan will work with 41MPRINT and make the final selections on the items to purchase for recognition items and email them out to everyone for their input
  • Jan will put together all of the award nominations with the appropriate cover sheet and send them to the awards committee the week of October 8th and ask them to make their selections by October 12th; she will then order plaques for the ET award winners and schedule a teleconference with ACs to determine the appropriate recognition items and the time and place for nominees and winners to be recognized; finally, Jan will work with Diane Edwards to ensure letters are prepared for nominees and winners to be signed by State Conservationist (STC)
  • Jan will set the schedule for next year's meetings and let everyone know
  • Jan will work with the SAO in the SO to recruit a replacement for Tracey
  • Each coordinator should think about someone in their area that would make a good ET "cheerleader" to speak at an upcoming DC meeting
  • Jan will ask to be on the agenda for an upcoming management team meeting to speak to the new ASTC-FOs regarding the ET Program
  • Jamie will work on the email to send out to all offices on reporting time for the CoCoRahs Group and send it to Jan for approval to send out to all offices

Old Business

  • The Volunteer Tracking System policy was reviewed for reporting and filing groups
    • It was determined that local work group meetings should be considered a recurring group in Volunteer Tracker
    • The group discussed whether a FO can count volunteer hours for the People's Garden if the individual was working in a food pantry; it was decided that volunteer hours can only be counted for planting, caring for, and delivering the food
  • Jamie presented the group rough draft email discussing the hours that could be counted in the CoCoRah's program
    • The group determined that the CoCoRah's volunteers must be in partnership with the Conservation District or a local (WRAPS) group
    • FOs can count up to 15 minutes per day (time required to check gauge and to report precipitation) to the CoCoRahs website

New Business

  • The group had no new business to bring to the table

Meeting adjourned at 3 p.m. Our next meeting will be held on January 9, 2013, in the Salina SO conference room beginning at 10 a.m.