2017 September News Briefs

Administration News from Glen:

Just as the Wyoming 4-H world is feeling a sense of relief at the completion of State Fair and the winding down of the 4-H year, the campus is humming.  Classes started on Wednesday so there has been a noticeable sense of excitement and energy about the campus and…. Students trying to find their way around.

There were a couple of UW News items released this month that I thought I should mention.

In an August 14th release, UW announced the formation of an Engagement Task Force.  The release states that the task force was launched…

“To facilitate collaboration between the university and its constituents, President Laurie Nichols has launched the UW Engagement Task Force to assess what the university does already; assess what UW and its constituents need and want the university to do; benchmark itself against peer institutions; and then use these analyses to make decisions on the scope and vision for what community engagement means at UW and for Wyoming.”

The College of Ag and Natural Resources is represented on the task force by Associate Dean Bret Hess, Director of the Ag Experiment Station.   I encourage you to look back and read the entire release. This effort is obviously important to UW Extension as statewide engagement is central to our mission.  http://www.uwyo.edu/uw/news/2017/index.html

A second news release was shared Monday August 28th regarding travel reimbursement.  The text of the release follows.

“With the implementation of the WyoCloud Financial Management System, there are several changes to procedures and processes around the University of Wyoming campus. One of these changes is the university’s shift to using a per diem policy for employee meals during business-related travel.

The official travel policy is being amended to incorporate per diem for meals while traveling. The per diem amount, a specific amount of money an organization gives an employee per day to cover meals and incidental expenses when traveling for work, will be based on federal rates, but departments have discretion to set rates that do not exceed that amount. Federal per diem rates can be found at the U.S. General Services Administration website.

A full list of the procedures and processes changes may be found on the WyoCloud website under “Procedures and process changes” in the Communications section.”

As I understand, this means that for single day travel, you still have to submit a receipt for reimbursement for meals and the reimbursement is taxable income. However, for multi-day travel, you can only request per diem as reimbursement for meals. Receipts are not needed and will not be reimbursed if submitted. The per diem calculator file is completed and attached to your expense report to claim per diem for meals. We have had some reimbursements rejected recently because claims were made using receipts.

Reimbursement based on receipts has been common operating procedure in Extension for many years so this is a change in thinking for us. But there are advantages to per diem reimbursement as opposed to keeping receipts one of which is simplicity.  If you have questions about this or other reimbursement issues please contact me, Kelly Crane, Mary Kay Wardlaw, Joleen Pantier or your department accountant.  As you know, the new accounting system is a work in progress.

Best Regards, Glen

Miscellaneous Updates from Mary Kay:

REMINDER: John P. Ellbogen Foundation Wyoming Communities, Agriculture, & Rural Living Project Fund competitive grants!!! $28,000 available…Application Deadline is September 1, 2017

Staff Development/Federal Relations News from Kim:

Professional Development:

Connecting Extension and Research Conference,will be held December 12-14, 2017 in Laramie. Registration will open at 11:30 am and the conference will begin with the keynote speaker at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, December 12th . The conference will conclude at noon on Thursday, December 14th. The TENTATIVE schedule highlighting daily events follows:

  • Tuesday, December 12th – Keynote Speaker, WACDEP and ESP Association Award Presentations, New Employee Introductions, Dinner and Mixers
  • Wednesday, December 13th – Workshop sessions, WACAA and WEAFCS Association Award Presentations, Highlight of Ellbogen Programs, Dinner with UWEX, CNP and AES Award Presentations
  • Thursday, December 14th – Administration and Association Officers Breakfast, conference moves to Laramie Research and Extension Center (LREC), Poster Sessions, WAE4-HA Association Award Presentation  and Administrative Update

There is not a specified time for face-to-face association meetings during the conference so a couple of options are outlined below:

  • Zoom conference as was done last year – scheduled by the Association President
  • Face to face meeting the morning of December 12th and conclude by 12:30 pm
  • Face to face meeting the afternoon of December 14th (please note this option would be after the Administration and Association Officers Breakfast)

If your association requires meeting space at the Hilton Convention Center on Monday morning or at the LREC on Thursday afternoon, please contact Joanne Newcomb as soon as possible. Joanne is responsible for the logistics and is the liaison for meeting space. Her e-mail address is JNewcomb@uwyo.edu

Association award presentations will be scheduled throughout the conference. Each association will have 10 minutes to highlight their award recipients. During the virtual conference last year several of the associations were very creative in their recorded award presentations and they were fun to see. This year, the presentations could also be a recorded piece or a live presentation. Instructions for the association award presentations will be e-mailed directly to association presidents.

Training for Working with Minors, which is required for all UW Employees who have some role working with minors, will be scheduled during the Connecting Extension and Research Conference. This training will fulfill your requirement as an authorized adult/program staff for any program(s) in which youth participate.

Contact Reporting is due October 9, 2017

Reporting Tips: 

Training Plan Update- A separate training plan is no longer required as part of the documentation for evaluation purposes. We do encourage you to include identified training needs in your Annual Statement of Goals. Please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor or Kim Reaman if you have questions about this change.

UW Online Reporting gathers two types of contacts for Extension programs: direct contacts and indirect contacts. Both types of contacts are used to complete the annual reports required by NIFA as well as for publication on the University of Wyoming websites and in materials distributed to county, state, and federal legislators. It is an important part of how we share the full extend of our outreach through Extension programs.

Direct contacts are those are contacts in which you can identify an individual’s gender and ethnicity. Typically direct contacts are generated through face-to-face workshops/presentation, individual consultations, farm visits, office visits, etc. Contacts made via phone, e-mail, or direct mailings can be counted as direct contacts IF you can know the gender and ethnicity of the individual(s) with whom you are corresponding. Reporting direct contacts is also part of our managerial responsibility for Civil Rights Compliance (see the Civil Rights Tips for more information).

Counting direct contacts is easy if you thing about it in terms of what’s being taught. The same individual can be counted each time they participate in a new educational program or teaching. An example would be if you offered a full day workshop and you taught three different topics during the day, you could count that one individual three times. If it is a multi-day workshop, such as a camp, you could also count the same individual as a direct contact each day. If you co-teach with a colleague, each of you can report those direct contacts.

Persons attending fairs and exhibitions are not counted as direct contacts unless they view a demonstration, stop and personally talk with you at a booth, or actively participate in another way of learning. If they are idle spectators walking by, they are not counted.

Indirect contacts are contacts in which we cannot visibly determine race or sex. These contacts are generally made thought media outreach: TV, radio, website, social media, e-mail, newspaper, etc. Some of the medial outreach is easy to document because there are analytical programs associated with them. For instance, you can track the number of “likes” or “shares” on a Facebook post of the number of hits on a website or blog. In media outreach like TV, radio or newspaper articles, it would be unrealistic to believe that the entire potential audience heard or read your piece. For consistency in reporting, please document 25-30% of the potential audience when you do not have exact statistics.

Personnel News from Ann:

  • Laramie County, 4-H Youth Development Educator – Position #4977, based in Cheyenne. This is a non-extended term position with a focus on non-traditional programming. The position will split time between working with the military 4-H program and 4-H Youth Development in Laramie County.  Screening will begin September 13, 2017. This benefitted position is currently .75 FTE with the potential of full-time pending renewal of grant funding.


  • Lincoln County, 4-H Youth Development Educator – Position #4205, based in Kemmerer. This is a non-extended term position. Responsibilities include management and oversight of the South Lincoln County Arena. Screening will begin October 13, 2017. This benefitted position is 1 FTE.


  • Assistant University Extension Educator, extended term track Agriculture and Natural resources, and 4-H Youth Development –Position #4453, based on the Wind River Indian Reservation, Ethete, Wyoming. Position is scheduled to open soon.


  • A warm welcome to Natasha Charlson in the Crook County Extension Office. Natasha has filled the office assistant, senior position. Reach out and say hello if you are in Sundance.


  • Bidding a fond farewell to Alex Mansur, Campbell County Office Assistant. We wish Alex the best as she moves on to new adventures.


View our "News Briefs Archive" for February 2017 - January 2011 Issues