State Advisory Council Meets in Mecklenburg County

— Written By NC State Extension

The Queen City put its best foot forward when it hosted the State Advisory Council meeting  February 2-4, 2010. Lynn Yokley, chair, presided as Robbie Furr, interim Extension director in Mecklen­burg County, hosted and shared information about the county’s Extension programs, including speakers and field trips. A unique situation exists in Mecklen­burg County, where Cooperative Extension comes under the county Parks and Recreation program. The council enjoyed a field trip to the 4-H STEM after-school program at the Albemarle Road Recreation Center, which is on a public school campus, and a visit to a community garden at Reedy Creek Park.

The meeting was packed with informative presen­tations, including topics such as district initiatives on environmental issues, education for child-care providers and parents, and 4-H science fairs.

Sharon Rowland, Cooperative Extension’s execu­tive director of development, explained how council members can assist with private resource develop­ment. Sylvia Churchwell, council member from Lee County, presented a session called Advocacy Savvy, to help Council members follow the correct protocol when contacting elected officials. And council mem­ber Ralph Warren shared an Excel spreadsheet he had created, listing all legislators and the areas they represent. The spreadsheet will be a valuable tool as council members make their contacts with legislators.

Following a legislative update by Matt Peterson, director of Federal Research Affairs at N.C. State University, the council members were charged to advocate with their federal legislators on behalf of Extension funding from the Smith-Lever Act funds. All left Charlotte eager to do their parts as Exten­sion advocates.

Story Contributed by:  Mrs. Brenda Gilbert, SAC member