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Extension Washington County
Monthly Program Highlights
January 2022


Extension Educator Highlights
Community Development

Paul Roback Community Development Educator

A board member of the Wisconsin Association of Homeless and Runaway Services (WAHRS) contacted Paul to facilitate a strategic planning process. Since WAHRS is a statewide nonprofit, Paul contacted Dane County Community Development Educator Sharon Lezberg to determine her interest in collaborating on this program. Recognizing this as an opportunity to learn facilitation and process techniques from each other, both agreed to co-facilitate a planning process for the board and staff of WAHRS.

After several pre-planning meetings with the organization’s executive director and board president, Sharon and Paul facilitated a planning process that included two virtual and one in-person sessions. After the facilitated sessions, Sharon and Paul compiled a report and met with the organization’s leadership to discuss implementation strategies.

Through evaluation, 100% of the participants agreed that the organization’s updated mission statement helped them to clarify their role as an organization and the updated vision statement assisted them in understanding the general direction for our organization’s future. Additionally, 100% agreed that the process of identifying goals increased their ability to identify priorities and discussing action plans increased their ability to identify next steps for future implementation. All of the participants rated Sharon and Paul’s facilitation as excellent. One participant commented that Sharon and Paul were ‘very knowledgeable, made it fun, got us thinking.” Another commented, “this process has helped immensely to keep us all on the same page and create a clear, concise and united way to move forward.”

Stephanie Plaster Agriculture Educator
  • A farm management newsletter for farmers and agribusiness professionals, where subscribers learned about Extension farm management resources. This effort was designed to connect the agriculture industry to the Extension farm management program and provide a timely and reliable source of farm management news and updates.
  • A presentation for farmers and agriculture professionals, where participants learned negotiation skills and strategies. This effort was designed to provide communication and relationship building skills to create more resilient and robust agreements.
  • A program for farmers, where participants learned about a farm stress and financial planning program, the intended outcomes of the program, and what their roles and responsibilities are. The goal of this effort is to introduce the participants to the stress and planning pilot program and familiarize them with members of their peer group and facilitators.
  • A workshop for farmers and landowners, where participants learned tools and components used to build a robust and resilient agricultural lease agreement. This effort was designed to increase awareness of the purpose and value of financial and risk management practices for making a decision about a business opportunity or new enterprise.
Human Development and Relationships

Carol Bralich,  Human Development & Relationships Educator
Through post session Encouraging Financial Conversations (EFC) training evaluation surveys and email feedback, EFC participants indicated an interest for additional information and opportunities to connect with facilitators after the 6 session EFC foundational training series for professionals such as social workers and home visitors. In response, Carol and four additional financial educators created stand-alone EFC booster sessions. These EFC booster sessions focused on topics to expand and continue learning about emerging financial impacts of COVID-19, practice engaging in conversations around client financial concerns and rebuilding credit for those clients experiencing low credit. The goal of this additional effort is to continue to build their knowledge and confidence when engaging clients in financial conversations. Findings from those who completed the post-session evaluation surveys (n=20) indicated that 74% of participants felt that the session they attended was very useful for engaging in conversations with clients, 79% felt that the resources provided were very useful and 60% of participants indicated that they would share the resources with family, friends or coworkers. Testimonials shared from participants include: All the information was beneficial in working with clients; will share resources with clientele; and the statistics shown were great to be able to pass on to county stakeholders.
Postive Youth Development
Ron Jakubisin Positive Youth Development Educator
  • Planning for a Kindness Day Retreat for 4th grade students in collaboration with Washington County Elementary School Counselors. The effort will engage youth in Social Emotional Learning strategies that they will use throughout the year with ‘kindness’ being a central theme at schools.
  • A series of meetings with Germantown’s Youth Futures Youth Committee where students learn leadership skills in order to design, plan and deliver prevention activities to their middle and high school peers.
  • A monthly coalition meeting (Elevate’s Heroin Task Force and Prevention Committee) where Extension provides guidance in outcome-based prevention strategies to this group of youth-serving organizations that make up the committee. The goal is to support them as they create year-round planning and promotion of AODA prevention strategies for youth.
  • A monthly board meeting (“Germantown Youth Futures”) for Germantown key stakeholders where we collaboratively plan year-round positive youth activities that promote positive peer norms, AOD prevention messaging, and adult/youth connections.
Welcome, Elliott!

Elliott Lawrence joined the Washington County Extension team in November as the new 4-H Extension Educator.
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