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Farm Safe transitions

June 1, 2011

In farming, seasons come and seasons go. Not always with grace, sometimes one holding on and sometimes one coming much too early.   It has been a long and wet spring and the sun seems to be trying to come out in spite of more thunderstorms this morning and perhaps more to come later today.

  The VT. AgrAbility Project is in transition too.  Our funding came to an end April 30th and though some divine intervention from our Dean, Doug Lantagne at Extension,  Gail Lapierre and I have been carried over in hopes that Vermont will be approved for a new 4 year grant cycle. 

We certainly want to be able to continue to serve the farmers, farm families and farm workers with the AgrAbility Project.    Due to all of the budget issues in Washington, there has been a hold-up with the USDA funding that supports the AgrAbility Program nationwide, and thus the grant review process has been longer then expected.    Just last week we got word that the committees would meet to review the grant proposals in mid June and that awards would given in Mid July.   Fingers crossed. 

And with transitions, from one grant cycle to the next, changes happen.  Blogging  and other social media trends were basically on the fringe 4 years ago.  Something that maybe your teenagers might know about. But now social networking, social marketing and social media are considered mandatory for all types of businesses.  Developing a relationship with clients and colleagues and providing up to date information and services are all part of the plan now.  This is one way to get your message out and to ignore it is to loose part of your voice and your ability to spread your vision. 

And I will be transitioning too,  leaving Extension for a position  as a Loss Control Rep for Co-Operative Insurance Companies  and moving back to NH.   And so this next coming week I will be training Gail Lapierre, Margaret Gilman and even Boss Man George on the the basics of working the blog and the farm safe vt facebook site.  I don’t  think the blog will look any different, but the voices will be of others and the writing style will certainly change.   This blogging thing only works if you write like you talk and think, and well, I am a bit off on a good day and over use words like and And AND most of the time. 

Writing this blog has been ton of fun and I must thank the Dean, Doug Langtange and the guys up at the state office for letting me work a little bit out of the box.  And tons and tons of thanks that go out to Boss Man George that let me do this in the first place.  The guys in the office have had to endure my pre and post writing phases which are like team sports in my mind.  Poor Linda, Lauren and Matt, Kirt and Amy have all had me burst into thier workspace when getting a piece up and ready.   Another shout out to Brad and Emily in Washington who also allowed me to play. 

But mostly,  a huge  and biggetst thank you to those of you who actually  read what I write and make comments to me in the blog or otherwise.  We have had over 32,000 hits on this little blog and tons of material from tick to chimney fires downloaded.  

It has been my honor to be involved in this project.

Alexandra 🙂

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Robin permalink
    June 2, 2011 10:53 am

    Best of luck to you Alex, though you seem like the kind of person who makes their own luck. I enjoy your blog, your humor and admire your efforts to take Extension on the social media journey. I do take exception that Albert is not intuitive! Said with a smile 🙂 I don’t recall too many calls for help, more the ‘did I do it right’ kind of thing.

  2. Margaret permalink
    June 2, 2011 9:31 am

    Okay then ~ 7 1/2 – I’ve got one too. That’s one hurdle overcome. It will be good for me to practice casual writing. Grant and technical writing has become a limitation. My intuition is pretty good. So maybe I’m better of than I think I am.

  3. June 2, 2011 8:51 am

    Hey Margaret,

    You will do just fine in this new media world, of that I have no doubt. I am sure that you will find other liked minded colleagues that will help you along the way. Marcus Tracy is a terrific resource for all things Facebook and I am sure will give you the support you need with the blog as well. The ins and outs of blogging are very intuitive and is a piece of cake compared to Albert, which I know you are very good at already. My shoe size is a 7 1/2 which is not much to fill 🙂 and self effacing humor is always a good route to take. Now it will be fun to watch the blog postings as a reader from the outside.

  4. June 2, 2011 8:43 am

    Hi Julie,
    Thanks for the kind words. I am sure I will be keeping up with you on your own bolg and will most certainly see you again.

  5. Margaret permalink
    June 1, 2011 3:30 pm

    Hmmm, I had not read the previous comments, does this mean that Julie and I are on the same wave length?

  6. Margaret permalink
    June 1, 2011 3:28 pm

    Thank you Alex, watching and learning the basics of blogging and social media from you has been fun and educational. I hope going forward we will have the inspiration and open door support of our colleagues like you have had. I can’t fill your shoes, but will make every effort to not embarrass or abandon them.

    Best wishes in all your new ventures and adventures,

  7. June 1, 2011 3:15 pm

    Your blog has been inspirational and educational. I’ll miss having you as part of the UVM Extension team but wish you well in your new role and hope we cross paths again.

  8. June 1, 2011 12:25 pm

    Thanks Kerri,
    gonna miss writing on this 🙂


  9. Kerri Ebert permalink
    June 1, 2011 12:00 pm

    Gonna miss your posts, Alex. Even though we never met, seems like you’re an old friend. Your posts have been timely, interesting, entertaining, and enlightening. Best wishes to you as you make this transition.

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