During the first week, familiarize yourself with any
workstations in the office that are available for soil test preparation,
sample preparation, and/or special equipment such as microscopes, pH
meter, soil probes, hay probes, etc. Check the Extension calendar
Reporting System) for any training opportunities that may be coming up soon that you might
need (District Directors can help, but your colleagues may not be aware
of training in your subject matter area). Check with colleagues
regarding possible county field days or meetings that may have been
planned prior to your arrival and that includes your subject matter
area. Ask about the County Extension Council and County Ag
Advisory Council (it may be called the County Ag Advancement Council in
your county) or County Horticultural Advisory Counci. Familiarize yourself with support web sites (Go to
www.ca.uky.edu/anr first, click
on the Agent Resources link and try a few sites to get familiar with
resources). Make sure you get on Microsoft Lync (you may see it as Skype
for Business) as soon as possible. Log-on may require your
official email which generally has an abbreviated form of your name and
some numbers. Many training will be over this system and
collaboration or trouble shooting with specialist can be done this way.
have taken a ride around the county, but a tour
with a colleague or, preferably, a county leader will help you get
acquainted with the different communities in the county and should be
done early within the first month. This will
also provide an opportunity to bond with a leader.
Register for eXtension at
your Institution/Affiliation as University of Kentucky.
Check out the on-line UK
Soils Testing resources (individual components are listed below) for information that will help in
preparing soil test recommendations. Soil test recommendations are
often the first recommendation that you will have to make and soil test
result from Regulatory Services may have accumulated prior to your
arrival. Check the online resources first but don't hesitate to
call or email Frank Sikora
regarding the online interface or Edwin
Ritchey for specifics regarding crop recommendations.
Your counter parts in neighboring counties are a great resource for this
and other questions you might have. The soil
test site will give you the recommendation in units (lb/a) of the
element needed, but you will have to determine how much of a specific
fertilizer to use. (example the soil test recommends 200 units of
nitrogen, but you would recommend 444 lbs of Urea (Urea is 45% nitrogen.
therefore 200/0.45 = 444).
First Six Months
Have an introductory meeting
with your Ag Advisory Council or Hort Council, so that you can get to know your council
members, get them involved with programming decisions, and start
developing plans for the coming year with their input. Encourage them
to make some of the hard/controversial decisions regarding programs that
need to be discontinued.
Don't rush into developing cooperators. Get to know producers
and their reputations with other producers in the county. You are
expected to work with all producers, but working too closely with a
producers who has little respect among other farmers could hurt your
ability to get other farmers to work with you.
While it is wise to develop programs in your strongest areas
initially and let the rest develop, all ag and hort agents are expected
to provide support for any ag and/or hort related products produced in
the county. Therefore, if you are weak in one area, you may want to
seek out training in that areas. Look for new and emerging enterprises
that producers are starting to adopt and familiarize yourself with those
to stay ahead of your producers. Develop programs in new areas so
that producers will see that your are willing to develop a diverse
Involve your Ag Advisory Council in programming decisions, and start
developing plans for the coming year with their input. After you are
well acquainted with your members, encourage them to help make some of
the hard/controversial decisions regarding programs that may need to be
Your Entire Career
Never forget to call your colleagues, specialists, your District
Director or their Support Associate, and your Assistant Director for
help. if you try to do this job by yourself, you are not as
smart as we thought you were when we hired you.