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KASCOE News

NAFEC

Summary of the April 27, 2017, Directors Meeting

Official minutes will be posted at a later date when approved, but the following is an informal summary of the recent KASCOE Directors Meeting. 

  • Membership is currently 82% of permanent COF Employees.  Currently, there are 19 Associate Members. 
  • Scholarship Committee report resulted in two state scholarships being awarded.  The winners are Cheyenne Perry (Traditional), and Kassandra Hamilton (Open).
  • Because national scholarship program rules and categories have expanded over the past couple of years, it was evident that Kentucky needed to update our state-level policy.  For future years, the state will award one $500 Traditional Scholarship, one $250 Associate Scholarship, and consider other scholarship applications only if there is additional funding available.  As is currently policy for Traditional/Associate scholarships, Kentucky will follow NASCOE rules for any categories that are considered at the state level, in the future. 
  • Programs Report reflected 15 Programs Suggestions have been sent in this year from the Southeast Area, with 6 being from Kentucky.  All employees were encouraged to continue to utilize this process through the NASCOE website. 
  • Benefits Committee report announced that Holiday World is a new discount available to KASCOE members, with the discount code released in a 4/26/17 membership email. 
  • NAFEC Committee report included announcement that there are 29 COC members from Kentucky who participate in NAFEC, currently.  Coy extended appreciation for Debbie Wakefield having recently sent a state-wide email to COF's asking them to present the info to COCs.
  • Publicity report announced that the March Madness Bracket Challenge winners were Gidget Cropper, Jennifer Farmer, and Patricia Estes.
  • Dawn Ovesen gave a report from the SEA Rally.
  • Kenni Crane gave a Legislative Update and discussed the need to distribute the White Paper info that was recently sent out to members by KASCOE email to all federal legislators in the state.  There was a discussion that some had already been contacted, but all congressional offices need to receive the information.  It will be posted to the KASCOE website.
  • Convention Planning was discussed.  Participation in a State Convention has been down recently, so the Directors decided to forego a state convention this year, and plan to host the SEA rally in spring of 2018.  Preliminary ideas were to have in Lexington in April, in order to offer Keeneland as an activity to draw participants from the Area. 


Report from SEA Rally

Southeast Area Rally April 6-9, 2016
Savannah, Georgia
 
Savannah, Georgia was the beautiful location of the 2016 SEA Rally which was sponsored by GACOE (Georgia), SCASCOE (South Carolina), ALASCOE (Alabama), and FASCOE (Florida).
 
Kentucky was well represented with the following present and retired employees attending: Henry Ford, Emerson Rider, Roger Swatzell, Joyce Logsdon, Jeanie Williams, Laura Howell, Mildred Scarborough, Barry Allen, Dawn Ovesen, Dana McKinney, Micki Crider, Diane Dunn, Gera Ferguson, Marcinda Kester, Jenni Blandford (and family).
 
Friday meetings began with a welcome from SEA Executive David Curtis. We then heard from 5 SEA SEDs, who each gave some ag statistics and history for their state and then sang the praises to FSA employees for the awesome job they do daily serving producers and going above and beyond in their duties. Speaking were: Georgia SED, Dr. Fred Harrison, Jr.; South Carolina SED Wilfred Pace; Alabama SED Daniel Robinson; Florida SED Rick Dantzler; and Louisiana SED Craig McCain.
 
Speakers from the National Office included: Greg Diephouse, DAFO (Deputy Administrator for Field Operations); Brad Pfaff, DAFP (Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs); and Mark Rucker, Deputy Administrator for Management (DAM).
 
Greg Diephouse spoke about SED priorities and that he had recently shared the following should be the top 5 priorities for SEDs in their states: (1) Pay attention to customer service and programs (2) In addition to our programs, look toward innovation and how we can provide more. Bridges to Opportunity is in 20 states now, with positive results from both producers and state users. (3) Find new customers- Where do we want to be in the future? (4) Emphasis on workforce. A happy employee makes a happy customer. How can we make a more pleasant and positive work environment for our employees? We need to provide more opportunity, needed training, and awards. (5) Gears should be oiled and operations efficient. IT function improvement is a high priority.
 
Other speakers on Friday included:  Sarah Baker who represented the Southeast United Dairy Association, and Micki Linehan who represented RASCOE.
 
NASCOE President, Wes Daniels shared issues that were discussed during the negotiations meeting with management the week of March 28th. He pointed out that one of the hot issues with the agency was IT performance. He shared that recently management has hired a new Chief Information Officer, Darren Ash. We have high hopes for Mr. Ash. Though he has no farming background, he has extensive IT operating system background. Some of the ideas for improvement that he shared were that offices that have slower band width could be going to satellite in the future. States should send concerns to SEA Executive, David Curtis for the newly formed IT steering committee. David will then share these with NASCOE’s representative on the committee.
 
New workload tool is being developed by BPMS. The tool was shared with the negotiations team. The report will be at the county level in the near future, and we expect the initial numbers will appear low in the beginning.
 
Bridges to Opportunity was discussed by both Greg Diephouse and Wes. NASCOE will be supporting the Bridges to Opportunity (BTO) initiative. BTO is currently in 20 states and has positive reports from county offices that are using it. Darvin Collins, who a Texas CED of a shared management arrangement and is also the SWA Executive, has it in his office and has shared with us that he feels it will increase our workload. He has very positive things to say about BTO. This is exciting to hear from an employee who is actually using the software.
 
Handbook 22-PM will soon be updated to include RASOCE as the “official” retired employee association and retirees will be given information at retirement on how to join.
 
Banquet on Friday evening had surprises for KY! We were so proud! Scholarship winners announced were : Traditional scholarship for the SEA was Luke Estes from KY!! His mom is PT Patricia Estes in the Madisonville Service Center. (Woo Hoo!) Open continuing winner was Kristen Garrett from North Carolina. Distinguished Service Award winners were: DSA Service to FSA/Ag winner was John David McBryde II from North Carolina. DSA Service to NASCOE was Lindsey New from Kentucky!! (Woo Hoo!) DSA Service to Community winner was Donny Green from Tennessee.
 
Saturday we heard from SEA Presidents: Darby Hall from Georgia, Hugh Hunter from Florida, Renee Boykin from South Carolina, and Olivia McCray from Alabama.
 
JM Marketing gave a presentation, followed by Dillards Financial Solutions.
 
We then heard SEA Committee reports. Key issues shared: *New benefit called Working Advantage which gives discounts for apparel, theme parks, etc for NASCOE members, Contact your State benefits chair or President for the membership number *There will be an associate member scholarship in 2017 of $500, * Legislative Leadership training will be conducted in September, States can send up to 2 members for the training, * Emblems totals during the rally were $2200.  Also, $2800 from Live Auction and $2500 from Silent Auction *Please share NAFEC with your COCs.  Pam Rhodes will be happy to meet with them by phone during a meeting if you contact her.
 
The Rally was very information and enjoyable. Plans for next year are currently to have an All South Rally, with both the SEA and SWA in San Antonio, TX in 2017.

Notes from recent NASCOE Conference Call

Find out the most up-to-date news about issues NASCOE is working on in your behalf.

Read the report HERE.

Resources for members to stay informed and be involved

Be part of NASCOE's efforts to better our workplace for all employees.
 

 
- Attend the SEA Rally in April

- Make plans to attend the National Convention
 
- Submit Program Suggestions for NASCOE to communicate to the National Office.
 
- Share this NAFEC Packet with COC members during your organizational meeting.

Important update from NASCOE President's visit to WDC

Here are the Notes of last week's WDC trip from Mark VanHoose, NASCOE President.



NASCOE Legislative Committee Report - Jan. 2014

Please take a few minutes to read what NASCOE has been up to regarding Legislative action.

KASCOE urges members to promote NAFEC to COC Members

KASCOE leadership urges all members to take an active role in sharing NAFEC membership information with your COC members, particularly those newly elected members that will be coming on board next month.  Please consider incorporating NAFEC information into your COC orientation routine.   

When NASCOE Vice President, Wes Daniels, met with KASCOE in 2013, he told members that he'd, ". . . never seen a COC member that wouldn't join if you had the papers ready for them to sign."

  • COC members can pay dues annually or submit an FSA-444 to have $3 withheld from each pay-check.  
  • $1,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment Coverage is provided at NO COST to NAFEC Members!
  • Employees/KASCOE members can support NAFEC with Associate Membership.  Associate Dues are $20.

An informational letter and membership form were emailed to all employees in the KASCOE.com e-Mailing List.  Please SIGN UP NOW if you didn't receive the email.  

Unrestricted by the rules and regulations that employees are subject to, a strong NAFEC presence can influence national change and overcome national barriers thus ensuring farmers’ and ranchers’ interests and needs thrive at the local county level. In fact, NAFEC can do two things FSA County Committees cannot. First, NAFEC can request meetings with National FSA leadership to discuss administrative concerns; and, second, NAFEC can discuss program needs directly with Congressional leaders.     LEARN MORE 

Tim Taylor, CED, Simpson Co., is KASCOE's NAFEC Committee Chairperson.  If you need more information, please contact Tim, or reply to this email and your question will be directed to the appropriate KASCOE Director.  

NAFEC Video Contest

NASCOE members can support NAFEC by becoming an Associate Member.  

NAFEC is currently sponsoring a video contest.  More information can be found here:
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