President’s Update – September 2018

Dennis Ray, NASCOE PresidentIt has been a busy past few weeks since our last update. We had a very successful National Convention in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The South Dakota Association worked very hard to provide a great experience for the several hundred attendees. I would like to take this time to thank a few of the folks that made the convention such a success. Becky Zirpel, Joel Foster and Larry Olson, along with the entire South Dakota Association, went above and beyond to host the 59th National Convention and we thank them for their efforts. I would like to thank Randy Tillman and Jamie Garriott for their many hours of hard work and their usual tremendous job in providing the audio and visual support.

The convention was very well attended by National Office leadership, including Undersecretary Bill Northey, Administrator Richard Fordyce, Associate Administrator Steve Peterson, Deputy Administrator of Field Operations Peggy Browne and Deputy Administrator of Farm Programs Brad Karmen. Also attending for FSA were Linda Treese, Trina Brake and Kathy Sayers. FPAC business center was represented by Terri Meighan and Darren Ash. Rebecca Dudley and Ameer Ali, from the Managerial Cost Accounting Team presented information on the workload tool and Optimally Productive Office dashboard. Steve Stark was also present and demonstrated the farmers.gov portal. Members were provided a 2-hour question and answer session where they could ask the panel questions that were on their minds. The notes from the Q & A are currently in WDC being reviewed and vetted for accuracy by those who answered the questions. Q & A notes will be posted to the NASCOE website as soon as they are received back from WDC. We thank the national office for being generous in approving travel for so many people to attend our convention. It is very beneficial for our membership to have that opportunity to network with our national leaders.

NASCOE leadership recently held our organizational meeting in Manhattan, Kansas site of the 2019 national convention. KASCOE is preparing for a great convention next year. It will be a great site for the convention and I hope folks begin planning now to attend. At the meeting, we reviewed the challenges for the upcoming year and discus sed our plans for addressing those concerns. We also spent one day working with national committee chairs and setting goals and action plans for meeting those goals. We also discussed the status of the Farm Bill and funding for FY-2019.

Based on information provided by our legislative consultant, it doesn’t appear that the Farm Bill will be passed before the current bill expires on September 30th. There are several items that have been agreed upon, but the nutrition title remains an issue. Committee conferees have been named and NASCOE is watching a couple items that are important to our membership and will need to be resolved in the committee before the bill goes to the full congress for approval. The results of the midterm elections could determine if the current bill is considered as is when Congress returns after the election or if the bill is revised.

Funding for the FY-19 has not been passed as of the date of this article. It appears likely that the ag approps bill will be included in a minibus scheduled to be voted on Friday, September 28th, which would provide a continuing resolution funding us until December 7, 2018. While the exact funding level is not known, indications have been positive regarding the amount provided FSA. We will continue to monitor the farm bill and funding issues and will provides updates through our legislative committee as they occur.

NASCOE is following up on a few items raised at the national convention such as the acreage reporting dates for perennial forages, increasing the number of activation sites for resetting lincpass cards and the late filed deadlines for acreage reports. We are currently trying to schedule a meeting with management to work on these and other pressing issues. We will provide updates to these efforts as we can. In the meantime, please feel free to contact any of your NASCOE leaders if you have any issues or concerns.

NASCOE News Flash: Meetings with FSA Management July 8-11, 2018

Dennis Ray, NASCOE PresidentNASCOE Vice President Brandon Wilson and I traveled to Washington, DC July 8-11, 2018 to meet with management. The purpose of the trip was to complete a holdover negotiation item from our April meeting, consult on several items that had been submitted by members during the negotiation process and to get an update on the workload tool and staffing model. We had three full days of meetings and want to thank Administrator Fordyce and his leadership team for their open doors and the willingness to meet and discuss items of concern. I will not have enough space in this article to fully discuss every topic we worked on during the trip. I will however, try to highlight as much as we can.

We were able to meet with Administrator Fordyce on a couple of occasions. The first meeting was with DAFO staff members, Acting Associate Administrator Peterson and contractors who were working on the staffing model and workload tool. This meeting was designed to give NASCOE leadership a deeper look into the Staffing Model, Optimally Productive Office (OPO) Model and the workload analytics which are used to fuel both models. We were also shown how the SED’s can use the various resources contained in the tool to analyze their state as they and their leadership teams determine where staffing in most needed. NASCOE membership will have an opportunity during the general session on Thursday of the National Convention to see a presentation provided by DAFO on the Staffing Model and Optimally Productive Office.

The second meeting with Administrator Fordyce and his team focused more on the concerns that NASCOE has heard from membership. These concerns include the lack of workload/staffing information shared by some states, an update on hiring and staffing, clarification on backfilling internal hires and the upcoming farm bill. When asked about the Staffing Model and OPO being available for all employees to see, Mr. Fordyce explained there are future enhancement planned and until that is completed, the SED’s have been asked to not share the tool itself. However, it should be noted that SED’s are not restricted in discussing and sharing FY18 ceilings and the workload analytics with all employees. State associations are encouraged to work with their SED about the availability of the data.

While we were in town, the Administrator and his senior staff were meeting in preparation of the next release of hiring, which will include backfilling vacancies created by an internal hire. We also discussed the money that was designated in the omnibus appropriation for hiring up to 200 FLOTS. That money was earmarked for FY18 and FY19 and any money not spent by the end of FY-19 will be forfeited by the agency. We also discussed the upcoming farm bill and comparisons between the house and senate versions.

There were many consultation items including revising data collection forms, revising and creating reports, requesting training and updating software. NASCOE met with several people representing several divisions on these consultation items. We also met with the Office of External Affairs to negotiate the remaining item from the 2018 negotiation session. These were productive meetings and we will try to give updates in future communications as these items progress to resolution.

I would like to close this update with some final comments about the 2018 National Convention coming up in Sioux Falls, SD. We have a tremendous agenda planned for you with attendance by Undersecretary Northey, Administrator Fordyce, Acting Associate Administrator Peterson, Acting DAFP Brad Karmen, Acting DAFO Linda Treese, FPAC CIO Darren Ash, FPAC Business Center Chief of Staff Terri Meighan and DAFO nominee Peggy Browne. I know that the time until the convention is short, so I hope you have already made your plans. The South Dakota Association has worked tirelessly to make this an experience not to miss. Hope to see you there.

Respectfully submitted,
Dennis Ray
NASCOE President

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2018 NASCOE Convention Deadlines and Updates

Have you registered for the Convention?

The 2018 NASCOE Convention is right around the corner.  The South Dakota Association (SDASCOE) is excited to host the convention and look forward to seeing you.  We want everyone to have the opportunity to register so below are a few things that will make the process a smooth transition.

Registration Fees

The registration fee increases by $10 to $65 after July 15 so if you already know you are attending then get the registration completed online or in the mail by July 15.  If you are coming for only one day you must pay a one-day registration fee so please consider registering for the one-day session no later than July 25 so we can get an accurate count for the lunch.  For those wishing to come Thursday just for the meetings and register that day there will be a registration fee only for $15 with no meal provided.

Registration fees help cover all incidentals associated in bringing you a successful convention.  If you plan to attend the Wednesday or Thursday evening event along with attending for one day then a full registration fee is needed as that helps cover the cost of the evening events.

T-Shirts for Friday night fun

All registrations for Friday night Convention T-shirts will need to be to us by July 9th in order to fill the order in time.  We are ordering extra wrist bands so any registrations received after July 9th will get a wrist band for the Friday night evening activity.  The
T-shirts or wrist band is your ticket into the Falls Park for the meal.  We cannot guarantee a meal for Friday night after July 25.

Registrations and Meal Reservations

We suggest that all registrations be sent in reaching us no later than July 20th.  If mailing in the registrations make sure they reach us by that date.  We will need to give final count on all meals no later than July 25th.

So why wait — register now!  If you wait until after that date (JULY 25th) meals for any of the functions may not be available.

Suggestions for Later Arriving Reservations

If you are getting close to the deadline for the meals, then email a copy of your registration form to Jeanie Emmett, (Registration Chairperson) and/or Joel Foster, so that they know a late filed registration is on the way.  We hope this will work for those who have been waiting to register due to last minute decisions on whether or not to attend.  We will accept all late registrations, but there are no guarantee on meals for those registered after July 25th.

Cash raffle tickets and tickets for quilt or cookbooks

Please mail all tickets (sold and unsold) along with the money to Terri Roth no later than July 20th   After that date please bring them with you and turn the tickets and money into the fundraising table.  We would hate for the mail to hold them up if not here in time.

Terri Roth
37761 169th St
Redfield, SD 57469

Scholarship Auction

Please send a picture and the form (found on www.sdsascoe.org site under 2018 NASCOE Convention) of the auction item you are providing to Jennifer Chavez.  We would like to promote by providing information on the items that will be available to all of the Members.  NASCOE will also post photos of auction items on the NASCOE News Facebook page – what a great way to help our youth out.  Please consider doing this no later than “NOW” or as soon as possible.

2018 NASCOE Convention Deadlines

2018 NASCOE Candidacy Announcements Posted

Handwritten word ElectionCandidacy announcements have been submitted by the following NASCOE members for NASCOE and Area Executive positions.  The elections for these offices will be held at the NASCOE Convention in Sioux Falls, SD on August 1 – 4, 2018.  Please click on the candidate’s name to view the announcement.  Note:  All announcements will open a PDF document in a new window.


NASCOE Officers

President

Dennis Ray

Vice President

Brandon Wilson

Secretary

Marcinda Kester

Treasurer

Curt Houk


Area Executives and Alternate Executives

Midwest Area Executive and Alternate Executive

Jackson Jones
Mary Roberts

Northeast Area Executive and Alternate Executive

Lawrence Parker
Annette Hyman

Northwest Area Executive and Alternate Executive

Jessi Colgrove
Joel Foster

Southeast Area Executive and Alternate Executive

Mike Mayfield
Elizabeth Farmer

Southwest Area Executive and Alternate Executive

Jay Goff
Kristal Jackson

2017/2018 Candidacy Announcements

Please read the following candidacy announcements for 2017/2018 NASCOE leadership positions. Elections will be held at the 2017 NASCOE Convention in St. Charles, MO.

Candidates
President
Dennis Ray, MO
Candidacy Announcement_Ray

Vice President
Brandon Wilson, KS
Candidacy Announcement_Wilson

Secretary
Marcinda Kester, FL
Candidacy Announcement_Kester
Tammy Eibey, IA
Candidacy Announcement_Eibey

Treasurer
Curt Houk, IA
Candidacy Announcement_Houk

Midwest Area
Exec: Chris Hare, IN
Candidacy Announcement_Hare
Alt Exec: Jackson Jones, MO
Candidacy Announcement_Jones

Northeast Area
Exec: Rick Csutoras, PA
Candidacy Announcement_Csutoras
Alt Exec: Lawrence Parker, VT
Candidacy Announcement_Parker

Northwest Area
Exec: Jessi Colgrove, NE
Candidacy Announcement_Colgrove

Southeast Area
Exec: Mike Mayfield, TN
Candidacy Announcement_Mayfield
Alt Exec: Dawn Ovesen, KY
Candidacy Announcement_Ovesen

Southwest Area
Exec: Jay Goff, OK
Candidacy Announcement_Goff
Alt Exec: Kristal Jackson, TX
Candidacy Announcement_Jackson

 

2016 Convention Reports

Cedar Rapids

The 2016 NASCOE Convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa was a great success! If you were unable to attend, please read through the reports below to see what you missed. The questions and responses from the Q&A session with management will be posted in the near future. Thank you to IASCOE for hosting a fantastic convention!

President’s Report
Vice President’s Report
Secretary’s Report
MWA Report
NEA Report
NWA Report
SEA Report
SWA Report
Awards, Scholarships, and Emblems Report
Benefits Report
Legislative Report
Membership Report
NAFEC Report
Programs Report
Publicity Report