Kentucky Association of FSA County Office Employees



Report from SEA Rally

Posted on April 17, 2016 at 10:37 PM Comments comments (117)
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.

NASCOE letter to Management concerning CBS Strategy

Posted on April 24, 2014 at 9:21 PM Comments comments (0)
View the letter NASCOE submitted to DAFO concerning the proposed CBS strategy.  

NASCOE is hard at work for all employees.  Encourage membership and involvement from your fellow COF employees!

NASCOE Visits DC; discusses proposed office closures

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 5:37 PM Comments comments (107)
Message from Donny Green, Southeast Area Legislative Chair:

CLICK HERE for a summary of NASCOE's visit to DC this week. 

The above link will take you to the archived video of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee Hearing on FSA's FY15 Budget. This was a very revealing hearing and certainly should concern all of us and encourage us to become engaged with our grassroots efforts to develop and enhance relationships with our legislators at home. I hope each of you are working to get me your key contacts for our grassroots efforts that I sent you earlier this week. Remember, I need this information back no later than April 4. 

We should be proud of what NASCOE is doing and we should be optimistic about the news of the proposed 3.3% pay increase for federal employees under legislation proposed this week by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). Always feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. 

Lastly, I hope everyone is making plans to attend the SEA Rally in Little Rock, Ark. April 9-14. I know the Arkansas bunch will be serving up some excellent hospitality and I have learned today that some DC Management folks will be in attendance and this should be an excellent opportunity to hear their responses to our concerns. I regret that I will not be able to attend due to some training schedule conflicts, but I Kevin Wooten, NASCOE Legislative Co-Chairperson, will be in attendance and will give everyone some legislative update reports. 

Thanks for all you do!  

Important update from NASCOE President's visit to WDC

Posted on March 9, 2014 at 8:42 PM Comments comments (9)
Here are the Notes of last week's WDC trip from Mark VanHoose, NASCOE President.

NASCOE Notes from DAFO call

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM Comments comments (0)
Find out how NASCOE is communicating with the National Office to clarify issues as they arise!  NASCOE is working hard for all employees are we transition to a new Farm Bill!

NASCOE President shares notes from VSIP Call with DAFO

Posted on July 22, 2013 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (150)
NASCOE President shares notes from VSIP Call with DAFO.

Posted to NASCOE.org or available HERE!

Don't say, "They didn't ask me!" -- Use NASCOE Program Suggestion Form

Posted on July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM Comments comments (235)

During your workday, you may encounter obstacles in implementing one of FSA's various programs and determine that there is a better process to accomplish the same goal. NASCOE provides a voice for this process so that your constructive ideas and solutions will be delivered to the National Office, to hopefully streamline program delivery. This is also an opportunity to voice your excitement and support for the processes that are working great, to hopefully encourage, similar types of strategies and ideas that are already successful. This opportunity that
NASCOE offers is your communication line to the National Office from the front line.
The Programs Committee is ready to assist you in delivering your innovative ideas so FSA may continue successful Farm Program delivery.

Visit NASCOE's Programs Page for more information or to access the online submission form.

NASCOE shares notes from recent conference call with Administrator

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 10:04 PM Comments comments (9)
CONFERENCE CALL NOTES have been posted to the Documents page.

This document contains notes shared by NASCOE from a recent conference call with Administrator John Garcia.