I hope you all will take some time and enjoy the Holidays with your family and friends. But don't forget about your NACS friends during this special time! I believe these friendships that we develop over the years are what makes us feel part of the FSA family. On that note your Christmas wish should be to plan a trip and attend your upcoming Zone Meeting! All of the registration forms have been posted to the web site so make your plans to attend!
Some of your board and many of your state staff along with field employees just recently returned from our Farm Bill Training meeting in Nashville. It was a full week with lots of topics for discussion! The national office did a great job on providing us with lots of information to bring back to the states. In the near future you should be having your individual state training meetings to go over the training topics. Travel and funds for these meetings have been provided.
The budget for the coming year has been passed and it appears that funding for all of our loan programs has increased. Continue your efforts on promoting the program as it appears we should have adequate funds for the coming year, The message is to continue your outreach efforts.
I am assuming you all have been advised of your new staffing numbers. With 292 new FTE's to hire and train this will be a year of constant challenge. Please think of ways that we can be effective and efficient in our training of these new loan staff. The National office has some ideas that will take some time to implement so it appears that each state will need to figure out how best to accomplish this task in the near future.
Also think of ways to find the best people for these positions. It is critical that the recruitment for skilled employees is everyone's responsibility, keep your eyes and ears open for people looking for a career in agricultural lending and encourage them to apply when the job announcements come out. Take the time to coach them on the federal employment process and the benefits that the agency has to offer. We all benefit when we hire the best people for the job.
The resolutions from our last convention should be posted soon. All but one committee has had their resolutions reviewed and discussed with the National Office. Their responses will be prepared and then the entire discussion will be posted for your review.
NACS has been asked to appoint a member to another taskforce. This task force will be reviewing the employee viewpoint survey and looking for ways to improve employee satisfaction. Theresa Windham from Georgia will be serving as our representative on this project. Please provide any ideas you may have to her.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Let's hope our paths will cross in 2015.
Denise is a Farm Loan Manager from Nebraska. She was elected NACS President at the June 2018 Convention.