Why Galaxy?

Sonja Koukel (NM) Vice President for Professional Development

Galaxy IV is happening  September 2013 in Pittsburg, PA. If this is your first Galaxy, it will be an experience you’ll not soon forget.

I was new to my Extension position, and to NEAFCS, when I attended the 2008 Galaxy III Conference held in Indianapolis, IN. I remember the energy and excitement surrounding the event. Having only attended FCS-related conferences in the past, Galaxy was so BIG and there were so many people! It was fun meeting professionals from other Extension disciplines and attending sessions outside my program of work. We can sometimes forget the diversity of Cooperative Extension. Galaxy brings the program areas together and helps to refresh our appreciation for the great work that we do as a unit.

For this newsletter, it was suggested that I write about past Galaxy conferences. Since my experience is limited, I asked some NEAFCS members to share some of their reasons for attending Galaxy:

I think the best thing about going to Galaxy conferences is that I can reconnect with friends that don’t normally attend NEAFCS conferences. We all tend to belong to more than one of our professional organizations. But, often, we choose one to be our “favorite” and attend that one as often as possible. When Galaxy rolls around, I can reconnect with my friends that usually attend NAE4-HA, ESP or other organizations.

Roxie Rogers Dinstel, Alaska Extension

The Galaxy conference gives Extension personnel the opportunity to network with other disciplines and agencies. Those professionals that are outside our normal peer groups.

Marsha Lockard, Idaho Extension, NEAFCS Past President

Galaxy is a great opportunity to work at building the team of educators that you work with in your county, area/region/district or state. Participating in Galaxy allows everyone to hear the same keynote speakers, network with exhibitors and attend a variety of concurrent sessions. The world has become smaller and our Extension world is becoming smaller. More program areas are over-lapping and more educators are working in dual or split positions so attending Galaxy only makes sense. A couple of bonuses for attending are making the most of the travel by attending the pre- and post-conferences. Try to arrange some personal time so that you can explore the host city either at the beginning or ending of the conference.

Mary Ann Lienhart-Cross, Indiana Extension, NEAFCS Past President

I hope you are making plans to attend this exciting event and create your own reasons for “Why Galaxy?” See you in Pittsburg!