Monday, March 3, 2014

NEA Narratives

We have changed the narratives that are sent in to the state office to be success stories, etc. that we can send on to FNS quickly.  They are in their format.  These success stories are important information that we include in our annual report. We will post previous years' annual reports on the staff website so you can see what they look like.

The narratives of what happens on a day to day function should be discussed each week as you meet with your supervisors in your staff meetings.  As issues and problems occur, it is best to work it through the local supervisor and then if needed the supervisor can include our office.  
~ Heidi


On the state-wide teleconference on Monday morning, February 24, we discussed the correct manner for submitting Travel Reimbursement Requests.  Here is the complete link for Food $ense:

If this link does not work for you, here is the sequence that will take you there:

Log into the USU College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences (CAAS) home page:
Scroll about half-way down the CAAS home page and find the section entitled “Quick Links” on the right-hand side of the screen. Click on “Business Service Center.”
Scroll down to “NDFS Extension.”  It should say, “This includes Food $ense and EFNEP” underneath the link.  You can either click on the picture of the young lady teaching MyPlate, or on NDFS Extension.
Scroll down to the “Travel Requests” section and click on “Travel Reimbursement” and the form that you need to fill out should appear on your screen.

There are a limited number of things we need to have you fill out on this form.  On page one, please fill out the following in the first section:

  • Name
  • A#
  • Date
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Dates of Travel
  • TA#
  • Destination (this will be you county name)
Then you can move to the second page and fill in the “Mileage/Personal Auto Reimbursement” section.  Please list the number of miles travelled during the month under the comments section.  For example, 125 miles @ $0.485/mile = $60.63.

If you have any special instructions for me, they may be written in the “additional instructions” section at the bottom of page 2.  Then all you have to do is click on the box that says you will send me all supporting documents and receipts and hit the submit button.   

Okay, so it actually says “I have scanned and will attach all supporting documents and receipts,” but we still need the original mileage logs, so I exercised a little creative license there and paraphrased.

When you hit the Submit by Email button, you should be asked which email option best describes how you send mail.  Please choose the option that fits your email system, and the document will be submitted into the system for processing.

The new system is eliminating some common errors that have occurred in the past.  Please comply with the rules NOW.  The CAAS Business Center office is working hard to implement the new system and to help us in any way that they can.  They have the full support of the CAAS Dean’s Office, who sent me the following email this afternoon:

“It has come to our attention that in some instances the CAAS Business Center forms are being completed by staff personnel and then re-routed to the original requester for email submission.  This is totally defeating the purpose of this centralization.  As you are aware, the forms are set up to automatically email to the appropriate transaction personnel for more timely and efficient processing.  By adding an additional layer, it is more time-consuming, the possibility of errors is increased, questions aren’t directed to the appropriate person, etc.  We are also using these forms to gather data, as well as distributing the requests to the appropriate back-up personnel when the situation arises.  Any change to the email routing renders these mechanisms useless, as well as making it impossible to provide the best customer service.
“Your willingness to follow these procedures would be greatly appreciated.”

I believe that, eventually, someone in authority will look at what we’ve submitted and decide that employees will not be reimbursed for personal mileage unless they follow proper procedure.  Let’s get ahead of them in Food $ense by following the rules NOW!


Qualtrics Survey Emails

Several NEAs have requested a way to document when and how Qualtrics forms are filled out per month. Due to these requests, we are adding a question to the bottom of the Indirect Education Form and the NEA Activity Record that asks for your email address. If you type your email address in the text box of this question, Qualtrics will send you an email shortly after your form has been submitted. The email should include the date and time of submission in addition to how you answered the questions. Please keep these emails for your records.

Currently, this feature is not operating properly in the NEA Activity Record. Qualtrics Technical Support is looking into it. I'll send out an email letting you know when this is repaired. 

Also, during our statewide staff meeting two weeks ago Debbie indicated that the Spanish translation was not working on the Qualtrics forms. This has since been fixed. Thank you, Debbie.

If you have any questions, please email Mateja at

 ~ Mateja

Lesson Resources, Paperwork Receipts & EXNUT Lists

Just an  update on the website. Due to your request for access to last year’s handouts, we have added two links to the Creates Website "Staff Menu.” These links have been uploaded so they are readily available as a resource. Creates  is the curriculum that is to be taught, but last year’s lessons can be used as a resource. 

The handouts may be used to supplement the new lessons. The first link is the "Food $ense Lesson Archive" located at It contains all the Food $ense Lessons from 2013. The other is the “Food $ense Handout Archive" found at 

We appreciate your feedback and will implement any ideas that make the program better.

The Paperwork Receipts have been sent out. We have included both hard  copy and electronic forms that have been submitted on this receipt. If you wish to have a more complete NEA Class Record or Indirect Contacts record, let me know and I will send it to you. If there are any discrepancies please let me know.

You have also received the EXNUT letters list for your county. Please remember that this information is to housed in the Extension office and cannot be shared.  The information is to be used for Food $ense recruiting only.

Agents don’t forget to stop by our office while you are on campus and pick up the new Class Participant forms in English and Spanish. If you would like me to print some Youth Participant Forms I will be happy to have those ready for you as well.

I appreciate all of you.

~ Eileen


I apologize for the constant flow of calendaring items sent to your email lately. My intent is to simplify things for you, but every time I send out a meeting notice change, I realize I'm making it more complicated.
To make things clear, one last time:
  • County Staff Meetings every Monday at 10am, State Office will make itself available if you need them
  • Statewide Staff Meetings 1st and 3rd Monday of every month at 10am, to be held in conjunction with your County Staff Meeting; all Food $ense staff should attend
  • IVC Training  4th Wednesday of every month at 10am (exceptions on 7/23 & 11/26)
  • State Advisory Council 3rd Monday of every month at 2pm
Thank you for your patience as we get these regularly scheduled meetings lined up. 
~ Jocelin

The Scoop Challenge

Please complete this sentence:

The narratives of what happens on a day to day function should be discussed each week as you meet with your supervisors in your _______________. 
Please email your answer to Jocelin and have your name entered in the annual Kitchen Aid drawing.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Nutrition Certification for NEAs

Hello NEAs,
This is one last reminder about the mandatory Nutrition Certification Training due to the state office by February 20th.

You do not need to email our office for permission to start and/or get started.
You will need to keep all your scores and let the state office know through your supervisor that you have completed the certification program.

1.  Go to the Food $ense homepage at to login.  Look for Nutrition Certification Program on the left side of the webpage, and click on Nutrition Certification Program.  There are 16 lessons links.  Start with the Welcome and Pre-Assesssment.  The lessons are password and user restricted.  The password is iamsmart and user identifier is your first and last name.
2.  After entering the password and user identifier, click the green SUBMIT button in the lower right corner of the box.
3.  If you typed the password and your name correctly, you will see the green VIEW CONTENT button in the lower right corner of the box.  Click it.  IF you did not type the correct password and user identify, you will have a change to re-submit it.
4.  Work through each lesson in the order they appear and complete each activity and quiz in each lesson.  Make sure you click Check Answer to get credit for completing the activities and quizzes in the lessons.
5.  You will notice a Mobile Page link at the end of each page.  If you click this you will see the lesson content but not the activities.  Clicking Standard Page will take you back.
6.  At the end of each lesson follow the instructions in orange to exit the lesson and get credit for completing it.  NOTE:  Before you click FINISH you will be instructed to email your score.  Before you send the email -- You need to get a screen shot or print to give to your supervisor.
7.  After you click FINISH you will see a yellow box that indicates your score has been submitted and you will be given an option to obtain a score receipt.  PLEASE keep this.  If you c lick Score Receipt, you will be directed to enter your own email address to obtain the receipt.  Please note that the score receipt will not include the name of the lesson.  It will only include the time and score value. 
8.  Exit your browser to exit the lesson.

Thank you for taking time to refresh your knowledge and training.

  ~  Heidi