What Does a PCARET Member Do?
In addition to helping PCARET achieve its goals, a member’s responsibilities include:
- Liaising with elected officials. In this role, members help influence local, state, and federal legislative issues affecting agricultural research, extension, and teaching.
- Maintaining awareness of local news and knowledge of issues that may impact Purdue’s research, extension, and teaching programs.
- Helping others learn how to properly contact legislators.
- Informing the membership about legislative initiatives that require input.
- Relaying the interests and views of those served by Purdue’s extension, research, and teaching programs to decision-makers, citizens and news media.
- Sharing impacts and accomplishments with government officials, members of the community, and others.
- Organizing and motivating others to learn more about the legislative process and to become active.
- Identifying legislation that will benefit Purdue research, extension, and teaching, and encouraging others to help advance that legislation.
- Providing input to the administrative team at the University level regarding clientele needs, program impact, and legislative responses to requests.
Is it Important to Communicate with Elected Officials?
Almost every day, members of a local, state, or federal legislative body make decisions that affect your life and the lives of generations to come. Legislators help mold the shape of tomorrow’s education system. They tackle issues ranging from technology and trade to business and agriculture. They are as concerned about highways and infrastructures as they are about healthcare.
Indiana legislators have your future in mind. Even when they debate the problems and issues of the day, they are aware of the impact their decisions will make. But government doesn’t work without citizen input. Thousands of people in Indiana government work on many levels to address your problems and concerns. They want to know what you think.
Thousands of bills and resolutions are introduced with each session of the Indiana Legislature, and even more at the federal level. For a legislator to make an informed decision, he or she needs feedback from interested people. Communicating with a legislator is your opportunity to “be an expert.”
We depend on legislatures for leadership, and that means they must make the tough decisions based on what they feel is right and based on the best information at hand. Communicating is your chance to contribute.
Telephone calls, letters, email, or personal visits let your legislature know that you care about your future and making Indiana better for future generations. Every contact is valuable.
Is it important to communicate with legislators? You bet!
The Role of the County Extension Director in PCARET
The County Extension Director (CED) in each county serves as an ex-officio member of the Area PCARET committee. CEDs attend and assist with Area PCARET meetings and events. Functions that CEDs carry out to support Area and State PCARET events and activities include:
- Coordinating selection of county PCARET representatives in cooperation with the County Extension Board chair.
- Assisting with Area PCARET activities by coordinating communication and promoting participation among membership.
- Facilitating communication with county PCARET representatives.
- Supporting PCARET members as they serve in leadership roles at the Area and State levels of the PCARET organization.
- Encouraging participation of county representatives in Area and State activities.
- Managing fundraising for county PCARET dues.
- Hosting Area PCARET activities and events.
The Role of the Extension District Director in PCARET
The Extension District Director (DD) serves as an ex-officio member of the Area PCARET committee and the executive committee. It is the DD’s responsibility to advise and support Area PCARET efforts and to coordinate Area PCARET activities. Responsibilities within the district include:
- Serving as a communications link with PCARET membership and Extension staff with regard to Area and State PCARET activities and events.
- Maintaining Area PCARET lists.
- Coordinating Area PCARET meetings, events and activities in cooperation with the Area PCARET officers and County Extension Directors.
- Serving as an information resource for Area PCARET membership.
- Assisting with the coordination of State PCARET activities, such as the Legislative Luncheon, State PCARET meeting and other events.
- Serving as a liaison with the State PCARET committee. (One DD per year on a rotating basis).
- Participating with the Indiana delegation in the annual National Lay Leader’s Conference held in Washington, D.C. (One DD per year on a rotating basis).