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Monday, February 13, 2017

2017 PILD

 ECOP Monday Minute will return 2.27.17 due to Presidents' Day Holiday

Registration is open at for the 2017 Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference scheduled for April 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, VA (early registration ends March 3rd). The theme for 2017 PILD is Relationships, Relevance, Results. The purpose of PILD is for Extension administrators, professionals, and volunteers to improve their skills in telling Extension’s story about local program impacts. In addition participants will get up-to-date information about the Farm Bill, Federal budgets, NIFA focus areas and grants, and how to effectively meet with members of Congress and other decision makers. A pre-conference webinar will be held on March 10 at 1:00pm Eastern Time. Log-in information will be emailed to those registered for PILD. It will also be recorded for later viewing. For additional conference information see: PILD 2017 Promo1.pdf. To view a short promotional video click on this link:

UPDATE: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Partnership Webinar Series - There is now a way to sign up for the 2-part webinar series introduced last week in the ECOP Monday Minute. To register: CLICK HERE. The dates are:
  • March 9 @ 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time: focus on the partnership and goals 
  • April 6 @ 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time: learn more about the request for application process to be a pilot state 
For more information about the partnership, CLICK HERE for a presentation recorded by Dr. Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware.

Big Data Is Coming to Cooperative Extension - eXtension fellows, Justin Griffis Smith, Washington State University, and Christian Schmieder, University of Wisconsin, are organizing a workshop for Extension professionals to learn more about tools and methods for analyzing qualitative data for climate resilient agriculture. Justin’s fellowship is a joint effort between GODAN (Global Open Data for Ag and Nutrition) and the eXtension Foundation. Both fellows are looking at solutions to use Big Data methods to make available information more meaningful and actionable. Read more on the workshop.  

Southern Region Middle Managers Conference - The Southern Region would like to invite all land-grant universities to send participants to an upcoming Middle Managers Conference, to be held in Asheville NC, March 13-16, 2017. This year's event will feature world-class training from the internationally-acclaimed Center for Creative Leadership ( The Tuesday session will be specifically designed to build critical skills in the areas effective leadership, giving and receiving feedback, and developing a leadership culture for all. In addition, sister institutions will share best practices in the areas of onboarding, County Extension Director competencies, 4-H Agent retention, and more. To learn more and register for the Conference, go to this link:

Monday, February 6, 2017

National Executive Director Announced

Rick Klemme, Executive
Director, Cooperative
ECOP Chair Fred Shlutt is honored to announce that Rick Klemme has agreed to serve as the ‎ECOP Executive Director (ED), beginning February 6th. Rick comes with experience as Dean and Director of Cooperative Extension in Wisconsin (2009-2016). He is a former Chair of ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee and Co-chaired the ECOP/ESCOP Health Implementation Team. Rick earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics from Illinois State University, and his master’s and PhD degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University. Rick will serve for up to 9 months or until a new ED is selected and conduct the affairs of the ECOP National Office located at the APLU in Washington, DC with Staff Associate Sandy Ruble. The ECOP ED Search committee is regrouping to begin a second application process. ECOP is grateful for Rick's willingness to fill this vital position. Rick may be contacted at or 202-478-6029.

Jason Henderson,
Purdue University
Extension Director on Capitol Hill – Jason Henderson, Purdue University will be featured at a National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research (NC-FAR) Capitol Hill Lunch/Learn event designed for Congressional staffers on Monday, 2.13.17. The "science to application" presentation is called, Pressures on Repayment and Spending: Cooperative Extension translates scientific research to help farmers and ranchers; see Please encourage Congressional staffers to attend.

SAVE THE DATES: Cooperative Extension + Robert Wood Johnson Foundation = Building a Culture of Health - A 2-part webinar series is scheduled for all of Extension to learn more about a new partnership between Cooperative Extension and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The purpose of the 10-year partnership is to build a Culture of Health in communities across America in 2017 and beyond. In March, Cooperative Extension Section institutions can apply. Five will be selected as pilots this summer to launch the program. All institutions will have the chance to engage in other ways, including professional development opportunities. Webinar series dates are:
  • Thursday, March 9, 2:00 PM ET Details about the partnership
  • Thursday, April 6, 2:00 PM ET Details about applying
Look for more information through future posts in ECOP Monday Minute for how to register. To learn more about the partnership, CLICK HERE for an 8 minute recorded presentation by ECOP Past-chair Michelle Rodgers, Associate Dean and Director, University of Delaware Extension. The webinar mentioned in the clip refers to the the series listed above. These sessions will be recorded and made available for sharing.  

Extension Resources on Opioid Epidemic - The ECOP Program Committee sought input from Extension directors/administrators on the potential need for a rapid response team to address the opioid epidemic. While the 5-question survey results did not warrant the creation of a rapid response team at this time, resources collected in the survey have been shared on eXtension at

Monday, January 30, 2017

ECOP Executive Director Search Update

The ECOP Executive Director Search Committee developed a position description, reviewed applications and conducted interviews in 2016. "The determination of the committee was to continue searching for an ECOP National Executive Director," says Fred Schlutt, Chair, University of Alaska. "We will be regrouping to determine a new direction. In the meantime, Fred Schlutt, ECOP Chair, the ED/A team along with Sandy Ruble will be performing of the duties ED. We are in final negations with a former Director of Extension to serve as Interim ED for 9 months or until a new National ED is identified." In the meantime, Fred Schlutt and the EDA Team will be performing ED the duties. Other members of the Committee are Doug Steele, Texas A&M University; Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware; Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska; Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University; Daryl Buchholz, Kansas State University; Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky, and Robin Shepard, North Central Region Executive Director.

Lou Swanson,
Colorado State University
Swanson Joins ECOP - Lou Swanson, Vice President for Engagement and Director of Extension, Colorado State University joined the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) representing the Western Region in January 2017. Rich Koenig, Washington State University stepped aside to take on additional responsibilities in his state. ECOP is the representative leadership and governing body of Cooperative Extension nationwide and made up of 15 members, three from each of the five Cooperative Extension regions (1890 Institutions, North Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western).

Early-bird Registration for 2017 National Urban Extension Conference - The University of Minnesota will host the 2017 National Urban Extension Conference at the Radisson Blu located at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, May 8 – 11, 2017. Please use the following conference web link to register by March 17 to receive Early Bird pricing at Designed with the urban Extension educator in mind, the conference schedule is intently geared towards program faculty, administrators and staff including a rich line-up of keynote speakers, mobile learning opportunities, and informative and engaging poster, program and administrative track sessions and ignite talks weaved throughout the conference. Brent Hales, University of Minnesota, is Conference Chair and Brad Gaolach, Washington State University, is Conference Co-Chair.

eXtension Diversity and Inclusion Issue Corps - More than 40 teams representing 28 institutions have been selected for eXtension Foundation’s newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Issue Corps. The teams will meet in February for a Designathon workshop in which they will develop an issue response strategy through concept mapping and one-on-one mentoring from key informants. eXtension is recruiting key informants in areas of expertise specific to the needs of the Corps.

2017 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism: April 10-13, 2017; Asheville, NC - Designed for Cooperative Extension professionals who manage volunteers; the workshops, keynote presentations, poster sessions, lightening talks, and super seminars provide specific strategies for optimizing the benefits of the program for the volunteer, for the manager and for Extension. For registration and more Information:
  • Early Bird Registration ends on 2/28/17 - $275 
  • Standard Registration on 3/1/17 and ends on 3/15/17 - $325 
  • One day only Registration - $150 
  • 4-H Specialists Pre-Conference Registration (lunch included) - $60 
  • EMGV (Master Gardner)  Pre-Conference Registration (lunch not included) - $25 
Please promote this opportunity to focus on volunteer development and program management.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Message from Jane Schuchardt: Farewell, Washington, DC

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2017!

Schuchardt in 2014
This is the last ECOP Monday Minute blog post for 2016 and the last I will pull together as the Executive Director for Cooperative Extension/ECOP. For nearly six years, this communication tool, designed as a Monday morning quick read for Extension Directors and Administrators, has summarized action items, ECOP accomplishments, and partnership highlights. Along with the many other functions of the ECOP National Office in Washington, DC, this searchable blog, originally meant for readership by around 100 colleagues has grown to an average of 4,500 page views monthly. It has been my distinct honor to serve as your Executive Director. From Sandy Ruble and me in the ECOP National Office in Washington, DC, all best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and monumental successes for Cooperative Extension in the coming years. 

New Stronger Economies Together Funding – State applications for Phase 7 of the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program are due 1.20.17. SET, a joint program of USDA-NIFA and Rural Development (RD), managed by the Southern Rural Development Center, guides multi-county regions toward developing a regional economic development plan. Applications will be jointly submitted by the USDA-RD State Director and the Cooperative Extension Director/Administrator. The application form and further details via a short recorded webinar are at Five states will be selected followed by additional guidance to State Rural Development and Cooperative Extension Service teams to seek proposals from regions within states to implement the program. See or contact Rachel Welborn ( or 662.325.5885) for more information.

2017 ECOP National Assessments Overview – ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, directs your attention to the investment in national leadership document found at APLU will send statements early in the new year. Why is the assessment an investment? ECOP works on behalf of Cooperative Extension nationwide in order to benefit state and local programming. Through national leadership, which is contributed on a volunteer basis by Extension Directors and Administrators, ECOP builds partnerships and acquires resources, increases strategic marketing and communications, enhances leadership and professional development, and strengthens organizational functions. For additional details, see and

Addressing Behavioral Health at the Community Level – The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) is spearheading the $6.2 million national project “Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation” (CAPE). In a cooperative effort between the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA), USDA NIFA, the Regional Rural Development Centers and a set of Land Grant universities, CAPE is developing programs designed to empower communities to address behavioral health challenges such as the opioid epidemic at the community level. The CAPE project is offering a train-the-trainer program for Extension educators and their partners to use community development organizational capacity building tools to help communities tackle these difficult challenges. Upcoming sessions are scheduled for Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Colorado. Learn more at or contact Mark Skidmore at

Introducing ECOP 2017 – The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) is part of the Association of Public and Land-grant University (APLU) Board on Agriculture Assembly. This representative leadership and governing body of Cooperative Extension nationwide is made up of 15 members, three from each of the five Cooperative Extension regions (1890 Institutions, North Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western). With some exceptions, the terms of service are four years. Members are: 

 1890 Institutions Region 
L-R: Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Carolyn Williams, Prairie View A&M
University, and Vonda Richardson, Florida A&M University

 North Central Region 
L-R: Chris Boerboom, North Dakota State University; Beverly Durgan, University
of Minnesota, and Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska, chair-elect
 Northeast Region 
L-R: Bill Hare, University of District of Columbia; Michelle Rodgers,
University of Delaware, and Chris Watkins, Cornell University
 Southern Region 
L-R: Tom Dobbins, Clemson University; Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky,
and Ed Jones, Virginia Tech
   Western Region 
L-R: Rich Koenig, Washington State University; Scott Reed, Oregon State
University, and Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, chair

WoW! (Webinars on Webinars) Series Concludes – Recordings of the eXtension professional development series about webinar production are at under the “recent” header of the professional development page. The three-part series features lessons learned on webinar logistics, educational value, and evaluation by selected eXtension communities.

Cooperative Extension Calendar of National and Regional Significance – The ECOP National Office in Washington, DC maintains a calendar of meetings that may be of interest to you and the staff you lead. See This calendar is updated as information becomes available and is highlighted in the ECOP Monday Minute. If there are other calendar items to add, please get them to Sandy Ruble at