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Monday, September 19, 2016

ECOP Meets This Week in WY

ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, welcomes ECOP members to a face-to-face meeting at Jackson Lake Lodge, WY, in conjunction with the Joint ESS-CES/NEDA meeting September 19-21. As ECOP provides national leadership to benefit state and local Extension programming, key discussions are based on ECOP 2016 goals related to innovation, national system, private resource mobilization, and urban programming. Thanks to the work of the ECOP Budget Task Force, Jimmy Henning, Chair, University of Kentucky, ECOP will consider approval of a balanced budget for 2017. Further, the agenda includes discussion with USDA-NIFA, possible next steps on civil discourse for community safety programming, and ECOP emphasis areas for 2017. Watch the ECOP Monday Minute for reports of actions. 

Rick Klemme, University of Wisconsin &
Gary Thompson, Penn State University
ECOP and ESCOP Budget and Legislative Committees to Connect in WY – ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee (BLC) Chair Rick Klemme, University of Wisconsin, and ESCOP BLC Chair Gary Thompson, Pennsylvania State University, combine efforts of the two committees Tuesday, 9.20.16, at Jackson Lake Lodge, WY. The primary purpose is to engage in a conversation about how the two committees can work most effectively together to advance advocacy for federal appropriations and authorizations. Priorities for 2018 farm bill preparation also are on the agenda for discussion. 

James Trapp, Oklahoma State University &
Albert Essel, Lincoln Univeristy
Next Farm Bill Focus of Workshop – The ECOP Farm Bill Coordinating Committee co-chaired by James Trapp, Oklahoma State University, and Albert Essel, Lincoln University, will engage with others in facilitating a workshop Tuesday, 9.20.16, as part of the ESS-CES/NEDA meeting in Wyoming on New Ideas and Key Changes for Federal Authorization. The purpose of the two-hour workshop is NOT to set priorities, instead it is to identify through a facilitated process some concepts for potential authorization of interest to directors/administrators of Cooperative Extension and Experiment Stations. It is expected the results of the discussion will be considered at the October 3-4, 2016 meeting of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly Committee on Legislation and Policy in Washington, DC. 

Celvia Stovall, Alabama A&M University &
Mike O'Neill, University of Connecticut
Orientation for New Directors/Administrators on Agenda Today – ECOP Personnel Committee co-chairs Celvia Stovall, Alabama A&M University, and Mike O’Neill, University of Connecticut, helped plan the ESS/CES New Director/Administrator Orientation 9.19.16 to precede the ESS-CES/NEDA Joint Meeting in WY. Stovall will moderate the panel discussion based on core competencies for leadership in Extension and research, dealing with the political realities of these top positions, and highlighting state-level ESS and CES collaboration to achieve results. 

Urban Conference Proposals Due 9.30.16 – Proposals for the 2017 National Urban Extension Conference, “Engaging in Collective Purpose”, are due the end of this month. The conference in metropolitan Minneapolis, MN, May 8 – 11, 2017 will include presentations and applied research on urban programs with impact along with how to position your Extension office or program in your urban community, how you attract and retain personnel in highly competitive environments, and creative and effective partnerships. See

Cultural Competency Workshop – Those attending NAE4-HA are encouraged to add the daylong pre-conference on Sunday 10.9.16 to professional development plans. The topic Towards Cultural Competency - Tools for the Journey Towards Cultural Competency is designed for Extension professionals to increase proficiency in navigating ever increasing global communities. Models and theories will be presented that can guide work with others in cross cultural interactions with applications for both personal and professional relationships. An additional registration fee is required for the pre-conference.

Monday, September 12, 2016

See You in Wyoming!

Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware
ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, announces the agenda for the annual meeting of the Cooperative Extension Section (CES)/National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Wednesday morning, September 21, 2016 at Jackson Lake Lodge, Wyoming. In addition to brief updates on ECOP national leadership priorities, the meeting is designed to engage Extension directors/administrators in discussion and decision-making. Note the links to supporting documents on innovation, the Extension health agenda, National 4-H Council Board of Trustees, and the SNAP-Ed Program Development Team. Throughout the meeting participants will be asked to use mobile devices (e.g. smart phone, laptops) to provide your opinion or vote. In the case of the SNAP-ED Program Development Team, you will be asked to vote on continued investments in this work via assessments to Extension in institutions receiving SNAP-Ed funding. If you are not able to attend the meeting in person and have comment about any of the agenda items, please send them to Rodgers with a copy to ECOP Executive Director Jane Schuchardt by 9.19.16. The CES/NEDA meeting is joint with the Experiment Station Section. See for the full agenda. 

Building a Culture of Health: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Grant Update – For the last year, leaders from Cooperative Extension, USDA-NIFA, National 4-H Council, and the RWJF together with 4-H members have been exploring a potential partnership to impact Americans' health within communities throughout the United States. This important work will continue this fall with the help of a second planning grant. The start-up phase (September 2016-April 2017) will be dedicated to designing a systems approach and organization for implementation while testing tools and support systems to begin activating the Extension-RWJF partnership in 2017. States will have the opportunity to determine readiness to participate and opt into the partnership. For more information, click here

4-H Youth in Action Awards Webinar 9.14.16 – National 4-H Council is accepting applications for the 2017 4-H Youth in Action Awards to be presented at the eighth annual Legacy Awards in Washington, D.C. on March 21. The 2017 awards will recognize one remarkable 4-Her within each pillar area: agriculture, citizenship, healthy living, and STEM. Each of the four 4-H Youth in Action Awards pillar winners will receive a $5,000 scholarship for higher education, an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to be recognized at the Legacy Awards and a shopping experience to select attire for the event. A 2017 4-H National Youth in Action winner also will be selected and given an additional $5,000 scholarship. The application deadline is 10.24.16. To find out more, join the webinar 11 a.m., ET, 9.14.16. Click here to register To apply, go to Direct questions to

Extension Urban Programming Webinars – The Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research announces two webinars. The first at 3:00 p.m. ET, 9.22.16, is on Urban Communities Re-Imagined, a multi-region, multi-state project funded by the Kettering Foundation. Register at A second webinar on Leadership in the City is 3:00 p.m. ET, 9.29.16. Register at For more information visit: Extension urban programming is an emphasis area for ECOP national leadership this year. 

Final Rule on AFRI with Request for Comments – USDA-NIFA is soliciting comments on its final rule on a revision of the general administrative guidelines applicable to the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) competitive grant program. The solicitation appeared in the Federal Register (81 FR 58809, August 26, 2016) and can be found at The comment deadline is 9.26.16.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Welcome to Wyoming!

In observance of Labor Day, ECOP Monday Minute will return 9.12.16. 

Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, and
Leadership Keynote Speaker David Horsager
ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, welcomes you to the 2016 Cooperative Extension Section/National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Business Meeting 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, 9.21.16, Jackson Lake Lodge, Moran, WY. On the agenda, which will be sent in advance and available at the meeting, includes ignite-style presentations on ECOP 2016 goals related to national system, private funding, innovation and urban programming. Discussions, plus voting using your electronic devices, will engage directors/administrators in key decisions related to the Extension health agenda, proposed changes in the board structure of the National 4-H Council, future investments in the SNAP-Ed Program Development Team, and moving forward as a national system. Wrapping up the morning will be a fast-paced, two-hour professional development opportunity by David Horsager, author of The Trust Edge: How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships, and a Stronger Bottom Line. You are encouraged to read the book, take the assessment (Page 3 of and view the video

eXtension Foundation Members to Meet in Wyoming – eXtension Foundation Board of Directors Chair Dennis Calvin, Pennsylvania State University, invites you to the 2016 business meeting, 7:15-7:30 a.m. MT, Wednesday, 9.21.16, Jackson Lake Lodge, WY. Your vote is needed to affirm new board members recommended by regions, attend to other decisions for eXtension, and get a brief update on recent accomplishments. Upon registration at the joint ESS-CES/NEDA meeting, representatives of eXtension member institutions will receive a paper ballot with instructions. The meeting is open to all interested in eXtension and its critical role as a part of the Cooperative Extension System. 

Use Impacts Database – The ECOP-ESCOP National Impacts Database Committee, Tim Cross, Co-Chair, University of Tennessee, encourages your continued reporting to and use of the database at Available through the password protected portion of the web site are postcards in both email and print versions which can be used to promote the database. While ECOP has voted to discontinue the Measuring Excellence in Extension (MEiE) database effective at the end of 2016, due to lack of reporting and use, the impacts database will continue through efforts facilitated by Scott Cummings, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. 

Immigrant Youth and Families Survey Due 8.31.16 – The USDA-NIFA Vulnerable Populations Immigrant Youth Champions Work Group gives the last call for assistance in distributing The State of 4-H’s Engagement with Immigrant Youth and Families online survey to all Extension professionals, both state and local. The brief survey will assist the working group in identifying the professional development needs and strengths of Extension professionals in order to successfully recruit, engage and sustain the participation of immigrant youth and families in the 4-H Youth Development Program. The term "immigrants" (or "foreign born") refers to people residing in the United States who are not U.S. citizens at birth. Second generation immigrants are U.S. born children of immigrants (with at least one foreign-born parent). The 15-minute survey is available at Direct questions to Fe Moncloa at

Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation – Via an HHS grant and facilitation by USDA-NIFA, the Regional Rural Development Centers are pilot testing community behavioral health training beginning 9.8.16. The project, called CAPE (Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation), is a capacity-building initiative for Cooperative Extension professionals. The training in September and October of 2016 includes web-based and face-to-face events. Space is limited to 15 participants. There is no cost for the pilot group. To learn more about CAPE, contact John Leatherman, Kansas State University or Mark Skidmore, Michigan State University Registration is handled by Rosa Soliz, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development

USDA-NIFA Releases 2015 Annual Report – See for NIFA’s summary of investments in food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences in 2015. Cooperative Extension impacts, together with research and academic programs, are highlighted throughout the report. 

USDA Toolkit on Economic Impact of Local Foods – Released earlier this year, the toolkit is designed to help communities and businesses evaluate the economic benefits of investing in local food systems. See The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices. This aligns with USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, which coordinates efforts across USDA to support local and regional food systems.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Urban Conference Proposals Due 9.30.16

ECOP Monday Minute will return on 8.29.16. 

The University of Minnesota Extension and the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) announce a call for proposals for the National Urban Extension Conference on Engaging in Collective Purpose in Bloomington, Minnesota, May 7-11, 2017. For details, see The conference website is Extension professionals from all program areas can share research and innovative educational strategies that address the needs of urban, suburban, and peri-urban populations as well as urban-rural interdependencies. Journey for Diversity and Human Rights, a three-day tour designed for community leaders and educators, will take participants to the places that history has marked as pivot points in the state’s judgements on collective values and their effects on the state’s original peoples, workers, women, and communities. ECOP member Chris Boerboom, North Dakota State University, is the liaison to NUEL. An ECOP 2016 priority is to enhance Extension urban programming while maintaining a strong presence in rural places. 

Growth Plan for eXtension Communities – The eXtension Foundation Board of Directors chaired by Dennis Calvin, Pennsylvania State University, directs your attention to the new eXtension Growth Plan for eXtension Communities of Practice and Learning Networks. The plan supports the new eXtension focus on issues, innovation and impact. Work addresses one or more county, area, state or national levels and is designed to garner program visibility and measurable impact. Existing communities can build upon established resources, keep what is working, retire low impact activity, and experiment with establishing new cohorts as a complete community or segments of an existing community. They will have the opportunity to narrow their focus on a county, state or national issue and leverage i-Three Issues Corps strategies. New communities can begin as an Issue Corps cohort and leverage existing eXtension publishing tools and services. 

4-H Science Day $50,000 Award Letters of Intent Due 9.2.16 – The deadline is fast approaching to express interest in creating the 2017 4-H engineering challenge. 4-H National Headquarters at USDA-NIFA and the National 4-H Council invite Cooperative Extension faculty and staff at all land-grant universities to submit a proposal detailing an innovative engineering design challenge for youth to conduct during the 2017 4-H National Youth Science Day. The winning application will receive a $50,000 award. The 2017 subject area focus is "wearable technology." To apply, go to Letters of intent are due on September 2. Top applicants will be notified on September 12 and asked to submit a full application by October 28. Direct questions to

Food and Agriculture Sciences Nominations Due 10.3.16 – Mid-career Extension professionals are encouraged to review requirements for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) award provided in partnership with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Beginning in 2017, the new $100,000 prize will recognize one annual mid-career recipient for an extraordinary contribution to agriculture or to the understanding of the biology of a species fundamentally important to agriculture or food production. The prize is endowed in perpetuity. For details, see Learn More | How to Nominate

USDA State Fact SheetsThe USDA Economic Research Service has updated its data sets on population, income, education, employment, federal funds, organic agriculture, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and exports for each state in the United States. Some county-level data also is available. See