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Monday, December 9, 2019

Save the Date - Search Narrows for National Executive

All members of the Cooperative Extension Section, ECOP and leaders from Partnering Entities are invited to participate in webinars for the Search for an Executive on Tuesday, December 17. The new full-time Executive will facilitate national dialogue and partnerships, and be the voice of Cooperative Extension policy. The search process that launched in mid-August, is in the final phase to engage the System with candidates via a webinar. The format will be a prepared presentation on a certain topic and Q&A by the Search Advisory Committee. Registration is required for each session. Recordings will be shared by a similar message later the same day, plus a limited-time brief survey will capture reactions for the Search Committee to consider. Stay tuned to email to engage.

NAE4-HA Board Votes to Change Association Name - The NAE4-HA Board of Trustees has been gathering feedback from members and partners over the last year and a half to determine if a name change was in order. At the board’s pre-conference meeting, November 2-3, 2019, trustees voted to change its name to National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP). The new name that includes youth development aligns with our own strategic plan and better aligns with many university titles as well as the association’s national partners.

Applications Now Open for 2020 True Leaders in Equity Institute - The True Leaders in Equity Institute, to be held on April 17-19, 2020, will prepare up to 20 youth-adult teams within Cooperative Extension to support equity-related projects that will grow 4-H in their communities. Teams should consist of 2 passionate youth, ages 15-19, 1 adult volunteer mentor, and 1 Cooperative Extension staff person appointed by the 4-H program leader/administrator. Applications are due January 17. For more information, visit the True Leaders in Equity page and download the True Leaders in Equity FAQ document. REGISTER HERE to attend a live information session this Friday, December 6 at 2 PM EST. Please direct all questions to Kristy Parker at

Data Collection for Census of Agriculture Special Studies - USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) begins data collection this month for the 2019 Organic Survey and 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties. Each collected just once every five years, both will expand on the 2017 Census of Agriculture data. Survey codes for producers to respond online were mailed Dec. 6 for Organic (deadline Jan. 10, 2020) and will be mailed Dec. 16 for Horticulture (deadline Feb. 5, 2020). Results for both will be available fall of 2020. Promotional materials for helping to spread the word are available on the NASS Partner Tools webpage.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Welcome Florencia Drumwright

The ECOP Monday Minute will return on December 9, 2019 - Happy Thanksgiving!

On November 18, Florencia Drumwright joined Executive Director Rick Klemme and Assistant Director Sandy Ruble at the Cooperative Extension/ECOP Office. As the Program Associate, Florencia has begun to assist Sandy and Rick with an array of administrative support for special projects and meetings. In the Office of Food, Agriculture, & Natural Resources at APLU, the majority of her work will be with the Board on Human Sciences (BoHS) and Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET). Florencia graduated from Marymount University with a B.S. in Health Sciences and is currently a MPH student at the University of Vermont. Before joining APLU, Florencia worked as an agent of Medicaid serving high risk populations. Welcome Florencia - 202-478-6093,

The Next Generation of eXtension Technology - eXtension has adopted new technologies to better support the Cooperative Extension System. With the success of its legacy tools such as Ask An Expert and Articles, eXtension is looking to the future by bringing in commercially available tools and technology services, and making those available to Cooperative Extension. These tools include a new social intranet and professional development platform, WordPress sites for multi-state and national projects, an online version of the Impact Collaborative's Innovation Skill-Building methodology for members, and several new eFieldbooks. Additionally, eXtension has launched a new national initiative, Ask Extension, that leverages AI and machine learning to serve as the next generation tool for connecting the public with Extension expertise and their local Extension professionals. Learn more here.

2017 Census of Agriculture Special Study Data Released - USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently released the data from the first 2017 Census of Agriculture Special Study, the Irrigation and Water Management Survey. The full report, press release, and Highlights publication are available on the NASS website. Aquaculture is the next census special study to be released, scheduled for December 19. Census of Agriculture products continue to be made available. Currently online are State and County Profiles, Congressional District Profiles and Rankings, Ag Census Web Maps, Zip Code Tabulations, Watersheds, American Indian Reservations, and Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Profiles. The census Specialty Crops report will be available December 5.

Trust In Food Symposium - With a focus on helping farmers scale conservation agriculture, reconnecting the public to agriculture, or both, the 2020 Trust In Food Symposium will take place Jan. 29-30, 2020. at the Hilton Downtown Chicago Hotel. Extension Directors and Administrators are invited to join executives from across the agri-food value chain representing academia, farms, ranches, conservation NGOs, government agencies, agribusinesses, food companies, food retailers, technology firms and more. This year’s theme is Bridges Over Barriers and will focus on actionable steps we can be taking to accelerate positive economic, environmental and social outcomes for farmers and the public in conservation and natural resource stewardship. For more information or to register, visit

Monday, November 18, 2019

Welcome New ECOP Members

New ECOP Members, L-R - Debby Sheely, University of Rhode Island; John Lawrence,
Iowa State University; Nick Place, University of Florida
ECOP Chair Mark Latimore, Jr., Fort Valley State University, welcomes the newest members of ECOP. Deborah "Debby" Sheely, Associate Associate Director, Cooperative Extension, University of Rhode Island, was appointed by the Northeast Region Directors, John Lawrence, Vice President of Extension and Outreach, Iowa State University, by the North Central Region Directors, and Nick Place, Dean, Extension Director, University of Florida, by the Southern Region Directors. One term of office is four years. Click here to view/download the 2020 lists of Cooperative Extension/ECOP National leadership. Contact Assistant Director Sandy Ruble to provide updates.

National Impacts Database (NIDB) Opportunity - Steve Loring, Communications and Marketing Committee Chair, New Mexico State University, recently requested that impact statements be submitted by December 11, 2019, to the National Impacts Database This database is a repository of the Extension and Research impacts that Land-Grant Universities associated with the Board on Agriculture Assembly. The database is used by NIFA and advocating stakeholders of the Land-Grant system to make the case for the value of and increased investment in capacity and competitive funding for institutions and colleagues across the country. Direct technical questions to Impact Team expert, Scott Cummings, Texas A&M University. Direct all other questions regarding the Communications and Marketing Committee to Extension Director colleague and Impact Team Co-chair Karla Trautman, South Dakota State University.

L-R: Class of 2022 - Jorge Atiles, Associate Dean, Extension and Engagement, Oklahoma State University
Class of 2021 - Shelly Nickols-Richardson, Associate Dean and Director of Extension, University of Illinois;
Ashley Stokes, Associate Vice President for Engagement and Extension, Colorado State University, and
Marshall Stewart, Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement, University of Missouri.
Cooperative Extension Leadership on APLU Commission - Earlier this month, Sheila Martin, Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement, APLU, proudly announced the latest update to the Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) Executive Committee; broadly representative of the chief economic and community engagement leaders across the diverse perspectives and missions of APLU member institutions. Shelia says, “We are confident that this Executive Committee will help APLU to demonstrate and elevate the importance of university efforts to strengthening our communities. We look forward to working with these talented leaders .” ECOP congratulates colleagues Jorge Atiles, Shelly Nickols-Richardson, Ashley Stokes, and Marshall Stewart and thanks them for communicating the Cooperative Extension, land-grant perspective to CECE!

NACo County News Available On Line - The National Association of Counties represents 3,069 county governments across the country. These county governments provide essential services for our nation’s residents, often including funding for our boots on the ground colleagues. County governments frequently partner on developing educational programs to address issues important to county clientele. One way to keep up with what the national organization (NACo) is doing to is to follow the bi-weekly publication, County News, available on line at

Monday, November 11, 2019

Cooperative Extension Leaders at 132nd APLU Annual Meeting

L-R: Rick Klemme, Cooperative Extension/ECOP Exec. Dir.; Scott Angle, USDA-NIFA, Dir.;
Dorothy Brandon, Alabama A&M Univ.; Kim Greder, Iowa State Univ.; Matt Devereaux, Univ. of
Tennessee; Donna Shoemaker, Ohio State Univ.; Dave Schramm, Utah State Univ.; Gordon Johnson,
Univ. of Delaware; Mark Latimore, Jr. (ECOP Chair), Fort Valley State Univ., and Mark Peterson, Univ. of Arkansas
Almost half of the Cooperative Extension Section (all Regions) are currently attending the APLU Annual Meeting in San Diego. The meeting runs through Tuesday. Yesterday morning the impact of Extension was showcased during the Annual National Awards Program. The awards were presented by USDA-NIFA Director Scott Angle, USDA Chief of Science Scott Hutchins, and ECOP Chair Mark Latimore, Jr., Fort Valley State University. Follow the news here and here on Twitter. Click Here to view today's happenings.

Innovative System Staffing Model Launched November 1 - ECOP entered into a new era to strengthen organizational functioning of Cooperative Extension last week when Executive Director Rick Klemme and Assistant Director Sandy Ruble completed negotiations with eXtension Foundation, National 4-H Council (Council) and APLU to bring aboard an Extension Health Director (See below). The result is an independent contract agreement through October 31, 2021, funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The administrative package is a combination of technical support (eXtension), implementing partners (Council and APLU), national leadership (ECOP) with regional support (AEA, NCCEA, NEED, WEDA, ASRED). This initiative is an example of what the Extension Resource and Program Development Committee developed as a pathway to leveraging public investment with outside funding.

Roger Rennekamp,
Extension Health Director
Extension Health Director Welcome - The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through their support of the Well Connected Communities project recognized a need for an Extension leader as a key strategist and communicator for health extension in the Cooperative Extension System (CES). Roger Rennekamp has joined the national office to fill this important role! While focusing on increasing health equity by responding to the diverse needs of children, youth, and families; particularly among vulnerable populations, Roger will simultaneously develop partnerships focused on systems and policy change to address four core themes.
  1. Building partnerships and acquiring resources to achieve the core themes, 
  2. Increasing understanding and visibility of the Cooperative Extension System as a national leader in health education, 
  3. Enhancing leadership and professional development among Extension System colleagues, and
  4. Strengthening organizational functions to sustain health equity as a CES initiative. 
Roger reports to the Chair of ECOP and Executive Director, Cooperative Extension/ECOP, with day-to-day interaction with the Well Connected Communities Program Director and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Development Director. Contact information: and 541-740-5327.

eXtension Shares Results of New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Survey - eXtension appreciates the participation of Directors and Administrators in a recently conducted system-wide survey to gauge interest and identify existing Extension programs in four topic areas aligned with USDA strategic priorities. 942 Extension professionals responded to the survey. The end goal is to provide professional development opportunities focused in these areas for Cooperative Extension. The following percentage of respondents indicated interest in these topic areas:
    -- Climate Smart Agriculture: 72%
    -- Prevention & Mitigation of Ag Pests & Disease/IPM: 67%
    -- Prevention of Foodborne Illness & Protection of Public Safety: 75%
    -- Safe & Nutritious Food for Low-Income Individuals: 73%
An overview of the national results are available here. The results by region are available here.

NIFA Information Update - Josh Stull, Acting Communications Director / Congressional and Stakeholder Affairs Officer, NIFA, USDA, forwarded the following information to be shared with colleagues regarding the NIFA resources.
    -- Updated NIFA org chart
    -- NIFA grants page
    -- NIFA Director Update Message on ReePort/Plan of Work