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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 http://ecopmondayminute.blogspot.com/, 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 http://srdc.msstate.edu/set/apply. 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 http://srdc.msstate.edu/set/apply or contact Rachel Welborn (rachel.welborn@msstate.edu 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 bit.ly/CESAssessmentBasic. 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 www.extension.org/ecop and www.ecopmondayminute.blogspot.com


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 www.healthbench.info or contact Mark Skidmore at mskidmor@msu.edu


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 https://extension.org/professional-development-webinars-and-recordings/ 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 http://nationalcooperativeextension.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html. 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 sandy.ruble@extension.org.

Monday, December 12, 2016

National Systems Task Force Delivers Report to ECOP

Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska
Chuck Hibberd, ECOP Chair-elect, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, expresses thanks to Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators for engagement on the work of the ECOP National Systems Task Force. Via national surveys, a webinar and on-line polling at the September 2016 National Extension Directors and Administrators meeting in Wyoming, the task force, chaired by Hibberd, outlined recommendations currently under consideration for action by ECOP. For the executive summary of the report, see bit.ly/ECOPNatlSystem_ES. Responses demonstrated a willingness to consider a national system approach to funding and collaboration for Cooperative Extension. Task force members representing all Extension regions were Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Scott Reed, Oregon State University; Doug Steele, Texas A & M University, and Debby Sheely, University of Rhode Island, assisted by Jane Schuchardt, Cooperative Extension/ECOP Executive Director, and Ron Brown, Association of Southern Region Extension Directors Executive Director. 

Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska
ECOP Releases 2017 Handout – ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, calls your attention to the one-pager he will reference to explain Cooperative Extension and ECOP in visits with partners in Washington, DC and other venues. The single page leave-behind document found at bit.ly/AboutCoopExt outlines what we do, why we are valued, how we are organized at the national level, and why partner with us. Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators are welcome to use any part of the document for state and local Extension visibility. 

Call for Proposals Extended for eXtension’s Diversity and Inclusion Issue Corps – Promoting diversity and inclusion is an important part of any Extension program. The eXtension Foundation is seeking additional proposals for the Diversity and Inclusion Corps to increase opportunities available for innovative Extension professionals. The deadline is extended to 1.5.17. See https://extension.org/announcing-the-call-for-the-next-issue-corps-diversity-inclusion/

Sign Up for USDA-NIFA News and Information Service – NIFA has an email subscription service for those interested in receiving news and information from the agency. The subscription service includes such topics NIFA updates, press releases, announcements, programs, initiatives, research, education, and Extension projects, funding opportunities, grants awarded, budgetary and legislative updates, policy changes, blogs, significant NIFA-funded impacts, and items of interest about and for land grant universities and non-land grant colleges of agriculture. With this service, readers can select the frequency of their information -- immediately, daily, or weekly. To sign up visit bit.ly/NIFAsubscribe. For questions, contact Judy Rude at 202-720-4242. 

Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Funding Opportunity Announcement – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit organization that builds unique partnerships to support innovative science, is Seeding Solutions, a call to the community to come forward with bold, innovative, and potentially transformative research proposals. Through this program, FFAR seeks scientific solutions to some of today’s most pressing food and agriculture challenges. Prospective grantees may come forward with a proposal for up to $1,000,000 of FFAR funding, and must secure equal or greater matching funding from a non-Federal source before a grant will be awarded. FFAR anticipates funding at least one meritorious and transformative proposal in each challenge area. Seeding Solutions is open for pre-proposals through 1.16.17. Learn more or Download detailed pre-proposal guidelines and instructions

Changing Lands, Changing Hands Conference Next Summer – A National Conference on Farm and Ranch Access, Tenure and Transfer will be June 13-15, 2017 in Denver, CO. This conference will bring together service providers, policymakers and advocates working on land access, farm succession, conservation, beginning farmers, tenure arrangements, and farm landowners. Learn more about the event provided with funding from USDA-NIFA. Colorado State University Extension is involved with the conference planning. Early bird registration will open 2.1.17.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Extension Health Expert on USDA Ag Outlook Forum Panel

David Buys, Mississippi State University
David Buys, Mississippi State University, chair of the ECOP Health Action Team on Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, is a panelist for a session on Nutritional Security through Agricultural Production at the USDA 2017 Agricultural Outlook Forum February 23-24 in the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, VA www.usda.gov/oce/forum. Early registration USDA 2017 Agricultural Outlook Forum Registration ends January 26. The forum is USDA’s largest annual meeting, attracting 1,800 attendees. It offers 30 sessions with more than 80 speakers and a host of agriculture-related exhibitors. 

USDA-NIFA Releases Report on 1994-1862 Cooperation Meeting – See https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/1994-and-1862-land-grant-cooperation-progress-report for a summary of the September 22-23, 2016 meeting in Jackson Hole, WY on Engagement and Success of Land-Grant Universities and Colleges - Respecting Sovereignty, Serving the People and the Land. According to NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy, the meeting resulted in six action items with identified champions for each. Ten current 1862 Extension directors attended, plus two former directors who have transitioned to roles as a university president and a dean of agriculture at land-grant universities. 

Brian Higginbotham, Utah State
University
Nominations Due for Extension Family Life Awards – Brian Higginbotham, Utah State University, and chair of the National Awards Committee for Family Life and Human Development State Specialists, asks your assistance in submitting nominations by the December 20th deadline to recognize state Extension specialists who have made important contributions to the work of Cooperative Extension and who provide clear evidence of program impacts. Awards will be presented during a NIFA/USDA sponsored national webinar. Details are available at https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/2016-family-life-and-human-development-state-specialists-awards

eXtension Issues call for Proposals for 2017 Innovation Projects – The eXtension Foundation has issued a Call for Prescreening Proposals for its 2017 Innovation Projects initiative. Innovation Projects are part of eXtension’s mission to support experimental projects that will drive opportunities to adopt innovation in the Cooperative Extension System. In 2017, grants of up to $10,000 each will be awarded for up to 10 projects to be completed over a one-year period. Recipients will also receive support of their project from eXtension’s Innovation Lab. Applicants must be a faculty member, Extension specialist, educator or agent of an eXtension Foundation premium member institution. The prescreening proposal deadline is December 19th. For complete details, visit https://extension.org/innovation-lab/announcing-call-for-2017-innovation-projects/

CYFAR 2015 Report Available – The 2015 Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Annual Report is a compilation of funded sustainable community sites across the United States and its territories, plus a summary of CYFAR’s professional development and technical assistance and work with 4-H military efforts. See the report at https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/2015-cyfar-annual-report

Foundation Offers Matching Funds for Rapid Response to Agricultural Emergencies – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports innovative science, invites groups to self-organize around a commodity or commodities to take advantage of matching funds for emergency research and outreach through the Foundation’s Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research (ROAR) program. ROAR provides nimble deployment of funds to support one-year grants in the event of emerging or unanticipated threats to the nation’s food supply or agricultural systems. If and when a threat arises, ROAR consortia will be able to apply for FFAR matching funds and receive a decision within one week. Consortia members may include researchers, Extension agents, institutions, commodity and industry representatives, diagnostic laboratories, and relevant state and local government representatives. Pre-establishing expert teams for research and outreach will accelerate first response to agricultural emergencies. When emergency situations arise, response time is critical. ROAR fills the gap until traditional, longer-term funding sources can be secured. Learn more at www.foundationfar.org/ROAR.

Monday, November 21, 2016

ECOP Releases Innovation Report

Happy Thanksgiving! 
ECOP Monday Minute will return 12.5.16. 

Leadership, organizational culture, hiring practices, training and support, and learner engagement are addressed in a new ECOP report on innovation http://bit.ly/2016ECOP_Innov. Led by Keith Smith, retired Extension director, The Ohio State University, the ECOP Innovation Task Force, provides guidelines for implementation strategies within the Extension organization. ECOP expects to take follow-up action in 2017 and recommends Extension Directors and Administrators embrace the call to action to support and invest in innovation. 

Extension Focuses on Civil Discourse – In response to a charge from ECOP, a Rapid Response Team on Civil Discourse was established to explore existing resources, develop a competency framework for Extension staff, and generate a strategic plan for future work. A survey has been launched targeting Extension professionals knowledgeable about the resources and expertise within the Land-grant University System to address complex community issues through civil discourse. Extension Directors and Administrators are asked to encourage Extension faculty and staff with interest in civil discourse to participate in the short survey at https://msudafvm.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_b4xksyJwSc5Yu2x


Extension Celebrates Excellence
Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, accepts the
ECOP gavel from Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware.
– At the Cooperative Extension dinner meeting last week as part of the APLU Annual Meeting in Austin, Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, became the new ECOP Chair accepting the gavel from Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware. Three ECOP members have completed four-year terms and were recognized, along with leaders of key ECOP functions. Also recognized for six years of service was Jane Schuchardt, ECOP Executive Director, who has resigned effective the end of this year. 

ECOP members completing four-year terms are (left to right)
Tim Cross, University of Tennessee; Celvia Stovall, Alabama
A&M University, and Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University.
Recognized for ECOP leadership were (left to right): Rick Klemme, University
of Wisconsin, chair, ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee, and co-chair,
ECOP-ESCOP Health Implementation Team; Celvia Stovall, Alabama A&M
University, co-chair, ECOP-ESCOP Health Implementation Team, and co-chair,
ECOP Personnel Committee; Tim Cross, University of Tennessee, Board of Directors
representing Extension, National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research; Jimmy
Henning, University of Kentucky, chair, ECOP Budget Task Force; Chuck Hibberd,
University of Nebraska, chair, ECOP National System Task Force, and Scott Reed,
Oregon State University, chair, ECOP Private Resource Mobilization Task Force.
Extension nationwide expressed appreciation to Jane Schuchardt,
ECOP Executive Director (right), with a homemade quilt bearing the logos
of the 76 land-grant universities in the Cooperative Extension Section.
Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, (left) presented the gift. To view
video of the presentation go to: https://youtu.be/ph6bJUXza4o
eXtension Foundation Names Evaluation Fellow – The eXtension Foundation has named Julie Huetteman, Purdue Extension, as recipient of the first 2017 Program Evaluation NAEPSDP/eXtension Fellowship. Dr. Huetteman is currently Coordinator, Extension Strategic Initiatives, and has deep experience in evaluating projects and programs and reporting Extension impacts. Throughout 2017 she will serve as a key informant to the 2017 i-Three Issue Corps, providing professional development and one-on-one consulting with Issue Corps members on measuring and reporting impacts on their innovative projects. https://extension.org/2016/07/12/naepsdpextension-fellowship-opportunities/

Foundation Announces New Innovators – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports innovative science, announces nine winners of its New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award. Winners will pursue innovative and potentially groundbreaking food and agriculture research projects and receive a total of $4.8 million over five years. Matching funds from each awardee’s respective institution will leverage the FFAR investment of up to $300,000 per recipient. The FFAR New Innovator Award is designed to provide the early investment needed to launch new faculty members into successful scientific careers in food and agriculture. Applicants were required to demonstrate a commitment to mentoring, supporting the Foundation’s interest in inspiring future generations of agricultural and food scientists. Meet the 2016 New Innovators, most of whom are from land-grant universities. 

USDA-ERS Reports on Rural America – The latest edition of Rural America at a Glance is available at http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/pub-details/?pubid=80893. Produced annually by the USDA Economic Research Service, key economic indicators point to a comeback for rural America. Rural unemployment continued to decline in 2015, dropping below 6 percent for the first time since 2007, and rural poverty rates have fallen. Median household incomes in rural areas increased by 3.4 percent in 2015, and rural populations have stabilized and are beginning to grow.