Follow by Email

Monday, May 13, 2019

Rural Program Funding Opportunity for Cooperative Extension ONLY: Opioids

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), building on a collaboration with USDA, is accepting applications for fiscal year 2019 Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grants (Short Title: ROTA). The purpose of this program is to develop and disseminate training and technical assistance for rural communities adversely affected by opioid use disorder (OUD). USDA Cooperative Extension Service grantees will facilitate the identification of model programs, develop and update materials related to the prevention, treatment and recovery activities for OUD, and ensure that high-quality training is provided. ROTA grant applications are due by June 7, 2019. Note: FY18 ROTA grantees are not eligible to apply. See for more details.

Register for the CECE-CoR Joint Summer Meeting - Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators are encouraged to attend the APLU Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) Summer Meeting, June 16-19, 2019. This meeting is an excellent opportunity to learn more about mutually beneficial Extension-CECE partnerships and the Council on Research (APLU VPs for research). The keynote speaker will be Antoine Van Agtmael, co-author of The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation. In the book, Van Agtmael shows how onetime rust-belt areas in the U.S. and Europe are emerging as new centers for innovation - including sharing between research universities and corporations, physical spaces that encourage collaboration, and environments that attract talent. APLU’s 6th Annual Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities workshop will also take place during the meeting. Learn more and register here.

Coming Together for Racial Understanding Pilot Initiative Survey Results - As reported earlier, on August 27-31, 2018, teams of three from 20 states participated in the first cohort group of Coming Together for Racial Understanding. The purpose of the training is to build capacity within Cooperative Extension Service (CES) to help communities engage in civil dialogues around racial issues. The week-long training was designed to prepare participants to build capacity within their home states’ CES, working across the borders of the Land-Grant Universities within a given state (where there are multiple LGUs within a state). Plans for a second workshop are underway; tentatively set for October 2019. Click Here for review survey results. This training initiative is endorsed and co-funded by ECOP ($12,000 spent in 2018; up to $20,000 pledged in 2019).

Land-Grant Impact Database Product Showcased - This week, ECOP showcases Minimizing Pesticides to Maximize Crop, Land BenefitsDirectors and Administrators are encouraged to download and share this fact sheet for institutional, state, and local marketing and communication efforts in communities that care about this topic. This fact sheet was developed from the impact statements that are submitted by the Land-Grant University Extension and Research community. "Environmental Stewardship" is just 1 of 6 areas of impact areas found on the website. An equally important way to maximize the investment into the Impact Database  ($15,000/year by Cooperative Extension Section; matched by Experiment Station Section) is to ensure that impact statements are submitted into the database. An excellent overview and training resource of how to do this is available at

eXtension Hosts National Impact Collaborative Summit - Twenty-eight Project and Program teams across Cooperative Extension representing 36 institutions attended the Impact Collaborative in Atlanta for a unique opportunity to create impactful results at the local level by increasing Cooperative Extension's organizational readiness and capacity for innovation and change. Teams were connected with skills, tools, resources, and partners that helped expand and deepen their impact. Six teams received pre-approved applications for a $5,000 grant to bring new capacity to their projects, and 22 teams have been invited to apply for a separate $5,000 grant. The next Impact Collaborative Summit will be held from October 15th - 17th, 2019 in Atlanta, GA. Stay tuned to the ECOP Monday Minute and to learn more.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Health Program Funding Opportunities and Awards by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The recording of last Friday's Learning for Leaders, Well Connected Communities - Emerging Opportunities is available at Slides from the presentation are available by Clicking Here. These resources are available to help prepare applications for upcoming Wave 2 funding. The program equips volunteer leaders to help their neighbors be healthier at every stage of life and is ECOP endorsed and supported by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in partnership with National 4-H Council.

Land Grant University System Culture of Health Awards were announced last week at the National Health Outreach Conference.  As a part of Extension's Well Connected Communities initiative the awards are made possible by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and focus on health equity and inclusion, address one or more of the social determinants of health, and successfully engage youth-adult partnerships. Monica Hobbs Vinluan, Senior Program Officer for the RWJF, presented the awards in 3 categories.
  • Land Grant UniversityUniversity of Arizona's Tucson Village Farm's FARMacy Program, to help underserved members of the Tucson community learn farm-to-table nutrition.
  • Adult Volunteer: Jacqueline “Jackie” Rhode of South Dakota, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe (pictured top left), serves as the Community Champion for the newly formed Crow Creek Community Wellness Coalition. Jackie assisted a local school with Smarter Lunchrooms, a program to encourage healthy choices. 
  • Youth Volunteer: Pearl Daskam, a 16-year-old from Ubly, Michigan (pictured bottom left), is the co-founder of a project called “Meating” the Need for Our Village. To address the a need in her community at the local food pantry where she volunteered, Pearl applied her knowledge of how to grow food. Starting at only age 12, too young to drive or hold jobs, she and her team began to raise chickens and donate the meat, and then added milk and eggs, to increase sources of high-quality protein for under-served populations. 
Stay tuned for details about this year's Priester Award.

Save the Date - Binational US and Mexico Extension Conference  The Second Binational Extension Conference will be held in Las Cruces, New Mexico, November 19-20, 2019. With the participation of USDA, APLU, U.S. Land-grant and Mexican Universities, Mexican Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER), this conference aims to boost programs of university-based Extension in the border regions of the U.S. and Mexico. The conference is a product of the 2016 MOU between APLU and SAGARPA, Mexico's Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, for increased collaboration in agriculture. This will be the second time that such a collection of U.S. universities, their Mexican counterparts and both federal governments will focus on the unique challenges and opportunities of food and agricultural systems in the border economy. Topics will include development and delivery of Extension programs, youth and community development, agricultural innovations, and case studies of binational Extension partnerships. Mexico will be holding three regional domestic Extension workshops this year and the Binational Extension Conference will also serve as an opportunity to discuss outputs from their regional meetings. Registration details will be provided in June.

Education and Workforce Development RFA - The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Education and Workforce Development (EWD) focuses on developing the next generation of research, education, and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. In FY 2019, EWD invites applications in five areas: professional development for agricultural literacy; training of undergraduate students in research and extension; fellowships for predoctoral candidates; fellowships for postdoctoral scholars, and a new program for agricultural workforce training. The close date for applications is Thursday, August 22, 2019. See EWD Request for Applications for specific details,

Monday, April 29, 2019

Hibberd and Eubanks Inducted into NIFA’s Hall of Fame

On April 25, 2019 during the NIFA Day of Appreciation, Past ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd (pictured top-left), University of Nebraska, was inducted into the NIFA Hall of Fame. The program was established in 2011 to recognize individuals who have made exceptional contributions to NIFA’s mission. Other inductees this year are Gina Eubanks (pictured bottom-left), Louisiana State University, and Ian Maw, retired leader of the Board on Agricultural Assembly (APLU). Click Here to read more about NIFA’s recognition of our Pacific land-grants, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University. The event was typified by compelling comments made by NIFA Director Scott Angle (pictured right in both images), Chuck, Gina, and Rachel Novotny’s (University of Hawaii) that trusted land-grant science delivered through Extension Education improves lives and provides resilience to richly diverse communities. Another former ECOP Chair, Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University, received this same honor in 2015.

Two Days Left to Nominate for National Awards  - The 2019 nomination process for the National Excellence in Extension and Extension Diversity Awards ends in 2 days at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, May 1. Honorees who are selected will receive cash awards and will travel to the APLU Annual Meeting in San Diego California on a stipend to accept their awards. The awards are sponsored by ECOP and NIFA. Go to or contact Assistant Director Sandy Ruble at or 202-478-6088 for more details.

Opportunities! Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders 5/3/19 - ECOP Chair Ed Jones (Virginia Tech) welcomes colleague, Michelle Rodgers (University of Delaware), Well Connected Communities Project Director, to a conversation this Friday, 5/3/19, 3-4:00 p.m. ET. All 1890, 1994, and 1862 land-grant Extension Leaders are encouraged to participate. The program is ECOP endorsed and privately supported (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) program in partnership with National 4-H Council. The case for sustained funding for the program which equips volunteer leaders to help their neighbors be healthier at every stage of life, continues to roll toward 2020. Add to calendar: Join Zoom Meeting or dial by your location 646-876-9923 (New York), 669-900-6833 (San Jose); Meeting ID: 129 450 710. For more information contact Sandy Ruble (contact info above). This will be the 16th in a series of recorded 1-hour national conversations by the Cooperative Extension Section on topics that are system-wide issue driven and enterprising for the members of the Cooperative Extension Section and beyond. The archives are held here-2019 and here-2018.

Low-Income Nutrition Program Enhances Leadership - The Land-Grant University (LGU) SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT) identifies itself as an action-oriented, proactive group, and is focused on long-term projects. Represented by all regions, the Team is comprised of family and consumer science (FCS) program leaders, university administrators, SNAP-Ed program coordinators, an office manager, and a federal partner from NIFA. In 2019, an EFNEP Coordinator was added to help facilitate coordination among SNAP-Ed, EFNEP, and other LGU extension low-income nutrition education programs. A second FCS administrator was added to the Executive Committee to share volunteer leadership responsibilities. Go to to learn more. Later this year ECOP will consider renewing an agreement to collect assessments that support the work of the PDT.

60 Years of 4-H Leadership in Washington, DC - As the National 4-H Conference Center (Center) celebrates its 60th year as the home of 4-H in Washington, DC, it remains a unique source of exceptional learning opportunities for 4-H youth, volunteers and professionals. In addition to national 4-H events like 4-H Conference and Citizenship Washington Focus, the Center now offers workshops on civic engagement and civil discourse, food and agriculture, STEM and many other topics that focus on today's important career paths. To keep these offerings relevant, dynamic and attractive, National 4-H Council is making improvements such as engaging industry experts, providing access to government leaders, and working with Cooperative Extension to maintain cutting-edge curriculum. As a result, program staff are adjusting event pricing to account for enhancements and the increases in the cost of goods and services, while continuing to provide a cost-effective product. Center staff will be communicating more about 2020 program opportunities over the next few months. For more information, contact Freeman Thompson at

Census of Agriculture Data Now Available - Several census items are currently available for sharing, including two highlights on demographics and economics, a census data highlight video series (farms and land in farms, economics, and demographics), the press release, several Partner Tools (an email signature and letter footer, web banner, print and web ad, FAQs, PPT presentation, and more), and the new census data query tool. Devoted to census data, the new query tool is unique in that it automatically displays matching data sets from the past five censuses for easy comparison. Additional products such as state and county profiles (May 30) and congressional district rankings (June 26) will be available later the this year.

BFRDP Grant Deadline 5/16/19 - The 2018 farm bill reauthorized the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). NIFA has released the FY2019 BFRDP Request for Applications (Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-NIFA-BFR-006742), with a deadline of May 16, 2019. The estimated total program funding for FY2019 is $14 million. For more details on criteria and eligibility, go to Request for Applications. To apply, applications must be submitted through at Apply for Grant. Direct questions regarding preparing application to or call 202-401-5048.

Monday, April 22, 2019

ECOP Members Recognized for National Leadership Service

At the ECOP Spring Meeting on April 11th, Scott Reed, Oregon State University, (2016-2019), and Lou Swanson, Colorado State University, (2017-2019), were recognized for their national service. ECOP Chair Ed Jones, Virginia Tech, pictured to the left, presented these leaders with a small token of appreciation earlier than normal (usually done at NEDA meeting) due to their upcoming retirements. Scott (upper photo) and Lou (lower photo) will continue their national duties until retirement (Scott - end of July; Lou - September 8). ECOP will celebrate all national leadership accolades during the “recognitions” portion of the Annual Cooperative Extension Section Business Meeting on the morning of September 25, 2019 in Nashville. Registration for the Joint ESS/CES-NEDA meeting will be released next month.

Celebrating EFNEP - On April 9, 2019, ECOP established a resolution to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the grand accomplishments of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). The resolution, demonstrating the collective appreciation of the Cooperative Extension Section, was presented last week to Helen Chipman, National Program Leader for Food and Nutrition Education, USDA-NIFA, during the PILD conference in Crystal City, Arlington, VA. To learn more about the 50 years of impact go here and follow #EFNEP50th on Twitter.

Awards Deadline is About 1 Week Away - Extension Directors and Administrators should note that time is running out to prepare letters of support for the Excellence in Extension (EiE) Awards. Nominations for EiE awards (submitted by Region) and for the National Diversity in Extension Award (any individual or team may apply) must be submitted using an online form by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Wednesday, May 1. To learn more about these prestigious awards administered in partnership with USDA-NIFA go to or contact Sandy Ruble, or 202-478-6088.

eXtension Funds New Fellows for 2019 - eXtension announces the following individuals as Fellows for 2019. eXtension Fellows create a pathway for new work in high-priority topic areas, disseminated and used across the Cooperative Extension System.

  => Lindsey Lunsford, Tuskegee University. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Fellow. Continuing the work of eXtension’s 2018 DEI Fellow, the focus of Lindsey's fellowship is to develop a second version of the DEI eFieldbook to be published with eXtension for the October 2019 Impact Collaborative Summit.

  => David Warren, Oklahoma State University. Artificial Intelligence Fellow. David will guide & frame a digital content scoping project which will be conducted by an eXtension technical partner in April, 2019.

  => Mike Masiuk, The Pennsylvania State University. Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) Fellow. In partnership with ECOP and eXtension, Mike Masiuk will develop a JCEP Extension and Engagement Core Competency Framework for Extension professionals.

Stay tuned for the announcement of Fellows representing Extension professional organizations such as ACE, NUEL, & NAEPSDP.

RWJF Research Funding Opportunity - The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the private funding partner for Well-Connected Communities, is dedicated to building a Culture of Health—one where everyone in America has a fair opportunity for health and well-being. Directors and Administrators are invited to spread the word about RWJF’s latest funding opportunity. The Equity-Focused Policy Research Funding Opportunity is for researchers, state and local government agencies and public and private sector professionals, from a variety of fields who are interested in better understanding the use of income supports like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Programs. Ten grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 (for a total of $1.5 million) will fund research with the potential to impact 4 key areas. An optional webinar will occur May 3, 2019 (1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET); registration is required. The brief proposal deadline is Tuesday, May 21, 2019.