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Monday, July 17, 2017

Executive Director of Cooperative Extension System Position Announcement

The ECOP Executive Director Search Committee recently completed and released the new position announcement. The Committee encourages readers to share the announcement widely through professional channels across the country. The short link is bit.ly/ED-CES.


Health in All Policies Team Beta-Tests Professional Development Course - Cooperative Extension leaders, researchers and educators ACROSS ALL PROGRAM AREAS are invited to beta-test a new online professional development course, Extension Health in All Policies: Building cross-program awareness for health impacts of decision-making. Members of the ECOP/ESCOP Health Implementation HiAP Action Team chaired by Roberta Riportella, Oregon State University, have adapted and developed the course content specifically for Extension. Registration for this self-paced course, is hosted by Oregon State University Professional and Continuing Education (PACE). Early learners who are willing to provide feedback on the course may do so prior to August 15. Contact Deborah John Deborah.john@oregonstate.edu with: Evaluate Extension HiAP Course typed in the subject line to receive a link to the evaluation survey.


Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Input Opportunity - On 14 and 15 June, NIFA hosted EFNEP administrators and locally based staff, interested partners and ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt and other Extension leaders in a Call to Conversation on Nutrition Education Programming - The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. See https://nifa.usda.gov/nifa-calls-conversation-meeting-series. NIFA is now reviewing the excellent feedback that was shared. In that meeting, NIFA leaders noted that they would also invite comments from those who did not participate in that meeting. Those of you who were not in attendance are invited to respond to the following questions.
  • Who in the target audience would not be served if EFNEP remains the same in 2047 (30 years from now)? 
  • What do we need to do to reach these audiences – not worrying about resources? 
  • What barriers/challenges exist for making needed changes, and how might these be overcome? 
  • Based on your comments, what are your recommendations for the future of EFNEP? 
Please feel free to email us your thoughts (link sends e-mail). You can also send comments directly to hchipman@nifa.usda.gov by August 1, 2017.


Fueling Discovery and Engagement in Ag through Competitive Grants Programs - The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) envisions a future in which all people, at all times, have sufficient access to safe and nutritious foods that meet the needs and preferences for active and healthy lifestyles. Depressed agricultural production and farm incomes need a boost from evidence-based agricultural science, driven by research and extension supported via a competitive peer-review process. NIFA is the largest source of competitive agricultural research funding in the United States and supports the research, education, and extension activities needed to fuel discoveries and innovations in agriculture. Click here to see the infographic.

Monday, July 10, 2017

ECOP Strategic Agenda Webinar is Archived and Available

Thanks to all who completed the survey and/or participated in the July 7 webinar, Developing ECOP’s 2018 Strategic Agenda. This first round of input is getting the engaged agenda development process off to a great start. For those Extension Directors and Administrators who have not had a chance to engage, the next round of input via the five regions will occur very soon! Stay up to speed with other colleagues by going to video https://youtu.be/WuI08bI8wPo and/or the slide presentation at https://unl.box.com/s/vmg7thyu27r07mzjhqb71ue8l5jvmi3c


Blueprint on Data Visualization - It is not enough to have data when telling the story of Extension impacts. It needs to be presented in a way that grabs attention and quickly communicates the message. Laura Thompson, University of Nebraska and eXtension fellow sifted through tools and techniques and created a professional development blueprint for Extension faculty and staff on data visualization. Visit Laura’s eXtension fellowship page for blog posts, a webinar, and her final report.


Strengthening the Land-Grant University Mission through Capacity Funding - The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is committed to supporting the research, education, and extension efforts of its land-grant institution partners. An important source of support for these institutions are legislatively authorized capacity funds. Several types of capacity funds are available annually on a non-competitive basis and are matched at the state and local levels. The amounts allocated to each state depend on variables such as rural population, farm population, forest acreage, and poverty rates. These capacity funds provide core investment, leverage financial and human resources and enable impactful applied research and extension programs responsive to local, state and national issues. Click Here to view the infographic.


Data-Driven Community Decision-Making Survey - ECOP has a growing interest in learning about the capabilities within Extension to use the vast number of data sources available at the local, state and federal levels to inform community decision-making. In response to that interest, the Southern Rural Development Center has set up a five-minute survey. ECOP encourages the completion of the survey designed to collect information about the capacities of land-grant institution access and use of these data sources. Please feel free to pass this survey on to others who may be able to offer more information. Please respond by July 24, 2017. Thanks in advance for your assistance! Survey link: https://msudafvm.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_b8CylRZmtiuGS4R


Extension Workforce Topic at NEDA - On October 2, at the 2017 National Extension Directors and Administrators Meeting (NEDA), participants will learn from a session called, Recruitment and Retention of an Innovative Workforce. Planning Committee member and session facilitator Brian Higginbotham, Utah State University, says, “We will explore ideas and lessons learned as to what it takes to keep an innovative county faculty workforce in Extension. There will be something for everyone who participates in this world-café style session.” Stay tuned for descriptions of other opportunities to share and learn at NEDA. Go to http://www.cvent.com/d/55qd1t to register for NEDA by September 18 and save..

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ag Is America Campaign: Highlighting the Diversity and Necessity of Land-grant Universities

ECOP Monday Minute will return on July 10, 2017.
Have a happy, safe Independence Day.

Agriculture Is America has launched a new video campaign highlighting the diversity and necessity of land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in modern agriculture. The video, Redefining American Agriculture for the 21st Century, is part of a system-wide effort to support advocacy for additional funds in the upcoming Farm Bill.
To help spread the message, Agriculture Is America is asking for your support by:
  1. Visiting AgAction.org to contact your local legislator 
  2. Sharing the video on Facebook and Twitter
    o Sample Facebook copy: We research today, to impact your tomorrow. Watch this video
       showing the importance of #LGUimpact: bit.ly/agaction2017
    o Sample Twitter copy: We research today, to impact your tomorrow. Check out this video
       highlighting our #LGUimpact: bit.ly/agaction2017 #agaction 
  3. Including the video in your weekly eNewsletters or websites 
Visit the Ag Is America website for more information.


Culture of Health Partnership with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Professional Development RFP Due June 30 - Don’t forget to apply for the latest funding opportunity related to Cooperative Extension's anticipated multi-year partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, an initiative that began in early 2016 with the Cooperative Extension System and the National 4-H Council . The goal of the Request for Proposals is to identify one land-grant university to lead professional development for the five pilot program states spearheading the Building a Culture of Health initiative. Want to learn more? Click here to access an on-demand recording of the live Q&A webinar. The RFP application deadline is June 30 at 11:59 PM ET. Click here to log-in to Webgrants to access the RFP and download the FAQ sheet. For more information, contact Joanne Leatherman at jleatherman@fourhcouncil.edu.


NIFA infographic: Nutrition Education Programming in America - NIFA is committed to improving health and reducing hunger and poverty in America through nutrition education programming. Low-income families develop healthy habits in eating, physical activity, food handling, and food storage through peer educator-led training using credible, research-based nutrition information. NIFA and its predecessor agencies have partnered with the Cooperative Extension System to provide nearly 50 years of federal leadership in nutrition education programming through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). We need to ensure that such programming is commensurate with demographic, social, and technological change. See https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/nutrition-education-programming-america for an infographic on this topic.



Connecting Large Amounts of Qualitative Data to Impact Stories - Evaluating large amounts of qualitative data is important to telling the impact story of Extension. What if there was a way to systematize the analysis and harness the collective power of many people using the same platform? Christian Schmieder, University of Wisconsin and eXtension fellow envisions that in his fellowship final report “Responding to the Data Imperative in Extension”.

Monday, June 19, 2017

NEDA 2017 to Debut Kickbox for Innovation – Register Early and Save

National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) are invited to attend 2017 NEDA Meeting, October 2-4, 2017, entitled Invigorate, Innovate, Celebrate: Positioning Extension for 2020s. “We hope you will come ready to learn, network, engage, and explore,” says Michelle Rodgers, NEDA Meeting Planning Committee Chair. Participating Universities will return home with an Adobe Kickbox, an innovator program that delivers an actionable process for discovering new opportunities, validating client engagement, and evaluating new service potential. Innovation in Extension is a strong priority by ECOP just as it was when catalyzed at the 2015 NEDA Meeting (Capstone video: https://youtu.be/LqtZTJ3vdZ8). Stay tuned for introductions to each session that will occur around the 5 goals! Go to http://www.cvent.com/d/55qd1t to learn more and register.


2018 ECOP Agenda Survey Reminder - As noted in last week’s Monday Minute, incoming ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd hibberd@unl.edu, working with the ECOP Executive Committee, is placing an emphasis on engaging Extension Directors and Administrators more directly in the development of ECOP’s short and longer-term action agenda. This is a reminder to respond to the initial survey (if you have not already done so) by Friday, June 23!


SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT) Update - Actions identified by the PDT Shared Expertise Ad Hoc Committee for the 2017 strategic plan are under development including:
  • a mentoring program for new SNAP-Ed coordinators at Land-grant universities (LGU)
  • a plan to consistently communicate PDT reports on regional calls
  • dissemination of information from the 2016 survey of expertise of SNAP-Ed programs at LGUs
On the survey, the areas of expertise are separated into sections of programming strengths, the name of the university, and contact person. Strategies are underway to keep survey information current and easily accessible to all LGU SNAP-Ed programs once it is released. Based on a positive vote by the Cooperative Extension Section from a poll held in 2016, ECOP reauthorized SNAP-Ed assessments to continue through 2019 to support PDT efforts.


NIFA Infographic: Diversifying the Next Generation of Agricultural STEM Leaders - The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is committed to developing an agricultural science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce representative of current and projected demographics in America. A diversified workforce is critical for developing the innovations that will drive the continued success of the agricultural sector and U.S. economy while serving respective communities in culturally-relevant ways. NIFA supports this future workforce through specialized partnerships and programs that build institutional capacity, facilitate access to higher education, and provide experiential learning opportunities in the community. See https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/resource/Diversifying-the-Next-Gen-of-Ag-STEM-Leaders.pdf for an infographic on this topic.