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Monday, January 13, 2020

Positioning 4-H and Extension for Investment

The ECOP Monday Minute returns January 27 to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Martha Bernadett, M.D., MBA, President and
CEO of The Molina Foundation
On Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, Dr. Martha Bernadett, National 4-H Council (Council) Board of Trustees, and Andy Ferrin, Council’s SVP, Chief Strategy Officer, gave a presentation that all Directors and Administrators ought to review; a comprehensive overview of 4-H (assets and recent alumni survey). Please contribute to conversations on how Cooperative Extension can position its high-quality 4-H programs for growth -- and for increased investment from public and private sources. Everyone is encouraged to use the links below to view/review the session and keep the conversation going!
   -  Recording:
   -  Dr. Bernadett’s remarks 
   -  Slide presentation
   -  Information on the alumni survey - 

   -  Send questions and comments to

NIFA Working Group for Reporting - ECOP announces the 2020 NIFA Extension Working Group for Reporting (page 10 here) and an informational webinar set for this Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, 2PM ET (Click here for more info). The Extension Working Group was formed by the 2015 Panel of Experts to streamline reporting, reduce burden, and add a module that highlights the accomplishments of Extension capacity-funded programs. The new group is being re-engaged to specifically advise NIFA on the design of the new Extension reporting module given the integration of POW and REEport. Contact Executive Director Rick Klemme,, if there are questions. 

DC Connections in Nutrition Education - SNAP-Ed and EFNEP leaders from Land Grant Universities are planning trips to Washington, DC for the upcoming ASNNA (February 4-6) and EFNEP (March 3-5) Conferences. Additionally, a variety of Extension staff may attend the PILD Conference (April 5-8). Attendees are likely to make visits to your state’s legislators to provide program updates/outcomes resulting from USDA Smith-Lever, 1890s Extension, EFNEP and SNAP-Ed investments in Cooperative Extension. The SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (see pg. 3 here) encourages Extension leaders to inform conference participants about your institution’s policies around legislative education and supports that may be in place. Nutrition specialists and educators can learn more about getting started with legislative education and making visits to Capitol Hill by contacting Christine Hradek,, Legislative Education Committee Chair.

Recording of Economic Diversification in Coal-reliant Communities Webinar - The webinar recording for “Putting the Challenge in Perspective: Lessons Learned from Coal Communities Across the Country” is now available for viewing on-demand. This recording of the webinar, hosted by the University of Illinois Extension, discusses how rural coal-reliant communities in the West and in Appalachia are setting a new course in a variety of ways, including through workforce development and retraining, entrepreneurship, outdoor recreation, cultural heritage, renewable energy, and more. Presenters Brett Schwartz from the NADO Research Foundation and Jack Morgan from the National Association of Counties have spent the past five years visiting and collaborating with coal-reliant counties and regions as they work to build stronger economies by tapping into local assets and strengths. While every place is unique with its own set of challenges and opportunities, these case studies can serve as inspiration for communities across the country as they explore ways to create a more prosperous future. Click here to access the recording and slides.

Natural Resources Conference - Oregon State University Extension is hosting the 12th biennial Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP) conference in central Oregon May 3-6, 2020 The ANREP conference attracts more than 300 Extension professionals from around the country and offers great opportunities for professional growth and sharing new ideas. Extension agents, specialists, and program coordinators work every day to share knowledge about the latest techniques and state-of-the science in natural resources management, and ensure that this critical information can be used by landowners, managers, decision makers, and students. ANREP 2020 will highlight conversations about innovation and the importance of this work in a rapidly changing world with the theme “Place-Based and Future-Focused: Fulfilling the land grant mission in an evolving landscape.”

Monday, January 6, 2020

Important National Health Outreach Conference Updates

Note. Links to the 2020 ECOP Calendar (with updates) and the Calendar of National and Regional Significance may be found at www.extension/org/ecop. Please send updates to Assistant Director Sandy Ruble at Thank you.

The 2020 National Health Outreach Conference, May 13-15, 2020, will focus on the strategies and actions which must be taken today to ensure that all people have an opportunity to experience optimal health and well-being across the life span. The conference planning committee encourages participation by Extension faculty and staff, their cross-campus collaborators, and external partners. The deadline to submit proposals is January 21, 2020. Extension Directors and Administrators are asked to share this information today! The venue is the Marriott on the Plaza in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Please visit for additional information and to register.

Registration Now Open for the 2020 JCEP Extension Leadership Conference - The Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) Board developed the Extension Leadership Conference to provide leadership training for professional association officers around the country. It has evolved into a premier conference for any extension professional seeking leadership development, updates in national initiatives and networking. The conference theme, A Vision For The Future will be woven throughout the 32 concurrent sessions and general session speakers. Visit to register and learn more about the conference which will be held February 12 -13, 2020, on the San Antonio Riverwalk. Please share this with all Extension professionals interested in this advanced opportunity for leadership development. Early Bird Registration ends January 20!

Working Together for Greater Impact, eXtension in 2020 - Last year, project and program teams that incubated with the Impact Collaborative secured $750K in funding. 92% of those that participated with the Impact Collaborative recommend it to others and reported new innovations, team growth, and better informed projects and programs. Members invested $1.1 million into eXtension, and Cooperative Extension received $2.4 million in return through the Impact Collaborative, and Cooperative Agreements with USDA-NIFA and the EPA. In 2020, eXtension will remove barriers for members wishing to participate in the Impact Collaborative by delivering its popular offerings virtually. Learn more about partnering with eXtension in 2020 here.

FSA/Extension Partnership - USDA’s Farm Service Agency strives to deliver its programs while building long-term working relationships with customers. Farm Service Agency has been working closely with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Michigan State University Extension, and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development to develop training for USDA employees and other agricultural service providers who work with farmers and ranchers experiencing stress. Training is focused on helping agricultural service providers manage stressful situations and take care of themselves, develop key communication skills, and improve producer awareness of available stress assistance programs—including resources that will be developed through the new Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. For more information contact Executive Director Rick Klemme at

Monday, December 16, 2019

Turning Toward 2020

The ECOP Monday Minute returns on January 6, 2020.

Last Chance to Register - Use the last issue of the ECOP Monday Minute as the source for the links to register for 2 webinar interviews, 11AM and 2PM ET, 12/17/19 - tomorrow, with the candidates for Cooperative Extension/ECOP Executive Director. The ECOP Search Advisory Committee values the input into this key decision by the Cooperative Extension Section for 2020 and beyond. A Qualtrics survey will be released immediately following the candidate interviews. The Committee's recommendation is to be shared with the ECOP Executive Committee during their Zoom meeting on January 9, 2020, 11:00 a.m. ET

Save January DatePositioning 4-H and Extension for Investment - Recently the ECOP Executive Committee rescheduled the popular Learning for Leader Series from Friday, January 3 to January 10, 2020, 3-4:00 p.m. ET. Please save the date and watch for a calendar invitation to all members of the Section with connection details. Andy Ferrin (National 4-H Council) will present a comprehensive overview of 4-H and its many assets, including a recent national survey of 4-H Alumni outcomes. The presentation will be followed by a conversation on how Cooperative Extension can position its high-quality 4-H programs for growth --and for increased investment from public and private sources.

eXtension Hosts 3rd National Impact Collaborative Summit - 21 Project and Program teams across Cooperative Extension representing 24 institutions attended the Impact Collaborative in Atlanta for a unique opportunity to create impactful results by increasing Cooperative Extension's organizational readiness and capacity for innovation and change. Teams were connected with skills, tools, resources, Coaches, Facilitators, and Key Informants that helped expand and deepen their impact. Evaluation results demonstrate team growth, uncovered gaps, new ideas, and new or increased innovation for participants and teams. 93.2% of responding participants recommend the Impact Collaborative Summit to others. The 2020 Impact Collaborative Summits will be delivered virtually, removing the limit on the number of teams that eXtension members can send to participate. The full report is available at

NIFA Highlights Research, Education, and Extension Successes of 2019 - One of the many ways USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture communicates the value of the science, education, and extension investments with our Land-Grant Universities to the general public and to Congress is through our year end success report. The 2019 accomplishment report can be found at
There are numerous ways to connect with NIFA including:
   • NIFA Programs:
   • NIFA Search for Funding Opportunities:
   • NIFA Grants (information for awardees):
   • NIFA Data Gateway:
   • Sign up for Weekly Updates:

Extension Journal, Inc (EJI) Adopts New Strategic Plan - The Extension Journal, Inc (EJI) recently adopted a new strategic plan. The 5-year plan focuses on 4 main priority areas: 1) developing a more efficient, streamlined, and sustainable Journal of Extension editorial model; 2) improving the JOE website user experiences with new dynamic features; 3) expanding partnerships, collaboration and communications around both JOE and Extension Jobs; and 4) establishing financial stability. Since ratifying the new strategic plan in September, the board has focused considerable effort on development of the new editorial model, which includes volunteer associates and more closely aligns with the model used by most academic journals. EJI plans to unveil this new model in the coming months. Ami Smith, West Virginia State University, is the ECOP Liaison and President-elect to EJI Board of Directors.

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.