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Monday, August 29, 2016

Welcome to Wyoming!

In observance of Labor Day, ECOP Monday Minute will return 9.12.16. 

Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, and
Leadership Keynote Speaker David Horsager
ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, welcomes you to the 2016 Cooperative Extension Section/National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Business Meeting 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, 9.21.16, Jackson Lake Lodge, Moran, WY. On the agenda, which will be sent in advance and available at the meeting, includes ignite-style presentations on ECOP 2016 goals related to national system, private funding, innovation and urban programming. Discussions, plus voting using your electronic devices, will engage directors/administrators in key decisions related to the Extension health agenda, proposed changes in the board structure of the National 4-H Council, future investments in the SNAP-Ed Program Development Team, and moving forward as a national system. Wrapping up the morning will be a fast-paced, two-hour professional development opportunity by David Horsager, author of The Trust Edge: How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships, and a Stronger Bottom Line. You are encouraged to read the book, take the assessment (Page 3 of http://trustedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Self-Assessment.pdf) and view the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHJ45j8GYic

eXtension Foundation Members to Meet in Wyoming – eXtension Foundation Board of Directors Chair Dennis Calvin, Pennsylvania State University, invites you to the 2016 business meeting, 7:15-7:30 a.m. MT, Wednesday, 9.21.16, Jackson Lake Lodge, WY. Your vote is needed to affirm new board members recommended by regions, attend to other decisions for eXtension, and get a brief update on recent accomplishments. Upon registration at the joint ESS-CES/NEDA meeting, representatives of eXtension member institutions will receive a paper ballot with instructions. The meeting is open to all interested in eXtension and its critical role as a part of the Cooperative Extension System. 

Use Impacts Database – The ECOP-ESCOP National Impacts Database Committee, Tim Cross, Co-Chair, University of Tennessee, encourages your continued reporting to and use of the database at www.landgrantimpacts.org. Available through the password protected portion of the web site are postcards in both email and print versions which can be used to promote the database. While ECOP has voted to discontinue the Measuring Excellence in Extension (MEiE) database effective at the end of 2016, due to lack of reporting and use, the impacts database will continue through efforts facilitated by Scott Cummings, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. 

Immigrant Youth and Families Survey Due 8.31.16 – The USDA-NIFA Vulnerable Populations Immigrant Youth Champions Work Group gives the last call for assistance in distributing The State of 4-H’s Engagement with Immigrant Youth and Families online survey to all Extension professionals, both state and local. The brief survey will assist the working group in identifying the professional development needs and strengths of Extension professionals in order to successfully recruit, engage and sustain the participation of immigrant youth and families in the 4-H Youth Development Program. The term "immigrants" (or "foreign born") refers to people residing in the United States who are not U.S. citizens at birth. Second generation immigrants are U.S. born children of immigrants (with at least one foreign-born parent). The 15-minute survey is available at https://agrilife.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_2au3j3obDmZk3UF. Direct questions to Fe Moncloa at fxmoncloa@ucanr.edu

Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation – Via an HHS grant and facilitation by USDA-NIFA, the Regional Rural Development Centers are pilot testing community behavioral health training beginning 9.8.16. The project, called CAPE (Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation), is a capacity-building initiative for Cooperative Extension professionals. The training in September and October of 2016 includes web-based and face-to-face events. Space is limited to 15 participants. There is no cost for the pilot group. To learn more about CAPE, contact John Leatherman, Kansas State University jleather@ksu.edu or Mark Skidmore, Michigan State University mskidmor@anr.msu.edu. Registration is handled by Rosa Soliz, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development soliz@anr.msu.edu

USDA-NIFA Releases 2015 Annual Report – See https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/resource/NIFA-FY15-Annual-Report-Web-Version.pdf for NIFA’s summary of investments in food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences in 2015. Cooperative Extension impacts, together with research and academic programs, are highlighted throughout the report. 

USDA Toolkit on Economic Impact of Local Foods – Released earlier this year, the toolkit is designed to help communities and businesses evaluate the economic benefits of investing in local food systems. See The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices. This aligns with USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, which coordinates efforts across USDA to support local and regional food systems.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Urban Conference Proposals Due 9.30.16

ECOP Monday Minute will return on 8.29.16. 

The University of Minnesota Extension and the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) announce a call for proposals for the National Urban Extension Conference on Engaging in Collective Purpose in Bloomington, Minnesota, May 7-11, 2017. For details, see https://t.co/hSXJ4v5wWM. The conference website is https://sites.google.com/a/umn.edu/urbanextensionconference2017/index. Extension professionals from all program areas can share research and innovative educational strategies that address the needs of urban, suburban, and peri-urban populations as well as urban-rural interdependencies. Journey for Diversity and Human Rights, a three-day tour designed for community leaders and educators, will take participants to the places that history has marked as pivot points in the state’s judgements on collective values and their effects on the state’s original peoples, workers, women, and communities. ECOP member Chris Boerboom, North Dakota State University, is the liaison to NUEL. An ECOP 2016 priority is to enhance Extension urban programming while maintaining a strong presence in rural places. 

Growth Plan for eXtension Communities – The eXtension Foundation Board of Directors chaired by Dennis Calvin, Pennsylvania State University, directs your attention to the new eXtension Growth Plan for eXtension Communities of Practice and Learning Networks. The plan supports the new eXtension focus on issues, innovation and impact. Work addresses one or more county, area, state or national levels and is designed to garner program visibility and measurable impact. Existing communities can build upon established resources, keep what is working, retire low impact activity, and experiment with establishing new cohorts as a complete community or segments of an existing community. They will have the opportunity to narrow their focus on a county, state or national issue and leverage i-Three Issues Corps strategies. New communities can begin as an Issue Corps cohort and leverage existing eXtension publishing tools and services. 

4-H Science Day $50,000 Award Letters of Intent Due 9.2.16 – The deadline is fast approaching to express interest in creating the 2017 4-H engineering challenge. 4-H National Headquarters at USDA-NIFA and the National 4-H Council invite Cooperative Extension faculty and staff at all land-grant universities to submit a proposal detailing an innovative engineering design challenge for youth to conduct during the 2017 4-H National Youth Science Day. The winning application will receive a $50,000 award. The 2017 subject area focus is "wearable technology." To apply, go to http://grants.4-h.org/index.do. Letters of intent are due on September 2. Top applicants will be notified on September 12 and asked to submit a full application by October 28. Direct questions to 4HNYSD@4-H.org

Food and Agriculture Sciences Nominations Due 10.3.16 – Mid-career Extension professionals are encouraged to review requirements for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) award provided in partnership with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Beginning in 2017, the new $100,000 prize will recognize one annual mid-career recipient for an extraordinary contribution to agriculture or to the understanding of the biology of a species fundamentally important to agriculture or food production. The prize is endowed in perpetuity. For details, see Learn More | How to Nominate

USDA State Fact SheetsThe USDA Economic Research Service has updated its data sets on population, income, education, employment, federal funds, organic agriculture, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and exports for each state in the United States. Some county-level data also is available. See http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/state-fact-sheets.aspx.

Monday, August 8, 2016

ECOP Seeks Executive Director

ECOP has launched a search committee chaired by Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, to name a DC-based executive director. ECOP encourages your assistance in recruiting appropriate applicants. See http://bit.ly/ECOPEDSearch. The current ECOP Executive Director, Jane Schuchardt, who has served since 2011, has resigned to return to the farm in Nebraska. It is expected the transition will occur near the end of 2016. 

Measuring Excellence Database Wraps Up in 2016The Cooperative Extension Measuring Excellence in Extension (MEiE) Implementation Team recently completed a study of the status of participation in and use of the MEiE database. In spite of excellent and consistent work of the MEiE Implementation Team and diligent work of the staff associated with the database, participation in and use of the database by Directors and Administrators and others is at such a level that the usefulness of the data is questionable. After considering the options provided from the survey conducted by the MEiE Implementation Team, the ECOP Executive Committee and ECOP approved that funding for the MEiE database be discontinued at the end of 2016. ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers has expressed appreciation to Scott Cummings, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, and the team for designing and maintaining the tool. Efforts associated with the impacts database www.landgrantimpacts.org, also managed at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, will continue under the leadership of the ECOP-ESCOP Impacts Database Committee, Tim Cross, chair, University of Tennessee. 

Celvia Stovall, Alabama A&M University and
Gary Lemme, Auburn University
Alabama Extension Reports Impacts – Check out for the 2015 impact report and short video http://www.aces.edu/impact/# summarizing the return on investment (ROI) for Alabama residents resulting from direct contact with Alabama Cooperative Extension programs. Thanks to ECOP member Celvia Stovall, Extension Associate Director, Alabama A&M University, and Gary Lemme, Extension Director, Auburn University, for sharing this approach. About the report, Lemme says, “We are very conservative in our ROI calculations and only include public funds in the cost structure.” 

Beverly Coberly, University of Missouri
Coberly Named COO for eXtension Dennis Calvin, Chair, eXtension Foundation Board of Directors, Pennsylvania State University, announces the hiring of Beverly Coberly as eXtension’s part-time chief operative officer (COO) effective 9.12.16. Beverly comes to this role from University of Missouri Extension, where she held a steady progression of administrative leadership roles, most recently Associate Vice-Provost and Associate Director. For more information, see https://extension.org/2016/07/28/beverly-coberly-appointed-new-coo/

Journal Article Features Extension Funding and ROI – For a new analysis of funding for U.S. public agricultural research and Extension and new evidence on rates of return to investments in these activities, see W.E. Huffman, “New Insights on the Impacts of Public Agricultural Research and Extension,” Choices 31 (2nd Quarter 2016): 1-6 or online at http://www.choicesmagazine.org/choices-magazine/theme-articles/a-future-informed-by-agricultural-sciences/new-insights-on-the-impacts-of-public-agricultural-research-and-extension.

Monday, August 1, 2016

2017 Urban Extension Conference in MN

May 8-11, 2017 are the dates for the next National Urban Extension Conference at Radisson Blu https://sites.google.com/a/umn.edu/urbanextensionconference2017/index, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN. The conference will feature presentations, workshops, local tours, networking, and an evening at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. A call for proposals will be coming soon. Questions can be directed to 612-625-5425. The conference is hosted by University of Minnesota Extension, Bev Durgan, Director and ECOP member. 

Immigrant Youth and Families Survey Due 8.31.16 – The USDA-NIFA Vulnerable Populations Immigrant Youth Champions Work Group requests your assistance in distributing The State of 4-H’s Engagement with Immigrant Youth and Families online survey to all Extension professionals, both state and local. The brief survey will assist the working group in identifying the professional development needs and strengths of Extension professionals in order to successfully recruit, engage and sustain the participation of immigrant youth and families in the 4-H Youth Development Program. The term "immigrants" (or "foreign born") refers to people residing in the United States who are not U.S. citizens at birth. Second generation immigrants are U.S. born children of immigrants (with at least one foreign-born parent). The survey is available at https://agrilife.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_2au3j3obDmZk3UF. Direct questions to Fe Moncloa at fxmoncloa@ucanr.edu

USDA-NIFA Temporarily Suspends POW Updates – All 1862 and 1890 Research and Extension institutions do not need to submit updates to five-year Plans of Work (POW) in FY 2017 and FY 2018. This means that the 2018 – 2022 POW will not be due on 4.1.17 and the 2019-2023 POW will not be due on 4.1.18. For details, see https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/asset/document/FY2017%20and%20FY2018%20POW%20Suspension%20Memo.pdf. Integrated Annual Reports of Accomplishments and Results will still be due from each state in FY 2017 and FY 2018. The 2016 Annual Report is due 4.1.17. The 2017 Annual Report is 4.1.18. 

2017 4-H National Youth Science Day – 4-H National Headquarters at USDA-NIFA and National 4-H Council invite Cooperative Extension faculty and staff at all land-grant universities to submit a proposal detailing an innovative engineering design challenge for youth to conduct during the 2017 4-H National Youth Science Day. The land-grant university that submits the winning application will receive a $50,000 award. The 2017 subject area focus is "wearable technology." To apply, go to http://grants.4-h.org/index.do. Letters of intent are due 9.2.16. Top applicants will be notified on September 12th and asked to submit a full application due October 28th. Direct questions to 4HNYSD@4-H.org

House Ag Committee Hearing on SNAP-Ed – Jo Britt-Rankin, University of Missouri; Cornerstone Government Affairs; the Land-grant University SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT), and the ECOP National Office worked collaboratively to provide the Extension perspective at a recent hearing. For an overview of the hearing, see http://agriculture.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=3433. Britt-Rankin’s testimony is at http://agriculture.house.gov/uploadedfiles/britt-rankin_testimony.pdf with the video archive of the entire hearing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkRS_Os65z4. The House Ag press release is at http://agriculture.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=3445. Pat Bebo, Ohio State University and a member of the PDT, also provided written testimony which is part of the public record.