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Monday, September 30, 2013

ECOP Monday Minute 9.30.13 - Register for Orientation

ACTION: Attention to ECOP Monday Minute – If you would like an administrative assistant or other colleague at your institution to receive theECOP Monday Minute, please provide the name and email address to Chrystal Checketts at This is the primary mechanism ECOP uses to communicated to the Cooperative Extension Section. ECOP members have suggested that those who do scheduling, registrations, and travel arrangements on your campuses may wish to scan this communication for action and opportunities of relevance to directors and administrators. Your comments about the ECOP Monday Minute are welcomed and appreciated.

ACTION: Register for Orientation – New directors and administrators are encouraged to attend the December 3-5, 2013 orientation in Alexandria, VA presented by the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly, of which ECOP is a part. This is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the rapidly changing public and federal landscape, learn how various entities work together at the national level to advance research, education and Extension, learn how to influence federal legislation and decisions made by USDA-NIFA and other agencies, and understand the diverse role of various types of institutions. The workshop will introduce participants to key leaders at the national level and allow for sufficient small-group discussion in order to build strategic alliances with colleagues. A breakout session specifically for Cooperative Extension will be included. For more information, click here.

4-H National Youth Science Day All Mapped Out for 10.9.13 – This year's 4-H National Youth Science Day experiment, 4-H Maps and Apps, will introduce youth to the importance of geographic information systems (GIS) and geographic position systems (GPS) as they design their ideal community park. Designed by Colorado State University Extension, 4-H Maps and Apps features on online game and iPad App that complement the hands-on version of the activity. 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) is a great opportunity to promote and connect 4-H and Extension - nationwide, the event produces significant, positive media impressions each year. Download the app at iTunes here. Order the 2013 4-H NYSD Experiment kit on the 4-H Mall website here.

SNAP-Ed Assessment Renewed – At the direction of ECOP, a survey regarding the SNAP-Ed assessment was sent to Cooperative Extension Section Voting Delegates, with a copy to Extension Directors, Administrators and Associate Directors and Administrators on August 31, 2013. The purpose of the survey was to receive a vote of the Cooperative Extension Section on assessments to support and continue the work of the SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (SNAP-Ed PDT) chaired by Dr. Paula Peters, Kansas State University. The assessment covers costs of the SNAP-Ed PDT, its national coordinator, and minimal office operations. Votes were accepted from the authorized voting member of the Cooperative Extension Section or designee. The SNAP-Ed assessment was approved at the amount of $150,000 annually for three years (2014, 2015, and 2016). Only participating universities are assessed based on a prior year receipt of SNAP-Ed funding.

eXtension Survey Results – Following the external review of eXtension as requested by ECOP (see report here), the eXtension Governing Committee conducted a survey of Extension directors and administrators and another survey with some different questions with USDA-NIFA personnel. The USDA-NIFA personnel survey results are here; the Extension directors and administrators survey results are here. ECOP through the eXtension Governing Committee is working with eXtension staff to guide pivotal changes for eXtension. 

ECOP Monday Minute 9.23.13 - Strategic Opportunities and Measuring Excellence Database

Strategic Opportunities and Measuring Excellence Database – The ECOP database at has been rebranded to include expanded salary data, the ability to input and retrieve impact statements, and new options for charting data. Scott Cummings, who manages the database, reports that of the 75 institutions in the Cooperative Extension Section, 35 have reported excellence data and 27 institutions have reported impacts. For more information on how your institution can be represented, contact Scott at 

Galaxy IV Update – Among highlights of the Galaxy IV Conference last week in Pittsburgh, ECOP Chair Daryl Buchholz received the prestigious Ruby Award from Epsilon Sigma Phi; the forward-looking, outwardly-focused Cooperative Extension centennial celebration was launched; Chuck Hibberd, ECOP Personnel Subcommittee co-chair, facilitated a discussion of the 21st Century Extension Professional Project, and ECOP chair-elect Jimmy Henning escorted and introduced USDA Secretary Vilsack for a keynote address. ECOP met during Galaxy. Action included approval of the 2014 budget, acceptance of the Cooperative Extension vote to continue the SNAP-Ed assessment for three more years, and a discussion of next steps for eXtension following release of the external review. 

Executive Director Search – The Northeast Extension Directors ask your help in identifying qualified candidates for executive director, replacing Linda Kay Benning who retires this year. In the national Cooperative Extension Director and Administrator structure, this position dedicates 25 percent full-time equivalent to national goals of ECOP and other time on regional priorities. The job announcement is available here with review of applications beginning 10.4.13. 

FY 2013 Capacity Funds – USDA-NIFA has an updated website providing final allocations for capacity/formula funds. See and here for a summary of how the agency calculated the final total funding levels for various FY 2013 programs. 

Household Food Security  USDA Economic Research Service has a new release on food security in the United States. See "Ensuring an abundant and safe food supply for all" is a strategic priority for Cooperative Extension. See 

ECOP Monday Minute 9.16.13 - Galaxy IV ECOP Highlights

Galaxy IV ECOP Highlights – ECOP Chair Daryl Buchholz, Kansas State University, will facilitate a face-to-face meeting during the Galaxy conference this week in Pittsburgh. Expected actions relate to work of the ECOP 4-H Implementation Team, the ECOP Assessment Policy Work Group, and the eXtension Governing Committee. Preparation will be made for 2014 with a review of the proposed ECOP budget, goals and calendar. In addition, ECOP is featured in two concurrent workshops at Galaxy on the Extension Centennial and the 21st Century Extension Professional Project. The launch of the Extension Centennial is part of the Wednesday evening dinner.

Smart Choice Training (by Michelle Rodgers, ECOP member, and University of Delaware Extension Director) – Health Insurance literacy is a strategic initiative identified in the ECOP National Task Force on Health.  Research  indicates that Americans are confused and uninformed regarding health insurance needs and options.  Extension is ready to respond with Smart Choice Health Insurance© consumer education program.  Research and theory based,  Smart Choice Health Insurance© is designed to reduce confusion and increase capability and confidence among consumers making health insurance plan choices.  It is applicable to both current health insurance consumers and those who are newly-eligible through the Affordable Care Act providing Extension with a teachable moment.  It is also the basis for additional curriculum coming in fall 2013: You and Health Insurance: Making a Smart Choice for Farm Families and in 2014, Smart Use Health Insurance: Smart Choice Health Insurance-Young Adults. Developed by a multi-state  Extension team and consumer tested in multiple states, the training and curriculum is now available for the national Cooperative Extension System.  States with interest in this program delivery can obtain training certification, curriculum and national evaluation forms with data compilation and comparative reports.  States can gear up to deliver this program by attending one of the following national trainings: October 9-10, 2013 -- Beltsville MD, October 14-15, 2013 -- St Louis MO, October 30-31, 2013 --  Portland OR. Please see and share the program announcement and registration information here.  This is the first opportunity for the ECOP National Task Force on Health to implement and evaluate a health program nationally.  Please consider participation by your  state in this national educational effort.

eXtension External Evaluation – View the ECOP webinar last week reporting the findings of the eXtension External Evaluation at The final report on the evaluation can be found here. Your views are critical and welcomed as ECOP, chaired by Daryl Buchholz, Kansas State University, together with the eXtension Governing Committee, chaired by Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky, works with eXtension staff to guide pivotal changes for eXtension.

Farm Bill Social Media Campaign USDA Secretary Vilsack encourages Cooperative Extension administrators, educators and stakeholders to use hashtag #MyFarmBill to tell the story of what the farm bill means to their community.

4-H Clover Attracts Journalist (by Chuck Hibberd, ECOP member and director, University of Nebraska Extension)  The Economistmagazine recently included a story called Farming as Rocket Science Click here. The story features Nebraska 4-H and 4-H’s influential role in STEM education and workforce development throughout the United States. A columnist for the magazine was curious about 4-H after seeing the 4-H emblem prominently showcased during his travels throughout thousands of communities across the United States. As a result, he reached out to National 4-H Council to learn more about 4-H. He then spent several days seeing 4-H in action in Nebraska – meeting prominent 4-H alumni, University and Extension leadership, collegiate 4-Hers and several 4-H clubs and interacting with the members, volunteers and parents. He also visited the Nebraska State Fair and spent time with young people presenting their projects there. The article is a great testament to all of our excellent work. Let’s celebrate together in the success of what we do and share in the great attention that this high-profile story will bring to 4-H programs across our nation.

USDA Farm to School Program Webinars – The USDA Farm to School Program is hosting two webinars in partnership with theeXtension Community of Practice in Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems on Wednesday, September 25th at 1 p.m. EST and Wednesday, October 9th at 1 p.m. EST to explore how partnering with Cooperative Extension professionals can support local and regional farm to school programs. The purpose of these webinars is to feature best practices and case examples of how Extension professionals are involved with farm to school and to describe how other farm to school related organizations are collaborating with Extension on many diverse farm to school activities. Connect by phone at 1-800-988-0278, pass code: 91613# or through the web at For more information, see

Monday, September 9, 2013

ECOP Monday Minute 9.9.13

ACTION TODAY: eXtension External Evaluation Webinar – ECOP will host a webinar on The eXtension External Evaluation: Charting Next Steps 1-2 p.m. ET, Monday, 9.9.13. Connect at This is another opportunity for Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators to engage in a discussion about the future direction of eXtension. The report can be found here.

REMINDER: SNAP-Ed Survey Due – The current SNAP-Ed assessment expires in 2013. While ECOP recognizes only participating institutions are assessed for the SNAP-Ed Program Development Team, the recent changes in SNAP-Ed to a competitive grant program have led to the recommendation that all institutions complete a brief survey indicating your interest in continued or new participation, and whether or not you are in favor of the continued assessment. If you are an authorized voting member of the Cooperative Extension Section or their designee, please go to and respond by 9.11.13. Additional information from the SNAP-Ed Program Development includes: Proposed 2014 Budget, Accomplishment Report, and Contact List.

Health Team to Meet in DC – The ECOP National Task Force on Health, co-chaired by Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, and Cindy Reeves, USDA-NIFA, continues its work to identify key health priorities for Cooperative Extension educational programming. The team meets in Washington, DC, later this week and will get an ECOP welcome by Jane Schuchardt, Executive Director.

Extension Celebration to Launch at Galaxy – Join the ECOP Extension Centennial Celebration Task Force at the Joint Council on Extension Professionals Galaxy IV Conference Wednesday evening, 9.18.13, in Pittsburgh for the launch of festivities honoring Cooperative Extension’s 100 years and ushering in a new century of educational excellence. For details, see

LEAD-21 Welcomes Applications – November 15, 2013 is the deadline for applications for the LEAD-21 Class X (2014-2015). See