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Monday, September 30, 2013

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