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Monday, June 30, 2014

ECOP Monday Minute 6.30.14

ECOP Monday Minute will return on 7.14.14. Happy Independence Day! 

Power of Excellence in Extension Database (by Lisa Townson, Assistant Director, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension)You never know when comprehensive data, at your fingertips, might be needed. The Excellence in Extension database provides historical and comparator information for Cooperative Extension systems across all of the land grants. Recently, the UNH president asked how the UNH Cooperative Extension compared to similar programs regarding staffing levels, funding, and number of participants and he even suggested which states we should be compared to (based on size of institution, population of state, etc.). Instead of frantically calling or emailing each of the Extension directors in the five states that were suggested, UNH Cooperative Extension turned to the Excellence in Extension database and quickly found that four of the five states had data in the system and within minutes a spreadsheet was created and tables drafted with the information requested. This was a powerful tool that confirmed (with hard data) what we had been saying to university leadership: that our Extension program was operating efficiently and productively when compared to other similar-sized institutions. If you need comparative data, click on the reports tab in the database. It’s quick and easy to customize bar charts and graphs to visualize the precise data you need. For log-in credentials, contact Scott Cummings at

UPDATE: Disruptive E-nnovation – eXtension Strategy Committee Chair Keith Smith, Ohio State University, reports continued efforts to report to ECOP at its Tuesday, July 22, 2014 meeting in San Diego about a plan for the future of eXtension, which has been in operation for 10 years. A networked learning framework, a cooperative governance model, and a new approach to funding are being discussed. After the ECOP July meeting where Smith, Elbert Dickey, interim eXtension director, and Dennis Calvin, eXtension Governing Committee Chair, Pennsylvania State University, will report, information will be provided to all Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators. Each of the five Cooperative Extension regions has a representative on the eXtension Strategy Committee in addition to a regional representative to the eXtension Governing Committee working with this team. 

Update on 4-H ACCESSNational 4-H Council will discontinue the ACCESS 4-H Online Management System as of March 31, 2015. Council's senior leaders are personally notifying each 4-H program leader in the customer states of this news and additional opportunities to hear from them are planned in the weeks ahead. Those Extension Directors and Administrators who are ACCESS 4-H customers have also received additional email communication from Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO. A fact sheet, which provides more information on this decision as well as the support Council will offer ACCESS 4-H customers in the months ahead, can be downloaded at: Should you have questions, please contact Jen McIver, Council's Vice President of Customer Relations at 301.961.2835,

Centennial Booklets Available – This is the last call for keepsake booklets from the Cooperative Extension Centennial Convocation on May 8, 2014 in Washington, DC. This booklet includes a history of Cooperative Extension, a list of ECOP chairs over the 100 years, and a welcome letter from ECOP Chair Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky. Please order in lots of 25 copies while supplies last from Sandy Ruble

ECOP Launches Archive Project – Linda Kay Benning, former Northeast Extension Director (NEED) Executive Director, and longtime associate director in the ECOP National Office, has been retained to archive critical Cooperative Extension paper and online documents housed at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) office in Washington, DC. Some of the documents date back close to our beginning in 1914. When the project is finished this fall, it will be easier to locate historical documents when requested. It will be the responsibility of the ECOP National Office to add archival materials in the future. 

Cooperative Extension Links in USDA Web SiteUSDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced a new resource:, a website that provides centralized, one-stop shopping for beginning farmers and ranchers to explore the variety of USDA initiatives designed to help them succeed. USDA’s has in depth information for new farmers and ranchers, including: how to increase access to land and capital; build new market opportunities; participate in conservation opportunities; select and using the right risk management tools; and, access USDA education and technical support programs. Cooperative Extension links are included among the Research, Technical Assistance, and Education resources. The website will also feature instructive case studies about beginning farmers who have successfully utilized USDA resources to start or expand their business operations. 

USDA-NIFA Features Family and Consumer Sciences – The new fact sheet from the USDA-NIFA Division of Family and Consumer Sciences is at

Extension Community Development Reports Impacts – The North Central Region Community Resource Development Program Leaders report 25,470 jobs and impacts valued at $360 million as a result Cooperative Extension programs in 2013. See for the executive summary and full reports from previous years.

Monday, June 23, 2014

ECOP Monday Minute - 6.23.14

Healthy Food Systems, Healthy People Focus of Joint COPs – Key leaders from the all sections of the Board on Agriculture Assembly meet in mid-July in San Diego to consider integrated research, education and Extension work related to the nexus of food production and healthy people. The Administrative Heads, Academic Programs, Cooperative Extension, Experiment Station, and International Agriculture sections, together with the Board on Human Sciences, will consider questions related to central themes, feasible priorities given funding availability, and expectations of the Policy Board of Directors and others. Tammy Bray, Executive Dean, Division of Health Sciences, Oregon State University, is the keynote speaker. Delbert Foster, ECOP chair-elect, South Carolina State University, represents Cooperative Extension on the planning committee in cooperation with Michelle Rodgers, chair of the ECOP National Task Force on Health, University of Delaware. 

Smart Choice Health Insurance© Training – University of Maryland Extension announces training for Extension educators and community partners July 8-9, 2014 in Beltsville, MD. The framework developed by the ECOP National Task Force on Health includes health insurance literacy as one of six priorities. Participants will 1) understand the theoretical framework and guiding principles of the Smart Choice Health Insurance© curriculum, 2) understand evaluation expectations and ideas for marketing, 3) receive an educator’s toolkit with updates over time, and 4) join other educators via a list-serve. For a testament from a Certified Educator, view the following video. 
Register through June 30, 2104 at For more information, contact Amanda Ginter at

USDA-NIFA Seeks Nominations for Partnership Awards – USDA-NIFA invites all Land-grant Universities to submit nominations for the 2014 NIFA Partnership Awards Program. This program recognizes outstanding contributions, aligned with NIFA strategic goals, in support of the USDA mission. Awards recognize excellence in mission integration of research, education, and Extension; multistate efforts; innovative programs and projects; effective and efficient use of resources, and program improvement through global engagement. Nominations must be submitted via the NIFA Partnership Awards Nomination Form. All signed nomination forms must be submitted by July 15, 2014, via email using scanned files that have been saved as .pdf or .jpg files to according to instructions in the following documents.
Questions can be directed to Kimberly Whittet at Winning nominations will be recognized at the NIFA Day of Appreciation this fall. 

4-H Reviews Health Living ProgramsMississippi State University conducted an environmental scan of 4-H Healthy Living Programs in healthy eating, physical activity and alcohol-drug-tobacco intervention in 2013, identifying 78 programs. Of these, 20 were named as having strong evidence for national replication as indicated in the full report released in May 2014. The goal of the assessment was to identify promising programs that were ready for more in-depth evaluation or replication. The assessment was funded by Molina Healthcare in cooperation with the National 4-H Council.  Resources from USDA Economics Research Service (ERS) – Mary Bohman, USDA-ERS Administrator, recommends the following resources: Charts of Note – daily snapshots of ERS findings of current interest; Amber Waves magazine – a window into ERS data and analysis; and Charting the Essentials – the big picture on farms, food, rural communities, and conservation in over 70 charts and maps. You can sign up and to receive Charts of Note daily and notifications of new Amber Waves content via email. The signup icon is the little envelope near the top of all ERS web pages. Charting the Essentials is at Web visitors can also view the full collection of Charts of Note, organized by topic, at Amber Waves is accessible directly on the web at, and can be delivered quarterly via tablet in iTunes or Google Play using a free application downloadable in the Newsstand search for Amber Waves.

Monday, June 16, 2014

ECOP Monday Minute - 6.16.14

ECOP Continues Work with USDA on Ag Act Funding – ECOP Chair Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky, together with Cooperative Extension and Cornerstone Government Affairs colleagues, continues work with a team from USDA-Farm Service Agency (FSA) to distribute $3 million to Cooperative Extension as indicated here As outlined in the Agriculture Act of 2014, the one-time funding will be used to educate producers about key farm programs, specifically those authorized in Title I. As details emerge, Cooperative Extension Directors/Administrators will be kept informed. An additional $3 million has been distributed competitively to the University of Illinois, along with the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri and Texas A&M University. The purpose of this funding is to develop new online tools and train state-based Extension agents who can educate farmers.

SAVE THE DATE: NEDA 2015 – Directors/Administrators are asked to mark October 12-15, 2015 on your calendars for the National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) and Cooperative Extension Section Meeting. Efforts are underway to identify a location in the Chicago area. The NEDA meeting is being changed from March to October in expectation of a joint meeting with the Experiment Station Section in the same time frame in 2016.

WEBINAR: Cooperative Extension Framework for Health and Wellness – ECOP National Task Force on Health Chair, Michelle Rodgers, will lead an eXtension Creating Healthy Communities Community of Practice (CoP) webinar at 11 a.m., ET, Thursday, 6.26.14. Connect at The webinar will be based on the Task Force report Participants will learn how to use the framework presented in the report to plan and evaluate health and wellness programming. The primary purpose of the Creating Healthy Communities CoP is to provide resource support to professionals and community leaders working to improve community health.

Extension Centennial News – While celebrating 100 years of Cooperative Extension, Louisiana recognizes one of its leaders, Leodrey Williams, who has worked in a variety of roles at Southern University and in national leadership positions for 50 years. Williams is chancellor of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center. See his story at

Order Extension Centennial Convocation Booklets – A limited number of program booklets remain from the Convocation. This booklet includes a history of Cooperative Extension, a list of ECOP chairs over the 100 years, and a welcome letter from ECOP Chair Jimmy Henning. The keepsake may be ordered in lots of 25 copies while supplies last. To order, contact Sandy Ruble,

Best Practices Guide – Under an interagency agreement between USDA-NIFA and USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Colorado State University has developed a Best Practices Guide in Nutrition Education for Low-Income Audiences

About ECOP Monday Minute – This weekly communication is a quick summary of actions and announcements for Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators. In addition to the direct mailing to your e-box, the Monday Minute is posted to a searchable blog at For comments, questions, or submissions, contact Jane Schuchardt, Cooperative Extension/ECOP Executive Director,

Monday, June 9, 2014

ECOP Monday Minute - 6.9.14

ECOP Recommends Distribution of Ag Act Funding – USDA Secretary Vilsack announced $6 million in funding, primarily to Cooperative Extension, to educate farmers about key programs authorized through the Agriculture Act of 2014. ECOP Chair Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky, and ECOP Member James Trapp, along with others, were key contributors in framing the process for distributing the $3 million non-competitive portion of the funding. View a list of allocations to 1862 and 1890 institutions and $75K for eXtension in the chart at For more details, see Continued discussion relates to an evaluation process. Additional details will be shared when available. 

UPDATE: Disruptive E-nnovation – eXtension Strategy Committee Chair Keith Smith, Ohio State University, reports four targets for the new eXtension: 
  • Innovation as the engine to move and keep digital Cooperative Extension in the forefront of open access online learning; 
  • Engagement and retention of new and existing audiences, and digital professional development of Extension educators to bring new opportunities to Extension, enhance use of local resources, and increase institution’s capacities; 
  • Leadership and management structured as a nonprofit cooperative to support the flexibility, innovation and entrepreneurship needed in fast paced digital environments; and 
  • Entrepreneurship supporting a new “investment” business model that includes institutional choices to invest, public and private national and global partnerships, fees for services and leveraging revenue streams. 
Smith said the eXtension Strategy Committee is taking into account the pace of technology advancements to mobile devices, young and old engaging in digital personal learning networks, and that forty-five percent of those seeking information go to a friend first. Details will be provided to ECOP at its Tuesday, July 22, 2014 meeting in San Diego by Smith, together with Elbert Dickey, interim eXtension director, and Dennis Calvin, eXtension Governing Committee Chair, Pennsylvania State University, with additional information provided to Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators shortly thereafter. 

CDC Funding for Obesity Reduction -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announces about $4.7 million to fund up to six land-grant colleges and universities located in states with counties with an adult obesity prevalence of more than 40 percent of the population. The pilot project will include intervention strategies through existing Cooperative Extension and outreach efforts at the county level. See for details. The deadline for submitting applications is July 23, 2014. 

Alabama Extension Centennial News – Alabama Extension celebrated 100 years with a Commendation from the Governor’s Office

Teens Take on Health – The National 4-H Council and Molina Healthcare released findings from an 18-month project listening to teens about their health concerns

USDA-NIFA Releases “Hot Spot” Maps – See,1&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL for new maps showing funding received by State and Congressional District.

Monday, June 2, 2014

ECOP Monday Minute 6.2.14

ECOP THANKS YOU – The ECOP Extension Centennial Task Force sends a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped make the Centennial Convocation a huge success. From our speakers to flag bearers to convocation participants in Washington, DC and online, you made celebrating 100 years of extending knowledge and changing lives a success. Original pictures from the convocation, including the Parade of States, are available for download at Note: File is nearly 1G in size. A limited number of program booklets remain from the Convocation. This booklet includes a history of Cooperative Extension, a list of ECOP chairs over the 100 years, and a welcome letter from ECOP Chair Jimmy Henning. The keepsake may be ordered in lots of 10 copies each while supplies last. To either ask questions about photo download or to order booklets, contact Sandy Ruble,

New Jersey Celebrates Cooperative Extension Month – Larry Katz, Extension Director, Rutgers reports the New Jersey Governor proclaimed May 2014 as Cooperative Extension Month. See

Nutrition Education for Low Income (by Helen Chipman, National Program Leader, USDA-NIFA) – The final report Aligning and Elevating University-Based Low-Income Nutrition Education through the Land-Grant University Cooperative Extension System is now available at This project was funded by NIFA’s Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition in response to a request from Douglas Steele and Daryl Buchholz, former ECOP Chairs. Recommendations are provided for universities, the land-grant university system, and federal/national partners. National webinars on how to use the report will be June 10 and 11, 2014. Sign-up is required at For questions about this report, contact Connie Schneider, University of California, at or 530.750.1334.

Missouri Extension Captures Centennial Convocation – Extension Director Michael Ouart, University of Missouri, brings to your attention a video summary of the Extension Centennial Convocation on May 8, 2014 in Washington, DC, produced by Missouri Extension communicators. See Teens Take on Health -- Molina Healthcare Company and National 4-H Council released findings from an 18-month project listening to teens about their health concerns. The comprehensive report includes an extensive literature review and recommendations for action by state and local 4-H programs leaders. See

National Urban Extension Conference – The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension invites you to submit a presentation proposal for the 2015 National Urban Extension Conference in Atlanta, Georgia May 4-7, 2015. Participants will be “honoring the past, living the dream, and embracing the future” as they learn the best practices for working in an Urban Extension program. For more information and to submit a proposal, go to The deadline October 1st.