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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.