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Monday, October 27, 2014

10.27.14 - ECOP Changes Leadership

ECOP Changes Leadership – Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University, takes over as ECOP Chair at the Cooperative Extension Section Dinner Monday, November 3, 2014 during the APLU Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. He replaces Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky. ECOP chairs are identified by regions on a rotational basis. The northeast region has named Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, as ECOP chair for 2016. The western region has named Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, for 2017. Two members complete ECOP terms this year – Charlotte Eberlein, University of Idaho, and Daryl Buchholz, Kansas State University. ECOP is the representative national leadership and governing body of Cooperative Extension. Proceedings of ECOP meetings are available at

USDA-NIFA Releases Strategic Plan – ECOP was highly involved in the review and comment process in the development of the USDA-NIFA Strategic Plan for 2014 to 2018 The plan aligns with USDA and USDA-Research, Education and Economics (REE) priorities. USDA-NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy invites you to a webinar to introduce the plan 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday, 10.28.14. To connect, go to Send advance questions to Virginia Bueno, Communications Director, Questions also will be taken during the webinar.

4-H Science Takes Off Around the Country – The 7th annual 4-H National Youth Science Day, the world's largest youth led science experiment, engaged thousands of young people all over the nation in October, thanks to the popularity of the 2014 national science experiment, Rockets to the Rescue. Created by the University of Arizona Extension, the experiment challenges youth to build an aerodynamic craft designed to deliver a payload of food to natural disaster victims. To date, more than 950 4-H NYSD events have been registered - a new 4-H NYSD record - engaging more than 100,000 youth in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, including NASA Space Centers, major league fields, schools and 4-H clubs. 4-H NYSD, made possible by National 4-H Council, USDA-NIFA and Cooperative Extension, was created to ignite an early interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among young people. The nation's STEM skills gap was the focus of a thought leadership event on October 8 in Washington, D.C. that included leaders from NASA, Lockheed Martin, Virginia 4-H and Change the Equation. 4-H NYSD corporate sponsors included Lockheed Martin, Hughes Net and John Deere. For more information, including photos, click here.

NEDA 2015, 2016 – SAVE THE DATES – Each year, traditionally in spring, the Cooperative Extension directors, administrators and partners meet to discuss program and administrative issues of national significance. For the near term, this national gathering, commonly known as NEDA (National Directors and Administrators) and Cooperative Extension Section (CES) Meeting, has been shifted to fall. In 2015, the meeting is October 12-14 at the Embassy Suites-Downton St. Louis, MO. For 2016, the University of Wyoming, on behalf of the Experiment Station Section, is pleased to host the Joint Experiment Station Section-Cooperative Extension Section Meeting, Monday September 19, 2016 – Thursday, September 22, 2016 at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park near the town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming Information regarding meeting registration, agenda/schedule, and hotel reservations will be provided closer to the meeting dates.

2015 USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program – Please alert undergraduate (juniors and seniors) and graduate students majoring in agriculture and related sciences on your respective college and university campuses to go to the Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program website to apply for sponsorships to attend the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum The forum provides producers, policymakers, business, government, and industry leaders with a unique opportunity to meet, exchange ideas, and discuss timely issues at the forefront of America’s agriculture. In an effort to increase the present and future diversity of participation in the Forum, USDA created this program. The deadline for applications is November 20, 2014.

USDA and DHHS Announce Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meeting – The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will meet on November 7, 2014 by webcast. See for details. Written comments will be accepted.

Monday, October 20, 2014

10.20.14 - ECOP 4-H National Leadership Committee Names Co-chairs

ECOP 4-H National Leadership Committee Names Co-chairsRenĂ©e McKee, Program Leader, 4-H and Youth Development, Purdue University, and Ed Jones, Extension Director, Virginia Tech, are co-chairs of the new ECOP 4-H National Leadership Committee. The committee’s charge is to engage in regular and substantive discussion about issues of national importance related to the LGU Cooperative Extension System’s implementation of the 4-H program, and to develop recommendations for consideration by ECOP. Click Here to view a progress report. Charlotte Eberlein, Extension Director, University of Idaho, and an ECOP member, served as the inaugural, interim chair of the team. Chuck Hibberd, Extension Director, University of Nebraska, is ECOP liaison to the team. 

ECOP Meets in Lexington, KY – ECOP Chair Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky, welcomed ECOP members, liaisons, and guests to his home state last week for a robust session focusing on significant agenda items including the future of eXtension, implementation plans related to the Cooperative Extension’s National Framework for Health and Wellness, and formalization of the National Impacts Database Committee. ECOP also approved the goals, calendar and budget for the new ECOP year effective November 4, 2014 when Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University, becomes chair. 

International Extension Webinar 11.7.14 – In celebration of the U.S. Cooperative Extension’s 100th year, the Global Forum on Rural Advisory Services and USDA-NIFA are hosting a webinar November 7, 2014, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm ET. The title is What is the Role of a Country’s Universities in Pluralistic Rural Advisory Services? The U.S. Land-Grant Model and Other Examples. The session is designed for policy makers, government and non-government organizations, university leaders, donors, and agricultural service providers as they work to strengthen extension/outreach services in the U.S. and around the world. If you plan to join the webinar, technically facilitated by eXtension, please send an email to

USDA-NIFA Federal Assistance Policy Guide – Comments continue to be solicited by USDA on the policy guide, which is based on laws, regulations, and USDA and NIFA guidance. See Send comments to with “NIFA Policy Guide” in the subject line of the email message. 

Energy and Federal FinancingGuide to Federal Financing of Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Deployment has been released by the U.S. Department of Energy, USDA, the U.S. Treasury and other agencies. See

Future of Extension – ECOP member Michael Ouart, University of Missouri, calls your attention to the panel discussion Extension: Taking the Long View The 2014 National Excellence in Extension award winner, Robert Kallenbach, Plant Sciences Extension Specialist and Program Leader, University of Missouri, is one of the panelists. 

Extension Embraces Change – Cathann Kress, ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee member, Iowa State University, recommends an article about the changing Extension at 100 years

Monday, October 13, 2014

10.13.14 - Cooperative Extension, USDA-NIFA Announce 2014 Awardees

Cooperative Extension, USDA-NIFA Announce 2014 Awardees – Seven exemplary Cooperative Extension educators will be honored at the 2014 APLU Annual Meeting, November 2-4, 2014 in Orlando, FL. Awards recognizing excellence in programming and celebrating diversity are co-sponsored by ECOP and USDA-NIFA and selected through a competitive process. The National Excellence in Extension Award winner is Robert Kallenbach, Plant Sciences Extension Specialist and Program Leader, University of Missouri. Regional Excellence in Extension Award winners are Henry English, Small Farm Program Director, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Rick Funston, Beef Cattle Reproduction Specialist, West Central Research and Extension Center at North Platte, University of Nebraska; Richard VanVranken, County Extension Department Head, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County; John Jacob, Environmental Quality and Coastal Community Development Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and Madeleine Sigman-Grant, Extension Specialist, University of Nevada. The National Extension Diversity Awardee is Cesar Asuaje, Regional Extension Specialist in Agriculture, Farm Labor, Pesticide and Farm Safety Education, University of Florida. 

ECOP to Meet in Lexington, KY – Regional scans kick off the fall ECOP meeting October 15-16 in Lexington, KY, chaired by Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky. The purpose of the scans is to indicate program and administrative themes where national leadership is warranted. Other key decision points on the agenda are approval of the 2015 ECOP goals and budget, private resource development at the national level, eXtension’s transition to a new model, a health and wellness implementation team, and formalizing a National Impacts Database Committee. 

Excellence Data Due 12.31.14The ECOP Measuring Excellence in Extension Implementation Team chaired by Joe Zublena, North Carolina State University, has shifted its call for data input to the fall of each year. While data is appreciated at any time, this shift is designed to coordinate with most university’s fiscal years. In addition to entry of data directly into the system at (formerly, there is an option to fill out a form and the data will be entered for you. The form is available from Scott Cummings at The database is only valuable if it is complete. 

PILD Save the Date – The Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) will focus on the 125th anniversary of the passage of the 2nd Morrill Act creating 1890 Land-grant Institutions at the April 12-15, 2015 conference in Crystal City, VA. The 2015 Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference theme is “Imagining Extension – Eyes to the Future …”. ECOP 2015 Delbert Foster is among the invited keynote speakers. Registration opens 1.12.15 at

National Extension Conference on Volunteerism – This conference, designed for professionals of all disciplines with Cooperative Extension who work with volunteers and/or volunteer programs is May 4-7, 2015 in Portland, ME. Proposals for workshops, research presentations, and the poster showcase are due November 7, 2014. See

Monday, October 6, 2014

10.6.14 - State Energy Extension Partnership (SEEP) Strategy Session

State Energy Extension Partnership (SEEP) Strategy Session – Coordinated by Beverly Samuel, USDA-NIFA National Program Leader, representatives from USDA-NIFA, USDA-Rural Development (RD), U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), Cooperative Extension, and APLU met in DC last week to set priorities for the coming year. A Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by USDA-REE, USDA-RD, and DoE in October 2012 designates intentional educational collaboration by the partners in order to encourage efficient use of energy by individuals, communities, government and business in the United States. To get notices of funding, webinars, and other opportunities related to energy education, Cooperative Extension educators are encouraged to join the NIFA Energy listserv by e-mailing a request to Beverly Samuel at Additional questions about SEEP can also be directed to her. 

Kress Represents Extension at Civic Science WorkshopCivic Science: Re-framing the Role of Science in Society was the theme of a two-day workshop at the National Science Foundation last week in Arlington, VA. Cathann Kress, Iowa State University, together with Jane Schuchardt, ECOP National Office, represented Cooperative Extension at the session focused on citizens as co-creators of a democratic society. Discussions centered on the definition, best practices, and challenges to research and application where scientists and lay citizens work together to build respect, enhance capacities to act, and generate positive public outcomes. Significant discussion centered on the legacy and potential of Cooperative Extension to engage in this work. Kress will keep Directors/Administrators informed as the discussions progress, including distribution of a white paper now under development. For more information see

President Commemorates Extension Centennial – President Barack Obama has provided a message in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act. Signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, the Smith-Lever Act established America’s Cooperative Extension System. 

UConn Extension Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Smith-Lever Act – On 9.19.14, more than 300 guests gathered to celebrate a century of leadership and service by UConn Extension. Jennifer Riggs, a dedicated Extension volunteer, and Gregory Weidemann, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, co-hosted the evening’s events. Guests were treated to dinner featuring locally-sourced wine, cheese, vegetables, seafood, and poultry. Congressman Joe Courtney and Senator Richard Blumenthal provided remarks prior to dinner. A short video documented UConn Extension’s contributions around the state. The evening also included a congratulatory video from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and a Proclamation from Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. Dinner concluded with Centennial Crunch ice cream, an award-winning flavor created specifically for the centennial celebration. 

Health Conference Call for Proposals – The National Health Outreach Conference Planning Committee is now accepting proposals through 10.31.14 for the 2015 National Health Outreach Conference Promoting Connections to Create Healthy Individuals, Families and Communities May 6-8, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit the National Health Outreach Conference website or the Call for Proposal website for details. 

USDA-NIFA Listening Sessions for Children, Youth Families-at-Risk (CYFAR) – Stakeholder listening sessions about the FY 2015 CYFAR Sustainable Communities Project will be 3:00 p.m. ET, 10.28.14 and 2:00 p.m. ET 10.29.14. Registration is required by 10.27.14 at Webinar login information, background information on CYFAR, and a list of questions that will be asked during the session will be sent to registrants. Participation will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are unable to register, you may send an email to to be placed on the waiting list.