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Monday, July 28, 2014

ECOP Monday Minute 7.28.14

ECOP Meets in San Diego – Among action at the meeting 7.22.14 in San Diego, ECOP accepted the interim report of the eXtension Strategic Planning Committee (see next item), approved continuation through 2015 of the AES-CES Communications and Marketing Project, endorsed a Futuring Task Force to be funded and managed by the BAA Policy Board of Directors, and accepted the recommendation by the ECOP National Task Force on Health to establish an implementation team. Votes are in process to approve an ECOP representative to the BAA Committee on Legislation and Policy and to approve a joint ECOP-ESCOP memorandum of understanding with USDA regarding regional climate hubs. Jimmy Henning, ECOP Chair, University of Kentucky, appreciates the strong participation at the meeting and critical national leadership of ECOP.

eXtension Strategic Plan Interim Report – ECOP has accepted the interim report on the eXtension Strategic Planning process chaired by Keith Smith, Ohio State University. See http://bit.ly/InnovStratFrame for a summary of the new Innovation Foundation (working title) designed to augment electronic capabilities of participating institutions. The business model calls for a membership structure in place of the current assessment process. The final report is due to ECOP at its October face-to-face meeting in Lexington, KY.

Power of Excellence in Extension Database (by Deborah J. Maddy, Associate Director, Oregon State University Extension) – You never know when comprehensive data, at your fingertips, might be needed to tell the Extension story to elected officials, to university administrators or to members of your own organization. The Excellence in Extension database provides historical and comparative information for Cooperative Extension systems across all land-grant universities. This important tool designed especially for Extension leaders is most powerful if everyone participates. As of the June 30 data entry due date, only 17 out of 75 Extension organizations had complete or partial data in the database, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Texas, Virginia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota (partial), Alaska (partial), Oregon, and Wyoming. Special thanks to those who made it a priority to provide Excellence in Extension data by June 30. If the due date slipped by you, it’s not too late to enter 2014 data. The recent program upgrade has many improvements, making entry easy. The data is used to describe the overall scope of Extension, market it as a national system, document Extension’s strengths, and focus on areas of impact.

USDA Announces Foundation for Food and Ag Research – For details about the new Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) and the appointment of its 15-member board of directors, see http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2014/07/0156.xml. The foundation, authorized in the Ag Act of 2014, will leverage public and private resources to increase scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to boosting America's agricultural economy. Congress provided $200 million for the Foundation which must be matched by non-federal funds as it identifies and approves projects.

USDA-NIFA Requests Comment on Centers of Excellence – Join a webinar 7.31.14 (1:00-3:00 p.m. ET) about the Centers of Excellence, which will receive priority for funding for competitive research or Extension grant programs. Stakeholder input is welcome at any time, but to be incorporated into planning for the 2015 cycle, must be received by 7.31.14 via email to vbest@nifa.usda.gov (please put “comments” in the subject line) or sign up to speak during the 7.31.14 webinar. NIFA is particularly interested in input on how best to define the scope of a Center of Excellence, whether there are models being used by other federal agencies that might be useful to examine, and at what point in the review/selection process “priority” should be given to applications submitted by Centers of Excellence. For more information, go to http://www.csrees.usda.gov/about/offices/legis/pdfs/excel_stkhold_wbnr_announce.pdf

Monday, July 21, 2014

ECOP Monday Minute 7.21.14

Healthy Food Systems, Healthy People – ECOP had a significant role organizing the Joint COPs 2014 meeting July 21-23 in San Diego. The theme Healthy Food Systems, Healthy People evolved from a letter from ECOP Chair, Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky, to the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly Policy Board of Directors requesting time on the agenda to review the work of the ECOP National Task Force on Health, chaired by Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware. What has resulted is an integrated work session with representatives from the Administrative Heads, Academic Programs, Cooperative Extension Experiment Station and International Agriculture Sections, plus the Board on Human Sciences. The purpose of the meeting is to engage all sections of the Board on Agriculture Assembly and others in a discussion to set priorities, identify funding opportunities, and adopt integrated approaches to address vexing national and global issues related to health. Nearly all ECOP members and liaisons are planning to attend. 

Big Data, Unmanned Aerial Systems & Wearable Technologies are New User GroupseXtension has created three user communities around Big Data, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and Wearable Technologies. Many of our professionals in the Land-grant University System are beginning to work or have an interest in all three of these areas. To discuss possible uses, share results of projects, and create new efforts to test and evaluate innovative uses, join the Big Data community at https://people.extension.org/communities/1709; Unmanned Aerial Systems at https://people.extension.org/communities/1708, and Wearable Technology at https://people.extension.org/communities/1707

Extension Centennial NewsThe Smith-Lever Webinar series, sponsored by Epsilon Sigma Phi, Mu Chapter at USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, observes the Extension Centennial Celebration this year. Go to http://nifa-connect.nifa.usda.gov/p7pjte8pb57/ to view Keith Tidball’s presentation Implementing EDEN in a State Context: A New York State of Mind. Tidball is senior extension associate in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, Associate Director of the Civic Ecology Lab and Program Leader for the Nature & Human Security Program, and State Coordinator for the New York Extension Disaster Education Network. Tidball currently is a Visiting Scholar at USDA-NIFA in the Division of Family & Consumer Sciences. 

ECOP Recommends Advisory Board Member – Together with the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP), ECOP has recommended Milo Shult, Vice President for Agriculture (retired), University of Arkansas, to assume another term on the USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board. The announcement for eight openings on the board appeared in the Federal Register (79 FR 35512, June 23, 2014) http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-06-23/pdf/2014-14578.pdf. If approved, Shult, who has served on the board since 2011, represents 1862 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities. For more information, including the 2013 recommendations about Cooperative Extension, see http://nareeeab.ree.usda.gov

Register for APLU Annual MeetingProgress through Partnerships is the theme of the 2014 APLU Annual Meeting November 2-4 in Orlando, FL. Early registration runs until 7.31.14 at http://www.cvent.com/d/t4q93z. The hotel room block for the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort is at https://resweb.passkey.com/Resweb.do?mode=welcome_ei_new&eventID=11135815. Cooperative Extension meets for dinner Monday evening when the ECOP chair gavel will be passed from Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky, to Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University.

Monday, July 14, 2014

ECOP Monday Minute 7.14.14

ECOP Gears Up for July Meeting – Chair Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky, reports significant action items for consideration by ECOP during its July 22, 2014 meeting in San Diego in conjunction with the annual Board of Agriculture Assembly Joint COPs summer meeting. ECOP will make decisions about the AES-CES Communications and Marketing Project, the new impacts database, and an ECOP health implementation team. Updates will be provided on eXtension “e-nnovation” planning, a pending USDA climate hubs memorandum of understanding, and the Ag Act of 2014 distribution of funds for education about farm programs. Watch the ECOP Monday Minute for details. 

Focus on Extension Health Programs – The Creating Healthy Communities eXtension learning community featured Michelle Rodgers, ECOP member and chair of the ECOP National Task Force on Health, University of Delaware, for a webinar. Visit https://learn.extension.org/events/1651#.U61ih7Hr6f8 and click on watch recording or see the YouTube version at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NDEFAej8v4. The PowerPoint associated with the webinar is available at http://goo.gl/nwhmnk

EFNEP 2013 Impacts – USDA-NIFA has released FY 2013 impacts for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) program which operates in the 50 states, 6 U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Annual data confirms that EFNEP graduates consistently report strong results related to improvement of diets and other food-related behaviors. In FY2013, EFNEP reached approximately 120,000 low-income adults and 415,000 low-income children and youth. Of adult graduates, 95 percent reported improvements in their diets, 90 percent improved their nutrition practices, 84 percent improved their food resource management practices, 65 percent improved their food safety practices, and 39 percent increased their physical activity level by 30 minutes or more. A full report is in process. 

USDA-NIFA Releases 2014 Impacts Report – The projects highlighted shows how USDA-NIFA funding contributes to significant achievements in food, agricultural, natural resources, and human sciences by supporting research, education, and Extension programs at the land-grant universities and other partner organizations. See NIFA website for details. 

Oregon Extension Run for HealthTo bring awareness to the power of living a healthy lifestyle, two college undergraduates – and brothers, Isaiah and Jeremiah Godby – are running to 30 out of 36 Oregon counties, stopping at OSU Extension Service offices along the way and encouraging community members and alumni across Oregon to join them. The run finishes September 5th after 61 days averaging 32 miles each day by each runner. They are hosting public events along the way to emphasize proper nutrition and fitness. See http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/healthrun/ for details. 

21st Century Energy Challenges – The Power of Extension was the focus of a Cooperative Extension workshop May 8, 2014 in Washington, DC. See https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6HXxUrVKWEYNjB6dGNHTjJRZlU/edit?pli=1 for presentations.