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Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Holidays from ECOP

Please enjoy this brief photo review of 2015 highlights.

ECOP Monday Minute will return on 1.11.16. It has been our pleasure working with you this year and look forward to a new year filled with exemplary national leadership on behalf of Cooperative Extension state and local programming.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Honoring Mary Jane Willis

Mary Jane Willis joins Delbert Foster, left, ECOP immediate past chair,
and Jay Akridge, APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly
Policy Board of Directors chair, at a November 2015
APLU Annual Meeting award ceremony in Indianapolis.
ECOP has lost a valued member, an exemplary partner, and a special friend. Mary Jane Willis, Associate Director, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, lost a valiant battle with cancer Saturday, December 5th. Mary Jane served on ECOP since 2010 and was recently tapped by the Northeast region to serve another four-year term. She provided significant national leadership through the ECOP Program Committee especially focusing on her passion for Extension urban programming. On November 15th, she was on hand at the APLU Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, as the photo shows, to accept a Regional Award for Excellence in Extension on behalf of Changlu Wang, Rutgers Extension Entomologist. Mary Jane’s middle name was Cooperative Extension. She working tirelessly for the national system and for the state of New Jersey to assure Extension programming was of highest quality, honored diversity, and showed quantifiable impacts.

ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware; Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Lou Swanson, Colorado State University; Nick Place, University of Florida, and Cathann Kress, Iowa State University
Extension Colleagues Named to APLU New Engagement Planning Team – ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware; Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Lou Swanson, Colorado State University; Nick Place, University of Florida, and Cathann Kress, Iowa State University, represent the Cooperative Extension Section of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly on a New Engagement Planning Team convened by APLU. The team will recommend a process for establishing and engaging APLU members and stakeholders in a Task Force on “The New Engagement” for public higher education. The eventual Task Force will be charged with envisioning a new, broadly inclusive definition for university engagement, and also charged with making recommendations for university actions to realize this vision. Co-chairs are Mark Hussey, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, and Roy Wilson, President, Wayne State University. Other planning team members represent the APLU Council on Engagement and Outreach (CEO), the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP), and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. 

News from Extension’s Federal Partner – USDA-NIFA has:
  1. Updated its Commodity Board webpage at The 2014 Farm Bill Commodity Boards provision allows eligible national and state commodity boards, and marketing orders to propose topics for research that they are willing to equally co-fund with NIFA. Such topics must relate to the established priority areas of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (AFRI) to be considered for inclusion in future AFRI Requests for Applications (RFAs). Direct questions to
  2. Established a Data Gateway to its datasets, 2002 to present, which can be used to help tell the story of what activities are funded by NIFA and the impact of that funding. Heat maps allow Gateway users to see the total amount of funding by state, and what grants make up the total for 2011 and 2015. Suggestions about this tool can be directed to

Monday, December 7, 2015

NEW eXtension Conference Proposals Due 12.20.15

The NEW eXtension is a knowledge-to-action service that is an integral part of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System. It is designed to help Extension professionals increase program visibility and measurable impact locally and system wide. eXtension’s i-Three Event (formerly the National eXtension Conference) in San Antonio, Texas, March 22-25, 2016 will bring together Cooperative Extension educators, communicators, and communities with eXtension’s i-Three Corps members for an exciting co-learning and co-creating adventure. The i-Three Event will focus on the NEW eXtension’s three pillars--Issues, Innovation, Impact—and will equip attendees with the ability to tackle emerging issues with innovative approaches that deliver measurable impact. Proposals for workshops and presentations for the professional development track are due 12.20.15. For details, see

Climate Hubs Webinar This Week – For an update on how USDA Climate Hubs are collaborating with research and Cooperative Extension, join a webinar 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET, 12.10.15 at or by phone at 888-844-9904, code 3964989. Speakers are Randy Johnson, National Program Leader, USDA Regional Climate Hubs; David Hollinger, Lead, Northeast Regional Climate Hub, and Michael Hoffman, Executive Director, Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture. See for details about the climate hubs and for the Memorandum of Understanding signed by USDA and the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly Cooperative Extension and Experiment Station Sections.

Fred Schlutt, ECOP Chair-elect,
University of Alaska
Schlutt Contributes to Urban Agenda – ECOP Chair-elect Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, discussed strategy and policies of urban Extension programming at a Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research workshop last week in Sacramento, CA. Amongst ECOP’s goals for 2016 is to engage with the National Urban Extension Leaders to assist in advancing Cooperative Extension urban programming while maintaining critical rural presence. For all 2016 ECOP goals, see

Michelle Rodgers, ECOP Chair,
University of Delaware
Rodgers at Pesticide Safety Summit – ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, represents the APLU Cooperative Extension Section at a December 9, 2015 Pesticide Safety Education National Stakeholder meeting in Washington, DC. The dialogue is designed to chart the future for pesticide safety education. She joins critical stakeholders from USDA-NIFA, the APLU Experiment Station Section, private companies, and others to engage in this critical discussion.

Cooperative Extension Book Available on Demand Education Through Cooperative Extension is available as print on demand through the University of Arkansas bookstore. To place an order, go to For assistance or to place a mass order, Kathleen Smoot at 479-575-4495 or at

Call for Nominations: Family Life and Human Development Awards – The National Awards Committee for Family Life and Human Development State Specialists is now accepting nominations for awards to state Extension specialists who have made important contributions to the work of Cooperative Extension and who provide clear evidence of program impacts. Nominations will be accepted for awards in two categories. The Early Achievement Award is for persons with 6 or fewer years as a state specialist with Cooperative Extension. The Career Impact Award is for persons with 7 or more years. Awards will be presented during a USDA-NIFA national webinar. Send nominations to Jean Edwards by 12.15.15. For additional information, see Link to Information and Nomination Forms

Call for Nominations: 2015 Jeanne M. Priester Awards – Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Jeanne M. Priester Award. The awards will be presented at the 2016 National Health Outreach Conference Priester Award Luncheon, April 8, 2016 in Roanoke, Virginia. Nominations are due 12.11.15. For details, see The purpose of the award is to honor Extension programs and professionals that positively impact the health and wellness of people across the United States and provide leadership to expand Extension’s capacity to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life.

Monday, November 23, 2015

ECOP Welcomes New Chair

ECOP Monday Minute returns December 7, 2015 . . . HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

Delbert Foster, ECOP Chair 2014-15, hands gavel to
Michelle Rodgers, ECOP Chair 2015-16
Montage from 11.16.15 includes Cathie Woteki, Under Secretary
for USDA Research, Education, and Economics, Robert Holland,
Associate Director of Operations, USDA-NIFA and
Jane Schuchardt, Executive Director, ECOP
In ceremonies at the APLU Annual Meeting in Indianapolis last week, Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, accepted the gavel for ECOP leadership from outgoing chair Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University. For the 2015 report of ECOP accomplishments, see Of special note is the program focus on health, the development of the Cooperative Extension Innovation Inventory, transition to the NEW eXtension, and the producer education program with USDA Farm Service Agency. ECOP goals for 2016 call for further work on innovation, launching a National System Task Force, giving attention to urban programming, and continuing discussion on private resource mobilization. Foster expresses appreciation to all those in the Cooperative Extension Section who engaged in Cooperative Extension national leadership during his tenure. As ECOP immediate past-chair, he serves as co-chair of the ESS-CES/NEDA Planning Committee in preparation for the September 19-21, 2016 meeting near Jackson Hole, WY. 

North Central Region Releases FCS Study – ECOP member Chris Boerboom, Chair, North Central Cooperative Extension Association (NCCEA), announces a new report of impacts of family and consumer sciences Extension programs Amongst other outcomes, the report shows compelling evidence about program effectiveness related to human health and well-being. 

Cooperative Extension SNAP-Ed Outcomes – The Land Grant University SNAP-Ed Program Development Team, supported by assessments to participating universities, announces outcomes by state Further, the Legislative and Advocacy Committee of the SNAP-Ed Program Development Team reports high visibility for Cooperative Extension at the National SNAP Directors Meeting earlier this month in Seattle. In addition to an exhibit, presentations by Cooperative Extension educators focused on translating research to practice, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, and encouraging SNAP redemption at farmers’ markets. Members of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee are Pat Bebo, Ohio State University and Mindy Meuli, University of Wyoming, co-chairs; Debra Garrard, Oklahoma State University; Kathleen Manenica, Washington State University, and ad hoc member Megan Ness Ditterick, North Dakota State University. 

CYFAR Annual Report – USDA-NIFA announces the release of a report of 2014 accomplishments of the Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Program CYFAR improves the quality and quantity of comprehensive community-based programs for at-risk children, youth, and families through Cooperative Extension educational programs. Limited resource families and youth who are at-risk for not meeting basic human needs gain skills to lead positive, productive, contributing lives. 

NEDA 2015 in Review – Those who evaluated the 2015 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Meeting last October in St. Louis provided high ratings ECOP thanks the planning team Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky, chair; Ed Jones, Virginia Tech; Brian Higginbotham, Utah State University; Carolyn Williams, Prairie View A&M University, Chris Boerboom, North Dakota State University, Dan Lerner, University of Vermont, and ECOP members Jon Boren, New Mexico State University, and Mike O’Neill, University of Connecticut.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cooperative Extension Celebrates Excellence

Delbert Foster, ECOP Chair 2014-15 stands with Excellence in Extension Award recipients: Virginie Zoumenou (1890); Dana Martin (Western); Julie Garden-Robinson (North Central); Mary Jane Willis for Chang Lu Wang (Northeast); National Award - Joe Outlaw and Region - Derrell Peel (Southern)
Yesterday, ECOP Chair Delbert Foster assisted in recognizing Cooperative Extension colleagues at an awards celebration at the APLU Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. The national and regional awards recognize excellence in Extension programming. An additional award recognizes diversity and inclusion. Details about the award winners can be found HERE. Extension directors and administrators are encouraged to nominate colleagues for the 2016 awards. The call for nominations will be announced soon.

eXtension Unveils Professional Development Course – The new online Impact Statement Reporting course, created by land-grant communications professionals especially for Extension faculty and educators, is now available at

Health Insurance Survey Due 11.20.15 – The ECOP Health Insurance Literacy Action Team, led by Virginia Brown (University of Maryland Extension) is surveying family and consumer sciences and agriculture Extension educators nationwide to understand what is being taught around health insurance literacy. The team wants to understand what Extension educators are teaching and barriers to doing health insurance literacy programs. Your state’s input will be helpful to guide recommendations for the whole system. Please ask those who have not yet completed the survey to do so by 11.20.15. Any questions can be directed to Virginia Brown The link is:

Urban Webinar Focuses on Research – The next Western Center for Metropolitan Extension & Research webinar is 3:00 p.m. ET, 11.18.15 on the topic Metropolitan Extension Best Practices: What is our research base?. Register at

Community Development, Natural Resources Conference Proposals Due 12.18.15Building a Path to Resilience: Uniting Natural Resources and Community Development is the theme of the joint National Association of Community Development Professionals (NACDEP) and Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP) conference June 26-29, 2016 in Burlington, VT. Proposals are due 12.18.15 at Click here to submit. Direct questions to Joshua Clements (, 563-213-9357) or Mary Sisock (, 802-656-1721). 

USDA-NIFA Releases 2014 Report – Based on the vision to "catalyze transformative discoveries, education, and engagement to address agricultural challenges," USDA-NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy has released the agency’s 2014 Annual Report here. It describes how USDA-NIFA is advancing agricultural science to solve societal challenges.

Monday, November 9, 2015

National System Survey Due 11.18.15

With leadership by Chuck Hibberd (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Mark Latimore (Fort Valley State University), Scott Reed (Oregon State University), Debby Sheely (University of Rhode Island), and Doug Steele (Texas A&M University), ECOP is encouraging a dialogue to determine Cooperative Extension’s universal core values and brand promise. Though there are vast differences in the type and scope of Cooperative Extension’s work, ECOP believes there are some core commonalities. The ECOP National System Task Force, chaired by Hibberd, needs the assistance of Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators to complete the survey A Conversation About Cooperative Extension as a National System by 11.18.15. Your responses will help guide the next steps in articulating what it means for Cooperative Extension to be a national system. 

Urban Extension Gets ECOP Attention – During its October 2015 meeting in St. Louis, ECOP accepted the report A National Framework for Urban Extension provided by the National Urban Extension Leaders While continuing Cooperative Extension’s impact in rural America, ECOP recognizes the burgeoning need for urban programming. ECOP member Chris Boerboom (North Dakota State University) has been named ECOP liaison to NUEL. 

Twitter Town Hall Reaches 3.2 Million – A highlight of the National Extension Directors and Administrators Meeting last October in St. Louis was a Twitter Town Hall. See How to Leverage Twitter Town Halls Darren Katz and his team at kglobal describe the what, how, and so what of a Twitter Town Hall, which is similar to a public Q&A that takes place over Twitter. Note especially the last couple of slides that show, among other data, that posts were displaced 3,230,657 in less than one hour. ECOP appreciates colleagues from North Dakota State University, Southern University, University of the District of Columbia, and Kansas State University who provided expertise shared with industry leaders, federal agencies, members of Congress, trade associations, land-grant universities, and the general public. 

USDA Web Tool Highlights Cooperative Extension – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden recently announced a new, tailored web tool designed to connect emerging farm entrepreneurs, women in agriculture, youth, and transitioning farm operations with programs and resources available. The new web tool is available at and contains linkages to Cooperative Extension offices and

Volunteerism Conference Proposals Due 12.4.15 – The proposal process to host the 2017 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism is now open. The conference is held every other year since 1999. Since that initial conference, volunteerism in Cooperative Extension has continued to evolve to meet needs in local communities. The 9th National Extension Conference on Volunteerism will be in April or May 2017. A short bid proposal is due Dec 4, 2015. The information can be found at

Monday, November 2, 2015

ECOP Thanks Trapp and Boren

James Trapp, Oklahoma State University, and
Jon Boren, New Mexico State University
James Trapp, Oklahoma State University, and Jon Boren, New Mexico State University, complete ECOP terms this month. Trapp has served since 2011 and continues as Cooperative Extension’s representative to the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly Committee on Legislation and Policy. Boren served since 2012 and was co-chair of the Program Committee and represented ECOP on the LEAD 21 Board of Directors for two years. 

eXtension Launches New Strategy – The new eXtension unveiled its new strategy designed to become the knowledge-to-action service that is an integral part of the Cooperative Extension System. See what you can expect at

Climate Hubs Fellows Program – USDA is seeking post-doctoral and post-masters candidate for its new fellows program at the 10 USDA Climate Hubs. The announcement is at The Cooperative Extension and Experiment Station Sections have a Memorandum of Understanding with USDA to align with the hubs. The MOU was signed last November. 

REMINDER: NEDA Survey Due 11.6.15 – If you attended the National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) meeting last month in St. Louis, please fill out the evaluation survey at Your input is helpful as planning takes place for other meetings. Documents, PowerPoints and videos from the meeting may be obtained under "NEDA Links and Downloads" section on the right panel of this blog.

4-H Luncheon at APLU Annual Meeting – Extension Directors and Administrators are invited to attend the annual National 4-H Council luncheon at the APLU Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 15th from 11:45 AM to 1:30 PM at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. There will be a presentation of updates and an opportunity for Q&A. Please send regrets only to Sarah Hunt by Monday, November 9th at

Monday, October 26, 2015

Buchholz Elected to BAA Policy Board

Daryl Buchholz, Kansas State University
Daryl Buchholz, Kansas State University, will represent Cooperative Extension on the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly Policy Board of Directors, effective November 2015. Buchholz served as ECOP chair in 2013. The alternate member is Doug Steele, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Daryl and Doug replace Tim Cross, University of Tennessee, and Beverly Durgan, University of Minnesota, who have served as member and alternate, respectively, for the last two years. ECOP expresses appreciation to these colleagues for serving in this national leadership role. 

Delbert Foster, South Carolina
State University
Foster Receives USDA-NIFA Honor – Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University, was inducted into the USDA-NIFA Hall of Fame last week at award ceremonies in Washington, DC. This honor recognizes contributions helping NIFA fulfill its mission to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and Extension to solve societal challenges. Foster is the current ECOP chair. 

REMINDER i-Three Corps Nomination Deadline 11.6.15 – The NEW eXtension is seeking 200 individuals to co-invent the future!!! These 200, called the i-Three Issue Corps, will join us to experiment with new tools, model new behaviors all with the goal of working effectively to make a measurable impact. eXtension is looking for individuals with plans of work including either Climate or Food Systems. Nominations can be for individuals or teams. The nomination deadline is November 6, 2015. For more information check out the blog post on the i-Three Corps OR contact Terry Meisenbach at

Roberta Riportella, Kansas State Univ., third from the left,
chairs the ECOP/ESCOP Health Policy Issues Ed. Action Team
Health Extension Webinar 10.27.15 – The Health Policy Issues Education Action Team, Roberta Riportella, Chair, Kansas State University, invites you to a webinar Building Cooperative Extension’s Capacity to Support Health in Policy Issues Education: A Case for Strategic Planning, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET, 10.27.15. Connect at The purpose of the webinar is to explore Extension capacity to inform policy, systems, and environmental approaches that impact human health. 

Urban Extension Webinar 10.29.15 – Register at for the 10:00 a.m. ET webinar on 10.29.15 on Metropolitan Engagement in Oregon: Community Engagement and Partnerships within a Successful Urban Extension Model. The presentation explores contemporary and emerging issues for urban Extension programming to consider in addition to discussing key strategies in developing strategic, collaborative and mutually beneficial partnerships in urban environments with best practice models and lessons learned as OSU’s urban extension work evolves in the Portland metro region. 

ECOP Budget Webinar Recording Available – The recording of the ECOP webinar on Understanding the Federal Budget Process is available at Organized by the ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee (BLC), speakers were Rick Klemme, BLC chair, University of Wisconsin, and Doug Steele, BLC Vice-chair, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, together with Rick Mertens, Texas A&M, and Hunt Shipman, Cornerstone Government Affairs.

Monday, October 19, 2015

NEDA 2015 in Photo Review

The Cooperative Extension Section Business meeting and the National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) meeting last week in St. Louis engaged 123 registrants representing 47 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 U.S. territories. The theme Innovation: Driving Extension’s Next Century permeated through 
  • a keynote address, 
Claudia Fernandez, keynote speaker, addresses NEDA participants - Characteristics of Innovation Leadership
  • an innovation showcase,
Commodities for Communities - University of Tennessee, Tim Cross; First Generation 4-H Families Initiative - Kansas State University - Barbara Stone; Fast Track Gardening - Southern University Ag Center, Stephanie Elwood; Forward Learning Experience (FLEx) - Iowa State University, Pete Evans; Open Campus - Oregon State University, Jeff Sherman; Unmanned Aerial Systems - North Dakota State University, John Nowatzki; Urban Food Hubs - University of the District of Columbia, Bill Hare; District Program Leadership - Virginia Tech, Mike Lambur
  • a Twitter town hall, 
Excerpts from Twitter feed on October 14, 2015. Total impressions (potential views) was > 6,000,000. Total reach (number of individuals who viewed content) was > 300,000. Total number of Tweets was > 700.
  • deep dive work sessions, and 
  • a capstone video produced on site. 

On the evening of October 13, 2015 ECOP Chair Elect Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware presented an ECOP Resolution for 1890s Universities to colleagues in celebration of the 125th anniversary signing of the 2nd Morrill Act. To read the entire resolution go to
L. Washington Lyons, Executive Director of Association of Extension Administrators,
Celvia Stovall-Alabama A&M University, and Mark Latimore, Jr.-Fort Valley State University
each receive a copy of the resolution.

Attendees are encouraged to fill out the evaluation form at by 11.6.15. NEDA 2016 will be joint with the Experiment Station Section September 19-22, 2016 in Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park. 

More photos from NEDA are available at

Monday, October 12, 2015

Top Honors for Extension Excellence and Diversity Announced

Joe Outlaw,
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension
Joe Outlaw, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, will receive the 2015 Excellence in Extension Award for his commitment to community engagement and his visionary leadership as Extension educator. A second honor, the National Extension Diversity Award, goes to a pilot program called Texas Grow! Eat! Go! aimed at improving community health through exercise and nutrition education, also from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Both awards will be presented at the 128th Annual Meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in Indianapolis, Indiana, November 15-17, 2015. The Excellence in Extension Award is a national award given annually to one Cooperative Extension professional in recognition of visionary leadership, excellence in programming, and positive impact on their community. The National Diversity Award recognizes an Extension program exhibiting significant contributions and accomplishments in achieving and sustaining diversity and pluralism. In addition to the national recognitions, one Extension educator from each of the five Cooperative Extension regions (northeast, north central, south, west, and 1890 universities), will be recognized for excellence at the APLU Annual Meeting. The 2015 Regional Excellence in Extension recipients are Virginie Zoumenou, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Julie Garden-Robinson, North Dakota State University; Changlu Wang, Rutgers University; Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University, and Dana Martin, Oregon State University. USDA-NIFA and Cooperative Extension have sponsored the Excellence in Extension and National Diversity awards since 1991. 

Extension Twitter Town Hall This Week – On Wednesday 10:30 – 11:00 a.m. ET, 10.14.15, Agriculture Is America will host a Twitter town hall with the University of the District of Columbia, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, and Southern University’s Ag Center. These institutions are among eight showcased at the 2015 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) meeting this week in St. Louis. Submit questions using the hashtag #agischat to @AgIsAmerica. The link to the Twitter page is Extension educators from each institution will make up a experts to answer questions about youth development, unmanned aerial systems, health, nutrition, urban agriculture, and more. 

Participate in SNAP-ED SurveyThe SNAP-Ed Program Development Team, Paula Peters, Chair, Kansas State University, requests your assistance in documenting the impact of land-grant universities with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) educational programs. Expect to receive the survey in late October with a due date of 12.15.15. Previous reports describe this portion of Cooperative Extension’s nutrition education programming and provide information for decision-makers and other stakeholders. 

Susan Crowell, CARET Liaison to ECOP
CARET Liaison to ECOP Gets National Award – Susan Crowell, who represents the Council on Agriculture Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) on ECOP, received the National Friends of Extension Award last week at the Epsilon Sigma Phi National Conference in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Crowell is editor of Farm and Dairy, a regional newspaper based in northeastern Ohio. 

Eliminating Childhood ObesityRobert Wood Johnson Foundation Update: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded a planning grant to permit the Cooperative Extension System to determine how Extension could partner with the RWJF to address childhood obesity through evidence-based programming. National 4-H Council serves as the fiscal agent and sought the funding based on the Cooperative Extension National Framework for Health and Wellness (March 2014) A National Leadership Advisory Team (NLAT), facilitated by Bonnie Braun, University of Maryland (retired), convened the first of three on-site meetings at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in September 2015. NLAT includes representatives from multiple facets of Extension, including four college-aged 4-H youth representatives. A special thanks to Michelle Rodgers, ECOP chair-elect, University of Delaware, for her leadership and participation on NLAT and to Delbert Foster, ECOP Chair, South Carolina State University, for his support of this initiative. The advisory team determined that in general, Extension is positioned to help eliminate childhood obesity because of its commitment to health and wellness; its capacity to engage with others to address societal issues such as childhood obesity; and its ability to contribute to transformational change resulting in health and wellness for all. It is presently studying evidence-based obesity intervention programs both within and outside of Extension. Additional information will be shared following the November 9th NLAT meeting. 

Timberline Manifesto Featured in JOE – See the current issue of the Journal of Extension (JOE), August 2015 for a paper by ECOP members Scott Reed, Oregon State University, and Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, along with Lou Swanson, Colorado State University, called the Timberline Manifesto: Seven Concepts Linking Extension and Engagement. It describes discussion by the Western Region Extension Directors (WEDA) on a vision for institutional engagement in Extension’s next century.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Budget Webinar Today 10.5.15

ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee Chair Rick Klemme, University of Wisconsin, and Vice-chair Doug Steele, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, remind you of the webinar today at 1:00 p.m. ET on Understanding the Federal Budget Process. See for details. For best results, please use Firefox or Internet Explorer, not Chrome, as your web browser. 

Join Twitter Town Hall 10.14.15 – Extension educators and researchers from the University of the District of Columbia, North Dakota State University, Kansas State University, and the Southern University Ag Center (Louisiana) will partner with Agriculture Is America, a national communications initiative aimed at highlighting the nation’s land-grant institutions, to host a joint Twitter Town Hall on Wednesday, 10.14.15 from 10:30 – 11:00 a.m. ET. The experts will answer questions regarding youth development, gardening, nutrition, and unmanned aerial systems, among other agricultural topics. The University of the District of Columbia sponsors Urban Food Hubs, which tests the feasibility of small-scale food systems in urban communities in order to address food insecurity in our nation’s capital and beyond. Kansas State University helps rural and minority families connect with 4-H and Extension offices to learn more about higher education and join community clubs. North Dakota State University is one of six FAA national test sites for unmanned aerial systems, and university research and Extension specialists are performing field tests to assess crop and livestock sensing and monitoring. Southern University hosts a fast track gardening program that gives incarcerated youth the opportunity to use gardening as a tool to learn more about agriculture and nutrition. The four projects will be acknowledged at the 2015 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) and Cooperative Extension Section Annual Business Meeting next week in St. Louis. A Twitter Town Hall, like a public meeting or seminar, gives the opportunity for live question and answer periods. To follow the conversation or submit a question, include the hashtag #agischat in your tweet. All agriculture-related organizations, industry leaders, friends, and supporters are invited to join the discussion. The participating Twitter handles include: @agisamerica, @KState, @suagcenter, @UDC_CAUSES, and @NDSUExt. 

$9.8 Million Award to Support 4-H National Mentoring Program – 4-H symbol The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has awarded National 4-H Council $9.8 million for implementation of the 4-H National Mentoring Program. This marks the sixth consecutive year that Council has received this important funding which is a testament to 4-H and the Cooperative Extension System's success in providing one-to-one and group mentoring services to youth. This new award brings the total investment from OJJDP in Cooperative Extension's 4-H program to $43 million since 2010. A special thanks to National 4-H Council Trustee Delbert Foster for his important role in helping to secure this funding by representing all of Cooperative Extension in his role as ECOP Chair. Through this award, land-grants across the country will have the opportunity to continue, enhance and expand mentoring services to at-risk, high-risk, and/or underserved populations through the replication of three successful Cooperative Extension youth mentoring programs. All three programs were brought to full implementation through USDA-NIFA's Children, Youth and Families at Risk Program. 

Health Conference Proposals Due 10.16.15 You are invited to submit a presentation proposal for the 2016 National Health Outreach Conference hosted by Virginia Cooperative Extension and coordinated by a multistate planning team. The goal of the conference is to build a collaborative approach among organizations and agencies to achieve a healthier and safer America by promoting health and wellness, advancing health equity and reducing health disparities. For more information, see Submit proposals at

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina A&T State and North Carolina State
universities are part of the Plants for Human Health Institute
centered at the Kannapolis Research Campus near Charlotte, NC.
Experiment Station Leaders Meet in Charlotte – Water security and plant breeding were key topics of discussion at the annual meeting of Experiment Station directors/administrators last week in Charlotte, NC. Included in the event was a tour of the Kannapolis Research Campus, which houses research efforts of various universities including land-grants North Carolina A&T State and North Carolina State universities. Bev Durgan, University of Minnesota, is the ECOP liaison to the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP).

Monday, September 28, 2015

Excellence Data Due 12.31.15

The ECOP Measuring Excellence in Extension Implementation Team 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 as valuable as the level of response from all institutions in the Cooperative Extension Section. Your participation is encouraged. 

eXtension Features Healthy Food Choices in Schools – The eXtension Healthy Food Choices in Schools community now features details on how one New York food hub has sourced fresh produce from 35 local farms to private and public K-12 school meal programs. More information on how food hubs are working with local school meal programs to reduce costs and provide healthy meals to students is available here and by contacting Katherine Baildon

NEDA 2015 to Include Director/Administrator Orientation –  The ECOP Personnel Committee, co-chaired by Celvia Stovall, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and Mike O’Neill, University of Connecticut, announce an orientation for new directors/administrators on Monday afternoon, October 12, 2015 in St. Louis preceding the National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) annual meeting. Panelists are Cathann Kress, Iowa State University; Alton Johnson, Prairie View A&M University; Larry Katz, Rutgers University, and Brian Higginbotham, Utah State University. Stovall will moderate the interactive session. While all NEDA participants are welcome to attend, first priority for the limited space will be given to directors/administrators who have assumed Cooperative Extension administrative positions in recent months. NEDA registration continues to be open at though the reduced rate period has passed. 

Antimicrobial Resistance Workshops – Stewardship of medically-important antimicrobial drug use in food animals is the topic of workshops sponsored by the Farm Foundation. To find out more, see

Ag Workshop Call Ends This Week – October 1 is the deadline to submit proposals for presentations and posters at the 73rd Professional Agricultural Workshop Conference (PAWC) at Tuskegee University, AL from December 6th-8th, 2015. See for details.

Monday, September 21, 2015

NEDA Early Registration Ends Tomorrow

For the 104 Cooperative Extension professionals and partners who have already registered for NEDA, thank you. You will join colleagues from 59 institutions and 47 states, DC and 2 US Territories on a fast-paced, highly interactive agenda focused on the theme Innovation: Driving Extension’s Next Century. In addition to a keynote speech funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a Twitter Town Hall, an innovation showcase, an innovation video developed at the meeting, and a Cooperative Extension Section business meeting, concurrent work sessions will focus on creating a culture of innovation, new ideas for innovative programming and resource development, and attracting and retaining innovative staff. NEDA registration is available at a reduced fee until tomorrow, 9.22.15 at The NEDA room block at the Embassy Suites Downtown St. Louis expires today. 

Debbie Allen, new editor of JOE
JOE Board Names New Editor – Debbie Allen, Waynesville, OH, has been named the new Journal of Extension (JOE) editor. Keith Mickler, president of the JOE Board of Directors made the announcement and introduced Allen to the Board at its fall meeting in Minneapolis last week. Allen has nearly 30 years of editorial experience in public, private, profit and not for profit, and military organizations. She has worked on national and international editorial projects including other journals, magazines, technical documentation, newspapers, and electronic media. Allen begins January 1, 2016 succeeding the current JOE editor Laura Hoelscher, Purdue University, who is retiring.

Understanding the Federal Budget Process – Use the flier at
to encourage participation in an ECOP webinar at noon ET, Monday, October 5, 2015 on Understanding the Federal Budget Process. ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee (BLC) Vice-Chair Doug Steele, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, will moderate the session with speakers BLC Chair Rick Klemme, University of Wisconsin; Hunt Shipman, Cornerstone Government Affairs, and Rick Mertens, Texas A&M AgriLife Federal Relations. Learn how federal budget priorities are established by the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly, including strategies for interaction with USDA and the White House Office of Management and Budget. 

Delbert Foster, ECOP Chair
Extension Dinner at APLU Annual Meeting – ECOP Chair Delbert Foster invites you to the Cooperative Extension Section dinner Monday evening of the APLU Annual Meeting, November 15-17, 2015 in Indianapolis. In addition to passing the gavel to the new ECOP chair, Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, be on hand to hear a summary of ECOP’s accomplishments with national leadership on behalf of Cooperative Extension state and local programming and hear priories for 2016. The regular registration deadline is October 16. Register today before attendance fees increase! 

Focus on Urban Programming – Registration is available at for the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) Meeting and the Extension as Urban Policy Advisors Workshop December 1-4, 2015 in Sacramento, CA. The policy workshop which runs through Wednesday noon is geared for Cooperative Extension professionals working in metropolitan communities. The NUEL meeting which runs noon to noon Thursday and Friday is designed for Extension professionals working at the policy level for programming to urban and metropolitan communities.

Monday, September 14, 2015

EDEN Looks Ahead

Ed Jones (Virginia Tech), Nick Place (University of Florida),
Fred Schlutt (University of Alaska),
Chris Boerboom (North Dakota State University),
and Larry Katz (Rutgers)
Charting a course for Extension disaster education was the focus of a work session last week in Indianapolis. Joining representatives from the Extension Disaster Education Network’s (EDEN) executive committee were five Cooperative Extension directors, a USDA-NIFA liaison, and the ECOP Executive Director. Carolyn Williams, Prairie View A&M University, was also part of the team. The meeting provided input on how the network will expand its accomplishments from its first 20 years working at the local, state, national, and international levels. Discussion was informed by the results of the recent survey of Extension directors/administrators and EDEN delegates. Thanks is extended to those who completed the survey. The relationship between EDEN leadership, Extension directors/administrations, and ECOP is critical for Extension educators to be ready to serve local communities in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters. For more information on EDEN visit or contact Mike Yoder, EDEN Chair, Nick Place, University of Florida, serves as ECOP Liaison to EDEN.

ECOP Working for YOU at NEDA 2015
ECOP Chair Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University, invites you to the annual Cooperative Extension Section business meeting Wednesday morning at the National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Meeting October 12-14, 2015 in St. Louis. Learn the latest on the proposed 4-H field marketing plan, USDA-NIFA partnership priorities, and the status of SNAP-ED funding, along with a brief overview of ECOP’s major initiatives. NEDA registration is available at a reduced fee until 9.22.15 at 

Dennis Calvin, chair (Pennsylvania State),
Jason Henderson (Purdue University),
Doug Steele (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension),
Fred Schlutt (University of Alaska),
and Vernon Jones (Langston University)
NEW eXtension Highlights Innovation – eXtension Foundation Board of Directors were on hand last week in Indianapolis to learn about new directions for eXtension. Innovation was the theme with eXtension Fellows, Innovation grantees and select user community/learning network leaders showcasing their work. The Board also met to review and approve plans and policies for eXtension. For a complete update, all eXtension members and others attending NEDA 2015 are welcome to the eXtension Foundation Membership Meeting 11:30 – Noon, Wednesday, October 14, 2015 in St. Louis. 

Tourism Conference Set for October – The National Extension Tourism Conference (NET 2015) is in Galveston, Texas October 27-30, 2015. The theme Coast to Coast, Tourism Matters focuses on the role that tourism plays in many aspects of business, community and agricultural landowner operations. For more information, see

Economic Engagement Focus of Toolkit – The APLU Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP) has developed an Economic Engagement Framework to help universities plan, implement, assess, and advance economic engagement efforts. See

Monday, August 24, 2015

Farm Bill Producer Education Evaluation Shows National Impact

Directors/Administrators involved with the Cooperative Extension partnership with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) on the recent farm bill producer education project are encouraged to provide survey results as found at to state and local FSA colleagues. The infographic summarizes survey responses from participants engaged in educational programs on new farm/ranch programs during the 10-month period beginning September 1, 2014. Respondents reported nearly doubling their knowledge of new farm/ranch programs after engaging in the face-to-face educational programs. The total estimated revenue protected by survey respondents is reported to be in the billions of dollars. The full reach of the Cooperative Extension educational effort is estimated to be up to five times greater than the numbers reported in the attachment. In addition, since some farm/ranch managers engaged in educational programs were making decisions for five or more agricultural operations, the reach expands even more. The 2nd page of the summary encourages further work with Cooperative Extension as a national system. Key ECOP leadership for this project with funding authorized by the Agriculture Act of 2014 (farm bill) included Jimmy Henning (University of Kentucky), Chris Boerboom (North Dakota State University), James Trapp (Oklahoma State University), and Ron Brown (Association of Southern Region Extension Directors). Craig Wood, eXtension, together with the ECOP National Office, were instrumental in summarizing the data and developing the handout. 

Twitter Town Hall at NEDA 2015Fast-paced and highly engaging are two descriptors of the 30-minute Twitter Town Hall scheduled Wednesday morning at the National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Meeting October 12-14, 2015 in St. Louis. Darren Katz of kglobal, the firm working with the AHS-ESS-CES Communication and Marketing Committee chaired by Scott Reed (Oregon State University) will lead the effort. Be at NEDA to get a firsthand view of how this social media approach can engage target audiences. Better yet, use your Twitter account to join the process. Highlighted in the Twitter Town Hall will be four of the 151 innovations reported to Ohio State University as part of the ECOP-sponsored Cooperative Extension Innovation Inventory to be unveiled at NEDA 2015. NEDA registration is available at a reduced fee until 9.22.15 at

Nick Place, University of Florida
ECOP Names Representatives for EDEN Strategic Planning – ECOP liaison to the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) Nick Place (University of Florida) announces a strategic planning meeting September 8-10, 2015 in Indianapolis. The purpose is to learn from EDEN’s 20-year history and, more importantly, recommend action for the next five years. Extension Directors/Administrator named by ECOP to participate are Carolyn Williams, 1890 Universities (Prairie View A&M University); Chris Boerboom, North Central (North Dakota State University); Fred Schlutt, Western (University of Alaska); Larry Katz, Northeast (Rutgers University), and Ed Jones, Southern (Virginia Tech). EDEN leadership, a USDA-NIFA liaison, and ECOP Executive Director Jane Schuchardt also will attend. Among goals of the workshop are to assess resources, evaluate Extension’s need and priorities for EDEN, and consider national and international partnerships. 

4-H Congressional Caucus Takes Hold on Capitol Hill – The National 4-H Council reports several members of Congress have asked to join the 4-H Congressional Caucus since its launch in July 2015. See to find information about 4-H Congressional Alumni, 4-H Congressional Caucus members, news about 4-H activities on the Hill, and resources to use when visiting Members of Congress. ECOP endorsed the recommendation from the 4-H National Leadership Committee, Ed Jones (Virginia Tech) and Renee McKee (Purdue University), co-chairs, to re-establish this caucus, which is supported by Cooperative Extension and facilitated by National 4-H Council. Direct questions to Kelly Baird at

ECOP Monday Minute to Return 9.14.15 – This blog is designed as a quick read most Monday mornings primarily targeted for Cooperative Extension Directors/Administrators. It’s primary purpose is to show how ECOP provides national leadership for the benefit of state and local educational programming and to engage the Cooperative Extension Section in actions of system-wide benefit. Comments of any nature, and especially on how to improve this communication, can be directed to ECOP Executive Director Jane Schuchardt at Enjoy these last few days of summer and have a safe and memorable Labor Day weekend.