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Monday, February 2, 2015

NEW eXtension Elects Governing Board Members

NEW eXtension Elects Governing Board Members – Members of the NEW eXtension have elected the following regional representatives for the Board of Governors: 1890s, VERNON JONES – Associate Administrator, Langston University; North Central, JASON HENDERSON, Extension Director, Purdue University; Northeast, DENNIS CALVIN, Extension Director, Pennsylvania State University; Southern, DOUG STEELE – Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service; Western, FRED SCHLUTT – Extension Director, University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Additional members will be added as specified in the final report about the NEW eXtension. Among the initial tasks of the NEW eXtension Board of Governors will be to launch a search process of a chief executive officer. Elbert Dickey continues as interim director through April. 

FY 2016 USDA-NIFA Budget ReviewNIFA Director, Sonny Ramaswamy will conduct a webinar on the Agency’s Fiscal Year 2016 President’s Budget Proposal on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 5 p.m. EST. Up to 250 users may connect to the webinar at http://nifa-connect.nifa.usda.gov/sonny. The webinar will be recorded. Participants have the option to use a teleconference line in lieu of their computer sound system or dial into the teleconference line for audio only. The presentation is not expected to be graphic intensive. You may join the teleconference up to 5 minutes prior to the scheduled start. The dial in numbers are as follows: Dial-in: 1-888-621-9649 or 1-617-231-2734. 

ECOP Names Social Media AssociateExtension: The Next Century – Extending Knowledge, Changing Lives is the central message of ECOP’s social media endeavors in 2015. Bill Woodrum, former Extension Administrator, West Virginia State University, has been named the ECOP Social Media Associate through December. The goal is to expand the strong social media presence on social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) established during the centennial last year. Please encourage Extension professionals at all levels and partners to connect at facebook.com/Extension100years and twitter.com/#ext100years. Ideas for social media content may be sent to Bill at extensioncentennial@gmail.com. 

Grant Workshops Focus on Local FoodsThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) are partnering on the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance (AMSTA) Project to conduct workshops that will help potential grant applicants understand, develop, and submit their Federal grant applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. The effort is directed by Stephan J. Goetz of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development based at Penn State University. A list of upcoming grant workshop dates and locations can be found at http://www.amsta.net

2015 Assessments – APLU has distributed electronic assessment statements to the 75 universities in the Board on Agriculture Assembly Cooperative Extension Section. ECOP’s national leadership is solely funded through assessments for two accounts, the Office of the Executive Director, which covers salary, benefits, indirect costs paid to APLU, and travel and office expenses for the Executive Director and Staff Associate; and Strategic Priorities and Operations, which supports ECOP committees, teams and projects. An additional assessment covers work of the SNAP-ED National Program Development Team and goes to those Extension Services providing education for SNAP recipients. Based on a vote of the Cooperative Extension Section as of 11.17.14, the eXtension assessment is replaced by a membership funding model. 

Volunteerism Conference – The 2015 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism is May 4-7, 2015, Portland, ME. It is designed for Cooperative Extension professionals who manage volunteers. Details are at http://extension.umaine.edu/programs/necv/. Registration is due April 15, 2015. 

On Climate Change – Mike Hoffmann, Cornell University and past chair of the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP) has released a TEDx talk on YouTube “Climate change: It’s time to raise our voices". He leads a Northeastern U.S. and Eastern Canada climate change initiative, and established an Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture that helps food growers adapt to changing conditions. ECOP, ESCOP and USDA signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2014 pledging to work together to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

Enhancing Energy Literacy The Department of Energy (DOE), along with the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), released the first four videos in a series highlighting each of the seven essential principles presented in the DOE Energy Literacy Framework. The Framework seeks to help educators of all disciplines and age groups incorporate a multidisciplinary approach to energy into their lessons and programs. The final three videos are expected by September 2015. In addition, DOE is also announcing the Spanish-language version of its Get Current coloring book, which is part of an ongoing effort to expand educational resources for the growing Spanish-speaking population in the United States. ECOP continues involvement with the State Energy Extension Partnership, chaired by Beverly Samuels, USDA-NIFA.