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Monday, March 30, 2015

ECOP Working for You - BAA Policy Board of Directors

Tim Cross, University of Tennessee,
represents Cooperative Extension on the
Policy Board of Directors.
His two-year term will be
completed in November 2015.

ECOP Working for You – Tim Cross, ECOP member and elected Cooperative Extension representative to the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly Policy Board of Directors (PBD), is at a PBD meeting this week in Napa, CA. His responsibility is to represent the perspectives of Cooperative Extension, which have been vetted through ECOP. Discussions will focus on the AES-CES-AHS Communications and Marketing Project, the Antimicrobial Task Force, and committee actions related to budget and advocacy, legislation and policy, and setting direction for the future. Discussions will continue on the budget priority of water security and the initial efforts related to healthy food systems, healthy people. As PBD vice-chair, Cross is responsible for the BAA program at the APLU Annual Meeting, November 15-17, 2015 in Indianapolis. If you have ideas, he can be reached at

ACTION: Award Nominations Due 6.1.15ECOP and USDA-NIFA announces the 2015 nomination process for the national Excellence in Extension and Diversity awards. The due date for nominations is June 1st at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Regions are subject to announcing earlier deadlines for their purposes. CLICK HERE for contact information by Region. For details and to access the online nomination forms go to: Questions can be directed to Sandy Ruble, ECOP Staff Associate. 

ACTION: Support 4-H Legacy Awards – Cathann Kress, Iowa State University, and Nick Place, University of Florida, both members of the National 4-H Council Board of Trustees, encourage your donations to the National 4-H Legacy Awards. Last year, Cooperative Extension raised $10,600 for this purpose and efforts are underway to meet or exceed this goal in 2015. Please consider donating to Legacy Awards today. (Just click on the link on the word “today” and it will take you to the online site to make your donation). For any questions, please contact Rachel Mentzer at or 301-961-2940. 

Extension Names NEW eXtension Board – The eXtension Governing Committee, chaired by Dennis Calvin, Pennsylvania State University, has been disbanded and replaced by the new eXtension Foundation Board of Directors, reporting to ECOP. Officers and members for the new Board were elected and are as follows: CHAIR: Dennis Calvin (Northeast region/Penn State), VICE CHAIR/TREASURER: Vernon Jones (1890 region/Langston University), SECRETARY: Fred Schlutt (Western region/University of Alaska), Jason Henderson (North central region/Purdue), and Doug Steele (Southern region/Texas Agri-Life). Jane Schuchardt, ECOP Executive Director, and Jane Clary Loveless, USDA-NIFA National Program Leader, have been added as non-voting, ex officio members. Current action by the Board of Directors is to hire a new chief executive officer and refine a handbook for premium and basic members of eXtension. 

USDA-NIFA Seeks Peer Review Panelists – Cooperative Extension often asks how to be more competitive with grants available from USDA-NIFA. One answer is to assure more professionals who understand how Cooperative Extension “extends knowledge, changes lives” are on grants panels. To be placed in the pool of potential panelists for the Children, Youth and Families at Risk funding, please email with the subject line “CYFAR 2015 Peer Review Panel.” Volunteering for other panels is encouraged. 

Missouri University Extension Annual Report – Check out for outcomes-based programming “extending knowledge, changing lives” under the leadership of ECOP member Michael Ouart, Vice Provost for Extension, University of Missouri. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

ECOP Working for You

ECOP Working for You – ECOP Chair Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University, hosted ECOP members, liaisons and guests last week in Charleston, SC. Discussion topics focused on private-public fund development, follow-up to a NIFA-CES Retreat, linkages with the National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research and other partners, involvement with new requirements for SNAP-ED, public release of the impacts database, launching of the Cooperative Extension Innovation Inventory project, and recommendations for additional representation on the NEW eXtension Foundation Board of Directors. Watch the ECOP Monday Minute for details. 

ECOP Chair Delbert Foster, front left, and ECOP Chair-elect Michelle Rodgers, front right,
are joined by ECOP members, liaisons, and guests at the ECOP meeting
March 17-18, 2015 in Charleston, SC.

Food Safety Opportunities for Extension Education – See for a webinar invitation from the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) 11:00 a.m. – Noon ET, Thursday, April 30, 2015. The focus will be on how Cooperative Extension can become involved in helping small businesses prepare for and comply with regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act. Registration is required. Questions can be directed to Dawn Johnson

USDA Releases Plant Breeding Roadmap – USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) thanks stakeholders for input on the new Plant Breeding Roadmap It was developed by the interagency USDA OCS Plant Breeding Working Group (PBWG), including ARS, NIFA, ERS, FS, and NRCS, and draws on extensive stakeholder input. Plant breeding is one of agriculture’s most effective tools for adapting to new circumstances. It will be a key component in ensuring versatility and adaptability of agriculture systems, through plants bred for adaptation and productivity in conditions more variable than in the past, with many other characteristics such as pest resistances, cooking qualities, and nutritional value. 

Inform Extension’s Urban Agenda – The National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) are dedicated Extension professionals advancing the strategic importance and long-term value of urban Extension platforms. NUEL has a 13-member steering committee including representatives from eleven 1862 and one 1890 land-grant institutions. NUEL is creating a national urban agenda for Extension to be more relevant and resilient in our urban and suburban communities. NUEL has begun to create a national urban Extension network where Extension faculty and staff can share ideas and resources to help implement and refine creative programs aimed at solving our nation’s pressing urban issues. NUEL invites you to the 2015 National Urban Extension Conference and to a meeting to set the national agenda on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the Ravinia Ballroom

National 2015 Extension Awards Due June 1 – ECOP and USDA-NIFA announces the 2015 nomination process for the national Excellence in Extension and Diversity awards. The due date for on-line nominations is June 1st. Regions are subject to announcing earlier deadlines for their purposes. CLICK HERE for contact information by Region. For details and to access the online nomination forms go to: Questions can be directed to Sandy Ruble, ECOP Staff Associate. 

USDA-NIFA RFA Release Dates – For those who have asked about the general timeframe for RFA releases, Paula Geiger of USDA-NIFA’s Budget Office recommends referencing the end of the FY 2016 Explanatory Notes AFRI appears on pages 19-114, where it states: “The Expected FY 2016 RFA Publication Dates for AFRI are 9/1/2015 through 12/31/2015.” Other competitive programs begin on page 19-120, and run through the end of the document with various estimated RFA dates for many other competitive programs. These are general guidelines. Applicants are reminded that plans change as situations change. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

ECOP Meets in Charleston, SC

ECOP Meets in Charleston, SC – ECOP Chair Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University,
welcomes ECOP members, liaisons and guests to South Carolina this week. Key agenda items are the Cooperative Extension Innovation Inventory, Excellence in Extension and Diversity Awards, the NEW eXtension, and SNAP-ED. ECOP’s national leadership addresses core themes of building partnerships and acquiring resources, increasing strategic marketing and communications, enhancing leadership and professional development, and strengthening organizational functioning. For more information, see

ECOP Chair Delbert Foster
UDSA-NIFA Waterfront Center
Washington, DC - 3.12.15

ECOP and ESCOP Chairs Visit USDA-NIFA – ECOP Chair Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University, and ESCOP Chair Bob Shulstad, University of Georgia spent a day last week at USDA-NIFA. A seminar Research to Application: National Leadership, Local Action was presented to NIFA national program leaders and others. The Cooperative Extension and Experiment Station leaders also met with the NIFA Executive Council and planning and accountability, budget, and grants management staff. The theme throughout the strengthening the partnership with USDA-NIFA. 

ESCOP Chair Bob Shulstad &
ECOP Chair Delbert Foster
USDA-NIFA Waterfront Center
Washington, DC - 3.12.15

EFNEP Conference Features ECOP – The 2015 National Coordinator’s Conference for EFNEP themed Promoting Healthy Lifestyles this week in Arlington, VA features a Tuesday keynote by ECOP Chair-elect Michelle Rodgers on Health in America: A Framework for Extension’s Second Century. Wrapping up the meeting on Thursday will be ECOP Chair Delbert Foster together with L. Washington Lyons, Executive Administrator, Association of Extension Administrators, providing an update on ECOP national leadership and summarizing details of the 1890 universities 125th celebration Cooperative Extension/ECOP Executive Director Jane Schuchardt speaks as part of a Monday panel on Educating, Not Advocating – Hill Visits for a Lasting Impression.

6th Annual Legacy Awards April 23The 2015 Legacy Awards, National 4-H Council's largest fundraising event, is April 23, 2015 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The annual event celebrates the accomplishments of 4-H and Cooperative Extension, including the young people, volunteers and professionals who make life-changing experiences possible for millions of 4-H'ers. Among the highlights will be the introduction of the 2015 Youth in Action Award winner, 4-H'er Nosa Akol from New York. Donations to the Legacy Awards can be made here and tickets to the event can be purchased here. Direct questions to National 4-H Council’s Special Events Manager, Rachel Mentzer at

Extension Producer Education Update – As a result of Title I of the Agriculture Act of 2014 (farm bill), Cooperative Extension nationwide is collaborating with the USDA-Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide producer education related to federal farm programs. An eXtension site aggregates information and highlights program efforts.

USDA-NIFA Announces New Web Site – See Note especially the user-friendly navigation and compatibility with mobile devices. Cooperative Extension is highlighted on the site at From the home page, go to About NIFA, then How We Work

National 2015 Extension Awards Due June 1 – ECOP and USDA-NIFA announces the 2015 nomination process for the national Excellence in Extension and Diversity awards. The due date for on-line nominations is June 1st. Regions are subject to announcing earlier deadlines for their purposes. CLICK HERE for contact information by Region. For details and to access the online nomination forms go to: Questions can be directed to Sandy Ruble, ECOP Staff Associate.

Monday, March 9, 2015

National 4-H Council Congressional Breakfast

National 4-H Council Congressional Breakfast – This year's Congressional Breakfast will be April 15 from 8:30-9:30 am at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in room G-50. The purpose is to bring together Members of Congress, land-grant university and Cooperative Extension leaders and 4-H youth from across the country to highlight the proven impact of 4-H and Cooperative Extension on America's young people. The re-launch of the Congressional 4-H Caucus will be announced. This highlights Members of Congress who are 4-H alumni and friends of 4-H. For more information on the event, resources for reaching out to your Member of Congress and where to RSVP, please see the Materials for the 2015 Congressional Breakfast or contact Kelly Baird at

Robert Kallenbach, Plant Sciences Extension Program Leader,
and Forage Specialist, University of Missouri Extension;
1310 Longworth House Office Building,
Washington, D.C. 3.3.15
Extension Award Winner on Capitol Hill – Cooperative Extension’s 2014 Excellence in Extension national award winner was featured at an NC-FAR Capitol Hill Lunch/Learn event last week designed for Congressional staffers. Robert Kallenbach, University of Missouri, spoke about The Wisdom of Crowds: Can the Public Guide Research and Extension Programs? See for the PowerPoint presentation and be sure to watch for a quick glimpse into the impacts of Dr. Kallenbach’s research and Extension work. Michael Ouart, Director, University of Missouri Extension, moderated the Hill session and especially emphasized the value of federal capacity funding. 

Robert Kallenbach and Michael Ouart at
NC-FAR Capitol Hill Lunch/Learn
ECOP Continues Focus on Social MediaThe national ECOP social media platforms established last year for the Cooperative Extension Centennial are continuing to be used to promote the good work being done by our system. Your help is needed to identify pictures, videos, and stories from your states to share through our platforms. We are particularly looking for state specialists to come forward with topical information about Cooperative Extension priority areas. If you have information ready to be shared across social media, please have your faculty contact Bill Woodrum, Social Media Associate for ECOP, at Find the national Cooperative Extension Social media pages at: 

SNAP-ED Program Development Team Names New Members – Kathleen Manenica (WSU), Megan Ness (NDSU), and Karla Shelnutt (UFL) are the newest members of the LGU SNAP-Ed Program Development Team. PDT members serve on one of three committees: Communication, Reporting and Evaluation, or Legislative and Reporting. The work of the PDT is supported by assessments from institutions where Cooperative Extension receives funding for SNAP-ED. 

USDA-NIFA Webinar on FY 2015 Centers of Excellence ImplementationThe 2014 Farm Bill requires that NIFA give priority in competitive research and Extension funding to Centers of Excellence in the food and agricultural sciences. In NIFA’s outreach efforts, the Office of Grants and Financial Management will hold an educational webinar to present information on the FY15 implementation of the Centers of Excellence provision. The webinar will be 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Thursday, March 12, 2015. Connect at

Monday, March 2, 2015

ECOP Announces Health Implementation Strategy

ECOP Announces Health Implementation Strategy – Complementary to the BAA-BOHS Healthy Food Systems, Healthy People Steering Committee, ECOP, in collaboration with ESCOP, has launched specific action teams related to human health and wellness as outlined in the ECOP Health Task Force Report. The action teams and chairs are Health Literacy, Sonja Koukel, New Mexico State University; Health Insurance Literacy, Virginia Brown, University of Maryland; Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, David Buys, Mississippi State University; Positive Youth Development for Youth, Sekai Turner, North Carolina A&T University; and Health Policy Issues Education, Roberta Riportella, Kansas State University. Celvia Stovall, Alabama Extension, and Rick Klemme, Wisconsin Extension, represent ECOP on the Steering Committee and will coordinate the efforts of the action teams.

National Impacts Database Public Launch – The National Impacts Database Committee is pleased to announce the launch of the public-facing Land-Grant Impacts website which is the front door to the National Impacts Database. The website showcases how land-grant universities use teaching, research, and Extension to positively affect the agriculture industry, local communities, and the nation at large, and the Database, jointly sponsored by ECOP and ESCOP, uses impact statements to document university Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension advancements. Both online resources were developed and will be maintained by several Land-grant universities. The website and database are hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

NC-FAR Capitol Hill Seminars Feature Cooperative Extension – Cooperative Extension is on Capitol Hill Tuesday, 3.3.15, as part of the National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research lunch/learn series. Featured is Robert Kallenbach, University of Missouri, who won the Cooperative Extension National Award for Excellence in 2014. He will focus comments for Congressional staffers on research and Extension education focusing on better pasture management practices. These efforts led to more than $100 million in new investments in diary operations in Missouri, which, in turn, generated $40 million in annual milk sales and supported 1,110 new jobs.  Michael Ouart, Missouri Extension Director, will moderate the session and comment on the value of capacity funds.  

National Extension Energy Summit The National Extension Energy Summit (NEES) April 7-10, 2015 in Seattle is an opportunity for Extension professionals to share experiences and knowledge, learn from successes and challenges, and build new partnerships for energy programs. The Summit will bring together expertise from Extension supporting sustainable and renewable energy, home and farm energy efficiency, and community energy programs. 

NC-FAR Releases Annual Report – The National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research provides an Annual Report and PowerPoint summary of 2014 efforts. ECOP maintains a membership in NC-FAR with Tim Cross, University of Tennessee, serving on the Board of Directors, and Michael Ouart, University of Missouri, serving on the Research and Outreach Committee. NC-FAR’s mission is to sustain and increase federal funding in food and agricultural research, Extension and education. The customer-led coalition provides a common forum and a unified voice for agriculture research, Extension and education (RE&E). 

Cooperative Extension Annual Reports – Cooperative Extension directors and administrators are encouraged to use the ECOP Monday Minute for national visibility of Extension annual reports and other communications of interest across the system. For example, see the Iowa State University 2014 annual report and the North Dakota State University report at