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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.