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Monday, April 20, 2015

Walk for 1890 Universities and Wellness

Walk for 1890 Universities and Wellness – Take time this week, 4.23.15, to join students, faculty, supporters, and all friends of 1890 universities to celebrate 125 years of stepping forward. Walk or run 1.89 miles and donate to support the Justin Morrill Scholarship Fund. For details, CLICK HERE. To find out how to donate, see

White House Meeting Marks Historic Day for 4-HEight 4-H youth met with President Barack Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the White House on April 13. The 4-H'ers highlighted the Cooperative Extension programs they are engaged in to improve their communities in healthy living, food security and STEM education. The youth from Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland and Utah were invited to the Oval Office by Secretary Vilsack as part of the White House Rural Council’s ongoing effort to turn the tide against rural poverty. The meeting with President Obama continues a tradition started in the early 1900’s. Since President William Taft, every sitting U.S. President has met with a delegation of 4-H youth at the White House. 
Eight 4-H youth, President Barack Obama, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
The White House, April 13, 2015
BAA Releases Message Testing Report – See for a summary of the recent message testing project conducted by kglobal. This information supports the work of the AHS-ESCOP-ECOP Communications and Marketing Committee, chaired by Scott Reed, Oregon State University. From November 2014 – February 2015, kglobal conducted five regional focus groups and one national survey, to gather qualitative and quantitative data about public sentiment towards the primary goals, messages, messengers, and media of the Agriculture is America campaign. Some findings are: The majority of focus group participants and survey respondents supported the land-grant mission, especially as it relates to Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension; scientists are regarded as the most credible messengers of information, especially related to focus topics of water security and nutrition and health, and online news sites were the most popular for obtaining information. It is recommended that deans, directors, and administrators review the findings in this report with communicators and encourage them to incorporate the results into their communications strategies as they find appropriate. 

ECOP BLC Leads Budget Informational Session – ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee (BLC) Vice-Chair Doug Steele, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, led a session last week associated with the Public Issues Leadership Development Conference in Crystal City, VA. Steele, at right in photo, was joined by, left to right, BLC Chair Rick Klemme, University of Wisconsin; Hunt Shipman, Cornerstone Government Affairs, and Rick Mertens, Texas A&M AgriLife Federal Relations. Extension directors and administrators got an overview of 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.

Nominate Justin Morrill Lecturer – June 10, 2015 is the deadline for submitting nominations for Justin Smith Morrill lecture, sponsored by USDA-NIFA and APLU. The lecture, delivered at the 2015 APLU Annual Meeting November 15-17 in Indianapolis honors outstanding contemporary leadership in teaching and significant contributions as an educator. In the nomination, include the name of the nominee, title, address, telephone number, and e-mail address and topic that could be discussed. Send to Kimberly Whittet at

Extension Award Nominations Due 6.1.15 – ECOP 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. Nominations, submitted online, must be completed by this date and 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.