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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.

Monday, August 17, 2015

NEDA 2015 to Highlight Innovation Showcase

Unmanned aerial systems, urban food hubs, gardening for at-risk youth, and using commodities to fund Extension programs are just some of the innovative Extension efforts to be showcased at the National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Meeting October 12-14, 2015 in St. Louis. Eight Extension innovations, plus eXtension, have been chosen from 151 reported to Ohio State State University as part of the ECOP-sponsored Cooperative Extension Innovation Inventory to be unveiled at NEDA 2015. The hands-on showcase will be available all day Tuesday, October 13, 2015 for viewing and engagement with university and eXtension colleagues. NEDA registration is available at

ECOP Members – Delbert Foster, Mark Latimore, Jr., and Celvia Stovall
1890 Land-grant Day August 30th – The United States Senate passed a resolution designating August 30, 2015 as “1890 Land-Grant Institutions Quasquicentennial Recognition Day.” The resolution, which Senator John Boozman (R-AK) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) led, recognizes the legacy of the Morrill Act of 1890, which helped establish public universities accessible to African Americans in states that had previously excluded them. The resolution notes the contributions 1890 Universities have made in developing agricultural leaders and urges the Department of Agriculture to “remain committed to supporting the goals of the Second Morrill Act.” ECOP members representing the Cooperative Extension 1890 Universities Region are Delbert Foster, Chair, South Carolina State University; Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University, and Celiva Stovall, Alabama Cooperative Extension System.   

Health Focus of Planning Grant – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded National 4-H Council a six-month planning grant to bring together diverse stakeholders from Cooperative Extension, Council, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to build on the ECOP National Task Force on Health work to transform the culture of health. Council will work in close collaboration with a Design Team comprised of Extension representatives to create a model enabling the Cooperative Extension System to address national trends that relate to major health issues, particularly childhood obesity. Design team members are Michelle Rodgers, ECOP Chair-elect (University of Delaware), Lorrene Ritchie (University of California), Tammy Bray (Oregon State University), Tom Coon, (Oklahoma State University), Linda Kirk Fox (University of Georgia), Rick Klemme (University of Wisconsin), and Celvia Stovall (Alabama A&M University) with USDA-NIFA liaisons Lisa Lauxman and Caroline Crocoll. 
Funding Through Prizes – Check out, a one-stop federal government site focusing on prizes to address tough challenges. Over the last five years, more than 400 public-sector prize competitions have provided more than $72 million in prizes. View a presentation on prizes and challenges provided recently to APLU staff at Presenters were Jennifer Gustetic, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Christopher Nelson, Georgetown University. In addition to competing for prize money, using this competitive approach to finding solutions to vexing problems also has promise. 

Ohio State University in the City Webinar – The Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research invites you to it third Metropolitan Extension Models webinar at Noon PT, 3:00 p.m. ET, on Thursday, August 27, 2015. Register at This fast-paced session begins with the framework of Ohio State University’s urban mission and OSU Extension’s emerging model in Ohio’s largest cities. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Monday, August 10, 2015

NEDA 2015 to Debut Innovation Video

Attend NEDA 2015 and be the first to see Cooperative’s Extension new video on innovation. Ten Cooperative Extension Directors/Administrators have been selected by the NEDA 2015 Planning Committee, Jimmy Henning, Chair, to be interviewed at the National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Meeting October 12-14, 2015 in St. Louis. Colleagues from University of Missouri Extension will tape, edit, and produce the video on site. It will be aired as NEDA 2015 wraps up at noon on October 14th. Registration is available

ECOP Endorses 4-H Brand Project – At its July 2015 face-to-face meeting in Providence, RI, ECOP unanimously endorsed in concept the proposed 4-H field marketing project as recommended by the 4-H National Leadership Committee co-chaired by Ed Jones, Virginia Tech, and Renee McKee, Purdue University. The project is expected to mobilize nearly one million 4-H alumni, broaden the 4-H reach to underserved youth, especially in suburbs and urban centers, and generate national awareness for Cooperative Extension’s premiere positive youth development program. To find out more on building the 4-H brand, join a webinar hosted by National 4-H Council offered twice on 8.11.15 and 8.19.15. Register at

ECOP Resolution on Urban Programming Lauds North Central Region – At its July 2015 face-to-face meeting in Providence, RI, ECOP passed a motion from the Program Committee co-chaired by Mary Jane Willis, Rutgers University, and Jon Boren, New Mexico State University, to recognize the North Central Region for its organizational commitment to urban programming. The resolution pointed out how the North Central Region has “provided effective leadership in organizing, hosting and promoting the National Urban Extension Conference for several years and providing opportunities for sharing best practices and professional networking.” The next conference in 2017 will take place in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota locality. 

USDA-NIFA Partnership Awards Nominations Due 8.31.15 – USDA-NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy reminds Cooperative Extension colleagues to submit applications for the Partnership Awards Program. Awards this year recognize mission integration (research, education, and Extension), multistate efforts, innovative programs and projects, effective and efficient use of resources, and program improvement through global engagement. Nominations can be submitted for individuals and teams of up to 20 members. Nomination details were provided via direct correspondence to Cooperative Extension Directors/Administrators in July 2015. Award presentations will be made in October 2015. 

Journal of Higher Education Outreach & Engagement – See for guidelines on submitting scholarly papers to the Journal of Higher Education Outreach & Engagement, a publication of the University of Georgia’s Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, Institute of Higher Education, College of Education & Extension Service. The mission of the JHEOE is to serve as the premier peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal to advance theory and practice related to all forms of engagement and outreach between higher education institutions and communities. Manuscripts from Cooperative Extension professionals are welcomed.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fernandez to Keynote NEDA 2015

Claudia Fernandez, Director, Leadership Core, FSLI,  &
LaJune Montgomery Tabron, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
How do you create a culture of innovation in your organization? What are the characteristics of an innovator? What innovations can frame Cooperative Extension’s next century? These questions and more will be addressed by Claudia Fernandez, director, Leadership Core, Food Systems Leadership Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, at the 2015 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Meeting October 12-14, 2015 in St. Louis. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Fernandez’s presentation at NEDA will kick off peer-to-peer learning around the theme Innovation: Driving Extension’s Next Century based on the new Cooperative Extension Innovation Inventory scheduled for release just prior to the meeting. Kellogg Foundation CEO LaJune Montgomery Tabron, will bring comments via video. Register at

Promotion Flier for Impacts Database – The National Imparts Database Committee, Tim Cross, Chair, University of Tennessee, announces the availability of a promotional postcard in both email and print versions for the impacts database at These resources are available through the password protected portion of the web site. The committee encourages broad use of the postcards to promote the value of this database. 

USDA-NIFA Releases RFA Schedule – NIFA’s Office of Grants and Financial Management has established a Request for Application (RFA) Schedule that includes anticipated dates of publication for the remaining FY2015 RFAs. NIFA does not guarantee that the RFAs will be published by these dates. This schedule is for informational purposes only and will be updated on a biweekly basis. Questions about this list may be addressed to Lisa DePaolo, or phone at 202.401.5061. 

POW and Accomplishment Report Review Assignments – See to find out who at USDA-NIFA will review the Plan of Work and Accomplishment Report from your land-grant institution. 

2014 Farm Bill Commodity Boards Webinar – USDA-NIFA invites you to a webinar at 2:30 p.m. ET, Thursday, 8.6.15 to learn about the process for implementing the 2014 Farm Bill Commodity Boards provision. The 2014 Farm Bill allows eligible national and state commodity boards to propose topics for research that they will 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). Among other requirements, eligible commodity boards must address an agricultural commodity that includes a combination of promotion, research, industry information, or consumer information activities. Additional information is available in the Federal Register Notice Solicitation of Commodity Board Topics and Contribution of Funding Under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, Implementation, published 7.24.15, or at To join the webinar, go to Questions can be directed to Bill Hoffman at, 202.401.1112.