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Monday, October 12, 2015

Top Honors for Extension Excellence and Diversity Announced

Joe Outlaw,
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension
Joe Outlaw, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, will receive the 2015 Excellence in Extension Award for his commitment to community engagement and his visionary leadership as Extension educator. A second honor, the National Extension Diversity Award, goes to a pilot program called Texas Grow! Eat! Go! aimed at improving community health through exercise and nutrition education, also from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Both awards will be presented at the 128th Annual Meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in Indianapolis, Indiana, November 15-17, 2015. The Excellence in Extension Award is a national award given annually to one Cooperative Extension professional in recognition of visionary leadership, excellence in programming, and positive impact on their community. The National Diversity Award recognizes an Extension program exhibiting significant contributions and accomplishments in achieving and sustaining diversity and pluralism. In addition to the national recognitions, one Extension educator from each of the five Cooperative Extension regions (northeast, north central, south, west, and 1890 universities), will be recognized for excellence at the APLU Annual Meeting. The 2015 Regional Excellence in Extension recipients are Virginie Zoumenou, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Julie Garden-Robinson, North Dakota State University; Changlu Wang, Rutgers University; Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University, and Dana Martin, Oregon State University. USDA-NIFA and Cooperative Extension have sponsored the Excellence in Extension and National Diversity awards since 1991. 

Extension Twitter Town Hall This Week – On Wednesday 10:30 – 11:00 a.m. ET, 10.14.15, Agriculture Is America will host a Twitter town hall with the University of the District of Columbia, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, and Southern University’s Ag Center. These institutions are among eight showcased at the 2015 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) meeting this week in St. Louis. Submit questions using the hashtag #agischat to @AgIsAmerica. The link to the Twitter page is Extension educators from each institution will make up a experts to answer questions about youth development, unmanned aerial systems, health, nutrition, urban agriculture, and more. 

Participate in SNAP-ED SurveyThe SNAP-Ed Program Development Team, Paula Peters, Chair, Kansas State University, requests your assistance in documenting the impact of land-grant universities with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) educational programs. Expect to receive the survey in late October with a due date of 12.15.15. Previous reports describe this portion of Cooperative Extension’s nutrition education programming and provide information for decision-makers and other stakeholders. 

Susan Crowell, CARET Liaison to ECOP
CARET Liaison to ECOP Gets National Award – Susan Crowell, who represents the Council on Agriculture Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) on ECOP, received the National Friends of Extension Award last week at the Epsilon Sigma Phi National Conference in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Crowell is editor of Farm and Dairy, a regional newspaper based in northeastern Ohio. 

Eliminating Childhood ObesityRobert Wood Johnson Foundation Update: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded a planning grant to permit the Cooperative Extension System to determine how Extension could partner with the RWJF to address childhood obesity through evidence-based programming. National 4-H Council serves as the fiscal agent and sought the funding based on the Cooperative Extension National Framework for Health and Wellness (March 2014) A National Leadership Advisory Team (NLAT), facilitated by Bonnie Braun, University of Maryland (retired), convened the first of three on-site meetings at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in September 2015. NLAT includes representatives from multiple facets of Extension, including four college-aged 4-H youth representatives. A special thanks to Michelle Rodgers, ECOP chair-elect, University of Delaware, for her leadership and participation on NLAT and to Delbert Foster, ECOP Chair, South Carolina State University, for his support of this initiative. The advisory team determined that in general, Extension is positioned to help eliminate childhood obesity because of its commitment to health and wellness; its capacity to engage with others to address societal issues such as childhood obesity; and its ability to contribute to transformational change resulting in health and wellness for all. It is presently studying evidence-based obesity intervention programs both within and outside of Extension. Additional information will be shared following the November 9th NLAT meeting. 

Timberline Manifesto Featured in JOE – See the current issue of the Journal of Extension (JOE), August 2015 for a paper by ECOP members Scott Reed, Oregon State University, and Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, along with Lou Swanson, Colorado State University, called the Timberline Manifesto: Seven Concepts Linking Extension and Engagement. It describes discussion by the Western Region Extension Directors (WEDA) on a vision for institutional engagement in Extension’s next century.