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Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Holidays from ECOP

Please enjoy this brief photo review of 2015 highlights.

ECOP Monday Minute will return on 1.11.16. It has been our pleasure working with you this year and look forward to a new year filled with exemplary national leadership on behalf of Cooperative Extension state and local programming.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Honoring Mary Jane Willis

Mary Jane Willis joins Delbert Foster, left, ECOP immediate past chair,
and Jay Akridge, APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly
Policy Board of Directors chair, at a November 2015
APLU Annual Meeting award ceremony in Indianapolis.
ECOP has lost a valued member, an exemplary partner, and a special friend. Mary Jane Willis, Associate Director, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, lost a valiant battle with cancer Saturday, December 5th. Mary Jane served on ECOP since 2010 and was recently tapped by the Northeast region to serve another four-year term. She provided significant national leadership through the ECOP Program Committee especially focusing on her passion for Extension urban programming. On November 15th, she was on hand at the APLU Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, as the photo shows, to accept a Regional Award for Excellence in Extension on behalf of Changlu Wang, Rutgers Extension Entomologist. Mary Jane’s middle name was Cooperative Extension. She working tirelessly for the national system and for the state of New Jersey to assure Extension programming was of highest quality, honored diversity, and showed quantifiable impacts.

ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware; Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Lou Swanson, Colorado State University; Nick Place, University of Florida, and Cathann Kress, Iowa State University
Extension Colleagues Named to APLU New Engagement Planning Team – ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware; Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Lou Swanson, Colorado State University; Nick Place, University of Florida, and Cathann Kress, Iowa State University, represent the Cooperative Extension Section of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly on a New Engagement Planning Team convened by APLU. The team will recommend a process for establishing and engaging APLU members and stakeholders in a Task Force on “The New Engagement” for public higher education. The eventual Task Force will be charged with envisioning a new, broadly inclusive definition for university engagement, and also charged with making recommendations for university actions to realize this vision. Co-chairs are Mark Hussey, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, and Roy Wilson, President, Wayne State University. Other planning team members represent the APLU Council on Engagement and Outreach (CEO), the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP), and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. 

News from Extension’s Federal Partner – USDA-NIFA has:
  1. Updated its Commodity Board webpage at The 2014 Farm Bill Commodity Boards provision allows eligible national and state commodity boards, and marketing orders to propose topics for research that they are willing to 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). Direct questions to
  2. Established a Data Gateway to its datasets, 2002 to present, which can be used to help tell the story of what activities are funded by NIFA and the impact of that funding. Heat maps allow Gateway users to see the total amount of funding by state, and what grants make up the total for 2011 and 2015. Suggestions about this tool can be directed to

Monday, December 7, 2015

NEW eXtension Conference Proposals Due 12.20.15

The NEW eXtension is a knowledge-to-action service that is an integral part of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System. It is designed to help Extension professionals increase program visibility and measurable impact locally and system wide. eXtension’s i-Three Event (formerly the National eXtension Conference) in San Antonio, Texas, March 22-25, 2016 will bring together Cooperative Extension educators, communicators, and communities with eXtension’s i-Three Corps members for an exciting co-learning and co-creating adventure. The i-Three Event will focus on the NEW eXtension’s three pillars--Issues, Innovation, Impact—and will equip attendees with the ability to tackle emerging issues with innovative approaches that deliver measurable impact. Proposals for workshops and presentations for the professional development track are due 12.20.15. For details, see

Climate Hubs Webinar This Week – For an update on how USDA Climate Hubs are collaborating with research and Cooperative Extension, join a webinar 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET, 12.10.15 at or by phone at 888-844-9904, code 3964989. Speakers are Randy Johnson, National Program Leader, USDA Regional Climate Hubs; David Hollinger, Lead, Northeast Regional Climate Hub, and Michael Hoffman, Executive Director, Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture. See for details about the climate hubs and for the Memorandum of Understanding signed by USDA and the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly Cooperative Extension and Experiment Station Sections.

Fred Schlutt, ECOP Chair-elect,
University of Alaska
Schlutt Contributes to Urban Agenda – ECOP Chair-elect Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, discussed strategy and policies of urban Extension programming at a Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research workshop last week in Sacramento, CA. Amongst ECOP’s goals for 2016 is to engage with the National Urban Extension Leaders to assist in advancing Cooperative Extension urban programming while maintaining critical rural presence. For all 2016 ECOP goals, see

Michelle Rodgers, ECOP Chair,
University of Delaware
Rodgers at Pesticide Safety Summit – ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, represents the APLU Cooperative Extension Section at a December 9, 2015 Pesticide Safety Education National Stakeholder meeting in Washington, DC. The dialogue is designed to chart the future for pesticide safety education. She joins critical stakeholders from USDA-NIFA, the APLU Experiment Station Section, private companies, and others to engage in this critical discussion.

Cooperative Extension Book Available on Demand Education Through Cooperative Extension is available as print on demand through the University of Arkansas bookstore. To place an order, go to For assistance or to place a mass order, Kathleen Smoot at 479-575-4495 or at

Call for Nominations: Family Life and Human Development Awards – The National Awards Committee for Family Life and Human Development State Specialists is now accepting nominations for awards to state Extension specialists who have made important contributions to the work of Cooperative Extension and who provide clear evidence of program impacts. Nominations will be accepted for awards in two categories. The Early Achievement Award is for persons with 6 or fewer years as a state specialist with Cooperative Extension. The Career Impact Award is for persons with 7 or more years. Awards will be presented during a USDA-NIFA national webinar. Send nominations to Jean Edwards by 12.15.15. For additional information, see Link to Information and Nomination Forms

Call for Nominations: 2015 Jeanne M. Priester Awards – Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Jeanne M. Priester Award. The awards will be presented at the 2016 National Health Outreach Conference Priester Award Luncheon, April 8, 2016 in Roanoke, Virginia. Nominations are due 12.11.15. For details, see The purpose of the award is to honor Extension programs and professionals that positively impact the health and wellness of people across the United States and provide leadership to expand Extension’s capacity to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life.