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Monday, February 23, 2015

National 2015 Extension Awards

National 2015 Extension Awards – 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: http://www.aplu.org/CESawards.Questions can be directed to Sandy Ruble sandy.ruble@extension.org, ECOP Staff Associate.

USDA-NIFA Webinars on FY 2015 Centers of ExcellenceThe 2014 Farm Bill requires that NIFA give priority in competitive research and Extension funding to Centers of Excellence in the food and agricultural sciences. As part of its outreach effort, NIFA’s Office of Grants and Financial Management will hold two educational webinars to present information on the FY15 implementation of the Centers of Excellence Provision. The webinars will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. EST, Feb. 26 and March 5, 2015 - Webinar access. NIFA will be announcing a separate series of webinars to solicit stakeholder input on FY 2016 Centers of Excellence Implementation. 

NEW eXtension Seeks CEO – The eXtension Foundation Board of Directors has released the Chief Executive Officer position description, which is available at about.extension.org under Featured News. The position closes at 5:00 pm P.T. on Monday, 3.16.15. Mail completed applications to Michelle Giddens michellegiddens@extension.org. Questions can be directed to Dennis Calvin dcalvin@psu.edu, Chair, eXtension Governing Committee, or Elbert Dickey edickey@extension.org, Executive Director, eXtension Foundation. 

NEW eXtension Displays at Ag Outlook Forum – The NEW eXtension, a member-driven initiative of Cooperative Extension, was a center attraction at the 2015 USDA Agriculture Outlook Forum http://www.usda.gov/oce/forum/ last week in Crystal City, VA. Extension education innovations in big data, unmanned aerial systems, virtual reality, and wearable technologies were highlights of the exhibit area at the forum.
Cathie Woteki, USDA Chief Scientist and Research,
Education and Economics Under Secretary,
trying out wearable technologies.
Victor Villegas, Oregon State University,
shows the micro "drone" unmanned
aerial vehicle he demonstrated.

FY 2016 Federal Budget Priorities – See http://land-grant.org/appropriations_docs.html for the documents summarizing the Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) Congressional requests for the FY 2016 Federal Budget Priorities. In addition to the overall document to be used by the Council of Agriculture Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) during Hill visits the first week in March, there are documents for each of the seven priorities – Smith-Lever (b)&(c), 1890 Institutions Extension, Hatch Act, Evans-Allen, McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry 1994 Institutions Research and Extension, and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. Cooperative Extension leaders representing ECOP in this decision-making process are ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee Chair Rick Klemme, University of Wisconsin, and BAA Policy Board of Directors elected member Tim Cross, University of Tennessee. 

National Health Outreach Conference – Early bird registration ends April 1, 2015 for the National Health Outreach Conference May 6-8, 2015 in Atlanta. Highlights of the meeting include a pre-conference Workshop, educational Tours, and keynote Speakers. See www.nationalhealthoutreach.org for more information. 

APLU Launches New Website – A massive overhaul and redesign of www.aplu.org features a more intuitive navigation system, new ways to feature member institutions, a more functional library of APLU publications, and better integration with social media platforms. Built with a responsive design, the new website also is more friendly for those viewing it on a phone or tablet. ECOP maintains information on the APLU site that can be viewed via the redirect URL of www.extension.org/ecop.

Monday, February 9, 2015

FY 2016 Budget Priorities for Advocacy

In honor of Washington’s Birthday (Presidents’ Day), ECOP Monday Minute will return on 2.23.15. 

FY 2016 Budget Priorities for Advocacy – Rick Klemme, ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee Chair and ECOP representative to the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly Budget and Advocacy Committee, University of Wisconsin, will meet with colleagues 2.10.15 to finalize FY 2016 budget priorities. Decisions and supporting documents will be posted at www.land-grant.org. Additional details about the USDA portion of the President’s FY 2016 proposed budget can be found at http://www.obpa.usda.gov. Check http://www.csrees.usda.gov/about/offices/budget.html for the expected posting of the USDA-NIFA brochure related to the FY 2016 Budget. 

ECOP Launches Innovation Inventory Project – Keith Smith, Extension Director, Ohio State University, has been retained by ECOP to develop a Cooperative Extension Innovation Inventory. The purpose of the qualitative study is to determine what innovation in programming, resource development, and administrative processes are underway as Cooperative Extension launches its second 100 years. The report will frame an October 2015 Cooperative Extension meeting where Directors/Administrators will have opportunity to learn characteristics of an innovative organization and what it takes to lead one. Cooperative Extension directors and administrators responsible for day-to-day operations will be contacted by phone. 

Measuring Excellence in Extension (MEiE) Team Meets in DC – Joe Zublena, MEiE Implementation Team Chair, North Carolina State University, meets February 18-19, 2015 in Washington, DC to continue work on the password protected portion of the web site at www.landgrantimpacts.org designed specifically for Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators. The purpose is to report management data (e.g. personnel, funding) that can be shared amongst institutions. For questions on how to submit data, contact Scott Cummings, s-cummings@tamu.edu, 979.847.9388. 

Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) Invites Applications – Applications for a new FSLI cohort, designed to launch new leaders for food and agriculture research, Extension and academic programs, are being accepted. See www.fsli.org for details. 

World Conference Paper Deadline Extended – February 15, 2015 is the new deadline to submit papers for the June 24-26, 2015 GCHERA conference in Kaslik, Lebanon. GCHERA is the Global Confederation on Higher Education Association for Agricultural and Life Sciences. The 2015 conference theme is “Nutritional Security and Environmental Sustainability for Human Health.” See www.gchera.org for details. Ian Maw, APLU Vice President for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources, is GCHERA vice president.

Monday, February 2, 2015

NEW eXtension Elects Governing Board Members

NEW eXtension Elects Governing Board Members – Members of the NEW eXtension have elected the following regional representatives for the Board of Governors: 1890s, VERNON JONES – Associate Administrator, Langston University; North Central, JASON HENDERSON, Extension Director, Purdue University; Northeast, DENNIS CALVIN, Extension Director, Pennsylvania State University; Southern, DOUG STEELE – Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service; Western, FRED SCHLUTT – Extension Director, University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Additional members will be added as specified in the final report about the NEW eXtension. Among the initial tasks of the NEW eXtension Board of Governors will be to launch a search process of a chief executive officer. Elbert Dickey continues as interim director through April. 

FY 2016 USDA-NIFA Budget ReviewNIFA Director, Sonny Ramaswamy will conduct a webinar on the Agency’s Fiscal Year 2016 President’s Budget Proposal on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 5 p.m. EST. Up to 250 users may connect to the webinar at http://nifa-connect.nifa.usda.gov/sonny. The webinar will be recorded. Participants have the option to use a teleconference line in lieu of their computer sound system or dial into the teleconference line for audio only. The presentation is not expected to be graphic intensive. You may join the teleconference up to 5 minutes prior to the scheduled start. The dial in numbers are as follows: Dial-in: 1-888-621-9649 or 1-617-231-2734. 

ECOP Names Social Media AssociateExtension: The Next Century – Extending Knowledge, Changing Lives is the central message of ECOP’s social media endeavors in 2015. Bill Woodrum, former Extension Administrator, West Virginia State University, has been named the ECOP Social Media Associate through December. The goal is to expand the strong social media presence on social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) established during the centennial last year. Please encourage Extension professionals at all levels and partners to connect at facebook.com/Extension100years and twitter.com/#ext100years. Ideas for social media content may be sent to Bill at extensioncentennial@gmail.com. 

Grant Workshops Focus on Local FoodsThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) are partnering on the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance (AMSTA) Project to conduct workshops that will help potential grant applicants understand, develop, and submit their Federal grant applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. The effort is directed by Stephan J. Goetz of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development based at Penn State University. A list of upcoming grant workshop dates and locations can be found at http://www.amsta.net

2015 Assessments – APLU has distributed electronic assessment statements to the 75 universities in the Board on Agriculture Assembly Cooperative Extension Section. ECOP’s national leadership is solely funded through assessments for two accounts, the Office of the Executive Director, which covers salary, benefits, indirect costs paid to APLU, and travel and office expenses for the Executive Director and Staff Associate; and Strategic Priorities and Operations, which supports ECOP committees, teams and projects. An additional assessment covers work of the SNAP-ED National Program Development Team and goes to those Extension Services providing education for SNAP recipients. Based on a vote of the Cooperative Extension Section as of 11.17.14, the eXtension assessment is replaced by a membership funding model. 

Volunteerism Conference – The 2015 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism is May 4-7, 2015, Portland, ME. It is designed for Cooperative Extension professionals who manage volunteers. Details are at http://extension.umaine.edu/programs/necv/. Registration is due April 15, 2015. 

On Climate Change – Mike Hoffmann, Cornell University and past chair of the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP) has released a TEDx talk on YouTube “Climate change: It’s time to raise our voices". He leads a Northeastern U.S. and Eastern Canada climate change initiative, and established an Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture that helps food growers adapt to changing conditions. ECOP, ESCOP and USDA signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2014 pledging to work together to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

Enhancing Energy Literacy The Department of Energy (DOE), along with the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), released the first four videos in a series highlighting each of the seven essential principles presented in the DOE Energy Literacy Framework. The Framework seeks to help educators of all disciplines and age groups incorporate a multidisciplinary approach to energy into their lessons and programs. The final three videos are expected by September 2015. In addition, DOE is also announcing the Spanish-language version of its Get Current coloring book, which is part of an ongoing effort to expand educational resources for the growing Spanish-speaking population in the United States. ECOP continues involvement with the State Energy Extension Partnership, chaired by Beverly Samuels, USDA-NIFA.