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Monday, April 27, 2015

SNAP-ED FY 2016 Guidance, Proposal Assistance

SNAP-ED FY 2016 Guidance, Proposal AssistanceThe FY 2016 SNAP Ed Guidance released by USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) on March 31, 2015 http://snap.nal.usda.gov/snap/Guidance/FinalFY2016SNAP-EdGuidance.pdf includes recommendations solicited from the Land-grant Program Development Team and others. Among the changes are clarity on Policy, Systems, and Environment (PSE) interventions, targeting individuals living in low-income communities, and behavioral outcomes on portion control, increased water consumption, and reduced sodium consumption. Proposals are due to USDA-FNS by 8.15.15. State-level deadlines may be earlier. Of the approximately $411 million allocated for FY 2016 http://snap.nal.usda.gov/snap/Guidance/FY2016EstimatedAllocations.pdf, land-grant universities often are awarded a significant portion. To assist land-grant universities in developing proposals, particularly to address the PSE requirements, ECOP has endorsed a SNAP-ED Technical Assistance Team led by Paula Peters, Kansas State University, ppeters@ksu.edu, and Jo Britt-Rankin, University of Missouri, britt-rankinj@missouri.edu. Contact Peters or Britt-Rankin for a phone consultation and/or face-to-face meeting. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the requesting institution. 

L-R, Kristina Boone, Christine Geith, Craig Wood
Candidates for eXtension CEO
eXtension Announces CEO Finalists – Dennis Calvin, chair, eXtension Foundation Board of Directors, announces three finalists for the eXtension chief executive officer position. The finalists are Kristina Boone, Manhattan, KS; Christine Geith, Okemos, MI, and Craig Wood, Lexington, KY. The next step in the selection process is face-to-face interviews with the eXtension Board in Chicago on May 13, 2015. Comments about the candidates may be made by contacting any member of the Board – Dennis Calvin, Pennsylvania State University; Doug Steele, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension; Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska; Vernon Jones, Langston University; Jason Henderson, Purdue University; Jane Clary Loveless, USDA-NIFA, and Jane Schuchardt, ECOP National Office. 

L-R,Muquarrab Qureshi, USDA-NIFA; Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware;
Jennifer Sirangelo, National 4-H Council; Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture,
and Sonny Ramaswamy, USDA-NIFA
Cooperative Extension Highlighted at Congressional Breakfast – ECOP Chair-elect and 4-H alumna Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, put a spotlight on Cooperative Extension’s 4-H positive youth development program during her remarks at the 4.15.15 National 4-H Council Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill. The event attracted more than 250 attendees including Extension directors and administrators, government and Congressional leaders, including 19 members of Congress. Karol Mason, assistant attorney general, Office of Justice Programs, and Sonny Ramaswamy, director, USDA-NIFA, stressed the importance of young people learning essential life skills through 4-H. In addition, leaders from 4-H National Headquarters at USDA, land-grant universities, youth, 4-H professionals and National 4-H Council Trustees and staff thanked members of Congress and government leaders for their support of 4-H and recognized Congressional 4-H alumni. To see photos, click here. http://www.4-h.org/congressionalbreakfastphotos/

Vulnerable Youth Populations Webinar 4.28.15 – USDA-NIFA invites participants to the initial national rollout of Vulnerable Populations Program during a 2:00 – 3:15 ET webinar Tuesday. Engagement and inclusion of new youth audiences is important to the Extension System. Specific populations, including those growing up in low income households, diverse racial and ethnic groups, immigrants and children of immigrants, and others, under-served by 4-H. These same populations -- which comprise a large and growing percentage of our country’s young people -- disproportionately contend with conditions that often compromise healthy development and access to support for it, even as they carry rich cultural resources and cultivate strength and insight through adversity. Registration for the webinar is required at http://www.evite.com/event/0012YOGLZQJTCAVGQEPE4OEUFIEIUE. Connect to the session at http://nifa-connect.nifa.usda.gov/r75cfyw2nuh/. The call in number is 888-844-9905, access code 2056866. 

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: http://www.aplu.org/CESAwards. Questions can be directed to Sandy Ruble sandy.ruble@extension.org, ECOP Staff Associate.

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 www.1890universities.org/giving

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 http://bit.ly/1chVuY6 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 www.agisamerica.org 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 http://www.aplu.org/meetings-and-events/annual-meeting/ 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 kwhittet@nifa.usda.gov

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: http://www.aplu.org/CESAwards. Questions can be directed to Sandy Ruble sandy.ruble@extension.org, ECOP Staff Associate.

Monday, April 13, 2015

PILD and 4-H Congressional Breakfast

Delbert Foster, ECOP Chair
ECOP Working for You (PILD and 4-H Congressional Breakfast) – ECOP Chair Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University, keynotes the Joint Council on Extension Professionals Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference today in Crystal City, VA. His comments focus on ECOP’s national leadership on such topics as health, 4-H, SNAP-ED, and eXtension. A special focus is on the 1890 Institutions 125th anniversary www.1890institutions.edu. ECOP Chair-elect Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, speaks Wednesday at the 4-H Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill where the new 4-H Congressional Caucus will be announced.

Michelle Rodgers, ECOP Chair-elect
SNAP-ED Program Development Team Meets – The SNAP-ED Program Development Team (PDT), funded by assessments from institutions in the Cooperative Extension Section participating in SNAP-ED, meets this week in Arlington, VA. ECOP Chair-Elect Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, together with Jane Schuchardt, ECOP Executive Director, meets with the team to discuss how the Land-grant University System, particularly Cooperative Extension, can cooperate with other implementing agencies to launch new requirements for Policy, System and Environmental (PSE) Change education to complement individual nutrition education. Cornerstone Government Affairs also will meet with the PDT to discuss SNAP-ED reauthorizing legislation slated for 2015 through the Child Nutrition Act. 

eXtension Releases Reports The eXtension Annual Report for 2014 and Current Activity Report for 2015 are available at http://create.extension.org/node/100954. For state specific reports on Ask an Expert, Moodle and related information, contact Elbert Dickey, eXtension interim director.
 
Award Nominations Due 6.1.15ECOP and USDA-NIFA announces the 2015 nomination process for the national Excellence in Extension and Diversity awards. Nominations are due June 1, 2015. 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: http://www.aplu.org/CESAwards. Questions can be directed to Sandy Ruble sandy.ruble@extension.org, ECOP Staff Associate. 

Climate Change Symposium – The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) is sponsoring a Climate Change Symposium May 3-5, 2015 in Chicago. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of USDA-NIFA, will be a keynote speaker. For further details, see http://www.asabe.org/meetings-events/2015/05/asabe-1st-climate-change-symposium-adaptation-and-mitigation.aspx. USDA-REE signed a memorandum of understanding with the Cooperative Extension and Experiment Stations Sections in November 2014. See http://www.aplu.org/members/commissions/food-environment-and-renewable-resources/CFERR_Library/ecop-climate-hubs-mou/file.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Water Security on NC-FAR Agenda

Water Security on NC-FAR Agenda – Steve Slack, ESCOP Immediate Past-Chair, Ohio State University, and Robin Shepard, Executive Director, North Central Cooperative Extension Association, will brief members of the National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research www.ncfar.org on funding needs related to water security at its annual meeting 4.7.15 in Washington, DC. This FY 2017 federal budget request is an effort of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) with primary leadership by ECOP and ESCOP. Considerable effort and extensive review at all levels of the BAA resulted in the budget request National Initiative on the Improvement of U.S. Water Security. Jimmy Henning, ECOP Immediate Past Chair, University of Kentucky, and Slack co-chaired the work with key support by Shepard and Mike Harrington, Executive Director, Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.

Unifying Message Initiative Continues with Focus Group – Wendy Wintersteen, Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University and President of the Riley Memorial Foundation http://rileymemorial.org/, announces a University Unifying Message Focus Group 4.6.15 in Washington, DC. This is a step in implementing actions related to the paper Pursuing a Unifying Message: Elevating Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Research as a National Priority. Greg Bohach, chair of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) Committee on Legislation and Policy, Mississippi State University, will moderate the focus group of about 20 invited participants plus additional observers. Jane Schuchardt, Cooperative Extension/ECOP Executive Director, is a focus group participant. 

Directors/Administrators to Meet at PILD – Join ECOP Budget and Legislative Chair Rick Klemme, University of Wisconsin Extension, and Vice Chair Doug Steele, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, for a session focused on the both-and of competitive and capacity federal funding during the PILD conference www.jcep.org in Washington, DC. The session 4:15-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, 4.14.15, at Crystal City, VA Hyatt will focus the critical need to understanding and participation in advocacy efforts on behalf of Extension at the national level. Find out how the ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee (BLC) engages Extension Directors and Administrators to identify and prioritize funding needs and to strategically target federal resources in support of base capacity funds and expanded program opportunities. Updates will be provided by the BLC and Cornerstone Government Affairs, as well as discussion on current and future funding priorities. 

Jon Boren, New Mexico State University 
ECOP Program Committee Co-chair
National Leadership Spotlight on Jon Boren – ECOP member Jon Boren, New Mexico State University, is completing a two-year term as Cooperative Extension representative on the LEAD-21 www.lead-21.org Board of Directors. Beverly Durgan, University of Minnesota, will assume this role in June 2015 at the next Board meeting. Nick Place, University of Florida, also represents Cooperative Extension on the Board. 

Award Nominations Due 6.1.15ECOP 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. 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.