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Monday, December 19, 2016

A Message from Jane Schuchardt: Farewell, Washington, DC

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2017!

Schuchardt in 2014
This is the last ECOP Monday Minute blog post for 2016 and the last I will pull together as the Executive Director for Cooperative Extension/ECOP. For nearly six years, this communication tool, designed as a Monday morning quick read for Extension Directors and Administrators, has summarized action items, ECOP accomplishments, and partnership highlights. Along with the many other functions of the ECOP National Office in Washington, DC, this searchable blog, originally meant for readership by around 100 colleagues has grown to an average of 4,500 page views monthly. It has been my distinct honor to serve as your Executive Director. From Sandy Ruble and me in the ECOP National Office in Washington, DC, all best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and monumental successes for Cooperative Extension in the coming years. 

New Stronger Economies Together Funding – State applications for Phase 7 of the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program are due 1.20.17. SET, a joint program of USDA-NIFA and Rural Development (RD), managed by the Southern Rural Development Center, guides multi-county regions toward developing a regional economic development plan. Applications will be jointly submitted by the USDA-RD State Director and the Cooperative Extension Director/Administrator. The application form and further details via a short recorded webinar are at Five states will be selected followed by additional guidance to State Rural Development and Cooperative Extension Service teams to seek proposals from regions within states to implement the program. See or contact Rachel Welborn ( or 662.325.5885) for more information.

2017 ECOP National Assessments Overview – ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, directs your attention to the investment in national leadership document found at APLU will send statements early in the new year. Why is the assessment an investment? ECOP works on behalf of Cooperative Extension nationwide in order to benefit state and local programming. Through national leadership, which is contributed on a volunteer basis by Extension Directors and Administrators, ECOP builds partnerships and acquires resources, increases strategic marketing and communications, enhances leadership and professional development, and strengthens organizational functions. For additional details, see and

Addressing Behavioral Health at the Community Level – The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) is spearheading the $6.2 million national project “Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation” (CAPE). In a cooperative effort between the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA), USDA NIFA, the Regional Rural Development Centers and a set of Land Grant universities, CAPE is developing programs designed to empower communities to address behavioral health challenges such as the opioid epidemic at the community level. The CAPE project is offering a train-the-trainer program for Extension educators and their partners to use community development organizational capacity building tools to help communities tackle these difficult challenges. Upcoming sessions are scheduled for Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Colorado. Learn more at or contact Mark Skidmore at

Introducing ECOP 2017 – The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) is part of the Association of Public and Land-grant University (APLU) Board on Agriculture Assembly. This representative leadership and governing body of Cooperative Extension nationwide is made up of 15 members, three from each of the five Cooperative Extension regions (1890 Institutions, North Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western). With some exceptions, the terms of service are four years. Members are: 

 1890 Institutions Region 
L-R: Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Carolyn Williams, Prairie View A&M
University, and Vonda Richardson, Florida A&M University

 North Central Region 
L-R: Chris Boerboom, North Dakota State University; Beverly Durgan, University
of Minnesota, and Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska, chair-elect
 Northeast Region 
L-R: Bill Hare, University of District of Columbia; Michelle Rodgers,
University of Delaware, and Chris Watkins, Cornell University
 Southern Region 
L-R: Tom Dobbins, Clemson University; Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky,
and Ed Jones, Virginia Tech
   Western Region 
L-R: Rich Koenig, Washington State University; Scott Reed, Oregon State
University, and Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, chair

WoW! (Webinars on Webinars) Series Concludes – Recordings of the eXtension professional development series about webinar production are at under the “recent” header of the professional development page. The three-part series features lessons learned on webinar logistics, educational value, and evaluation by selected eXtension communities.

Cooperative Extension Calendar of National and Regional Significance – The ECOP National Office in Washington, DC maintains a calendar of meetings that may be of interest to you and the staff you lead. See This calendar is updated as information becomes available and is highlighted in the ECOP Monday Minute. If there are other calendar items to add, please get them to Sandy Ruble at

Monday, December 12, 2016

National Systems Task Force Delivers Report to ECOP

Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska
Chuck Hibberd, ECOP Chair-elect, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, expresses thanks to Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators for engagement on the work of the ECOP National Systems Task Force. Via national surveys, a webinar and on-line polling at the September 2016 National Extension Directors and Administrators meeting in Wyoming, the task force, chaired by Hibberd, outlined recommendations currently under consideration for action by ECOP. For the executive summary of the report, see Responses demonstrated a willingness to consider a national system approach to funding and collaboration for Cooperative Extension. Task force members representing all Extension regions were Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Scott Reed, Oregon State University; Doug Steele, Texas A & M University, and Debby Sheely, University of Rhode Island, assisted by Jane Schuchardt, Cooperative Extension/ECOP Executive Director, and Ron Brown, Association of Southern Region Extension Directors Executive Director. 

Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska
ECOP Releases 2017 Handout – ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, calls your attention to the one-pager he will reference to explain Cooperative Extension and ECOP in visits with partners in Washington, DC and other venues. The single page leave-behind document found at outlines what we do, why we are valued, how we are organized at the national level, and why partner with us. Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators are welcome to use any part of the document for state and local Extension visibility. 

Call for Proposals Extended for eXtension’s Diversity and Inclusion Issue Corps – Promoting diversity and inclusion is an important part of any Extension program. The eXtension Foundation is seeking additional proposals for the Diversity and Inclusion Corps to increase opportunities available for innovative Extension professionals. The deadline is extended to 1.5.17. See

Sign Up for USDA-NIFA News and Information Service – NIFA has an email subscription service for those interested in receiving news and information from the agency. The subscription service includes such topics NIFA updates, press releases, announcements, programs, initiatives, research, education, and Extension projects, funding opportunities, grants awarded, budgetary and legislative updates, policy changes, blogs, significant NIFA-funded impacts, and items of interest about and for land grant universities and non-land grant colleges of agriculture. With this service, readers can select the frequency of their information -- immediately, daily, or weekly. To sign up visit For questions, contact Judy Rude at 202-720-4242. 

Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Funding Opportunity Announcement – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit organization that builds unique partnerships to support innovative science, is Seeding Solutions, a call to the community to come forward with bold, innovative, and potentially transformative research proposals. Through this program, FFAR seeks scientific solutions to some of today’s most pressing food and agriculture challenges. Prospective grantees may come forward with a proposal for up to $1,000,000 of FFAR funding, and must secure equal or greater matching funding from a non-Federal source before a grant will be awarded. FFAR anticipates funding at least one meritorious and transformative proposal in each challenge area. Seeding Solutions is open for pre-proposals through 1.16.17. Learn more or Download detailed pre-proposal guidelines and instructions

Changing Lands, Changing Hands Conference Next Summer – A National Conference on Farm and Ranch Access, Tenure and Transfer will be June 13-15, 2017 in Denver, CO. This conference will bring together service providers, policymakers and advocates working on land access, farm succession, conservation, beginning farmers, tenure arrangements, and farm landowners. Learn more about the event provided with funding from USDA-NIFA. Colorado State University Extension is involved with the conference planning. Early bird registration will open 2.1.17.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Extension Health Expert on USDA Ag Outlook Forum Panel

David Buys, Mississippi State University
David Buys, Mississippi State University, chair of the ECOP Health Action Team on Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, is a panelist for a session on Nutritional Security through Agricultural Production at the USDA 2017 Agricultural Outlook Forum February 23-24 in the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, VA Early registration USDA 2017 Agricultural Outlook Forum Registration ends January 26. The forum is USDA’s largest annual meeting, attracting 1,800 attendees. It offers 30 sessions with more than 80 speakers and a host of agriculture-related exhibitors. 

USDA-NIFA Releases Report on 1994-1862 Cooperation Meeting – See for a summary of the September 22-23, 2016 meeting in Jackson Hole, WY on Engagement and Success of Land-Grant Universities and Colleges - Respecting Sovereignty, Serving the People and the Land. According to NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy, the meeting resulted in six action items with identified champions for each. Ten current 1862 Extension directors attended, plus two former directors who have transitioned to roles as a university president and a dean of agriculture at land-grant universities. 

Brian Higginbotham, Utah State
Nominations Due for Extension Family Life Awards – Brian Higginbotham, Utah State University, and chair of the National Awards Committee for Family Life and Human Development State Specialists, asks your assistance in submitting nominations by the December 20th deadline to recognize state Extension specialists who have made important contributions to the work of Cooperative Extension and who provide clear evidence of program impacts. Awards will be presented during a NIFA/USDA sponsored national webinar. Details are available at

eXtension Issues call for Proposals for 2017 Innovation Projects – The eXtension Foundation has issued a Call for Prescreening Proposals for its 2017 Innovation Projects initiative. Innovation Projects are part of eXtension’s mission to support experimental projects that will drive opportunities to adopt innovation in the Cooperative Extension System. In 2017, grants of up to $10,000 each will be awarded for up to 10 projects to be completed over a one-year period. Recipients will also receive support of their project from eXtension’s Innovation Lab. Applicants must be a faculty member, Extension specialist, educator or agent of an eXtension Foundation premium member institution. The prescreening proposal deadline is December 19th. For complete details, visit

CYFAR 2015 Report Available – The 2015 Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Annual Report is a compilation of funded sustainable community sites across the United States and its territories, plus a summary of CYFAR’s professional development and technical assistance and work with 4-H military efforts. See the report at

Foundation Offers Matching Funds for Rapid Response to Agricultural Emergencies – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports innovative science, invites groups to self-organize around a commodity or commodities to take advantage of matching funds for emergency research and outreach through the Foundation’s Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research (ROAR) program. ROAR provides nimble deployment of funds to support one-year grants in the event of emerging or unanticipated threats to the nation’s food supply or agricultural systems. If and when a threat arises, ROAR consortia will be able to apply for FFAR matching funds and receive a decision within one week. Consortia members may include researchers, Extension agents, institutions, commodity and industry representatives, diagnostic laboratories, and relevant state and local government representatives. Pre-establishing expert teams for research and outreach will accelerate first response to agricultural emergencies. When emergency situations arise, response time is critical. ROAR fills the gap until traditional, longer-term funding sources can be secured. Learn more at

Monday, November 21, 2016

ECOP Releases Innovation Report

Happy Thanksgiving! 
ECOP Monday Minute will return 12.5.16. 

Leadership, organizational culture, hiring practices, training and support, and learner engagement are addressed in a new ECOP report on innovation Led by Keith Smith, retired Extension director, The Ohio State University, the ECOP Innovation Task Force, provides guidelines for implementation strategies within the Extension organization. ECOP expects to take follow-up action in 2017 and recommends Extension Directors and Administrators embrace the call to action to support and invest in innovation. 

Extension Focuses on Civil Discourse – In response to a charge from ECOP, a Rapid Response Team on Civil Discourse was established to explore existing resources, develop a competency framework for Extension staff, and generate a strategic plan for future work. A survey has been launched targeting Extension professionals knowledgeable about the resources and expertise within the Land-grant University System to address complex community issues through civil discourse. Extension Directors and Administrators are asked to encourage Extension faculty and staff with interest in civil discourse to participate in the short survey at

Extension Celebrates Excellence
Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, accepts the
ECOP gavel from Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware.
– At the Cooperative Extension dinner meeting last week as part of the APLU Annual Meeting in Austin, Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, became the new ECOP Chair accepting the gavel from Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware. Three ECOP members have completed four-year terms and were recognized, along with leaders of key ECOP functions. Also recognized for six years of service was Jane Schuchardt, ECOP Executive Director, who has resigned effective the end of this year. 

ECOP members completing four-year terms are (left to right)
Tim Cross, University of Tennessee; Celvia Stovall, Alabama
A&M University, and Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University.
Recognized for ECOP leadership were (left to right): Rick Klemme, University
of Wisconsin, chair, ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee, and co-chair,
ECOP-ESCOP Health Implementation Team; Celvia Stovall, Alabama A&M
University, co-chair, ECOP-ESCOP Health Implementation Team, and co-chair,
ECOP Personnel Committee; Tim Cross, University of Tennessee, Board of Directors
representing Extension, National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research; Jimmy
Henning, University of Kentucky, chair, ECOP Budget Task Force; Chuck Hibberd,
University of Nebraska, chair, ECOP National System Task Force, and Scott Reed,
Oregon State University, chair, ECOP Private Resource Mobilization Task Force.
Extension nationwide expressed appreciation to Jane Schuchardt,
ECOP Executive Director (right), with a homemade quilt bearing the logos
of the 76 land-grant universities in the Cooperative Extension Section.
Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, (left) presented the gift. To view
video of the presentation go to:
eXtension Foundation Names Evaluation Fellow – The eXtension Foundation has named Julie Huetteman, Purdue Extension, as recipient of the first 2017 Program Evaluation NAEPSDP/eXtension Fellowship. Dr. Huetteman is currently Coordinator, Extension Strategic Initiatives, and has deep experience in evaluating projects and programs and reporting Extension impacts. Throughout 2017 she will serve as a key informant to the 2017 i-Three Issue Corps, providing professional development and one-on-one consulting with Issue Corps members on measuring and reporting impacts on their innovative projects.

Foundation Announces New Innovators – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports innovative science, announces nine winners of its New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award. Winners will pursue innovative and potentially groundbreaking food and agriculture research projects and receive a total of $4.8 million over five years. Matching funds from each awardee’s respective institution will leverage the FFAR investment of up to $300,000 per recipient. The FFAR New Innovator Award is designed to provide the early investment needed to launch new faculty members into successful scientific careers in food and agriculture. Applicants were required to demonstrate a commitment to mentoring, supporting the Foundation’s interest in inspiring future generations of agricultural and food scientists. Meet the 2016 New Innovators, most of whom are from land-grant universities. 

USDA-ERS Reports on Rural America – The latest edition of Rural America at a Glance is available at Produced annually by the USDA Economic Research Service, key economic indicators point to a comeback for rural America. Rural unemployment continued to decline in 2015, dropping below 6 percent for the first time since 2007, and rural poverty rates have fallen. Median household incomes in rural areas increased by 3.4 percent in 2015, and rural populations have stabilized and are beginning to grow.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Celebrating Extension Excellence and Diversity

Standing L-R:Terry Messmer, Utah State University; Fe Moncloa, University of California; Nozella Brown, Kansas State University;
Sonny Ramaswamy, USDA-NIFA; Michelle Rodgers (ECOP Chair) and Richard Taylor, University of Delaware. Seated L-R: Stanley
Culpepper, University of Georgia, Russell Hill, University of California; Karnita Garner, Alabama A&M University,
and Steve Green, Texas A&M University
ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, together with USDA-NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy and land-grant administrators, faculty and friends cheered the accomplishments of the Extension excellence and diversity award winners Sunday at the APLU Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. Information about the 2017 award process is available at The deadline for nominations is 5.1.17. 

ECOP Highlights 2016 Accomplishments – Significant outcomes of ECOP national leadership occurred this year under the direction of Michelle Rodgers, ECOP Chair, University of Delaware. ECOP, in its effort to engage in discussion and decision-making benefiting state and local programming, focused work on private resource mobilization, innovation, national system, and urban and health programming, amongst other priorities. See for the 2016 ECOP Annual Report infographic. 

ECOP Announces 2017 Emphasis Areas – As Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, accepts the gavel at a dinner meeting today in Austin, TX, he will outline ECOP emphasis areas and ongoing priorities for his year as ECOP chair. Work related to national system, private resource mobilization, urban programming and innovation will continue to new levels. Additional emphasis areas focus on more robust advocacy approaches for capacity funding and improved communications by ECOP with all Extension directors and administrators. For details, see

SNAP-Ed Report Summarizes 2015 OutcomesThe national SNAP-Ed Program Development Team provides Cooperative Extension with national coordination, resources, training, and reporting. The most recent report shows Extension received $179.9 million in SNAP-Ed funding in FY 2015, employed 3,620 staff, reached 2.5 million participants and demonstrated positive program outcomes. The full report, executive summary, and infographic are available at:

Riley Memorial Lecture Nominations Due 12.1.16 – The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) invites nominations for the 2017 AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture for presentation next spring in Washington, DC. Nominees must show outstanding scientific contributions and/or significant policy accomplishments related to research and innovation in agriculture with demonstrated societal impact. More information is available at To submit nominations, email Anne Moraske at or call 202.326.6759.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Polling Open Now: Private Resource Mobilization

ECOP Private Resource Mobilization Chair Scott Reed, Oregon State University, requests your participation in a poll at The purpose is for Cooperative Extension Section Directors and Administrators to indicate preferences and provide comment about an institutional home for fund development, a three-year development plan, and oversight responsibilities. For background, the survey includes video segments of the recorded webinar from 11.2.16. Following ongoing conversation with Cooperative Extension nationwide, the task force will make recommendations to ECOP early next year. 

Sally Rockey,
Executive Director, FFAR
Rockey to Address Extension Next Week – Sally Rockey, Executive Director, National Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), will provide comment about Extension’s opportunities with the foundation at the Monday evening 11.14.16 Extension dinner meeting at the APLU Annual Conference, Austin, TX. Learn more about FFAR. The complete APLU Annual Meeting agenda is at

eXtension Launches New Diversity & Inclusion Issue Corps – The eXtension Foundation has issued a call for proposals for up to 35 projects for improving Diversity and Inclusion within Cooperative Extension, its partners, and the public. The Issue Corps experience combines virtual and face-to-face events to assist corps members in developing projects that can have a visible, measurable impact at the local level. Proposals are due December 5, 2016. Learn more about eXtension's first Issue Corps of 2017

Beverly Coberly, eXtension Foundation; Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware;
George Czapar, University of Illinois; Gary Lemme, Auburn University;
Brian Higginbotham, Utah State University; Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State
University, and Dan Lerner, University of Vermont
ECOP Names NEDA 2017 Planning Team – Naming a theme and related programming for the 2017 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Meeting October 2-4 at The Essex near Burlington, VT, is the charge of a new planning team. As immediate past chair of ECOP, Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, leads the effort. Together with the executive director and staff associate in the ECOP National Office, team members represent the views of the five Cooperative Extension regions. Members are Brian Higginbotham, Western Region; Dan Lerner, Northeast Region; Gary Lemme, Southern Region; George Czapar, North Central Region, and Mark Latimore, 1890s Region. The eXtension Foundation also is represented on the planning team by Beverly Coberly. In preparation for the first planning meeting, ideas can be shared with any team member by 12.1.16. 

FY 2017 AREERA Reporting Requirements – USDA-NIFA reminds Cooperative Extension that the FY 2017 Plan of Work update requirement has been suspended. Further, 2018-2022 Plans of Work will not be submitted through the online software in FY 2017. Reporting required from each state by 4.3.16 are the 2016 Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results, and the Multi-State and Integrated Activity Supplemental Forms (NIFA-REPT, NIFA-PLAN, Brief Summaries). To report, go to Contact Katelyn Sellers at with questions.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Your Voice Matters: Private Resource Mobilization Webinar

Scott Reed, Chair, ECOP Private Resource Mobilization Task Force, Oregon State University, invites Extension directors and administrators, or their designees, to a webinar 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET, Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Connect at (Please note this is a different URL than previously announced.) Using online polling, you will have opportunity to express your views related to an institutional home for this work, and to what extend you agree with the proposed three-year plan and configuration of an oversight committee. ECOP is expected to take action on the task force recommendations at its April 2017 face-to-face meeting. 

Jason Henderson, Purdue University
Henderson Named to NC-FAR Board – Purdue Extension Director Jason Henderson has been named as the Extension representative to the National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research (NC-FAR) Board of Directors. ECOP maintains a membership in NC-FAR on behalf of the Cooperative Extension Section. Henderson replaces Tim Cross who served on the board until his recent transition to Interim Chancellor, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. 

Karen Johnston, University of Delaware; Elaine Johannes, Kansas
State University; Lisa Washburn, University of Arkansas; Carol
Smathers, Ohio State University; Matt Devereaux, University of
Tennessee, and Maureen Toomey, University of Idaho. Not pictured,
Anne Iaccopucci, University of California; Martha Ravola, Alcorn
State University, and Sekai Turner, North Carolina A&T University.
Health Team Requests Survey ResponseThe ECOP Positive Youth Development Health Action Team seeks information about Extension professional’s involvement in policy, systems and environmental change; community development, and individual development. All Extension professionals are encouraged to complete the survey at The team serves to build Cooperative Extension capacity to promote health and prevent illness amongst youth. Information collected from this survey will help identify how to best support work that is already being done and stimulate the development of new program and professional development opportunities. Results will be available in spring 2017. 

Fatemeh Malekian, Southern University; Sarah Bercaw, University
of Delaware; Sonja Koukel, New Mexico State University; Nancy
Crevier, University of Wisconsin; Cathy Newkirk, Michigan
State University; Belinda Letto, University of Tennessee; Jatunn
Gibson, Auburn University and Lisa Barlage, Ohio State University.
Note pictured - Linda Quade, South Dakota State University.
Health Literacy on ESP Conference Agenda – ECOP Health Literacy Action Team member Lisa Barlage, Ohio State University, along with Sarah Bercaw, University of Delaware, and Belinda Letto, University of Tennessee, offered a concurrent session Cooperative Extension and Health Literacy: A National Focus at the Epsilon Sigma Phi National Conference last week in Cape May, NJ. Speakers gave an overview of health literacy at the national level, the challenges of health literacy education, educational resources, and the emerging role of Extension. Other team members are Chair Sonja Koukel, New Mexico State University; Nancy Crevier, University of Wisconsin; Jatunn Gibson, Auburn University; Fatemeh Malekian, Southern University and A&M College; Cathy Newkirk, Michigan State University, and Linda Quade, South Dakota State University. 

Deadline Tomorrow for Volunteerism Conference Proposals – The 2017 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism is April 10-13 in Asheville, NC. You have until 11.1.16 to submit a proposal at This conference is designed for all Cooperative Extension professionals who manage volunteers as a part of their programs. Questions can be directed to Doug Swanson, USDA-NIFA National Program Leader,

Request Comment on APLU New Engagement – Several Extension Directors and Administrators were members of the recent APLU Planning Team on the New Engagement. There is a link to the planning team’s report on the APLU web site and also a link to a feedback form. Please use the form to express your views. Your comments will help inform the naming and charge for an APLU Task Force on New Engagement.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Meet Extension’s EDA Team

EDA Team, L-R: Jane Schuchardt, ECOP National Office; Nancy Bull, Northeast Cooperative
Extension Directors; Ron Brown, Assoc. of Southern Region Extension Directors;
Robin Shepard, North Central Cooperative Extension Assoc.; Lyla Houglum, Western
Extension Directors Assoc.; Sandy Ruble, ECOP National Office; and 
L. Washington Lyons, Assoc. of Extension Administrators.
Visibility, opportunity and accountability for Cooperative Extension focuses the day-to-day work of the Executive Director and Administrator Team (EDA Team). See for how the EDA Team strategically works in support of ECOP national leadership to benefit Extension state and local programming. This document resulted from a recommendation of the ECOP Personnel Committee, co-chaired by Celvia Stovall, Alabama A&M University, and Mike O’Neill, University of Connecticut, which conducted a review of the EDA Team model. 

YOU’RE INVITED: 4-H Luncheon 11.13.16 – National 4-H Council cordially invites Directors and Administrators to the annual luncheon meeting of the National Panel of Extension Directors and Administrators at the APLU Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 13, from 11:45 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas. To assist Council in making adequate arrangements for the luncheon, if you do not plan to attend please send your regrets to Jen McIver by Friday, November 4, at National 4-H Council hosts this luncheon; there is no charge to attend. 

Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware
CES/NEDA 2016 Meeting Gets High Marks  – ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, appreciates responses to the evaluation of the 9.21.16 meeting at Jackson Lake Lodge, WY. Responses from about half of the 75 people attending showed satisfaction and usefulness of the meeting The survey also resulted in clear ideas for the 2017 meeting scheduled for October 2-4 near Burlington, Vermont

eXtension Names Five Fellows for 2016 – The eXtension Foundation is proud to announce the four new Fellows in its seventh annual eXtension Fellowship program and the first new eXtension/GODAN Fellow. The four new 2016 eXtension Fellows are: Dave Francis, Utah State University; Daphne Richards, Texas A&M; Christian Schmieder, University of Wisconsin; and Laura Thompson, University of Nebraska. The new eXtension/GODAN Fellow is Justin G. Smith, Washington State University. The eXtension Fellowship program is offered in partnership with USDA-NIFA and dedicated to developing projects on applied innovation in U.S. Cooperative Extension settings. The eXtension/GODAN Fellowship is offered through a partnership with Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), and it focuses on testing and demonstrating protocols, including the use of competency frameworks, to make eXtension and Extension information more open, accessible and linked to open research and data. See for details on all fellows. 

National Health Conference Proposals Due 10.28.16 – The National Health Outreach Conference, themed “Navigating the World of Health: A Sea of Opportunity,” is May 2-4, 2017 in Annapolis, MD. Conference tracks are individual and family, organizational health, community health, environmental health and safety, and health policy and systems change. Submit proposals at Direct questions to Elizabeth Kiss, Program Committee Co-Chair, Kansas State University, The 2017 National Health Outreach Conference is hosted by University of Maryland Extension. 

Bev Durgan, University of Minnesota, and
Mike O’Neill, University of Connecticut
LEAD21 Applications Due 11.15.16 – Cooperative Extension directors serving on the Leadership for the 21st Century (LEAD21) Board of Directors are Bev Durgan, University of Minnesota, and Mike O’Neill, University of Connecticut. They encourage application for the next LEAD21 cohort by the mid-November deadline. Apply online at Direct questions to Rochelle Sapp, Program Director,

Friday, October 14, 2016

Extension, USDA-NIFA, APLU to Honor Excellence in Extension

L-R, Stephen Green, Texas A&M University; Fe Moncloa, Shannon Horillo,
Russell Hill, University of California (not pictured, Dorina Espinoza and Keith Nathaniel)
Stephen D. Green, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, will receive the 2016 Excellence in Extension Award for developing programs proven to increase knowledge of best practices in child care, enhanced opportunities for early childhood professionals, and improved involvement by fathers with their children. A second honor, the National Extension Diversity Award, goes to University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources 4-H Youth Development Program Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrators. The California Extension team is Dorina Espinoza, Russell Hill, Shannon Horrillo, Fe Moncloa, and Keith Nathaniel. Both awards will be presented at the 129th Annual Meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in Austin, TX, Nov. 13-15. The Excellence in Extension Award is a prestigious national recognition given annually to one Cooperative Extension professional for visionary leadership, excellence in programming, and positive impact on their community. The National Diversity Award recognizes an Extension program for achieving and sustaining diversity and pluralism. In addition to the national recognition, one Extension educator from each of the five Cooperative Extension regions will be recognized for excellence at the APLU Annual Meeting. The 2016 regional winners are Karnita Golson-Garner, Alabama A&M University (1890s Institutions); Nozella L. Brown, Kansas State University (north central region); Richard W. Taylor, University of Delaware (northeast region); Stanley Culpepper, University of Georgia (southern region), and Terry Allan Messmer, Utah State University (western region). USDA-NIFA and Extension have sponsored the Excellence in Extension and National Diversity awards since 1991. 

eXtension Announces Release of Horizon Report for Cooperative Extension – In February 2016, the eXtension Foundation created a partnership with the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the ECOP Innovation Task Force. The purpose was to create a custom Horizon Report to identify key emerging technologies and methodologies that are predicted to impact Cooperative Extension in the next five years. Led by eXtension CEO Chris Geith, eXtension Innovation Lab Director Jerry Thomas, and ECOP Innovation Task Force Chair Keith Smith, 56 Extension experts worked through the NMC research process this summer to produce the NMC Technology Outlook for Cooperative Extension 2016-2021. In announcing the release, Smith said, “This first-ever Horizon Report on Cooperative Extension helps unify our understanding of the technologies, topics and trends predicted to affect Extension’s national mission and the local communities our professionals serve in the immediate future. With this knowledge, we can prepare and work together to focus our efforts and resources on creating innovations in programming and ideas that will deliver the greatest impact in meeting future community needs.” Here find the full report and a summary of the trends, challenges and other developments identified in the research. 

Meeting in Wyoming last month were (L to R) Michelle Rodgers, Delbert Foster,
Martha Bernadett, Jennifer Sirangelo, Fred Schlutt, Cathann Kress and Nick Place.
Extension Leadership Supports National 4-H Council Board Restructure – During the Joint ESS/CES-NEDA Meeting in Jackson Hole, WY on September 21, National 4-H Council CEO Jennifer Sirangelo discussed recommended changes to Council’s Board of Trustees with Directors and Administrators. Joining her at the meeting was Trustee Dr. Martha Bernadett, Executive VP at Molina Healthcare and Chair of Council’s Board Governance Committee. With a goal of maximizing Council’s financial support of Cooperative Extension, the Board has recommended reducing its size and establishing a formal relationship with the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee. Council leadership discussed the initiative at summer regional meetings and collected input. Directors and Administrators present at NEDA voted overwhelmingly in favor of the change, which include new accountability mechanisms to ensure continued alignment and oversight into the future. An overview of the changes and FAQ document can be found at

4-H Youth in Action Awards Submission Deadline: October 24 – With just one week to go, the deadline to apply for the 2017 Youth in Action Awards is imminent. The Awards highlight the achievements of youth and Extension's 4-H programs across the country in four core areas – Agriculture, Citizenship, Healthy Living and STEM – with one national Youth in Action Award winner being selected from the four pillar winners. Each pillar winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship for higher education (with the overall winner receiving an additional $5,000), be featured as the 4-H Youth Spokesperson for their pillar area and receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to be recognized at National 4-H Council’s Legacy Awards on March 21, 2017. For more information on the Awards, visit:!youth-in-action

Louie Tupas, Denise Eblen and Mike Fitzner, USDA-NIFA
ECOP Welcomes New USDA-NIFA Liaisons – Louie Tupas, Denise Eblen and Mike Fitzner, USDA-NIFA administrators for bioenergy, climate and energy; food safety and nutrition, and plant protection systems, respectively, have been named as liaisons to ECOP. This critical role involves interaction with ECOP during all its meetings, reporting on USDA-NIFA plans and accomplishments that involve Cooperative Extension, and assuring continual attention to the collaborative partnership focused on priorities of interest to both. ECOP, chaired by Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, is appreciative of these three professionals who will work as a team to link with Cooperative Extension. 

SNAP-Ed Survey Due 10.28.16 – The 2017 Census of State SNAP-Ed Implementing Agencies is in the field. The survey results will how the new Interpretive Guide of the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework is being used, profile which of the 51 outcomes are being addressed, and identify state implementing agency interests in technical assistance and training. The survey is sponsored by the Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators and the University of Colorado, Denver. State implementing agency respondents were designated by their USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Regional Coordinator. Results will be reported as aggregates, not by state, and used for planning, tracking trends and stakeholder communications. Responses are due by October 28, 2016. For questions, please contact Susan Foerster at

Monday, October 10, 2016

Board on Agriculture Assembly Launches Farm Bill Planning

Jane Schuchardt, ECOP National Office; Albert Essell-Lincoln University,
Ron Brown-Assoc. of Southern Region Extension Directors; Rick Klemme,
University of Wisconsin; L. Washington Lyons, Assoc. of Extension Administrators;
James Trapp, Oklahoma State University, and Sandy Ruble, ECOP National Office.
The Extension Farm Bill Coordinating Committee co-chaired by James Trapp, Oklahoma State University, and Albert Essel, Lincoln University, appreciates participation by Cooperative Extension directors and administrators in a recent farm bill survey. Results were contributed to the work of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) Committee on Legislation and Policy (CLP), Greg Bohach, Chair, Mississippi State University, last week in Washington, DC. In preparation for the next farm bill, expected in 2018, CLP reports to the BAA Policy Board of Directors chaired by Jay Akridge, Purdue University, on reauthorizations as is or with change, plus any new ideas. The PBD makes decisions about the direction of BAA advocacy on behalf of all members, including Cooperative Extension, Experiment Stations, insular universities, non-land grant agriculture programs, academic programs, international programs, veterinary medicine, and human sciences. Consistent with advocacy for appropriations, Cooperative Extension’s primary platform is expansion of capacity funds along with support for competitive funds. Discussions about funding infrastructure for science and education (e.g. deferred maintenance) also is supported as long as there is no negative effect on capacity and competitive funds. 

Scott Reed, Oregon State University
Private Resource Mobilization Discussion Continues – ECOP Private Resource Mobilization Chair, Scott Reed, Oregon State University, welcomes your participation in a webinar 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET, Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Connect either at The purpose of the session is to continue discussion about ECOP’s leadership for private fund raising to complement public funding. During electronic voting at the Cooperative Extension Section meeting in mid-September in Wyoming, more than 90 percent of respondents (41 states represented) voted in support of seeking private resources as long as the effort is not in competition with specific active efforts at universities, and does not require additional assessments in the first year. On the webinar, the task force will seek your opinion on a case statement, a three-year development plan, membership and responsibilities of a coordinating committee, an “institutional home,” and estimated start-up costs. 

eXtension Announces Web Meeting on Proposed Changes to Ask an Expert – Recently eXtension led an assessment of Ask an Expert, the question and answer system which allows Cooperative Extension professionals (referred to as experts within the application) to engage with the public through the website. Over the last eight years Ask an Expert has been an important client-serving application for some Extension groups and institutions. On Wednesday, October 12, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. ET, eXtension will host a web meeting to discuss the findings and seek get feedback on the recommended changes found at Recommendation for Ask an Expert Changes. For more information, to register for this web meeting, and to add this event to your calendar, visit

New 4-H National Mentoring Program Funding Announced – The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has awarded National 4-H Council $7 million for the 4-H National Mentoring Program, which comes as a direct result of Cooperative Extension’s success in providing youth mentoring services through local 4-H programs. Council is now formalizing the process with OJJDP and scaling the pre-award land-grant university applications to the amount of the award. Letters of Intent will be distributed to each awarded applicant in late October 2016. Contact Nina Lovelace with questions. 

Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky
Henning Named Liaison to ESCOP – Former ECOP Chair, Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky, has been named liaison to the Experiment Station Committee on Legislation and Policy (ESCOP). Henning will attend ESCOP meetings as needed, report on ECOP national leadership on behalf of Cooperative Extension state and local programming, and strengthen the strategic alliance between the Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Sections of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly. Henning replaces Tony Windham, former Extension Director, University of Arkansas.

Monday, October 3, 2016

ECOP Focuses on Civil Discourse Programming

Mark Latimore,
Fort Valley State University
Civil discourse, defined as conversation intended to enhance understanding, is of concern to Cooperative Extension in many parts of the country, particularly in areas of civil unrest. Responses by Extension Directors and Administrators to a survey outlining relevant programs, resources, and experts is at To provide leadership and additional resources for local programming, ECOP is initiating a Civil Discourse Rapid Response Team. Rachel Welborn, Southern Rural Development Center, will provide organizational leadership in collaboration with the ECOP Program Committee, chaired by Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University. 

Vernon Jones, Langston University, Barbara Petty, University of Idaho, and
Ken LaValley, University of New Hampshire
eXtension Foundation Names New Board Members – Following a vote of affirmation by eXtension members, Ken LaValley, University of New Hampshire, and Barbara Petty, University of Idaho, will represent the eastern and western regions, respectively, on the eXtension Foundation Board of Directors. La Valley replaces Dennis Calvin, Pennsylvania State University, and Petty replaces Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska. Both Calvin, who chaired the Board, and Schlutt served during the transition of eXtension to the new membership model. Vernon Jones, Langston University, is the new chair of the Board. 

Rick Klemme, University of Wisconsin, and
Doug Steele, Texas A&M University
ECOP Appoints New Budget and Legislative Committee Chair – Doug Steele, Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, has been appointed by ECOP as the new chair of its Budget and Legislative Committee (BLC), replacing Rick Klemme, Director, University of Wisconsin Extension. Klemme has served as BLC chair since 2012 and was recently cited by ECOP for his significant national leadership related to federal authorizations and appropriations. Klemme was particularly instrumental in communicating the need for BOTH capacity and competitive funding to support Cooperative Extension programming. 

Foundation Offers Rapid Response Funds for Ag Emergencies – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports innovative science, invites groups to self-organize around a commodity or commodities to take advantage of matching funds for emergency research and outreach through the Foundation’s Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research (ROAR) program. ROAR provides nimble deployment of funds to support one-year grants in the event of emerging or unanticipated threats to the nation’s food supply or agricultural systems. If and when a threat arises, ROAR consortia will be able to apply for FFAR matching funds and receive a decision within one week. Consortia members may include researchers, Extension agents, institutions, commodity and industry representatives, diagnostic laboratories, and relevant state and local government representatives. ROAR fills the gap until traditional, longer-term funding sources can be secured. Learn more and sign up for the 2:00 p.m., Friday, October 21, 2016 webinar at

Results Reported for SNAP Education by Extension – A new report SNAP-Ed FY2015: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education through the Land-Grant University System is available at This report was funded through assessments paid by participating Cooperative Extension Services. 

USDA-NIFA Wants Your Views on Big Data – Extension professionals are invited to join the USDA-NIFA Big Data Summit remotely to help shape the agenda driving data-enabled innovation in the U.S. agricultural enterprise. The live stream is 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET, 10.10.16. For details, see Register here to join.