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Monday, April 25, 2016

Study Documents Extension’s Value

Stephan Goetz, Penn State
Cooperative Extension programs have helped nearly 138,000 farmers stay in business since 1985, according to economists. In a recently published study, Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics at Penn State, and Meri Davlasheridze, assistant professor and economist, Texas A&M University at Galveston, said that without Cooperative Extension and the underlying land-grant university research, the country would have lost an estimated 28 percent more farmers than actually left agriculture. The broader youth, family and community development programs offered by Extension also support rural entrepreneurship and innovation, enhancing rural economic vitality. "An obvious policy recommendation for keeping farmers on their farms and supporting rural economies is to continue to fund the land-grant universities and their Cooperative Extension and related research efforts," said Goetz. Learn more at

Extension Award Nominations Due Now – ECOP in partnership with USDA-NIFA offers the 2016 nomination process for the prestigious national Excellence in Extension and Diversity awards. The due date for on-line nominations is 5.1.16 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. For details and to access the online nomination forms go to: Winners are recognized at the Board on Agriculture Assembly Awards Event 11.13.16 prior to the APLU Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. Questions can be directed to Sandy Ruble, ECOP Staff Associate.

Grow True Leaders Campaign LaunchesThe Grow True Leaders Campaign is off to a great start thanks to the support of Cooperative Extension and 4-H leaders. New, national coverage over the past week includes CNN Money, USA TODAY and Farm Journal on top of the many other national stories reaching millions via print, online and social channels. Social media activation peaked with the true leaders hash tag trending on Twitter, a first for 4-H. The campaign public service announcement has aired in 24 states. News coverage continues to highlight the 4-H National Youth Survey on Leadership conducted by the Harris Poll, which found that 90 percent of young people (high school students) say they are concerned about the future leadership of America, and nearly 70 percent are more confident in the next generation of leaders than in the leaders they see today. View and download the survey findings at Less than a week after the National 4-H Council Congressional Breakfast, the United States Senate, independently and unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution authored by Senators Roger Wicker, R-MS, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, in support of 4-H and the Grow True Leaders Campaign. The measure, which was co-sponsored by 34 senators, recognizes the benefits of the 4-H program for young people and its potential growth. 

MEiE Survey Responses Due – Managing Excellence in Extension (MEiE)is a database supported by ECOP to share information amongst Extension directors and administrators. It documents institutional-level indicators of Extension’s success. The usefulness of this database will depend on the extent of participation of land-grant institutions and the quality of the information each institution provides. Please take a moment to complete the MEiE Assessment if you received an invitation to do so. Those needing to complete the assessment are users in the MEiE system and should have received an email from Scott Cummings dated April 11, 2016. If you did not receive an email and think you should have, or have questions, please reach Scott at

Urban Extension Webinar This WeekRegister at for a 3:00 p.m. ET webinar 4.28.16 focused on the basics of National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL). This webinar will cover the NUEL structure, goals, engagement benefits, and action team initiatives underway, strategies for involvement and networking opportunities. Urban programming, while maintaining Extension’s impact in rural areas, is a goal of ECOP in 2016. Participation in NUEL is encouraged. 

Jason Henderson, Purdue University, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, and
CEO Bill Bynum, Hope Enterprise Corporation
Poverty Forum Highlights Extension  – Jason Henderson, Extension Director, Purdue University, joined USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Enterprise Corporation of Jackson, MS, last week in Washington, DC, to speak at a Farm Foundation Forum on rural poverty. The forum focused on the costs of poverty in rural America and the role of public policy in the fight against poverty. For presentation details and to hear the audio, CLICK HERE.