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Monday, May 16, 2016

Health Literacy an Extension Priority

Clockwise-Sonja Koukel, New Mexico State University; Sarah Bercaw,
University of Delaware; Belinda Letto, University of Tennessee; Nancy
Crevier, University of Wisconsin; Linda Quade, South Dakota State University;
Lisa Barlage, Ohio State University; Cathy Newkirk, Michigan State University;
Jatunn Gibson, Auburn University;
Fatemeh Malekian, Southern University A&M University
It is estimated that about nine out of 10 adults in the United States lack the skills to manage their health and prevent disease. The Health Literacy Action Team, a part of the ECOP-ESCOP Health Implementation Team, uses this statistic to drive it’s work to raise awareness of health literacy amongst Extension professionals and encourage making health literacy programming a priority. For more information, see, which provides a survey link to share ideas and resources. Sonja Koukel, New Mexico State University, chairs the team working with colleagues from Ohio State University, University of Delaware, University of Wisconsin, Auburn University, University of Tennessee, Southern University, Michigan State University, and South Dakota State University. In process is a toolkit to assist Extension educators and professionals who work within the health system to integrate health literacy into programming. The goal is to address social determinants of health, improve the collective public health, and increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. 

4-H National Youth Science Day Challenge 10.5.16 – National 4-H Council and 4-H National Headquarters at USDA-NIFA announce the ninth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD), this year focused on drone discovery. Developed by Cornell University Cooperative Extension, the engineering design challenge will explore how remote sensing can be used to solve real world problems while learning concepts such as flight dynamics, forces of flight, basic computer coding, as well as following federal regulations while operating drones. The 9th annual 4-H NYSD brings 4-H'ers together from around the nation to complete this single, innovative activity. The 4-H NYSD Challenge kit will be available for pre-sale on the 4-H Mall website starting May 18. The new and improved 4-H National Youth Science Day website will launch this month where you can find engaging STEM content, register for a local 4-H NYSD event and access resources and materials. 

Extension Launches “Horizon” Effort – The eXtension Foundation and the ECOP Innovation Task Force are partnering with The New Media Consortium to develop a custom Horizon Report for Cooperative Extension. A panel of 56 experts will look out five years to identify key emerging technologies and methodologies and their impact on Extension. Leadership of this initiative is shared by Jerry Thomas and Christine Geith of eXtension and Keith Smith, Chair of the ECOP Innovation Task Force. The panelists will spend the summer collaborating on the report in a wiki environment (a website that allows for collaborative editing) with a report scheduled for completion in September 2016. More information about the process is at

APLU to Focus on “Feed the World” – Helping to ensure domestic and global food security by 2050 is the goal of a new APLU commission launched last week The commission, called The Challenge of Change: Engaging Public Universities to Feed the World, combines leadership from the APLU Office of Food, Environment and Natural Resources Programs, of which the Cooperative Extension Section is a part, and the APLU Office of International Programs. The commission is tasked with identifying the research, education and engagement efforts public universities should develop to ensure the three pillars of food security – access, availability and utilization – are met throughout the world. Randy Woodson, Chancellor, North Carolina State University, chairs the effort, designed for completion with a report in early 2017 to align with the new presidential administration. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation provided financial support for the commission’s work. 

Extension Master Gardener Program Shows Public Value – The Extension Master Gardener National Committee reports more than 80,000 volunteers contributed time valued at $122 million in 38 states reporting in 2014. It is estimated Master Gardeners donate 1,382 tons of fresh produce to food banks and pantries annually and are involved in 6,000 community gardens. To find out more about the impacts of this Extension program, operating in 49 states, go to