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Monday, May 23, 2016

USDA-NIFA Planning and Reporting Redesign in Process

In recognition of Memorial Day, ECOP Monday Minute will return on 6.6.16. 

ECOP is pleased to be working with USDA-NIFA on the next steps of the redesign of the planning and reporting process that is required by the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA). Following recommendations from an expert panel convened in 2015, which included Cooperative Extension representatives, USDA-NIFA is constituting three working groups as follows: 
  • Classification Working Group – to modify and expand the classification schema to better represent Extension’s work, 
  • Extension Module Working Group – to develop the requirements and clearly define the type of data NIFA needs to collect for Extension, and 
  • Institutional Profile Module Working Group – to develop the requirements and clearly define the type of data that will constitute a plan of work for both Research and Extension. 
Your regional Executive Directors and Administrator have details on the working groups. ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers encourages you to have conversations with them about recommended personnel for working group membership. The deadline for response to USDA-NIFA through your Executive Director/Administrator is 5.25.16 in order for groups to begin work this summer. 

James Trapp, Oklahoma State University, and
Albert Essel, Lincoln University
Farm Bill 2018 Planning Needs Your Views – With leadership by James Trapp and Albert Essel, members of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly Committee on Legislation and Policy (CLP), preparation by Cooperative Extension for the next farm bill, expected in 2018, launches this week. Soon you will receive a communication that provides a survey link for Cooperative Extension directors and administrators to identify priorities for authorizations to be retained, changed, and deleted, along with new proposals, in the next farm bill. Your attention to this matter and response before 6.10.16 is appreciated. Also see for an ECOP summary of the overall process of the farm bill planning. Members of the Extension Farm Bill Coordinating Committee led by Trapp (Oklahoma State University) and Essel (Lincoln University) are Rick Klemme (University of Wisconsin), ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee Chair, and Executive Director and Administrator Team members Ron Brown (southern region), L. Washington Lyons (1890 region), and Jane Schuchardt and Sandy Ruble (ECOP National Office).

DOL Overtime Rule Webinar 5.25.16– APLU is partnering with the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources and other higher education organizations on a webinar Wednesday, May 25th from 1-2:30PM ET to assist colleges and universities with understanding the final rule U.S. Department of Labor Overtime Rule. Registration is open to anyone. For additional information on the rule, see fact sheets and guides at In response to many of the concerns raised by APLU and its members, including Cooperative Extension, the Department of Labor has released guidance for higher education institutions, including clarity as to the applicability of present exemptions. 

Twitter Town Hall Features Virginia Extension 5.26.16 – Join the Ag Is America Twitter Town Hall Thursday, May 26th 2:30-3:30 PM ET. Featured is Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Virginia Cooperative Extension programming on food safety, nutrition, health and wellness. For more information, see

Paper Clover Campaign Raises Record-Breaking Funds to Support 4-H Extension Programs – Tennessee-based Tractor Supply Company, in partnership with National 4-H Council, recently announced the successful fundraising results of its spring Paper Clover Campaign. The April campaign raised "an astounding $935,351 during the 12-day national in-store fundraiser, " according to TSC. Tractor Supply Company and Del's Feed and Food Supply store customers purchased paper clovers between April 13 and April 24 for $1 or more during checkout. The seven year partnership with National 4-H Council has raised more than $9.2 million. Campaign proceeds support state and local 4-H Cooperative Extension programs. To learn more, click here.