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Monday, June 6, 2016

ECOP National System Study Webinar 6.28.16

ECOP member and chair of the ECOP National System Task Force, Chuck Hibberd, Nebraska Extension, invites you to continued conversation about Cooperative Extension as a national system at a webinar on 11:00 a.m. ET, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. To connect, please go to https://zoom.us/j/445634779, or iPhone one-tap: 14086380968,445634779# or 16465588656,445634779#, or Telephone: Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll), Webinar ID: 445 634 779. Hibberd will review the results of two national surveys related to themes describing Cooperative Extension, understanding of national presence and operations, and thoughts about branding. There will be opportunity for continued interaction by way of online “voting.” The webinar is designed for Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators or their designees. This continued discussion is critical to positioning Cooperative Extension to respond to opportunities of multi-state and national scope. Your participation is encouraged. When using Zoom for the first time, take time before the webinar begins to download the Zoom launch application at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362593-Zoom-Launcher-Plugin.

Scott Reed, Oregon State University
ECOP Launches Private Resource Mobilization Task ForceECOP member Scott Reed, Oregon State University, is chair of the new ECOP Private Resource Mobilization Task Force. The purpose of the effort is to recommend strategies for securing private resources for Extension as a national system as a complement to public funding. This task force will work closely with the ECOP National System Task Force led by ECOP member Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska, which is defining ways Extension can work more effectively as a national network when needed. Members of Reed’s team are Roger Rennekamp, Ohio State University; Bill Hare, University of the District of Columbia; Tony Windham, University of Arkansas; Ray McKinnie, Virginia State University; and Laura Johnson, University of Georgia. 

David Buys, Mississippi State University, left leads
Chronic Disease Prevention & Management Action Team.
Chronic Disease Prevention Extension Priority – The Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CDPM) Action Team, a part of the ECOP-ESCOP Health Implementation Team, is working towards national recognition of Extension programs that address improving the quality and duration of an individual’s lifespan. The team led by David Buys, Mississippi State University, began with creating and disseminating an Environmental Scan of Extension CDPM programs to each state. Data has been collected to help identify gaps in education. They are continuing to distribute, collect, and evaluate results. The CDPM team has created a logic model and is now preparing for national presentations and professional journal articles to establish CDPM as an Extension priority, recognize current programs, provide professional development opportunities, and launch clear standards and expectations. Buys says alignment is needed with national, state, and local agencies, while continuing to serve communities and individuals through filtering information, facilitating educational opportunities, and connecting with individuals and families. For the team’s recent report, see https://www.dropbox.com/s/2jr3c9lhaojha97/Chronic%20Disease%20Prevention%20and%20Management%20Action%20Team_Mid-term%20report.pdf?dl=0

USDA-NIFA Message on DoL Overtime Rule – On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued the Fair Labor Standard Act’s Overtime Final Rule, which is intended to ensure overtime protections for executive, administrative, and professional employees (“white collar”). The implementation of the final overtime rule is 12.1.16. Major provisions and changes from the initial proposed rule include: 1) Nonexempt employees working over 40 hours per week must be paid overtime pay for work in excess of 40 hours per week. Compensation for these additional hours must be no less than one and a half times their regular hourly rate; 2) Exemptions can be made for “white collar employees,” including teachers, and certain other categories of workers, and 3) For exempt employees, the minimum income threshold is set at $47,476, double the current salary threshold. No changes were made to the “duties test” and “teaching” exemptions. USDA-NIFA is closely studying the updated rule and its impact to our land-grant university partners, small business and other grantees. In the coming weeks, we will provide you more information and necessary guidance as it relates to our current and future funding opportunities and reporting procedures. 

4-H National Spokesperson Featured in National Media – See http://www.people.com/article/jennifer-nettles-4h-club-spokesperson for an article on country music star Jennifer Nettles and the effect of her 4-H experience in Georgia on her career. Nettles is national spokesperson for 4-H. 

USDA Launches Resource for Farmers, Ranchers – See www.FarmAnswers.org for a new USDA resource to help farmers and ranchers get easy to access, reliable information for technical assistance in getting their business started. Here find online courses, videos, presentations, apps, and other materials. FarmAnswers is supported by a grant from USDA-NIFA through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) and was developed by the Center for Farm Financial Management, University of Minnesota. Items on the site can be filtered to the specific information the user wants and help them find educational programs in their localities. Toolboxes are available on topics such as business planning, marketing products locally, and accessing land. FarmAnswers is a key partner of the USDA-wide effort to make it easier for people to find USDA programs and services for new farmers through a streamlined web site and discovery tool at usda.gov/newfarmers. The NewFarmers website also includes information specifically for women in agriculture, youth, and veterans.