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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.