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Monday, December 19, 2016

A Message from Jane Schuchardt: Farewell, Washington, DC

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2017!

Schuchardt in 2014
This is the last ECOP Monday Minute blog post for 2016 and the last I will pull together as the Executive Director for Cooperative Extension/ECOP. For nearly six years, this communication tool, designed as a Monday morning quick read for Extension Directors and Administrators, has summarized action items, ECOP accomplishments, and partnership highlights. Along with the many other functions of the ECOP National Office in Washington, DC, this searchable blog, originally meant for readership by around 100 colleagues has grown to an average of 4,500 page views monthly. It has been my distinct honor to serve as your Executive Director. From Sandy Ruble and me in the ECOP National Office in Washington, DC, all best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and monumental successes for Cooperative Extension in the coming years. 

New Stronger Economies Together Funding – State applications for Phase 7 of the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program are due 1.20.17. SET, a joint program of USDA-NIFA and Rural Development (RD), managed by the Southern Rural Development Center, guides multi-county regions toward developing a regional economic development plan. Applications will be jointly submitted by the USDA-RD State Director and the Cooperative Extension Director/Administrator. The application form and further details via a short recorded webinar are at Five states will be selected followed by additional guidance to State Rural Development and Cooperative Extension Service teams to seek proposals from regions within states to implement the program. See or contact Rachel Welborn ( or 662.325.5885) for more information.

2017 ECOP National Assessments Overview – ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, directs your attention to the investment in national leadership document found at APLU will send statements early in the new year. Why is the assessment an investment? ECOP works on behalf of Cooperative Extension nationwide in order to benefit state and local programming. Through national leadership, which is contributed on a volunteer basis by Extension Directors and Administrators, ECOP builds partnerships and acquires resources, increases strategic marketing and communications, enhances leadership and professional development, and strengthens organizational functions. For additional details, see and

Addressing Behavioral Health at the Community Level – The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) is spearheading the $6.2 million national project “Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation” (CAPE). In a cooperative effort between the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA), USDA NIFA, the Regional Rural Development Centers and a set of Land Grant universities, CAPE is developing programs designed to empower communities to address behavioral health challenges such as the opioid epidemic at the community level. The CAPE project is offering a train-the-trainer program for Extension educators and their partners to use community development organizational capacity building tools to help communities tackle these difficult challenges. Upcoming sessions are scheduled for Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Colorado. Learn more at or contact Mark Skidmore at

Introducing ECOP 2017 – The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) is part of the Association of Public and Land-grant University (APLU) Board on Agriculture Assembly. This representative leadership and governing body of Cooperative Extension nationwide is made up of 15 members, three from each of the five Cooperative Extension regions (1890 Institutions, North Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western). With some exceptions, the terms of service are four years. Members are: 

 1890 Institutions Region 
L-R: Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Carolyn Williams, Prairie View A&M
University, and Vonda Richardson, Florida A&M University

 North Central Region 
L-R: Chris Boerboom, North Dakota State University; Beverly Durgan, University
of Minnesota, and Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska, chair-elect
 Northeast Region 
L-R: Bill Hare, University of District of Columbia; Michelle Rodgers,
University of Delaware, and Chris Watkins, Cornell University
 Southern Region 
L-R: Tom Dobbins, Clemson University; Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky,
and Ed Jones, Virginia Tech
   Western Region 
L-R: Rich Koenig, Washington State University; Scott Reed, Oregon State
University, and Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, chair

WoW! (Webinars on Webinars) Series Concludes – Recordings of the eXtension professional development series about webinar production are at under the “recent” header of the professional development page. The three-part series features lessons learned on webinar logistics, educational value, and evaluation by selected eXtension communities.

Cooperative Extension Calendar of National and Regional Significance – The ECOP National Office in Washington, DC maintains a calendar of meetings that may be of interest to you and the staff you lead. See This calendar is updated as information becomes available and is highlighted in the ECOP Monday Minute. If there are other calendar items to add, please get them to Sandy Ruble at