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Monday, June 27, 2016

New Engagement Planning Team Completes Work

In recognition of Independence Day, ECOP Monday Minute will return on 7.11.16. 
ECOP Chair Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware; Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Lou Swanson,
Colorado State University; Nick Place, University of Florida, and Cathann Kress, Iowa State University
See www.aplu.org/newengagement for the report The New Engagement: Exploring the Issues Across the Spectrum. This is the work of an APLU planning team focused on university engagement which is expected to frame efforts of a forthcoming APLU New Engagement Task Force. In addition to the report, see the video and use the feedback form to engage in the conversation about the potential of public and land-grant university engagement. Cooperative Extension has been involved throughout this effort. ECOP appreciates the contributions of regional Extension representatives on the planning teamMark Latimore, Fort Valley State University; Nick Place, University of Florida; Cathann Kress, Iowa State University; Lou Swanson, Colorado State University, and Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware. 

Health Insurance Literacy Webinar Wednesday – The Health Insurance Literacy Action Team, a part of the ECOP-ESCOP Health Implementation team, announces a webinar 12:30 p.m. ET, this Wednesday, 6.29.16 to discuss the results of a 2015 survey assessing Cooperative Extension’s health insurance literacy efforts. The webinar, titled What Extension Professionals Say about Health Insurance Literacy, can be accessed at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/fsa. The survey focused on what educators are doing in the field, barriers to implementation, and training needs of educators. Action team members will report findings from the survey, discuss implications for Extension educators, ask participants for their insights, and share information about resources and upcoming opportunities. 

ESS-CES/NEDA 2016 Joint Meeting Registration Deadline July 31stPartnership: Power and Possibilities is the theme of the 2016 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) and Cooperative Extension Section (CES) meeting, this year held jointly with the Experiment Station Section (ESS). All details about registration and lodging are available at https://conferencereg.colostate.edu/Jackson2016. Early bird registration goes through the end of July. The meeting begins 3:30 p.m. on Monday, September 19, 2016 with an orientation for ESS/CES new directors and administrators. The opening dinner for all is at 6:00 p.m. on Monday with programming through the closing banquet Wednesday evening, September 21, 2016. ECOP continues with a meeting Thursday, September 22, 2016 which ends at noon. ECOP thanks ESCOP colleagues for securing this special venue for the meeting in Grand Teton National Park and working with Cooperative Extension on an engaging agenda celebrating our joint work. ECOP also thanks planning team members from Cooperative Extension – Delbert Foster, ECOP immediate past-chair, South Carolina State University; Bev Durgan, University of Minnesota; Tony Windham, University of Arkansas; Glen Whipple, University of Wyoming, and Steve Bonanno, West Virginia University. 

Gordon Gee, West Virginia University; Ed Jones, Virginia Tech;
Cathann Kress, Iowa State University; and Peter McPherson, APLU.
4-H Promotes Higher Education See http://bit.ly/4HHigherEd for the foundational document for Cathann Kress, Iowa State University, and Ed Jones Virginia Tech, who spoke to the APLU Council of President’s last week in Alexandria, VA. Following an introduction by Gordon Gee, President, West Virginia University, and member, National 4-H Council Board of Trustees, Kress and Jones engaged both land-grant and non-land-grant presidents in a conversation about how 4-H encourages youth to pursue post-secondary education and involve faculty/staff in engaging youth. Both Kress and Jones are on the ECOP 4-H National Leadership Committee. 

Roberta Riportella, Oregon State University, third from right.
Go to http://bit.ly/HIaPEd for team directory.
Health Policy Education Extension Priority – The Health in All Policies Education Action Team (HIaPE), a part of the ECOP-ESCOP Health Implementation Team, is focuses on the convergence of health in all policies that shape the social, economic, and environmental contexts in which people live, work, play, and visit; and to forge this convergence into a prevention strategy to improve population health outcomes. Among other accomplishments HiaPE, formerly named the Health Policies Education Action Team, has interviewed Extension Program Leaders about current and prospective health policy efforts, produced a Readiness Assessment, and developed a logic model that will serve to guide the team’s efforts. For more information, including obtain the report, contact Roberta Riportella, action team chair, Oregon State University, at roberta.riportella@oregonstate.edu. Other team members Alabama A&M University , University of Arizona, University of Hawaii, University of Kentucky, Michigan State University, North Carolina State University, Oregon State University, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. 

Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska
REMINDER: ECOP National System Webinar Tuesday – Cooperative Extension directors/administrators or their designees are encouraged to join Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska, at 11:00 a.m. ET, Tuesday, 6.28.16, for the next step in the conversation about Extension as a national system. Hibberd, who chairs the ECOP National System Task Force, will review the results of two national surveys and gain your insights on next steps. 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.

Monday, June 20, 2016

4-H on APLU Council of President’s Agenda

Cathann Kress, Iowa State University,
and Ed Jones, Virginia Tech
Cathann Kress, Iowa State University, and Ed Jones, Virginia Tech, are part of the APLU Council of President’s agenda tomorrow in Alexandria, VA, speaking about 4-H and its role in preparing youth for higher education. Following an introduction by Gordon Gee, President, West Virginia University, and member, National 4-H Council Board of Trustees, Kress and Jones will engage the Council in a conversation about how 4-H might expand its efforts to encourage youth to pursue post-secondary education and involve faculty/staff in engaging youth. Both Kress and Jones are on the ECOP 4-H National Leadership Committee. 

Jo Britt-Rankin,
University of Missouri
Extension on House SNAP-Ed Hearing Panel – At the request of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, Jo Britt-Rankin, University of Missouri, will be a panelist representing Cooperative Extension/ECOP on a SNAP-Ed hearing at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday this week. Britt-Rankin has worked closely with the ECOP National Office, Cornerstone Government Affairs and the Land-grant University Cooperative Extension Program Development Team to develop the written testimony. The hearing, titled Past, Present and Future of SNAP: Evaluating Effectiveness and Outcomes in Nutrition Education, can be viewed live or recorded at http://agriculture.house.gov

Ian Maw, Vice President,
Food, Agriculture & Natural Resources, APLU
APLU Responds to SoAR Report –  Ian Maw, APLU Vice President for Food, Agriculture & Natural Resources, emphasized the value of capacity funding, together with competitive funding in a press release responding to the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation’s new report Retaking the Field: The Case for a Surge in Agricultural Research http://supportagresearch.org/retakingthefield/. The APLU release at http://www.aplu.org/news-and-media/News/aplu-statement-on-release-of-soars-new-report--for-increased-agricultural-research-funding is in alignment with the ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee advocacy for both capacity and competitive funds in order to address the Nation’s issues related to food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences. 

Join Webinars on Capacity Funds ProjectUSDA-NIFA invites partners to discuss the upcoming evaluation of its Capacity Programs portfolio, which represents nearly half of NIFA’s budget. In process is an evidence-based analysis of the value and return on investment of these programs. It is expected the project will result in a showcase of the impacts these programs make on food, agriculture, natural resource, and human sciences issues facing the Nation. The evaluation is to be undertaken by a contractor, TEConomy, in collaboration with APLU. Join one of two webinars to find out about the goals and outcomes of the evaluation, get answers to your questions, determine who is best suited to complete evaluation instruments and discuss ways to reduce burden on respondents. Webinars are 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET Thursdays, June 30 and July 7, 2016 at at http://nifa-connect.nifa.usda.gov/cesls, dial-in at 888-8449904, access code 6710407#. Register via email to Karl Maxwell, NIFA Project Officer, with your preferred session, e-mail, and phone number. You may also contact him if you have any additional questions. 

Connect With 4-H Alumni – Are you a 4-H alum? Do you want to keep up with the latest 4-H news, stories and learn about other 4-H alumni who are making a difference? Show your 4-H pride and raise your hand as a member of the 4-H alumni community. You will receive regular updates about events and information for 4-H alumni and ways you can stay involved with 4-H. Sign up at www.4-H.org/4Hgrowshere-alumni.

Monday, June 13, 2016

eXtension Announces Fellowships

Applications are now being accepted for four eXtension fellowships offered in partnership with USDA-NIFA. Three of the fellowships are for developing innovations for application in the Cooperative Extension System. The fourth is a new fellowship offered in partnership with GODAN (Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition) to focus on applied innovation in the access and use of open data linking research and U.S. Cooperative Extension information. Deadline for applications is July 7, 2016. For details, see https://extension.org/2016/06/09/new-fellowship-opportunities/

USDA-NIFA Releases Results of State Energy Extension PartnershipPromoting an Energy Efficient America with Outreach Education is a new infographic released by USDA-NIFA. It highlights State Energy Extension Partnership projects at the Universities of Nebraska, Kentucky and Wisconsin, the Colorado Energy Master Program, and the Montana State University and University of Wyoming’s E3A Program. View the infographic as part of the series at NIFA’s Flickr site

Funding Opportunity – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announces funding for programs to reduce obesity in targeted areas. Cooperative Extension in states with high obesity rate counties (adult obesity prevalence of more than 40 percent) are eligible to apply by the August 2, 2016 deadline. Funding will support intervention strategies through existing Cooperative Extension and outreach services at the county level to improve physical activity and nutrition, reduce obesity, and prevent and control diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. For details, see http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=284395

SNAP-ED Program Development Team (PDT) Update – For more information on the work of the PDT, funded by assessments to universities participating in SNAP-ED, see http://articles.extension.org/pages/73812/2016-snap-ed-program-development-team-meeting. A national report on SNAP-Ed provided by land-grant universities is in process. 

Reaching Urban Veterans Through Urban Horticulture – Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6124637483114134785 for the 3:00 p.m. ET webinar 6.21.16 describing a structured learning environment to introduce unemployed or underemployed U.S. military veterans to urban agriculture, aquaponics and organic land care as career options. Veterans are encouraged to become business owners in their communities through entrepreneurship training in collaboration with the Rutgers-Newark School of Business. This webinar is part of a series provided by the Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research and aligns with a 2016 ECOP goal on urban programming. 

USDA-NIFA Equipment Prior Approval Webinars This Week – USDA-NIFA Office of Grants and financial Management will host webinars June 15 and 16, 2016 to get feedback from capacity fund recipients on prior approval requirements for equipment purchases. Among capacity funds to be addressed are 1890 Research and Extension and Smith-Lever. The prior approval for equipment requirements are located in OMB’s Uniform Guidance at 2 CFR 200.407. The definition of equipment is located at 2 CFR 200.33. The two sessions are each about 45 minutes and are identical. To connect at 10:00 a.m. ET on 6.15.16, go to http://nifa-connect.nifa.usda.gov/equipmentcapacity/ or dial 877-369-5243 or 617-668-3633, Access Code: 0776001#. For the 1:00 p.m. ET, 6.16.16 session, go to http://nifa-connect.nifa.usda.gov/equipmentcapacity/ or dial 877-369-5243 or 617-668-3633 Access Code: 0470116#.

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.