Follow by Email

Monday, July 17, 2017

Executive Director of Cooperative Extension System Position Announcement

The ECOP Executive Director Search Committee recently completed and released the new position announcement. The Committee encourages readers to share the announcement widely through professional channels across the country. The short link is

Health in All Policies Team Beta-Tests Professional Development Course - Cooperative Extension leaders, researchers and educators ACROSS ALL PROGRAM AREAS are invited to beta-test a new online professional development course, Extension Health in All Policies: Building cross-program awareness for health impacts of decision-making. Members of the ECOP/ESCOP Health Implementation HiAP Action Team chaired by Roberta Riportella, Oregon State University, have adapted and developed the course content specifically for Extension. Registration for this self-paced course, is hosted by Oregon State University Professional and Continuing Education (PACE). Early learners who are willing to provide feedback on the course may do so prior to August 15. Contact Deborah John with: Evaluate Extension HiAP Course typed in the subject line to receive a link to the evaluation survey.

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Input Opportunity - On 14 and 15 June, NIFA hosted EFNEP administrators and locally based staff, interested partners and ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt and other Extension leaders in a Call to Conversation on Nutrition Education Programming - The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. See NIFA is now reviewing the excellent feedback that was shared. In that meeting, NIFA leaders noted that they would also invite comments from those who did not participate in that meeting. Those of you who were not in attendance are invited to respond to the following questions.
  • Who in the target audience would not be served if EFNEP remains the same in 2047 (30 years from now)? 
  • What do we need to do to reach these audiences – not worrying about resources? 
  • What barriers/challenges exist for making needed changes, and how might these be overcome? 
  • Based on your comments, what are your recommendations for the future of EFNEP? 
Please feel free to email us your thoughts (link sends e-mail). You can also send comments directly to by August 1, 2017.

Fueling Discovery and Engagement in Ag through Competitive Grants Programs - The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) envisions a future in which all people, at all times, have sufficient access to safe and nutritious foods that meet the needs and preferences for active and healthy lifestyles. Depressed agricultural production and farm incomes need a boost from evidence-based agricultural science, driven by research and extension supported via a competitive peer-review process. NIFA is the largest source of competitive agricultural research funding in the United States and supports the research, education, and extension activities needed to fuel discoveries and innovations in agriculture. Click here to see the infographic.

Monday, July 10, 2017

ECOP Strategic Agenda Webinar is Archived and Available

Thanks to all who completed the survey and/or participated in the July 7 webinar, Developing ECOP’s 2018 Strategic Agenda. This first round of input is getting the engaged agenda development process off to a great start. For those Extension Directors and Administrators who have not had a chance to engage, the next round of input via the five regions will occur very soon! Stay up to speed with other colleagues by going to video and/or the slide presentation at

Blueprint on Data Visualization - It is not enough to have data when telling the story of Extension impacts. It needs to be presented in a way that grabs attention and quickly communicates the message. Laura Thompson, University of Nebraska and eXtension fellow sifted through tools and techniques and created a professional development blueprint for Extension faculty and staff on data visualization. Visit Laura’s eXtension fellowship page for blog posts, a webinar, and her final report.

Strengthening the Land-Grant University Mission through Capacity Funding - The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is committed to supporting the research, education, and extension efforts of its land-grant institution partners. An important source of support for these institutions are legislatively authorized capacity funds. Several types of capacity funds are available annually on a non-competitive basis and are matched at the state and local levels. The amounts allocated to each state depend on variables such as rural population, farm population, forest acreage, and poverty rates. These capacity funds provide core investment, leverage financial and human resources and enable impactful applied research and extension programs responsive to local, state and national issues. Click Here to view the infographic.

Data-Driven Community Decision-Making Survey - ECOP has a growing interest in learning about the capabilities within Extension to use the vast number of data sources available at the local, state and federal levels to inform community decision-making. In response to that interest, the Southern Rural Development Center has set up a five-minute survey. ECOP encourages the completion of the survey designed to collect information about the capacities of land-grant institution access and use of these data sources. Please feel free to pass this survey on to others who may be able to offer more information. Please respond by July 24, 2017. Thanks in advance for your assistance! Survey link:

Extension Workforce Topic at NEDA - On October 2, at the 2017 National Extension Directors and Administrators Meeting (NEDA), participants will learn from a session called, Recruitment and Retention of an Innovative Workforce. Planning Committee member and session facilitator Brian Higginbotham, Utah State University, says, “We will explore ideas and lessons learned as to what it takes to keep an innovative county faculty workforce in Extension. There will be something for everyone who participates in this world-café style session.” Stay tuned for descriptions of other opportunities to share and learn at NEDA. Go to to register for NEDA by September 18 and save..

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ag Is America Campaign: Highlighting the Diversity and Necessity of Land-grant Universities

ECOP Monday Minute will return on July 10, 2017.
Have a happy, safe Independence Day.

Agriculture Is America has launched a new video campaign highlighting the diversity and necessity of land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in modern agriculture. The video, Redefining American Agriculture for the 21st Century, is part of a system-wide effort to support advocacy for additional funds in the upcoming Farm Bill.
To help spread the message, Agriculture Is America is asking for your support by:
  1. Visiting to contact your local legislator 
  2. Sharing the video on Facebook and Twitter
    o Sample Facebook copy: We research today, to impact your tomorrow. Watch this video
       showing the importance of #LGUimpact:
    o Sample Twitter copy: We research today, to impact your tomorrow. Check out this video
       highlighting our #LGUimpact: #agaction 
  3. Including the video in your weekly eNewsletters or websites 
Visit the Ag Is America website for more information.

Culture of Health Partnership with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Professional Development RFP Due June 30 - Don’t forget to apply for the latest funding opportunity related to Cooperative Extension's anticipated multi-year partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, an initiative that began in early 2016 with the Cooperative Extension System and the National 4-H Council . The goal of the Request for Proposals is to identify one land-grant university to lead professional development for the five pilot program states spearheading the Building a Culture of Health initiative. Want to learn more? Click here to access an on-demand recording of the live Q&A webinar. The RFP application deadline is June 30 at 11:59 PM ET. Click here to log-in to Webgrants to access the RFP and download the FAQ sheet. For more information, contact Joanne Leatherman at

NIFA infographic: Nutrition Education Programming in America - NIFA is committed to improving health and reducing hunger and poverty in America through nutrition education programming. Low-income families develop healthy habits in eating, physical activity, food handling, and food storage through peer educator-led training using credible, research-based nutrition information. NIFA and its predecessor agencies have partnered with the Cooperative Extension System to provide nearly 50 years of federal leadership in nutrition education programming through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). We need to ensure that such programming is commensurate with demographic, social, and technological change. See for an infographic on this topic.

Connecting Large Amounts of Qualitative Data to Impact Stories - Evaluating large amounts of qualitative data is important to telling the impact story of Extension. What if there was a way to systematize the analysis and harness the collective power of many people using the same platform? Christian Schmieder, University of Wisconsin and eXtension fellow envisions that in his fellowship final report “Responding to the Data Imperative in Extension”.

Monday, June 19, 2017

NEDA 2017 to Debut Kickbox for Innovation – Register Early and Save

National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) are invited to attend 2017 NEDA Meeting, October 2-4, 2017, entitled Invigorate, Innovate, Celebrate: Positioning Extension for 2020s. “We hope you will come ready to learn, network, engage, and explore,” says Michelle Rodgers, NEDA Meeting Planning Committee Chair. Participating Universities will return home with an Adobe Kickbox, an innovator program that delivers an actionable process for discovering new opportunities, validating client engagement, and evaluating new service potential. Innovation in Extension is a strong priority by ECOP just as it was when catalyzed at the 2015 NEDA Meeting (Capstone video: Stay tuned for introductions to each session that will occur around the 5 goals! Go to to learn more and register.

2018 ECOP Agenda Survey Reminder - As noted in last week’s Monday Minute, incoming ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd, working with the ECOP Executive Committee, is placing an emphasis on engaging Extension Directors and Administrators more directly in the development of ECOP’s short and longer-term action agenda. This is a reminder to respond to the initial survey (if you have not already done so) by Friday, June 23!

SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT) Update - Actions identified by the PDT Shared Expertise Ad Hoc Committee for the 2017 strategic plan are under development including:
  • a mentoring program for new SNAP-Ed coordinators at Land-grant universities (LGU)
  • a plan to consistently communicate PDT reports on regional calls
  • dissemination of information from the 2016 survey of expertise of SNAP-Ed programs at LGUs
On the survey, the areas of expertise are separated into sections of programming strengths, the name of the university, and contact person. Strategies are underway to keep survey information current and easily accessible to all LGU SNAP-Ed programs once it is released. Based on a positive vote by the Cooperative Extension Section from a poll held in 2016, ECOP reauthorized SNAP-Ed assessments to continue through 2019 to support PDT efforts.

NIFA Infographic: Diversifying the Next Generation of Agricultural STEM Leaders - The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is committed to developing an agricultural science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce representative of current and projected demographics in America. A diversified workforce is critical for developing the innovations that will drive the continued success of the agricultural sector and U.S. economy while serving respective communities in culturally-relevant ways. NIFA supports this future workforce through specialized partnerships and programs that build institutional capacity, facilitate access to higher education, and provide experiential learning opportunities in the community. See for an infographic on this topic.

Monday, June 12, 2017

4-H Grows Engagement Campaign: A Year in Review and A Look Ahead

June 20 Webinar: Join National 4-H Council on June 20 at 4:00 PM EDT for an interactive webinar that will review year one of the 4-H Grows Engagement Campaign and provide a preview of the year ahead. To date, 31 land-grant institutions have co-invested in this initiative. Institutions currently invested in the program are invited to register, in addition to any LGU's that are not currently enrolled but are interested in learning more about the multi-faceted brand building and alumni engagement campaign. Click here to register.

Civic Dialogue Webinar on 6/30 - Fostering Meaningful Civic Engagement is an important topic in today’s society. The investment of time and skill development is considerable to make meaningful progress. Is this a worthwhile effort for Extension, and what resources are available to those that engage in this area? This effort continues the work of the ECOP Rapid Response Team that you have experienced over the past several weeks. This upcoming webinar differs from previous webinars in that the focus will be on tools and skills needed by Extension professionals who are or are considering programming on this topic. Learn more about the risks and benefits of investing in this topic and about a newly published toolbox of resources. Visit the toolbox | Upcoming webinar 

JOE Special Issue on Innovation - The Journal of Extension Board, in partnership with eXtension, is pleased to announce a Call for Paper Abstracts for the Journal of Extension Special Issue on Innovation. A 200-word abstract is due June 30, 2017. To see the key areas being emphasized for this issue visit the Call for Submissions. This represents a great opportunity to shape the ECOP initiative on Technology and Innovation!

Chuck Hibberd,
University of Nebraska
2018 ECOP Agenda - Incoming Chair Chuck Hibberd, working with the ECOP Executive Committee, is placing an emphasis on engaging Extension Directors and Administrators more directly in the development of ECOP’s short and longer-term action agenda. In addition, this effort is important for maximizing the effectiveness of ECOP (and Chair) actions, strengthening purposeful engagement with current and emerging partners, and charting new procedures and internal ECOP policies that reflect the core values of a membership-based organization. Chuck will be asking for your participation over the next few months in order to develop the pathway to achieve his/our engagement goal! The goal is to use the data collected to inform a comprehensive conversation during the NEDA meetings in October. Chuck asks that Directors and Administrators respond to the initial survey by Friday, June 23 and watch for future opportunities to engage and inform!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Family & Consumer Sciences Report

Family & Consumer Sciences Report - Through research, education, and extension, the USDA NIFA Division of Family & Consumer Sciences (DCFS) provides resources that strengthen families, farms, communities, and the economy by focusing on the human and community dimensions of food and agriculture. DFCS incorporates two broad thematic areas: Family Well-Being contributing to the empowerment of families to achieve optimal well-being, and Community Vitality contributing to advancing the socio-economic potential of communities by addressing critical community needs and opportunities. During 2016, the DFCS portfolio was the third largest of nine at NIFA in terms of grant dollars. At over $180 million, the portfolio encompassed 13% of NIFA funding. For information on DFCS and competitive grant program opportunities, see the 2016 Year in Review DFCS Newsletter.

Culture of Health Partnership with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: June 7 Webinar - Click here to register for a webinar on June 7 at 2:00 pm ET to learn more about the latest funding opportunity related to Cooperative Extension's anticipated multi-year partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The goal of the Request for Proposals is to identify one land-grant university to lead professional development for the five pilot program states spearheading the Building a Culture of Health initiative. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get all of your questions answered regarding the RFP during this live webinar and Q&A session. The RFP application deadline is June 30 at 11:59 PM ET. Click here to access the RFP on WebGrants. For more information, contact Joanne Leatherman at

eXtension Introduces New Services - Given increasingly complex issues and rapid changes our communities face, eXtension Foundation has transformed to deliver more meaningful member value and to provide a national Cooperative Extension presence for all. eXtension’s purpose is to help CES professionals across all Land Grants, innovate, accelerate, and amplify measurable impact on local issues. eXtension is achieving this through our new national flagship program called Impact Collaborative. In this year-long, multi-faceted, issue-focused program, a national cohort of Cooperative Extension project teams adopt new research and innovative practices in their local program design and delivery. ECOP, USDA-NIFA, and Directors/Administrators from the five Extension regions define the issues the program addresses. Learn more here about Impact Collaborative’s 6 value building blocks, the year-long experience, issues addressed, and how local Extension teams can join the 2017 cohort.

4-H – Strong Partnerships Enable Positive Youth Development - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has produced a 4-H infographic that highlights this public-private partnership of federal, state, local, and non-profit support with a rich history of being a leader in positive youth development experiences for more than a century. 4-H reaches nearly 6 million young people in the United States through local 4-H clubs, school and after school programs, camps, and special interest groups. The strong bond with land-grant universities' Cooperative Extension and NIFA assures a research and science base to the 4-H program. A 4-H Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) encourages collaborative and enhanced communication and management of national 4-H policies and procedures affecting state and local programs.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Culture of Health Partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: New Opportunity

 ECOP Monday Minute will return on June 5, 2017 following the observance of Memorial Day.
In partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National 4-H Council announces an additional opportunity for Cooperative Extension land-grant universities (LGUs). This Pre-Award Request for Proposals (RFP) will identify one LGU to lead the professional development component for the five pilot program LGUs (to be selected by August 1). The selected LGU will provide integrated leadership for professional development activities, content and resources to be delivered in-person and virtually to build capacity among the "wave one" states, and for other LGUs wishing to prepare for "wave two" participation. The deadline for proposal submissions is June 30, 2017; 11:59 p.m. ET. The Professional Development RFP will be made available the week of May 22nd and can be accessed on National 4-H Council’s WebGrants platform. Click here to register for a live webinar on June 7, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET when participants will have a chance to ask questions about this exciting opportunity. For more information, contact National 4-H Council’s Director of Healthy Living Programs and Foundations, JoAnne Leatherman at

Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware and
Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska
Urban Extension Programming Showcased at Recent Conference - The University of Minnesota recently hosted the 2017 National Urban Extension Conference in Bloomington, MN. Extension professionals from all program areas shared their research and innovative educational strategies that address the needs of urban, suburban, and peri-urban populations as well as urban-rural inter-dependencies. National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) hosted a breakfast on the final day of the conference to engage participants in discussions about efforts that can be coordinated through NUEL regional caucuses. Regional caucus chairs will be contacting interested participants as a follow up. ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt, Past-chair Michelle Rodgers, and members Chris Boerboom and Bev Durgan were presenters. Congratulations to conference planning team and their Co-chairs Brent Hales, University of Minnesota, and Brad Gaolach, Washington State University, for the exceptional conference. Held biennially, the 2019 National Urban Extension Conference will be in Seattle. Follow on social media using #urbext, #NUEC19.

Communications and Marketing Project - The Communications and Marketing Committee (CMC) oversees the Communications and Marketing Project (CMP), a coordinated and targeted educational effort to increase awareness of the value of Land-grant University agriculture related programs, Agricultural Experiment Stations (AES) and Cooperative Extension Services (CES). The audience includes state citizens, community leaders, and institutional allies, with connections to identified congressional decision makers. Two consulting firms, kglobal and Cornerstone Government Affairs, are contracted to identify key targets and develop strategies to focus communication and education efforts. kglobal then implements targeted strategies via traditional media, grassroots engagement, grass-tops advocacy, digital, and social media AgricultureIsAmerica website (, Twitter, Facebook). In 2017, the CMP will engage in targeted educational endeavors to support the Board of Agriculture Assembly’s priorities, including: the “One Ask” ($200 million increase to NIFA priority areas: Smith-Lever, 1890’s Extension, Hatch, Evans-Allen, McIntire-Stennis and AFRI), Water, Healthy Food Systems and Infrastructure). The newest addition to this effort will be video shorts supporting the One Ask. Stay tuned!

Addressing Domestic and Global Food and Nutrition Security - APLU’s Challenge of Change Commission last week released its report, Harnessing University Discovery, Engagement, and Learning to Achieve Food and Nutrition Security. With support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly, APLU convened this commission last year to identify how public research universities can lead the way in addressing domestic and global food and nutrition security. The Challenge of Change Commission began with the understanding that public research universities – with their broad academic, research, and community expertise and experience – are uniquely positioned to address the complex and diverse challenges of food and nutrition insecurity. The strategy designed by the Commission includes all aspects of our food systems: production, nutrition, health, food safety and loss, economic costs, individual behaviors, and incentives – as well as societal factors affecting food availability, access and use. The report lays out an approach for stakeholders in government, business, and non-governmental organizations to work together with public research universities to achieve their shared goal of global food security. Learn more about the initiative and download the report at Follow along on social media using #ChallengeOfChange.

eXtension Food Systems Fellowship - Encourage land grant professionals who are leaders in an area of the food systems spectrum to apply for a fellowship to lead the eXtension Food Systems Impact Collaborative. This is expected to be a one-year fellowship occupying .5-.7 FTE. Applications are due June 1, 2017.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Strengthening Awareness and Understanding of the Board on Agriculture Assembly’s Cooperative Extension Section and the Role of ECOP

Over the past several weeks, ECOP leadership has been discussing better ways of engaging Extension Directors and Administrators in the future of Cooperative Extension at our 1862, 1890 and 1994 institutions. The Cooperative Extension section consists of 76 Directors and Administrators at our 1862 and 1890 institutions, respectively with many states having working partnerships with the 1994 institutions. ECOP essentially serves as a Board of Directors for the Section with 3 Directors from each of the four 1862 regions and 3 administrators from the 1890s. We will be using the Monday Minute to provide regular updates on ECOP activities. This week the ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee (BLC) is highlighted as an important ECOP committee in that the voice of Extension Directors and Administrators in budget and farm bill issues has its genesis in this Committee. A PowerPoint, (presented at PILD), provides a more detailed overview of JCEP (slides 2-8), ECOP-BLC (slides 9-17), capacity fund advocacy (slides 18-20) and the Cornerstone federal update (slides 21-32). Activity of the BLC dating back to 2012 is found in the “DOCUMENT LIBRARY” area of the ECOP Website (scroll to the bottom of the page).

National Impacts Database (NIDB) Writing Team Update - The ECOP-ESCOP sponsored National Impacts Database Committee has been working with Texas A&M University to evolve and improve the National Impacts Database. A writing team led by Faith Peppers (University of Georgia College of Ag Director of Public Affairs) has been working with Extension and Experiment Station Directors to add success story content to the public portal These stories and fact sheets are based on impact statements in the NIDB and are used to communicate the value of land-grant university research and extension to federal agency personnel, elected federal officials and partners. To ensure the highest quality impact statements are entered into the database, ECOP encourages all who are inputting statements to complete the online training at

May is Mental Health Awareness Month - The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development is spearheading the national project “Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation” (CAPE). A cooperative effort between the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency, USDA NIFA, the Regional Rural Development Centers and a set of Land Grant universities, CAPE empowers communities to address behavioral health challenges such as the opioid epidemic at the community level. A CAPE national survey examined these issues and found that while nearly 70% of US individuals could correctly identify prescription drug misuse, many didn’t know how to address their concerns. To strengthen efforts to improve mental health literacy, CAPE has released new information about prescription drug misuse - Prescription Drug Misuse Infographic.

SNAP-Ed Program Development Team Meets in Alexandria, Virginia - ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, met via Zoom with current, incoming, and outgoing members of the Land-grant SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT). The PDT met to review progress and implement a strategic planning process and to develop key action steps for the upcoming year. Highlights of the meeting and the last year can be found here. The PDT is funded through assessments from Cooperative Extension Services providing education to SNAP recipients.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Federal Government Funded for Remainder of FY17

Last week, the House and Senate passed the FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill, sending the legislation to the White House for President Trump's signature. The legislation funds the government for the remaining five months of FY 2017. The NIFA funding lines (in most cases) saw level or increased funding as compared to FY16. The analysis will be available on by 1:00 p.m. eastern time (5/8/17).

Health Action Team Update
On May 1-2, 2017 members of the 5 Health Action Teams met in Annapolis, Maryland in conjunction with the National Health Outreach Conference. The teams developed a plan of action for their final report as the term of their appointment ends in 2017. They identified professional development from their areas that could contribute to 6 core competencies for Extension professionals to align with the Cooperative Extension/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation partnership. The teams were thanked for their service and acknowledged as pioneers of the Cooperative Extension’s National Framework for Health and Wellness.

NIFA/Cooperative Extension Partnerships - USDA NIFA values the partnership with Cooperative Extension and uses Extension program results in its communications. Promoting an Energy Efficient America with Outreach Education exemplifies how Cooperative Extension is promoting the adoption of energy efficiency technology. Programs are transforming the way individuals, communities, businesses, and government use energy. Extension staff utilize community based educational outreach programs to engage partners at the grass roots in sharing best practices, tools, training, and information. Extension is engaged in creative problem solving, capacity building across jurisdictional boundaries, leveraging capabilities and resources. Implementation of best practices is conserving energy and saving money.

eXtension Professional Development Webinars - Two upcoming professional development webinars will focus on the nationally-relevant topics of evaluation and telling` the story of our programs. “Evaluating for Program Implementation and Integrity” will be presented by Julie Huetteman from Purdue University on May 18 at 2 pm EDT Learn more and register… “The Power of Online Maps for Outreach” will be presented by Shane Bradt, University of New Hampshire on May 23 at 2 pm EDT. Learn more and register… Julie is the eXtension NAEPSDP Fellow and Shane is an Innovation Grant recipient.

ERS Report on Agriculture and Food Statistics - Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), brings to your attention information compiled by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) on the Agriculture and Food Statistics. You can find Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials at:

Monday, May 1, 2017

ECOP Meeting Summary

ECOP met in Anchorage, Alaska from April 18-20. This is one of three annual face-to-face meetings, the other two are in July (in conjunction with the Joint COPS meeting) and in October (in conjunction with the annual NEDA meeting). ECOP addresses issues of importance to the Extension Directors and Administrators from 1862 and 1890 land-grant universities respectively. The Committee heard updates on Civil Discourse (see next item), the 4-H Leadership Committee, the relationship building between the Cooperative Extension Section and NIFA, the joint ECOP/ESCOP Communications and Marketing Committee, 1994 -1862 collaborations, the Private Resource Mobilization task force and the Health Implementation teams. Results of these conversations will be featured in upcoming editions of the Monday Minute.

Civil Discourse Resources Update - The Final Report of Rapid Response to Civil Discourse was approved at the ECOP meeting on April 19. A webinar is scheduled for May 17th at 1:00 p.m. Central, which will focus on the background and need from ECOP’s perspective, the work of the Rapid Response Team, and recommendations moving forward. The webinar link is: (See . This work will be featured at this fall’s NEDA meeting to be held on October 2-4 near Burlington, VT.

Dennis Calvin,
Penn State Extension
Dennis Calvin to Serve as ECOP Liaison to ESCOP - Dennis Calvin, Director of Penn State Extension and Associate Dean in the in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, has agreed to serve as the ECOP liaison to ESCOP. This is a critically important position in that Dennis will be able to build on the several years of strong ECOP/ESCOP collaboration.

TEConomy Report Follow-up: State/University Reference - The April 10th edition of the Monday Minute featured the release of the TEConomy report. The ECOP National Office has made available a list of 1862 and 1890 institutions, in alphabetical order by state, referenced within the report. This summary can be found at

Monday, April 24, 2017

NIFA Updates

NIFA Updates - Interested in keeping up with USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)? If so, you can sign up for NIFA updates at There, you can sign up to receive email updates immediately, daily, or weekly. Additionally, besides choosing what News, Information, Updates, and Publications (i.e. Funding Opportunities, Press releases and announcements, NIFA Update, Fresh from the Field, LGU-NLGCA notes, NIFA Twitter Feed) you are interested in, you can also pick specific topics to be updated on. NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension and promotes transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges.

One Week Away: Deadline to Submit RFA for Building a Culture of Health Pilot Program - The deadline to submit the Request for Applications for Building a Culture of Health in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is May 1, 11:59 PM ET. For more information about this exciting partnership and how to apply successfully, please view this on-demand recording of the April 6 webinar and download the recently updated FAQ document. It is extremely important that interested applicants plan to set up a National 4-H Council WebGrants account well in advance of the submission deadline. Click here to access the RFA and get started.

2017 Census of Agriculture - Conducted every five years by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the 2017 Census of Agriculture will be mailed this December to all U.S. farmers and ranchers. The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation. The results are valuable to those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, researchers, and more. Answers to the census help grow a farm’s future, shape farm programs, and boost services for communities and the industry. For more information, partner promotion tools, and/or to demo the improved online questionnaire, visit or call 202-690-8123. New producers or those who did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 report form by visiting the agcensus site and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June.

Final Days For 2017 Award Nominations - Only days are left to submit nominations online for the 2017 National Extension Awards. To learn more about eligibility and criteria go to Direct questions to Sandy Ruble, 202-478-6088.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

May 1 for Awards

May 1 is the last day to nominate state and county Extension Professionals whose positive impact on communities and constituents is considered worthy of national attention. Directors and Administrators are encouraged to invest the resources to prepare nominations for the Excellence in Extension Awards for individuals and the Diversity in Extension Award for an individual or a team. Honorees are selected by the end of July and will receive a cash award and travel to the APLU Annual meeting. The program is offered by ECOP and USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Questions may be directed to ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble

2017 4-H National Youth Science Day: Incredible Wearables - In its tenth year, 4-H NYSD is the world’s largest youth-led science challenge, reaching approximately 100,000 kids annually. Developed by University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the 2017 National Youth Science Day challenge, Incredible Wearables, is a hands-on project that challenges young people to use the engineering design process to build a wearable fitness tracker that will help people lead healthier lifestyles. On October 4, 2017, an estimated 100,000 kids and adults will participate in 4-H NYSD by completing the Incredible Wearables challenge in classrooms, homes and community spaces across the country. Through a generous partnership with DuPont, the 4 H Mall is offering one free kit for every two purchased. This deal is available while supplies of free kits last, or until June 1, whichever comes first. Click here to purchase your NYSD kits today.

Nancy Crevier, University of Wisconsin
Focus on Health Literacy - ECOP Health Literacy Action Team member Nancy Crevier, University of Wisconsin provided a poster presentation entitled Cooperative Extension’s National Focus on Health Literacy at the Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit held the first week in April in Madison, Wisconsin. Other team members attending the summit included Sonja Koukel and Laura Bittner, New Mexico State University. This presentation is one of many that members of the five ECOP/ESCOP Health Implementation Teams have been making over the past two years! Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, will be updating ECOP at their Spring meeting this week.

Call for Applications: eXtension Food Systems Impact Collaborative Program Fellow - The fellow will lead the formation of the 2017-2018 Food Systems Collaborative, working with the organizing committee, Project Manager, and eXtension team. This is expected to be a one-year fellowship occupying .5-.7 FTE. The successful applicant will have expertise on the food system spectrum and be able to recruit and coach Extension professionals. Applications are due May 15, 2017.

Monday, April 10, 2017

TEConomy Capacity Funding Report Released

USDA-NIFA commissioned a study by TEConomy Partners, LLC to examine the value of capacity funds that provide resources for Extension and research in agriculture, natural resources and community/family/youth development. The report highlights the findings of this research and can be summarized in three points stating that Capacity funds
    a) result in relationship building and partnerships that lead to change in behaviors for agriculture, communities, families and individuals,
    b) provide the infrastructure and the stable, ongoing source of funding to enable quick response, drawing form the land-grant research base, to address issues important to communicating, families and individuals in every corner of the country, and
    c) are leveraged by state and local funds as well as a wealth of additional financial and human resources that results in a high return on the federal investment.
The detailed study highlights can be found at, and the link to the full report can be found at

Awards Q&A -
    WHAT? 2 Awards! The Award for Diversity is designed to focus national attention on innovative models and techniques that ensure that Extension programs equitably engage all appropriate audiences in an effective manner. The Excellence in Extension Award recognizes Cooperative Extension professionals who excel at Extension programming, make a positive impact on constituents served, and provide visionary leadership for the System.
    WHEN? Submit nominations by May 1
    HOW? Go to:
    WHO? Direct questions to ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble 202.478.6088 or

Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska
Building Bridges For Energy Programming - ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt addressed National Extension Energy Summit attendees on April 4, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. The biennial Summit is intended to enhance the sharing of ideas and programs among Extension educators. Dr. Schlutt spoke about recent discussions with the US Department of Energy (DOE) over how to expand linkages with Cooperative Extension, especially at the state level with Land-grant Universities. He asked meeting participants to work with ECOP to develop a list of national needs and program priorities to be shared in conversations with potential partners. Discussions are planned with members of the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professional (ANREP) National Extension Energy Initiative, many of whom were in attendance at the Summit, to organize the collection of the needs and priorities.

L-R: Judith Barth, JCEP rep. to ECOP-BLC; Jim Richards,
Cornerstone Government Affairs; Doug Steele ECOP-BLC
Chair, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, and ECOP Executive
Director Rick Klemme. Not pictured, ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt.
Educating and Advocating on Behalf of the System - Nearly 300 extension professionals, administrators and volunteers met last week in Crystal City at the annual Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) annual Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference. ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt presented an overview of Cooperative Extension including an update on the One-ask Proposal and an overview of the TEConomy capacity funding report. ECOP-Budget & Legislative Committee (BLC) Chair Doug Steele led an information session, National Leadership: Partnerships and Advocacy in Action, for Directors and Administrators. The conference culminated with Hill visits on Wednesday morning.

AFRI Foundational: Critical Agricultural Research and Extension - AFRI-CARE is designed to support research and Extension efforts that quickly yield solutions for critical programs that impede the efficient production of agriculturally-important plants and animals that can be rapidly implemented by producers. The application deadline will be summer-fall of 2017. Roughly $3 million will be available to fund proposals with an estimated capacity of $300,000. A webinar will be held on May 2 at 1:00 E.T. The webinar address is Olivia Kwong or 202-720-7536 is the webinar contact person.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Countdown to Awards

The following is a brief timeline associated with the National Cooperative Extension Awards:
      • May 1 – Deadline to receive nominations for Excellence in Extension and Diversity Awards.
      • July 15 – All nominees and nominators receive notice within a few business days of this date of the outcome of the selection process.
      • November 12 – Honorees receive their awards at the APLU Annual Meeting at the Board on Agriculture Assembly Awards program. Click Here to review the list of former recipients. Read more about the criteria and nomination process for all awards at Direct questions about nominations to ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble

Applying for Building a Culture of Health Pilot - As reported earlier, applications are currently being accepted for the pilot phase for the anticipated launch of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Cooperative Extension partnership to build a Culture of Health. Helpful links:
      • Partnership Overview Webinar held on March 9 
      • Updated FAQ from March 9 webinar
      • Tips for completing the RFA
      • Register for April 6 webinar: Applying for the Pilot Program
Partnership questions may directed to National 4-H Council’s Director of Healthy Living Programs and Foundations, JoAnne Leatherman at

Digital Green eXtension Fellowship Opportunity - Extension faculty with skills in technology and with an interest in exploring Extension models that have been successful in other countries should consider applying for the Digital Green eXtension fellowship. Applications will be accepted until April 24, 2017. The selected Fellow will work closely with the Food Systems Issue Corps to pilot test the technology and share their findings with the Cooperative Extension System.

County Health Rankings - The County Health Rankings, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, were released on March 29. These rankings compare counties within each state on more than 30 factors that impact health, including such social determinants as education, jobs, housing, exercise, commuting times and more. The 2016 county health rankings compare health differences on a broad range of differences among almost every county in the country. The report shows dramatic differences between rural and urban counties on several measures, most notably premature death rates. Nearly 1 in 5 rural counties saw rises in premature deaths over the past decade while most large urban counties experienced consistent improvement. Rural counties have higher rates of smoking, obesity, child poverty, and teen births, and higher numbers of uninsured adults than their urban counterparts. The report can be found at

NIFA Annual Report - NIFA recently published its annual report: “Today’s Science, Tomorrow’s Solutions.” The agency’s annual report highlights the transformative research, education and extension progress being made by NIFA grantees toward solving our nation’s most pressing concerns in the areas of food safety and security, nutrition and public health, natural resource stewardship, the bioeconomy, job growth, and economic health.

Monday, March 27, 2017

ECOP/ESCOP Chair DC Visits

Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska and
Bret Hess, University of Wyoming
ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt and ESCOP Chair Bret Hess recently conducted several agency and organization visits. The visits spanned nearly two weeks and continue the strong collaboration between these two BAA organizations. The content of these meetings included (depending on the audience) an introduction to the land-grant capacity in extension/research, presentation of ECOP and ESCOP priorities, overview of the one ask proposal and dialogue about potential partnerships. Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Executive Director Mike Harrington was instrumental in arranging these meetings, and he along with ECOP Executive Director Rick Klemme participated in several of these meetings with Fred and Bret. Several follow up actions are in play.

Award Nominations Deadline Only 5 Weeks Away - May 1 is the deadline for nominations for the 2017 Excellence in Extension and Diversity Awards offered in partnership by ECOP and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Self-guided worksheets for these nominations have been designed to assist with preparation. Recipients will receive cash awards and travel reimbursement to the 2017 APLU Annual Meeting in Washington DC when NIFA officials present the awards on the national stage. Go to Direct questions about nominations to ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble

Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) Competitive Grants Program - May 9 is the deadline to apply for CPPM, the program that supports research and extension projects that address critical state, regional, and national integrated pest management (IPM) needs, ensure food security, and respond to other major pest challenges. To learn more go to To sign up to receive these updates directly from NIFA go to:

4-H Grows: The Engagement Campaign - The ECOP 4-H National Leadership Committee formally extends an invitation to interested land-grant institutions to enroll in years two and three of 4-H Grows: The Engagement Campaign. To date, 30 land-grant institutions have already co-invested along with National 4-H Council in this national marketing initiative. Institutions will have access to turn-key national marketing tools, resources and training as well as dedicated marketing expertise to assist every region. Click here to download the application and supplemental enrollment materials. On April 3, 2017, at 1:00 PM ET, National 4-H Council will host an informational webinar for those institutions considering enrollment in years two and three of the program. Click here to register for this opportunity to learn more. For more information, contact Jennifer McIver, VP, Field Marketing at National 4-H Council -; 301-755-7062.

eXtension Innovation Lab Projects Selected - Five projects have been selected for funding by the eXtension Innovation Lab for 2017. Topics include precision agriculture, Maker Education, Citizen Science, Internet of Things, spatial technologies, drones, wearables, and more! The projects represent premium member institutions from several states including Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, and New Hampshire. Learn more

Monday, March 20, 2017

One Ask Budget Proposal

The BAA’s Budget and Advocacy Committee and Policy Board of Directors have endorsed a one ask budget proposal that requests a $200 million increase in the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) competitive line and the following capacity lines: 1890s Extension Program, Evans-Allen, Hatch, McIntire-Stennis and Smith-Lever. The proposal was central to the Hill visits conducted during the recent CARET-AHS meeting and will be central to the Hill visits during the upcoming PILD conference in early April. This represents a bold request that brings to together the advocacy efforts of the 1862 and 1890s land-grant communities and their supporters. The 2018 Single-Ask Request document and all other former years’ documents is available at

Ag Exhibit on the Hill - This year’s event is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. ET on April 5, 2017 at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Congressional Auditorium and Atrium. This event profiles USDA-funded research and Extension projects and will feature several land-grant universities. The Agricultural Research Congressional Exhibition and Reception is a partnership of the AFRI coalition, APLU, National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research (NC-FAR), and Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation (SoAR). To RSVP email

Request for Applications for Building a Culture of Health - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is expected to launch an unprecedented partnership with Cooperative Extension to build a national Culture of Health starting with 1,000 communities across the next 10 years. The Request for Applications (RFAs) for the pilot phase of the initiative is now live and can be accessed at For more information about the partnership, click here to watch the on-demand recording of the Partnership Overview Webinar held on March 9 or download the Culture of Health frequently asked questions document via the webinar recording. Click here to register for the webinar on April 6 to learn more about successful completion of the RFA for the pilot program. Partnership questions may directed to National 4-H Council’s Director of Healthy Living Programs and Foundations, JoAnne Leatherman at Contact Sarah Hunt at for questions about webinar registration.

National Extension Energy Summit - Energy educators and researchers are invited to attend the third biennial National Extension Energy Summit will be held April 3-6, 2017, in Knoxville, Tennessee, and it is the third biennial conference sponsored by the Cooperative Extension System. This will be a learning and networking opportunity for energy educators and researchers with opportunity to participate in presentations and discussions of current work and future energy research and education opportunities. Information about the summit is available at Direct question to Tim Prather at

Blog Features and Submissions - There is more to the ECOP Monday Minute than meets the eye. Don't miss the value of the following features found in the web version of the blog. The right panel includes Search This Blog, Reports and Initiatives, NEDA Links and Downloads, Keep our lists up to date, Job opportunities, and Calendars. Direct blog feature questions to ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble Direct blog submissions to ECOP Executive Director Rick Klemme by noon ET each Thursday.

Monday, March 13, 2017


“Invigorate, Innovate, Celebrate: Positioning Extension for 2020s” is the theme of the 2017 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) meeting at near Burlington, VT October 2-4, 2017 at The Essex. Business meetings of the Cooperative Extension Section and eXtension Foundation are also held during this time. ECOP will meet on location after NEDA adjourns, October 4-5. Following guidance from the 2016 NEDA meeting survey, ECOP Past-chair Michelle Rodgers and her team have established following outcomes. Participants will: 1) learn from each other about innovative approaches to programming, resource development, evaluation and impact reporting, and internal and external partnerships; 2) understand how to maximize programming impact, and effectively communicate the value of that impact; 3) engage one another on how to anticipate and plan for significant changes in the world of Cooperative Extension; 4) explore strategies to attract an innovative, nimble workforce to Cooperative Extension, and 5) support shared goals and priorities for a national Extension system for the benefit of state and local programming excellence. A priority for the meeting will be dialogue among participants. Stay tuned for future details. Registration is scheduled to begin in June.

Partnership Overview for Building a Culture of Health - For all that were unavailable to participate the webcast held on March 9 Building a Culture of Health with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Cooperative Extension Partnership Overview, it is now available on-demand: CLICK HERE! To access the presentation document, Culture of Health video, and FAQ document referenced during this webinar, CLICK HERE. Next week, access to the request for application (RFA) for this exciting opportunity will be announced. The second of the 2-part series of webinars that occurs on April 6 @ 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time will provide more details about applying for the pilot program. CLICK HERE to register.  

Personal eXtension “Virtual Update” - The new eXtension is designed to help member institutions strengthen their local impact. Are you curious as to how this works? If so, schedule a “virtual update” and invite others at your institution. Find out more about the new eXtension and get answers for your questions about tools and services offered to members. Contact Chief Operating Officer Beverly Coberly to schedule your update.

Extension Award Nominations Due 5.1.17 - Extension Directors and Administrators are encouraged to initiate nominations for the 2017 Excellence in Extension and Diversity Awards supported by ECOP and USDA-NIFA. Self-guided worksheets for the 2 Awards are provided to assist with preparing online entries. Awards for Excellence in Extension, a project of the ECOP Personnel Committee, recognizes a select group of Cooperative Extension professionals who excel at Extension programming, make a positive impact on constituents served, and provide visionary leadership for the System. The National Extension Diversity Award, a project of the ECOP Program Committee, is to acknowledge accomplishments of Cooperative Extension Professionals in achieving organizational changes that support diversity, pluralism and innovation in programs that impact our Extension audiences. Go to and contact Sandy Ruble if there are questions.