Follow by Email

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.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Gary Lemme Joins ECOP

Gary Lemme,
Auburn University
Gary Lemme, Director, Auburn Cooperative Extension System, joined the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) representing the Southern Region in February 2017 when Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky stepped down as Extension Director. ECOP is the representative leadership and governing body of Cooperative Extension nationwide and made up of 15 members, three from each of the five Cooperative Extension regions (1890 Institutions, North Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western).

Karla Trautman,
South Dakota State University
ECOP Announces Co-chair to National Impacts Database Committee  - Karla Trautman, South Dakota State University, has been appointed by ECOP to provide leadership as Co-chair to the National Impact Database Committee. “Being able to maintain a usable, demonstrative record of the impacts of our Extension and Research programs is critically important to our system and we appreciate Karla’s willingness to help provide leadership in this effort,” says ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt. Bill Brown, University of Tennessee, is the committee’s research Co-chair.

TAG WEBINAR: March 14, 2017 at 2PM - Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow® (TAG) is a national call to action to improve health, to reduce risky behavior, and to promote engagement and healthy development among young people. This webinar will introduce the TAG framework, make connections between TAG's goals and those of the Cooperative Extension programs, highlight local/state programmatic leadership, and describe available resources. Register to attend Think, Act, Grow (TAG) on Tuesday, March 14th at 2pm ET. Hosted by NIFA and presenters from HHS Office of Adolescent Health, this webinar is brought to you by the ECOP/ESCOP Health Implementation Positive Youth Development for Health Action Team.

Digital Education Delivery - Extension programs in Asia and Africa have used digital technologies to great effect. The Center for International Programs at USDA NIFA and eXtension are sponsoring a webinar with Digital Green on Wednesday, March 8th at 12:30 pm ET. Co-Founder and CEO of Digital Green, Rikin Gandhi, will present on his organization's work and the potential for adapting relevant approaches here in the U.S. with a new Digital Green/eXtension Fellow. Pre-register today

Friday, February 24, 2017

Civil Discourse Rapid Response Team Webinar

Rachel Welborn, Southern Rural
Development Center, and Chris Boerboom,
North Dakota State University
The Rapid Response Team (RRT) on Civil Discourse, established by ECOP, is hosting a one-hour webinar on Wednesday, May 17th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time to showcase findings and share potential next steps for this work. Please save the date and join in the conversation. Additional information on the agenda and speakers will be posted in a future ECOP Monday Minute. For more information, please contact Rachel Welborn, RRT Chair, at or 662.325.5885 or Dr. Chris Boerboom, Chair, ECOP Program Committee, at or 701-231-8944. No preregistration is required. Simply save this link to use for the session:

2017 National Awards Process Underway - ECOP and USDA-NIFA announce the 2017 nomination process for the National Excellence in Extension and Diversity awards. The due date for on-line nominations is May 1, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. For details and to access the worksheets and online nomination forms go to: When completing a nomination for Excellence in Extension Award, please note that there are some changes to the criteria. Extension Directors and Administrator are to encourage nominations from previous years that were not selected for the National Awards to reapply. Questions can be directed to Sandy Ruble, ECOP Program Assistant.

2017 National Health Outreach Conference - The University of Maryland Extension will host the 2017 National Health Outreach Conference (NHOC) at the Loews Annapolis Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland, May 2-4, 2017. Come join Cooperative Extension and other national leaders dedicated to building a culture of health for all of America. The theme of the 2017 NHOC is Navigating the World of Health: A Sea of Opportunity. Conference tracks include: 1. Individual and Family Health, 2. Organizational Health, 3. Community Health, 4. Environmental Health and Safety, and 5. Health Policy and Systems Change. Check out the pre-conference workshop/tours, early-bird registration (on or before Friday, March 31) and other details at:

Diversity and Inclusion Resources - Over 80 Extension professionals representing nearly 40 eXtension Issue Corps projects on diversity and inclusion participated in a Designathon on February 14-15. The Designathon uses concept mapping and one-on-one mentoring with key informants to assist team members in their project planning. eXtension developed the Issue Corps program to identify innovative thinkers in the Cooperative Extension System, catalyze their work, and amplify the local impact of these teams by sharing their efforts on a national scale so that other Extension professionals can integrate innovative approaches into their programs. Future plans include tailored professional development and sharing about the projects and experience. To see what the Designathon experience was like, visit the recap at D&I Issue Corps Designathon 2017.

Register Early for PILD - The early registration rate for the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference ends on March 3rd! Registration information is available on the website. The conference will be held in DC April 2-5. The theme for 2017 PILD is Relationships, Relevance, Results. The purpose of PILD is for Extension administrators, professionals, and volunteers to improve their skills in telling Extension’s story about local program impacts. In addition, participants will get up-to-date information about the Farm Bill, Federal budgets, NIFA focus areas and grants, and how to effectively meet with members of Congress and other decision makers. This video contains more information about PILD:

Monday, February 13, 2017

2017 PILD

 ECOP Monday Minute will return 2.27.17 due to Presidents' Day Holiday

Registration is open at for the 2017 Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference scheduled for April 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, VA (early registration ends March 3rd). The theme for 2017 PILD is Relationships, Relevance, Results. The purpose of PILD is for Extension administrators, professionals, and volunteers to improve their skills in telling Extension’s story about local program impacts. In addition participants will get up-to-date information about the Farm Bill, Federal budgets, NIFA focus areas and grants, and how to effectively meet with members of Congress and other decision makers. A pre-conference webinar will be held on March 10 at 1:00pm Eastern Time. Log-in information will be emailed to those registered for PILD. It will also be recorded for later viewing. For additional conference information see: PILD 2017 Promo1.pdf. To view a short promotional video click on this link:

UPDATE: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Partnership Webinar Series - There is now a way to sign up for the 2-part webinar series introduced last week in the ECOP Monday Minute. To register: CLICK HERE. The dates are:
  • March 9 @ 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time: focus on the partnership and goals 
  • April 6 @ 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time: learn more about the request for application process to be a pilot state 
For more information about the partnership, CLICK HERE for a presentation recorded by Dr. Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware.

Big Data Is Coming to Cooperative Extension - eXtension fellows, Justin Griffis Smith, Washington State University, and Christian Schmieder, University of Wisconsin, are organizing a workshop for Extension professionals to learn more about tools and methods for analyzing qualitative data for climate resilient agriculture. Justin’s fellowship is a joint effort between GODAN (Global Open Data for Ag and Nutrition) and the eXtension Foundation. Both fellows are looking at solutions to use Big Data methods to make available information more meaningful and actionable. Read more on the workshop.  

Southern Region Middle Managers Conference - The Southern Region would like to invite all land-grant universities to send participants to an upcoming Middle Managers Conference, to be held in Asheville NC, March 13-16, 2017. This year's event will feature world-class training from the internationally-acclaimed Center for Creative Leadership ( The Tuesday session will be specifically designed to build critical skills in the areas effective leadership, giving and receiving feedback, and developing a leadership culture for all. In addition, sister institutions will share best practices in the areas of onboarding, County Extension Director competencies, 4-H Agent retention, and more. To learn more and register for the Conference, go to this link:

Monday, February 6, 2017

National Executive Director Announced

Rick Klemme, Executive
Director, Cooperative
ECOP Chair Fred Shlutt is honored to announce that Rick Klemme has agreed to serve as the ‎ECOP Executive Director (ED), beginning February 6th. Rick comes with experience as Dean and Director of Cooperative Extension in Wisconsin (2009-2016). He is a former Chair of ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee and Co-chaired the ECOP/ESCOP Health Implementation Team. Rick earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics from Illinois State University, and his master’s and PhD degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University. Rick will serve for up to 9 months or until a new ED is selected and conduct the affairs of the ECOP National Office located at the APLU in Washington, DC with Staff Associate Sandy Ruble. The ECOP ED Search committee is regrouping to begin a second application process. ECOP is grateful for Rick's willingness to fill this vital position. Rick may be contacted at or 202-478-6029.

Jason Henderson,
Purdue University
Extension Director on Capitol Hill – Jason Henderson, Purdue University will be featured at a National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research (NC-FAR) Capitol Hill Lunch/Learn event designed for Congressional staffers on Monday, 2.13.17. The "science to application" presentation is called, Pressures on Repayment and Spending: Cooperative Extension translates scientific research to help farmers and ranchers; see Please encourage Congressional staffers to attend.

SAVE THE DATES: Cooperative Extension + Robert Wood Johnson Foundation = Building a Culture of Health - A 2-part webinar series is scheduled for all of Extension to learn more about a new partnership between Cooperative Extension and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The purpose of the 10-year partnership is to build a Culture of Health in communities across America in 2017 and beyond. In March, Cooperative Extension Section institutions can apply. Five will be selected as pilots this summer to launch the program. All institutions will have the chance to engage in other ways, including professional development opportunities. Webinar series dates are:
  • Thursday, March 9, 2:00 PM ET Details about the partnership
  • Thursday, April 6, 2:00 PM ET Details about applying
Look for more information through future posts in ECOP Monday Minute for how to register. To learn more about the partnership, CLICK HERE for an 8 minute recorded presentation by ECOP Past-chair Michelle Rodgers, Associate Dean and Director, University of Delaware Extension. The webinar mentioned in the clip refers to the the series listed above. These sessions will be recorded and made available for sharing.  

Extension Resources on Opioid Epidemic - The ECOP Program Committee sought input from Extension directors/administrators on the potential need for a rapid response team to address the opioid epidemic. While the 5-question survey results did not warrant the creation of a rapid response team at this time, resources collected in the survey have been shared on eXtension at

Monday, January 30, 2017

ECOP Executive Director Search Update

The ECOP Executive Director Search Committee developed a position description, reviewed applications and conducted interviews in 2016. "The determination of the committee was to continue searching for an ECOP National Executive Director," says Fred Schlutt, Chair, University of Alaska. "We will be regrouping to determine a new direction. In the meantime, Fred Schlutt, ECOP Chair, the ED/A team along with Sandy Ruble will be performing of the duties ED. We are in final negations with a former Director of Extension to serve as Interim ED for 9 months or until a new National ED is identified." In the meantime, Fred Schlutt and the EDA Team will be performing ED the duties. Other members of the Committee are Doug Steele, Texas A&M University; Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware; Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska; Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University; Daryl Buchholz, Kansas State University; Jimmy Henning, University of Kentucky, and Robin Shepard, North Central Region Executive Director.

Lou Swanson,
Colorado State University
Swanson Joins ECOP - Lou Swanson, Vice President for Engagement and Director of Extension, Colorado State University joined the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) representing the Western Region in January 2017. Rich Koenig, Washington State University stepped aside to take on additional responsibilities in his state. ECOP is the representative leadership and governing body of Cooperative Extension nationwide and made up of 15 members, three from each of the five Cooperative Extension regions (1890 Institutions, North Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western).

Early-bird Registration for 2017 National Urban Extension Conference - The University of Minnesota will host the 2017 National Urban Extension Conference at the Radisson Blu located at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, May 8 – 11, 2017. Please use the following conference web link to register by March 17 to receive Early Bird pricing at Designed with the urban Extension educator in mind, the conference schedule is intently geared towards program faculty, administrators and staff including a rich line-up of keynote speakers, mobile learning opportunities, and informative and engaging poster, program and administrative track sessions and ignite talks weaved throughout the conference. Brent Hales, University of Minnesota, is Conference Chair and Brad Gaolach, Washington State University, is Conference Co-Chair.

eXtension Diversity and Inclusion Issue Corps - More than 40 teams representing 28 institutions have been selected for eXtension Foundation’s newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Issue Corps. The teams will meet in February for a Designathon workshop in which they will develop an issue response strategy through concept mapping and one-on-one mentoring from key informants. eXtension is recruiting key informants in areas of expertise specific to the needs of the Corps.

2017 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism: April 10-13, 2017; Asheville, NC - Designed for Cooperative Extension professionals who manage volunteers; the workshops, keynote presentations, poster sessions, lightening talks, and super seminars provide specific strategies for optimizing the benefits of the program for the volunteer, for the manager and for Extension. For registration and more Information:
  • Early Bird Registration ends on 2/28/17 - $275 
  • Standard Registration on 3/1/17 and ends on 3/15/17 - $325 
  • One day only Registration - $150 
  • 4-H Specialists Pre-Conference Registration (lunch included) - $60 
  • EMGV (Master Gardner)  Pre-Conference Registration (lunch not included) - $25 
Please promote this opportunity to focus on volunteer development and program management.