Follow by Email

Monday, December 18, 2017

Next Generation Extension – Learning for Leaders #2

ECOP Monday Minute returns on January 8, 2018! We wish you and your family the best for the Holiday season! 

10 Big Ideas to Think Differently About the Future of Extension - ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd invites all Extension Directors and Administrators to the second edition of Next Generation Extension – Learning for Leaders conference on Friday, January 5, 2018, 3:00 p.m. ET. Five Director/Administrators, one from each region, will provide 2 of their best and biggest ideas to invite their colleagues to “think differently” about Extension. There will be opportunity for colleagues to engage in the conversation within the allotted timeframe of one hour. The session will be recorded and archived with opportunity to continue the conversation after the session has ended. Chuck looks forward to input from everyone! Calendar invitations were sent last Friday. Contact ECOP Executive Director Rick Klemme for more information.

Important Resources for the Cooperative Extension Section - By using, Directors and Administrators have a wealth of information at their fingertips. The site includes
  • contacting the ECOP Office on matters of national policy and the Section 
  • reviewing CALENDARS 
  • learning about national AWARDS 
  • obtaining contact information for key leadership - DIRECTORIES 
  • keeping up to date on national news items affecting Cooperative Extension (RESOURCES LIBRARY-Searchable Blog) and much more! 
Please take this opportunity to check out the site. When you view this blog and a question comes to mind, simply click the Cooperative Extension image on the right panel of the Web View and you are seamlessly connected to both sources.

Culture of Health Convening at National 4-H Conference Center - On December 5-8, there was a convening of the 15 states involved in the new Culture of Health partnership between the Cooperative Extension System, National 4-H Council and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Over 60 specialists, agents, community partners and several youth representatives (photo above) of the five pilot states and 10 self-funded states came together for capacity building around this initiative. According to Dr. Michelle Rodgers, national project director of the CES-RWJF partnership, the focus of the meeting was to “gain clarity on the goals, process and expectations, increase knowledge of transforming community systems and cultures, learn how to leverage and integrate staff and volunteer resources, build a strong multi-sector partnership, increase awareness of community and health data resources, and develop action plans for each state.” Directors are encouraged to visit with the staff that attended and hear about their state’s plans. The partnership, launched in 2017, aims to improve the health of 1,000 communities across the nation over the next 10 years.

eXtension Designathon Event Registration Materials Available - Ten Designathon One events will be held in January-March to kick off the 2018 eXtension Impact Collaborative. Registration information and materials to promote the event to faculty and staff will be sent to each member institution.
  • Northeast Region: Portsmouth NH, February 5-7, 2018 (co-hosted by University of New Hampshire Extension); Pittsburgh, PA, February 26-28 (co-hosted by Penn State University Extension); Ithaca, NY, February 20-22, 2018 (co-hosted by Cornell University) 
  • Southern Region: Raleigh, NC, January 22-24, 2018 (co-hosted by North Carolina State University); San Antonio, TX, February 12-14, 2018 (co-hosted by Texas AgriLife Extension & Prairie View A&M University Extension) & Atlanta, GA, March 5-7, 2018 (co-hosted by the University of Georgia Extension and Fort Valley State University Extension) 
  • Western Region: Portland OR, February 5-7, 2018 (co-hosted by Oregon State University Extension) & Denver CO, February 26-28, 2018 (co-hosted by Colorado State University Extension) 
  • North Central Region: Indianapolis, IN, February 12-14, 2018 (co-hosted by Purdue University Extension). Madison WI, February 19-21, 2018 (co-hosted by University of Wisconsin Extension) 
For more, visit

2016 CYFAR Report is Available - The Children, Youth and Families At-Risk Program (CYFAR) has exciting accomplishments at the state and site level and overall with the CYFAR Program. The Program had 17,000 plus program participants with an increase in volunteer engagement and new 4-H clubs. Evaluation of CYFAR Parent Programs indicates association with attitudes and behaviors regarding flexible child rearing. As well, CYFAR is associated with Middle School youths’ belief in their developing healthy nutrition habits. The 2016 CYFAR Annual Report provides the highlights of this program that positively impacts youth, families and communities in U.S. States and U.S. Territories.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Opioid Zoom Conference Follow-up

Thank you for the excellent participation in the inaugural Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders Series on Dec. 1. ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd directs the attention of all Extension Directors and Administrators to the "Learning Center" found on the right panel of the ECOP Monday Minute Web View to track the 1-hour recordings and resources. The recording of the session, Leadership Opportunities for Extension Directors and Administrators to Make A Difference With The Opioid Epidemic?, is now available online.

  1. ECOP Program Committee Chair Chris Boerboom requests submission of curricula, programs, or resources that address the opioid crisis to Please forward the link to appropriate program leaders or specialists as needed to submit these valuable resources. 
  2. Stay tuned to the ECOP Monday Minute for the release of the "toolbox". 
  3. Please mark your calendars for January 5, 2018, 3:00 p.m. for the next Zoom conference. Topic, details, and a calendar invitation will be released soon!
Other resources:

Pesticide Safety Education Program Agreement - Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) coordinators at Land Grant Universities are invited to apply for funding through a new cooperative agreement eXtension recently received from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This program leverages national efforts to advance pesticide safety education programs and enhance educational materials with corporate dollars, through the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) - the new non-profit incubated by PSEPs across the country with eXtension. This program also creates new capacity for the entire Cooperative Extension System by strengthening eXtension's ability to pass through funding, contract with every LGU, and use an online portal for application, reporting, and communicating with awardees. PSEP Coordinators received personal invitations to apply this week. For more information about the program, visit

Orientation Presentations Are Available - The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has provided links to the three parts of a pre-workshop webinar held last Tuesday, Dec. 5th. Extension Directors and Administrators who are participants of this week’s orientation in Alexandria, VA and who were unable to attend the webinar, are asked to review these three presentations prior to participation. For others, you are encouraged to use the videos as background information for Land-Grant University administrative roles.  

Monday, December 4, 2017

Updated Monday Minute Format

Executive Director Rick Klemme is working with ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd to align Cooperative Extension Section communications, including ECOP Monday Minute, with a focus on progress and/or opportunities relative to the Section’s Strategic Agenda Core Themes:
  1. building partnerships and acquiring resources, 
  2. increasing strategic marketing and communications, 
  3. enhancing leadership and professional development, 
  4. strengthening organizational functioning. 
The goal is to have 1-3 articles per edition that connect Administrators and Directors to the Cooperative Extension Section Strategic Agenda. Other articles will focus on important partner news and updates.

First Friday Zoom Conferences Kick-off - Last Friday, December 1, the Next Generation Extension – Learning for Leaders series kicked off with the presentation Leadership Opportunities for Extension Directors and Administrators to Make A Difference With The Opioid Epidemic? Over 70 colleagues, including more than 25 Extension Directors and Administrators were in attendance. The recording of the session will soon be made available with a means to continue learning on this topic. Please mark your calendars for the next Zoom conference January 5th from 3-4:00 p.m. Eastern Time; the topic, invitation, and details are forthcoming.

Health Implementation Team Executive Summary and Final Report - For the past 3 years, 5 action teams made up of 48 professionals from 28 land-grant universities representing Cooperative Extension and Experiment Station Sections have been implementing Cooperative Extension’s Framework for Health and Wellness. The full report to ECOP is available at (you may want to shorten the current link) of the Cooperative Extension's Framework for Health and Wellness. CLICK HERE to read the Executive Summary (page 1-2) and individual team reports. The work of the teams has evolved into the Culture of Health Project in partnership with National 4-H Council and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In addition, the original ECOP Health Task Force was an initiating force behind the Healthy Food Systems, Healthy People initiative.

Technology and Innovation Report - The ECOP Ad Hoc Technology and Innovation Committee report is available at The report contains recommendations for Extension leaders and specific examples across all regions. ECOP had charged eXtension Foundation with leading a short-term committee to (1) examine the technology aspects of innovation, and (2) recommend ways to implement and use the Horizon Report along with any further ECOP actions. The Committee’s objectives were to address the following recommendations from the ECOP Innovation Task Force addressing technology and innovation:
  1. promote innovation in Extension leadership; 
  2. create a culture of innovation; and 
  3. innovate learner engagement. 
ECOP received the report as information on October 4, 2017

Census of Agriculture Is Underway - As of this week, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service started mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to our nation’s producers. Mailing in phases, all census questionnaires should be received by mid- to late December. The deadline to respond is February 5, 2018. Producers can respond online at (take advantage of new timesaving features and the convenience of being accessible on most mobile and desktop devices) or by mail. Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by trade associations, researchers, policymakers, extension educators, agribusinesses, and many others. The data can play a vital role in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more. The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation. Every response matters. Every voice helps shape the future of U.S. agriculture. For more information, visit or call (800) 727-9540.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Highlights of Extension Activities from 130th APLU Annual Meeting in DC

ECOP Monday Minute will return on December 4, 2017 - HAPPY THANKSGIVING
Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska (L) passed ECOP gavel to
Chuck Hibberd (R), University of Nebraska on 11.13.17
On 11.12.17 Fred Schlutt (far left; 2017 ECOP Chair) and Sonny Ramaswamy (third from right;
USDA-NIFA Director) celebrated with Cooperative Extension Award Recipients: L-R front-Cody Stone,
Montana State University (accepting on behalf of Marsha Goetting), Misty Blue-Terry, North
Carolina A&T State University, Patricia Dawson, Oregon State University (accepting on behalf
of 4-H Youth Development, "Attitudes for Success Youth Leadership Program"); L-R back-
Louie Rivers, Jr., Kentucky State University, Damona Doye, Oklahoma State University, Kevin Erb,
University of Wisconsin and Chet Arnold, University of Connecticut
2018 ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd thanks 2017 Chair
Fred Schlutt for his leadership
Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, received
recognition of 5 consecutive years of service to ECOP

ECOP Executive Director Search - After considering the input the from the NEDA presentations by the two finalists and lengthy interviews, the 2017 Executive Director Search Committee has declared a failed search. Rick Klemme has agreed to continue serving as the Executive Director (0.60 FTE) with a focus on building and maintaining partnerships. In addition, a process is under way by the National ECOP Office to determine which program related, Director level responsibilities can be contracted out or placed on hold until a full-time Executive Director is hired. ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd is accepting ideas for the construction and tactics of the next Search Committee. CLICK HERE to send a message by Thursday, December 7. The ECOP Executive Committee will meet on December 14 and consider next steps.

eXtension’s Impact Collaboratives Are Around the Corner - Extension Directors and Administrators learned more about the Impact Collaboratives during the recent NEDA meetings. As promised, the 2018 Impact Collaboratives, focusing on food systems, behavioral health, and diversity & inclusion, will kick off with eight regional “Designathon One” events in February and March 2018. These events are open to eXtension member institutions only and will promote design thinking and use Adobe’ Kickbox Innovation Kit as a tool for developing and iterating program ideas to maximize measurable local impact. The list of host institutions, locations, and dates is available at Encourage your faculty and staff to attend the event most convenient for them! The RFA for the Food Systems Impact Collaborative will be released by December 1, 2017. To become a member for the 2018 calendar year and to take full advantage of the “Designathon One” events, contact Chris Geith at

In the Pursuit of Excellence of Health and Human Services - Connecting Leaders. Shaping the Future. was the theme of the 2017 annual American Public Human Services Association Education (APHSA) Conference recently held in Memphis, TN. This conference is attended by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Directors from across the nation. The SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT) shared an exhibit featuring Land-grant Universities (LGUs) efforts to implement SNAP-Ed across the nation with conference participants. Program outcome fact sheets from individual states, educational resources, as well as the SNAP-Ed LGU National Report - Executive Summary were shared. During the conference, participants focused on shaping a two-generational approach for reducing poverty and development strategies for private-public collaboration. SNAP-Ed PDT members at the display purposefully engaged in conversation to promote the capacity of Land-grant Universities to be effective partners with state agencies in these approaches and strategies. For more information, please contact Laura Stephenson of the Executive Committee of the LGU SNAP-Ed Program Development Team.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Next Generation Extension – Learning for Leaders #1: Opioids and Extension

On Friday, December 1, 2017, 3:00 p.m. ET, the first in a series of web-based meetings will take place for the Cooperative Extension Section called Next Generation Extension – Learning for Leaders. In communities across the Nation, opioid addiction is increasing rapidly with dreadful results – hospitalization and death, weakened parenting and increasing out-of-home child placements, and family and workplace economic collapse. Incidence of opioid abuse has risen dramatically across geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic groups. Can Extension make a difference? Chris Boerboom, North Dakota State University, and the ECOP Program Committee, Anne R. Lindsay, University of Nevada-Reno, and Mark Skidmore, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, will provide an overview of the national situation related to abuse of opioids and will highlight examples of current Extension strategies. They will also collect relevant resources and curricula from interested participants, which will be shared with the System. Directors and Administrators have received the invitation with connection details and are encouraged to participate and/or share the invite with interested faculty and staff. The session will be recorded and electronically archived. Resources are available at

REMINDER: Passing of the Gavel - The Cooperative Extension Section (CES) gathers this evening, November 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. ET, at the APLU Annual Meeting at the Wardman Park Marriott, Washington, DC. ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska will preside and hand over leadership to Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska. Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware will receive recognition for her service, 2013-2017. The meeting will be highlighted by presentation of the 2017 CES Annual Report and the brand new CES Strategic Agenda. Follow CES activities on Twitter at @Ext100Years #leadext #CoopExtAward during the #APLU2017 meeting @APLU_News.

Promoting SNAP-Ed at LGUs - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) is a vital contributor to the Land-grant University (LGU) mission; it provides evidence based and evaluated nutrition education and obesity prevention service to high need audiences. It is critical that LGUs and Extension play an active role in the support and promotion of the strong impacts realized as a result of SNAP-Ed to ensure its continued funding. As the Federal Fiscal Year 2018 begins, please take a moment to plan how to promote, educate, and advocate on behalf of SNAP-Ed. Consider the following options to formulate a plan:
  • Convene a meeting between Extension and SNAP-Ed leadership to discuss the importance of SNAP-Ed at your LGU, promotion and educational priorities, and strategies for sharing the impacts of SNAP-Ed with internal and external stakeholders. 
  • Connect SNAP-Ed staff with your institution’s legislative liaisons to ensure SNAP-Ed impacts and value are part of educational and advocacy priorities for the coming year. 
  • Engage critical SNAP-Ed partners as advocates for SNAP-Ed within and beyond your state. 
For more information, please review national reports, and state reports, about SNAP-Ed within the LGU system, or contact Christine Hradek ( of the Legislative Education Committee of the LGU SNAP-Ed Program Development Team.

eXtension Offers Course on Civil Rights Training and Ensuring Inclusiveness - Civil rights are front and center in our nation’s news, which makes Extension professionals' responsibility for understanding the importance of civil rights training and ensuring inclusiveness in programming more important than ever. A new online course developed by more than 40 University of Minnesota Extension faculty and staff and led by Renee Pardello, Key Informant for the eXtension Impact Collaborative, is now available nationwide through eXtension. The course, which works best as a small-group activity, can be accessed at:

Beverly Samuel, NIFA and
NEAFCS President Theresa Mayhew
Beverly Samuel Receives NEAFCS Award - National Program Leader Beverly Samuel of USDA NIFA in Division of Family & Consumer Sciences was honored at the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) 2017 Annual Session. She received the “Friend of NEAFCS Award” at the conference held September 16-20, in Omaha, Nebraska. Initiated in 2005, the annual “Friend of NEAFCS Award” is the highest honor bestowed by the Association in recognition of an individual or organization, who has made significant contributions to Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Science education programs across the nation. To read full article, CLICK HERE.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Reminder – New Administrators' Orientation

The New Administrators' Orientation is intended for individuals on the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) and their supporting administrators or faculty and USDA-NIFA personnel who have entered an administrative position since 2013 and any others who would like to learn more about APLU, the land-grant university system, the BAA, and USDA-NIFA. Information presented will be particularly useful to administrative heads, directors, associate/assistant directors, and USDA-NIFA national program leaders and administrators. The workshop’s learning objectives were included in the 10/23 ECOP Monday Minute. Reserve a hotel room (by 11/21/17) and register for the meeting ($375 until 11/6/17 - THAT'S TODAY!). The planning committee is finalizing the speakers for the agenda, and every session will include time for Q&A with many having small group and other interactive components to them. For information and to register, please click here. A pre-workshop webinar will be conducted on December 5th from 3:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Connection details will soon be available.

PILD Proposals Due on 11/15/17 - The JCEP Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference Planning Committee is seeking proposals for presentations at the PILD Conference that will be held on April 8-11, 2018 in Arlington, VA, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. The theme of the conference is “Cultivating a Climate of Civil Dialogue.” For additional information and to submit a proposal follow the link to: 2018 PILD Presentation Proposals. The deadline for submitting a proposal is 5:00pm Pacific Time, November 15, 2017.

4-H National Youth Science Day RFPs Due December 4 - 4-H National Youth Science Day, which started as an initiative to introduce 4-H Science to clubs across the country has grown into the single-largest STEM experience delivered at scale to 4-H’ers and non 4-H’ers alike. 4-H National Headquarters at USDA-NIFA and National 4-H Council invite Cooperative Extension faculty and staff at all land-grant universities to submit a proposal detailing an innovative experience for youth to conduct during the 2018 4-H National Youth Science Day. The land-grant university that submits the winning application will receive a $50,000 award. The 2018 subject area focus is "computer science." To apply, go to Proposals are due December 4, 2017. In order for 4-H NYSD to continue to grow and reach new audiences, National 4-H Council is taking steps to enhance and streamline the science experience development process. To learn more about how this year’s application process and how it differs from previous years, join webinar on November 9 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Connection detail is via Adobe Connect - or Conference Number: US (Toll Free): 1-888-757-2790. Participant Code: 134535. Please direct questions to Janet Golden at or (301) 204-6841.

National IPM Meeting Summary - The National Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinating Committee (NIPMCC) met Oct. 17-18 at the APLU Building in Washington to identify national priorities, provide input on revisions to the National IPM Road Map and develop communication strategies. The NIPMCC is a committee of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) and the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP) and is charged to make recommendations on programs, policies, reports, budgets and other matters that affect pest management implementation among other activities. The NIPMCC seeks to increase awareness of the significant research and Extension contributions of IPM to agricultural production, human health and environmental quality. Federal IPM funding to support the regional IPM centers and state Extension Implementation Program grants is through the Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) funding line. The regional IPM centers (RIPMC) reported impressive returns on investments: Northeast RIPMC partnership grants were leveraged at 3:1; North Central RIPMC working groups had a 26:1 return on investment; Southern RIPMC enhancement grants were leveraged at 20:1; and Western RIPMC grants were leveraged at 25:1. For additional information, contact Pat Beauzay, NDSU Extension Service, NIPMCC chair or Chris Boerboom, NDSU Extension Service director and ECOP liaison.

National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) December 11-13 Semi-Annual Meeting - The Cooperative Extension System (CES) has extended the knowledge of land-grant universities to address current problems in each state and territory of the U.S. for over 100 years. With changing demographics and a shift towards urbanization. Within the CES, the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) has fostered regional and national collaboration to share resources and grow Extension’s reach in urban communities. You are invited to NUEL’s semi-annual meeting December 11-13, 2017 in Nashville, a time dedicated to assess intersections of collaboration with other colleagues from your region and from across the country as NUEL advances urban Extension efforts. NUEL is actively recruiting individuals and teams to join NUEL’s regional caucuses and plug into action team initiatives as they work across the CES. BOOK HOTEL TODAY - November 6 to obtain conference rate. Click here for conference and registration information. Please contact Patrick Proden, NUEL Chair, at if you have questions.

Binational Extension Conference on Food, Water, and Energy Programs - The Mexican Secretariat of Agriculture (SAGARPA) is sponsoring a Binational Extension Conference on November 15-17, 2017 in Chihuahua, Mexico. With the participation of USDA and U.S. Land-Grant Universities in the Western and Southern regions, this binational conference is a first step towards boosting programs of university-based Extension in the border regions of the United States and Mexico. The conference is a product of the 2016 MOU between APLU and SAGARPA for increased collaboration in agriculture. Topics will include youth and community development, agricultural innovations, food security, marketing, and climate-smart agriculture. This conference will be the first time that such a collection of U.S. universities, their Mexican counterparts and both federal governments will focus on the unique challenges and opportunities of food and agricultural systems in the border economy. Contact Jon Boren, NMSU Extension Director, for more information.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Excellence in Extension and Diversity Awards Announced

Please Note: The ECOP Monday Minute will return on November 6, 2017 

Louie Rivers, Jr.
Kentucky State University
Louie Rivers, Jr., Kentucky State University, will receive the 2017 Excellence in Extension Award, and the 2017 Extension Diversity Award will go to Oregon State University’s Youth Development Program "Attitudes for Success Youth Leadership Program". With visionary leadership, excellence in programming, and positive impact, Rivers has helped secure and manage more than $12 million in extramural funding to enhance Kentucky State University’s work with the small, limited-resource, minority, veteran and women farmers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Participants of the Small Farmers Program have shown an annual increase of $5,000 per participant. His leadership has impacted more the 20,000 individuals at Kentucky State University’s monthly sustainable agriculture workshop “Third Thursday Thing”.
Since the inception of "Attitude for Success" in 1989, more than 9,000 Hispanic and Native American youth have participated in the “Attitudes for Success” program. Over 950 students have served as youth council officers and 270 professionals, including university and college representatives from institutions located in the northwest, have volunteered as presenters, many for multiple years. Local mentors assist the youth in leadership engagement such as running for student body officer positions or planning community events. As a result of the impact, longevity, and the availability of curriculum and evaluation tools, the program is being replicated to other states. In addition to the 2 national awards, the Extension educators named below, one from each of the five Cooperative Extension regions, will be recognized for excellence. U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) and the Cooperative Extension Section have sponsored the Excellence in Extension and National Diversity awards since 1991. All awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in Washington on Nov. 12, 2017.
Row 1- Misty Blue-Terry, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (1890s Region); Kevin Erb, University of Wisconsin-Extension (North Central Region) and Chet Arnold, University of Connecticut (Northeast Region). Row 2-  Damona Doye, Oklahoma State University (Southern Region), and Marsha Goetting, Montana State University (Western Region)

Seeking a Host Land-grant University for 2019 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism - Volunteers form the basis of a very effective leveraging of core funding from federal, state and local sources. The National Extension Conference on Volunteerism provides an opportunity to develop volunteer management skills and has been held every other year since 1999. Since then, new strategies have been developed, research conducted, evaluations implemented, and priorities identified at the local, state, and national level. The 11th National Extension Conference on Volunteerism will be held in April or May, 2019. All land-grant universities interested in hosting the conference should submit a hosting proposal by December 8, 2017. Email Doug Swanson to request hosting criteria and application.

Reminder – New Administrators Orientation Registration Is Open - The orientation workshop is intended for individuals on the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) and their supporting administrators or faculty and USDA-NIFA personnel who have entered an administrative position since 2013 and any others who would like to learn more about APLU, the land-grant university system, the BAA, and USDA-NIFA. Information presented will be particularly useful to administrative heads, directors, associate/assistant directors, and USDA-NIFA national program leaders and administrators. The workshop’s learning objectives are:
  • Discuss compelling issues facing land-grant university Administrators as well as budgeting and accountability advice. 
  • Gain valuable tips from experienced administrators and how to be a proactive administrator. 
  • Learn how the APLU, BAA, USDA-Research, Education, and Economics, and USDA-NIFA work together to advance research, education and Extension. 
  • Learn how to become involved at the national level to influence federal legislation and decisions made by USDA-NIFA and other agencies. 
  • Understand the diverse roles of various institutional types within the Land-grant University System and the BAA. 
  • Establish strategic networks with colleagues. 
Reserve a hotel room (by 11/21/17) and register for the meeting ($375 until 11/6/17). The planning committee is finalizing the speakers for the agenda, and every session will include time for Q&A with many having small group and other interactive components to them. For information and to register, please click here. A pre-workshop webinar will be conducted on December 5th from 3:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Connection details will be provided in the 11/6/17 ECOP Monday Minute.

Director Ed Jones (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
joins Vermont 4-H'ers from the Flying Hooves Club
on October 4 as they build their "Incredible Wearables"
fitness trackers.
4-H Science Grows with help from "Incredible" Design Challenge - The 10th annual 4-H National Youth Science Day, the world's largest youth-led science challenge, engaged thousands of young people across the nation in October, thanks to the popularity of the 2017 Incredible Wearables design challenge, created by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This year's challenge, including the flagship event co-hosted by Cornell University Cooperative Extension and National 4-H Council in Brooklyn, New York, also garnered prominent news coverage from several media outlets: Popular Science, Scientific American, RFD-TV and Axios. The hands-on project challenges young people to use the engineering design process to build a wearable fitness tracker that will help people lead healthier lifestyles. 4-H NYSD is made possible by Cooperative Extension, USDA-NIFA, National 4-H Council and the generous support of several corporate partners, including U.S. Cellular, DuPont Pioneer, Lockheed Martin, Hughes Net, Google and CA Technologies. Shop 4-H (formerly 4-H Supply Service) is on track to sell a record number of science kits this year -- nearing 10,000 as of October 19. For more information, including photos, click here.

2017 NEDA Wrap-Up - All presentations from 2017 NEDA are now available on the gadget on the right of this blog called "NEDA Links and Downloads" (the web view of the ECOP Monday Minute). Recently added is the summary from "Recruitment and Retention of an Innovative Workforce" and videos of "Anticipating and Planning for Paradigm Shifts",

Monday, October 16, 2017

REMINDER: NEDA Survey Due 10.19.17

This morning Directors and Administrators who participated in the recent 2017 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) received an email reminder to complete a survey. The input is valuable as planning occurs for future meetings. PowerPoints from the meeting are available under "NEDA Links and Downloads" section on the right panel of this blog. Stay tuned for a few more additions to this list. Contact Sandy Ruble for assistance regarding the survey.

2018 National Health Outreach Conference (NHOC) Call for Proposals - Proposals are being requested for the National Health Outreach Conference (NHOC) on May 2–4, 2018, at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. These proposals, due on October 30, 2017, are being sought that include (but are not limited to) the following topics in the fields of community health, safety, and wellness:
  • Multi-level community/place-based initiatives 
  • Systems-level strategies 
  • Health equity initiatives 
  • Behavioral and mental health initiatives 
  • Financial wellness initiatives 
  • Healthy aging strategies 
  • Collaborative strategies with health care entities 
Learn more about the requirements for proposals and the submittal process on the 2018 NHOC Call for Proposals web page. Reviewers will notify designated contacts about decisions on proposals by December 4, 2017.

FCS State Program Leaders to Meet this Week - The Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) State Program Leaders Meeting will be held October 18-19, in conjunction with the NEAFCS Annual Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. USDA NIFA FCS staff, in partnership with a planning committee, will deliver a 2-day meeting filled with learning opportunities. Collaborative national partners will share updates, and FCS Leaders will showcase programs of excellence by regions. Chuck Hibberd will share his vision as incoming chair of ECOP and how he plans to employ FCS to help with these efforts. Terry Meisenbach of eXtension will discuss “eXtension Impacts Collaboratives” and opportunities for engagement. A panel focusing on Advancing a Culture of Health with the recipients of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards in Extension will share their plans for project implementation. The national healthy homes partnership will also share how it supports the broader health initiative. This event will also afford an opportunity for FCS Leaders to provide stakeholder input on the NIFA FCS portfolio to help shape national programming over the next five years. Participants will be favored with ignite sessions on various topics and updates on EFNEP and Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence. Last, a development officer will coach FCS Leaders on effective messaging for securing corporate sponsorships. On-site registration for this event is still an option.

CYFAR Listening Sessions Scheduled: The NIFA Children, Youth and Families at Risk Program (CYFAR) - CYFAR will conduct two Listening Sessions on Friday, October 27 and Monday, October 30. This will be an opportunity for NIFA to acquire feedback from Stakeholders concerning the CYFAR Program. Both sessions will be conducted at 1:30-2:30 p.m. EST as ZOOM sessions. Participants will be asked to provide feedback regarding the change in the number of years the CYFAR Sustainable Community Grants will be offered to eligible universities. They will also be asked: Would the CYFAR Program be better served by reducing the number of years funding would be offered to a single university and should funding be offered for a three or four year period instead of five years? This year, there will be an Open Session for Stakeholders to provide general feedback regarding the CYFAR Program. The maximum available funding per single university would be $360,000-$500,000 for the three or four year period, should Congressional funding remain at the same level. For details on connecting to the Zoom meeting, please contact NIFA Vulnerable Populations National Program Leader Bonita Williams at Background information on CYFAR can be found in the 9/25/17 issue of the ECOP Monday Minute.

Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Competitive Grant Program Grantsmanship Webinar - Jane Clary Loveless, Paul Cotton, Adriene Woodin, Susan Bowman, and Pascale C. Jean will present Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Grantsmanship from 2-4:00 p.m. Eastern on October 19, 2017. The webinar can be viewed via Adobe Connect, and in Room 2311 of the Waterfront Building, Washington, DC. This webinar has been approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration for 1.0 Continuing Professional Education Unit (CEU). This seminar is part of the Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition (IFSN) Seminar Series.

Monday, October 9, 2017

2017 NEDA Photo Highlights

Extension administrators, associate administrators, directors, and associate directors, from 47 US States, District of Columbia, and 3 US Territories met in Burlington, Vermont last week for the 2017 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) and Cooperative Extension Section Meeting. 106 participants in all enjoyed a series of interactive professional development presentations and panels. The Program presentations will soon be available here on the ECOP Monday Minute, NEDA Links and Downloads (right panel of web view). ECOP met as well in conjunction with NEDA; CLICK HERE to view that agenda.

Hold the Date-New Administrators' Orientation December 12-14 in Alexandria, VA - Lyla Houglum and Robin Shepard (EDA Team) have been working with Wendy Fink (APLU), Eric Young (ESCOP), and Bill Hoffman (USDA-NIFA) on a wonderful opportunity for new Deans, Directors, Administrators or other Land Grant administrators, even those with a few years’ experience. This workshop is intended for individuals who are part of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly and their supporting administrators or faculty and U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) personnel who have entered an administrative position since 2013 and any others who would like to learn more about APLU, the land-grant university system, BAA, and USDA-NIFA. Information presented will be particularly useful to administrative heads, directors, associate/assistant directors, and USDA-NIFA national program leaders and administrators. For more information on the orientation learning objectives or to register for the workshop CLICK HERE.

National Impacts Database Team Report - was established five years ago, and it now contains 2,144 statements from throughout the system. In 2014 and 2015 submissions peaked with approximately 600 impact statements were received each year, while in 2016 saw just 324 statements were added. While there are some outstanding examples of strong, high-impact programs projects in the database, many entries are not well written or lacked demonstrated impact. As a result, a Content Writing team was initiated, composed of 2 communication writers from each region who have experience in writing impact statements. The content team met in 2015, 2016 & 2017, with funding support by ECOP and ESCOP. This team reviews impact statements that have been entered by the states and edits them into high-quality impact statements. These statements are used under the “Areas of Impact” section on the front page of the website. Over the last year, a national team of impact writing experts created an online training that is available through eXtension, and groups of content committee members have presented several regional impact writing trainings upon request. At last count, more than 700 individuals had completed the online training, but only 28 of the 303 editors, who actually input statements into, have completed the training. The Content Team has noted that the quality of impact statements from the 1890 institutions has increased significantly over the past year, attributed in part to a face-to-face training that was held with the 1890 institutions this past year. ECOP Appointee Karla Trautman, South Dakota State University,, co-chairs the National Impacts Database Team with Bill Brown, University of Tennessee AgResearch.

Making the Extension + Engagement Connection through APLU, Get Engaged in the 2018 CEO/CICEP Summer Meeting in Richmond, VA - The APLU Council on Engagement and Outreach (CEO) and Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP) will hold a joint summer meeting June 25 – 28 in Richmond, VA, hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University. CEO and CICEP invites Cooperative Extension professionals to attend this meeting, and look forward to enriching the engagement conversation with the Extension perspective. Please save the dates and plan to attend. To receive email notification when meeting registration is available, contact Jim Woodell at APLU ( Jim is also accepting ideas for sessions for the Planning Committee to consider that would fit the theme of Creative Placemaking for Healthy Communities, meant to explore the intersection of Extension and broader university engagement. Sessions will focus on collaborations that are tackling cultural, economic and social issues which impact the health and well-being of our communities. Exploration is underway with the Rural Regional Development Centers about a session that might contrast these kinds of partnership development in rural and urban regions. Stay tuned to the ECOP Monday Minute over the next few months to discover ways in which Cooperative Extension and CEO/CICEP might build stronger connections.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Webinar Addresses Farmers and Ranchers Health-related Risks

Health, access to care, and health insurance, affect the vitality of agricultural enterprises and farm and ranch families, according to results from a national research project funded by the USDA. A free webinar taking place on October 10, 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET is designed for Extension, tax, loan, health and other agricultural advisors. Connecting Health Insurance & Ag Viability will provide an overview of the research findings to help farmers and ranchers make informed decisions for their businesses and households. The webinar will be hosted by Scott Loveridge (North Central Regional Center for Rural Development). Shoshanah Inwood (The Ohio State University), Bonnie Braun (University of Maryland Extension), Maria Pippidis (University of Delaware), and Bob Parsons and Jake Jacobs (University of Vermont Extension) will also present. Webinar participants will understand the intersection of health and agricultural business viability, grounded in 2016-2017 national research finding; receive tools they can use in their work farmers, including worksheets, videos and other informational resources, and questions to ask farmers and ranchers to help incorporate health costs into farm enterprise and risk management planning.

Apply Now For the Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge! - National Association of Counties (NACo) – in partnership with Americans for the Arts and with support from the National Endowment for the Arts – has launched the Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge to train local leaders from rural and mid-sized counties on how to advance arts-based economic and community development to address local challenges. NACo invites counties with populations of less than 250,000 to form multidisciplinary teams to apply. Recognizing the intimate working relationships extension networks have with rural counties, NACo welcomes applications that feature county extension agents as team members. Selected teams will attend a training and peer exchange workshop on March 28-30, 2018. Deadline: Friday, October 13, 2017. Questions? Contact Jenna Moran at; 202-942-4224. Twitter announcement:

Fostering Positive Youth Development - Positive youth development is an intentional approach to promote positive outcomes for young people through family and community youth engagement for the benefit of society. Positive youth development focuses on building relationships while delivering learning content, ultimately giving youth the skillsets they need to navigate socially: respect, teamwork, and self-care. NIFA prioritizes positive youth development programming to ensure the future employability of America’s children and support our nation’s economy. See for more on this informative infographic.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Extension Disaster Education Network

Supported by NIFA, Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) is a collaborative multi-state effort with land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension Services across the country, using research-based education and resources to improve the delivery of services to citizens affected by disasters. EDEN's goal is to improve the nation's ability to mitigate, prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters. EDEN equips county-based Extension educators to share research-based resources in local disaster management and recovery efforts. The EDEN website offers a searchable database of Extension professionals, resources, member universities and disaster agency websites, education materials to help people handle a wide range of hazards and food and agricultural defense educational resources. Steve Cain, Purdue Extension Disaster Communication Specialist and the Indiana Point of Contact for the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) will be presenting at the upcoming NEDA conference.

Jim Woodell, APLU

Exploring Intersections of University Engagement and Extension -  Participants in two of APLU’s member groups—the Council on Engagement and Outreach (CEO) and the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP)—are focused on developing tools and resources to help universities create and demonstrate economic and societal impact, and both groups are interested in engaging the Cooperative Extension perspective and experience in this work. Please consider contacting APLU Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement Jim Woodell to express interest in connecting with one or both of these APLU groups. For those attending NEDA in Vermont, please note that Jim will be there.

Ag Census Survey Opportunity is Coming Soon - In just a couple months, farmers and ranchers across the nation will start receiving the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Producers can mail in their completed census form, or respond online via the improved web questionnaire. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has extensively revised the online questionnaire this year to make it more convenient than ever. Very user-friendly, it can now be used on any electronic device, and can be saved and revisited as time allows. Responding online saves time and protects data quality, and better data mean informed decisions; that’s why it is so important that every producer be represented! New timesaving features of the online questionnaire include automatically calculating totals, skipping sections that do not pertain to the operation, and providing dropdown menus of frequent responses. Producers still have until October 1 to try the online questionnaire demo on the Census of Agriculture website. For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit or call (800) 727-9540. The Census of Agriculture is a producer’s voice, future, and opportunity.

CYFAR’s 25th Anniversary Celebration of Great Collaborative Work with the Land-grant and Cooperative Extension Systems - NIFA acknowledges the CYFAR (Children, Youth and Families at Risk) Program as the 25th year of program funding in the report CYFAR at 25 Years: What Are They Doing Now? During this time period, CYFAR has served over 250,000 children, youth and parents.  The report offers just a few examples of how the Extension educators and other caring adults have impacted the lives of past participants, youth and adult, regarding their career/life choices. The projects are representative of the 1862, 1890 and 1994 Institutions. Though, at this time the 1890 and 1862 Universities are eligible for CYFAR funding, the eligible institutions have forged partnerships with the 1994 Institutions in some cases. Some state accomplishments, scope of project totals, and state highlighted projects are also included in the impact report.

Monday, September 18, 2017

NEDA Session - Anticipating and Planning for Paradigm Shifts

NEDA Session Panelists: Ken LaValley, University of New Hampshire; Scott Reed, Oregon State University; Rosalind Dale, North Carolina A&T University; Laura Perry Johnson, University of Georgia, and Karl Martin, University of Wisconsin
When the old ways of doing things no longer apply, how do Deans and Directors respond in a way that leverages Cooperative Extension’s assets?” This question will be addressed on October 4, during 2017 NEDA meeting. 5 panelists, pictured above, are featured in Anticipating and Planning for Paradigm Shifts. Dan Lerner, University of Vermont, NEDA Planning Committee member is the moderator. Directors and Administrators will engage on the following topics: 1) the funding landscape for Cooperative Extension; 2) changing demographics; 3) state and national politics; 4) multigenerational workplaces and clientele; 5) shifting market preferences, and 6) sustaining entrepreneurial energy. The session will be filmed and archived with other 2017 NEDA presentations on the ECOP Monday Minute (see "NEDA Links and Downloads" on right at bottom of this page). Early registration fee for NEDA ends today, September 18! Lodging at The Essex is quite limited; call 802-764-1404, Monday-Friday, 8AM-4PM ET, for more information.

EPA Cooperative Agreement Will Support Pesticide Safety Education - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs is awarding a cooperative agreement to support Extension educators through a partnership with eXtension and the newly-formed National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC). NPSEC seeks to strengthen the national system Pesticide Safety Education Programs by improving the quality, consistency, and accessibility of educational offerings, promoting collaboration, and increasing revenue generation of Extension programs. The eXtension Foundation provides contractual services to deliver online programs and temporarily serves as the Center's fiduciary service provider. Additional partners include the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC), Association of Pesticide Safety Educators, and CropLife America Foundation. Learn more about the NPSEC... | Learn more about eXtension… 

New partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Cooperative Extension System is Announced Publicly - A $4.6 million grant to National 4-H Council to improve the health of 1,000 communities over the next 10 years was shared with news outlets nationwide last week and posted to the 4-H and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation web sites. The partnership will leverage the reach of Cooperative Extension and innovation of youth leadership to build a Culture of Health. “This initiative taps into everything that the Cooperative Extension System has done well since we were formed over a century ago as the national education and community development program of the nation’s land-grant universities,” said Michelle Rodgers, PhD, project director and associate dean and director of University of Delaware Extension. “When we combine this with America’s philanthropy leader in health, it is amazing to envision the transformative impact we will have in communities throughout the country.” To begin this partnership, several land-grant universities have been selected to lead action plans in numerous communities. The details are included in the September 14 press release. We invite and encourage you to share this news with your colleagues and networks, including social media.

Breakthroughs 2030 Announces Five Focal Areas - The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have been engaging the science community in the study Science Breakthroughs 2030: A Strategy for Food and Agricultural Research. This study’s goals were to identify ambitious scientific opportunities in food and agriculture made possible by incorporating knowledge and tools from across the science and engineering spectrum. The year-long project is working towards describing research directions with high potential to open new frontiers for food and agriculture science. The National Academies has announced five focal areas for the Breakthroughs 2030 Study including Greener Plants, Greener Animals, Reducing Food Waste, Safer Food Supply, and Pathways for Resilience. These areas will be explored in greater depth by experts at the approaching "Jamboree Meeting" on October 2-4 in Irvine, CA. Stay tuned to ECOP Monday Minute for findings/results of the October meeting.

Monday, September 11, 2017

ECOP Strategic Agenda Advances

Incoming ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd, working with current Chair Fred Schlutt and ECOP, continues to engage our ECOP members, Extension Administrators and Directors in developing the ECOP strategic agenda. This effort is building on the survey results from the July 7 webinar. That input formed the content for a Qualtrics Survey to provide regions the opportunity for more directed input. This input will be the basis for a webinar set for September 25th for regional Executive Committee members, ECOP, and the Extension Director and Administrator team. This webinar will focus on a review and discussion of the draft strategic agenda priorities, input on intended outcomes relative to each priority, and initial ideas on implementation tactics for each priority. The webinar results will set the stage for a discussion at the 2017 NEDA meeting on October 4th. Chuck will finalize the NEDA conversation into the ECOP strategic agenda that will form the basis for the work of ECOP for 2018 and beyond. The engagement of Extension leadership at our 1862 and 1890 institutions has been invaluable in the process thus far, and Chuck looks forward to robust and productive discussions on 9/25 and 10/4.

Vernon Jones. Langston
eXtension Foundation Results and Impact Collaborative Launch - eXtension has been in the process of a dynamic reboot on its mission and how our Cooperative Extension colleagues around the country are being engaged in exciting new ways. On October 3rd at 2017 NEDA, Vernon Jones, eXtension Foundation Board of Directors Chair, (Langston University) will report on eXtension's flagship program. Directors and Administrators in attendance will learn more about how the Impact Collaborative is meeting the demand for innovation and professional development. All Extension Directors and Administrators are encouraged to register for NEDA by September 18 before a price increase.

Rachel Welborn, Southern Rural
Development Center; Chris Boerboom,
North Dakota State University

2017 NEDA: Extension as a Rapid Responder – On October 4th at NEDA Chris Boerboom (North Dakota State University) and Rachel Welborn (Southern Rural Development Center), are featured presenters at a session called Extension as a Rapid Responder to Critical National Issues - Civil Discourse at 2017 NEDA on Wednesday, October 4th in Essex, VT. The session will showcase steps taken in piloting the Rapid Response Team protocol and explore applications to foster productivity with other multi-state virtual working groups. Additionally, NEDA attendees will engage in a first-hand exploration of issues around Civil Dialogue and Race Relations. For more information on the Rapid Response Team effort, visit

Happy Birthday, 1890 Land-Grant Universities
In celebration, readers are encouraged to review the resolution presented to 1890 Cooperative Extension leaders in October 2015:
A Tip of the Hat to Our 1890 LGUs Celebrating 127 Years of Cutting Edge Science, Education, Community Service
by Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA Director 

The author of the Act that created land-grant colleges, Congressman Justin Smith Morrill of Strafford, Vermont, had been disappointed that such educational institutions were out of reach for African-Americans. Almost 30 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act of 1862, the Second Morrill Act, creating our nation’s historically black land-grant colleges, was successfully shepherded through Congress by then Senator Morrill and signed into law Aug. 30, 1890. After 127 years of experience and diversity in agricultural research, education, and extension, our 1890 LGUs are poised to develop leadership and human capital for our nation’s preeminence in the 21st century. That is not a bad legacy for the seminal ideas Justin Smith Morrill articulated in the 19th century. Read the full article