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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