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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.