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Monday, July 24, 2017

ECOP Summer Meeting Highlights

ECOP members and guests step outdoors at Kananaskis Village, Alberta, Canada
ECOP met for a day and a half at the annual JointCOPs meeting last week that was held in conjunction with APLU Commission on International Initiatives. Agenda topics included
  • funding opportunities for Extension,
  • Ag and other organization relationships,
  • 4-H Leadership Committee work,
  • NIFA updates (Q&A on Calls to Conversation Meeting Series, time & effort reporting),
  • budget advocacy and call to action challenges, and 
  • nutrition education. 
Through a process undertaken by Chair-elect Chuck Hibberd, ECOP, the Board of Directors for the Board on Agriculture Assembly’s Cooperative Extension Section (CES) is learning what topics are most important to Directors and Administrators. Each of from this list warrant recognition in the ECOP Monday Minute. Stay tuned for more details.

Rural Broadband Resources - Access to broadband remains a significant economic and community challenge across the country, particularly in rural areas. ECOP recognizes the need to support Extension’s education efforts, and we have had conversations with the Regional Rural Development Centers and NIFA. In a recent webinar it was discovered that BroadbandUSA was developed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to provide assistance to stakeholders (government, industry, nonprofit) that want to expand their broadband capacity and promote broadband adoption. It provides technical assistance, publications and a connectivity assessment capacity. See for more information. You can join their mailing list by sending a request to

Breakthroughs 2030 Input Opportunity - The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are pleased to announce Science Breakthroughs 2030: A Strategy for Food and Agricultural Research, a new study 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 will involve the scientific community in describing research directions with high potential to open new frontiers for food and agriculture science. The study needs input from scientists of all disciplinary backgrounds to understand where opportunities are emerging. The public is also invited to contribute to the Breakthroughs discussion. Go to the Community Input page to find out how you can share your ideas in an IdeaBuzz framework. An in person and webinar-based town Hall will be held at the National Academy of Science Building in Washington, DC on August 8, 2017 to discuss ideas and white pages submitted to the IdeaBuzz discussion platform. Go to to register.

Economics Research Service’s Report Reveals Extensive Work - A new ERS accomplishment report is posted at The report provides specific accomplishments across the ERS program from the agricultural economy, global markets and trade, nutrition and food safety, resources and environment, and the rural economy. In addition, there’s an overview of how ERS adds value to the numbers through our integrated program of statistics, outlook, and research.

Biosecurity to Protect America’s Food and Agricultural System - Tactical science programs protect the integrity, reliability, sustainability, and profitability of the U.S. food and agricultural system against threats from pests, diseases, contaminants, and disasters. It is necessary to mitigate the threats posed by these foreign and emerging constraints to our nation’s economy and food supply. NIFA is committed to supporting programs that provide readily available, science-based tactics to help prevent, prepare for, detect, respond to, and recover from known and emerging threats. Click here to view the infographic.