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Monday, August 28, 2017

Free Virtual Conference on “Learning Through Change”

ECOP Monday Minute will resume on September 11, 2017. Have a safe Labor Day holiday. 

eXtension Foundation Announces a Military Families Learning Network Virtual Conference for military family service providers to LEARN strategies for managing change, GROW in their understanding of capacity for change and begin to THRIVE as they connect with colleagues facing similar challenges. September 26-29, 2017. Registration is found at 

4-H and Google to Bring Computer Science Education to Young People Nationwide - 4-H and Google are coming together for a first-of-its-kind computer science (CS) collaboration thanks to the STEM outcomes and expertise that are a hallmark of the Cooperative Extension System. The partnership is funded by a $1.5 million grant from to establish a computer science program that will empower more than 100,000 kids across 22 states in its first year. The 4-H and Google partnership, featured on many news outlets, including, was announced on August 11 at the Illinois State Fair in collaboration with the University of Illinois Extension. National 4-H Council is grateful to the Illinois 4-H team for its support of this important partnership and help with the launch announcement. The partnership will establish an official 4-H CS Career Pathway, which helps kids progress from casual interest in CS to dedicated studies and career experience. Utah State University Extension’s 4-H program is a key partner in co-creating the pathway and developing tools for educators to implement the program. Click here for more information.

West Virginia University Launches Center for the Future of Land-Grant Education - To support the creation of a 21st century land-grant mission for West Virginia University and beyond, the WVU College of Education and Human Services will open the nation’s only higher education research institute dedicated to land-grant colleges and universities, the Center for the Future of Land-Grant Education, in the Fall of 2017. The Center will focus on advancing knowledge of the policies, leadership, students, faculty, and organizational practices of land-grant institutions. Faculty affiliates within the Center are leading higher education scholars dedicated to finding innovative solutions to preserve these unique institutions for future generations. Dr. Nathan Sorber, the Center director, is a national expert on the land-grant movement and public higher education, having three recent books on the topic for Transaction, Routledge, and Cornell University Presses. Other Center scholars have national profiles in rural education, education and community engagement, student access, public policy, and higher education organizations and management. The Center scholars have been recruited from leading education programs in the country, having worked previously in national research institutes such as the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Penn State University and the Education Policy Center at Harvard University.

NIFA Supports Federal Initiative to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance - Antimicrobial drugs (antimicrobials) are important for preventing, controlling, and treating diseases that harmful microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) cause in humans, food animals, and plants. These types of drugs include antibiotics, which are types of antimicrobials that specifically kills or inhibits bacteria. Through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI and other competitive and capacity programs, NIFA funds many types of basic and applied AMR research. From 2012-2015, the AFRI Food Safety Challenge Area program priority “Effective Strategies for Mitigating AMR” awarded $11,049,195 in research, education, and/or extension projects. Currently, “Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance” is an AFRI Foundational Program that will fund AMR research in both the private and public sector. In addition to these NIFA-funded programs, the USDA contributes to a number of other AMR activities related to surveillance, research, development, extension, education, and outreach. To learn more about antimicrobial resistance, view the full infographic

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 31 – Executive Director Applications Coming to a Close

Last week ECOP Chair Fred Schlutt announced a closing date for applications for the Executive Director, Cooperative Extension System, to be August 31, 2017. “The Search Committee is ready to move ahead with an application review,” said Fred. ECOP Monday Minute readers are encouraged to share the deadline and the job announcement

Communications and Marketing Committee Request - Bev Durgan, University of Minnesota, as Chair of the Communications and Marketing Committee (CMC), recently shared 2 recent reports from kglobal - a second quarter report and results of a recent "Call to Action" video campaign, describing the efforts of kglobal to support the BAA’s “One Ask” initiative; the initiative to increase funding to AFRI, Smith-Lever, Hatch, McIntire-Stennis, Evans-Allen and 1890’s Extension by $200M. Referring to systemic collaboration, Bev reminds Extension Directors and Administrators that future Calls to Action are meant to be shared with communicators, colleagues and stakeholders. and that more great stories are welcome. Cooperative Extension Section CMC representatives are Fred Schlutt, ECOP Chair, University of Alaska,; Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University,; Scott Reed, Oregon State University, and Steve Bonanno, West Virginia University

Cooperative Extension System and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Partnership - Universities Selected to Support Culture of Health Initiative: Cooperative Extension's new partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to impact 1,000 communities over the next 10 years will launch this fall with the help of a $4.6 million grant approved in July by the Foundation's board. On behalf of the partnership, National 4-H Council is pleased to announce the selection of five LGUs that will lead this initiative over the next two years in three communities of readiness within each of their states. The five LGUs (from 26 applications) include: University of Maryland (Eastern Shore), University of Minnesota, South Dakota State University, University of Tennessee and Utah State University. Supporting partner LGUs include the Universities of Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin. In addition, Washington State University has been selected to lead the professional development work for the Culture of Health partnership. Supporting partner LGUs include: University of Alaska-Fairbanks, University of California, Colorado State University and the Ohio State University. To ensure the System is positioned for national scale of this initiative and lasting impact, significant investments will be made in readiness for over 50 additional LGUs. Additional information will be shared in mid-September through a public announcement. Questions can be directed to JoAnne Leatherman, Program Director, Foundations and Healthy Living, National 4-H Council,

Michelle Rodgers,
University of Delaware
Extension Leader Michelle Rodgers Named National Project Director for Culture of Health Initiative - Dr. Michelle Rodgers, Associate Dean and Director, University of Delaware Extension, will assume a new half time role on September 1 as National Project Director of Cooperative Extension System's (CES) new partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Rodgers will continue to fulfill her responsibilities as Delaware's Extension Director with the assistance of a new half-time Associate Director position. The partnership to impact 1,000 communities over the next 10 years will launch this fall with the help of a two-year, $4.6 million grant approved in July by the Foundation's board, see above story for more details. Nearly 50 people applied for the project director position. National 4-H Council wishes to thank the nine colleagues representing Extension, ECOP, NIFA and Council who participated in the interviews and selection process. As Associate Dean and Director, Dr. Rodgers provides overall leadership for programs, personnel and the organizational development of the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension. She is the immediate past chair of ECOP and served as co-chair of the ECOP Health Task Force. Prior to joining the University of Delaware, Rodgers spent five years as Associate Director at Michigan State University Extension. Rodgers also worked at Penn State University as an agent and regional director in Cooperative Extension.

Leadership in the City Online Professional Development Course for Urban Extension Professionals - Leadership in the City is an eight-week online professional development program for urban Extension professionals interested in entrepreneurial leadership, networks, innovation, and management. The program was developed based on a foundation of entrepreneurial theory and urban Extension practice. The curriculum builds upon existing leadership experiences, management training, and Extension professional development. Each competency-based module incorporates interactive digital delivery and the flipped classroom model for active learning and engagement. Participant from seven states have already registered. The investment in the program is $500 plus a commitment to actively participate. This course is aligned with ECOP’s 2017 Emphasis Areas and is led by Dr. Julie Fox from Ohio State University Extension. Practical application benefits individual participants, as well as their teams and organizations. The eight-week online course begins September 8, 2017 with orientation materials available on September 1. Multiple participants from the same institute are each entitled to a $100 discount (Discount code: EITC17-100). Complete details and registration can be found at

Monday, August 14, 2017

2017 NEDA: Extension Impact and Value

Jeff Dwyer,
Michigan State University
2017 NEDA: Extension Impact and Value - Jeff Dwyer, Michigan State University, is a featured presenter at a session called Communicating the Impact and Value of Extension at 2017 NEDA on Tuesday, October 3rd in Essex, VT. Jeff will begin the dialogue with NEDA attendees with an example of an effective communication approach. Planning Committee members Gary Lemme, Auburn University, and George Czapar, University of Illinois, will also share their experiences on this topic in small group discussions and best practices from participants will be summarized. Extension Administrators and Directors are encouraged to book a hotel room by 9.8.17 and register before early registration ends on 9.18.17, by going to today.

Positive Youth Development Call to Conversation: Input Opportunity - On August 3-4, several Extension Administrators and Directors, Program Leaders, and representative from numerous national youth organizations participated in a Call to Conversation on Positive Youth Development. NIFA is now reviewing the excellent feedback that was shared. Those who were not in attendance are invited by Lisa Lauxman, Director of 4-H National Headquarters, to respond to questions found on pages 2-3 on the "Point of Departure" document. Send your comments and feedback to 4-H National Headquarters by/before August 21.

Supporting the Tribal Land-Grant Institutions - NIFA commits to catalyzing transformative applied research, education, and Extension at 1994 land-grant institutions to address critical challenges in Indian communities across the United States. The 1994 land-grant institutions have the unique ability to address issues affecting lives of American Indian students and communities. These institutions deliver place-based knowledge that is rooted in the histories, environments, cultures, and economies of their respective communities. They are essential to affecting local to regional change as fully engaged partners within the land-grant university system.

Professional Development Opportunity - Join the 4-H system for the 2017 Professional Development E-Academy, The Role of Diversity and Inclusion in Positive Youth Development. The focus will be on engaging diverse youth and understanding the social issues they face. There will be ten one-hour online sessions spread out from October 2 to October 23. You can get more information and register for the free sessions at 2017 E-academy Registration. The target audience is 4-H field faculty but all positive youth development professionals are welcome to participate. The 2017 E-Academy is brought to you by 4-H National Headquarters in partnership with National 4-H Council and the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Scott Reed Receives Ruby Award

Scott Reed, Oregon State University
Scott Reed, Vice Provost-University Outreach & Engagement, Director-Extension Service, Oregon State University, has been chosen as the 2017 to receive of the highest recognition by Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP), the Distinguished Service Ruby. As the recipient, Scott will deliver the prestigious Ruby Lecture on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, during the 2017 ESP National Conference in Wilmington, NC. Scott currently represents the Western Region of the Cooperative Extension System on ECOP, and in the past served on ECOP’s Budget & Legislative Committee, Private Resource Mobilization Task Force (Chair) and represented ECOP as Chair of the AHS/CES/ESS Communications and Marketing Committee. Registration for the conference is available at or contact 208-736-4495 or for more information.

Health Insurance Certified Educator Training on Smart Choice Basics - With health insurance policies in the news and summer soon turning to fall, health insurance enrollment season will soon be here. Extension Educators may want to offer the 1 hour Smart Choice Basics course to help reduce confusion and increase understanding among consumers they serve. Remember, the law doesn't change the principles of selection taught in Smart Choice Basics. The Health Insurance Literacy Initiative Team of the University of Maryland Extension and University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is offering a certified educator training on Monday, August 21, 1:00-4:30 p.m. Eastern. Registration is $25 through Eventbrite. Chair of the ECOP/ESCOP Health Insurance Action Team Virginia Brown, is a point of contact.

FSA Beginning Farmer Mentoring Program Opportunity - Recently, USDA-Farm Service Agency (FSA) has been working with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Service Corps of Retired (and working) Executives (SCORE), a nonprofit resource partner of the SBA, to develop a peer-to-peer mentor network intended to improve the financial literacy and profitability of agricultural businesses—particularly new farm, ranch, and rural businesses. SCORE offers free or low-cost, one-on-one business coaching that can help businesses develop a business plan, navigate legal and financial preparations in getting started, identify new markets, develop strategies for growth, and more. This resource, already available nationwide to small business owners, can be accessed through USDA’s new farmer website. USDA works with SCORE to increase producer awareness of the mentorship services, complementing Extension resources. USDA is stepping up efforts to recruit experienced farmers and ranchers to become SCORE mentors and roll out new participating states every 3 months over the coming year. A collaboration of SCORE and Extension is currently active in Connecticut, Iowa, and Minnesota; with 5 more states in the queue. This new USDA/SCORE initiative serves as an opportunity to complement new farmer educational resources and is an additional resource that Extension colleagues can offer to producers.

Capacity Funding Reality: Declining Real Dollar Federal Support - USDA-NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy sometimes mentions that Cooperative Extension “local boots on the ground” has lost about a third of its footprint. While this is clearly not a good news story, it does speak to the on-going challenge that Extension Directors and Administrators across the country must come to understand. Bill Hoffman, Chief of Staff to the Office of the Director at NIFA, found the article that documents Sonny’s statement. The article is found in Choices, the magazine of food, farms and resource use, and the principal outreach vehicle of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association, AAEA. Choices provides peer-reviewed articles exploring the economic implications of current food, farm, resource or rural community issues directed toward a broad audience. Sun Ling Wang, an Economist with the USDA's Economic Research Service, published a paper in Choices titled “Cooperative Extension System: Trends and Economic Impacts on U.S. Agriculture” in 2014.