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Sunday, April 22, 2018

ECOP National Leadership Transition

Doug Steele, Director for International
Extension Outreach and Education,
Borlaug Institute for
International Agriculture

Doug Steele has accepted a position as Director for International Extension Outreach and Education with the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. Doug served in a number of national leadership roles, including ECOP Chair in 2012 and Chair for the Centennial Task Force 2013-2014. Until further action by the ECOP Executive Committee meeting, Jon Boren, New Mexico State University, will take the lead of ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee and represent ECOP on the Budget and Advocacy Committee, and Michelle Rodgers, University of Delaware, will step in to fulfill her duty as Alternate Cooperative Extension Section representative to the of the Board on Agriculture Assembly Policy Board of Directors. ECOP is grateful to all for their national leadership and devotion to the System.

Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders Special: Framing Cooperative Extension's Response to the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity - ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd and 3 deep-thinking, distinguished presenters explore this emerging opportunity. The Land-grant Cooperative Extension Section (CES) is strongly positioned to address the challenging issues in Rural America. Highlights:
  • Develop a shared template intended to showcase efforts
  • Generate a single CES report telling the story holistically
  • Each state/university tell own story in its own way
The link to the presentation is provided below and comments and questions are welcome at

Ali Mitchell, Executive Director
Northeast Regional Extension Directors
Ali Mitchell Joins EDA Team - Ali Mitchell has been named Executive Director of the Association of Northeast Extension Directors (NEED). Ms. Mitchell most recently served as a NOAA Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Transportation in a dual role as Policy Liaison to the Executive Director of the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System and Advisor to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Port Performance Freight Statistics Program. Ms. Mitchell graduated with a BA from Williams College where she majored in religion and earned a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from Brown University where she focused on the power of storytelling for policy goals and the integration of data analytics and social science to create, evaluate, and implement effective public policy. Her interdisciplinary professional experiences include working as a blacksmith, as a documentarian, as part of the executive team for the Williams Mystic Maritime Studies Program, and as an independent public policy consultant, among others. Please join ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd and the EDA Team welcoming Ali! Her email is

Opportunity – National Cooperative Extension Award Nominations Are Due May 1 - Stellar Programs and Extension Educators Wanted! Go to: for full details before time runs out by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, May 1. All nominations must be submitted electronically using the designated online platform, Contact Sandy Ruble with questions or concerns.

Farm Bill Proposes Changes in Nutrition Education - The version of the Farm Bill that passed out of the House Agriculture Committee last week proposes changes to nutrition education for people with low income. The changes pose opportunities and challenges for the Land-grant University (LGU) System. The LGU SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT) is a group of Extension professionals from each region working in nutrition education for individuals with low income. The aim of the PDT is to maintain and improve the consistency and effectiveness of SNAP-Ed programming that is delivered through the LGU System and address challenges in this work through a national lens. The PDT is committed to supporting our colleagues throughout the Farm Bill process. The PDT's first step was an informational webcast, Nutrition Education Program for Limited Resource Audiences: House Ag Committee Farm Bill Proposal, held on April 18. A graphic illustrates the legislative process of the Farm Bill outlines the Farm Bill process, including its future once approved by the House Ag Committee.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Two Weeks Left to Nominate the Best of the Best in 2018

ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd encourages Directors and Administrators to seize this limited time opportunity to make Excellence and Diversity in Extension shine in 2018. May 1 is the deadline! Go to for complete details. Questions may be directed to ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble, 202-478-6088.

Well-Connected Communities: Engagement Opportunities - Cooperative Extension is currently building a culture of health in communities across the country with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. The initiative has recently been re-titled as Well-Connected Communities, and there are two near-term ways for Extension professionals to learn more about this work and/or to get involved in the future. See the information below for two upcoming webinars. Read more: Building a Culture of Health: Well-Connected Communities
  • Readiness for Well-Connected Communities - Cooperative Extension has launched a 10 year initiative to harness, align and focus our assets and grow cross-sector partnerships to create a culture of health across America. Join us on this webinar to learn more about the Well-Connected Communities initiative and how you can get ready to join the next wave of change makers.
    Date/Time: June 6, 2018, 1-2 pm EST
    Audience: States interested in Wave 2 Initiative
    Join here:
  • Well-Connected Communities Master Health Volunteers - The Well-Connected Communities Master Health Volunteer Program Training is a collaboration addressing state and community health priorities (60%) underpinned by core content from the national master health volunteer model (40%). This webinar will focus on the content for top national priority core concepts that states are expected to include in their training with a roll-out of webinars and other resources provided. This will be followed by Zoom Office Hours on June 28 at 10 am and 3 pm EST.
    Date/Time: June 12, 2018, 3-4 pm EST
    Audience: Principal Investigators and Extension staff responsible for the Well-Connected Communities Master Health Volunteer program training and implementation.
    Register here:

Designathon One - What’s Next? - The first five eXtension Impact Collaborative Designathon One events included 170 extension professionals and their community partners. The next wave of events are being redesigned to have a greater focus on local or state priorities and context. To accomplish this, a local design team will work with the Impact Collaborative team prior to each event. The University of Kentucky will host the first pilot local Designathon One event in late April with their design team prioritizing next steps for their Innovation Working Group and key initiatives across the state. Several more events are being planned. Learn more about Designathon One or how to request one for your state...

Time is Running Out to Complete the 2017 Census of Agriculture - To date, NASS has received more than 1.5 million completed census questionnaires with more coming in every day. But the national return rate is currently lower than at this point in data collection for the 2012 Agriculture Census. NASS is reminding U.S. producers that everyone who received a census is required to respond – even if they are not involved in agriculture – and encouraging those who have not returned their completed questionnaire to do so as soon as possible so that they do not receive phone and/or in-person follow-ups. NASS is increasing their follow-up efforts with this census due in part to the questionnaire being mailed to many potential farmers and ranchers who may not be familiar with it. Beyond being a general reminder for those who may have waited until they gathered their tax documents to respond, the follow-up will give potential and other producers the opportunity to ask questions, and NASS the chance to address any concerns. In the meantime, farmers and ranchers can still respond to the 2017 Census of Agriculture online at or by mail. For more information about the census or for assistance with the questionnaire, producers can visit or call toll-free (888) 424-7828. Remember, the stronger the response, the stronger the data. The stronger the data, the better the decisions and advocacy for programs that best serve producers and rural America.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Land-grant Impact Stories and More

Do you ever wonder if the impact statements submitted to the national database get used? They do. With the support of the Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Sections, a team of nationally recognized writers, editors and designers gathers each year to create materials highlighted on Under "Areas of Impact" you will find and download 28 stories and 15 fact sheets the group developed for each topic area that showcase the success of land-grant universities across the country. The stories are there for you to use in your communications efforts.

IMPORTANT UPDATES: Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders - ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd recommends the following action for Extension Administrators and Directors:
  • Tune in April 20, 2018, 3:00 p.m. Eastern to a special edition! Framing Cooperative Extension’s Response to the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (ARP) Join ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd in a conversation with National Program Leader Brent Elrod and Southern Regional Rural Development Center's Rachel Welborn about Extension opportunities found in Rural America Counts: A blueprint for reinvesting in Rural America. Watch for calendar invitation coming soon.
  • Review the Well Connected Communities presentation from last Friday, April 6. Project Director Michelle Rodgers (University of Delaware) introduces Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Dr. Monica Vinluan. Hear how Karla Trautman, South Dakota State University began the project at her institution. Stay tuned to ECOP Monday Minute for a list of professional development opportunities for the System!

USDA NIFA National Program Leader State Liaison Assignments - As a follow up to last week’s article on the NIFA state program liaison roles and responsibilities, the state liaison assignments may be found at

Time and Effort Webinar Available For Viewing - NIFA’s Office of Grants and Financial Management presented a webinar on April 5 that previews the time and effort reporting presentation to be made at the 2018 National Extension and Research Administrative Officers Conference (NERAOC) in Grand Rapids, MI, April 22-25, 2018. The webinar was conceived as a way for Extension Administrators and Directors to hear the presentation in advance in order for them to engage with their business officers ahead of this NERAOC conference. The webinar was viewed by nearly 120 participants with Maggie Ewell (Senior Policy Analyst for NIFA’s Office of Grants and Financial Management) and Natalie Bush (Manager of Financial Operations, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) moderating. The content of the webinar was a collaborative process involving NIFA’s Office of Grants and Financial Management, the BAA Cooperative Extension Section and the BAA Experiment Station Section. The webinar is available for your viewing at:

Learn more about FFAR - The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research was created in the 2014 Farm Bill to support food and agriculture research, foster collaboration, and advance and complement the mission of USDA. Many of you are aware of the Foundation, and I suspect that many of you are not fully up to speed on its work. To learn more about FFAR, you can go to You can also subscribe to the FFAR monthly newsletter at, and connect with FFAR on Twitter at @FoundationFAR.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Albert Essel Joins the Extension Directors and Administrator (EDA) Team

Albert Essel - Executive Administrator,
Association of Extension Administrators
Albert Essel, Ph.D., was recently named Executive Administrator of the Association of Extension Administrators for the 1890 land-grant universities. He has served as Dean of the College of Agriculture, Environmental, and Human Sciences at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, September 2015 to the present. Dr. Essel has served as Associate Dean for Extension in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences at Delaware State University 2007-2015. Earlier in his career, Dr. Essel held positions at Fort Valley State University in Georgia, the State University of New York, and Virginia State University. Dr. Essel is a graduate of the University of Science and Technology in Ghana, where he majored in agricultural economics and earned his doctoral degree in economics from Iowa State University. Please join ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd and the EDA Team welcoming Albert! His email is

A REMINDER - Nominations for the 2018 National Extension Diversity and Excellence in Extension Awards Are Being Accepted Now Through May 1, 2018 - Nominees can be individual Cooperative Extension professionals or, for the Diversity Award, a team fundamentally composed of professionals. New nominations and those nominated in previous years that did not receive national award recognition are welcome and encouraged. Go to for full details. Contact: ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble

Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup Update - Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup activities are now underway. The list of members (13) includes representation from 1994, 1890 and 1862 land-grant universities. An opioid expert support team is also providing assistance. The workgroup is charged with helping the System develop a nationwide strategy for addressing the opioid crisis culminating in a report for ECOP. While a preliminary survey was administered in late 2017 identifying opioid-related Extension programming, a second much broader survey on behavior health and substance abuse in general is needed to respond to the current crisis and position Extension to assist with future behavioral health challenges. eXtension has agreed to develop a webpage wherein all the materials collected and developed will be accessible to those in the Land-grant system. Questions may be directed to Mark Skidmore, Director of the North Central Regional Rural Development Center, is the lead coordinator for this effort.

NIFA State Liaison Program Roles and Responsibilities Updated - The liaisons serve as the primary resource and information channel between NIFA and the Land Grant and other state and territory-based universities and colleges receiving NIFA funds. Liaisons will aim to develop an on-going, productive, and mutually beneficial relationship with Extension and Experiment Station directors, and the leadership and faculty in Land-grant and other state-and territory-based universities and colleges. The updated roles and responsibilities were developed based on numerous conversations with Extension and Research administrators and directors across the institutions mentioned. You can learn more about the updated roles and responsibilities and the roles of NIFA Director, Associate Directors, Division Directors, the Director of the Center for International Programs, and Program Institute Deputy Directors at

Monday, March 26, 2018

Well Connected Communities - Web Discussion 4.6.18

America’s land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension System, including the 4-H youth development program, with its unparalleled infrastructure, reach and impact, play an important role in fostering a Culture of Health across the nation. The first initiative of its kind, a Cooperative Extension/philanthropic partnership, now has a title: Well Connected Communities. With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health, National 4-H Council and the Cooperative Extension Section (CES) together are empowering communities to come together to help their residents be healthier at every stage of life. The April 6th edition of Next Generation for Extension – Learning for Leaders, What the Cooperative Extension Section Wants to Know About the Well Connected Communities Project will reveal more details on how Extension Directors and Administrators can participate in upcoming readiness professional development and prepare to become a part of this effort in future waves. ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd features Michelle Rodgers (ECOP Chair 2016), Program Director, Well Connected Communities during the moderated conversation. Other presenters will include RWJF's Dr. Monica Vinluan.

Another NSF Funding Opportunity - The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public all in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning; and engage the public of all ages in learning STEM. The AISL program supports six types of projects: (1) Pilots and Feasibility Studies, (2) Research in Service to Practice, (3) Innovations in Development, (4) Broad Implementation, (5) Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-Analyses, and (6) Conferences. The Anticipated Funding Amount is $33,000,000 to $44,000,000. The Full Proposal Deadline is November 7, 2018 (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time). The Program Director is Alphonse T. DeSena (703) 292-5106

National Search for Excellence in Extension - The 2018 Excellence in Extension Award deadline is May 1, 2018. All 76 institutions in the Cooperative Extension Section are encouraged to make a priority over the next few weeks to nominate one or two of their own for the most prestigious award intended for Extension professionals delivering high impact programs at state, regional and/or county levels, with at least 50 percent EFT/FTE university appointment in Extension, and a minimum of 5 years consecutive program experience. Each nomination, submitted by Region, must include a letter of recommendation signed by the Director or Administrator of Extension or delegate this assignment to an Associate. Go to for complete details of both this award and the National Extension Diversity Award. Questions may be directed to ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble at, 202-478-6088.

Monday, March 19, 2018

ECOP Meeting in Nebraska Continues Important CES Dialogues

Last week, ECOP met in Nebraska City, Nebraska and discussed several topics of importance to the Section. Each discussion included concluding next steps that will involve ECOP members and Extension Administrators and Directors. The topics included how Cooperative Extension can contribute to the university mission, an examination of the return on the Section’s investment in kglobal, focused land-grant reporting on 5-10 themes to better communicate the aggregate value of Cooperative Extension, strengthening the position of Extension professionals in competing for AFRI and other NIFA competitive grants, and the role of development in further leveraging the public investment in the Cooperative Extension around important national issues. Candid photos of the meeting are found below. Stay tuned to the ECOP Monday Minute for more details. Minutes of the ECOP Meetings can be found at

Cooperative Extension Responds to the President’s Task Force - Rural America Counts: A blueprint for reinvesting in Rural America - Vibrant, resilient, and sustainable rural communities are the focus of the President’s Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Report. This report focuses on five priority areas: e-connectivity, improving quality of life, workforce development, technological innovation, and rural economic development. All of these priorities are being addressed at various land grant universities through the Cooperative Extension Section (CES) and Experiment Stations. Many of these activities are coordinated by the four Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs), who work in their respective regions – sharing resources and capacity in a wide range of rural development topics. At the suggestion of CES leadership, the RRDCs developed Rural America Counts, which serves as a blueprint for reinvesting in rural America, using the above priorities as a framework for mobilizing the resources of the land grant system.

Reminder: Keep Current With NIFA - USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) invests in a wide range of land-grant university applied research and extension programs and is a key ambassador for us with federal agencies and in Congress. Stay current with NIFA activities by receiving the Weekly Digest Bulletin. You can subscribe at any time by using the USDA-NIFA link found on the right panel of this blog.

NSF Funding Opportunity Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) - As the nation continues to expand the horizon of opportunities and possibilities through advances in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the need for a more diverse and well-prepared STEM workforce is also expanding.
  • Download Solicitation with description and all of the details: CLICK HERE
  • Full Proposal Deadline (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time): August 08, 2018
  • The Anticipated Funding Amount: $10,000,000 to $20,000,000. 
  • The Program Director: David L. Haury (703) 292-5102

Monday, March 12, 2018

Award Nominations Deadline Only 7 Weeks Away

May 1 is the deadline for nominations for the 2018 National Awards offered in partnership by ECOP and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
  • The ECOP Personnel Committee and Regions seek nominations Cooperative Extension professionals who excel at Extension programming, make a positive impact on constituents served, and provide visionary leadership for the System.
  • The ECOP Program Committee seeks the nominations of either individual Cooperative Extension professionals or teams that are achieving organizational changes that support diversity, pluralism and innovation in programs that impact our Extension audiences.
Worksheets for nominations are designed to assist with preparation. Recipients will receive cash awards and travel reimbursement to the 2018 APLU Annual Meeting in New Orleans when NIFA officials present the awards on the national stage. Go to to learn more and submit nominations on-line. Direct questions about nominations to ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble

In Support of Pesticide Applicator Education - In September 2017, eXtension Foundation (established to received and administer funds to support the work of eXtension and the Cooperative Extension Section) received a grant (#X8-83698001) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish and administer a national subaward program in support of pesticide applicator education, and training for certified applicators of restricted-use pesticides. For fiscal year 2018, eXtension Foundation has awarded $1,073,229.07 for pesticide safety education to 46 institutions. Through collaboration with the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC), eXtension Foundation will be able to provide pesticide safety educational products regionally and nationally. For more information on your institution’s participation, contact Tira Adelman

Farmer-to-Farmer Webinar on March 15 - Please join USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to receive information concerning university opportunities in the USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm (eastern) at Zoom Link: F2F provides technical assistance from U.S. volunteers to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses and other agriculture sector institutions in developing and transitional countries with the goal of promoting sustainable improvements in such areas as food security and agricultural processing, production, marketing, and youth development. Average length of assignments is three weeks and the program covers all international travel, in-country costs, visas, immunizations, health insurance, etc. Representatives from USAID and three of the organizations implementing the program (ACDI-VOCA, Winrock and CNFA) will discuss how programs are developed in host countries, what type of individuals they’re seeking, what it’s like to serve in the field, how to apply, and more. The F2F program is especially interested in attracting extension professionals who have both the technical knowledge and the requisite skills to transfer that expertise to others.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Key Insights to Leading an Urban Extension Program

The 4th edition Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders, entitled Key Insights to Leading an Urban Extension Program, is released! ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd says, "Washington State University's Dr. Brad Gaolach offers Extension Administrators and Directors interesting insights to bridge the world of academia with community-based applications in urban communities." Gaolach's Urban Extension story and the dialogue with Leaders across the nation is available on video at Direct comments and questions to Hold the date for the #5 Cooperative Extension Section web conference, Friday, April 6, 3:00 p.m. Eastern. The electronic invitation for all 76 Directors and Administrators to participate will be released soon.

Celebrating Diversity in Extension - “Attitudes for Success” Youth Leadership Program received the 2017 National Extension Diversity Award "for the success and longevity of the coalition-model youth development program and for how the curriculum and evaluation tools can be expanded to other states" (Contact: Patricia Dodson, Extension Agent, 541-278-5403, Oregon State University, In addition to this great work, other examples representing the range of educational programming taking place across the country are featured below, each serving diverse audiences with the transformative power of Cooperative Extension.
  • Helping Standing Rock Youth Succeed – establishing an embroidery and silkscreen business at a local high school has built business skills among students in Sioux County of North Dakota, improved the economy of the county, and increased graduation rates. (Contact: Sue Isbell, Extension Agent/Sioux County, North Dakota State University Extension,
  • Culturally-based Youth Leadership Accelerators – developed to more effectively serve the one in five school age (K-12) youth of color in Iowa (Contact: John-Paul Chaisson-C├írdenas, State 4-H Youth Development Program Leader, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, 515-294-6772,
  • Unidos Se Puede, formerly Juntos – a culturally appropriate substance abuse prevention program for 300 Latino immigrant families in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Contact: Leilana McKindra, Communications Specialist, Agricultural Communications Services, Oklahoma State University; 405.744.6792;
  • Texas 4-H Mission Possible Camp – a co-educational, inclusive program that provides a residential summer camp experience for youth with medically-diagnosed disabilities, bringing youth together to improve their abilities and to learn from each other. (Contact: B. Darlene Locke, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, (979) 845-6535,
Nominations for the 2018 National Extension Diversity Award are being accepted now through May 1, 2018. Nominees can be an individual Cooperative Extension professional or a team fundamentally composed of professionals. New nominations and those nominated in previous years that did not receive this award are welcome and encouraged. Go to for full details. Contact: ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble

PILD Pre-conference Webinar - A Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) orientation and preparation webinar is scheduled for Thursday, March 8th at 2:00pm Eastern Time. To register for the webinar click this link: Those attending PILD, especially for the first time, are encouraged to participate in the webinar. It will cover what you need to know in advance of coming to Washington DC, including how to make appointments and prepare for Hill visits, and what you can expect while at PILD. Details on the post conference workshop “Civil Dialogue in the Public Arena” will also be shared. New this year is an optional opportunity to coordinate Hill visits and state’s night out activities with the youth and adults attending National 4-H Conference. On Tuesday afternoon April 10th the PILD and 4-H Conference delegations will meet jointly by institution to share plans and messages. It may also be helpful to view the “Making Hill Visits” webinar held for 4-H Conference delegates which is archived at:

Behavioral Health Impact Collaborative - Behavioral Health (including opioid abuse) was identified by ECOP and Extension Directors as a high priority and was chosen as one of the focus areas for the 2018 eXtension Impact Collaborative (along with Food Systems and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion). Jami Dellifield, The Ohio State University and Courtney Cuthbertson, Michigan State University have been named Program Fellows for the Behavioral Health Impact Collaborative. They are currently identifying potential organizing committee members as well as participants. Directors and administrators with an interest in this area should reach out to Jami and Courtney and encourage their extension faculty/staff in this topic area to contact them. CLICK HERE to learn more about the fellows.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup Being Formed

The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) has entered into an agreement in partnership with US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) (National Program Leaders, Ahlishia Shipley and Brent Elrod) to help coordinate the Land-grant University system's response to the opioid crisis. Several institutions have already identified evidence-based curriculum for replication nationally in response to the first ever Cooperative Extension Section Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders Web Conference. In this new agreement a set of 9 activities will culminate in the writing of a report for ECOP within a six-month period. The formation of the Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup, a group of opioid experts from the Land-grant system will serve as a resource and provide input. Those with expertise and interest in serving on this workgroup are urged to contact Mark Skidmore ( Director of the North Central Regional Rural Development Center, the lead coordinator for this effort. Last week, USDA launched a webpage highlighting resources to help rural communities address the opioid crisis:

Register for the APLU CEO-CICEP Summer Meeting - Extension Directors and Administrators are cordially invited to join university economic development, community engagement, public service and outreach officers in Richmond, VA from June 25-28 for the 2018 CEO-CICEP Joint Summer Meeting. The theme is Creative Placemaking for Healthy Communities. The meeting will explore creative placemaking in action via university partnerships in the arts, health and innovation. Through presentations, interactive sessions, and field experiences, participants will gain new insights into how public research universities as key “anchor institutions” leverage innovative and interdisciplinary strategies to address complex social and economic challenges facing our communities. The meeting will also feature APLU’s 5th annual Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities Program workshop. Note that early registration rates end in early March.

There’s Still Time to Respond to the 2017 Census of Agriculture - As of today, the return rate on the 3 million 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaires mailed last fall is just over 40 percent. Though making progress every day, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) needs to hear from the rest of the producers. More details of the obligation to complete the census may be found in the February 5th edition of the ECOP Monday Minute. For questions about or assistance filling out the census, producers can call toll-free (888) 424-7828. Please help NASS spread the word that farmers and ranchers still have time to be counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

Climate Change Papers Available For Review - Extension Directors and Administrators are encouraged to review materials shared by Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of USDA-NIFA, last week, Climate Change Papers from NIFA-Funded Colleagues. This is good background for an upcoming Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders Web Conference which occurs on the first Friday of the month, 3:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Please stay tuned for more information and contact Executive Director Rick Klemme for more information.

Monday, February 12, 2018

2018 National Awards Nominations Are Now Being Accepted

ECOP Monday Minute will return on February 26, 2018 following the observance of Presidents' Day.

The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) announces the call for nominations for the 2018 National Excellence in Extension and Diversity awards. The due date for on-line nominations is May 1, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Complete details, helpful worksheets, and access to the online nomination forms are available at Awards are selected by the end of July. Recipients receive cash awards and travel to the APLU Annual Meeting in New Orleans to accept a plaque or trophy on November 11, 2018. Extension Directors and Administrators from every 1890 and 1862 land-grant institution are encouraged to share this announcement broadly. Contact: ECOP Program Assistant Sandy Ruble,, 202-478-6088.

Spring ECOP Meeting Agenda Features Several Important Conversations - The Spring ECOP meeting will soon take place in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The agenda will include facilitated, in-depth conversations on how Cooperative Extension can add value to the Land-grant Campus mission (building on the Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders, February 2018), identifying the Cooperative Extension Section's return on investment with kglobal, developing themes (with Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy [ESCOP] and USDA-NIFA) for reporting and communicating value purposes, identifying short-term investments in the ECOP budget for private resource mobilization. Stay tuned to future editions of the ECOP Monday Minute when updates on these 4 topics are released after March 15 when the meeting adjourns. Questions may be directed to ECOP Executive Director Rick Klemme,, 202-478-6029.

National Experiment Station Section Diversity and Inclusion Award - ESCOP is seeking nominations for the new National Experiment Station Section Diversity and Inclusion Award. Extension Directors and Administrators are encouraged to share this announcement widely. The award recognizes experiment station research initiatives that support the creation of diverse and inclusive efforts and is dedicated to individuals, teams or organizations that go beyond meeting EEO/AA program requirements. The request for nominations is posted on the ESCOP website at 2018 Call for Nominations. The award comes with paid travel to the Annual ESS/SAES/ARD meeting, recognition with a commemorative plaque and a $1,000 cash award. Questions about the nomination should be forwarded to Jeff Jacobsen, Executive Vice Chair, ESCOP Diversity Catalyst Committee ( or 517-884-7965). Jeff is accepting nominations by 8:00 PM EDT on March 30, 2018 at the email address provided.

2019 Volunteerism Conference Dates Announced - The National Extension Conference on Volunteerism (NECV) planning committee is pleased to announce the 2019 conference will be held May 14-16 in Billings, Montana. NECV is designed for Extension professionals, faculty, and staff that work with volunteers and features workshops, keynote presentations, poster displays, and lightening talks that provide strategies for volunteer development within Extension. To stay informed about calls for proposals, registration, and other conference notices visit the Facebook page or contact Doug Swanson, National Program Leader, 4-H National Headquarters, (202) 690-1227 or

Monday, February 5, 2018

2018 NERAOC Conference Offers Important Sessions for Extension Administrators and Directors

This year’s National Extension and Research Administrative Officers Conference (NERAOC) will feature important presentations and discussion opportunities on various topics including time and effort reporting, Plan of Work/Reeport updates, and many other interesting topics.  Register prior to March 16 for an early discount. Online registration ends on April 15. Conference lodging is at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids. The link to the hotel block is: To reserve a room on dates outside of the conference dates (April 23-26), please call 1-800-253-3590.

Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders Series #3 - On February 2, ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd moderated a dialogue with the Cooperative Extension Section focusing on contributions to university-level mission of Land-grant Universities. Directors and Administrators shared examples of mission alignments, methods of engagement with upper administration, rewards/benefits for contributing to higher education mission, engaging students, challenges/barriers to alignment, and trepidation/resistance for transitioning to more comprehensive involvement. It is not too late to be part of this dialogue. The recording is now available at Written contributions are also available. Send more contributions to

2018 Program Development Impact Collaborative Update - As Cooperative Extension professionals are increasingly asked to co-create solutions with partners and communities, a unique approach in program planning emerges. Karen Vines, Virginia Tech, has been selected as the 2018 National Association of Extension Program & Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP)/eXtension program design/development fellow. Karen will serve as a key informant for the 2018 Impact Collaborative in Program Development and focus on helping Extension professionals use engagement in their program planning. Read more at

2017 Census of Agriculture Ends TODAY-NASS to Follow-up with Producers - The 2017 Census of Agriculture by mail or online at ends today. Over the next few weeks, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will follow-up with producers who missed the deadline through additional mailings, emails, phone calls, and personal appointments. Please help NASS spread the word that it is not too late to respond! Without being represented in the data, hardworking producers are at risk of being underserved. NASS is required by federal law to keep all information confidential, use the data only for statistical purposes, and only publish in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation. Data release is scheduled for February 2019. For more information visit For questions or assistance, producers can call toll-free (888) 424-7828.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Klemme’s Appointment Extended

ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd is pleased to announce that Rick Klemme has agreed, and the ECOP Executive Committee has unanimously approved, to extend his contract to work as the Executive Director of ECOP through April 2020. "Rick will continue the important work he is doing to advance Cooperative Extension nationally through strengthened relationships and partnerships with federal agencies as well as key organizations such as NC-FAR, NACo and many others. Rick’s ability to stay on top of a large number of conversations with APLU, BAA, BAC, CLP, ECOP BLC as well as Cornerstone and kglobal and insert our reactions, comments or position at the right time is critical to our success," says Hibberd. "Please join me in recognizing Dr. Rick Klemme for his continued commitment to Cooperative Extension in service to all of us."

Next Generation Extension – Learning for Leaders Webinar Series #3 - ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd’s 3rd Web Conference, designed for Extension leaders across the country, takes place this Friday, February 2. The topic is how Cooperative Extension can contribute to the university-level mission of our Land-grant Universities. The intended audience, Extension Administrators and Directors, will address ways to align with, and contribute to, the university-level mission. Each is asked to come to this conference prepared to share one idea, a practice or a project they are engaged in, to advance the university-level mission of their institution. As a reminder, each Learning For Leaders conference is promptly archived for continued learning and engagement by the Cooperative Extension Section. Previous topics are Making a Difference with the Opioid Epidemic and 10 Big Ideas to Think Differently About Extension. The archive is perpetually available via the ECOP Monday Minute (see Learning Center menu on Right). For more information contact Rick Klemme.

Designathon One Update - A major change is coming to Designathon One. eXtension has been listening to feedback and are re-evaluating the regional location approach. As such, four events are being postponed (San Antonio, TX, Indianapolis, IN, Atlanta, GA, and Pittsburgh, PA) in order to provide more time to craft events around state needs and to consider requests for additional locations that have been received. The events still continuing as scheduled are: Portland, ORPortsmouth, NH, Madison, WI, and Ithaca, NY. For more information on this change and answers to questions that may arise, visit

Promoting an Energy Efficient America with Outreach Education - Consumption of energy affects many things, from food production to human health, and education to socioeconomic status. Global demand for energy is increasing in the face of limited resources, making our energy decisions of growing importance. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Cooperative Extension System (CES)* support several directed outreach education programs toward energy efficiency in businesses, homes, and farms. Learn more about these programs and much more at Promoting an Energy Efficient America with Outreach Education (Infographic).

Monday, January 22, 2018

2 Unique Features of 2018 Public Issues Leadership Development Conference (PILD)

Registration is now open for the PILD Conference which is scheduled for April 8-11, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. PILD is for Extension Directors, Administrators, employees, and volunteers. Most institutions send a team, although individuals are certainly welcome. The program focuses on preparing attendees to effectively promote and tell the Extension story to decision makers at federal, state, and local levels. Attendees are encouraged to make appointments and meet with their US Senators and Representatives on April 11th. This year’s conference theme is, Cultivating a Climate of Civil Dialogue.

NOTE: There are two uniquenesses of this year’s PILD conference: 
  1. PILD and National 4-H Conference are being held on the same dates so joint State’s Night Out on April 10th, and joint Hill visits on April 11th will be coordinated. Attached is a guide sheet for Extension Directors and Administrators. Also attached is a list of the institutions who have had PILD and National 4-H Conference delegations in the past two years.
  2. On April 11-12, 2018 a post PILD conference workshop will be offered, titled, "Civil Dialogue in the Public Arena." The workshop features Rachel Welborn, Southern Rural Development Center, and Gwen Poindexter Whiting, Director of Training and Leadership Development for Everyday Democracy. Those attending PILD may add the Post-Conference Workshop for an additional $50. Space is limited to 60, so be sure to extend your hotel reservation and sign up early.

Learn More and Register

Designathon One - Nine Designathon One events are being hosted by eXtension and a dozen member institutions in January-March, 2018. These events kickoff the Impact Collaborative which is a process to catalyze next-level Extension programs and professionals. These are available only faculty and staff affiliated with eXtension member institutions. Non-member institutions that choose to become members for 2018 can still access Designathon One and the Impact Collaborative. To become a member for 2018, contact Chief Operating Officer Beverly Coberly

Diversity and Inclusion - Faculty and staff working on diversity and inclusion programs will have several upcoming professional development opportunities. The 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Impact Collaborative is nearing launch. The 14th Annual National Land-Grant Diversity Conference February 15-16, 2018, in the Cincinnati, OH area will include a session by eXtension. Additionally, the Program Fellow for the Collaborative has been named. Dr. Shatomi Luster-Edward, University of Missouri, will set up an organizing committee and develop a request for applications for release within a few weeks. More about Dr. Luster-Edward:

eXtension Foundation Announces Board of Directors -  eXtension is pleased to announce its Board of Directors for 2017-18. Serving as chair is Jason Henderson, Purdue University. Vice-chair is Barbara Petty with the University of Idaho. Ken LaValley from the University of New Hampshire is the Treasurer. Additional members of the board include Gary Jackson, Mississippi State University, Courtney Owens, Kentucky State University, Jane Clary Loveless, USDA NIFA (ex officio), and Rick Klemme, Interim Executive Director, ECOP (ex officio).                  

Save the Date – Webinar on Rural Information Center - USDA NIFA Division of Family & Consumer Sciences will host a webinar on the USDA Rural Information Center (RIC), a service of the National Agriculture Library. Mary Louise Reynnells will present an informational webinar on the resource assistance available. The RIC has resources related to Community Development, Rural Citizen Services, Sustainable Rural Communities, and Rural America Collections. RIC staff provide customized information products to specific inquiries including assistance in economic revitalization issues; local government planning projects; funding sources; technical assistance programs; research studies; and other related issues. Learn how you can maximize these resources to help your community. When: January 31, 2018, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) 
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or by Telephone 669-900-6833, 646-558-8656 | Meeting ID 773 608 196

Monday, January 8, 2018

10 Big Ideas to Think Differently About the Future of Extension

ECOP Monday Minute will return on January 22, 2018 so as to observe Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

10 Big Ideas to Think Differently About the Future of Extension: Last Friday’s web conference included 5 Extension Administrators or Directors each sharing 2 big ideas about what they see in the future of Cooperative Extension in their respective state and nationally. More than 30 institutions participated. You can view this conference at ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd encourages Extension Administrators and Directors  to continue the dialogue on this topic by reviewing the recording and sending your questions/comments to ECOP Executive Director Rick Klemme at Each Learning For Leaders web conference is archived and available via the ECOP Monday Minute (see Learning Center menu on Right). Stay tuned for the calendar invitation for the next web conference scheduled for February 2. The topic and other details will soon be determined.

Granting Emeritus Status to Non-Tenured Extension Educators - Scott Reed, Oregon State University, administered a survey on the granted of emeritus status to non-tenured Extension Educators last fall. The following summarizes what was reported to Scott. Of 76 Land-grant institutions 41 (54% response). Of the respondents, 25 (61%) do not award emeritus status to non-tenured and 16 (39%) do award this status. While all universities have an established process for approval, conferring emeritus title to non-tenured faculty is conditioned on special requirements at some universities. Examples include:
  • Ten years or more experience and senior rank (Colorado State University)
  • Ten years or more in professor rank or five years and qualifying time elsewhere (Rutgers)
  • Only with district supervisor, dean, senior VP and provost approval (University of Florida)
  • Only professor rank (Mississippi State University)
  • Dean approval as an exception that is regularly exercised (Washington State University)
  • Only to central campus-based faculty (Auburn)
The most progressive policy described was provided by West Virginia University where approval is expected next month by the Board of Governors for long-serving classified staff and the university president qualify for emeritus status.

The Food Systems Impact Collaborative Is Now Accepting Applications - The Impact Collaborative (IC) is designed to catalyze next-level Extension programs and professionals. The experience includes professional development, Designathon events, networking and much more! Through the IC, Extension professionals will follow a process for developing programs for visible and measurable local impact. Anyone at an eXtension member institution is eligible to apply. The request for applications is available at: (RFAs for Behavioral Health and Diversity & Inclusion are coming soon!) Extension Directors and Administrators are asked to please share this opportunity with Extension faculty and staff interested in Food Systems in your state.

Ag Outlook Forum Registration Available - The 94th annual 2018 U.S. Department of Agriculture Outlook Forum, “The Roots of Prosperity” is Thursday and Friday, February 22-23, 2018 and will be held at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, Virginia. The Forum, which has been hosted by USDA since 1923, serves as a platform to facilitate discussion of key issues and topics within the agricultural community, both domestic and international. ECOP, ESCOP, and NIFA worked together in developing several Forum sessions to be considered for this year’s Forum program. We are delighted that our sessions “Livestock Reproduction Meets Modern Technology” and “Helping Consumers to Make Informed Food Safety Choices” were selected for this year’s program. We expect a Forum attendance of 1,600, with attendees drawn from farm organizations, agribusiness, academia, and international organizations as well as domestic and foreign government officials and members of the press. The Forum program and registration information can be found at The registration direct link is at

Ag Census Questionnaires Are Due Back in Less than a Month - The 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire was mailed to nearly all of our nation’s farmers and ranchers in December, and there are only four weeks left to respond!* Every response to the census matters and is required by law (Title 7, U.S. Code, and Public Law 107-347), even if the person did not operate a farm or ranch in 2017 (there are just a few quick questions, in this case). The Census of Agriculture is the most complete agricultural data resource in the country. The data play a vital role in the future of U.S. agriculture – from farm advocacy and assistance programs to community planning, ag education, extension, research, rural development, even disaster relief – which is why every voice, every operation needs to be represented. Better data mean better decisions. The deadline to respond to the census is February 5. Producers can respond online at or by mail. For more information, visit For questions or assistance filling out the census, call 888-424-7828. See to learn more about why and how to respond to the ag census online.

*More than 35,000 producers of select commodities will receive the Agricultural Resource Management Survey, or ARMS, this month. Completing the ARMS survey fulfills the 2017 Census of Agriculture requirement.