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Monday, December 17, 2018

ECOP Monday Minute - New Farm Bill

The ECOP Monday Minute will return January 7, 2019.
Enjoy a thirty-second video celebrating the work of ECOP in 2018. 

By overwhelming margins, the farm bill passed was passed by Congress last week. Many are looking for language regarding the House nutrition education provision moving Cooperative Extension into the lead role in providing nutrition education (combining EFNEP and SNAP-Ed). The short answer is that the conference committee included the essentially status quo Senate provision, leaving these programs as they are administered, with increased accountability for reporting and coordination across nutrition education programs. ECOP Chair Ed Jones notes, “Although the farm bill did not include the House’s Nutrition Education Provision, it contains much of what we sought for the 1890s and the inclusion of the 1994s in CYFAR and FRTEP. We look forward to working with NIFA on the Farm Bill implementation.”
     CLICK HERE for summary provided by consultant Cornerstone Government Affairs
     CLICK HERE for media release by APLU.

SAVE THE DATE: Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders 1/4/19 - Growing Reach and Relevance Through a Strong 4-H Brand is the title of the first Learning for Leaders session for 2019. On Friday, January 4, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET, Extension Directors and Administrators receive the opportunity to renew their appreciation for 4-H Grows as well as share comments and questions on the value of a unified 4-H brand and national marketing program. Please join ECOP Chair Ed Jones and Jen McIver, Vice President, Field Marketing and Partnerships, National 4-H Council, and other colleagues from the Section. Stay tuned to email for Zoom connection detail.

National Experiment Station Section Diversity and Inclusion Award - ESCOP is seeking nominations for the 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. CLICK HERE to view/download nomination detail. 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 Rick Rhodes, Executive Vice Chair, ESCOP Diversity Catalyst Committee ( or 401-874-2468). Rick is accepting nominations by 8:00 PM EDT on March 29, 2019 at the email address provided.

CYFAR Annual Report Available - The Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk (CYFAR) Program is funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to support collaborative programming with the nation’s land-grant college and university system. Although 1862 and 1890 land-grant colleges and universities are eligible, the institutions within the land-grant system collaborated with some 1994 land-grant colleges. This collaborative programming provided positive outcomes for children, youth, and families placed at risk and served by those institutions. The 2017 CYFAR Annual Report features the highlights of these programmatic activities, outcomes, and impacts. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Learning for Leaders - Spotlight on Engagement

Economic Engagement: Benefits of Collaboration among Extension and Campus-Based Outreach is a natural progression from our NEDA session on engagement. The newly formed APLU Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) provides opportunities for collaboration between Cooperative Extension and CECE member institutions, both land-grant and public. On 12/7/18 Sheila Martin, VP for Economic Development and Community Engagement, met online with 21+ Extension Directors and Administrators. ECOP Executive Committee member Scott Reed (Oregon State University) moderated a discussion of Extension leaders discussing their engagement experiences, unique to each institution. Dawn Mellion-Patin (Southern University), Marshall Stewart (University of Missouri) and Ashley Stokes (Colorado State University) served as panelists. Click Here to view PowerPoint and here for the YouTube version of the recording. Send questions, comments and other ideas for sharing on this topic or any of those listed in the Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders archive to

SAVE THE DATE: Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders, featuring 4-H Grows!, will take place 3-4:00 p.m. ET, Friday, January 4, 2019.

Campus Engagement Tool for Extension - Thinking of ramping up efforts to enhance campus engagement in 2019? Check out the summary of the work of the Section from NEDA. There are 12 categories that include Relevant Action, Challenges and Opportunities and Resources Needed. ECOP thanks Marshall Stewart, University of Missouri, for this excellent summary to share across the System as one of four Big Ideas from 2018. The archive of all materials from 2018 NEDA in Portland are available at

Cooperative Extension Moves Forward on Big Ideas - During 2018, ECOP Past-chair, Chuck Hibberd, worked with the ECOP Executive Committee (includes the past chair and the chair elect and a representative of every region) on four Big Ideas to both mobilize and build capacity for Cooperative Extension Administrators and Directors. The March and July 2018 ECOP meetings focused on dialogue on current capacity and future directions in four areas of adding value to campus mission, private resource mobilization/development, developing and leveraging reporting themes, and internationalizing extension. Stay tuned over the next few weeks to the ECOP Monday Minute to provide updates on the latter three big ideas.

Focus on Mental Health Training: Getting involved in the solution - eXtension Foundation Behavior Health Co-fellows Courtney Cuthbertson, Michigan State University, and Jami Dellifield, Ohio State University, request the assistance of Directors and Administrators to respond to an important 5-10 minute survey by specialists. The survey will help to identify individuals who are working in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)®/Youth MHFA®, Trauma,  a Trauma Informed Approach, or Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The survey also will help identify how many Cooperative Extension professionals have attended training or are interested in one of the content areas. Results will be used to help build a national support network and expand or enhance multi-state and individual state efforts. Please forward this request as appropriate. The survey and contact information can be found here.

The eXtension Foundation integrates Fellows to forward their mission of helping Cooperative Extension professionals find more innovative ways to generate local impact. Fellows spend one year advancing knowledge on applied innovation in specific topic areas that move Cooperative Extension professionals & Impact Collaborative project teams forward.

Joint ESS/CES-NEDA Planning Committee: L-R, Chuck Hibberd, Co-chair for CES (ECOP Past-chair),
George Hopper, Co-chair for ESS (ESCOP Chair-elect), Rosalind Dale, representing 1890s,
and Jody Jellison, representing 1862s
Topics for the Joint ESS/CES-NEDA Meeting: September 23-26, 2019 - The Planning Committee thanks all who participated in a recent survey to help identify the topics for the 2019 Joint Section meeting. Click Here to view the summary. Members of the committee are reviewing these result to narrow down the possibilities and come up with a theme. The next meeting is set for December 19. Administrative support is provided by Executive Directors Rick Klemme, Eric Young, Alton Thompson, Robin Shepard, Mike Harrington, Executive Administrator Albert Essel, and Assistant Director Sandy Ruble.

Monday, December 3, 2018

New Report: Social Mobility in Rural America

Social mobility is often determined by where you’re born: 43% of children born into families at the lowest income levels remain at those income levels as adults. A newly released joint study, Social Mobility in Rural America, by The Bridgespan Group and National 4-H Council, in partnership with Cooperative Extension, offers a close-up view of rural communities whose young people are climbing the income ladder. It reveals six common factors that seem to support young people’s economic advancement in these high-opportunity places—factors that other communities might build on.

Deadline Approaching for Comment Period for 2020 Capacity Budget - The USDA-NIFA Office of Budget and Management (OMB) seeks feedback and comments from land-grant institution stakeholders by 5:00 p.m. ET December 15, 2018. This is a follow up to the letter from Rick Klemme sent on November 13. Extension Directors and Administrator are strongly encouraged to respond! CLICK HERE to learn more. OMB contacts for this effort are Erin Daly ( or Maggie Ewell (

eXtension Facilitation Training and Development - Registration is now open for the January 2019 Impact Collaborative Innovation Facilitator Training & Development. This eXtension member benefit allows for each Director or Administrator to appoint one individual from your institution to be trained in the Impact Collaborative innovation skill-building process. Registration, travel, lodging, meals/per diem are provided by eXtension. Deadline for registration is December 21, 2018 and institutions must have membership status for 2019. Facilitators help bring new state-wide contextualized innovation to the Cooperative Extension System. The invitation with a promo code for the one free registration was released to members recently. Contact Aaron Weibe at if your institution did not receive one. Go to the website for more information.

Unlocking Potential Webinar: Engaging young people in community change -
When? December 11 at 3:00 PM ET
How? Register Here
Young people are key players leading community change to achieve greater results. Directors and Administrators are invited to join co-hosts from the Well Connected Communities initiative (including our colleagues from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps) to learn how communities across the country are forming youth-adult partnerships to facilitate innovative ideas to improve health and advance equity. During this webinar youth and field experts will share ways in which young people are informing decisions and taking action. Well Connected Communities is a nationwide effort to cultivate wellness led by the Cooperative Extension System in partnership with National 4-H Council and support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

USDA-NASS Census Special Studies – Please help spread the word to Producers: two Census of Agriculture Special Studies will be conducted this winter. As part of the Census of Agriculture program, both are conducted once every five years. Everyone who receives a report form is required to respond (Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105-113), even if they did not operate a farm in 2018. The 2018 Census of Aquaculture expands on the data collected during the Census of Agriculture and provides a comprehensive picture of the aquaculture sector. The Census of Aquaculture mails out December 17. Deadline for response is January 14. The Irrigation and Water Management Survey (formerly the Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey) will be mailed on January 3 to a sample of farmers who indicated on their Census of Agriculture that they use irrigation on their operation and has a deadline to respond by February 15. For more information and/or promotion tools, visit

Monday, November 19, 2018

Newest Member of ECOP - Barbara Petty

ECOP Monday Minute RETURNS on Monday, December 3 - Happy Thanksgiving!!

Barbara Petty, Associate Dean and Director Extension, University of Idaho (UI), is the newest member of ECOP. Barbara was appointed by the Western Extension Directors Association and began serving a 4-year term this month. Barbara also Chairs the Board of Directors of eXtension Foundation. Barbara became an Extension Director in 2016 after serving 2 years as interim at UI. Welcome Barbara!

The most recent list of National Cooperative Extension Leaders is now available at Please forward corrections and updates to Assistant Director Sandy Ruble at Thank you.

Learning for Leaders: December 7, 3-4 p.m. ET - Last Thursday at the first meeting of the new year, ECOP endorsed the topic for the December 2018 edition of Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders. To continue the robust national dialogue on Extension's Role in the Broader University Mission and Engagement, ECOP Chair Ed Jones has invited Sheila Martin, APLU Vice President, Economic Development and Community Engagement, and ECOP Member Scott Reed to introduce the new APLU Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE). During the one-hour Zoom conference, Directors and Administrators will explore Extension's involvement with CECE. Use the following details to add to date/time to calendars: Join Zoom Meeting Dial by location +1 646 876 9923 US (New York) +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) Meeting ID: 129 450 710.

What Project & Program Teams Said About the 2018 Impact Collaborative Summit
More About eXtension Membership - eXtension helps Extension professionals generate a more visible, measurable, local impact. Here are some of the benefits of eXtension membership:

  • Equipping Extension Educators and Agents with innovation skills that will help accelerate projects & programs towards having a greater impact.
  • Professional development opportunities locally, nationally, and online centered upon collective impact to address institutions' most critical issues.
  • Connecting project and program teams to strategic partners & key informants that brings new capacity to each state/institution.
  • Implementing an Impact Collaborative Facilitator within each institution to bring fresh approaches, and hold skill-building sessions, for project teams and priority task forces.
  • Access to interactive eFieldbooks: a “go-to” resource for Extension professionals and project/program teams to begin discussion, help establish processes, and assist with the delivery of new programs focused on priority issues.

To read more about eXtension's single membership level, the All-Access Membership, click here. To learn more about how to become a member, contact Beverly Coberly at

Monday, November 12, 2018

Extension Lauded by the Nation in New Orleans

The 2018 National Cooperative Extension program culminated yesterday in New Orleans with a celebration by the Board on Agriculture Assembly and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) during the 131st APLU Annual Meeting. Policy Board of Directors Chair Orlando McMeans, West Virginia State University, and new NIFA Director Scott Angle officiated. Click Here to read more about each recipient and their programs. Directors and Administrators are reminded to save the date of Friday, 2/1/2019, 3-4:00 p.m. ET for the Zoom meeting launch the next round of nominations. Read more at
L-R: Scott Angle, Director of USDA-NIFA; Ron Cox, Oklahoma State University; Joe Luck, University of Nebraska; Dwayne Elmore, Oklahoma State University; Jason de Koff, Tennessee State University; Lesia Oesterriech, Iowa State University; Ken La Valley accepting on behalf of Molly Donovan, University of New Hampshire, and Ed Jones, ECOP Chair, Virginia Tech.

SNAP-Ed & EFNEP Core Compentancy RFP Deadline Extended - In response to time concerns, the proposal deadline for the Core Competency Project RFP has been extended to November 30, 2018. To view/download the updated RFP and Addendum us the link found below and scroll down the page to Event ID #1512. More details are found in the October 29, 2018 ECOP Monday Minute post. Please share with those who might be interested. Direct question to to Vicki Soren, South Dakota State University, 605-688-4989. Go to:

15th Annual National Land-Grant Diversity Conference - The National Land-Grant Diversity committee is excited for you to join them at their 15th Annual National Land-Grant Diversity Conference happening February 6th-8th 2019. The theme is Do The Right Thing: Transforming Diversity; the keynote speaker is Dionardo PizaƱa from Michigan State University Extension. The Pre-Conference and Capnote will be presented by Bleuzette Marshall, University of Cincinnati Office of Equity, Inclusion & Community Impact.

Monday, November 5, 2018

eXtension Revamps Membership Structure

Beginning in 2019 there will no longer be two categories of Membership for eXtension, Premium and Basic. Key to this change was the Board of Directors' recent approval of a two-year budget through 2020. A strategic investment fund, the expansion of resources and revenue, and strong outlook for 2021 helped to inform the decision. The new membership model is meant to supply more Cooperative Extension Section institutions with professional development opportunities through the Impact Collaborative and equal access to the full range of benefits. New Members may immediately begin at no cost for the November and December 2018. Current Basic Members will be grandfathered into the new model without percentage increase for the next two years. Click here to read the full announcement. Contact CFO Peter Armodt with questions about membership fees and COO Beverly Coberly about membership benefits.

Farm Stress Management Summit Opportunity - Michigan State University Extension is hosting the Farm Stress Management Summit to equip Extension professionals around the country with tools to work with farmers and to educate agribusiness stakeholders during stressful times. Join us in Lansing, Michigan, January 24-25, 2019, and learn to teach the Farm Stress Management curriculum that provides two workshops to help farmers manage stress and to help those who work with them learn techniques to connect farmers with resources. To learn more go to and/or join a 30 min. eXtension webinar with MSU Extension professional Suzanne Pish on November 9, at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Market Facilitation Program (MFP) Update - Extension Directors and Administrators should know that the MFP, administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency, provides direct payments to help corn, cotton, sorghum, soybean, wheat, dairy, hog, shelled almonds and fresh sweet cherries producers who have been directly impacted by illegal retaliatory tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports. Payments are equal to the producer’s 2018 total production times 50 percent times the MFP rate. A second payment, if deemed necessary, may be issued using a different MFP rate. Producers may apply at a local FSA office or submit an application electronically either by scanning and emailing, or by fax. The deadline to apply for MFP is January 15, 2019. For more information about MFP, including payment rates and eligibility requirements, visit

Deadline Reminder - November 21, 2018 is the deadline for proposals for presentations, workshops, posters, and panels for the 2019 National Urban Extension Conference (NUEC; Seattle, Washington, May 20-23, 2019).  Submissions with particular emphasis on abstracts that highlight research and/or outreach activities with partnerships between researchers, practitioners and Extension professionals are encouraged. See for details.

Monday, October 29, 2018

eXtension’s Impact Collaborative Summit Recap

ECOP Chair Ed Jones records thoughts
 on the evolution of eXtension (video found here).
The Impact Collaborative had its first national Summit last week with 32 teams representing 40 institutions alongside eXtension’s 40 Key Informants and 19 partner/supporting organizations. After developing their projects through the Impact Collaborative process, teams participated in the first ever PitchFest where they presented their projects and programs to a panel of leaders from Cooperative Extension, eXtension, and external partner/supporting organizations. Thirteen teams took home awards that provide strategic partnership and support for their projects and programs. You can find a list of awards and recipients here. eXtension will deliver evaluation results from the Impact Collaborative Summit on November 1st. In the meantime, you can hear what some of our participants had to say about the Summit here. Cooperative Extension/ECOP Executive Director Rick Klemme and ECOP Chair Ed Jones also share their thoughts on the evolution of eXtension to better serve Cooperative Extension, and their experience at the Impact Collaborative Summit here.

Save the Dates - ECOP Meeting Calendar - ECOP Chair Ed Jones is pleased to release the meeting calendar for 2019 (October 2018 - September 2019). To view/download the most recent edition go to where the calendar and more is available. ECOP Meetings are open. Agenda items are generated through contact with standing committees (Executive, Professional Development-formerly Personnel, Program, 4-H Leadership, Budget & Legislative), joint committees and task forces such as the National Impacts Database Committee and through contact with Liaisons, for example, eXtension Foundation, Board on Human Sciences (BoHS) and Council on Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) with the support of the Extension Directors and Administrator (EDA) Team. Questions about ECOP materials and resources may be directed to Executive Director Rick Klemme or Assistant Director Sandy Ruble

SNAP-Ed and EFNEP Core Competency Report RFP - With an awareness of the importance of continuing to build capacity and competencies in low-income nutrition education programs, and in anticipation of the possible changes due to the Farm Bill, the Land-grant University SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT) and its National Land-grant University SNAP-Ed Office at South Dakota State University have posted a Request for Proposals (RFP; link is for direct download of a Word document and permission may be required) to create a “Core Competency Report” for Land-grant University SNAP-Ed and EFNEP Programs. SNAP-Ed and EFNEP state coordinators and program supervisors use core competencies in hiring, training, and performance management decisions. Competencies also contribute to systematic program effectiveness across the country, while allowing for state and local flexibility. The intent of this project is to conduct a thorough review of existing competencies and associated resources and to revise and update such so that programs remain current and relevant for the foreseeable future. Resources from the report will be used to enhance programmatic quality and improve professional results. Proposals are due no later than November 6, 2018. Extension Directors and Administrators  with oversight of EFNEP and/or SNAP-Ed Programs who do not have no members on the proposal selection committee are eligible and encouraged to apply. Direct questions about eligibility to Sandra Jensen at and other concerns to Vicki Soren at SDSU at 605-688-4989. This project is affirmed by ECOP and the Board on Human Sciences, sponsored by the PDT, and is to be funded through the SNAP-Ed assessment.

National Digital Extension Education Team Provides Input on USDA National Initiative - The USDA Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Task Force Report, released in October 2017, lists advancing e-Connectivity to unserved/underserved communities as a top priority. In response, USDA Rural Utilities Service plans to invest $600 million to support the priority, released July 2018. The National Digital Education Extension Team provided input on this new opportunity during the comment period, with leadership from Monica Babine (Washington State), Brian Whitacre (Oklahoma State), Roberto Gallardo (Purdue), Neal Vines (Virginia Tech) and Keith Taylor (University of California), and the Southern Rural Development Center. Main points were (1) expanded definitions of minimum access speed to provide more equitable standards; (2) an appeal for improved data sources; and (3) showcase of ways Extension Service can assist communities through convening, facilitation, research, and education. The point of contact for the Team is Rachel Welborn

SNAP-Ed PDT Represented at National SNAP Conference - To help raise awareness of Land-grant SNAP-Ed programs Lauren Tobey, Oregon State University, representing the Program Development Team (PDT), attended the 2018 annual conference of the American Association of SNAP Directors and the National Association of State TANF Administrators, held in Reno, Nevada in August. Lauren exhibited the PDT resources to an audience from 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands, as well as to USDA regional and national employees. Prior to the conference, Lauren collected impact reports from around the System to provide a sampling of program tools to showcase at the event. Highlights included:
  • University-backed research and subject matter expertise
  • Deep connections throughout states with residents and partner organizations that can leverage/expand SNAP-Ed funds 
  • The power of Land-grants to connect between states and across the country to spread resources even further
As an example, FoodHero, the social marketing campaign that Lauren coordinates in Oregon is included in the SNAP-Ed toolkit and currently used in at least 42 states. For more information on what was present contact Lauren at

Monday, October 22, 2018

TOMORROW Youth-Adult Partnerships Webinar

As part of the Well-Connected Communities initiative, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Youth-Adult Partnerships: Cultivating agency in youth and adults is about youth as key players in leading community change in collaboration. With adults, together they can achieve greater results. Learn how the power of positive youth-adult partnerships facilitate innovative ideas and synergy between teens and adults to create community health improvement.
    Date: Tomorrow, October 23, 2018 
    Time: 2:30 – 3:30 PM EST 
    Register here: 
Continue the conversation! Join a facilitated discussion from 3:30 – 4:00 PM EST immediately following the webinar (A different Zoom link will be shared at the end of the webinar). This is an opportunity to do a deeper dive on the topic of Youth-Adult Partnerships.

eXtension releases two eFieldbooks for Impact Collaborative Summit - An eFieldbook is a “go-to” interactive, multi-dimension communication resource for Extension professionals and project/program teams to begin discussion, help establish processes, and assist with the delivery of new programs. eFieldbooks open new ways to engage with information on critical topic areas. Extension professionals can take the eFieldbook in the field with them on their iOS compatible devices, upload and share information with others, and help pull the best resources together into one place from across the nation. Summit participants have access to web versions of two of our eFieldbooks (see below) and may volunteer to help test this beta versions on iPads before the full release in a few weeks.

Coming Together for Racial Understanding Training - On August 27-31, 2018, teams of three from 20 states participated in the first cohort of Coming Together for Racial Understanding. The training is designed to build capacity within Cooperative Extension Service (CES) to help communities engage in civil dialogues around racial issues. Following the train-the-trainer workshop, the process for expanding capacity is two-fold:
  • Conduct training within the CES system in the participating states, bringing together participants across the CES system in a state where applicable (1862, 1890, 1994)
  • Facilitate one of two dialogue processes in at least one community 
The 20 pilot teams will be working collaboratively to measure impacts from this initiative under the leadership of the Southern Rural Development Center. Read more:

Join NUEL for Their Bi-Annual Meeting in Raleigh, NC on
December 3-5 - With changing demographics and a shift towards urbanization, the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) has fostered regional and national collaboration in shared resources to grow Extension’s impact in urban communities. At the recent NEDA meeting in Portland, NUEL presented the ‘Urban Extension Implementation Plan’ to Directors and Administrators. As follow-up, NUEL is hosting their bi-annual meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina, December 3-5 to advance their collaborative priorities with colleagues from across the country. Directors and Administrators are invited to the December meeting to explore NUEL’s regional caucuses and action team initiatives. Click image to view meeting schedule. Register here.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Save the Date for 2019 Joint ESS/CES-NEDA Meeting - September 23-26, 2019

ECOP thanks members of the Cooperative Extension Section, USDA-NIFA, eXtension Foundation, National 4-H Council, Joint Council of Extension Professionals, and National Urban Extension Leaders for participating in the 2018 NEDA conference. Participants are invited to complete an anonymous survey by Monday, October 22. There are several exciting and useful additions to the archive from this meeting found at

  • A large photo library
  • The approved 2019 CES/ECOP Budget 
  • Extension Program Evaluation References 
  • Evaluating Engagement NEDA Participant Input 
  • PowerPoint presentations are listed in the order they occurred during the meeting   
Please reserve September 23-26, 2019 on your calendar for the Joint ESS/CES-NEDA Meeting in Indianapolis [changed to Nashville]. ~Thank you.

APLU Annual Meeting Update - Directors and Administrators who plan to attend the APLU Annual meeting at the New Orleans Marriott, November 11-13 may still register at the higher rate. There are a number of interesting opportunities for engagement during the conference on behalf of Extension and to learn more about the Board on Agriculture Assembly and its work throughout the country. CLICK HERE to view and download the latest "Cooperative Extension Section" version of the schedule including awards program, November 10-11 and two collaborative Sessions at 1:45 p.m. on both November 11 and 12. 

USDA-NIFA Listening Sessions - The Extension Director and Administrator (EDA) team and ECOP Executive Committee have developed talking points, highlighted below, for written and verbal testimony for the 2018 USDA-NIFA Listening Sessions (4). CLICK HERE to view/download complete set.
  1. NIFA is a valued partner 
  2. Extension’s strategic priorities reflect the broad-based issues facing rural and urban America
    • Nutrition/health/wellness
    • 4-H positive youth development
    • Water quality and use
    • Food production and food security
    • Community and economic development 
  3. Capacity funds are vitally important to leverage state and local investments in supporting the locally-based, national network.

Thanks Cooperative Extension - A USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) press release to thank producers for their participation in the 2017 Census of Agriculture and a Partner Thank You Toolkit is now available to use in State and Local programming. The press release includes the 71.5 percent national Census response rate; information about the Census being conducted this winter in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories; details about Census data release starting on February 21, 2019; an announcement about the upcoming Census Special Studies in Irrigation and Aquaculture being conducted this winter; and the debut of the newly merged NASS/Ag Census website at In addition to the press release, NASS also sent a stakeholder update that thanked all who helped promote Census response over the last year. NASS is grateful for the Cooperative Extension partnership!

Monday, October 8, 2018

NEDA Resources Now Available

Last week, Directors and Administrators of the Cooperative Extension Section met in Portland, Oregon to conduct business, contribute to national dialogue, and expand knowledge in their leadership roles at National, State and Local levels.
Archives of the Meeting may be found at

Gary Palmer, University of Kentucky, Mark Latimore, Jr., Fort Valley State University, and Ken La Valley, University of New Hampshire, engage in national dialogue on October 2, 2018. 

Top to bottom, L-R, October 2, 2018: Chuck Hibberd passes gavel to Ed Jones, incoming ECOP Chair. Ed Jones congratulates Chuck Hibberd, outgoing ECOP Chair. Recognitions included a clock presented to Fred Schlutt for service to ECOP 2013-2018. Chuck Hibberd thanks Fred Schlutt and Jo Britt-Rankin, for uncommon leadership for SNAP-Ed Initiative. Chuck Hibberd thanks Casey Mull, JCEP, for leadership engagement with ECOP. Chuck Hibberd expresses appreciation to Rachel Welborn, SRDC, for championing "Coming Together for Racial Understanding". Chuck Hibberd thanks Jennifer Sirangelo for proactive leadership on 4-H name and emblem and growth campaign. Chuck Hibberd thanks Patrick Proden, NUEL, for championing of Urban Extension. 

Candid photos of participants at NEDA during the reception of tastings by the Food Innovation Center and celebration dinner. 

Invitation to Present at the 2019 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism - Directors and Administrators are invited to share the request for proposals for the semi-annual National Extension Conference on Volunteerism (NECV); due October 31, 2018. Information can be found at NECV is designed for all Cooperative Extension professionals who manage volunteers as a part of their programs and will be held May 14-16, 2019 in Billings, MT. Those who are interested in developing a proposal may benefit from the 2017 NECV, see

National Urban Extension Conference Call for Proposals Announced - Washington State University and the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) are pleased to jointly announce a call for proposals for the National Urban Extension Conference on “Innovation in the City: A Land Grant University Experience,” which will be held in Seattle, Washington, May 20-23, 2019. The 2019 NUEC will focus on four core elements of building successful urban projects and programs: core competencies, subject matter expertise, personal experiences, and innovation. Proposals for presentations, workshops, posters, and panels for the 2019 Conference are encouraged with particular emphasis on abstracts that highlight research and/or outreach activities that involve partnerships between researchers, practitioners and Extension professionals. See for details and act by November 21, 2018.

Rural Stress Conference December 10-12 - Directors and Administrators are invited to join representatives from across rural America to have a conversation, explore best practices, and learn from industry and academic experts. Speakers include Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, USDA. To learn more go to

Monday, October 1, 2018

NEDA Begins Today

The 2018 NEDA and Cooperative Extension Section (CES) Business Meeting begins today in Portland Oregon! To date there are 96 individuals from 50 States/US Territories/District of Columbia, with 60 of the 76 Section Member institutions gathering in Portland. To kick off the event participants are asked to:

Former ECOP Member Tim Cross,
University of Tennessee.
Tim Cross is the 2018 ESP Ruby Award Winner - Epsilon Sigma Phi’s most prestigious level of recognition, the Distinguished Service Ruby award, is designed to recognize outstanding leadership, innovative thinking and sustained exceptional performance across a lifetime of career service in Extension. Former ECOP Member Tim Cross, Chancellor-University of Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture, will accept the 2018 Epsilon Sigma Phi Distinguished Service Ruby award on Tuesday, October 2nd. To experience his presentation, "To Every Extension Program There is a Session," at 12:15 p.m. Central Time, register for this event at and a link will be provided.

Extension Community Nutrition Education Visioning Web Retreat - The SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT) has developed a framework to help prepare us as a Land Grant System to meet the challenges and opportunity for our collective work in limited resource nutrition education. This on-line, 2-hour retreat is intended to facilitate discussion to strengthen nutrition programming through shared expertise, state agency relationships, financial accountability and collective evaluation. SNAP-Ed and EFNEP leaders are invited to this event that will occur on October 26, 2018, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET. Directors and Administrators are asked to encourage participation and registration by October 19, 2018 through this link Extension Community Nutrition Education Visioning Web Retreat Registration. A link and passcode will be received by email after registration. After an initial overview of PDT committee chairs, participants will be randomly assigned into discussion rooms with 10-12 people and a facilitator.

Caroline Crocoll, USDA-NIFA
Caroline Crocoll Receives Board on Human Sciences 2018 Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award - Caroline E. Crocoll, Director of the Division of Family and Consumer Sciences at the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), who currently represents NIFA on the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee, is the winner of the Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award. The Board on Human Sciences award honors a nationally-recognized leader who has a significant history of promoting and advancing the human sciences. As Director of the Division of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) at NIFA for the past eight years, Crocoll has demonstrated a dedication to creating and facilitating a national agenda for human and community sciences research, education and Extension programs to promote the well-being of families and rural communities. She has served the Extension community at the county, state and federal level in FCS and 4-H since 1993. She is currently the Chair of the Alliance for Family & Consumer Sciences, past Foreign Agricultural Service and State Department Embassy Science Fellow, Corporation for National and Community Service National Service Fellow, and is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute focusing on Leadership in a Democratic Society.

Agricultural Resource Management Survey Participation Opportunity - National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) requests cooperation in alerting growers to an upcoming survey opportunity. In the next few weeks, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) representatives may contact corn, soybean and/or peanut growers to participate in the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). ARMS is the only USDA survey that assesses farm production practices and resource use, and the economic well-being of America’s farm businesses and households. This is an opportunity to have a voice heard! If a grower is contacted, encourage them to provide input on their nutrient and fertilizer use, tillage practices, and pest management practices, as well as production costs for soybean farmers. Thank you for your cooperation in encouraging grower participation! To learn more about this survey opportunity, visit: To learn more about this survey and its benefits, go to:

Monday, September 24, 2018

2018 Top Honors in Extension

Ron Cox,
Oklahoma State University
Lesia Oesterreich,
Iowa State University
On November 11 in New Orleans at the APLU Annual Meeting the Cooperative Extension Section and USDA-NIFA will recognize the following for visionary leadership and diversity in educational programming.

--> National Diversity in Extension Award: Ron Cox, Oklahoma State University, for the leadership and impact of ¡Unidos Se Puede!
(United We Can!), the comprehensive approach to programming, collaboration tactics, and potential for the program to expand to other states.

--> National Excellence in Extension (EiE) Award: Lesia Oesterreich, Iowa State University, for innovative educational partnerships and programming with vulnerable families and early childhood education professionals.
     -- 1890 Region EiE Award: Jason de Koff, Tennessee State University.
     -- North Central Region EiE Award: Joe Luck, University of Nebraska.
     -- Northeast Region EiE Award: Molly Donovan, University of New Hampshire.
     -- Southern Region EiE Award: Dwayne Elmore, Oklahoma State University.
L-R: Jason de Koff, Tennessee State University; Molly Donovan, University of New Hampshire;
Joe Luck, University of Nebraska, and Dwayne Elmore, Oklahoma State University.
CLICK HERE to read entire article and to learn more about future nominations go to

Inspire Kids to Do STEM With 2018 4-H National Youth Science Day - Now in its eleventh year, 4-H NYSD was created by National 4-H Council, USDA-NIFA and Cooperative Extension to ignite an early interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among young people. The 2018 National Youth Science Day challenge, Code Your World, co-developed by West Virginia University Extension Service and Google, is a four-part challenge that teaches kids ages 8-14 to apply computer science to the world around them through hands-on activities. Code Your World is easier than ever to facilitate, with each kit including a computer-based activity on Google’s CS First platform and three unplugged activities that bring coding to life through games and interaction. The national NYSD celebration kicks off October 1, and coding events can take place throughout the month of October. Click here to purchase NYSD kits and inspire kids to do STEM this fall.

Registration for the Impact Collaborative Summit Extended to September 27 - More than 160 professionals including Key Informants, teams from 26 eXtension member institutions, and external partners will be joining us at the Summit on October 16-18, 2018 in Indianapolis, IN. The deadline is extended it until September 27 to accommodate any remaining teams that still wish to attend. Five free registrations are offered to premium member institution teams, and 3 free registrations are offered to basic member teams. Community partners are welcome. The purpose of this Summit is to guide project and program teams from your institutions through the Impact Collaborative Innovation Process and send them home with a project or program better informed by Key Informants and capacity-building Partners that is ready to be implemented at their institutions or within their communities. Learn more and register here.

Extension Serves as Outreach Leader for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Program - The CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity is pleased to announce funding to 15 land-grant universities across the country through the High Obesity Program (HOP)--CDC-RFA-DP18-1809. The land-grant universities will leverage community extension services to increase access to healthier foods and opportunities for physical activity in counties that have more than 40% of adults with obesity. Since 2014, CDC has funded land-grant universities to work with existing county Cooperative Extension and outreach services in predominantly rural areas that have less access to healthy foods and fewer opportunities to be physically active. The High Obesity Program has demonstrated communities’ progress to improve access to healthy foods and physical activity across different settings. Please email if you have any questions about this announcement.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Tradition With a Twist: 2018 NEDA

Ecotrust is the venue for ECOP passing of the gavel on Oct. 2 in Portland, Oregon.
Beginning this year ECOP will conduct the traditional "passing of the gavel" at NEDA instead of at the APLU Annual Meeting. On Oct. 2 NEDA registrants will be transported from the Embassy Suites Downtown Portland to Ecotrust. Upon arrival everyone will enjoy a reception of "tastings" specially prepared by the Oregon State University Food Innovation Center (FIC) Agricultural Experiment Station, a resource for client based product and process development, packaging engineering and shelf life studies, food safety, and consumer sensory testing. During the catered dinner program, Chair Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska will share successes and appreciation, pass the gavel to Ed Jones, Virginia Tech, and be honored for his leadership. Guests traveling to Portland with NEDA attendees may register for this special event by September 24 at Contact Sandy Ruble for more info.

JOE Special Issue Guest Editors starting top left: Ken La Valley, University of New Hampshire; Eli Sagor, University of Minnesota; Debby Sheely, University of Rhode Island; Jerry Thomas, Ohio State University; Nathan Meyer, University of Minnesota, and Terry Meisenbach, eXtension Foundation, Inc.
Journal of Extension Special Issue on Innovation - From the editors: "Cooperative Extension’s innovative and connected educators have been developing and promoting contemporary, practical education to meet the country’s needs for more than 100 years. As we look ahead to Extension’s next century, we must consider the myriad factors that will influence our continued work with communities to address the nation’s most complex challenges. This is especially true as we consider Extension’s changing audience, people of all walks of life in urban and rural communities. This Special Issue on Innovation reaches across the Extension system to mine our colleagues’ innovative practices. We invite you to use this compilation of 22 articles from across the Extension system as a resource to innovate your own programming, a charge to think differently, and a source of new colleagues with whom to collaborate."

Share Impact Collaborative Summit Registration by 9/20/18 - eXtension is bringing partners to the Summit for Extension project and program teams. The deadline to register is September 20, 2018. To fuel project advancement, eXtension is engaging and involving important Cooperative Extension external partners at the Impact Collaborative Summit. The Summit is October 16-18, 2018 in Indianapolis, IN. Partners will be on-site to offer coaching, advice, and advise participants on alignment with potential collaboration for funding. Partners that attendees can expect to work alongside include Family Foundations, Community Foundations, United Way, Philanthropy Serving Organizations, USDA, Rural LISC, Agricultural Leadership Programs, Crowdfunding Platforms, and more! One of the benefits of the Summit is to help expand the capacity of project and program teams with new partners. Click here to learn more and register.

Collaboration with NRCS - On Friday, September 14, 2018 members of the Cooperative Extension Section and Jeff Jacobsen representing Experiment Stations conversed with Jimmy Bramblett, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Deputy Chief for Programs, Sharif Branham, Director of Conservation Planning and Technical Assistance Division, and Amanda Schaller, Conservation Technical Assistance. To review the conversation, please use the following links:
    PowerPoint: Collaboration with NRCS

Monday, September 10, 2018

Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders: Collaboration With NRCS

ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd (L) and 1890s Region Executive Administrator,
Albert Essel (R) presenting during CES/ESS/USDA-NRCS Meeting, Ft. Collins, 8/15/18.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Land-grant University Cooperative Extension and Experiment Station Sections have worked collaboratively for decades on issues important to natural resource conservation, profitability of agricultural and natural resource enterprises and quality of life. Leaders from these three organizations from across the country met in Fort Collins, Colorado on August 14-15 to discuss potential strategies for how future collaboration can be even stronger. Meeting participants identified natural resource issues and functional and organizational initiatives to improve local, state and national partnerships across these three organizations. To learn more, go to the message to the Cooperative Extension Section dated 8/28/18. SAVE THE DATE: A special edition of Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders is scheduled for 3-4:00 p.m ET on Friday, September 14 for Directors and Administrators to have a conversation with NRCS. Connection details will be included in the invitation to attend.

Calls to Action In Review - Directors and Administrators are encouraged to view to the recorded conversation from last Friday, September 7 when Members of the Section conversed with ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd, ECOP Budget & Legislative Committee Chair Jon Boren, CES Representative to Committee on Legislation and Policy, and Cornerstone Government Affairs' Hunt Shipman about how to make calls to action more effective. Please send questions and requests for more information to
     Important links to remember: and
     PowerPoint: Calls to Action
     Survey Summary: Results

NEDA Registration Fee Increase - TODAY is the last day to register at the rate of $350 to attend the 2018 NEDA and Cooperative Extension Section Business Meeting, October 1-3. Also, the Embassy Suite Hotel Room Block, $224/night, expires today, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Go to for more information.

2018 EDEN Annual Conference - EDEN's Annual Meeting is taking place October 16th-19th in College Station, Texas. This meeting will celebrate the 24th anniversary of EDEN, a collaborative multistate effort by extension services across the country to improve the delivery of services to citizens affected by disasters. EDEN Annual Meeting Committee and local Texas hosts are preparing to make this meeting the most impactful meeting yet. The meeting is an opportunity for collaboration by providing a forum where important issues and big ideas can be discussed. Breakout sessions, panel discussions and keynote speakers will provide a glimpse into disaster programming throughout Extension. See for registration. Hotel information is included in the registration link. 

L-R: Co-facilitators Cathy Howard, Virginia Commonwealth University's Vice Provost,
Eric Barron, Penn State's President, and with panelists Jeff Alexander, RTI International,
Debbie Hughes, Business-Higher Education Forum, and Doug Steele incoming APLU
VP of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources at APLU, September 5, 2018
Cooperative Extension Involved in the CEO-CICEP Policy Briefing - The APLU CEO-CICEP (Council on Engagement and Outreach/Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity) Public Policy Working Group, including Stephan Goetz from the Northeast Regional Rural Development Center, has prepared a set of federal- and university-level policy imperatives in Advancing University-engaged Economic and Societal Prosperity. The imperatives address five key national priorities in advancing economic and social prosperity: 1. Build a thriving rural America. 2. Meet the demands for 21st century talent through workforce development. 3. Secure American leadership in advanced manufacturing. 4. Stimulate and accelerate university-based innovation and entrepreneurship. 5. Foster equitable, inclusive economic opportunity and mobility. On September 5, Doug Steele, incoming APLU Vice President for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources served as one of three thought leaders on the discussion panel. Directors and Administrators are encouraged to send comment/questions about this paper to Executive Director Rick Klemme, who will keep the Section informed in follow-up efforts.

NACo’s Creative Counties Placemaking Initiative - The National Association of Counties (NACo) and Americans for the Arts are collaborating on a multi-year project funded by the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support counties as they work to identify and strengthen ways to integrate arts into solutions to local challenges. This project delivers a mix of in-person workshops, conference calls, webinars, and a monthly Creative Counties newsletter. Learn more about this project and sign-up for the free newsletter at resources at: Questions or ideas? Contact Jenna Moran, NACo Program Manager for Resilience, at