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Monday, August 20, 2018

NEDA Is Just Around the Corner!

Extension administrators, associate administrators, directors and associate directors will gather in Portland, Oregon on October 1-3 for learning, networking and capacity building! Don’t miss this once a year opportunity to be a participating member of the Cooperative Extension Section; hearing updates from ECOP and participating in the future of the System! To learn more about NEDA and to register go to Early registration and hotel room block expires after September 10

"Deep Concern" Raised Over Moving NIFA Outside of DC - Last Friday the BAA, including the leaders of Cooperative Extension Section/ECOP, responded to the announcement made on August 9th that the land-grant's key partnering agency NIFA will be located outside of DC by the end of 2019. To read the entire letter with 3 important question raised by Policy Board of Directors' Chair Orlando McMeans to USDA Secretary Perdue go to

Assessing Communications and Marketing Outcomes - Last week the ECOP Executive Committee voted to place the BAA Policy Board of Directors (PBD) on notice that the Cooperative Extension Section is undertaking an outcome-based assessment to identify the following 4 components of an effective communications and marketing initiative; investments, structure, timing and results. Directors and Administrators will receive a brief survey this week to kick off the effort. The letter to the PBD Chair Orlando McMeans was delivered by Michelle Rodgers, Cooperative Extension Section's representative to that body. The Section commits $133,331 each year (22% of its annual budget) to this type of effort. All Directors and Administrators are asked to participate in 2 events, September 7, 3-4:00 p.m. Zoom Meeting (details to be released by invitation), and the morning of October 2, 2018 in person in Portland, Oregon, (NEDA details are highlighted above) as part of the assessment process.

Cooperative Extension Section's
ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd (Left) and 1890s Extension
Executive Administrator Albert Essel (Right) engage CES/ESS/NRCS
meeting participants.
Land-grant Extension and Research Leaders and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Working Together - Last week a group of 25 leaders from NRCS and the Cooperative Extension and Experiment Station Sections (CES/ESS) gathered in Fort Collins, Colorado to discuss and plan for stronger collaboration. On behalf of the Cooperative Extension Section, EDA Team member Robin Shepard (North Central Region) helped to organize the event. Stay tuned to the ECOP Monday Minute for the release of the summary of how the three organizations will move forward towards improved collaboration and synergy.

Jason Henderson, Purdue
Extension Mobilizes to Address Urban Programming- Since 2015 the Cooperative Extension Section/ECOP has aligned with the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) and affirmed the organization's good work. NUEL has fostered regional and national collaborations to share resources and grow Extension’s reach into urban communities. As the need for Extension Programming increases, the Section encourages membership in NUEL. NUEL continues to recruit new members into its Regional Caucuses across the five ECOP regions and has made strides in their Action Team work including professional development as they seek to build partnerships with the Joint Council of Extension Professional (JCEP) and eXtension Foundation. NUEL is developing an Urban Extension Implementation Plan to be presented to Extension Directors and Administrators during the October NEDA meeting in Portland, Oregon on October 3, Why Urban Matters to our Future Success. Directors and Administrators are invited to NUEL’s Biannual Network meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, December 3-5, 2018 with an agenda to assess intersections of collaboration with other colleagues from your region and across the country as NUEL advances urban Extension efforts. For more information contact NUEL Chair Patrick Proden Also, keep in mind the 2019 Semi-Annual National Urban Extension Conference (NUEC), May 20-23, 2019 in Seattle. The relationship of NUEL to ECOP is enhanced by having an ECOP liaison. Chris Boerboom (former North Dakota State University Extension Director) served in this role for several years prior to his retirement. Jason Henderson (Purdue University Extension Director) has recently been named to replace Chris and continue the important liaison relationship.

Monday, August 13, 2018

2018 NEDA - All CES Members Are Called to Attend

The 2018 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) and Annual Cooperative Extension Section (CES) Business Meeting occurs October 1-3 in Portland Oregon. At their regular meeting last week the ECOP Executive Committee, chaired by Chuck Hibberd, considered the business meeting agenda that will occur on the morning of Oct. 2. Based on the positive feedback of the interactive engaging approach undertaken and 2017 NEDA (Survey found at, the Committee decided to once again use an interactive discussion platform and direct polling, such as Slido, to engage CES and to build consensus. Topics include Advocacy and Communication, Strategic Realignment (Federal Budget), Plan of Work Reporting, and more. All Extension leaders (or their designated associates) from each of the 76 land-grant institutions are encouraged to be present and prepared with appropriate technology to contribute to the discussion portions of the business meeting, Tuesday morning, October 2. To learn more about NEDA and to register go to Early registration and hotel room block expires after September 10.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion - In light of events relative to inclusiveness in the 4-H program, on Thursday, August 9, 2018 ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd delivered a letter to all Extension Administrators and Directors across the country, re-affirming the Cooperative Extension Section’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in 4-H and all Extension education programming. Other resources for leaders may be found from A Conversation For Extension Directors and Administrators About Inclusivity in 4-H Programming from May 18, 2018.

eXtension: Registration For the Impact Collaborative Summit is Now Open - The Summit is in Indianapolis, IN, from October 16-18, 2018. All member institutions are invited to send teams to the Summit and community partners are welcome. Premium member institutions can send a team of up to five people with no registration fee. Basic member institutions can send a team of up to three people with no registration fee. More information on the Summit, registration, and learning outcomes can be found here. A webinar is scheduled for August 15th at 1 PM EDT to share more information about the Impact Collaborative and the Summit, and answer any questions you may have. You can register for the webinar here.

Funding Available For Rural Community Infrastructure - USDA has more than $4 billion in funding to help rural communities build or upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure. Safe water is fundamental to improving the quality of life and growing stronger rural economies. USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. It can be used to finance drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents. For communities needing technical assistance, funding is available through USDA’s Circuit Rider program and through Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) grants. Eligible rural communities and water districts can apply online for funding to maintain, modernize or build water and wastewater systems. Visit the interactive RD Apply tool, or apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.

Please Distribute NASS-CES MOU - Executive Director Rick Klemme with support of the EDA Team (on behalf of ECOP/CES) and Agricultural Natural Resource program leaders from each for the five regions, recently completed the process of finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Also described as a "Memorandum of Opportunity", the MOU identifies ways that NASS and CES colleagues across the country can collaborate and add value to the work of each organization. ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd, the signer of the document, asks that every agricultural agent/educator and specialist be made aware of the MOU and to be encouraged to look to NASS as a resource in their work whether it be on campus or in the field. To share the MOU go to

Monday, August 6, 2018

ECOP Supported NC-FAR Seminar on the Hill

The National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research (NC-FAR), of which ECOP is a member on behalf of the Cooperative Extension Section, sponsors weekly seminars for Congressional staff and NC-FAR partners from September through July. On July 24, Jason Henderson (Associate Dean, Purdue College of Agriculture & Director, Purdue Extension), the ECOP representative to the NC-FAR Board of Directors, presented a seminar titled Ag Workforce Development: The Role of Cooperative Extension. Fifty-two staffers and partners attended the two seminars with several very good questions. Click Here to view/download Jason's PowerPoint. Thank you, Jason!

Unraveling the Mysteries of ECOP and Cooperative Extension Section - On August 3, 2018, ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska, was joined by ECOP Chair-elects Ed Jones, Virginia Tech (2019) and Mark Latimore, Jr., Fort Valley State University (2020), to present the Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders Session. The topic was requested by the participants of the recent CES Capital Quest program. To review or engage here are the details:
  • View/listen to recording below.

Remember that complete archive of the 2018 Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders conversations is available all day, any day, on the ECOP Monday Minute - right-side menu,  "Learning and Initiative Resources."

Two New Opportunities at eXtension Foundation -
  • Innovation Facilitator Manager: eXtension Foundation seeks an expert facilitator and experienced innovator to join our team and help lead innovation capacity-building for our members of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System. You can find more information about this position and the application here. The position will be open until filled and the first review of applications will begin on August 9th, 2018.
  • Fellowship - Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Sandbox: eXtension is funding an opportunity for a Fellow position to lead a process with a national committee and eXtension to explore and document needs and potential solutions for Customer Relationship Management functions in Cooperative Extension across the country. This opportunity is open to all Land-Grant Universities regardless of membership with eXtension as part of our cooperative agreement with USDA-NIFA. More information about this position and the application can be found here

National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) 2018 Row Crop Objective Yield Survey - Now that farmers had a successful planting season this spring and the growing season has been favorable in most areas of the country, USDA-NASS is preparing to partner with farm operators to set out objective yield plots. The objective yield surveys for corn, cotton, potatoes, and soybeans will be conducted from August to January. These plots will be visited each month prior to harvest and helps USDA-NASS measure and estimate yields by collecting and counting plants, pods, kernels, bolls, and hills. This information is used by farmers and agribusinesses to evaluate expected prices and help determine when and how to market the crops produced. NASS officials ask Directors and Administrators to inform county educators: if a farmer is approached by a nice field enumerator sent by USDA-NASS, please encourage the farmer to volunteer their sampled crop field for the 2018 Objective Yield Survey program. Thank you.

Countdown to NEDA Early Registration Deadline
Pioneering the Best Ideas and Methods for Leadership in Portland, the 2018 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) and Cooperative Extension Section Annual Business Meeting, is scheduled for October 1-3 in Portland, Oregon. Cooperative Extension Section Leaders, together with key partners, will convene for deep conversation and collaboration. The Deadline for early registration and the closing of the hotel room block is only 5 WEEKS FROM TODAY! Go to to learn more and to register.

Monday, July 23, 2018

ECOP Meets South of the Border

There will be no ECOP Monday Minute on July 30. Please tune in again on August 6, 2018!

Candid moment of ECOP Meeting, July 17, 2018
This summer’s ECOP meeting occurred, as usual, as part of the annual APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly's Joint COPs Summer Meeting held this year in Guadalajara, Mexico. This location, like last year’s meeting in Canada, reflects APLUs interests in broadening public university engagement to include our neighbors. Highlights of actions by ECOP:

  • Approved Extension Resource and Partnership Development Team continue working towards a System-wide Development/Fund Raising business plan. Draft plan due at October NEDA/ECOP meetings. 
  • Approved the Reporting Themes Workgroup to continue its work towards a coordinated, streamlined reporting system aligned with NIFA and CES strategic initiative priorities. 
  • Affirmed commitment to CES Strategic Agenda in the transition of the ECOP Chair from Chuck Hibberd to Ed Jones for 2019. 
  • Approved appointment of an International Extension Workgroup to establish ways that the Cooperative Extension system can support 1862 and 1890 institutions increasing capacity in this arena. 
  • Approved a Section-wide process to review and provide input on the Strategic Alignment (Line Consolidation) efforts being led by the BAA Policy Board. This review will lead to input to the Policy Board’s meeting on this topic in November. 
  • Approved the continued process of engaging Section members on their perspectives on the expectations for Communications and Marketing Committee Plan of Work. This review will lead to input to the Policy Board’s meeting on this topic in November. 
  • Provided significant input into the Nutrition Education Call to Action Advocacy Strategy being led by the Communications and Marketing Committee and kglobal. Extension Administrators and Directors will soon receive a summary of the current and planned strategies. 
  • Affirmed the work of the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee, encouraging them to explore the possibility of new legislation to establish an additional authority for use of the 4-H name and emblem and to draft a new MOU document that would continue the work of the Committee beyond May 8, 2019

Two Timely Reminders -
  1. Tune in to Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders: Unraveling the Mysteries of ECOP and CES on Friday, August 3, 2018, 3-4:00 p.m. ET. Contact ECOP Assistant Director Sandy Ruble to receive connection details.
  2. Register for 2018 NEDA before September 10, 2018 - Direct questions about this meeting to ECOP Program Assistant Marianne Klein.

eXtension Highlights - The Impact Collaborative, powered by eXtension, hosted its Facilitator Training last week in Detroit, MI. The Impact Collaborative trained 29 new facilitators from 20 institutions in the Innovation Kit process. Upon completion of this training, these members became qualified to host local Innovation Kit Workshop and Designathon One events with eXtension and can assist in facilitating. You can find more information on outcomes and what our Facilitators had to say about the training here. If your institution has had a Facilitator trained this year, the Impact Collaborative is offering Premium Member Institutions the chance to host a 20-60 seat Innovation Kit Workshop or Designathon One at no cost to the institution. The deadline for scheduling one of these events is August 1st, 2018, click here for more details. To learn more about eXtension member benefits like these Impact Collaborative events, become a member! Contact Beverly Coberly at for more information.

Webinar 8/14: Well Connected Communities Wave 2 Funding - The Well Connected Communities initiative is an effort to cultivate wellness across the country. Cooperative Extension, in partnership with National 4-H Council, is equipping volunteer leaders to help their neighbors be healthier at every stage of life. With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health, these communities are cultivating wellness and fostering a Culture of Health in America. Extension Directors and Administrators who are interested in strengthening Well Connected Communities’ applications for Wave 2, are encouraged to join a national webinar. The next Request for Applications for funding is anticipated to be released during the spring of 2019. Webinar details:
  • August 14, 2018 Time: 2:30 – 3:30 pm ET 
  • Register here:
  • Webinar Goals:
    -- Expand understanding of the Well Connected Communities initiative
    -- Explore strategies for building, connecting and weaving community coalition efforts
    -- Identify roles for supporting and creating change
    -- Learn from current Well Connected Communities
For more information or if you have questions, contact Janet Golden, National 4-H Council,, 301-204-6841.

One Week Left to Complete the 2017 Census of Agriculture - The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) officially ends data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture on July 31. NASS asks for help in reminding farmers and ranchers that their response, every response, is important – even if it’s just to say that they are no longer a farmer. The stronger the data once every five years, the better-informed future decisions can be. Remember, the same law that requires response – Federal law, Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105-113 – also requires NASS to keep all information confidential, to use the data only for statistical purposes, and to only publish data in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation. Producers can still complete the Census questionnaire online at or by calling toll-free (888) 424-7828 through July 31. Data release is planned for February 2019.

Breakthroughs 2030 Release - Additional Information - As reported last week, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released Science Breakthroughs to Advance Food and Agricultural Research by 2030 (Breakthroughs 2030) on July 18. As part of the webinar, the Academies are sharing background materials. The archived webinar recording will soon be made available at: This site includes links to download the report or read the report online, the press release and an interactive infographic. Other materials of interest:
   • 3-minute video with the main messages from the report
   • 4-page brief summary of the report
   • Social media toolkit with sample promotional tweets, posts, and newsletter summaries

Monday, July 16, 2018

Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup Update—New Information on Extension Opioid Programming Available

The Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup has completed its goal of providing information about Extension substance abuse programming that can be quickly shared across state lines to help address the opioid crisis. The new Opioid Response website provides content on eight existing opioid-related programs. The following summary information is available for each of the programs: 1) brief description; 2) format, duration, and approach, 3) target audience; 4) degree to which the program is research-based/evidence-based; and 5) costs of adoption and use. Contact information, links to key resources and webinar recordings offer more detailed descriptions of the programs. ECOP and Workgroup members believe these resources are useful to those seeking opportunities to address the opioid crisis in their states. Over time, new content will be added. Directors and Administrators may access details on this initiative and others in the "Learning and Initiatives" section of this blog - see menu, right found on the full view of this blog.

LGU SNAP-Ed Marketing Brochure Published - A newly developed tri-fold brochure is available featuring results of the most recent Land-grant University (LGU) SNAP-Ed report designed to share the collective successes of the nationwide system in limited-resource nutrition education. The LGU SNAP-Ed Program Development Team created the handout highlighting the impacts of LGU SNAP-Ed outreach. The one-page legal-size trifold document lists quick facts about the program, behavior and health outcomes, and how partnerships and collaboration enhance the work. Copies have been sent to each of the LGU coordinators. The document can be viewed and printed on the Community Nutrition Education community of practice on at Additional printed copies are available by contacting Sandra Jensen at

Breakthroughs 2030 Report to be Released on July 18 - The National Academies of Science-Engineering-Medicine (NASEM) are pleased to announce that Science Breakthroughs to Advance Food and Agricultural Research by 2030 (Breakthroughs 2030) - a study to identify the greatest research opportunities in food and agricultural science for the next 10 years - will be released on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. This unprecedented report communicates a compelling vision and rationale for additional investment in Food and Ag research for Congress and other research funders to consider. In June 2017 ECOP and ESCOP each provided support funding for the study due to the broad definition of Ag research and the element of applied science (Extension). An in-depth, live public webinar with members of the report’s authoring committee will be hosted by NASEM on July 18, 1-2:00 PM EDT. For a list of presenters, other details, and to register, Click Here.

Supporting Economic Diversification in Coal-Reliant Communities - The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the NADO Research Foundation (NADO RF) are collaborating on a multi-year project funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Denver Regional Office to support economic resilience and diversification in coal-reliant communities in Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. This project delivers a mix of in-person workshops, conference calls, webinars, and a bi-weekly newsletter, “Growing Stronger Economies in Our Nation’s Coal Communities.” Learn more about this project at Sign-up for the free newsletter (relevant for coal communities across the country) that has news, funding information, and other resources at: Questions or ideas? Contact NADO RF Associate Director Brett Schwartz at

Monday, July 9, 2018

2018 Science-informed Decision Making and Policy Mid-term Update from ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd

Robust Meeting Agenda in Mexico - ECOP will address a number of important topics during its meeting on July 16-17 in Guadalajara, Mexico as part of the Joint COPs meeting. Four Big Ideas are on the agenda, Land-grant University Mission Alignment, Plan of Work Reporting Themes, Extension Resource and Partnership Development and International Extension Work, as well as the kglobal contract, revisions to the ECOP operating guidelines and CES Rules of Operation, consideration of a number of issues from the 4-H Leadership Committee, a review of eXtension’s role with the Cooperative Extension Section, and a conversation with Doug Steele (incoming Vice President for Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources). This agenda and the associated conversations will form the basis for the upcoming national dialogue scheduled to take place during the CES Business Meeting at NEDA on October 2 in Portland, Oregon. Remember to register for NEDA at

NC-FAR Cooperative Extension Seminar - Invitation - Jason Henderson, Purdue University, Extension Director, and former Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, will present a National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research  (NC-FAR) seminar titled: Ag Workforce Development – the Role of Cooperative ExtensionWith historically low unemployment rates, employers are scrambling to find workers with entry-level and advanced skills. Jason will address how Land Grant Universities are innovating and partnering to expand the technical, professional, and life skills training opportunities for America’s agricultural workforce. Directors and Administrator are encouraged to share the following details with staff members of their respective Congressional delegations:

NASS Thanks Extension for Contributing Data - The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) produces a weekly crop progress report during the growing season (April-November). Every Thursday and Sunday night NASS Regional Field Offices sends emails to about 4,000 respondents. Extension agents/educators are the biggest group of respondents to the weekly survey due to making visual observations and frequent contacts with farmers in their counties! All reports are reviewed and processed by mid-day Monday. State-level estimates are then compiled into a national report that is released at 4 p.m. E.T. the same day. In addition to the national report, each NASS Regional Field Office publishes a report specific to the states within their region. The results are highly anticipated by data users (e.g. farmers, agribusinesses, commodity traders, insurance agents, etc.) with these reports getting some of NASS’ highest web traffic. The reports as well as graphical products can be found on the NASS website. Response rates are high, but it’s important to maintain momentum! The better the response, the stronger the data. The stronger the data, the better it is for American agriculture. Thank you for your participation, and for helping to spread the word about the importance of this survey and survey response.

Seeding Success: Tools, Technology and Techniques for a Successful Extension Natural Resources Career - New Extension forestry and natural resource specialists, agents and associates are part of a national network of diverse, knowledgeable colleagues. This course will provide our new colleagues with a grounding in Extension theory and practice. Early career Extension employees will be able to connect with peers from across the nation and learn the ins and outs of how to get started on their work and how to navigate the particular challenges associated with these positions. For complete details go to A core theme of the CES Strategic Agenda is to enhance leadership and professional development.

Monday, July 2, 2018

National Leadership Update

L-R: Jason Henderson, Purdue, Tom Melton, NC State University,
and Brian Schilling, Rutgers
Beginning this month, Jason Henderson, Purdue University, appointed by the North Central Region becomes a voting member of ECOP. Chris Boerboom, North Dakota State University is retiring and has served since 2016. Chris's retirement also leaves a vacancy to by filled by Tom Melton, North Carolina State University, appointed by ECOP to represent the Cooperative Extension Section on the National Integrated Pest Management Coordinating Committee (NIPMCC). For the retiring Larry Katz, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, the Northeast Region has named Rutgers' new Director Brian Schilling to ECOP Extension Resource and Partnership Development Committee (formerly Private Resource Development) and ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee. Congratulations to appointees and retirees and thank you for your national leadership!

Civil Rights Poster Update - The NIFA website that instructs Land-grant partners on guidelines and use of the And Justice for All poster was recently updated to provide clarification. The EFNEP Justice for All Civil Rights poster found at was updated last week.

eXtension Impact Collaborative Opportunities - The Impact Collaborative, powered by eXtension, is offering a 20-60 seat Innovation Kit Workshop or Designathon One for Premium Member Institutions at no charge. The deadline for scheduling one of these events is August 1, 2018, and Premium Member Institutions must have a Facilitator trained prior to this date. More information about this Premium Member benefit can be found here. The one-day Innovation Kit Workshop demonstrates how design thinking and lean experimentation through the Innovation Kit Process can help generate innovative ideas, test those ideas, and move ideas forward with potential for successful implementation. Designathon One is a two-day workshop that helps participants turn an idea into a compelling & innovative project that attracts and catalyzes key stakeholders and strategic partners. Premium Members have access to the Impact Collaborative for local events in conjunction with having their own members trained in the innovation process as facilitators for these events. Basic members will enjoy the benefit of accessing the Impact Collaborative at the October 2018 Summit. To learn more about becoming an eXtension Member Institution, please contact Beverly Coberly at

Tennessee State University hosted FEMA Train-the-Trainer on Emergency Preparedness for 1890 Land-Grants in EDEN
Land-grant Universities Receive FEMA Disasters Train-the-Trainer Course - On May 20-22, 2018, twenty participants from ten 1890 Land-grant Universities (LGUs) and one 1862 LGU assembled at Tennessee State University for the second 1890-Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) Advisory Group (AG) Face-to-Face Workshop. The two-day workshop was hosted by the 1890 EDEN AG and featured the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Religious and Cultural Competency in Disasters Train-the-Trainer Course, including new guidance Engaging Faith-Based and Community Organizations: Preparedness Considerations for Emergency Managers. The training equipped participants to deliver the course to audiences including other university personnel, faith-based and community based organizations (CBOs) and disaster officials. For more information, contact Marcus Coleman,

Monday, June 25, 2018

Register for 2018 NEDA

Last week Extension Directors and Administrators and key partners received an invitation to register and attend the 2018 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) and Cooperative Extension Section (CES) Business Meeting. "The City of Roses", Portland, Oregon, is the backdrop for the meeting to be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown. The early-bird registration rate of $350 includes round-trip transportation to Ecotrust on Tuesday, October 2 for a CES Celebration and Passing of the Gavel. Register using CVent and with hotel (Code:APL) by September 10 to avoid consequences of offsite lodging or higher fees. Complete details, including theme, goals and FAQs, are available to

NEW DATE Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders 8/3 - Unraveling the Mysteries of CES and ECOP - On May 29-30 a group of newer leaders of the Cooperative Extension Section (3 years or less) joined ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd in Washington, DC for 2018 Capital Quest. A survey of participants revealed there is a great deal to learn about the Cooperative Extension Section and the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy! Go figure when nearly half of all Extension Administrators and Directors have 3 years or less of experience leading their respective extension institutions. In response to this feedback, Chuck has decided to focus his next conversation with colleagues on unraveling the mysteries of CES and ECOP. The Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders that was scheduled for July 6 is postponed until Friday, August 3, 3-4:00 p.m. Please hold the date and stay tuned for more details to follow! Missed earlier opportunities for one of these sessions? Listen to recordings and feedback is always welcome!

Artis Stevens, CMO,
National 4-H Council
National Recognition for 4-H Grows Campaign - The 4-H Grows Campaign is a collaborative effort to increase access to and enrollment in 4-H across the country. This strategic efforts to raise awareness of and grow 4-H has received significant recognition from the American Marketing Association. AMA's National Non-Profit Marketer of the Year Award will be presented to National 4-H Council Chief Marketing Officer Artis Stevens in July for leading 4-H's innovative alumni marketing strategy -- resulting in a significant increase in 4-H’s brand relevancy, revenue and reach. The award recognizes the vision and leadership efforts of the 4-H System to unite Cooperative Extension, USDA and National 4-H Council under one cohesive brand strategy across the country, ultimately laying the groundwork for the successful adoption of the 4-H Grows campaign.

USDA Rural Development Resources Available in Every State - Rural Development (RD) has many programs that complement the work of Extension across the country. Field staff work closely with the ag community and other rural leaders to ensure that communities have affordable housing, and essential community services such as schools, libraries, hospitals; and vital infrastructure such as broadband, water, and reliable electricity. RD provides capital for lenders, agricultural producers and rural businesses through programs like the Value-Added Producer Grant program, which can help transform commodities into higher-value products – such as grapes into specialty jellies. The Rural Energy for America Program helps reduce energy costs by installing renewable energy systems such as solar, wind, and anaerobic digesters; and energy efficiency projects such as new HVAC systems, lighting, and irrigation systems. USDA micro lending programs provide capital to start or grow a small rural business. Existing USDA borrowers, such as local utilities, create revolving loan funds that relend to rural businesses. Our Cooperative Service programs help strengthen existing co-ops and start new ones. Finally, at Rural Development our work is driven by three key principles: Innovation, Partnerships and Infrastructure. Secretary Perdue created an Innovation Center to help transform rural areas. Modernizing infrastructure and building new partnerships – such as with the Extension community – will strengthen our rural communities. Bette Brand, Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Services encourages Extension Administrators and Directors to reach out to USDA Rural Development offices.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Doug Steele Named APLU Vice President for Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources

Peter McPherson, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President, recently announced that Doug Steele will succeed Ian Maw who is retiring from the position effective December 31, 2018. ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd commented, “On behalf of the Cooperative Extension Section, I am thrilled that Doug will be the new VP. His rich experience in Cooperative Extension and leadership roles on the Board on Agriculture Assembly and as ECOP Chair will give him the foundation to be a great leader and continued friend of Cooperative Extension.” 

Pioneering the Best Ideas and Methods for Leadership in Portland - The 2018 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) and Cooperative Extension Section Annual Business Meeting is scheduled for October 1-3 in Portland, Oregon. Cooperative Extension Section Leaders, together with key partners, will convene for deep conversation and collaboration. Participants will:
  • understand engagement in a broad context; 
  • be comfortable with the concept of building on engagement principles in their own sphere of influence; 
  • be motivated to “engage’ in learning more about and practicing engagement; 
  • deepen understanding of best practices for evaluating and reporting engagement; 
  • contribute to the understanding of an innovative, system-interdependent, solution-based approach to Urban Extension Programming, and 
  • collaborate with Director and Administrator colleagues to learn about Urban Extension Programming resources for the System and what leadership resources are needed to develop a system-wide Urban Initiative Implementation Plan.  
Look for the registration materials by email, scheduled for release this week!

Updated NIFA Policy Guide Webinars - Extension Directors and Administrators are invited to webinars to learn about proposed changes to the NIFA Federal Assistance Policy Guide (NIFA Policy Guide or Policy Guide), version dated October 2014. NIFA seeks stakeholder feedback on Draft 2018 NIFA Federal Assistance Policy Guide by 5:00pm ET, Monday, July 30, 2018. The webinars covering the new structure, enhanced navigability features, labeling of sections for audience applicability, and new sections and information (e.g. allowable costs) will be offered to COMPETITIVE grantees (June 26 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm eastern time) and for CAPACITY grantees (June 28 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm eastern time). For complete details go to

Illustration by Jonathan Bartlett
4-H Story Points to Land-grant Approach to Youth Development - Cultivating the Next Gen of 4-H, authored by retired Cooperative Extension/ECOP Executive Director Jane Schuchardt, appeared recently in the Nebraska Quarterly. Through the work of the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee, the Cooperative Extension Section is committed to increasing participation in 4-H positive youth development through collaboration among Extension Administrators and Directors with USDA-NIFA and National 4-H Council partners. For more information on the 4-H/Cooperative Extension relationship or the Leadership Committee initiatives, contact Sandy Ruble

Monday, June 11, 2018

Identifying Resources & Expertise Related to Broadband Access & Adoption

e-Connectivity is one of five priorities identified in the USDA Agriculture & Rural Prosperity Task Force Report released earlier this year. In order to support Cooperative Extension's capacity to effectively respond to this priority, a national team of Extension professionals, working in concert with the Regional Rural Development Centers, are conducting a survey (that has been sent to colleagues around the country) to better understand the e-connectivity resources and programs that exist within the System e-connectivity resources and programs that exist within the System. This information will help identify programmatic and educational gaps and guide the team’s efforts to collectively develop new resources and programs. Any Extension professional engaged in raising awareness of broadband, strategic planning, digital literacy or any such effort has been invited to respond at Directors and Administrators are asked to share the survey with those in their organizations who have content expertise to add to the survey responses. The team lead on the survey design is Roberto Gallardo (, Purdue Center for Regional Development.

Leadership in the City Course for Urban Extension Professionals - The Leadership in the City 10-month comprehensive online professional development program prepares Extension professionals working in urban areas, to be relevant locally, responsive statewide, and recognized nationally. Participants will learn from experienced leaders; apply what they learn in their city, region, or state; engage in critical thinking and creative problem solving; and participate in online collaborative learning. Each competency-based module, developed with the assistance of eXtension Foundation, incorporates interactive digital delivery and the flipped classroom model for active learning and engagement. The deadline for registration ($500) is June 29, 2018. Class limit: 20 participants. If multiple participants from the same institute register, each are entitled to a $100 discount (Discount code: EITC18-100). The course begins August 3, 2018 and concludes with an in-person event at the 2019 National Urban Extension Conference (participation is optional and not included in this registration fee). For more details go to or contact Michelle Gaston at

eXtension Technologies: Looking to the Future - As eXtension grows the Impact Collaborative, it continues to offer technology that supports its members and the Cooperative Extension Service. eXtension is upgrading its tools to ensure the future of content for communities of practice (CoPs), provide CoPs greater flexibility and control of their content, and offer a domain structure with better marketability. A webinar will be offered at 2:00 PM EDT on June 27th, 2018 for CoP leaders and article contributors to share further plans and information. Read the full announcement here.

Last Chance to Respond to the 2017 Census of Agriculture - USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in a final push for response for the Census of Agriculture, asks Directors and Administrators to encourage farmers and ranchers, including landowners who lease land to producers, those involved in conservation programs, even those who may have received the Census and do not farm to submit to take action. Paper questionnaire deadline is June 15 and Census online deadline is the end of July. Improved in 2017, the online form is convenient and user friendly. To date, the national return is around 64 percent. Phone follow-up and personal interviews will continue through July. For more detail about the importance of the Census of Agriculture, check out and then share the latest press release and PSA from Secretary Perdue. For more information or for assistance with the questionnaire, producers can visit the website or call toll-free (888) 424-7828.

Monday, June 4, 2018

National Cooperative Extension/ECOP Office Staff Update

L-R: Rick Klemme, Executive Director, Sandy Ruble, Assistant Director
and Marianne Klein, Program Assistant
In February 2017, Rick Klemme was contracted by ECOP at 0.60 FTE as Executive Director (ED) and asked to expand focus on partnership building opportunities, a role that had not been emphasized with former EDs. In December 2017, ECOP extended the contract held by Rick until April 30, 2020. In March 2018, ECOP began to examine a new staffing model in order to meet the robust demands of the Cooperative Extension Section Strategic Agenda. After careful consideration, the ECOP Executive Committee voted on April 12, 2018 to promote Sandy Ruble to Assistant Director (1.00 FTE) effective May 1. "Sandy has capably served the National Office since March 2014 and is well-qualified and prepared for this expanded role," said ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd. Also, a third person was hired on to the team at 0.20 FTE. Introducing Marianne Klein, Program Assistant! “Marianne was sought out to fill this position because of her proven abilities and readiness to perform national work,” says Rick Klemme. Marianne's contact information is and 202-478-6093. Please continue to submit items for this blog directly to Rick Klemme at Thank you.

Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) Reveals New Knowledge Area For POW Reporting - Nick Place, University of Florida, who is appointed by ECOP to communicate the interests of the Cooperative Extension Section on the EDEN Executive Board, recently shared that a new Knowledge Area for Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery (KA 807) will be included in the revised Plan of Work this fall. According to the memo, Land-grant institutions will have "the opportunity to buy-in and report almost all disaster work under one KA. This will result in improvement in reporting outcomes and demonstrating the utmost public value of this work." Some current projects in the Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grant Program have already been reclassified by NIFA staff under this new KA. CLICK HERE for more details. ECOP Member Carolyn Williams, Prairie View A&M University, serves as representative of the 1890 Institution Programs with EDEN. Questions may be directed to Steve Cain, Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), Homeland Security Project Director,

Coming Together for Racial Understanding Train-the-Trainer Informational Webinar - Civil dialogue to promote racial healing has been a focal point within ECOP for over a year with the launching of the first Rapid Response Team. As a result of this work, a train-the-trainer workshop is planned for August 27-31, 2018. An informational webinar previewing important details about the workshop and subsequent pilot efforts was hosted by the Southern Rural Development Center on Monday, May 21. The session explored important points regarding selecting a team to send, expectations of participants, and costs. To learn more:

Building a Culture of Health With Well-Connected Communities - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Dr. Richard Besser kicked off the National Health Outreach Conference on May 2 at the University of Minnesota highlighting the Foundation's $4.6 investment in Cooperative Extension and National 4-H Council's Well-Connected Communities initiative. The work supports the Foundation's efforts to build a Culture of Health in America. "You know how to bring communities to empower them to make positive change ... you know how to include young people," said Besser. Use source below to listen to Dr. Besser's remarks.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Resources Shared on Inclusivity in 4-H Programs

ECOP Monday Minute will return on June 4, 2018. Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend!

On May 18 ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd and Chair-elect Ed Jones moderated a conversation with Extension Directors and Administrators with a panel of Land-grant experts.
  • Joining Ed Jones, Kay Heidbreder, University Legal Counsel, Virginia Tech
  • Glenda Humiston, Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, and joining Glenda was Katherine Soule, Extension Director for SLO & SB Counties & Youth, Families & Communities Advisor
  • ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee Co-chair Andy Turner, State Leader for the 4-H Youth Development Program, Cornell University, and joining Andy was Melissa Schroeder, Youth and Family Leader, Schuyler County, and Eduardo Gonzalez, Jr. Statewide Diversity Specialist
Click Here to download resources from the conversation.
The link to the recorded presentation is provided below. Comments and questions are welcome at

Act Promptly: Extension System Addresses the Opioid Crisis - The Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup is charged by ECOP to develop a nationwide strategic framework to help position the Land-grant system to address the opioid crisis. There are 2 sets of activities in motion:
  1. Develop a broader strategic framework for Extension activities in the behavioral health arena. Last week Directors and Administrators were invited to either complete the 15-minute “Extension Behavioral Health Survey” or share the survey link with the most knowledgeable behavioral health person in their organization. This survey is due by close of business on Wednesday, May 30.
  2. Provide Extension substance abuse program resources that can be quickly expanded across state lines. From May 24 through June 1, a series of webinars have been designed to share information about these programs. To learn more about either joining the webinars live, viewing the recordings, or offering assessment of the programs go to
Direct questions/concerns to Workgroup Coordinator Mark Skidmore, or Cooperative Extension/ECOP Executive Director Rick Klemme

Culture of Health Opportunities in 2019 Webinar June 6 - National 4-H Council, in partnership with the groundbreaking health initiatives of the America's Cooperative Extension System, is helping to drive transformational change to create a Culture of Health across 1,000 communities in America over the next 10 years. The overarching strategy of the Well-Connected Communities initiative is governed by a combination of sustainable structure, leadership tools and training intended to emphasize the power of communities organizing to lead change. Learn more about the Well-Connected Communities initiative and future funding opportunities by participating in the following webinar.  
   Readiness for Well-Connected Communities -
   June 6, 2018 Time: 1-2 pm EST
   Audience: Land-grant institutions interested in Wave 2 of change makers (2019)

Economic Research Service Highlighted - USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) anticipates trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America and conducts high-quality, objective economic research to inform and enhance public and private decision making. ERS research and statistics serve those who routinely make or influence these decisions – White House and USDA policy officials, the U.S. Congress, program administrators/managers, Federal agencies, State and local governments, private agribusinesses, and farm and industry groups. All ERS information can be found at, including ERS research and outlook reports, Amber Waves magazine, data visualizations and data products. For recent research highlights, see ERS’s FY 2017 Annual Report: Illuminating the Issues: How ERS Research Informs Decisions. Stakeholders can stay apprised of what’s new at ERS by signing up for weekly e-mail updates or by following @USDA_ERS on Twitter.

Monday, May 14, 2018

2018 Public Issues Leadership Development Conference in Review

2018 Joint PILD/4-H Delegations from Oregon and Georgia.
Picture Your Delegation Here in 2019!
Over 290 Extension Administrators, professionals, and volunteers learned how to tell Extension’s story and communicate more effectively with Congressional members and other decision makers at this year’s Joint Council of Extension Professional’s (JCEP) Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference that took place in the Washington, DC area last month. The conference theme was “Cultivating a Climate of Civil Dialogue.” Highlights included a panel on “Cooperative Extension’s Value Proposition” moderated by ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd, Dean and Director of University of Nebraska, updates with NIFA National Program Leaders, as well as a session with two Congressional staffers who provided their perspectives on effectively communicating with members of Congress. Resources from the conference are available at PILD delegates were joined by over 300 4-H youth and their chaperones to coordinate talking points and plans for Congressional visits. Next year’s PILD Conference is scheduled for April 14-17, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, VA.

National Extension Web Mapping Tool Is Available - With the support of eXtension Foundation, the University of New Hampshire and Virginia Tech have developed a mapping and data exploration tool to assist Cooperative Extension staff and administrators in making strategic planning and programming decisions. The tool, called the National Extension Web-mapping Tool (or NEWT), was released in Beta late last year. No GIS experience is required to use NEWT, which is key in the effort to make spatial data available to a wider audience within Cooperative Extension. The Principal Investigators of the grant which supported the development of NEWT, Shane Bradt, University of New Hampshire, and John McGee, Virginia Tech, would like to get the word out about NEWT and get feedback about the ways in which NEWT could be improved. The relevant information and recent webinars about NEWT can be found at

Sustainable Agricultural Systems Webinars - New in 2018, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) program. SAS promotes the sustainable supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food and other agricultural products, while enhancing economic opportunities and improving the long-term health and well-being of all Americans. The program requires a Letter of Intent, due June 27, 2018, after which applications are due October 10, 2018. Approximately $80 million will be available to fund non-renewable grants up to $10 million for fully integrated (including research, education, and extension) Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs) and Strengthening CAPs using transdisciplinary approaches. NIFA will present an AFRI Sustainable Agriculture Systems webinar on May 23rd. Go to to learn more.