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Monday, March 26, 2018

Well Connected Communities - Web Discussion 4.6.18

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

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

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

ECOP Meeting in Nebraska Continues Important CES Dialogues

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

Award Nominations Deadline Only 7 Weeks Away

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

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

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

Monday, March 5, 2018

Key Insights to Leading an Urban Extension Program

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

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

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

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