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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.