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Monday, May 13, 2019

Rural Program Funding Opportunity for Cooperative Extension ONLY: Opioids

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), building on a collaboration with USDA, is accepting applications for fiscal year 2019 Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grants (Short Title: ROTA). The purpose of this program is to develop and disseminate training and technical assistance for rural communities adversely affected by opioid use disorder (OUD). USDA Cooperative Extension Service grantees will facilitate the identification of model programs, develop and update materials related to the prevention, treatment and recovery activities for OUD, and ensure that high-quality training is provided. ROTA grant applications are due by June 7, 2019. Note: FY18 ROTA grantees are not eligible to apply. See for more details.

Register for the CECE-CoR Joint Summer Meeting - Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators are encouraged to attend the APLU Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) Summer Meeting, June 16-19, 2019. This meeting is an excellent opportunity to learn more about mutually beneficial Extension-CECE partnerships and the Council on Research (APLU VPs for research). The keynote speaker will be Antoine Van Agtmael, co-author of The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation. In the book, Van Agtmael shows how onetime rust-belt areas in the U.S. and Europe are emerging as new centers for innovation - including sharing between research universities and corporations, physical spaces that encourage collaboration, and environments that attract talent. APLU’s 6th Annual Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities workshop will also take place during the meeting. Learn more and register here.

Coming Together for Racial Understanding Pilot Initiative Survey Results - As reported earlier, on August 27-31, 2018, teams of three from 20 states participated in the first cohort group of Coming Together for Racial Understanding. The purpose of the training is to build capacity within Cooperative Extension Service (CES) to help communities engage in civil dialogues around racial issues. The week-long training was designed to prepare participants to build capacity within their home states’ CES, working across the borders of the Land-Grant Universities within a given state (where there are multiple LGUs within a state). Plans for a second workshop are underway; tentatively set for October 2019. Click Here for review survey results. This training initiative is endorsed and co-funded by ECOP ($12,000 spent in 2018; up to $20,000 pledged in 2019).

Land-Grant Impact Database Product Showcased - This week, ECOP showcases Minimizing Pesticides to Maximize Crop, Land BenefitsDirectors and Administrators are encouraged to download and share this fact sheet for institutional, state, and local marketing and communication efforts in communities that care about this topic. This fact sheet was developed from the impact statements that are submitted by the Land-Grant University Extension and Research community. "Environmental Stewardship" is just 1 of 6 areas of impact areas found on the website. An equally important way to maximize the investment into the Impact Database  ($15,000/year by Cooperative Extension Section; matched by Experiment Station Section) is to ensure that impact statements are submitted into the database. An excellent overview and training resource of how to do this is available at

eXtension Hosts National Impact Collaborative Summit - Twenty-eight Project and Program teams across Cooperative Extension representing 36 institutions attended the Impact Collaborative in Atlanta for a unique opportunity to create impactful results at the local level by increasing Cooperative Extension's organizational readiness and capacity for innovation and change. Teams were connected with skills, tools, resources, and partners that helped expand and deepen their impact. Six teams received pre-approved applications for a $5,000 grant to bring new capacity to their projects, and 22 teams have been invited to apply for a separate $5,000 grant. The next Impact Collaborative Summit will be held from October 15th - 17th, 2019 in Atlanta, GA. Stay tuned to the ECOP Monday Minute and to learn more.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Health Program Funding Opportunities and Awards by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The recording of last Friday's Learning for Leaders, Well Connected Communities - Emerging Opportunities is available at Slides from the presentation are available by Clicking Here. These resources are available to help prepare applications for upcoming Wave 2 funding. The program equips volunteer leaders to help their neighbors be healthier at every stage of life and is ECOP endorsed and supported by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in partnership with National 4-H Council.

Land Grant University System Culture of Health Awards were announced last week at the National Health Outreach Conference.  As a part of Extension's Well Connected Communities initiative the awards are made possible by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and focus on health equity and inclusion, address one or more of the social determinants of health, and successfully engage youth-adult partnerships. Monica Hobbs Vinluan, Senior Program Officer for the RWJF, presented the awards in 3 categories.
  • Land Grant UniversityUniversity of Arizona's Tucson Village Farm's FARMacy Program, to help underserved members of the Tucson community learn farm-to-table nutrition.
  • Adult Volunteer: Jacqueline “Jackie” Rhode of South Dakota, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe (pictured top left), serves as the Community Champion for the newly formed Crow Creek Community Wellness Coalition. Jackie assisted a local school with Smarter Lunchrooms, a program to encourage healthy choices. 
  • Youth Volunteer: Pearl Daskam, a 16-year-old from Ubly, Michigan (pictured bottom left), is the co-founder of a project called “Meating” the Need for Our Village. To address the a need in her community at the local food pantry where she volunteered, Pearl applied her knowledge of how to grow food. Starting at only age 12, too young to drive or hold jobs, she and her team began to raise chickens and donate the meat, and then added milk and eggs, to increase sources of high-quality protein for under-served populations. 
Stay tuned for details about this year's Priester Award.

Save the Date - Binational US and Mexico Extension Conference  The Second Binational Extension Conference will be held in Las Cruces, New Mexico, November 19-20, 2019. With the participation of USDA, APLU, U.S. Land-grant and Mexican Universities, Mexican Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER), this conference aims to boost programs of university-based Extension in the border regions of the U.S. and Mexico. The conference is a product of the 2016 MOU between APLU and SAGARPA, Mexico's Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, for increased collaboration in agriculture. This will be the second time that such a collection of U.S. universities, their Mexican counterparts and both federal governments will focus on the unique challenges and opportunities of food and agricultural systems in the border economy. Topics will include development and delivery of Extension programs, youth and community development, agricultural innovations, and case studies of binational Extension partnerships. Mexico will be holding three regional domestic Extension workshops this year and the Binational Extension Conference will also serve as an opportunity to discuss outputs from their regional meetings. Registration details will be provided in June.

Education and Workforce Development RFA - The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Education and Workforce Development (EWD) focuses on developing the next generation of research, education, and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. In FY 2019, EWD invites applications in five areas: professional development for agricultural literacy; training of undergraduate students in research and extension; fellowships for predoctoral candidates; fellowships for postdoctoral scholars, and a new program for agricultural workforce training. The close date for applications is Thursday, August 22, 2019. See EWD Request for Applications for specific details,

Monday, April 29, 2019

Hibberd and Eubanks Inducted into NIFA’s Hall of Fame

On April 25, 2019 during the NIFA Day of Appreciation, Past ECOP Chair Chuck Hibberd (pictured top-left), University of Nebraska, was inducted into the NIFA Hall of Fame. The program was established in 2011 to recognize individuals who have made exceptional contributions to NIFA’s mission. Other inductees this year are Gina Eubanks (pictured bottom-left), Louisiana State University, and Ian Maw, retired leader of the Board on Agricultural Assembly (APLU). Click Here to read more about NIFA’s recognition of our Pacific land-grants, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University. The event was typified by compelling comments made by NIFA Director Scott Angle (pictured right in both images), Chuck, Gina, and Rachel Novotny’s (University of Hawaii) that trusted land-grant science delivered through Extension Education improves lives and provides resilience to richly diverse communities. Another former ECOP Chair, Delbert Foster, South Carolina State University, received this same honor in 2015.

Two Days Left to Nominate for National Awards  - The 2019 nomination process for the National Excellence in Extension and Extension Diversity Awards ends in 2 days at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, May 1. Honorees who are selected will receive cash awards and will travel to the APLU Annual Meeting in San Diego California on a stipend to accept their awards. The awards are sponsored by ECOP and NIFA. Go to or contact Assistant Director Sandy Ruble at or 202-478-6088 for more details.

Opportunities! Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders 5/3/19 - ECOP Chair Ed Jones (Virginia Tech) welcomes colleague, Michelle Rodgers (University of Delaware), Well Connected Communities Project Director, to a conversation this Friday, 5/3/19, 3-4:00 p.m. ET. All 1890, 1994, and 1862 land-grant Extension Leaders are encouraged to participate. The program is ECOP endorsed and privately supported (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) program in partnership with National 4-H Council. The case for sustained funding for the program which equips volunteer leaders to help their neighbors be healthier at every stage of life, continues to roll toward 2020. Add to calendar: Join Zoom Meeting or dial by your location 646-876-9923 (New York), 669-900-6833 (San Jose); Meeting ID: 129 450 710. For more information contact Sandy Ruble (contact info above). This will be the 16th in a series of recorded 1-hour national conversations by the Cooperative Extension Section on topics that are system-wide issue driven and enterprising for the members of the Cooperative Extension Section and beyond. The archives are held here-2019 and here-2018.

Low-Income Nutrition Program Enhances Leadership - The Land-Grant University (LGU) SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT) identifies itself as an action-oriented, proactive group, and is focused on long-term projects. Represented by all regions, the Team is comprised of family and consumer science (FCS) program leaders, university administrators, SNAP-Ed program coordinators, an office manager, and a federal partner from NIFA. In 2019, an EFNEP Coordinator was added to help facilitate coordination among SNAP-Ed, EFNEP, and other LGU extension low-income nutrition education programs. A second FCS administrator was added to the Executive Committee to share volunteer leadership responsibilities. Go to to learn more. Later this year ECOP will consider renewing an agreement to collect assessments that support the work of the PDT.

60 Years of 4-H Leadership in Washington, DC - As the National 4-H Conference Center (Center) celebrates its 60th year as the home of 4-H in Washington, DC, it remains a unique source of exceptional learning opportunities for 4-H youth, volunteers and professionals. In addition to national 4-H events like 4-H Conference and Citizenship Washington Focus, the Center now offers workshops on civic engagement and civil discourse, food and agriculture, STEM and many other topics that focus on today's important career paths. To keep these offerings relevant, dynamic and attractive, National 4-H Council is making improvements such as engaging industry experts, providing access to government leaders, and working with Cooperative Extension to maintain cutting-edge curriculum. As a result, program staff are adjusting event pricing to account for enhancements and the increases in the cost of goods and services, while continuing to provide a cost-effective product. Center staff will be communicating more about 2020 program opportunities over the next few months. For more information, contact Freeman Thompson at

Census of Agriculture Data Now Available - Several census items are currently available for sharing, including two highlights on demographics and economics, a census data highlight video series (farms and land in farms, economics, and demographics), the press release, several Partner Tools (an email signature and letter footer, web banner, print and web ad, FAQs, PPT presentation, and more), and the new census data query tool. Devoted to census data, the new query tool is unique in that it automatically displays matching data sets from the past five censuses for easy comparison. Additional products such as state and county profiles (May 30) and congressional district rankings (June 26) will be available later the this year.

BFRDP Grant Deadline 5/16/19 - The 2018 farm bill reauthorized the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). NIFA has released the FY2019 BFRDP Request for Applications (Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-NIFA-BFR-006742), with a deadline of May 16, 2019. The estimated total program funding for FY2019 is $14 million. For more details on criteria and eligibility, go to Request for Applications. To apply, applications must be submitted through at Apply for Grant. Direct questions regarding preparing application to or call 202-401-5048.

Monday, April 22, 2019

ECOP Members Recognized for National Leadership Service

At the ECOP Spring Meeting on April 11th, Scott Reed, Oregon State University, (2016-2019), and Lou Swanson, Colorado State University, (2017-2019), were recognized for their national service. ECOP Chair Ed Jones, Virginia Tech, pictured to the left, presented these leaders with a small token of appreciation earlier than normal (usually done at NEDA meeting) due to their upcoming retirements. Scott (upper photo) and Lou (lower photo) will continue their national duties until retirement (Scott - end of July; Lou - September 8). ECOP will celebrate all national leadership accolades during the “recognitions” portion of the Annual Cooperative Extension Section Business Meeting on the morning of September 25, 2019 in Nashville. Registration for the Joint ESS/CES-NEDA meeting will be released next month.

Celebrating EFNEP - On April 9, 2019, ECOP established a resolution to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the grand accomplishments of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). The resolution, demonstrating the collective appreciation of the Cooperative Extension Section, was presented last week to Helen Chipman, National Program Leader for Food and Nutrition Education, USDA-NIFA, during the PILD conference in Crystal City, Arlington, VA. To learn more about the 50 years of impact go here and follow #EFNEP50th on Twitter.

Awards Deadline is About 1 Week Away - Extension Directors and Administrators should note that time is running out to prepare letters of support for the Excellence in Extension (EiE) Awards. Nominations for EiE awards (submitted by Region) and for the National Diversity in Extension Award (any individual or team may apply) must be submitted using an online form by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Wednesday, May 1. To learn more about these prestigious awards administered in partnership with USDA-NIFA go to or contact Sandy Ruble, or 202-478-6088.

eXtension Funds New Fellows for 2019 - eXtension announces the following individuals as Fellows for 2019. eXtension Fellows create a pathway for new work in high-priority topic areas, disseminated and used across the Cooperative Extension System.

  => Lindsey Lunsford, Tuskegee University. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Fellow. Continuing the work of eXtension’s 2018 DEI Fellow, the focus of Lindsey's fellowship is to develop a second version of the DEI eFieldbook to be published with eXtension for the October 2019 Impact Collaborative Summit.

  => David Warren, Oklahoma State University. Artificial Intelligence Fellow. David will guide & frame a digital content scoping project which will be conducted by an eXtension technical partner in April, 2019.

  => Mike Masiuk, The Pennsylvania State University. Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) Fellow. In partnership with ECOP and eXtension, Mike Masiuk will develop a JCEP Extension and Engagement Core Competency Framework for Extension professionals.

Stay tuned for the announcement of Fellows representing Extension professional organizations such as ACE, NUEL, & NAEPSDP.

RWJF Research Funding Opportunity - The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the private funding partner for Well-Connected Communities, is dedicated to building a Culture of Health—one where everyone in America has a fair opportunity for health and well-being. Directors and Administrators are invited to spread the word about RWJF’s latest funding opportunity. The Equity-Focused Policy Research Funding Opportunity is for researchers, state and local government agencies and public and private sector professionals, from a variety of fields who are interested in better understanding the use of income supports like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Programs. Ten grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 (for a total of $1.5 million) will fund research with the potential to impact 4 key areas. An optional webinar will occur May 3, 2019 (1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET); registration is required. The brief proposal deadline is Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

Monday, April 15, 2019

ECOP Activity at Spring Meeting

ECOP met last week for its Spring Meeting at Virginia Tech. Highlights:
• Approved updated ECOP Operating Guidelines including a section on Relationships with Partnering Entities.
• Received an update on ECOP’s decision to discontinue funding for kglobal and next steps on investing in communications and marketing.
• Approved moving forward to hire a full-time Executive Director at the end of Rick Klemme's contract in April 2020. ECOP Executive Committee will provide leadership on next steps.
• Initially addressed the Future of Extension by focusing on three questions: What is our relevance (why)?, What is our opportunity (how)?, and What is desired outcome (what)? ECOP Executive Committee will provide leadership on next steps.
• Approved ECOP Executive Committee (budget availability) and Extension Resource Partnership Development Committee (workplan draft) to continue work on private resource mobilization with reports due for May ECOP meeting and a progress conversation at July ECOP meeting.
• Approved ECOP Program Committee’s recommendation that the National Urban Extension Leaders’ Implementation Plan be adopted with minor changes.
• Approved ECOP Professional Development Committee’s plan to develop draft criteria for an Extension team award.
• Established an International Extension workgroup starting with Directors Jon Boren (New Mexico State University), Beverly Durgan (University of Minnesota), Chuck Hibberd (University of Nebraska), and Lou Swanson (Colorado State University).

L-R: NIFA Director Scott Angle, ECOP Chair Ed Jones,
USDA Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky,
and National 4-H Council CEO Jennifer Sirangelo
at 2019 National 4-H Conference, Chevy Chase, MD
4-H National Partners Renew Memorandum of Understanding - Leaders from Cooperative Extension, USDA/NIFA and National 4-H Council strengthened their commitment to our nation’s young people, and each other, by renewing their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on April 9, 2019 The MOU runs through 2024 and outlines each partner’s roles and responsibilities, and recognizes our shared goal to reach millions more youth with Extension’s high-quality 4-H programming. Representing each of the national 4-H partners in signing were: USDA Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky, NIFA Director Scott Angle, ECOP Chair Ed Jones and National 4-H Council CEO Jennifer Sirangelo. The signing was held during last week’s National 4-H Conference at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD and was appropriately witnessed by hundreds of young 4-H leaders from across the nation.

SoAR Retaking the Field - The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation recently released the fourth volume in the Retaking the Field series, which celebrates the advances and explores the potential of food and agricultural sciences. Retaking the Field: Science Breakthroughs for Thriving Farms and a Healthier Nation highlights research projects in the areas that the National Academies identified as the most important fields to advance in agriculture by the year 2030: genomics, microbiomes, sensors, data and informatics, and transdisciplinary research. SoAR leads a non-partisan coalition that advocates for full funding of the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. SoAR also coordinates FedByScience, a collaboration of 20 universities with the goal of securing increases in congressional appropriations for USDA NIFA’s capacity, extension, and competitive funding.

Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grant Program RFA - The NIFA recently released the 2019 Request for Applications (RFA) for Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grant Program. The Application Deadline is June 10, 2019. NIFA anticipates 8-10 awards with funding amount per award up to $350,000 over a 2-year project period. The Funding Opportunity Page can be found at:
Interested institutions may join a webinar on April 25, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET that will focus on general guidelines for the program, the RFA, and the application process. Click here for more webinar information and add to calendar.

Monday, April 8, 2019

A Leader's Guide to Natural Disasters In Review

Extension Directors and Administrators from the 5 regions of the Cooperative Extension Section participated in last Friday's Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders', A Leader's Guide to Natural Disasters. Nick Place, University of Florida Dean and Director of Extension and ECOP's Liaison to the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) Executive Committee, guided the conversation. To explore how Florida's Extension leaders leveraged EDEN resources to reduce the impact of Hurricanes Michael and Irma and how Nebraska Extension leaders are relying on EDEN to lift up volunteer centers to help relieve the effects of the recent "bomb cyclone" related flooding, go to recording go to and view the PowerPoint. ECOP thanks all of the presenters and participants for demonstrating how federal, state, community, and land-grant university post-disaster resources are linked to a proactively well-prepared Extension workforce. Stay tuned for the release of EDEN's new website and quarterly newsletter. Save the date of 5/3/19, 3-4:00 p.m. ET for the next CES conversation; the topic is Well Connected Communities, Wave 2.

ECOP Meets This Week - The the representative leadership of the  Cooperative Extension Section is meeting this week, April 11-12 in Blacksburg, Virginia. Ed Jones, Chair and host, will lead the meeting of national decision-makers; 3 representatives from each region. National office staffing 2020 and beyond, resource and partnership development, and the futuring of Extension are the featured agenda items. Click here to view the complete agenda and collection of written reports. Stay tuned when next week's ECOP Monday Minute will feature the actions taken during the meeting. The ECOP Calendar lists the remaining meetings of 2019. Send agenda inquiries to your ECOP Representative or to Executive Director Rick Klemme at

Countdown to Award Nominations Continues - Remember to move the nominations along for the National Cooperative Extension Awards. Only about 15 working days left to submit. The deadline is 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, May 1, 2019. Go to or contact Sandy Ruble for more information.

The 4‑H club in Quincy, Washington gathering data from their peers,
parents, teachers and community members to help them determine how
they want to pursue digital skills training in their communities.
Click Here for more examples.
4-H and Microsoft Bridging the Digital Divide through 4-H Tech Changemakers - According to the Federal Communications Commission at least 24 million people in America’s rural communities don’t have access to high speed broadband internet, and millions more lack the digital skills needed to utilize this important tool. National 4-H Council and Microsoft, in partnership with the Southern Rural Development Center, the National Digital Education Extension Team and Cooperative Extension, including Georgia 4-H, are working together to help teens address this issue through the 4-H Tech Changemakers program. In this program, 4-H teens in 15 states are working with their communities to identify local needs and create action plans for using digital skills to help people thrive in a digital economy and benefit from high-speed connectivity. This summer Tech Changemakers stories along with materials for teaching your communities and 4-H’ers digital skills will be shared through the website and other platforms. For more information please contact Jennifer DePasquale at National 4-H Council at

Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program) - Recently Acting Assistant to Agriculture Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced that USDA Rural Development will begin accepting the first round of application for the Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program) on April 23, 2019. USDA is making available up to $200 million in grants, $200 million in loan and grant combinations, and $200 million in low-interest loans. Use the link to note deadlines, learn more and to apply.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Extension Leaders’ Response to Disasters: Join the Conversation 4/5/19

On Friday, April 5, 2019, 3-4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Directors and Administrators will convene the Next Generation Extension – Learning for Leaders conversation, Extension Leaders’ Response to Disasters: Effectively Utilizing our EDEN Network. ECOP Chair Ed Jones encourages all 76 of his colleagues to please join! ECOP’s Liaison to EDEN, Nick Place, University of Florida, will be on hand to help facilitate the discussion. Connection details:
   • Join Zoom Meeting 
   • Or join by phone, dial by your location
        646-876-9923 US (New York)
        669-900-6833 US (San Jose)
            Meeting ID: 129 450 710

Award Nominations Deadline 5/1/19 Closes In - There is one month left to draft and submit nominations for the National Extension Awards. Go to to begin. Recipients of either the National Excellence in Extension or the National Extension Diversity Award will be featured in a coordinated national press release (NIFA, ECOP, APLU) and receive $5,000 cash. Typically, a travel stipend is included to attend the APLU Annual Meeting to receive these award. This year the meeting will be held in San Diego. The contact is Assistant Director Sandy Ruble at 202-478-6088.

eXtension Quarterly Report Available - eXtension would like to share with you some of the exciting things they have going on in their first quarter 2019 update. You can find that information in this attachment. This attachment includes:
   • Membership & Funding
   • Training Innovation Facilitators Around the Nation
   • Helping Members Catalyze Innovation Across Their States & Institutions
   • The Impact Collaborative Summit • National Collaborations
   • New Technology

Federal Legislation Re-Introduced to Create Tax Exemption for FFA and 4-H Projects - National 4-H Council wants to make Directors and Administrators aware that legislation (H.R. 1770) to create a tax exemption for the first $5,000 in proceeds on the sale of livestock or agricultural projects by 4-H'ers and FFA participants was re-introduced by Congressmen McCaul (R-TX) and Cuella (D-TX) on March 27 - National Ag Day. The National FFA Organization, the American Farm Bureau Federation and National 4-H Council have supported the Student Agriculture Protection Act since it was first introduced to the House in 2017. The bill has had major bi-partisan support but has never passed the House.

Grant Availability to Decrease Impact of Disasters - Last week USDA-NIFA announced $462,000 in available funding through Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grants Program (SLSNCGP) to decrease the impact of disasters through Cooperative Extension programming. SLSNCGP supports innovative, education-based projects that address disaster or emergency preparedness and specific responses related to natural and human-made disasters. SLSNCGP sponsors targeted projects that enable Cooperative Extension System to assist in preparing for, providing an educational response to, and recovering from disasters. This RFA includes a new component for a Conference Grant or Training Workshop. Eligibility is limited to 1862 Land-grant Institutions in the 50 states and the US territories, American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The deadline for applications is May 28, 2019. See for details.

Monday, March 25, 2019

NEDA Leadership Meeting Coming Up in September

Extension Administrators and Directors of the Cooperative Extension Section (CES) will gather for a joint meeting with the Experiment Station Section Directors on September 23-26 in Nashville, TN. The joint ESS/CES-NEDA meeting sessions will provide unique opportunities for professional development, collaborative learning and networking for the leaders of our national Cooperative Extension system. During a portion of this joint meeting, about 3 1/2 hours total, Extension leaders will also hold their annual CES Business Meeting and National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) meeting to focus on CES strategic priorities and the future of Cooperative Extension. The last time the 2 voting bodies of the Board on Agriculture Assembly met was September 2016. Registration and other details will be released in May 2019.

New Book Asks Can Extension Change? - The Innovation Imperative book was developed from a 2016 innovation report submitted to the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP). It is a collection of creative insights from 17 Cooperative Extension leaders and innovations from 12 land grant universities about 1. Innovation in leadership, 2. Innovation in learner engagement, 3. Positive change in Cooperative Extension culture, and 4. Innovation in hiring practices. The purpose of this book is to explore innovation, what it means to Extension, and how Directors and Administrators and their colleagues in leadership can innovate. For more information contact Paul Hill,

NUEC19 - Early Registration Ends Soon - Registration is now open, early-bird registration ends on Earth Day, April 22: Three, full-conference registration scholarships (value of $650) are being offered – deadline is tax day, April 15:
  • Conference includes: Over 150 presentations, 
  • 6 Leading Edge Dialogue spotlight six critical issues facing our universities and our cities, 
  • 10 Mobile Learning Workshops (filling up fast, don’t miss out), 
  • Green Infrastructure working session and research tour. 

New CYFAR Sustainable Community Projects RFA Released - USDA-NIFA is pleased to announce the release of Requests for Applications (RFA) to fund new projects for the fiscal year 2019 Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Sustainable Community Projects. The mission of the CYFAR Grant Program is to marshal resources of the Land-grant and Cooperative Extension Systems so that, in collaboration with other organizations, they can develop and deliver educational programs that equip youth who are at risk for not meeting basic human needs with the skills they need to lead positive, productive, contributing lives. For the initial year, the maximum funding per grantee will be $80,000 for a single institutional applicant and for joint institutional applications the maximum funding allowed in the initial year is $160,000. Click Here for the RFA details. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, April 22, 2019.

Census of Agriculture Data Release Coming Soon - Please help NASS share these details about the upcoming Census of Agriculture data release on Thursday, April 11 at noon ET. The data will be available on the NASS website along with several census data highlight publications and videos, maps, and ranking tables. Additional products will follow throughout the year. NASS will host a live Twitter Ask the Census Experts Stat Chat (@usda_nass) for the public on Friday, April 12 at 1 p.m. ET. Pre-release informational videos are available HERE. Already preparing for the 2022 Census of Agriculture, NASS is currently asking for content change suggestions and for new farmers and ranchers to sign up to be counted in future censuses and surveys. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

ECOP Assigns Hadley to National 4-H Congress

Gregg Hadley,
Kansas State University
ECOP thanks Gregg Hadley, Kansas State University Director of Extension, for accepting an appointment to represent the Cooperative Extension Section and to serve high school aged learners on the National 4-H Congress Board of Advisors. The first National 4-H Congress was held almost 100 years ago in Chicago, where over 100 young people met to exchange ideas and receive recognition for individual accomplishments and community service. Congress grew to include exhibits, demonstrations and a parade, with the participation of delegates, Extension staff, volunteers, partner representatives, exhibitors and other friends of 4-H. The event moved to Atlanta in 1998. This year the dates are November 29 – December 3. To learn more about what delegates will experience while participating in 2019 Congress, stay tuned here.

Irrigation Survey Extended Through April - Please let producers know that the deadline for the Irrigation & Water Management Survey was extended through April – every response matters! Producers can respond online or by mail. The Irrigation survey will provide a single source of comprehensive, up-to-date information on irrigation and water use across the agricultural industry; the results will aid efforts to promote efficient irrigation practices. This is the last week to respond to the Census of Aquaculture! This census is the only comprehensive source of information on the aquaculture industry in the nation; the data serve as the baseline for many decisions involving the sustainability and growth of U.S. aquaculture. For more information, visit or call (202) 690-8123.

Awards Tied to Reporting Land-grant Extension Impacts -
Screenshot of the online submission form for the Extension Diversity Award.
All Extension leaders should know that while submitting a nomination for the National Excellence in Extension or the Diversity Award, nominators must agree to also submit an impact statement into the National Impacts Database The deadline to submit is 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, May 1, 2019. For more information contact is Sandy Ruble,

Impact Collaborative Registration Deadline is Approaching - The Cooperative Extension Section is reminded that a national Impact Collaborative Summit, with the benefit of five free registrations for each eXtension membership, is coming on April 30 - May 2, 2019 to Atlanta, GA. The registration deadline is April 7, 2019. The event is the first of two national Impact Collaborative Summits in 2019. Additional project or program teams or team members are welcome to join with payment of a registration fee. Summits are designed to catalyze teams in their various stages of either planning or implementation. This includes individualized support to help propel teams through their journey towards launching their project or program. Click here to learn more or contact CEO Chris Geith,

Top: Career Impact Awardees: Barbara Brown | Oklahoma State University;
Charlotte Cross | University of New Hampshire (Retired)

Bottom: Early Career Achievement Awardees:
Jacquelyn Benson | University of Missouri-Columbia;
Heather Wallace | University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Family Life Specialists Recognized - Please congratulate four Family Life Extension Specialists who were recognized with awards during the recent Federal Update and Family Life Specialists’ Awards webinar held on February 26, 2019. The National Awards are awarded to state Extension specialists who have made important contributions to the work of Cooperative Extension and who provide clear evidence of program impacts. These awards honor research-based programming that is effective at improving people's quality of life and well-being and are given annually in partnership with NIFA’s Division of Family & Consumer Sciences.

Monday, March 11, 2019

eXtension Website Redesign

eXtension has launched a redesigned version of its website. The new design provides greater clarity to the mission of eXtension, its flagship program - the Impact Collaborative, and other national and supporting resources. With user experience as a primary goal, the new design allows for users to quickly access information and see the most up-to-date content on how eXtension is helping Extension professionals’ effectiveness in addressing issues of importance to the nation. Visit online at

Cooperative Extension’s Role in e-Connectivity Development in Rural America - The four Regional Rural Development Centers and the National Digital Education Extension Team (contact, Rachel Welborn' are working to lessen the digital divide through assisting communities with strategic planning, advancing digital literacy, establishing partnerships, and conducting vital research. Current initiatives include:
To learn more about the work about e-Connectivity by the Regional Rural Development Centers, see

Reminder: Professional and Volunteer Development Opportunities at PILD - Extension Directors and Administrators are reminded to register institutional teams, including volunteers, to participate in the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference. Early registration ends March 22, but please act sooner so that participants can join an important preparatory pre-Conference webinar to be held on March 14, 2:00 p.m. ET.  The webinar will help team members prepare for a successful conference and Hill visits. Details and purpose of PILD are explained in the January 28 edition of the ECOP Monday Minute or go directly to ECOP thanks the Joint Council of Extension Professionals for making this Cooperative Extension specific public issue education opportunity possible each year. To learn more about PILD, stay tuned to the ECOP Monday Minute or email, subject, PILD Inquiry.

Opportunity: Learning and Evaluation Consultant for National Rural Assembly - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Leadership for Better Health and Healthy Communities themes are funding the National Rural Assembly to help rural leaders find their voices and to help emerging leaders build agency. In the next two years, the Rural Assembly will strengthen relationships with rural leaders who lift up marginalized voices, especially ones working with communities of color, young people, immigrants, and women. In support of the project’s objectives, the intention is to build the agency of rural leaders in their communities and within the Rural Assembly, create shared purpose among leaders, and amplify their stories with a national audience. The Rural Assembly is seeking proposals for consulting services. The consultant will work with project staff and other contractors to develop a framework for measuring sustainable engagement, participation, and communication toward improving the effectiveness of the Assembly. The project duration is July 1, 2019 – November 30, 2020. Proposals are due by April 1, 2019 and questions can be submitted via email to Marty Newell at the Center for Rural Strategies,

Monday, March 4, 2019

Cooperative Extension Leaders Discuss Strategic Realignment

To listen, go to
ECOP Chair Ed Jones held a conversation with 24 Extension Directors and Administrators representing all 5 regions regarding Strategic Realignment on Friday, 3/1/19, 3-4:00 PM ET. The goal of the conversation was to hear what Extension leaders have to say and gauge the preliminary receptiveness for the concept of Strategic Realignment. Moderators ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee (BLC) Chair Jon Boren, New Mexico State University, and ECOP Executive Director Rick Klemme were be joined by Chuck Hibberd, University of Nebraska, and Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University, who along with Jon and Rick are members of the Strategic Realignment Committee. The discussion and those occurring by each region, will help inform the BLC which meets on 3/12/18 for approval by the ECOP Executive Committee to prepare an official report to the Budget & Advocacy Committee.

All New Look, All New Data - There are big improvements to the public facing Land-Grant Impacts Website The site has a fresh new look, better tools and search capabilities, integrated peer review, and more prominently displayed impact stories. All new statements submitted to the database will now undergo peer review before being made public on the site. This new layer of review will insure the highest quality information is being displayed. Statements from the past three years will be archived and available, but not displayed on the public site. Directors and Administrators and their associates are strongly encouraged to review the entire site to find what’s there to generate communication efficiencies and learn what colleagues are doing across the land-grant system.

Award Nomination Eligibility and Winning Words - Cooperative Extension Professionals are individuals with at least 50 percent EFT/FTE university appointment and responsibility for Extension programming. Nonadministrative employees with a minimum of five consecutive years in Extension by May 1, 2019 (deadline for the National Awards), are eligible to be nominated for either the Diversity in Extension or the Excellence in Extension Award Teams and organizations nominated for the Diversity Award must be fundamentally composed of Cooperative Extension professionals. Re-nominations are strongly encouraged, excluding national winners. Suggestions for optimizing new nominations or re-wording of former nominations can be heard in a 10 minute segment of the Next Generation Extension Learning for Leaders: National Extension Awards beginning at minute 26:00. For more information contact the writer/presenter, Ann Kellett at

NIFA State Liaison Update - NIFA State liaisons are National Program Leaders who serve as the primary resource and information channel between NIFA and land-grant and other universities and colleges receiving agency funds. Liaisons develop an on-going, productive, and mutually beneficial relationship with cooperative extension and agricultural experiment station directors, and other leadership and faculty at state-based universities and colleges. They identify and maintain contacts with relevant colleges (e.g., agriculture, forestry, human sciences, natural resources, veterinary science, etc.) and other relevant academic organizations. In addition, they provide a timely review of annual plans of work and reports for Hatch, Smith-Lever, Evans-Allen and 1890 extension formula programs, and make recommendations on appropriate agency actions. See the current list at:

Monday, February 25, 2019

Award Opportunities – Time is Limited

Excellence and Diversity in Cooperative Extension
awaits recognition by the Nation in San Diego in November 2019.
Luckily, Directors and Administrators and their associates can use a new leaders’ resource to organize and prepare nominations for the National Cooperative Extension Awards. Award-winning nominators strongly recommend starting the process well before the May 1 deadline. Go to to begin.  Please share this message widely and contact ECOP Assistant Director Sandy Ruble at 202-478-6088 for more information.

And speaking of awards...

New! 2019 Culture of Health Awards - The Well Connected Communities initiative is pleased to offer three Culture of Health awards to one youth volunteer, an adult volunteer, and a Land-grant University, that have been leaders in healthy living programming in their communities. All land-grant universities are invited to nominate, including those involved with the Well Connected Communities initiative. T. his work should have a focus on health equity and inclusion, address one or more of the social determinants of health, and successfully engage in youth-adult partnerships. Visit the Culture of Health Awards website to download and submit your applications by March 15, 2019. For more information, contact Shay McNeil at

4-H Council Strategic Plan Approved - National 4-H Council’s Board of Trustees approved a new three-year strategic plan for Council operations at its quarterly meeting in December. The plan, which covers fiscal years 2019-2021, was developed in collaboration with the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee and looks to accelerate private sector support for Extension’s high-quality 4-H positive youth development programming. The plan maintains Council’s focus on creating public-private partnerships to generate funds and on telling the story of today’s 4-H. In this next phase of its 10-year vision, Council intends to highlight the positive impact that Extension and 4-H have on economic prosperity, equity and upward mobility for all young people. To read the plan and review Council’s accomplishments over the last three years, go to

eXtension Member Events - Spring 2019. Registration for our April Impact Collaborative Summit is open. Each member institution receives five free registrations to send a project or program team to the Summit. More info can be found here. Also, State and Institutional Events are being scheduled, designed alongside leadership teams, to help with building skills in innovation. Contact Chris Geith at for more information.

Cooperative Extension Partnering with APLU Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) on Learning More About e-Connectivity in Rural America - Marshall Stewart, University of Missouri, and Ashley Stokes, Colorado State University, colleagues who are currently serving on the CECE’s Executive Committee encourage Directors and Administrators to participate in an online survey.

"There is no question that rural residents and businesses need access to high-speed internet service," says Sheila Martin, contact for the effort. "APLU knows its member institutions are already working in this area; however, we are certain we do not have the complete story of what our member institutions are doing to promote rural digital inclusion. APLU is requesting information from its members regarding their institution’s contributions to rural community’s access to the benefits of high-speed internet. We invite you to view read the white paper e-Connectivity in Rural America: Public Research Universities Advancing Digital Inclusion and share your institution’s contributions to expanding high-speed internet access in rural communities by taking this online survey by Sunday, March 10th. Our staff will review responses and make the relevant contacts at your institution to understand the full picture of your work in this area. The final product will articulate practices making a difference for rural communities based on your responses."

Reminder: Extension Administrators and Directors and/or their economic development/community engagement associates may join CECE at no cost at this link.

Monday, February 11, 2019

APLU Draws on Cooperative Extension Expertise in Economic and Community Development

The ECOP Monday Minute returns on February 25, 2019 due to the observance of President's Day.

Extension's work with APLU's Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) is trending due to the expertise offered by the Cooperative Extension Section.
Extension Administrators and Directors and/or their economic development/community engagement associates may join CECE at no cost at this link.

Rural Health Event-No Cost to Register - The Un-Meeting on Rural Health and Health Equity is set for Monday, April 8, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. An Un-Meeting is a dynamic experience where attendees drive the agenda, and the needs of communities take center stage. The goal of the Un-Meeting to forge new collaborations that bridge the translational science, Cooperative Extension and other sectors to improve rural health and achieve health equity. Partial travel stipends may be available for Extension nominees. National Extension participants are encouraged to click here to register by 2/18/19. The host is the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

Priester Award Nominations Due 2/20/19 - The purpose of the Jeanne M. Priester Award is to honor sound, innovative Extension programs that positively impact the health of people at national, state and local levels and provide leadership to expand Extension’s capacity to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. This year an Extension-community partnership Culture of Health category has been added. To read about all 5 categories go to Awards will be presented at the 2019 National Health Outreach Conference, A Grand Vision for a Healthy America, held May 1-3, 2019 in Fort Worth, TX. Award winners will be notified by March 12, 2019.

2019 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism - Every other year Directors and Administrator are provided the opportunity to focus on and optimize volunteer development and program management at state and local levels by widely sharing the following information with faculty and staff. Early registration ends 4/1/19.

The 2019 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism will be held May 14-16, 2019 in Billings, Montana. Extension professionals will learn latest trends and research in volunteerism and gather tools and skills through interactive sessions and networking with colleagues while developing plans to utilize these new resources in their own programs. Registration is now open. Please forward this information to all appropriate listservs, post on blogs and other social media, and link the website to all appropriate webpages. Like and share posts found at