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Monday, January 28, 2019

Well Connected Communities Launches Web Site to Help Cultivate Wellness Across the U.S.

The Cooperative Extension System, in partnership with National 4-H Council and support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is working to equip volunteer leaders to help their neighbors be healthier at every stage of life through the Well Connected Communities (WCC) initiative. Recently, a new website for the WCC effort was developed and is now up and running. Visitors to the site can learn more about the public health priorities being addressed by each community and how local health councils, comprised of both youth and adults, are working to develop and implement action plans. The site also features a variety of resource documents that include webinars, curriculum, a communications toolkit and other interactive tools to help build a culture of health. Information on the website, including the resources and community progress, will be updated on a regular basis to track the momentum of this growing effort. Please direct any questions about the WCC to Michelle Rodgers, Well Connected Communities national project director.

2019 Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) - Registration is open for institutional teams for the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference, sponsored by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP). The PILD conference will take place in Arlington Virginia on April 14-17, 2019. A pre-Conference webinar for all registered participants will be held on March 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The webinar will help team members prepare for a successful conference and visit to Washington DC. PILD is a professional development opportunity open to all Extension professionals and volunteers interested in learning leadership and advocacy skills that effect public policy issues important to Extension. In addition to nationally recognized keynote speakers, the conference features breakout sessions focusing on successful Public Issues Education programs. PILD attendees will prepare for visits to their federal congressional representatives and senators. For more information and registration details go to

Report to ECOP from the Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup - In previous posts in February and April 2018, the Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup (EOCRW) provided updates regarding its efforts to help develop a strategic plan for Extension’s involvement to help address the opioid crisis. The EOCRW has completed its work, which culminated in a final report for ECOP. In addition, EOCRW compiled resources for those within the land grant system interested in assisting with the crisis. These resources include information about eight opioid programs currently being used within Extension, potential partners and funding sources, extensive literature review, EOCRW planning session report, and summary results of a nationwide survey of Extension leadership to collect information about existing behavioral health programs. These resources are available at the Opioid Response website. Contact Mark Skidmore ( for more information.

eXtension Trains 41 New Innovation Facilitators - eXtension's Impact Collaborative held its Innovation Facilitator Training last week in Atlanta, GA. Forty-one Cooperative Extension professionals representing 28 institutions completed initial learning and application of the Impact Collaborative methodology. Their skills will help them lead innovation skill-building experiences at state or institutional events and at the national Impact Collaborative Summits. Upon completion of the training, eXtension will work directly with its trained Facilitators and institutional leadership teams to design a local event that helps project and program teams find innovative ways to advance local impact. To learn more about scheduling a statewide or institution-wide event, please contact Chris Geith at For a listing of our newest Facilitators, please click here.

Monday, January 14, 2019

BoHS and CAFCS Meeting March 5-8, 2019 in Arlington, VA

The ECOP Monday Minute returns January 28 to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Extension Directors and Administrators and their colleagues are invited to the Board on Human Sciences (BoHS) and the Council of Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences (CAFCS) Joint Meeting, The Human Sciences’ Role in Promoting Rural Prosperity and Quality of Life. Participants will take a closer look at issues confronting rural communities throughout the country—opioid addiction, mental and physical wellness, affordable housing, and discrimination revolving around sexual/gender orientation—and the unique role of the Human Sciences to research, educate, and engage our communities to promote the science and art of living well in our complex world. Click here to view a meeting schedule. Registration details:

National Extension Awards Request for Nominations Begins 2/1/19 - Save the date of Friday, February 1, 2019, 3-4:00 p.m. ET for the Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders Zoom Meeting. ECOP Members Carolyn Williams, Prairie View A&M University, and Vonda Richardson, Florida State A&M University, will join Chair Ed Jones, Virginia Tech, to launch the annual call for nominations. Colleagues who have succeeded with nominations will be invited to share their experiences and given ample time to ask questions. The 1-hour session will feature a segment on "Winning Words" from experienced writers Suzanne Deatherage and Ann Kellett (formerly from Texas A&M University). Directors and Administrators are encouraged to participate and share the invitation with associates with responsibility for preparing award nominations. Stay tuned to email for connection details.

Announcement and Action Item: True Leaders in Equity Institute - The newly formed True Leaders in Equity Institute will equip 26 youth-adult pairs to be change agents within the Cooperative Extension System as it seeks to create a more inclusive environment for all youth. Youth and adults who exhibit the following characteristics are invite to apply to participate in this three-day convening and training at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD, April 5-7, 2019.
  •   Aged 15 and up 
  •   A desire to champion equity in your community 
  •   A passion for an experience to create belonging for marginalized groups 
  •   Connection to the Cooperative Extension System through 4-H, Well Connected Communities, SNAP-ED volunteering, National Mentoring Project volunteering or other Extension programs 
Applications available at are due February 2, 2019. Interested parties may register to join the Q&A call January 17, 2019, 2:00 p.m. ET, for additional information and/or inquire with Dr. Dorothy Freeman, Equity Director, National 4-H Council, at

eXtension's Impact Collaborative: Statewide and Institution-Wide Events - eXtension members are invited to schedule an Innovation Skill-Building experience by state or institution to help develop innovative programs to strengthen local and statewide impact. Members provide their own venue, food, and teams. eXtension provides the staffing and support for prior planning with leadership teams on designing an experience contextualized to specifically meet each members' needs. Plus during the event, eXtension works with project and program teams on building skills in innovation, ideating using design thinking and lean experimentation methodology, and helping the teams create action plans for their projects and programs ready for incubation. To learn more about scheduling an event, please click here or contact Chris Geith at

Monday, January 7, 2019

4-H Grows in the Spotlight

On Friday, January 4, ECOP Chair Ed Jones, Virginia Tech, was joined by Jen McIver, National 4-H Council, Vice President of Field Marketing and Partnerships, to kick off the 2019 Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders series. The purpose of the hour was to renew the Cooperative Extension Section's appreciation for the 4-H Grows campaign (increase 4-H membership to 10 million youth by 2025) and collect the input of Directors and Administrators and answer their questions on the value of a unified 4-H brand and national marketing program. The video recording Growing Extension’s Reach and Relevance Through the 4-H Brand and PowerPoint from the session are now available for sharing and review across the nation and Section. Send questions and comments to as the exciting dialogue continues.

Increasing Knowledge and Support for EFNEP - Nominations Requested by January 15 - In a detailed 3-page letter from NIFA Director Scott Angle released on December 10, nominations were requested to recognize the "remarkable contribution of selected EFNEP staff and champions who have been instrumental in the success of EFNEP, and participants who have significantly enriched their lives through EFNEP opportunities." Extension Directors and Administrators and their associates are encouraged to act before close of business January 15, 2019. The link to submit nominations is found on page 2, paragraph 1 of the letter.

Cohort 12 FSLI was recognized on November 11, 2018 at the APLU Annual Meeting.
Congratulations to Rosalind Dale, NCA&T State University, Roger Rennekamp, Ohio State University,
Jeff Hyde, Penn State University, Gary Jackson, Mississippi State University, and Dawn Mellion-Patin,
Southern University.
Application Process Now Open for The Food Systems Leadership Institute’s Program - The Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) offers executive leadership development to upper-level leaders in higher education, government, and industry to prepare them to meet the leadership challenges and opportunities of the future. The two-year FSLI experience includes three week-long residential sessions, personal leadership coaching, mentoring, distance learning activities, and an individual leadership project. The FSLI is designed for experienced leaders; participant titles include program directors, vice presidents, experienced department heads/chairs, deans and associate deans, and others working in leadership of administrative capacities. More information on the FSLI program can be found at

eXtension’s Impact Collaborative 2019 Member Benefits - The Impact Collaborative works directly with eXtension members to help make more impactful programs. Benefits to members institutions include:
  • Send one individual to be trained at no cost as an Innovation Facilitator to provide support for your programs, & help lead local innovation skill-building events.
  • Staffing and support for a statewide or institution-wide Impact Collaborative event contextualized to your needs that engages your leadership team and helps make more impactful programs.
  • Send teams to our national Impact Collaborative Summits to bring new capacity to your program teams, provide strategic support to members, and help teams bridge gaps in their project or program planning.
  • Unlimited access to Engage & Empower Online, a new resource designed to collectively drive innovation and action forward toward real impacts.
  • Access to our eFieldbooks: a go-to resource for Extension professionals to begin discussion, help establish processes, and assist with the delivery of new programs.
Questions? Please contact Beverly Coberly.

Military Families Learning Network Offers Sesame Street Webinar - Military families can face unique circumstances and challenges around violent and traumatic events. On January 17, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. ET, Sesame Street for Military Families and the Sesame Street Workshop will facilitate a 90-minute webinar on the impacts of childhood trauma and community violence. The webinar, offered through the Military Families Learning Network, is available at no charge to Cooperative Extension. This unique learning opportunity will highlight resources and activities to help children cope, and offer strategies to assist with self-care following a traumatic event. To learn more about this webinar and others in the “Kids Serve Too” series, click here.