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Monday, October 19, 2020

Communications and Marketing Committee Proposal Vote is Coming

The voting members of the Cooperative Extension Section can expect to receive a letter this week from the ECOP Executive Committee asking for a vote to support the Communications and Marketing Committee's proposal to hire personnel that will be employed by APLU and headquartered in the Office of Food, Agriculture & Natural Resources within the Board on Agriculture Assembly. The personnel will be responsible for implementing the Strategic Communications Roadmap that is in final stages of development by Forbes Tate Partners. Background and FAQ's will accompany the message.

Celebrating Excellence Events Registration - Register at the links provided.

OCT 28, 2020,  3:00 PM - 5:30 PM Eastern Time
A Community of Scholars Celebrating Excellence: Cooperative Extension and Research Awards Presentation and Seaman A. Knapp Memorial Lecture

NOV 3, 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Eastern Time
2020 BoHS Celebrating Excellence in the Human Sciences

Summit on Mental Health and Well-Being Resources Available - In this unprecedented time, we are witnessing mental health challenges playing out across our nation, impacting all communities and creating stress and hardship across all sectors of society. Making available science-based mental health resources to our communities and institutions has never been more important. On October 1, 2020, the APLU Commission on Food, Environment, and Renewable Resources (CFERR) hosted a National Resource Summit on Mental Health and Well-Being for all CFERR Boards/Councils/Sections/Committees and their members. Each of the CFERR Boards-Board on Human Sciences; Board on Agriculture Assembly; Board on Veterinary Medicine; Board on Oceans, Atmosphere and Climate; and Board on Natural Resources were provided time during the Summit to share an overview of the current mental health challenges they are seeing in their particular sector, examples, and relevant resources and programs. Resources from the Summit are available here.

Military Family Readiness Academy Disaster and Hazard Session
- Session 2 of the 2020 Military Family Readiness Academy, Impacts and Responses in Disaster and Hazard Readiness, will be held Wednesday, October 28 from 11:00 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. ET. The session looks in-depth at disaster and hazard impacts and responses. Dr. Angie Lindsey, University of Florida/IFAS, discusses social and emotional, family and community, agricultural and environment, and housing and food security impacts. She addresses response phases, factors impacting community recovery, and what professionals and families can do now for better outcomes using a whole community response and recovery approach. The session will also feature a case study by Commander Brendan T. Byrne, Deputy Force Surgeon, USMC Central Command, MacDill AFB. Dr. Byrne is an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine of the University of Michigan Medical School. The 90-minute session is free and several continuing education credits are also available. To register and get more information go to:

NACo Virtual Federal Policy Summit Announced October 21-22, 2020
- NACo’s Virtual Federal Policy Summit will connect county officials, members of Congress, federal agency partners, and other key decision makers and thought leaders. Please join us for this two-day summit featuring informative speakers with practical advice on a range of policy issues and updates on the federal policy landscape – broadband, healthcare, infrastructure, COVID-19 relief, public lands, disaster assistance and more. With ongoing challenges related to in-person meetings, NACo’s Virtual Federal Policy Summit is a prime opportunity to connect, learn and share practical information and resources to help strengthen your county. Register here.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Action Plan for Brand New Strategic Directions

Each year, the ECOP Chair establishes goals for their 1-year term. 2020-2021 Chair, Chris Watkins from Cornell University states, "My vision as Chair of the Board on Agriculture Assembly Cooperative Extension Section is to ensure that the ECOP Strategic Directions is a living document. The Strategic Direction document will will ECOP to enhance its relevance to Members of the Section, and provides outcomes for the Cooperative Extension System that advance delivery of evidence-based education to all." Find the Action Plan Overview here and stay tuned for the release of the full plan which details the action steps to be taken. 

2020 APLU Annual Meeting Registration Now Open
- For the first time in its 133-year history, the APLU Annual Meeting with the theme Resilience & Equity will be held virtually, from November 9-11, 2020. According to APLU President Peter McPherson, while the world is rapidly changing, the APLU Annual Meeting is still here to provide higher education leaders with an opportunity to strengthen our community with opportunities to share best practices and strategies and make lasting connections with colleagues from across North America. Click Here for the Cooperative Extension Section’s Guide to APLU/FANR Events which includes links to register for the APLU Annual meeting.  

County Connectivity Landscape Dashboard
 - COVID-19 has sped the adoption of virtual programming in Cooperative Extension across the nation and has highlighted a need for information about connectivity at the county level for use in planning virtual programs. A new tool developed by a team at Purdue University may help. With funding backed by the New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) cooperative agreement with USDA-NIFA through Oklahoma State University, the team received a grant from eXtension to create a County Connectivity Landscape Dashboard to help inform Cooperative Extension professionals as they plan online programming and outreach methods. Users can quickly identify a range of county-level statistics. Learn more here.

Webinar on Social Determinants of Health in Rural Populations - Social determinants of health are defined by the World Health Organization as "the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age." For rural populations, many of these conditions are not conducive to achieving optimum health and well-being. Building on work conducted by the Rural and Minority Health Research Center, this presentation will review some of the key elements associated with health across rural White and minority populations, such as education, income, and health facility availability. Join Jan Probst, PhD, of the Rural and Minority Research Center for a deep dive into how social determinants are influencing rural health on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern. For more information, visit

CECE Enhances Online Communications - The Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) was established to lead and coordinate APLU's mission pillar of "expanding engagement." CECE convenes senior university economic development and community engagement administrations, presidents and chancellors, provosts, senior research officers, Cooperative Extension leaders, communications and government affairs administrators, and others across APLU member universities and university systems across North America who maintain responsibility for planning, executing, or communicating their institution’s work in economic development and public engagement. A new opt-in Listserv platform is available to CECE members to share resources, opportunities, and relevant news directly with one another. To become a member of CECE and opt-in on the ListServ at no cost, complete this form today.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Top Honors in Extension Excellence and Diversity

Jamie Ellis, University of FloridaThe National Excellence in Extension Award is given annually to a Cooperative Extension professional who excels at programming, provides visionary leadership and makes a positive impact on constituents served. Jamie Ellis, recipient of this year's award, is a Professor and Extension Specialist in Agriculture in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida, where he directs the Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory. Regional Award winners are listed below. The National Diversity in Extension Award recognizes significant contributions and accomplishments in achieving and sustaining diversity and pluralism. The University of Missouri’s 4-H Center for Youth Development is the recipient in 2020. USDA-NIFA and Cooperative Extension have sponsored the awards since 1991. The awards will be presented virtually on October 28 (Registration will be appear here soon). Click Here to read more including quotes by ECOP Past-chair and Acting NIFA Director and here to learn more about the awards program.
University of Missouri 4-H Center for Youth Development

Regional Excellence in Extension Awards 
· 1890s Region: Sanjun Gu, Horticulture Specialist, North Carolina A&T State University, for expansion of horticulture science to all communities.

· North Central Region: Lisa A. Bottomley, Senior Extension Specialist and Manager of Volunteer Services, Michigan State University, for leadership in best practices in volunteer and youth engagement.

· Northeast Region: Jennifer Robertson-Honecker, STEM Specialist, 4-H Youth Development Program, West Virginia University, for innovative programming to educate youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

· Southern Region: Hailin Zhang, Nutrient Management Extension Specialist, Oklahoma State University, for using agricultural science to advance public understanding of effective agricultural practices.

· Western Region: Paul Allen Hill, Extension Professor, Applied Sciences and Technical Education, Utah State University, for innovative economic development program empowering rural communities through remote work.

NIFA's New Integrated Reporting System - The New NIFA Reporting System will eventually be home to all research (competitive and capacity) and Extension programs, and enable the new, service-oriented NIFA and Land-Grant Institutions to more fully "tell the story" of how they are working together to advance agricultural research and Extension across the nation. The current phase of work to be released will bring AREERA research and Extension activities together for the first time in a centralized reporting portal equipped with dashboards. Cooperative Extension will have the means to describe their programs in greater detail and offers the expanded format requested for the Plan of Work. NIFA designed the Extension module with representatives from the Land-Grant University System at the table, providing valuable input and guidance. For several months, the Extension Working Group worked with NIFA staff to develop a user-friendly product to collect quality information to serve both NIFA and our partners, while streamlining the overall effort. A similar effort is underway with the Research Working Group to streamline reporting requirements for Hatch, Hatch Multistate, and Evans-Allen. REEport will remain unchanged until the new system is completed and fully operable. Additional guidance will be provided at monthly webinars and on this website. To receive invitations to the project’s monthly webinars, contact

Planning for NEDA 2021 - Thank you to all (5% rate of response) who have completed the 2020 NEDA Survey so far. For everyone else, please take a few moments to assess this year's virtual NEDA meeting and speak to next year's planning committee. Click Here to begin. 

RFA Announcement - Military Teen Adventure Camps
- Due November 5, 2020 - Purdue Extension announces an opportunity to land-grant university colleagues to support military teens by hosting military teen adventure camps during summer, 2021. As part of an ongoing partnership between the Department of Defense, Office of Family Policy, Children & Youth and USDA/NIFA, this project and funding opportunity allows the Extension system to offer to military teens some of the best “adventure” camping opportunities that can be found across the nation. The link to the RFA is here.

Community Learning With Data-Driven Discovery Strategies Webinars - As a follow-up to the ECOP sponsored National Action Dialogue and Day 1 NEDA discussions, Oregon State’s three-state partnership team has developed a six-part webinar series for Extension professionals. Organizers will take the concepts of community learning through data driven discovery and provide strategies to help Extension professionals maximize their time, develop responsive programs using data insights, and foster impact in collaboration with communities. Extension professionals are invited to register for webinar series here.

   October 7, 2020--The Process: Community Learning for Data Driven Decision Making
   October 14, 2020--The Community: Community Capital Framework for Economic Mobility
   October 21, 2020--The Team: Team Science & Working Virtually as a Team
   October 28, 2020--The Discovery: Data Discovery Process
   November 4, 2020--The Culture: Building a Data-Ready Culture
   November 18, 2020--The Action Plan: Finding Insights in Data

Monday, September 28, 2020

Annual Passing of Gavel and 2020 Report!

At the 2020 NEDA Cooperative Extension Section meeting on September 24th, the ECOP Chair gavel was officially passed from Mark Latimore, Jr., Associate Dean for Extension at Fort Valley State University to Christopher Watkins, Professor and Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Dr. Watkins’ vision as ECOP Chair is to ensure that the ECOP Strategic Directions is a living document that guides the Committee in a fashion that enhances relevance to its membership, and provides outcomes for the Cooperative Extension System that advance the goals of delivering evidence-based education to all U.S. citizens. Our sincere appreciation for the outstanding leadership and commitment to the mission of Extension by Dr. Latimore over the past year. 

A year in review was provided by Dr. Latimore. The complete 4-page 2020 Cooperative Extension Section Annual Report is available here to view and download. Watch for progress of the detailed 2021 Action Plan by Dr. Watkins here in the ECOP Monday Minute throughout the year.

Carolyn Williams, Prairie View A&M University, and Ed Jones, Virginia Tech, were recognized for their service to ECOP, the body of decision makers for the Cooperative Extension System. Please welcome 3 new members of ECOP. Left - Right below are Rosalind Dale, North Carolina A&T State University, Brent Hales, Penn State, and Laura Perry Johnson, University of Georgia:

The complete list of ECOP members is located here

Invitation to the Mental/Behavioral Health - A National Summit and Resource Gathering Opportunity for CFERR Members and their Stakeholders: In this unprecedented time, we are witnessing mental health challenges playing out across our nation, impacting all communities and creating stress and hardship across all sectors of society. Making available science-based mental health resources to our communities and institutions has never been more important. On behalf of Noelle Cockett, President, Utah State University and Commission on Food, Environment and Renewable Resources Executive Committee Chair, you are invited to attend the CFERR National Virtual Mental Health Summit on Oct. 1 from 11:00 AM-12:30 PM ET with a focus on what the five CFERR Boards are doing within their disciplines to address concerns about mental health and well-being across their sectors. Please register and join us for this important and timely event.

Association of Extension Administrators (AEA) Executive Committee Launches Newsletter - Extension Today is a monthly newsletter that highlights Cooperative Extension and provides updates across the 1890 land-grant system. It is published by the Association of Extension Administrators and the Marketing and Communications Committee. Contact for more information, or to join the mailing list.