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Monday, February 24, 2020

Health Extension Institutional Contacts

By investing in a second, two-year wave of funding to National 4-H Council, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has reaffirmed its commitment to a long term partnership with the Cooperative Extension System to build a society in which all people can achieve their full potential for health and well-being across their life span. In addition to supporting community-based work in roughly forty communities across the nation, this wave of funding will also support systemwide transformation and capacity building efforts across the Cooperative Extension System. Central to that effort is building a network of institutional contacts for health and wellness at each 1862 and 1890 institution. Extension directors and administrators are reminded to submit the name of their institutional contact here no later than February 28. Questions may be directed to

A survey developed by Extension Disaster Education Network's (EDEN's) Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative (FADI) Team, is open for all of Extension to complete, regardless of affiliation with EDEN - by February 29, 2020. Directors and Administrators are asked to complete the survey and share. To learn more and complete the survey go to

Technology in Extension Education Survey - Through the nationwide New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement in partnership with Oklahoma State University, eXtension's Technology Fellow, Dr. Rose-Hayden Smith, will lead the offering of professional development opportunities and serve as editor of the Technology in Extension Education and Organization eFieldbook to be published in 2020. This eFieldbook will serve as a guide for Cooperative Extension professionals about the modern, up-to-date, uses of technology and provide resources to get them started. The scope of the technology includes technology for engagement, teaching, program delivery, and marketing. How can eXtension help with the technology needs across the system? Educators, Agents, and Specialists, regardless of eXtension Foundation affiliation, are invited to take a short survey at Please respond to the survey by March 4, 2020. Results will be shared through the ECOP Monday Minute and on the eXtension website.

National Academies - Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty - A year ago, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a landmark report to Congress, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty. This report reviews research on linkages between child poverty and child well-being, analyzes the poverty-reducing effects of major assistance programs, and provides policy and program recommendations for reducing the number of children living in poverty by half. It examines contextual factors that can either impede or promote the effectiveness of anti-poverty policies and programs. Download the free report and check out the interactive data explorer tool to examine the effectiveness of policy “packages” by state. The National Academies is hosting a free event, A Dialogue on Measuring and Reducing Child Poverty, on March 13 (on-line option available).

Ag Innovation Agenda - USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue used last week’s 2020 Ag Outlook Conference to unveil the Ag Innovation Agenda of the USDA Science Blueprint: A Roadmap for USDA Science from 2020 to 2025. See for details on the Ag Innovation Agenda.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Briefings for Presidents' Day

The National Office is closed for the observance of Presidents' Day. 

The ECOP Monday Minute is weekly update appealing to the work of Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators in the USA. The goal is to share clear, consistent member-driven opportunities and to enhance resources, relationships and recognition of Cooperative Extension nationally. From this view the blog widgets on the left of the page provide the means to search articles using open content that can be sorted by date, and to connect with various System resources. Articles may be submitted to the Executive Director.

Use to learn about national awards, the list of colleagues are serving in national roles, the ECOP Budget, and much, much more. 

The Role of States in Expanding Broadband Access Webinar - The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) located in the U.S. Department of Commerce is sponsoring this webinar on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET. Please pre-register for the webinar using this registration link. Many states across the country are increasing resources devoted to broadband deployment, supporting digital inclusion initiatives and focusing their attention towards broadband policy coordination across different state agencies. While there is no one size fits all, states are implementing innovative approaches to increase broadband access and adoption. Join BroadbandUSA in a conversation on how broadband is being implemented at the state level in addition to research by The Pew Charitable Trusts on state broadband programs and innovative approaches to help overcome the digital divide. Katherine Bates, Manager of State and Local Partnerships, BroadbandUSA, will moderate the following panel:
   • Kathryn de Wit, Manager, Broadband Research Initiative, Pew Charitable Trusts
   • Deana Perry, Executive Director, Georgia Rural Broadband Program
   • Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO, California Emerging Technology Fund

Monday, February 10, 2020

1890 and 1862 Extension Leaders Applaud 1994 Colleagues

Doug Steele, APLU VP, (right) presented the ECOP resolution on behalf of Chair Mark Latimore, Jr., Fort Valley State University, who was unable to be present. Dr. David Yarlott, Jr. (left), President, Little Big Horn College, Chair, AIHEC Board of Directors and Carrie L. Billy (center), AIHEC President were the recipients. 
On February 4, 2020, leaders of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) who had gathered in Washington for a Legislative Summit received a resolution from ECOP. ECOP arranged for Brian Kowalkowski, College of Menominee Nation, to serve in an important advisory role representing the 37 tribal institutions, AIHEC and First Americans Land-grant Consortium (FALCON) in 2017. The wording of the resolution (Click Here to view) was sparked by Brian's faithful engagement with the Cooperative Extension System/ECOP and the feedback received from members of the Cooperative Extension Section to the announcement of the recent hallmark anniversary of the 1994 legislation that started USDA's Tribal Extension Program.

Input from Stakeholders on the Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP) Ends 2/15/2020 - Extension Directors and Administrators should know that USDA-NIFA is accepting stakeholder input until Wednesday this week through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at For more information contact Erin Riley at 816-926-2131 or email at Click here to view the full Federal Register Notice online.

Impact Collaborative Virtual Innovation Facilitator Training - The eXtension Foundation's Impact Collaborative program is hosting a national Innovation Facilitator Training virtually from February 18th - 20th. The registration deadline is February 13, 2020. This training is included with eXtension membership and institutions are invited to register as many faculty/staff members as they'd like to participate. This training will provide individuals with a new way of looking at program and project development (new or existing) to help identify gaps in planning, ensure readiness for implementation, and explore all considerations to maximize local impact. Learn more and register here.

State Ag Departments Comment on USDA Hemp Regulations - Industrial hemp production and processing is growing at a rapid pace across the country. There are a myriad of state and tribal regulations, and USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is in the process of the Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program interim final rule. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) has long been active in promoting the legalization of hemp production across the country and very engaged with AMS in the rule development. NASDA recently released a press release noting the need for state level flexibility in assisting the development in hemp production. See for details.

Producers Assistance Program Sign-Up Deadline Approaching - USDA Farm Service Agency's (FSA) enrollment deadline for the Agriculture Risk (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2019 crop year is March 16, 2020. ARC and PLC provide financial/economic protections to farmers/producers. Extension Directors and Administrator are encouraged to promptly spread the word for producers to call their FSA county office and make an appointment soon to ensure their elections are made and contracts are signed well ahead of the deadlines. For more information on ARC and PLC, view the program fact sheet or the 2014-2018 farm bills comparison fact sheet. Online ARC and PLC election decision tools are available at

Monday, February 3, 2020

2020 National Awards Program Launched

Last Friday the nominations for the 2020 National Extension Awards program were opened to all 1890 and 1862 Land-grant institutions. Nominations are open for 3 months until May 1, 2020. Visit today to learn more and nominate. The Awards include a cash prize and travel stipends to attend a reception and the Board of Agriculture Assembly Awards Session at the 2020 APLU Annual Meeting. NIFA officials and the ECOP Chair will present these prestigious awards before an audience of Extension, research, teaching and administrative faculty. The nominating experience is better than ever with suggestions from experts found in a YouTube recording, Systems Thinking, and Winning Words (26:00 - 36:00) and brand new "Prep" Forms!

Opportunity to Connect to Rural Learning Exchange Forum - Extension Directors and Administrators and their colleagues working in and/or with focus in rural communities are invited to join APLU's Learning Exchange Forum for Rural Engagement for Resilient Communities. Extension's own Mike Gaffney, Washington State University, co-chairs these forums with Sheila Martin. Each month members of the forum exchange best practices; engage philanthropic, private sector, and government funders; and more. Click Here to sign up by February 5, 2020 to connect to this month's forum and beyond, every third Tuesday at Noon ET.

Regional Rural Development Centers Work Spans the Nation - The Regional Rural Development Centers work to advance rural prosperity and strengthen Rural America. Working collaboratively throughout the past year with land-grant universities, Extension, community partners, and local, state and federal agencies, the Regional Rural Development Centers provided 76 workshops/conferences with over 1,200 participants, led 18 multi-state groups on a variety of topics from local foods and rural health to digital literacy and economic development, have published 24 research articles and delivered over 100 presentations. For program highlights from each center and funds leveraged, click here to review on the two-page impact report.

Updates from eXtension - eXtension is pleased to share highlights from 2019 including its progress on the New Technologies for Agricultural Extension Cooperative Agreement, the Pesticide Safety Education Funds Management Program, and the Impact Collaborative. Additionally, for 2020, eXtension's Impact Collaborative will be moving to a virtual format after listening to suggestions and input from members across Cooperative Extension. Unlike previous years, there are no restrictions on the number of individuals or teams that can participate in our Innovation Facilitator Training or Summits. The Innovation Facilitator training is February 18-20; more information and registration is available here. The Impact Collaborative Summits are scheduled April 28-29 and October 13-14. Registration will be available for the Summits at a later time.