Monday, February 6, 2023

Nominations Begin for National Awards

The following awards are open for nomination and offered by ECOP in partnership with USDA-NIFA.

--> ECOP Program Committee Award Project
The purpose of National Extension Diversity Award is to acknowledge accomplishments of Cooperative Extension Professionals in achieving organizational changes that support diversity, pluralism and innovation through educational programs. The Award for Diversity is designed to focus national attention on innovative models and techniques that ensure that Extension programs equitably engage all learning audiences effectively.

--> ECOP Professional Development Committee Award Project - 2 Categories!
These awards are designed to focus national attention on the role of Extension – one that is fundamental to the lifelong education and development of residents in communities around the nation.
  • The Individual Awards for Excellence in Extension recognize Cooperative Extension Professionals who excel at Extension programming, make a positive impact on constituents served, and provide visionary leadership for the System. 

  • The Team Award for Excellence in Extension recognizes excellence of a team of Cooperative Extension Professionals in performing the work of Extension research, technical assistance, and outreach education.
To begin the nomination process with a competitive edge, review each opportunity, share with leadership teams and potential nominees by February 15. Online submissions accompanied by authorizing endorsement by land-grant university Extension Director or Administrator are required by May 1. Winning Cooperative Extension professionals are selected by the end of July and will travel to the APLU Annual Meeting in November to receive their awards. 
For full details, visit the new website
Click Here for a video with helpful tips and insights from the 2022 winners recorded last Friday!

EXCITE RFA Announcement
The EXCITE Implementation Phase RFA has been released and is now open for submission. This RFA for the Implementation Phase is an opportunity for all applicants, regardless of previous participation in the Design Phase, to submit proposals for the next phase of EXCITE. The project leaders are also pleased to announce that the budget for EXCITE Implementation Phase grant funding has increased 30% from $70,000 to $100,000! This additional funding will enable teams to provide more support to their projects. All interested land-grants should submit applications and take advantage of this increased funding opportunity.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Executive Director Search Update

On behalf of ECOP's Executive Director Search and Screen Committee, APLU has posted the latest position announcement here. The position and office operations have been headquartered in DC at APLU (formerly NASULGC) since November 1982. Section Members listed here who pay for 100% of the position and office operations are urged to recruit qualified candidates to apply by February 24, 2023. ECOP Chair Bev Durgan, University of Minnesota, the ECOP Executive Committee, and the EDA Team are temporarily working in close coordination to perform only the most essential responsibilities of the Executive Director until time of hire and principal leadership onboarding is complete.

USDA NASS Requests Reminder for Census of Agriculture - If the nation's agriculture producers are not represented in the data collected by February 6, they risk being underserved. As a reminder, NASS’s Partner Tools site has resources for outreach, including ads, banners for web pages and email signatures, videos, flyers, FAQs and more. Contact Jodi Halvorson at (916) 738-6609, for customization of any of the tools. NASS is also in the midst of collecting Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data depicting the economic well-being of America’s farms and ranches. For producers who received ARMS, they can respond to this survey instead of the ag census.

Calendar Check Up - The Cooperative Extension Section/ECOP Calendar and so much more is available on the ECOP landing page at Please pardon "page not found," missing, or out-of-date links on the APLU website. The issue is temporary and being addressed by APLU Public Affairs. In the meantime, to promptly obtain missing items pertaining to Cooperative Extension System/ECOP business, please contact Sandy Ruble at Thank you.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Low-Income Workforce Development Curriculum

Last week APLU released a report, Facilitating Career Pathways for Low-Income Rural Students: Cooperative Extension as a Community Connector, and together with the North Central Regional Rural Development Center, a promising curriculum entitled Future Opportunities for Rural Workforce and Rural Development (FORWARD)..The effort supported by Ascendium Education Group, emphasizes the valuable role of the land-grant universities' Cooperative Extension professional, 4-H staff and other, to identify rural community workforce needs, develop stakeholder partnerships, map workforce pathways, recruit and support low-income rural learners, and build entrepreneurship and leadership skills. APLU's article dated January 18, 2023, is found here.

2022-2023 Organizational Chart Features Workplans - Take a few moments to visit the updated, interactive Organization Chart for the Cooperative Extension Section/ECOP found at Links connected to labels within the chart direct readers to the workplans of standing committees and with main System partners, Extension Foundation and National 4-H Council. The  accomplishment of these workplans is the basis of ECOP's Annual Report to the Section that takes place at NEDA. And speaking of NEDA....

Hold the Date - Remember to hold the week of October 9, 2023, to attend the one-and-only annual National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Meeting. The exact dates and location will be announced soon. Registration is scheduled to begin in May. The purpose of the meeting is to conduct the annual business according to the Rules of Operation of the Cooperative Extension Section and more importantly, to engage in valuable national dialogue  and learning that establishes the future of land-grant university Cooperative Extension and supports the professional success of the members of the Section at national, state and local levels. Deliberate attempts have been made to avoid calendar conflicts with other national meetings of interest by the target audience, the institutional leaders of Extension from 76 land-grant universities.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Capacity Funding and the NIFA Reporting System

The ECOP Monday Minute will be on hiatus on January 16, 2023, in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We will return on January 23, 2023. Visit here to reflect on the national memorial quotes by the renowned non-violent leader of the civil rights movement.

Capacity Funding and the NIFA Reporting System - Last week during ECOP's monthly First Friday event, Alexis Nazario-Negron, NIFA’s Director for Planning, Accountability and Reporting Staff (PARS) joined ECOP Chair, Bev Durgan, University of Minnesota, and ECOP Professional Development Committee chair John Lawrence, Iowa State University, to provide the Cooperative Extension Section and 1994 Extension Directors with a status update on the development of NIFA Reporting System (NRS). The session included an overview of reporting activities in NRS for capacity funded extension programs and a valuable timeline. Slides for this presentation are available upon request by contacting the staff at the National Office or at this link The video recording is available at or below.

Building Capacity for Health Equity and Well-Being - View and share this new peer-learning video resource that supports system-wide capacity to implement recommendations from Cooperative Extension's National Framework for Health Equity and Well-Being and provides examples of success. It features nuts and bolts of the framework as well as 12 examples of highly successful capacity building at the local levels. For more information, contact the Cooperative Extension System/ECOP's Extension Health Director Dr. Rennekamp at View the series play list below or visit ECOP's playlists at today.

ECOP Budget & Legislative Committee Leadership News - During a special meeting in December of ECOP's Budget and Legislative Committee (BLC), Rich Bonanno, North Carolina State University, Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement and Extension Director, was elected as Vice-chair. Rich who also represents the Cooperative Extension Section on the BAA's Committee on Legislation and Policy (Farm Bill), will assume the responsibilities in any absence of a Chair, serve a three-year, renewable term and can assume the chair's position with approval of the ECOP Executive. Jason Henderson, Purdue University, remains BLC Chair and will move to Iowa State University as Vice President of Extension and Outreach in April 2023. Congratulations and thank you Rich and Jason!