Monday, September 13, 2021

Climate Program News

The ECOP Program Committee's Program Action Team on Climate led by Jason Henderson, Purdue University, has developed three Priority Areas to implement in the next 6-12 months. Each team will initially meet monthly to:
  • identify Extension programs that are ready to be scaled up nationally
  • serve as Extension’s partnering group regarding national climate initiatives according to priority
  • develop letters of intent for national program grants
  • provide content for the PAT on Climate to further develop the advocacy toolkit for climate, mitigation, resiliency, and adaptation
Extension Directors and Administrators are asked to consider volunteering a faculty member or educator to participate on one of the following Teams. Please send interested faculty and/or staff member's contact information to Caroline Henney.

Priority Area Implementation Teams
  • Climate-Smart Agriculture – Cooperative Extension can support the adaptation, mitigation, and resilience of U.S. agriculture to climate change. Helping farmers, ranchers and landowners develop and adopt climate-sensitive practices on working lands will improve the profitability and sustainability of plant and animal systems in rural and urban environments. These practices will maintain adequate and safe food systems as supply chains strain under shifting climate conditions.

  • Climate-Resilient Communities – Cooperative Extension can work with rural and urban communities to develop climate sensitive community plans to support the adaptation, mitigation, and resilience of communities to climate change. In addition, these plans would also focus on supporting communities as they develop risk management plans surrounding natural disasters – fires, floods, rising temperatures, and increased incidence of extreme weather events.

  • Ecosystem Services – Cooperative Extension supports the protection and preservation of natural areas and resources amid changing climates. Translational research and Extension programs focused on adaptation, mitigation and resilience can help reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and forest production. In addition, climate sensitive management practices for our forests, waterways, and other natural habitats can reduce the negative impacts of climate change.

EPA Report Shows Disproportionate Impacts of Climate Change - On September 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a significant and detailed report on the impacts of climate change among different demographic groups in the contiguous United States. The report, titled Climate Change and Social Vulnerability in the United States: A Focus on Six Impact Sectors, examines the extent to which “socially vulnerable” populations within the United States are disproportionately subject to the most significant impacts of climate change. The report serves a critical role in guiding the federal response strategies to existing impacts of climate change in America’s unserved and underserved communities, while informing environmental justice initiatives about the detriment of projected future impacts on these same communities.


NASS to Send 2021 Hemp Acreage and Production Survey This Fall - This October, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will mail its first Hemp Acreage and Production Survey. The survey will collect information on the total planted and harvested area, yield, production, and value of hemp in the United States. The Domestic Hemp Production Program established in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) allows for the cultivation of hemp under certain conditions. The Hemp Acreage and Production survey will provide needed data about the hemp industry to assist producers, regulatory agencies, state governments, processors, and other key industry entities. Producers may complete the survey online at or they may complete and return the survey by mail using the return envelope provided. Learn more about the survey at

SARE Animation Features Economics of Sustainable Agriculture - While most agricultural profit models focus on maximizing yields in the short term, sustainable strategies prioritize profitable returns over the long term. SARE’s The Economics of Sustainable Agriculture animation describes how practices such as crop rotation and reduced tillage can improve an operation’s bottom line sustainably. The newest episode in SARE’s What is Sustainable Agriculture? series provides a short and simple introduction to ecological practices that form the foundation of thriving and resilient farm systems.

Updated Links to NIFA Resources and Contacts

Monday, August 30, 2021

Registry Captures 1862/1994 Relationships

The ECOP Monday Minute will be on hiatus next week. 
Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day holiday.

Registry Captures 1862/1994 Relationships - A group of collaborators – led by Steve Gavazzi, Ohio State University, including Presidents of 1862 and 1994 Land-grant Institutions, Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Section associations, and Rural Development Centers, from western and north central areas of the country are pulling together a NIFA conference proposal entitled Cultivating Reparative Work on Behalf of Native American Peoples Through Partnerships Among 1862 and 1994 Land-grant Universities. One of the objectives of this collaborative group is to develop a national clearinghouse that contains information about 1862-1994 collaborative programs across the country. The Extension Foundation has built a National Registry supported by funding from USDA-NIFA and its New Technologies for Ag Extension partnership with Oklahoma State University that helps collate such information. Visit the registry to enter information about these programs. There are questions embedded in the entry process that will ask about 1862-1994 land-grant partnerships.

Mission Spotlight-National 4-H Council
- More than 70 years ago, Cooperative Extension created National 4-H Council (Council) to support its efforts to provide ALL youth with access to 4-H opportunities and experiences that develop the skills they need to succeed. And despite the turbulent times, Council and Extension are working together making significant progress toward a future where millions more young people are engaged in high quality 4-H—and where 4-H youth, volunteers and staff are representative of the diversity of our nation. As the private sector, non-profit partner of Cooperative Extension and USDA/NIFA, Council supports Extension in ways that align with 2020-2023 Strategic Directions for ECOP and the Cooperative Extension System:
  • Convene the 4-H movement to stimulate collective action and training on the nation’s most pressing issues.
  • Tell the 4-H Story by leveraging the power of trusted brand partners and 4-H youth and alumni to elevate the visibility of 4-H and Extension.
  • Create Public-Private Partnerships that generate new financial resources for Extension to create opportunities for all youth.
Formal accountability mechanisms to Extension are built into Council’s governance structure—which guides its engagement with Extension leadership. This infographic showcases some of the big wins that Council, Extension and NIFA have developed together over the past few years. To dig deeper, or to engage with Council resources, contact Andy Ferrin, Senior Vice President at

Extension Foundation Mid-Year Update Details Funding and Impacts in Support of CES
- Created by Extension Directors and Administrators starting in 2001, the Extension Foundation facilitates and supports the success of Extension professionals and systems. The bylaws state the Foundation’s purpose is: Helping Cooperative Extension professionals make a visible and measurable impact on local issues. The Extension Foundation mid-year update,  details funding, impacts, and progress towards helping Cooperative Extension professionals advance their work. A timeline of the history, including the logo change from eXtension to the Extension Foundation is available here. The Foundation Board of Directors, who are also members of the Cooperative Extension Section, are listed here.

Virtual Facilitation Skills Training Series Offered - The global pandemic has impacted daily routines in innumerable ways, including the transition of in-person meetings to virtual platforms. Through a collaboration with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant, New Hampshire Extension, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and University of Vermont Extension, Extension professionals are invited to attend the Building Your Virtual Facilitation Skills training. This 5-part series will be held on Wednesdays beginning October 6, 2021, from 1:00-3:00 PM ET. Register by September 18 to receive a discount. Sessions include: Virtual Facilitation Essentials, Setting the Stage for Success, Facilitation Practice: Putting Skills to Work, Facilitation Challenges and Opportunities, and Celebrating Facilitation Success. Visit here for cost, registration, and other information.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Future Federal Funding Survey

Extension Directors and Administrators of land-grant universities are encouraged to schedule time to complete an important program oriented survey organized by the Cooperative Extension Section Farm Bill Committee. The 35 programs included in the survey fall under various Titles of the Farm Bill. The deadline to submit is by close of business September 2, 2021. Responses will guide the Committee to lift up priorities identified  for the Cooperative Extension System, first with the BAA Committee on Legislation and Policy (CLP) and ultimately with members of Congress. Details were released by the EDA Team last Friday region by region. Direct questions or concerns regarding the survey to Caroline Henney, Executive Director, CES/ECOP at or 202-478-6029.

Networking App Becomes Hallway Conversations and Much More - The 2021 National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) Meeting Planning Committee, chaired by the immediate past-chair of the Cooperative Extension Section/ECOP, Mark Latimore, Fort Valley State University, met last week. The award winning event app Whova® has been acquired for NEDA All Extension Directors and Administrators who register for NEDA may opt into the networking app and immediately begin the hotel hallway conversations they sorely miss when meetings are held virtually. Also, some of the 8 facilitated conversations set for October 13 are being added as conversation topics on Whova®! Direct questions or concerns regarding NEDA to Sandy Ruble, Assistant Director, CES/ECOP at or 202-478-6088.

Big Ideas for Extension Leaders - The following recent articles are chocked full of big ideas for Extension Directors and Administrators to ponder regarding the role of the Cooperative Extension System in land-grant universities and the USA of the future. The source for the articles is funded by New Technologies for Ag Extension Funding (NTAE) with wrap-around services provided by Extension Foundation.

Farm of the Future RFA Deadline is 10/15/2021 - As a follow on to the article published on April 26, the RFA for NIFA's Farm of the Future, a competitive grant program with $3,936,000 to invest in a single Land-Grant institution, is available here.

Monday, August 16, 2021

EDA Team Update

          Lyla Houglum           
Lyla Houglum, Executive Director, Western Extension Directors Association (WEDA), will retire at the end of this month after 16+ years. In her national role as a member of the Executive Directors and Administrator (EDA) Team, she provides leadership and support for activities of the Cooperative Extension Section (CES) and ECOP. She served as Chair of CES/ECOP in 2002. In her 43-year Extension career, Lyla received the prestigious National Distinguished Service Ruby Award and Visionary Leadership Award from Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension Honorary, the USDA Team Honor Award for Excellence, the Alberta B. Johnston Award for Extension Leadership, Oscar Haag Communication Award, the 4-H Distinguished Service Award, J.C. Penny Company Fellowship, and the Florence Hall Award. She was inducted into the Academy of Community Engaged Scholarship in 2017. Lyla is Professor Emeritus of Oregon State University. CES Members will have an opportunity to extend best wishes to Lyla at NEDA, during the Annual Business Meeting on October 14. 

Doreen Hauser-Lindstrom 
Doreen Hauser-Lindstrom, with 30+ years of professional Extension experience at three Land-grant Universities, serving in county, state specialist, and administrative unit leadership positions, follows Lyla as a member of the EDA Team. She started as Executive Director of WEDA on August 1, 2021. She is a LEAD-21 graduate located at Washington State University. For starters in her national role, Doreen will join the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee. Please join the EDA Team and ECOP in congratulating and welcoming Doreen as she transitions to this new role!  Team orientation begins this coming Friday. 

Historical Note: In 2008, CES voted to approve the formation of the EDA Team. In 2015, the ECOP Professional Development Committee (formerly Personnel) conducted a  formal review of the Team with results described on pages 1 and 2 here. The activities and influence of the Team were informally reviewed at the 2021 ECOP Spring meeting. 

National Academies of Sciences Blue Ribbon Panel Nominations due by August 18 - At last week's ECOP Executive Committee Meeting, Extension leaders were reminded to nominate champions of the tripartite University Land-grant System, Extension, research, and education including those from HBCUs for membership to 10-person ad hoc committee (Blue Ribbon Panel) that is best explained here. It is optional but helpful to upload a CV of the individual(s) nominated. The gateway to submit is found here. Direct questions to Robin Schoen202-334-2236.

4-H Pathways Institute Opportunity-Apply by August 25 - Cooperative Extension Section members who have not already participated in the 4-H Pathways Leadership Institute, are encouraged to apply for Level 1, an intensive, two-day leadership program that will take place virtually on October 27 and 28. According to its official workplan, the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee formed a Pathways team "to develop a guiding framework for the 4-H system’s efforts to meet the 4-H growth goals and vision of reaching 10 million youth by 2025, in addition to developing pathways for building leadership capacity among current and future administrative leaders of the 4-H program." The team includes National 4-H Council, and Changing Our World, Inc., a social impact consulting firm that advises leading corporations and nonprofit organizations. The institute equips 3-person teams (Specialist, Extension Director or Administrator, and Land-grant University Leader) with tools to achieve strategic change and growth for 4-H programs in alignment with the broader goals of  respective Universities. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions are here or contact Co-chair, Andy Turner, Cornell University, and Apply here by August 25