Next Generation Extension - Learning for Leaders

Learning for Leaders is....
  • For and by Cooperative Extension Administrators and Directors from Land-grant Universities
  • Organized by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) 
  • A member-driven professional development benefit 
  • A virtual networking opportunity 
  • Archived here for the next generation of Extension leaders 
  • Held 6-9 times each year
Series 4

Distinguishing Urban Extension in the System Landscape – Thought leaders’ exchange for future planning and policy
On June 4, 2021, Extension Directors and Administrators from 1994, 1890 and 1862 land-grant universities explored the administrative and system-oriented aspects of Urban Extension Programming. Experts from NUEL and WCMER helped participants expand beyond Ag focus and delve deeper into untapped potential with urban audiences. All Directors and Administrators of Extension with interest in system change in Extension Policy and Organization may contribute to and will benefit from the provocative discussion - email questions and comments to To review the video and companion materials go to:
--> Video link
--> Poll Summaries and Slides
--> Recent article in the Journal of Human Sciences and Extension

4-H Equity Strategic Plan
On May 7, 2021, 35 Extension Directors and Administrators took a deep dive into the new National 4-H Equity Strategic Plan. The conversation reinforced and build upon the collective mindset of Cooperative Extension Leaders that establishes short- and long-range goals for system change for diversity, equity, and inclusion at national, state, and local levels. To review elements of the event, use:
   --> YouTube video (~ 40 min.):
   --> Slides
An analysis of the small group discussion is in process to more deeply inform ECOP on next steps. 

Leaders Encouraging Collaborations with Diverse Communities: Consider the Experiences of Extension Educators
ECOP hosted a third in a series of Learning for Leaders conversations with a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion theme on March 5, 2021. Katie Hartmann, who recently completed her PhD in Education, Equity, and Transformation at Colorado State University, identified what excellence looks like to collaborate with diverse communities. The structures include but are not limited to a Relations Liaison, Inside Collaborator, and a community-specific sense of timing. What can be implemented in the short and long term?
To review Leaders Encouraging Collaborations with Diverse Communities, from March 5:
-- View recording at
-- Click here to view/download slides

Improving Inclusivity in Our Institutions and ECOP
This session held February, 5, 2021, was a launching point by 36 Extension Directors and Administrators from 1890, 1862,  and 1994 Land-grants to create an inclusive, equitable Cooperative Extension System. Organizers of this event and last month's, hope their colleagues can say in 2022, "I finally saw change." 
-- Programming–A Path Forward
-- Hiring/Recruitment/Pipeline/Retention
-- Professional Development for Leaders and Personnel
-- Support for New/Existing Diverse Employees
-- 1890/1862 Relationship – Lessons Learned
-- Best Practices, and Collaboration Between 1862/1994 Institutions
-- Click Here to view/download Power Point
-- Complete Survey at

Inclusive and Equitable Organizations – An Evidence Based Model
During a Learning for Leaders meeting on January 8, 2021, with participation by 31 leaders (1862, 1890 and 1994), from 21 states, Guam and American Samoa, attendees learned the interdependent steps for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. To review:
-- YouTube Recording
-- Slides found here
-- Theory and Practice of Multicultural Organization Development

Series 3

Urban Agriculture: Needs, Opportunities, and Actions

December 10, 2020 - 32 Extension Directors and Administrators gathered on Zoom for Learning for Leaders - Urban Agriculture: Needs, Opportunities, and Actions. A panel of experts joined ECOP Chair Chris Watkins (Cornell University). Strategies were presented that support the sustainable development of commercial and community-focused urban agriculture, use the following link:
--> YouTube Video Recording:
--> Slides with Links/Chat/Poll Results: Click here
--> May the conversation continue:

Leading Through Crisis and Uncertainty
November 6, 2020 - An unrecorded, special 2-hour event helped participant to address current day challenges and provide tools to minimize negative impacts and maximize psychosocial adaptability, resilience and the potential for post-traumatic growth. Topics covered: Understanding COVID-19 from a Psychosocial Lens; Reimagining, Redesigning and Reconstructing Work; Social Neuroscience: Threat, Our Brains and Relationships; Adaptive & Agile Management Strategies to Protect Health & Well-Being; and Strategies and Tools for Adaptability, Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth. Slide presentation is available upon request from the ECOP National Office. Contact Assistant Director Sandy Ruble at

Extension’s Leadership on Climate and Extreme Weather
June 5, 2020 - Directors and Administrators from all 5 Regions joined ECOP Chair Mark Latimore for the latest Learning for Leaders session. The eXtension Climate Fellows introduced themselves and described the project using Project Drawdown framework. ECOP's Chuck Ross, University of Vermont, says, "Collectively, by building a database from across the System, the Climate Fellows will tell the story of the efficacy of the Extension System on the issue of climate and extreme weather conditions. We should look forward to the Climate Fellows contacting us and we should reach out to them to make this possible."
Enhanced PowerPoint with chat Q&A, resource links and contact info: Click here.
Contact information for the Fellows:
* Jennison Kipp,
* Sarah Klain,
* Paul Lachapelle, 
* Roslynn Brain McCann,

Crisis Response Opportunities and State/Regional Strategies: Farmer Mental Health
May 1, 2020 - Carolyn Williams (Prairie View A&M University), John Lawrence (Iowa State University), Brent Elrod (USDA-REE/NIFA), David Brown (Iowa State University), Laura Perry Johnson (University of Georgia) Experts joined ECOP Chair Mark Latimore. To learn more about Resource Inventory, 2 Institutional Examples, NIFA Support, Regional Program Response, Ideas for Leading on Challenging Issues - go to YouTube Archive. The interactive slide presentation with expanded resources shared in the Zoom Chat is found here.

Leading Through COVID-19 and the New World of Virtual Extension
March 27, 2020 - Chuck Hibberd (University of Nebraska), Ami Smith (West Virginia State University), Laura Stephenson (University of Kentucky), Ken LaValley (University of New Hampshire), and Mike Gaffney (Washington State University) joined ECOP Chair Mark Latimore (Fort Valley State University) and Health Extension Director Roger Rennekamp. More than 70 individuals joined! Click here to view/download 14 big ideas that were shared by the group. Contact Roger at to help answer questions.

Positioning 4-H and Extension for Investment
January 10, 2020 - Presenters: Dr. Martha Bernadett, National 4-H Council (Council) Board of Trustees, and Andy Ferrin, Council’s SVP, Chief Strategy Officer.
- Recording:
- Dr. Bernadett’s remarks
- Slide presentation
- Information on the alumni survey -

Explore these topics using the following links from Series 1 (2018) and 2 (2019):