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Updates from the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee

Monday, August 26, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rick Klemme, Executive Director, Cooperative Exten
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August 26, 2019

TO: Cooperative Extension Deans, Directors and Administrators

FROM: ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee Co-Chairs
      Jon C. Boren, Associate Dean and Extension Director, New Mexico State University,
      Andrew S. Turner, 4-H Program Leader, Cornell University, 

RE: Updates from the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee

2019 has been a year of significant progress and change for the 4-H program nationally. Moreover, we are aware that the leadership landscape for Cooperative Extension is always evolving and shifting. With this in mind, we are reaching out to our 4-H and Extension leadership for some brief updates and reminders about the role of the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee.

The Role of ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee
The ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee (ECOP 4-H) was formed in 2014 with the goal of leading the Cooperative Extension system towards regular and substantive dialogue about issues of national importance to the 4-H program. ECOP 4-H facilitates a more strategic and systematic responses to critical challenges and opportunities in front of 4-H, helping define a coordinated approach to the implementation of the national 4-H mission and vision. The recommendations from ECOP 4-H are used by ECOP leadership to inform their collaborative efforts with USDA/NIFA and National 4-H Council. The recommendations also are shared with 4-H program leaders and Extension Directors/Administrators. Membership on the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee includes five 4-H Program Leaders, five Extension Directors/Administrators selected by each of the regional associations of the five Cooperative Extension regions. Ex-officio, non-voting members include one from National 4-H Council and one from USDA NIFA. The committee meets in person three times per year with zoom and sub-group meetings taking place between the winter, spring and fall meetings. A summary of the meetings is shared with 4-H Program Leaders by the regional reps and included in the ECOP Meeting Minutes accessed through the Cooperative Extension/ECOP landing page, 

The Role of the USDA NIFA Division of Youth and 4-H
2019 has been a year of significant change with our USDA partners and we would like to provide an update and help to clarify questions and concerns that have arisen in our system in recent months. Ever since USDA NIFA was formed, 4-H has been staffed through the Division of Youth and 4-H (DY4-H). In the past, the division has been referred to as “4-H National Headquarters”. The NIFA Director has announced that USDA would no longer refer to DY4-H as the “4-H Headquarters” but rather referred to as the DY4-H in the Institute of Youth, Family and Communities at NIFA/USDA. The decision was made because (a) there is no official federal policy designating a 4-H National Headquarters, (b) to avoid confusion in the Cooperative Extension System with language articulating the distinct roles of National 4-H Council and DY4-H, and (c) to build upon the strengths and responsibilities of the DY4-H. In addition, the LGU Cooperative Extension System, through the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee, is charged with implementation of the 4-H program, including issues of organization and policy.

ECOP 4-H has been in direct communication with NIFA leadership throughout the process of change and transition. We have been speaking on behalf of the Cooperative Extension system and sharing the expectations and commitments USDA-NIFA has agreed to through the April 2019 National 4-H Partners MOU. The main components of USDA-NIFA’s role include the following:

  • Provide the Cooperative Extension System/ECOP and 4-H Council with appropriate direction for use of the 4-H Name and Emblem consistent with its purpose under federal law and the 4-H Name and Emblem regulations.
  • Provide leadership in funding development and identify and seek funding opportunities through the federal enterprise to leverage resources to support the 4-H youth development program.
  • Provide leadership to advance system-wide coordination for professional, volunteer, and youth learning.
  • Conduct regular evaluations of progress and priorities, identify barriers and opportunities, and develop joint strategies for facilitating the success of the 4-H program.
  • Provide leadership in measuring and sharing information that recognizes the programmatic impact of 4-H on youth to other units of the federal government and to other strategic national partnerships.
  • Facilitate opportunities at the federal, regional, multistate, and state levels to provide for continuous communications, visibility and formal stakeholder input.
  • Support the promotion and implementation of Mission Mandates in collaboration with CES/ECOP (including the 4-H Program Leaders Working Group (PLWG) and Council) and periodically review for relevance and emerging issues.
  • Designate an ex-officio member of the National 4-H Council Board of Trustees, and Liaisons to the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee and the PLWG.

Obviously, there has been concern with the loss of staff at DY4-H with the transition to Kansas City. The LGU Cooperative Extension System is committed to partnering with USDA NIFA during the transition. The ECOP National 4-H Committee will continue to work with USDA NIFA as they move forward to re-staff and further define the roles and responsibilities of the Division of Youth and 4-H. Please reach out to us with your questions, concerns and recommendations.

Rick Klemme, Executive Director, Cooperative Extension/ECOP
(O) 202-478-6029 (cell) 608-234-1994
www.extension.org/ecop www.ecopmondayminute.blogspot.com
Office Location: APLU 1307 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005-4722

National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals
701 Exposition Place, Suite 206 | Raleigh, NC 27615 | T: (919) 232-0112 | E: nae4ha@nae4ha.com