Newsletter March 2016
NACDEP March Newsletter
March 2016

In This Issue...

  1. President's Column
  2. PILD News
  3. Extension Sustainability Summit
  4. NIFA News
  5. Pre-Conference
  6. Minnesota BR&E
  7. Urban Extension


2016 Conference

NACDEP Conference Update

Submitted by Chad Cook, University of Wisconsin Extension

This summer's joint ANREP/NACDEP conference (June 26-29) in Burlington, Vermont is set to offer a wide variety of opportunities to suit your needs.  A pre-conference study tour, Sustainable New England: Sea to Summit, will explore Maine and New Hampshire before arriving in Burlington in time for the start of the conference on June 26.  A full conference agenda mixed with mobile workshops, pre- and post-conference sessions, exciting keynote and speakers, and ample opportunity for networking all await you in Vermont.  Bring the whole family and they can take advantage of organized tours while you're attending the conference.  More conference details are added regularly to the conference website so check back often and start making plans to meet in Vermont!

Full conference agenda

Mobile workshops

Pre and Post-conference sessions

Keynote and Speakers

Conference website



NACDEP Colleagues: 

Greetings and welcome to the March 2016 edition of the NACDEP newsletter.  We had a lot of positive feedback on our special issue of the newsletter from February.  Remember, the quality of the newsletter largely depends on the membership and your willingness to take the time to send timely and relevant submissions our way.  And, as you might expect, we received a lot of good ones for the current issue.

Thomas W. Blaine, PhD

Newsletter Editor

Letter from the President

Spring has sprung here in the South. I hope the season finds you well, and you take time to enjoy the milder weather and emerging blooms. I have no doubt you are busy doing great things. NACDEP has a lot going on as well. Below are a few of the highlights since our last newsletter.

In case you missed it, registration is now open for the 2016 NACDEP-ANREP Joint Conference. The conference will be held in Burlington, Vermont on June 26-29. We hope you will join us for the big event and enjoy the many conference workshops, special activities and pre- and post-conference sessions. I encourage you to bookmark the conference webpage and visit it frequently ( as it is continually being updating with the latest news. 

NACDEP has launched a Member Spotlight series. If you haven't yet checked it out, visit to learn more about our current President Elect, Kelly Nix, and incoming President Elect, Trudy Rice. I'd like to say "thank you" to Karen Fawcett from the University of Kentucky for her leadership in getting this new feature off the ground.

I also want to thank NACDEP members Debra Jo Kinsella and Norman Schwertfeger for serving as our representatives on JCEP's Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference planning committee. They have worked hard to organize this important conference to be held April 10-13 in Washington, DC. See the article below for more details.

Alison Davis and I participated in the JCEP Board of Directors winter meeting that was held in conjunction with the JCEP Leadership Conference last month. In addition to official JCEP business (e.g., committee meetings, association and partner updates, and action planning for the future), we had some good one-on-one discussions with leaders of our sister organizations about ways we can collaborate to better serve NACDEP members. Hopefully, we'll have some new professional development opportunities to roll out in the very new future.

As my term as your President begins to wind down, I continue to be awed by NACDEP members and the amazing things that you do. Your dedication to our organization and profession inspires me every day to do more and become better at my job and as a person. I hope to see all of you in June. Until then, if there's anything I can do to support you please don't hesitate to give me a call or email.

Have a fabulous spring!

PILD Leadership Conference Coming Soon!

Submitted by Norm Schwertfeger, WVU Extension

We encourage you to look into the upcoming PILD Conference held in Crystal City April 10-13.  This is an excellent opportunity to attend some great workshops on ways to Enhance Advocacy & Build Support for Extension or you can learn more about developing your School Gardens by attending the Workshop entitled "Working out of Silos and Into School Gardens!"  The National Program Leaders Session will provide an opportunity for attendees to visit with National Program Leaders from NIFA through panel discussions and you can select the discussion most applicable to your area of work.

Also, in addition to the exciting conference workshops, attendees that register now can still get in on an exciting evening twilight tour of Washington, DC for 3 ½ hours for only $40!  I'm in on that one and I even worked in the DC area during my college years!  Don't hesitate, DC in April is a great time to visit with the Cherry Blossom Trees in full bloom!  To register, please go to: and after looking over the schedule, workshop abstracts, then click number 3 and GET REGISTERED!

Keynote Presenters: Ed Fendley, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Sustainable Communities, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Louie Tupas, Deputy Director for Bioenergy, Climate and Environment, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.   

April 5-7, 2016 

Portland, Oregon

The Summit kicks off on Tuesday, April 5th with two exciting Keynote Presentations and an Opening Social.

Ed Fendley, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Sustainable Communities, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Louie Tupas, Deputy Director, Bioenergy, Climate and Environment, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA

View the schedule

This national summit is designed to engage Extension faculty, agents, and professionals in a robust dialogue about theExtension sustainability outreach efforts currently offered, to identify needed areas of outreach and professional development, and help shape a national strategic plan on sustainability.

Register today!

Registration is now open! 

Early Bird Registration is only $285 (a $140 savings) 

Registration includes access to the Summit all three days with over 20 Interactive Sessions, a Keynote Session, Opening Social, Refreshment Breaks, Networking Lunches, and a Study Tour.

Schedule and Session Descriptions

View the schedule, read session descriptions, share with others!

Optional Sightseeing Tours

We have lined up two, fun optional tours for you to enjoy on Sunday afternoon. Fancy a bike ride or a walk? We've got you Covered.

Lodging Rates & Room Reservations

In addition to being in a prime location, the Embassy Suites Portland-Downtown  

is committed to sustainable practices. Your reservation includes a hot, buffet breakfast each morning, evening manager's reception, free in-room wireless internet, and free self-parking in the hotel's garage. Limited rooms available, so book early!

Click here to register!

Early Bird Registration expires March 13th.
Group lodging rates expire March 14th.

Registration closes March 28th.

Planning Committee

Roslynn Brain, Chair
Utah State University Extension

Mark Apel, LAND Session Chair
University of Arizona Extension

Gregg Garfin, CLIMATE/AIR Session Chair
University of Arizona Extension

Cary Weiner, ENERGY Session Chair
Colorado State University 

Larry Lev, FOOD Session Chair
Oregon State University Extension

Bob Simmons, WATER Session Chair
Washington State University Extension

and our A.MAZ.ING presenters! 

Summit Sponsors and Partners

We are grateful to the Summit Sponsors and Partners for their support and contributions.

Oregon State University Extension Service
Utah State University Extension Sustainability
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Western Rural Development Center

Become a Summit Sponsor or Partner today! Learn more.

Follow #ESSPORTLAND for fun facts and details.


Submitted by Brent Elrod, USDA

With the approach of spring, the lengthening daylight hours and warming weather signals plants and animals to spur new growth.  And while community and economic development is a year-round pursuit, the approaching season does remind that the harvest we envision is a direct result of the preparation we do even before seeds are planted.  With that in mind, I'd like to highlight a few items that you may wish to include in your CRD shed or toolbox.

APLU's Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP) has developed an Economic Engagement Framework ( designed to help institutions think through, implement, and evaluate a variety of efforts in regional economic development and impact.  CICEP is open to your suggestions about how to improve future versions of these tools, particularly with regard to building in the rural development perspective.

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has released a new report, Technology and the Future of Cities (  The report calls for the Federal Government to take a more integrated approach to supporting new technologies that can improve the lives of people in cities.  Such "technologically-enhanced cities" may provide new platforms for Cooperative Extension to inform community development practices, including around urban agriculture.

Also on the urban front, USDA will release an Urban Agriculture Toolkit this Spring.  We'll share a link to its resources on business planning, land access, soil quality, water access and use, capital and financing, infrastructure, and market development when it becomes available.

No matter the season, your leadership, enthusiasm, and effort help strengthen communities and improve quality of life across America.


Pre-conference Study Tour

Sustainable New England: Sea to Summit - Registration Deadline Apr 24

Cost: $560; inclusive of tour accommodations, transportation, activity registration and meals.

Registration for the joint conference, Building a Path to Resiliency, is now open, and we would like to draw your attention to the pre-conference study tour, Sustainable New England: Sea to Summit, and encourage your participation. It is a great way to learn about northern New England and spend some quality time with your ANREP and NACDEP colleagues from across the country.

The study tour can accommodate a maximum of 32 participants. We need to confirm room reservations by Apr 24, so register as early as possible to secure your spot. After Apr 24 we will accept registrations only if there is additional space available at the hotels.

We will be gathering in Bangor, ME on Fri Jun 24 then heading to Mount Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park. We will hit the high seas with Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co for the morning, looking for whales, puffins, and other marine creatures. In the afternoon we will enjoy the spectacular scenery of Acadia while learning about research and programs related to climate change and sustainability. We will spend the night at the College of the Atlantic, a carbon neutral campus, where we will feast on lobster and other treats, and learn about the College's sustainability efforts.

On Sat Jun 25 we will head to the mountaintops of New Hampshire for a trip up the historic Mt Washington Auto Road. We will tour the Weather Observatory and museum at the infamously extreme summit, and take in views of the Presidential Range. The Appalachian Mountain Club's Highland Center will be our home for the night, where we will learn about research programs that link New England climate data with issues facing New England forests and forest managers.

Our final day, Sun Jun 26 starts with a tour of La Cité Écologique of New Hampshire, an eco-village in northern NH. Members of the community will share their experiences creating a sustainable community that includes a maple sugar bush, solar energy, mushroom cultivation, vegetable gardens, a K-12 school, and an import business.  After enjoying a lunch of pizza made in a wood-fired oven, we will head to Burlington for the opening reception of the conference.

We look forward to seeing you on the tour! Please contact any member of the planning team if you have questions:

Cathy Elliott (chair): [email protected]  
Karen Bennett: [email protected]
Ros Brain: [email protected]                     
Eric Romich: [email protected]
Todd Comen: [email protected]                 
Will Sheftall: [email protected]
Chris Jones: [email protected]                 
Mary Tebo Davis: [email protected]

Minnesota Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) Course goes completely Online

Submitted by Michael Darger and John Bennett, University of Minnesota Extension

In the never ending quest to match our educational offerings to what people want, the University of Minnesota Extension is going completely online with our Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) Course.  The next session begins May 18th and ends July 13th.  We also will have a face-to-face offering of the course next January.  FMI:   NACDEP member Andre Garron, from New Hampshire, participated in the former hybrid version of the course, in 2013, and is going strong with BR&E programming in the Granite State.  NACDEPers and their friends are welcome.  However, since it¿s fully online, they don¿t get to fly to Minnesota during our lovely winter. 


Urban Extension now a top ECOP Priority  

In an effort to reinvigorate a national discussion and move toward a more sustainable and integrated approach to urban Extension, a group of mid-level administrators working in metropolitan areas across the country began meeting a few years ago. This group is called the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL). NUEL¿s Steering Committee prepared ¿A National Framework for Urban Extension¿ report for the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP). In October 2015, ECOP approved NUEL as a Director/Administrator-approved group of Extension employees who cooperate in advancing the strategic importance and long-term value of urban Extension activities by being relevant locally, responsive statewide, and recognized nationally. Advancing urban Extension is now one of ECOP's top priorities, you're interested in urban Extension, learn more about NUEL at and plan to attend the next biannual meeting, held in Columbus, OH, May 23-26, The report, A National Framework for Urban Extension, can be located here: Additional information about NUEL will be shared at the April 2016 PILD Conference and the NACDEP conference this summer. For more information, contact Julie Fox, [email protected].


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