Newsletter September 2016
NACDEP Newsletter September Edition

In This Issue...


  1. President's Column

  2. Awards

  3. JCEP Update

  4. NIFA News
  5. Not your typical Board Retreat
  6. Volunteer Opportunities
  7. 2017 Urban Extension Conference


About The Editor



NACDEP Colleagues: 

Greetings and welcome to the September 2016 NACDEP newsletter.  I am starting my sixth year as your editor, and I have included in this edition my biographical sketch.  You can find it at the bottom of the column at the left - just click on "About the Editor."  I hope you will take the time to read about me, especially since you hear from me so frequently in my calls for submissions to the newsletter and you get a note like this from me in each edition.  

We have a lot of timely information for you: awards information, NIFA and JCEP updates, Urban Extension 2017 and more.  We also have two accounts of the NACDEP Board retreat out in Big Sky country, one from President Kelly Nix in her column and the other from Nancy Bowen-Ellzey.  Happy reading!

Thomas W. Blaine, PhD
Newsletter Editor

Letter from the President

Greetings!  I'm honored and enthusiastic as I begin my term as President of an organization that not only is dedicated to improving the field of community and economic development Extension programs and professionals, but also an organization that allows friendships to be created.  I was eager to jump in with both feet in June and have been overwhelmed with the support I have received already.
The 2016 NACDEP/ANREP conference committee are in the process of analyzing the evaluation results and finances.  For now, everything is looking positive and the benefits of having a joint conference with ANREP are apparent.  In addition, I'm pleased to announce the total attendance was 439 of which 239 were NACDEP members (54%)!
Moving on,...your 2016-2017 board met last week in Big Sky, MT and had a very productive planning retreat.  Our generous host, Montana State University gave us a taste of what's to come with awesome hospitality.  We also experienced this from the Big Sky Resort personnel. The resort and surrounding mountains are spectacular and will remain in our minds for some time.
We began our discussion with capturing NACDEP history and culture led by Past President, Stacey McCullough.  Then, we spent the majority of our time further developing "play books" for each board member and committee chair positions.  This work will be invaluable for the future of NACDEP.  Thank you all who participated in developing these playbooks.  Once they are finalized, they will be posted under Policy and Procedures.
During the retreat, a bit of team building and fun was sprinkled in throughout with activities such as Real Colors and a five mile hike down the mountain.  And, in addition to our play book work, we met with the Community Development Society (CDS) board to begin working out details for the 2017 conference in Big Sky.  President Elect, Trudy Rice is understanding of organizational cultures and is striving to maintain a balance between the two organizations.  We walked away knowing we are on the right track and excited about this partnership!  As conference committees are being formed, please contact Trudy if you are interested in helping with any part of the conference.  Your volunteer work will be greatly welcomed!

Fast forward to our final time together in Big Sky with CDS board, I can't go without mentioning the friendly ping pong competition during dinner between NACDEP president (me) and CDS president, Chris Marko.  Any guesses on who won all three games?  (wink wink)

As I reflect on the Stages of Group Development, I can honestly say your 2016-2017 NACDEP board and 2017 conference planning committee are well on their way to "performing".  I hope you will agree with me that it is an exciting time to be part of a growing organization and as we work together, NACDEP will be even a stronger organization!  Let's Go!  




It is never too early to start thinking about awards.

While it is still warm (or even hot) outside, soon the leaves will change colors, marking that the holidays - and the end of the year - are nearing.  And with the new year comes time for NACDEP Awards nominations.

The call for awards will go out early in 2017. There will be no changes in the categories of the awards or the materials required for awards submissions. So if you know of a program or project worthy of recognition (or if you have a program or project worthy or recognition), now would be a good time to start working on those awards submissions.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Michael Dougherty, the NACDEP Recognition Committee Chair - at [email protected]

JCEP Update

Did you know you are a member of JCEP, the Joint Council of Extension Professionals? This is one of the benefits of your NACDEP membership.

JCEP hosts two professional development opportunities, the Leadership Conference and the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference. Both are currently accepting proposals to present. As a NACDEP member, your experience and expertise make you an ideal presenter for these conferences.

The 2017 JCEP Leadership Conference will be held February 8-9, 2017.  The theme for the conference is "Emerging Leadership for Tomorrow's Extension." Presentation proposals are due September 30. NACDEP President Kelly Nix serves on the planning committee for this conference.

If you are interested in making a presentation at the 2017 PILD Conference at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City during the PILD Conference April 2-5, 2017, your proposal must be submitted by November 1. NACDEP members Norm Schwertfeger and Laura Fuller serve on the PILD conference planning committee.

For more information about JCEP, including these two professional development opportunities, visit

Submitted by Stacey McCullough


Autumn at NIFA means closing out one fiscal year and transitioning into the next.  This year we also anticipate a new administration and the associated opportunities such change provides.

So before we turn the page to FY17, let's revisit a few of the key accomplishments from the NIFA perspective this past year.

As you know, NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. As part of the NIFA Institute of Youth, Family, and Community, the Division of Family & Consumer Sciences (DFCS) supports and enhances this mission primarily through the administration of federal financial assistance and national program leadership.  To better organize and facilitate our effectiveness in these critical areas, DFCS stood up two teams in FY16, one focused on Family Well-Being and another promoting Community Vitality.

Under the Community Vitality "financial assistance" banner, we solicited and awarded proposals that resulted in funding for four Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDC), four Extension Risk Management Education Centers and one Digital Risk Management Center.  In addition, grants to promote Farm Business Management Benchmarking and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR Phase I and II) were competitively awarded.  To increase the accessibility of SBIR to women and minority-owned businesses and under-funded states, we launched a new outreach program led by the Western Rural Development Center.  We also facilitated funding to support a planning process that will lead to a National Extension Sustainability Summit in 2018. We provided continuation funding to support baseline operations for eXtension.

In terms of "program leadership" in Community Vitality, we served as conduits to partners across USDA, federal government, and the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, among many others.  We contributed to the strategic planning processes for Extension Risk Management and Regional Rural Development.  In addition to hosting quarterly meetings of the RRDC directors and December North Central and July Southern CD program leaders gatherings in DC, we made the most of limited travel dollars by actively participating in events nationwide that included the Extension Sustainability Summit, Public Issues Leadership Development Conference, Extension Risk Management Conference, and of course, the Joint ANREP/NACDEP Conference.

So while we look expectantly forward, we build upon an already solid foundation, one made possible by the incredible work that you - NIFA's colleagues, partners, and collaborators - do to strengthen and enhance communities across America.

Submitted by Brent Elrod

Not Your Typical Board Retreat   

Big Sky, Montana may not be typical for a board retreat but, being the location of 2017's NACDEP conference, we suffered through it. I arrived with a bear of a head cold so missed out on a 5-mile hike the first day, ugh!  But, I made up for it later with a much less strenuous ride up and down the mountain on a ski lift with fellow board members Trudy Rice, Connie Mefford and Connie Hancock.  Truly spectacular views.  This place is not to be missed, folks!

Besides the necessary fun, food and getting to know the conference venue, we worked through a packed three-day agenda, accomplishing a great deal.  For a first-year Treasurer, the experience was especially valuable for me, learning about everyone's roles.  Our main tasks included discussion and review of strategic priorities and "playbooks"; our duties, the interplay of our positions, committees, and how we work with our management firm, The Association Source.


I came away from the retreat feeling very good about our team and the organization's leadership (great job Kelly, Stacey and Trudy!).  My predecessor, Notie Lansford, has big shoes to fill, with his keen attention to detail and use of humor when called for...and not (lots of laughs reading your 1st playbook, Notie!).  I look forward to, and plan to enjoy being Treasurer, especially working with this group of fun and dedicated people. 

Submitted by Nancy Bowen-Ellzey

Volunteer Opportunities for NACDEP Members

Have you ever wondered how to become more involved in NACDEP activities but did not know where to begin?  We have the answer for you-volunteer to be on a committee for the joint NACDEP and Community Development Society Annual Conference to be held in Big Sky, Montana June 11-14, 2017.  Paul Lachapelle, Montana State University, is the chair of the local Host Committee and has done a great job in getting everyone organized to insure that we have a successful 2017 conference.  Thank You Paul!

Now it is time to expand our reach and involve even more NACDEP and CDS members in the planning and execution of the conference.  Currently the following committees have been established in addition to the Steering Committee and the Local Host Committee:

  • Communication/Marketing-Debra Hansen, Washington State University Stevens County Extension (Chair)
  • Events-Katie Weaver, Montana State University Extension Agent Park County and Pat McGlynn, Montana State University Extension Agent Flathead County (Co-Chairs)
  • Mobile Learning Workshops-Rebecca Sero, Extension Specialist, Washington State University (Chair)
  • Sponsorship-Micky Zurcher, Montana State University Extension Agent Jefferson County (Co-Chair)
  • Hospitality-Kevin Andrews, Texas A & M Community Development Specialist (Chair)
  • Awards-Michael Dougherty, West Virginia University Extension (Chair)

Future Committees: 

  • Auction
  • Poster Session
  • Peer Review Committee for presentations
  • Volunteer hosts for breakout sessions

Please email Trudy Rice [email protected] if you are interested in serving on one of these committees and she will forward your contact information to Paul Lachapelle and the respective committee chair.

Thanks in advance for stepping up to this important volunteer opportunity.

2017 Urban Extension Conference

On behalf of the University of Minnesota, the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL), and the conference planning team, we would like to invite you to submit a proposal to participate in the 2017 Urban Extension Conference. The conference will be held in Bloomington, MN at the Raddisson Blu, Mall of America.  The theme of the conference is Engaging in Collective Purpose.

The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2017.

The full call for proposals is located on the conference website:

The overall conference website is here:

Please contact us if you have any questions.  We look forward to hearing from you and receiving your proposals.

Submitted by Brent D. Hales and Brad Gaolach

2017 Urban Extension Conference Co-Chairs


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