Communications - February 2006
Conference Call
Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bob Reynolds called the telephone meeting to order at 2 p.m. Attending were:

Virginia Morgan
Debbie Archer
Ashley Wood
Frankie Gould
Tom Knecht
Robin Adams
Dee Shore
Garvin Quinn
Gloria Mosby
Carol Whatley
Don Stotts
Anne Young
Terry Meisenbach, representing eXtension.

The minutes from the October 19, 2005 meeting were approved, with note that Garvin Quinn was in attendance at the meeting.

CECP Module message

Bob Reynolds relayed a message from Haven Miller, who wished to express his appreciation for input on CECP modules, which will be forwarded to everyone for review.

Report on PLC Meeting

Gloria Mosby reported that the PLC planning meeting was held in Atlanta November 30 - December 1, 2005. Plans were begun for the meeting in Puerto Rico, which is August 27-31. The location has not been identified to date. The topics will address first responders. Ed Smith, past president, is serving as chair for topics for the meeting. She further reported that information will be sent concerning pre-conference tours.

eXtension was discussed at the meeting. It was agreed that there has been a lot of discussion on the project, but that the discussion and a presentation should be included in the August meeting.

PLN logo

Gloria Mosby reported that a committee was charged with determining a new PLN logo. Several samples, developed by Arkansas and Georgia, were presented. The committee chose the top four and then voted the logo with a red arrow as the official logo. This new logo will be used on any correspondence related to PLC and PLN. Following a question concerning the decision on the logo, Gloria responded that the committee felt the new logo was more up-to-date and vibrant. It was noted that the logo will change the look of the PLN Web site. Gloria will work with the Web developer to ensure that the logo is incorporated correctly.

Tool Prepared by IT Committee

Gloria reported that Nina Boston is chair of PLC for the next term. At the recent PLC meeting, the IT Committee shared a form that they use, which can be adapted for use by other committees. There is a compilation of state reports on the PLC Web site under IT. It asks for general information, such as what has been done, what is planned for the next 2-3 years and what challenges the state is experiencing. The form compiles the information and prepares a report in concise form, which is ready for presentation at a meeting. To find the form, go to the PLN Web site, click on IT. The IT Committee can help states adapt the report to their needs.

Gloria stated her appreciation for the opportunity to serve on the PLC committee.

ACE Annual Conference

Virginia Morgan reported that the ACE Conference will be held in Quebec City, Canada June 2-6. The registration site is not yet up and active. The conference site is linked to Registration begins online March 16. Registration is $350 for members March 16 - May 1 and $450 for non-members. There will be one-day registration fees as well. The conference will include the annual awards banquet. A highlighted evening event will be held at a maple sugar shack.

Ashley Wood has been key in coordinating break-out sessions. To date 60 have been accepted, along with four poster presentations. There will also be the usual number of SIG activities and tours.

The C&A award recipients should be released in April. There are a large number of entries this year, which have been sent to the 20-plus judges.

Committee meetings and the CommHeads meeting are scheduled for June 2. The opening reception is that evening with a full day of activities on June 3. The conference will end at 9 a.m. on June 6. Optional tours are available on the afternoon of June 6.

Marketing CECP Courses

Robin Adams reported on the last conference call of the CECP committee, which was held on January 17. The meeting focused on how to get states to use the modules. The committee asked if the communications heads would develop a marketing plan, which would include giveaways, bookmarks, etc.

Ashley stated that this is one of the biggest parts missing from the process. He said there is a definite need for a marketing plan. It was noted that there is no timeline for a projected marketing plan. The committee discussed whether to take this on as a project. It was noted that there are no funds available to develop such a plan. Possibly Ron Brown could find the funds for printing costs. Following discussion, it was agreed that Gloria and Frankie will inform Ron Brown and Dr. Lyons of the concerns and request that the administrators from each state provide support before we proceed.

It was discussed that products that can be emailed may be the best choice rather than printing and mailing. The emails could highlight the modules. This information could be sent to the administrators who will forward them to their faculty and staff.

Bob suggested that the committee study the CECP Web site to determine if it is user friendly. He further suggested that the site needs some foundational work.

Robin is to send information to Gloria and Frankie before the next PLC meeting. Once the committee receives feedback from this group, the project could progress.


Terry Meisenbach reported that eXtension is moving along. A Blog site - - has been launched in response to complaints concerning the intranet site. The Blog site is connected with Wiki technology where there is space for more information and for sharing daily updates, as well as areas for comments.

February launched the second call for engagement, offering $500,000 for Communities of Practice. It targeted youth development, production agriculture and health and nutrition. The right types of proposals were not received. A pre-proposal process is scheduled in March, with another to be announced in August. Applications will also be accepted from those who have participated in eXtension and have strong funding sources, but don't need eXtension funds. Those applications will be due in August. An example is those involved in water quality, who want access to the eXtension tools, but don't need eXtension funding.

Dan Cotton with eXtension recently attended and made a presentation at the Extension Directors meeting in New Mexico. A CSREES and ECOP team are working on an evaluation of eXtension. Three of the 15 milestones were completed in 2005. An annual report is being published. Entitled "Return on Investment", the report highlights the first full year of eXtension. The report provides a summary of document review and contains interviews with staff and directors.

In 2006, the partnership, "AgLearn", with USDA and Extension is underway. Kevin Gamble, IT director with USDA, is developing curriculum for USDA employees and clients. This may work with CECP; watch the eXtension Blog for more information.

In 2005, a tool was developed which explains what eXtension is, describes myths, provides a flash presentation and looks at the eXtension brochure and slide presentations. The eXtension display will be at Science on the Hill at the end of February. eXtension staff is in the process of writing a RFA for an interface and marketing components. It will address what eXtension will look like; provide ideas of how the presence should be; and show Extension directors what the site will look like.

Terry reported that eXtension wants to begin the rollout of Communities of Practice (COP) to determine public pressure. Five firms have been contacted to develop all components of the site. This rollout should occur in the next week.

eXtension remains in need of institutional brands. Some states have already submitted their brands. To find a list of the states that have submitted their brands, go to to find a list of the states who have submitted brands. Under "Community" portal, there should be a "list of states submitting" context box on the left. If a state is not listed, the brand can be submitted or resubmitted. Guidelines can be found on the site.

The COP components will soon be launched. A matrix has been developed that will make the information more understandable. eXtension hopes to make the "HorseQuest" component ready in June. All communications will be s ent to CommHeads.

How will eXtension transform Cooperative Extension? Communication from administration to county levels is often difficult to attain. eXtension is building a national email distribution list for all Extension staff. It will be difficult to compile and judicious in use.

Plan of Work Update

Bob asked everyone to take a look at the Plan of Work. If there are any changes, additions or deletions, please send to Bob. Presently the names of responsible parties are inaccurate and incorrect on some items.

Virginia stated that the POW looks on target.

Robin noted that the online impact report is great. She encouraged everyone to take a look at it and note the way impacts are highlighted.

The meeting adjourned.