Debbie Archer, Communications, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
Nina Boston, Information Technology, University of Arkansas
Paul Coreil, ASRED Advisor, Louisiana State University
Nelson Daniels, PLC Chair, Ag and Natural Resources, Prairie View A&M University
Gina Eubanks, AEA Advisor, Southern University Cooperative Extension
Frankie Gould, Communications, Louisiana State University
Shirley Hastings, Vice-Chair, Family and Consumer Science
Paul Mask, Ag and Natural Resources, Auburn University
Lamar Nichols, 4-H Youth Development, Auburn University
Mitch Owen, Program & Staff Dev., North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
Thelma Sanders-Hunter, PLC Chair, Family & Consumer Sciences, Tennessee State University
Gaines Smith, ASRED Representative, Auburn University
Ellen Smoak, Middle Managers, North Carolina A&T University
Dorothy Wilson, 4-H Youth Development, FCS, CRD, Langston University
Bill Woodrum, Community Development, West Virginia State University
L. Washington Lyons, AEA
Rachel Welborn, SRDC
PLC Members and Ex-Officio Absent:
Ron Brown, ASRED
Ray McKinnie, AEA Representative, North Carolina A&T State University
Chris Rogers, Information Technology, Southern University Research and Extension Center
Joe Schaefer, Middle Management, University of Florida
Tony Windham, Community Development, University of Arkansas
Alan Barefield, Associate Director, SRDC
Nelson Daniels welcomed everyone and thanked them for being patient as they waited for him to arrive. His flight experienced delays. Minutes of the October 18th conference call were reviewed. Nina Boston moved that the minutes be approved as written. Dorothy Wilson seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Nelson asked everyone to review the agenda for changes or additions. Nina asked that we take time for Kathy to make an announcement before we adjourn.
After a brief discussion, many in the group decided to meet at 6 p.m. to go to Joe’s on Sullivan for dinner. Kathy arranged a shuttle to drive them to the restaurant.
Updates From ASRED
Paul Coriel told the group that Ron Brown is ill, but sends his regards.
The ASRED chair position changed at NASULGC in New York last month. Larry Arrington has accepted this position. Ron will continue as Executive Director.
ECOP met during this meeting. Paul Coriel is chair-elect. Gina Eubanks is another member. There was quite a bit of discussion about the structure and leadership for management. Current chair, Elbert Dickey, has a committee exploring effective models. They like the way the North Central region has a regional executive director who is involved in the national ECOP management. Dickey’s subcommittee is looking at how that could be modeled in ECOP. There is not a strong organizational leadership in all regions like we have in the South. The next ECOP meeting will be held in San Diego.
The national launch of eXtension will take place in February at the Ag Outlook conference. Paul is the outgoing chair of the governing committee. The new chair will be Dalton McAfee and he will begin his new role January 1st. The national launch will be a major breakthrough to show what eXtension can accomplish. The Frequently Asked Questions have been popular already. Paul complimented the Communities of Practice in the South and their accomplishments. The national launch overlaps with the national directors and administrators meeting in San Diego; therefore, most directors and administrators will not be able to attend the launch. Every state has been asked to set up an event or celebration for the national launch and some will have a live link to the launch. The Secretary of Agriculture will be clicking the button to make it “live.” It will be quite an event.
Gaines Smith said he was selected by ASRED to serve on PLC. A number of years ago, he was on the committee. Congress is working on a continuing resolution for the federal budget). He speculates that next week they will ask for another continuing resolution and it will be 2008 before we have a budget. Right now, we are budgeting federal dollars on good faith.
We were hoping the Farm Bill was going to be a 2007 bill, however, the process is going slow. The House passed their version and the Senate is locked on discussion and debate. There are a large number of amendments--250 to 300 expected to be submitted. The Senate wants just 20 and are determining which ones to include. We hope the Senate will finish before the holiday break with a compromise between House and Senate after the first of the year. The bill deals with our Extension and research programs, conservation programs, and commodities programs, food stamps, etc.
Through Paul Coriel’s early leadership, the southern states are entering into an emergency communication consortium agreement in preparation for future emergencies where communications are disrupted. Five southern states already have or are in the process of obtaining a mobile internet connection unit. All the states that have them would send their unit and staff to the affected states. Alabama is using theirs for their 4-H program. This technology can be used for non-emergency applications as well.
Paul Coriel added that the eXtension governing committee talked about a lot more funding to institutionalize eXtension to a larger Communities of Practice system. There will be discussion on higher levels of funding as part of the launch. They are not seeking Smith-Level funding.
“Capacity” or “Formula Funds” are protected. As he sees it right now, if there are any growth funds in the ‘08 Farm Bill, they will be competitive. We are going to have to get better at going after competitive funds.
Updates From AEA
L. Washington Lyons reinforced that the only new money being proposed is competitive. On Friday, there was a call for action by Cornerstone to get administrators and directors to support the Alexander Amendment to restore $70 million to the Farm Bill for competitive funding. As of right now, that would be the only new money. This would be mandatory money available in the budget.
Last week, each director or executive administrator had an opportunity to meet with the ECOP chair and executive director. Dr. Lyons showed PLC the new publication “Strategic Opportunities for Cooperative Extension.” Each director and administrator had an opportunity to participate in developing this brochure than contains national and regional priorities. Each state can ask for complimentary copies from NASULGC and it is available on their website. He suggested that everyone obtain a copy.
The 1890 administrators met at NASULGC in New York. Dr. Ray McKinnie will continue in his second year of his two-year term. He is unable to be here today as he has another meeting in Washington.
They are planning for an 1890 land-grant conference June 8 – 11, 2008. The main thrust will be integration of programs and emerging issues.
AEA’s winter meeting will take place January 29 – February 1 in DC. The program teams will be joining the administrators two of those days.
The research and Extension administrators are working on an integrated grant workshop to be held March 10 – 11. Although hosted by the 1890s, the workshop will be open to others who wish to attend.
Gina Eubanks had nothing to add.
Paul Coriel said the LSU AgCenter will be hosting ASRED’s spring meeting, April 1 – 2, 2008 in Baton Rouge. He expects the meeting to be very positive. Attendees who want to visit New Orleans can do so since it is not far and there will be Research Station field trip opportunities nearby as well.
Louisiana is hosting a leadership advisory council meeting in May in New Orleans. All program areas will be involved.
Gina Eubanks announced that the 4-H Foundation will be meeting in New Orleans in January. Executive directors of 4-H foundations nation-wide are invited. Bill Woodrum said he plans to attend.
The 2008 Joint Meeting
Nelson summarized the progress that has been made at this point. We have selected a theme along the lines of “promoting wellness and a healthy lifestyle.” He asked if another way of wording it would be more appropriate. Frankie said this theme has some overlap with other topics we considered. For example, changing audiences.
She gave an example of what their Chancellor at LSU is doing to promote a healthy lifestyle. He has issued a challenge involving wellness that includes a daily blog. It has been successful and many have improved their health. The program is getting a lot of public reaction.
Major concerns are 1) not just what are we doing for our clients, but what are we doing for our employees and 2) how do we get people to adopt these best practices? “Application and adoption” should be a part of our program’s emphasis.
How do we make this relevant for all program areas? The speaker needs to connect all our disciplines. We need to teach our folks something new, shake them up, and challenge them to make a change of some sort. Mitch Owen suggested looking within this broad area and choosing one or two things that will affect a change.
Shirley Hastings said she would like to see the program answer questions such as: What are the implications for me and my community? My health? Economics? What can I personally do to improve my health and wellness? What should I do in my program area? What is coming down the road that I need to know?
Mitch told the group about North Carolina State University’s new research center in Kannapolis, NC that encompasses many institutions, disciplines, and cutting edge research and technology in the area of wellness. http://www.northcarolina.edu/content.php/pa/kannapolis.htm. The three major emphases are biotechnology, nutrition and health. The man who envisioned this project is about eighty and is very difficult to obtain for speaking engagements.
Selected Theme: America’s Health Crisis: The Land-Grants’ Role
Dorothy Wilson suggested Dr. James Painter, a professor and department chair of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University who was on the Today Show. He is a dynamic speaker and is doing research in the area of food science. He is able to answer the questions, “what’s in it for me? Will it help me and my clientele to live longer and save on health expenses?” He says we eat more than we think we eat. He can speak to the ten foods that add more years to your life and life to your years and economic costs of obesity.
Mitch mentioned a man at UNC Chapel Hill that does site selections for companies. He spends a lot of time telling communities that many companies just look at demographics and don’t look at the site. They want sites in communities with low obesity rates.
Frankie and Dr. Coriel suggested Chancellor Richardson at LSU as a good opener and a moderator with the speakers and wrap up person. He’s modeling the behavior as an organizational leader and is over both research and Extension.
Dr. Eubanks suggested Dr. Rani Whitfield, “The Hip Hop Doctor.” They’ve worked with him in Louisiana with youth programming. Dr. Whitfield is a family physician in Baton Rouge. His educational programs target prisoners and youth. www.h2doc.com
Dr. Thearon McKinney at NC State is good friends with the assistant surgeon general, Dr. Donald Weaver. He was a luncheon speaker at a recent meeting several of the group attended. He is a dynamic speaker and said that the number one children’s health issue is oral health. Mitch Owen will get in touch with Dr. McKinney to see if we can reach Dr. Weaver.
Frank Stit is a celebrity chef in Birmingham who promotes the use of locally-produced foods. He is an interesting person and has had a huge impact in the South’s trendy restaurants. He could talk about his philosophy.
Andy Core, an exercise physiologist, is one of Northwest Arkansas’ most popular physical health and nutrition experts. He is a dynamic and energetic speaker. Andy Core.com.
Several had heard a gentleman from the Center for Disease Control speak and he was dynamic. Frankie is going to look to see who that was.
Dr. Eubanks suggested having a panel rather than a keynote speaker. Then the members could go to the committee meetings for in-depth discussion.
The group discussed a variety of formats and topics for the first day’s general session. There was concern about how this topic would apply to all program areas—especially agriculture and natural resources. Several shared ideas about how biotechnology and organic foods, for instance, ties in with agriculture. The work being done at Kannapolis in biotechnology relates ag. to wellness and healthy living. If we could get someone from Kannapolis, they could explain the vision of relating it to ag. and other disciplines.
The committee agreed that we need to keep the program simple with fewer speakers rather than to pack many speakers into the morning. Nina reminded the group that last year’s meeting evaluations indicated that folks want a shorter general session.
After much discussion, the Committee decided on the following general session program format:
America’s Health Crisis: The Land-Grants’ Role
8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Welcome from PLC Chair and others. Housekeeping items and announcements.
8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Keynote Speaker.
We will try to get Dr. Donald Weaver, Assistant Surgeon General This person will set the stage and explain why this is a national crisis.
9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Break
9:45 a.m. - ? Two more presentations (These could cover different topics)
? – 11:30 a.m. ? Chancellor Richardson (LSU) would wrap up the morning and tie it all together from the land-grant perspective. He will show the commitment of an administrator.
Approx. 11:30 a.m. Lunch
Then, perhaps we could have opportunities throughout the meeting to relate what we’ve learned to the role of Cooperative Extension.
Paul Coriel asked that we tape the keynoter and capture most of the general session for our other specialists and faculty.
Shirley Hastings moved that we go with this program plan and Frankie Gould seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Other Theme-Related Meeting Ideas:
Bill Woodrum suggested a challenge for the group that would require weigh in this year and weigh in again next year.
Shirley said that we could open up an online reporting wellness program for our folks to follow.
Lamar suggested continuing and improving upon healthy menus during the meeting.
Ellen and Kathy said there is a large mall next door to the hotel in Greensboro. Ellen said they have organized mall walks in the mornings. Perhaps we could advertise this to our attendees.
Additional Meeting Discussion:
Kathy suggested planning the meeting a year in advance in order to obtain the speakers we need. Most popular speakers will have their calendars full or almost full for August by now. For instance, we should be planning the 2009 meeting now and working on the final touches for the 2008 meeting.
If we left our August meeting in Greensboro with topics and speakers in mind for 2009 using this format, we could meet in December and put the finishing touches on the meeting at that time.
Reminder: The 2008 meeting will be held August 25 – 29, 2008 at the Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons. The meeting rooms are in the Koury Convention Center. Monday, August 25th would be the pre-meeting day with the general session on Tuesday, August 26th. PLN would adjourn at noon on Thursday, August 28th and AEA and ASRED would adjourn at noon on Friday, August 29th.
Nelson asked everyone to introduce themselves since we did not do that earlier.
Rachel Welborn announced that she is leaving the Southern Rural Development Center effective Friday, February 1, 2008. She has thoroughly enjoyed working with PLN, AEA, and ASRED. She thanked everyone for allowing her to serve these organizations and plan the annual meeting. This has been a highlight of her work with the Center. She is taking her meeting planning experience going to work for HelmsBriscoe, a company that helps meeting planners find meeting sites at no charge. Perhaps she will have an opportunity to help some of the program leaders and administrators locate and set up future meeting sites.
The meeting adjourned at 4:55 p.m.