Program Leadership Committee
Conference Call
April 19, 2007

Nina Boston, PLC Chair, Information Technology, University of Arkansas
Mike Bratcher, Information Technology, North Carolina A&T State University
Gae Broadwater, Community Development, Kentucky State University
Paul Coreil, ASRED Advisor, Louisiana State University
Nelson Daniels, PLC Chair-Elect, Ag and Natural Resources, Prairie View A&M University
Frankie Gould, Communications, Louisiana State University
Beverly Howell, Family and Consumer Sciences, Mississippi State University
Paul Mask, Ag and Natural Resources, Auburn University
Gloria Mosby, Communications, Prairie View A&M University
Jon Ort, ASRED Appointee, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
Mitch Owen, Program & Staff Dev., North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
Thelma Sanders-Hunter, PLC Chair, Family & Consumer Sciences, Tennessee State University
Joe Schaefer, Middle Management, University of Florida
Ellen Smoak, Middle Managers, North Carolina A&T University

Ron Brown, ASRED
Kathy Ibendahl, SRDC
L. Washington Lyons, AEA

Gina Eubanks, AEA Advisor, Southern University Cooperative Extension
Ray McKinnie, AEA Appointee, North Carolina A&T State University
Lamar Nichols, 4-H Youth Development, Auburn University
Dorothy Wilson, 4-H Youth Development, FCS, CRD, Langston University
Tony Windham, Community Development, University of Arkansas


Welcome and Roll Call

Kathy Ibendahl listed those present and Nina Boston, PLC Chair, welcomed the committee. There were no changes or additions to the agenda.

Advisors' Report

Paul Coreil said the upcoming PILD conference is critical because so much is going on with CREATE 21. Most directors have met with their teams. The bill has been introduced. Visits on the hill have been timely. Everyone will be briefing their legislative contacts and others to gain support for both formula and competitive funds in the Farm Bill.

eXtension - The national Extension directors and administrators meeting was held recently in Maryland. A vote was held for continuing the support for three more years and it passed by 92%. Dr. Coreil said there is excitement about the Communities of Practice and 22 to 23 will be on line next year. Several have been released to the public already. He asked for our support the various Communities of Practice and frequently asked questions. This is an important time for us in Extension.

ASRED will hold a fly-in meeting in Atlanta in June to focus on Extension programming in renewable fuels. Support from all institutions has been good and everyone is working well together on many renewable fuel initiatives throughout the south.

Jon Ort reported that AEA, ASRED and the Experiment Station directors and administrators held a joint meeting in Lexington Kentucky, April 2 - 4. This group meets jointly every other year. Jim Fisher from Energy gave a session and Dan Kugler gave an update from CSREES and the reorganization. Gail Buchanan is traveling to over 30 universities across the east to speak to university deans and administrators about his proposal to join CSREES and ARS. Jim Richards of Cornerstone gave a presentation at this meeting as well. There are 326 people registered for PILD next week. Of these, 140 are volunteers who will represent the states. The ECOP executive committee meeting was held this week. They talked about the importance of these meetings (such as PILD) to advocate CREATE 21

Fran Wolak is now the chair of ASRED and its past chair, Paul Coreil, was elected to take Jon Ort's place and chair ECOP in 2008. Dr. Ort congratulated Dr. Coreil.

Ron Brown said the southern Experiment Station and Extension directors are conducting a survey on energy expertise in the region in order to build capacity in that area. They are prepared to do considerable work in that area. Some states have received funding for energy research and programming. We in the South need to be prepared for these opportunities.

The Cooperative Extension system developed a priorities task force at the national Extension directors and administrators' meeting in February. The task force has developed some initial statements from input received thus far and will distribute a survey to program leaders, directors, and administrators.

Ron Brown reported on the directors' visits to constituent groups. Southern directors have been making visits to national agriculture resource organizations and commodity groups throughout the country. These were divided among the directors and one person typically leads these visits. In these meetings, they talk about the changes Extension has made in response to technological advances and the changing climate and how it continues to be more responsive to programming needs. These visits have been very well received.

Paul Coreil headed the visit to USA Rice. Visits were made with the American Farm Bureau Federation, the wheat growers, and the Cattlemens Association to name a few. The directors are going to try to do make visits every so often to see what needs these groups have and discuss how Extension can address those needs. New information was received from the Rice people. These visits have been worthwhile. They will continue for the next few years.

Paul Coriel is returning from the 21st Century Families: From Research to Reality conference in Little Rock, AR. It was extremely well done and he complimented the groups. He was proud to see what is being done in Little Rock.

L. Washington Lyons - CREATE 21 and the Farm Bill committee met yesterday via a conference call. They are trying to get the language introduced in the House. There is still some push back from ARS regarding the reorganization. Secretary Buchanan will be meeting with the ARS labs as this visits universities to get their buy-in to the reorganization as well. There is a lot of concern from ARS regarding the reorganization and CREATE 21.

AEA will be meeting in Memphis May 29 - 31, 2007. There they will examine where they are as an 1890 system and chart a new course if needed. All administrators and associate administrators will meet together during this three-day retreat. Bo Beaulieu will be working with them regarding demographic information to use in planning.

Southern University and Ag. Center will host AEA's summer meeting June 25 - 29. AEA will be meeting with their research counterparts and program teams to develop programmatic goals.

EFNEP funds were distributed a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Lyons thanked everyone for their support to help the 1890s become equitable players. The $100,000 distributed will go a long ways to make that happen. He thanked everyone for their input. AEA continues to work on EFNEP language to go in the Farm Bill to make this funding permanent. They want these funds to come from the larger pool and not from the EFNEP funds already set aside for the region.


Committee Reports

ANR Paul Mask said ANR had nothing to report at this time.

COMM Gloria Mosby said her committee held a conference call about a week ago. They talked about the work they are doing with the CECP modules and about CECP merging into eXtension. The copyright module is complete and online. Others are in the works. Committee members talked about items they will be discussing at the August meeting.

Frankie Gould reported on the ECOP Marketing Task Force. They are developing a survey that will go to Extension directors, administrators and communication heads regarding the important traits and challenges, how they rank their communications and marketing efforts within their states, and their budgets. There are about ten questions. The survey will be collected and reported at the ECOP meeting at the end of July. In addition, PILD was discussed. Communications is seeking a marketing firm to do a national survey with clients and stakeholders. The results will be shared within the next two years.

Communications is working on an impact document that will be published later this year.

CRD Gae Broadwater and the CRD committee members are currently at the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) meeting in Philadelphia, PA. CRD held a conference call in January that focused on the work that will take place at NACDEP. The eXtension Entrepreneurship Community of Practice is being soft-launched. One of the CECP modules is awaiting a reviewer to respond and then will be complete and ready to go online.

FCS Beverly Howell is at the 21 st Century Family Conference. About 350 people are present from all over the nation. The meeting is held every three years and will be in Louisiana next time and in Mississippi after that. During the last FCS quarterly conference call, the committee discussed progress being made and the receipt of the EFNEP funds and how they will be used. They are hoping there will be additional monies available.

State leaders reported on their programs. Nada Torres in Florida is working on a diabetes program and received funding through the state. Others are working on food safety and nutrition. They are forging ahead despite budget decreases.

Beverly announced that Lynn Russell (retired, AR) was recently hospitalized. NOTE: On April 20, Nina forwarded an e-mail announcement that Lynn died on 4/19.

Thelma Sanders-Hunter reported on FCS-related eXtension and CoP projects. The Rural Family Caregivers CoP is working on frequently asked questions. They are forming committees to get the FAQs fully launched. Georgia is looking to hire five additional staff.

In Tennessee, they are plugging along with EFNEP and looking at funds to see if additional staff is needed.

4-H No representatives were available to give a report.

IT Nina Boston reported on the IT meeting last week using Breeze provided by Iowa State. Their committee recently lost three members. Jamie Profit (KY) was replaced by Richard Phelps. Kappie Humphries (IT chair) is going back to the private sector. Tim Mack from VT accepted a job in Georgia. Hopefully Tim will help IT get participation from Georgia. Jenelle Sergent agreed to take the role of chair for the remaining of this year and next. IT will elect two new officers in August.

Status of CECP. Larry Lipke distributed a survey about learning management systems and IT has taken the results and pulled out the 10-15 highest rated functions and crossed reference the answers. What everyone wants is the same with or without experience. They are looking at a learning management product called Moodle. Texas A&M has a center for distance learning research and they have experience working with Moodle. IT hopes to have the details in place by August and Larry will give us an update when he gives his CECP report during our August meeting. They are pleased with the progress made in such a short time.

MM Joe Schaefer said they just returned from an excellent training conference in Vermont. The facilities and field trips were tremendous. Ed Jones talked about disaster preparedness and recovery. Other topics were leadership and development and the new generation worker.

A legal update by Virginia Cooperative Extension gave them insights and issues. There were several other excellent sessions. Middle Management is preparing for PLN and will have a conference call in the next couple of weeks.

Ellen Smoat added her praise of the wonderful conference.

PSD Mitch Owen reported on PSD's recent conference call. They are working on several CECP modules. One is in peer review at this point. They hope it will be complete by our meeting this summer. The other four are almost ready for review. PSD is looking at the week of Oct. 22nd for a SEAL conference and a PSD conference that will be fitted together. They are trying to determine if it should be integrated or held as back-to-back meetings. The location has yet to be announced.

August Joint Meeting Preparations

Nina gave an overview of how preparations are coming. We have been having difficulty getting Representative Artur Davis' office to respond to us concerning his availability. We are hoping he will be available to be our keynote. Also, we are trying to put together a panel of foundation representatives to speak to innovating funding opportunities. We have approached Kellogg and the Annie Casey Foundation and have not had much success. Cheryl Lloyd at North Carolina has been referred to an individual in the Louisville Community Foundation, said Mitch Owen.

Kathy Ibendahl gave a brief update on the meeting preparations. The meeting website and registration system will open in the next month or so. She will distribute an e-mail to all the listservs when it is up and running.

If any of your committees want Nina to put together an online state report survey like she did last year, please let her know. Nina will send an e-mail to the group to remind them to respond.

Nelson Daniels asked Kathy to see if his correct e-mail is listed on the PLC listserv.

Submitted by Kathy Ibendahl, SRDC