U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the names of individuals who will hold senior staff positions in Washington, D.C. Dr. Dionne Toombs will serve as Acting Director of NIFA. With over a decade of USDA service, Dr. Toombs has significantly contributed to USDA’s agricultural research, education and Extension services while serving in various leadership roles. Most recently, she was Director of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS). 

Acting Director of NIFA Dr. Dionne Toombs

Call for Comments: Preliminary Observations on Collaboration in the Land-grant System

You are invited to comment on the topic of “Collaboration in the Land-grant System.” USDA asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to appoint a Blue Ribbon Panel to examine how collaboration among Land-grant Institutions can be more impactful in addressing the nation’s needs for a successful, sustainable food and agricultural system, and to recommend ways those institutions can better capture and share the collective outcomes of their collaborations. The panel has posted online 17 preliminary observations about the current state of collaboration, and is seeking feedback from stakeholders that it will use to inform the planning of a virtual workshop, and ultimately, a consensus report to USDA and Congress. You can find a link to the reference document containing the preliminary observations in the online comment form, which also contains a link to the project website with more information about the panel and a place to subscribe to project updates. Please send comments by Friday, May 6.    

Call for Comments: Proposed Scientific Questions to Inform the Development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030

As the first step in the development process of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030 (Dietary Guidelines), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and USDA are releasing proposed scientific questions for public comment. The public comment period will be open for 30 days starting April 15 through May 16 at 11:59 PM EDT. HHS and USDA are committed to transparency and providing opportunities for public participation during this five-step process leading up to the release of the Dietary Guidelines in 2025.

Feedback Needed for Connecting with Colleagues 2022

We Need Your Feedback - Connecting with Colleagues Survey for 2022
We want to hear from you!!! NEAFCS Connecting with Colleagues would like your input on topics that are important to you. Please take this short survey and let your voice be heard. Deadline to complete survey is February 28, 2022.

Take this quick survey now at:

2022 NEAFCS Leadership Experience

Calling all leaders, influencers and agents of change--Join us for the 2022 NEAFCS Leadership Experience!

The NEAFCS Leadership and Mentoring Committee will begin accepting applications for the class of 2022 TODAY February 1st.
What do mentees get out of this experience?
-Learn from some of the best in the business
-Get to know your leadership style
-Connect with colleagues across the nation
-Participate in meaningful personal and professional development opportunities
What do mentors get out of this experience?
-Share your infinite wisdom across the nation
-Fine tune your leadership style
-Create meaningful connections with future leaders
Learn more about the Leadership Experience or apply today:

National Partnership for Recruiting, Preparing and Supporting FCS Educators

From our Friends at National Partnership for Recruiting, Preparing and Supporting FCS Educators

We Want to Feature You in the Say Yes to FCS Spotlight!

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Amy Ressler Survey Responses Needed

Your fellow member needs your help! Amy Ressler (TX) writes:
Hi, Friends! My name is Amy Ressler. I am working on a doctorate degree in Leadership Studies from Our Lady of the Lake University (San Antonio/Houston, Texas). I have worked for Extension for over 28 years (I know, it’s kind of late to be working on another degree... but I felt a calling). Throughout my tenure, I’ve met some really amazing people from across the country in Extension with true hearts for service. I started to wonder if there is a connection between Servant Leadership Style and Job Satisfaction for people who work for Extension. That’s why I am doing this research!
It will take about 15 - 20 minutes to complete this survey. Other than a few of the demographic questions that require short text responses, most of the questions are multiple choice asking either how much you agree with a statement or how well a word describes how you perceive aspects of your job. As you will learn next in the “informed consent” section, this survey is completely anonymous; no responses will be tied to any individual respondent.
I want you to answer the questions as honestly as possible with your gut reactions, rather than how you think you "should" answer. As mentioned, there is no way anyone one will know how any one individual answered any of the questions.
Ultimately, I hope taking this survey will inspire you to consider your ideal leadership style; to learn more about servant leadership; and to consider how leadership contributes to your job satisfaction; in both how you lead and how you are led.
Thank you for your time in taking this survey! I really appreciate it!
From my servant heart to yours,

2021 December Tornado Activity Impacts NEAFCS Members

Recent tornado activity has directly affected our members. We are gathering information and will share it with you here, and via email, as we receive it. We invite you to share widely and contribute as you choose.
So far, we have heard from Kentucky:

Our Western Kentucky Research and Education Center is a total loss and some of our extension offices have endured some damage and several of our people have lost their homes.

We are collecting Backpacks and Toys through our McCracken County Extension Center. Monetary donations are being collected via Paypal @MCCErelief and Venmo @MCCErelief. 

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AgriLife Extension represents on national family and consumer sciences board

AgriLife Extension represents on national family and consumer sciences board

Texas provided three of 13 executive board members, including president

See the article here:

Help Us Prepare for #NEAFCS2022!

North Carolina is excited to host the next NEAFCS Annual Conference! We want to make sure that your time in NC is fruitful, fun and educational. To help us plan an exciting, pre-conference, please complete the brief survey below by January 3, 2022. If you have questions, please contact Carmen Long at [email protected].

Survey link:

2022 NEAFCS Awards Program

Good morning, NEAFCS Family! I'm excited to share with you that the 2022 Awards Program guidance documents are now available on the website:

Remember: To be eligible, your National dues must make it to our office by December 31st. So make sure you speak to your state Affiliate Treasurer if you have any questions or concerns about your membership dues.

The Guidance Documents consist of the 2022 Awards Manual and the Awards-at-a-Glance document. The Manual is your one stop guide to all of the awards, criteria, and judging criteria. It lets you know what you have to do to be eligible and should answer any question you have. However! If you find you do have any questions, please reach out to our new VP for Awards & Recognition, Samantha Kennedy! You can also send us an email at National at [email protected].

Remember, the National deadline for awards submission is March 15th. HOWEVER! Your affiliate will have a different due date. Make sure you talk to your Affiliate VP for Awards & Recognition to ensure you have the right dates and information for state level submission.

Invitation to Help Identify Regional and National Priorities for Rural Economic Development

Invitation to Help Identify Regional and National Priorities for Rural Economic Development
Dear Colleagues:
The four Regional Rural Development Centers are leading an effort to identify the issues various rural stakeholders see as top priorities for economic and workforce development. We invite you to participate in this effort by completing an online survey to share more about the challenges and opportunities you see for investing in Rural America. Responses must be submitted no later than October 6th, 2021.
Responses to the survey will be used to formulate a public report, identifying both regional and national priorities. This report will help guide the work of the four RRDCs and will be shared with USDA NIFA and other federal partners as stakeholder feedback. Results of the survey will also be the basis for listening sessions - convenings of selected stakeholders with facilitated dialogue that deepens our understanding of the priorities identified.
Completing the survey takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Its questions allow you to identify what you view as the most important issues for rural communities, rate the capacity of your organization to engage in these areas, offer comments on challenges and opportunities, provide feedback on the kinds of activities and programming you value, and share more about your background. We are inviting a broad range of rural stakeholders who have professional roles supporting the development of rural economies, communities, businesses, and workers.
Your participation in the survey is voluntary and you may choose not to participate and may elect at any time to exit it without providing further responses. We do not collect any personally identifiable information tied to your responses to the questions, but in a separate area you may request to receive a notice when the public report is available. No compensation is offered for participating in the survey.
Before beginning the survey, you will be provided with information so you can make an informed choice to participate. Your voice is important in understanding how we and our partners can invest in building Rural America. To complete the survey, visit:
Regional Rural Development Center National Team
Note: This study has been reviewed by Mississippi State University’s HRPP/IRB and has been granted this Exemption Determination, per MSU IRB study number IRB-21-366, and by Penn State University’s HRPP/IRB per PSU IRB study STUDY00018654.

NEAFCS Members in the News - LaToya O’Neal (FL)

NEAFCS Member LaToya O’Neal (FL) was recently featured in the news from Madison County!

Guest commentary: UF/IFAS scientist devoted to rural health 

LaToya O’Neal cares about your community in part because she’s from a place that’s like it. She knows that although the Department of Health has COVID-19 vaccines, they’re not available 24/7 or within a few minutes’ distance and that you may have questions before deciding what’s best for you and your family.

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Don't Miss Mondays - August 30, 2021

Happy Monday! Another episode of "Don't Miss Mondays" is now available. This week, conference planner Elizabeth Lane talks to us about how you can help us with the planning of the Annual Session.


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Webinar: Diagnosing Online Local Visibility Problems

Diagnosing Online Local Visibility Problems

Thursday, September 16, 2021
2:30 PM Eastern (time converter)

Webinar Overview/Objectives:
Are people able to find you and your programs using THEIR search terms on Google? Do you and your programs show up at the top of the search results or miles below the other search results? Increasing local audiences requires a broad net. No matter what they are looking for or where they search, they need to find your programs and services so they can judge whether you are worth contacting. Join me for an eye-opening look into what your local visibility across websites and social media really looks like. During this interactive presentation you will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into what your audience finds when trying to locate educational services and programs. After you perform a quick self-audit, I will explain technical terms like search engine optimization, social media marketing, and more. Then, I will provide you with a Marketing Prescription that will outline steps for dramatic visibility improvement!

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Don't Lose Out on the AHA Grant!

Healthy For Life® Grant Submission Deadline - August 20th
Grant Reviewer Request Deadline - August 20th

The NEAFCS is excited to announce a grant opportunity supporting the Healthy for Life® community nutrition program, an initiative led by Aramark and the American Heart Association (AHA).  The Healthy for Life® evidence-based nutrition education experiences are supported by American Heart Association science and developed by food and nutrition experts. 

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Don't Miss Mondays - August 9 2021

Don't Miss Mondays - August 2 2021

It's Monday and that means a new episode of "Don't Miss Mondays". This week, we discuss the Silent Auction.
93 days until Annual Session! Have you registered?
New this year: Make a donation to the Silent Auction and receive a special digital badge to display.
Annual Session Information & Registration -
Silent Auction Information -

Don't Miss Mondays - July 26, 2021

Don't Miss Mondays! A new episode is ready for you. We highlight the latest webinar, connecting with colleagues, and the American Heart Association grant. Watch now at

#dontmissmondays #neafcs2021 #grant

Connecting with Colleagues - Working with Underserved Audiences

Working with Underserved Audiences - July 2021

 Click the image below to watch the recording!
(or copy and paste this link:

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