Download a PDF of the full newsletter by clicking here.


January 2024

Important Dates

NEAFCS 2024 Annual Session Call for Proposals & Reviewer Sign-Up Deadline
January 31, 2024

NEAFCS Webinar: Reviewing Proposals: What You Need to Know (reviewer session)
January 31, 2024 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Life Member Winter Get-Together
February 1, 2024 @ 3:00pm EST
Zoom in linked to the title. No registration required!

NEAFCS Impact Statement Reports Due
February 1, 2024

2024 JCEP Extension Leadership Conference
February 14-15, 2024
Tampa, FL

NEAFCS Webinar: 1890 Institutions
February 29, 2024 @ 3:00 PM Eastern

NEAFCS Leadership Experience Application
Opens: January 15, 2024
Closes: March 1, 2024

NEAFCS 2024 Awards Deadline
March 15, 2024

2024 JCEP Public Issues Leadership Development Conference
April 15-16, 2024
Arlington, VA

2024 Annual Session
September 16-19, 2024 - Tucson, Arizona

2025 Annual Session
October 20-23, 2025 - Grand Rapids, Michigan

NEAFCS Member Feedback Request!

Please help members of the NEAFCS Awards Sponsorship & Support Committee by completing this short survey. Your feedback will help shape fundraising ideas for 2024! Click here to complete survey.


Have Member News to share? Fill out the online form: 



President's Message: Let's Strategize!
Rick Griffiths (NM), NEAFCS President

Happy New Year! Like many of you I've been spending some time reflecting on the events of 2023 and what lies ahead in 2024. Personally, I feel very optimistic about what lies ahead in 2024. As an Association we have a lot going on this time of year. As many of you know award season is in full swing with many states’ deadlines coming up in the next few weeks. I would highly encourage you to consider submitting the great work that you do for Awards at the state, regional and national level. Check with your State Awards and Recognition Vice President for your state’s due date. Call for proposals is also open for our 2024 Annual Session in Tucson AZ, the due date for proposal submissions is January 31st. Additionally, this spring will be collecting proposals for the NEAFCS Endowment, as well as applications to serve on the National Board. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these opportunities to be involved in our association. Read More:

What YOU Need to Know NOW in NEAFCS!
National Office Staff

This feature of the newsletter highlights current reminders of member benefits, programs, and approaching deadlines to keep you in the know.  

JCEP 2024 Extension Leadership Conference is February 14-15, 2024. Take a look at these videos from Attendees explaining what JCEP has meant to them! https://www.jcep.org/elc


                                                                       Email Rick at [email protected].

2024 Election: Calling for Nominations and Applications! 
Julie Garden-Robinson (ND), Immediate Past President and Nominating Committee Chair

As chair of the National Nominating Committee, I am excited to announce the officer openings to be elected at our 2024 conference in Tucson, AZ. Applications are due to me by email ([email protected]) by May 1 for these positions:

Read More:

Introducing the 2024 NEAFCS Annual Session Arizona Affiliate Subcommittees
Debbie Curley (AZ) and Rosie Stewart (AZ), Annual Session Affiliate Liaisons

The Arizona Affiliate is looking forward to hosting the 2024 NEAFCS Annual Session in Tucson, AZ from September 16-19, 2024 at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa. The Affiliate Liaisons and Subcommittees are working diligently to bring you an unforgettable, engaging, and fun Annual Session. We have great things in store and more information will be shared in the coming months.

Introducing the team that is assisting the National Annual Session Planning Committee. Read More:

Eastern Region Updates
Jesse Ketterman (MD), Eastern Region Director

As with most states, December was busy in the Eastern Region with winter meetings and elections of new officers. New officers bring new ideas with many indicating a goal of increasing membership in 2024. As Eastern Region Director, I am also serving on the planning committee for ELC 2024 in Tampa, FL. I look forward to seeing any members attending the conference. It is also worth noting the highlight for the region in 2023, hosting the Annual Session. It is hard to believe but we are in the early stages of looking for a host for the 2027 Annual Session. Read More:


Extension Professionals Can Help Make MyPlate a Household Name
Dr. Caree Cotwright, Director of Nutrition Security an Health Equity, USDA

Streaming entertainment services. Social media. Smartphones and smart homes. Society today is more diverse and dynamic than ever, and not surprisingly, many elements of our daily lives–even the foods we eat–are customizable for our personal preferences, budgets, and dietary needs. MyPlate offers customizable resources and tools to fit your lifestyle and preferences without sacrificing traditions and favorite family recipes.

It’s the simple way to make healthy eating choices at every stage of life, from infancy to older adulthood. The MyPlate symbol colorfully represents the concept of healthy eating patterns as a memorable snapshot that even children can understand. Read More:

Check Out the First Hot Topic Exploring AI and Opportunities in Family and Consumer Sciences
Marcia Parcell (IN), VP Professional Development

Do you need to gain an understanding of artificial intelligence?  Are you using AI already that you take for granted?  Do you know that AI started in the 1950s?  Brock Turner and Mandy Gary, Health and Human Science Educators from Purdue Extension, presented the first hot topic on AI.  They did a great job of building your understanding of AI as well as sharing AI programs or applications that they use to save time in their roles as HHS educators or as parents. Read More:

Unlock Career Growth Through NEAFCS Webinars and Forums
Michelle Wright (TX), Appointed VP Member Resources

In today's fast-paced professional landscape, leveraging every available resource is crucial. When you join NEAFCS, we embrace doing some of the heavy lifting to ensure that professional development is always at your fingertips.

This month’s article explores the significance of embracing member benefits, with a special emphasis on our NEAFCS webinars and forums. We would like to encourage every member to participate in the multitude of webinars and forums offered through NEAFCS. Read More:

Timely Topics and Great Opportunities for National Education and Service
Lauren Weatherford (WV), Professional Development Webinar Committee Member

We hope you will consider joining us on the Professional Development: Webinar Committee. This committee provides innovative, relevant professional development opportunities via online webinars for NEAFCS members. We solicit webinar session proposals, review proposals using NEAFCS online submission systems, select presentations for online presentation and market upcoming webinars. This is a terrific opportunity to provide national service with a real educational impact. The Committee Sign up form can be found on the NEAFCS website under Member Resources – Join a Committee!

Read More:

Helpful Resources for Applying for Awards
Tristin Bolton (AK), Awards & Recognition-Training Committee Member

As we look forward to the upcoming year, it is important that we reflect on the work we completed. I hope while you are reflecting, you smile as you remember the valuable work you have done.

I am a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel and using your work in more than one way. Many, if not all, have had to complete a program review for the year. What were you most proud of? Let that be the start of your award application. Read More:

My Endowment Funds: Support NEAFCS!
Karen Ensle (NJ), Endowment Committee Chair

NEAFCS endowment funds are investment funds established for the purpose of supporting our professional organization.  Typically funded through your donations, they are normally structured in a way that ensures the fund’s initial capital remains intact.  Having the endowment fund allows NEAFCS organizational stability, shows our FCS colleagues that we have credibility and stability within the Extension system.  NEAFCS is here for the long haul and these funds will help to sustain the life of our beloved organization, through good and unstable times. Read More:

Using the Word "Guys"
Cindy Thompson (IA), Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Member

It’s a new calendar year! The start of a new year brings with it an opportunity for reflection on the past and ways we can do better moving forward. The use of the word “guys” is an opportunity for reflection, and we can certainly do better with how we use the word.

Some may argue the word “guy” is gender neutral, as in “Alright guys, let’s look at the first handout” when speaking to a gender-mixed audience. The Merriam-Webster dictionary even defines guy as “man, fellow” and the plural use of guy as “the members of a group regardless of sex.” And yet, would we consider saying “Alright, gals, let’s look at the first handout” for a gender-mixed audience? Would that feel inclusive? Read More:

Association Advisors
Chris Kniep (WI), Historian

The history of NEAFCS includes a group of Family and Consumer Sciences professionals that served in an advisory role for the organization.  In fact, Miss Grace Frysinger, Washington D.C. Home Economist of the central states worked with Miss Clara Brain, home advisor in McLean County Illinois to organize the first meetings of our association.  During the first fifty years members of the Advisory Council included representatives from USDA, Regional program administrators and State Program Leaders.  You’ll recognize some of the names from our awards program: Florence Hall, Don Felker and Grace Frysinger. Read More:

Healthy for Life® Community Nutrition Grant Opportunity
Heather Garvas, MPH, RDN, American Heart Association

The American Heart Association and Aramark launched Healthy for Life®, an innovative health impact

 initiative, in 2015. The commitment: work together to leverage our combined reach and resources to help millions lead healthier lives. Through our collaboration, we developed a community nutrition program that empowers people to make healthy food, nutrition and lifestyle choices.


As a critical partner providing nutrition education in under-resourced communities, we would like to offer Cooperative Extension agencies a unique grant opportunity. The primary goal is to further support the provision of quality nutrition education. It may also facilitate relationships with healthcare and public health organizations, which has been noted as important in the 2021 Cooperative Extension Framework for Health Equity and Well-being. Read More:


Additional News & Opportunities for NEAFCS Members 


Future issues of the NEAFCS Network will include recognition of members who have passed. If you would like to report the death of a NEAFCS member, please click here.  


Healthy for Life® Community Nutrition Grant Opportunity