eNEAFCS-September 2017 PDF Print

September 2017

Table of Contents

President’s Message

Meet Dr. Aida Balsano: USDA NIFA National Program Leader for Research and Evaluation

Latest Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences Focuses on FCS Extension

PILD Request for Proposals available and 2017 PILD Reflections

Embracing Diversity: A Professional Responsibility

New Investment Strategy To Benefit NEAFCS

The Eastern Region Stands Tall

2017 Annual Session Will Be Here Very Soon!

Prepare for Omaha!

Meet the National Office: How Your National Office is Preparing for Omaha and Much More!

Important Dates

NEAFCS Annual Session Advanced Registration
September 1 - October 2, 2017

JCEP Leadership Conference Request for Proposal
Now through September 15, 2017

AAFCS Conference Request for Proposals 
September 15 - October 16, 2017

NEAFCS First Timers Webinar
September 25, 2017
2:00 PM ET

CACFP Request for Proposals
Now through October 2, 2017

NEAFCS 2017 Annual Session
October, 16-19
Omaha, NE

NEAFCS 2018 Annual Session
September, 24-27
San Antonio, TX

NEAFCS 2019 Annual Session
Sept. 30 - Oct. 3, 2019

View All Events...





NEAFCS Has Moved!

NEAFCS acquired a new management company, Partners in Association Management. Please forward all future requests to their office. Contact information can be found below.


National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Science

325 John Knox Rd. Suite L103
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(850) 205-5638
[email protected]



President's Message
Theresa Mayhew (NY)Terri Mayhew

It’s hard to believe that about one year ago I was sworn in as your President. It’s been an amazing journey. It’s an experience for which I will always be grateful. Serving on the board has been a highlight of my Extension career. I’ve enjoyed meeting and getting to know many of you at Big Sky, the JCEP Leadership Conference in Orlando, the JCEP PILD Conference in DC, the AAFCS Conference & Expo in Dallas and, of course, via the NEAFCS Network e-newsletter. I’ve especially enjoyed hearing from those of you who entered the ear of corn hidden icon contest. In fact, I’m pleased to announce that the first three August finalists were Sherri Cirignano of Rutgers, Jodi Drake of Kansas State and Naomi Bechtold of Purdue (they tied for second), and Ethel Schneweis of Kansas State. There’s one last chance this month for three more finalists. The drawing to see who will be the winner of a free registration to Omaha will take place September 18. If you find where the ear of corn is hidden in this month’s issue, email me at [email protected]

One major thing that happened this past year is that we acquired a new management company -- Partners in Association Management (PIAM) from Tallahassee, FL. Partners has truly been just that -- partners with us and for us. There’s always a learning curve when you start a new job or get a new supervisor. It’s to be expected. What was unexpected with this experience was how invigorating and refreshing it was! For those of you joining us in Omaha next month, you’ll have the pleasure of meeting our dream team – Danielle, Elizabeth and Will – in person. I know many of you have communicated with them via email and phone and we have received great feedback regarding those interactions. Meeting them up close and personal will just reinforce those impressions.

We’re in the final push as we take care of all those last minute details to bring you the best annual session yet! Don't forget your Silent Auction and stuffed animal donations! And then there's the Nebraska Marketplace and President's Charity! I'm meeting with Food Bank for the Heartland staff on October 13 so I can learn more about their operation firsthand. I’m looking forward to a great time in Omaha as we celebrate the culmination of all our hard work this past year! Safe travels to those of you making the trek; don’t forget to bring your NEAFCS membership logo pin with you!

We have some exciting news for those of you who can’t attend Omaha this year – we will be livestreaming our Opening Session on Monday, October 16. It’s a member benefit that we have been discussing for a while now and its coming to fruition this year. Stay tuned for more details on that!  

In closing, I would just like to note that we’re also keeping everyone affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in our hearts, thoughts and prayers! We hope that the spirit of community, resiliency and sheer determination we’ve been hearing about, via traditional and social media reports, continues to help sustain those of you recovering from these unprecedented natural disasters. We have received inquiries about collecting donations for hurricane relief. NEAFCS asks that you contact a reputable charity such as the American Red Cross, UNICEF USA, or other similar organizations. NEAFCS thanks you in advance for your donations to such a worthy cause. 



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Meet Dr. Aida Balsano: USDA NIFA National Program Leader for Research and Evaluation
Caroline E. Crocoll, Ph.D., CFCS, Director, USDA NIFA DFCS, Washington, DC 

Aida Balsano, Ph.D. is the National Program Leader (NPL) for NIFA’s farm safety portfolio and Division of Family & Consumer Sciences’ research and evaluation. She works with administrators, faculty and Extension educators across the Land-Grant University system, as well as with Federal agencies and other partners, to identify existing and emerging research, extension, and evaluation needs, opportunities, and resources in the areas of community vitality and family well-being, in general, and rural health and safety specifically.

As an NPL, Aida leads and manages two competitive farm safety grants programs at NIFA: Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification (YFSEC) and Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities (i.e., AgrAbility). These programs invest in building capacity of Land-Grant universities and Cooperative Extension to provide farm safety education and on-farm technology assistance to individuals seeking employment or already employed in agricultural production. She is the NIFA liaison to multi-state research group on Agricultural Safety and Health Research and Extension.  Aida also provides leadership for the Division’s efforts in the area of FCS research and evaluation and examines gaps and opportunities in program evaluation capacity building within NIFA and across the Land-Grant system. She serves as the NIFA liaison to ESCOP Social Science Sub-Committee, as well as to National Community Resource and Economic Development Indicators Evaluation Team of the Regional Rural Development Centers.

Prior to joining NIFA in 2010, Aida worked as a Vice President for Evaluation and Policy at the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation in Washington, D.C., and as a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University. Aida holds a B.A. in Psychology from Grinnell College, Iowa, and a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Child Development from Tufts University.  

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Latest Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences Focuses on FCS Extension
Terri Mayhew (NY), President

Check out the new issue of the Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, titled FCS Extension:  Addressing Today’s Challenges, Planning for Tomorrow’s (Volume 109, Issue 3).  An entire issue dedicated to Extension FCS programs and research.  Members of AAFCS receive a copy as part of their membership.  Others can obtain a copy for $12.00 by contacting Gwenn Mason at: Gmason @aafcs.org.

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PILD Request for Proposals available and 2017 PILD Reflections
Edited by Glenda Hyde (OR), Vice President Public Affairs 

PILD planning is under way! It will be April 8-11, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Alexandria, VA. The RFP for Oral Presentations will go out by October 1st; check the JCEP webpage, www.jcep.org, for more detailed information. Presentations should focus on the theme, “Cultivating a Climate of Civil Dialogue,” and should highlight productive models of Extension advocacy. The RFP submission deadline is November 15th and selected proposals will be notified in mid-December. 

More 2017 Reflections:

For years, I heard my colleagues talk about attending PILD. I would listen intently; however, I honestly didn’t have a good understanding why this was held or why we sent representatives from our association. A useful part of the conference was the preparation for our visit to Capitol Hill. The training and tips we received on successful interpretation of Extension’s message to our elected officials was invaluable! This experience helped me view the work we do from a completely new perspective. It has re-energized my desire to change lives and make a difference in those I serve.  Denita Young (TX)

The conference theme Relationship, Relevance and Results encompasses the professional development growth that occurred for me. Marshall Stewart reminded us we have a great story to tell and that story needs to be “logical and impactful.” Attending PILD prepared me for the visits to Capitol Hill to tell our compelling story of impact to Kentucky’s elected officials. The experience transformed my outlook, my planned communication with county and state stakeholders and the role I have to share the good news of Kentucky Extension. Melissa Goodman (KY)

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Embracing Diversity: A Professional Responsibility
Gwen Crum (WV), Families and Community Development Agent, Diversity Sub-Committee 

It seems like every time you turn on the television or log on to social media, we are inundated with stories of violence and hatred. It’s easy to turn the channel or scroll past these stories because we believe it doesn’t affect us. We buy into the cliché, “It won’t happen here.” Whether it’s happening in our hometowns or not is irrelevant. As Extension Professionals, our job is to help educate those around us. Whether it’s addressing an injustice in your office, or choosing to not participate in angry rhetoric posted online, we have a professional responsibility to education. Nelson Mandela said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

The world is more diverse than ever. As we humans travel and transplant ourselves across this vast planet, our cultures, religions, and preferences are constantly being challenged. Exposure to and acknowledgment of that diversity is how we find our similarities. Diversity allows us to learn from each other – even if someone looks or acts nothing like us or those around us. Throughout history, education has been the key to overcoming prejudices. In Extension, our job is to educate and help bridging those divides.

I encourage you to think about your day and determine if you are striving to be inclusive in your work. I hope you are not only educating people about ways to improve their lives, but I hope you’re taking the time to listen and learn from them. Do you find yourself working with audiences that challenge your thinking? Are you reaching out to the communities who need your help the most? Has your comfort zone expanded since you began your career? Working within the Extension System has changed me, but I strive to improve daily, and hopefully, that translates into my teaching. 

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New Investment Strategy To Benefit NEAFCS
Nancy Stehulak (OH), Treasurer 

The Investment Committee has been working very hard over the past 18 months to create an investment strategy for NEAFCS funds held in reserve.  At the completion and adoption by the board of the investment strategy, the invested accounts for NEAFCS were reallocated to be in alignment with the adopted strategy, for both the reserve funds and for the endowment funds (two separate investment accounts). 

The board voted in June of 2017 to include a draw from the reserve account in the amount of 3% of income to be added to the 2018 budget.  As well, the board voted to include in the awards budget a 3% draw from the endowment account to be included in the awards budget for awards for 2018 designed by the Endowment Committee.  These draws will be pulled from the investment accounts in the month of November to be placed in the checking account for use in 2018.

Hats off to Theresa Mayhew (NY), Lora Howard (KY), Debbie Mathews (AL),Dianne Gertson (TX), Karen DeZarn (TX), Joan Koonce (GA), Karen Ensle (NJ), Pat Brinkman (OH) , Lyle Hansen (ID,) Nancy Stehulak (OH), and Danielle Jessup (PIAM) for their efforts and strategies to keep NEAFCS on sound financial footing for the future.

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The Eastern Region Stands Tall
Diane Whitten (NY), Eastern Region Director 

Our region will be well represented at the Annual Session in Omaha, NE. Whether you plan to be there or not, you should be proud of our affiliate members who will be representing us. 

First, and most impressive, is the Eastern Region's Theresa (Terri) Mayhew, New York Affiliate, who is our current President of NEAFCS. Terri has shown exceptional leadership throughout her term as our President and has worked tirelessly to keep our organization fiscally sound and a top-notch asset to FCS Extension educators nationally.

We have quite a few members who will be representing our region at Concurrent Sessions, the Showcase of Excellence and presentations of award winning programs. Below are a few you can look for, if you are in Omaha.

Concurrent Session presented by Barbara O'Neill, New Jersey Affiliate, “55 Interactive Activities to Teach Personal Finance”.

National Dining with Diabetes meeting. The Eastern Region's West Virginia Affiliate developed this research based curriculum which has expanded to a national Extension program.

Showcase of Excellence - Marketing Package Award: Rethink Your Drink – presented by multiple members of the West Virginia Affiliate.

Concurrent Session presented by Kathleen Savoie, Maine Affiliate, Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Award, University of Maine Cooperative Extension's Master Food Preserver Program: A Decade of Success!

We plan on keeping the Eastern Region a vital part of NEAFCS, so if you're in Omaha, join me Thursday October 19, 7-8 am, for our first 2019 Annual Session planning meeting. In 2019, the Annual Session will be hosted by the Eastern Region in Hershey, PA.

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2017 Annual Session Will Be Here Very Soon!
Karen DeZarn (TX), Vice President Professional Development 

For those attending the 2017 Annual Session in Omaha (October 16 -19) we will have an exciting time!  If you haven’t registered, there is still time.  Go to www.neafcs.org for all the details. Starting with the pre-conference programs and on to the numerous concurrent and in-depth sessions, there will be a multitude of educational opportunities.  Attending will be your chance to realize the scope that NEAFCS has to offer you.  It’s a great way to get to see our beautiful country and all that Omaha has to offer. From the world famous Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, where our Welcome event will take place, to the Old Market near the Hilton Omaha Conference and Convention Center, this will be an opportunity to get up to speed on the inner workings of NEAFCS including the business meetings, election of officers, and the awards banquet. There’s something for you!  For those attending for the first time, there will also be a first-timer’s webinar on Sept. 25th.   

Conference liaisons, Marilyn Fox, Suzy Brown and Jeanette Friesen, and all of the Nebraska and Central Region committees have done a fabulous job of making this conference a memorable one. Let’s all take advantage of this year’s professional development opportunity.

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Prepare for Omaha!
Ruth Vonderohe (NE), Extension Educator 

Early bird registration is past, but it is not too late to register for a lifetime experience at the NEAFCS annual session in Omaha!

Fall days in Nebraska are amazing. The month of October is characterized by breathtaking foliage and moderate temperatures. The average daily temperatures vary from 58°F to 72°F during the day and rarely drop below 42°F in the evening. The air is crisp and clean with very low humidity. Puffy white clouds and blue, blue skies prevail. Wind is also common in Nebraska so be prepared for a day or two of gusty winds.

Bring warm fall sweaters or jackets for evening walks as well as the cool room temps in the convention meeting rooms. Nebraskan’s tend to dress in business causal for meetings and dining out in the evenings. Wear comfortable shoes for walking tours and traveling from the hotel to the convention center. There will be morning wellness activities, so bring clothes and shoes for one the following activities:

1. Dō-In is "Self-Shiatsu", based on the theory of acupuncture and the flow of life energy in our bodies, to help you relax and focus; the do-in exercises will energize you for a great day. 

2. CATCH morning exercise activities will help you increase moderate to vigorous physical activity and promote gross motor development.

3. Ease yourself into the day with Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese form of exercise using slow rhythmic movements – easy and fun for beginners. Improve balance, strength and flexibility to prevent falls and reduce stress.

Tips before your trip:

  • Check expiration dates on driver’s license, and credit cards.
  • Inform bank/credit cards companies that you’re traveling or they may freeze your card if used from unexpected places.
  • Email yourself a photocopy of your driver’s license, medical cards & itinerary, etc.
  • Don’t forget to pack the medications you may need.
  • On the home front, clean perishables from fridge & kitchen, take out trash!

Just as important as what you pack is how you pack. With that in mind, here are some general packing tips:

  • To avoid last-minute anxiety, make a thorough packing list before traveling.
  • Traveling light is always better than over-packing.
  • Pack mix-and-match clothes to help minimize baggage and yet enjoy variety.
  • Layering is a great way to make a wardrobe more versatile and accommodate changing weather.
  • Place anything that could ruin clothes, such as liquid make-up, shampoo, & toothpaste, into a sealed plastic bag.
  • ALWAYS pack your toiletries, important papers, medicines, valuables, and a change of clothes in your carry-on bag. 
  • Label all luggage both inside and outside with your business name, address, & telephone number and make sure the outside tag is securely fastened to your luggage. Put a copy of your itinerary in your luggage in case the luggage is lost. Tie a bright colored ribbon or piece of yarn onto your luggage to reduce your chances of picking up the wrong bag.

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Meet the National Office: How Your National Office is Preparing for Omaha and Much More!
Danielle Jessup (FL), Executive Director, Partners in Association Management 

Danielle is knees deep in anything and everything you can image!  From assisting with Annual Session planning, to budget preparation, to reviewing policies and procedures and much more. “I can’t believe it has already been 9 months since Partners came onboard. I guess the saying is true, time flies when you are having fun.  I enjoy every moment of working with this group and look forward to meeting a lot of you in Omaha for a great time!”

Elizabeth has been very busy working to plan the upcoming Annual Session. Her role involves every aspect of Annual Session, from working with the hotel on food and room selection, to creating your name badges and everything in between.  “Since this will be my first Annual Session with NEAFCS, I am looking forward to experiencing all that it has to offer, and meeting everyone that has worked so hard to make it a success.  I look forward to meeting you in Omaha!”

Will has been busy assisting members get registered for Annual Session which has allowed him to speak to members all over the country. He’s also been helping prepare everything for the awards ceremonies that will take place at the Regional Meetings and the Awards Banquet. “I feel like I’ve already made about a dozen new friends,” he said in regards to going to Nebraska this year.

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