May 2019

Table of Contents

President's Message

The 2019 Annual Session App Has Landed!

Spring is here and it is time to think about Hershey

Diversity Committee: Matters of Color

PILD Reflections

Central Region Highlights

85th Anniversary – Tidbits of NEAFCS History

Exciting and Enticing In-Depths Being Offered at Annual Session 2019

Meet the Executive Board: Vice President for Awards and Recognition 

Important Dates

Webinar: Cooking Under Pressure Train-the-Trainer
May 20, 2019

Nat'l Urban Extension Conference
May 20-23, 2019
Seattle, WA

Affiliate Leadership Complimentary Annual Session Registration
Deadline September 1, 2019

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

NEAFCS 2020 Annual Session
September 14-17, 2020
Snowbird Resort, UT


Download the 2019 NEAFCS Annual Session App today!



President's Message - Cooperative Extension Big Picture
Karen Munden (VA), President 

As I attended the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference and the Extension Leadership Conference (ELC), I thought about of all the different government agencies and associations and how many of us may not really understand the big picture of Cooperative Extension.  Do we truly comprehend and appreciate the power we possess when we all come together and have the same message? I also thought about all the acronyms and how they can sometimes be confusing. I want to give you a small glance of just a couple of the agencies and associations. The Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) represents seven extension associations with over 10,000 professional members including field staff, university faculty and administrators, and government personnel. JCEP’s mission is to provide a structure to foster network opportunities across disciplines and professional development growth.  The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) mission is to strengthen the work and research conducted at 241 universities and affiliate organizations by expanding access to the future workforce.  The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) works with land-grant universities in partnership with federal, state, and local governments. More importantly, ECOP represents Cooperative Extension’s leadership and provide governance over Cooperative Extension. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) provide leadership and funding for agriculture and related sciences. The mission of NIFA is to support programs that apply research and education conducted at land-grant universities to address the need within communities across the nation. 

During the PILD conference, three NIFA Family and Consumer Sciences Staff members led by Dr. Caroline Crocoll gave an overview of NIFA grants, curricula, and partnership opportunities.  Please look for their presentation on the NEAFCS website to obtain staffs' contact information as well as the projects that are under their leadership. Therefore, as we think about the programs we offer to our communities, let us look at Cooperative Extension’s Big Picture and all the opportunities, grants, and resources available to us.

Remember to look for the Hershey Kiss in this newsletter for your chance to enter the drawing for a FREE Annual Session Registration. Email me the location at [email protected] and please put Kiss in the subject line.  Good Luck! Congratulations to April’s winners Amy Vance, Courtney Parrott, and MaryBeth Hornbeck.

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The 2019 Annual Session App Has Landed!
William Ferguson (FL), NEAFCS Program Manager

Have you downloaded the 2019 Annual Session app yet? It is available for iOS and Android. This free app will keep you up to date on all things Annual Session for this year in Hershey! In the app, you will find a detailed schedule of events, a listing of exhibitors/sponsors, maps, a list of speakers, and much more! 

We are updating the app regularly as new information about this year’s Annual Session become available. An amazing resource, the app will be your go-to for information both before, and during, Annual Session this year.

Click on the image below to go to the app in your preferred app store today.


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Spring is here and it is time to think about Hershey
Cindy Schlenker Davies (NM), Vice President for Member Resources

April showers are certainly bringing May flowers to the desert this year.  We have had an above average rainfall in New Mexico and the colors are lovely.

Plans continue to come together for Annual Session and it looks to be an exciting time in Hershey Pennsylvania. One of my favorite things about our wonderful association is traveling to see different parts of the country for the Annual Session.  Please make every effort to join us September 30-October 3, 2019. First-time members are in for a real treat with their event just before the opening session. Lifetime members will enjoy some time together early in the conference as well.

It is not too early to book your room at the Historic Hershey Lodge. You will soon see an announcement about early registration for the conference.

I also hope you consider joining a national committee.  All the committees meet during the Annual Session, which is a great time to check them out.  The committees are a great networking opportunity for members of like interest from all around the country.  Right now, we could really use new members in the Membership Committee.  Let me know if you would like to join us.

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Diversity Committee: Matters of Color
Tracy Armstrong Florian (AZ), NEAFCS Diversity Subcommittee

Imagine a world where you cannot tell the difference between a ripe and unripe banana; where meat—cooked or not—appears the same color; when an embarrassed colleague is turning red, or a sunburn or diaper rash is happening and you do not even see the change; or when charging your electronics, the LED indicator light never changes color for you.  This world does exist for an estimated 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women, it is Color Vision Deficiency (CVD), and it is often referred to as the misnamed "Color Blindness".

In the extensive outreach that Cooperative Extension has in our communities, it would behoove us to become familiar with the needs of people that live with Color Vision Deficiency.  Our visual attention-getters on websites, flyers, signs, and handouts could be much more efficient and have a greater impact on our audiences if we use appropriate modes of coloring.  For example, color-coded charts and graphs can be more impactful when paired with visual patterns such as dotted lines, zigzags, or dots to denote differing colors.  In this manner, if determining colors is difficult for an individual, the chart or graph can be read correctly.  In addition, becoming familiar with appropriate colors that are easier for all people to distinguish is important.  So, not pairing blues and purples, or reds and oranges together, but sticking with bold colors that are opposites on the color wheel can be helpful.

However, because Color Vision Deficiency can differ from individual to individual, our best efforts may not be enough for everyone.  It is important to still do our part, and if we have participants that are Color Vision Deficient, we can understandingly ask how we can best help while they participate during our classes and programs.  Ultimately, as with any new situation for us as educators, taking the time to learn from the individuals we reach allows us to have meaningful learning opportunities. In turn, these opportunities allow us to have a more robust understanding, and even better connection, with the communities and people we serve. 

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PILD Reflections
Julie Garden Robinson (ND), Vice President of Public Affairs and PILD Planning Team Member

We had a great group of NEAFCS members attend the session hosted by President Karen Munden and me at the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference in April. During our session, we released the 2019 Impact Statements, and we provided ideas on how to use these documents to prepare elevator speeches. Then we had lots of fun getting to know each other at a restaurant.

I am happy to share the scholarship recipients' inspiring reflections in upcoming newsletters. If you have not had an opportunity to attend PILD, I encourage you to put it on your "bucket list".

Joy Rouse, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Attending a national conference is a good way to get a new perspective on your work. The PILD Conference is a chance to hear from the National Program Leaders for Family and Consumer Sciences giving you the breadth of what is offered and the resources available. One of the best things is to connect with staff from other states to hear what they are doing and the challenges they face. I always gather some information to share with my coworkers in Iowa. Allan Ladd, Carol Waters and I went on three congressional visits to share what we are doing. Although each visit was a little different depending on what the staffer knew about Extension, we were able to add some new information to their knowledge concerning our impact in Iowa.

Innovation was mentioned several times at the PILD conference this year. Two speakers reminded me why innovation can be uncomfortable. People like innovation but hate change. It can be disruptive because we have to stop something we do well. The innovation process may not be linear and take several turns. As we become innovative to work with emerging issues, keeping these things in mind will help everyone adapt or follow the process.  

Ines Beltran, University of Georgia Extension (third from left) 

The conference and the visit to the Capitol was a great opportunity to learn more about the legislative process and visit our Georgia delegation. I enjoyed being in DC with my colleagues from Georgia and learning more about the great job we do in our State. We met with the Assistants of Congressman Drew Ferguson, Rob Woodall, and Doug Collins, and with the Assistant of Congresswoman Lucy McBath. I shared with each of them my story about the great impact of EFNEP on the lives of thousands of people in Georgia, and how participants of the "Food Talk Program" demonstrate long-term behavior changes. 

The PILD conference speakers helped me to prepare better to meet with those Congress officials. Each of the speakers and presenters added great information about how to have effective communication and how to bring a clear and concise message. I felt more prepared and ready for my meetings. We were all glowing examples of how to tell the story of Extension. My appreciation also to the Planning Committee members for all the information shared and the super conference planned. 

Brittany Martin, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Before attending the Public Issues Leadership Development Conference, I was not sure what to expect from the experience. I knew it would be valuable to my growth as a leader within Extension, but I never could have anticipated the impact it would have on me in just a few days. The general sessions gave me a perspective on our common goals and interests. One of my favorite sessions was the update on our field from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Though I had a vague understanding of programming efforts nationally, this presentation helped everything "click" for me.

It gives me pride to know that my programming efforts make a difference on a larger scale. The information on speaking to our local representatives was not only useful for our visits the next day but something I will take back home with me and use to strengthen those relationships for the rest of my career. As we met with our representatives, it was so inspiring to see other extension professionals traveling from office to office as well and know that we were sharing common experiences from across the nation. As I share details from the trip with my colleagues, friends, and family, I am reminded that the work we are doing is important and meaningful. I encourage everyone to get outside of the daily stresses and tasks to see the larger picture of leadership within Extension whenever possible! 

Sonya Patterson, North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension

Thank you NEAFCS for the opportunity to attend the 2019 PILD conference in beautiful Alexandria, Va. It was an amazing experience to meet and network with extension professionals from so many different states. It was awesome to see how we operate so differently to achieve the same mission. The concurrent sessions were very well done and super insightful. One of my favorite sessions was the one conducted by NIFA professionals. The information presented really opened my eyes to so many great resources that I did not know existed. I also enjoyed the NEAFCS concurrent session that afforded us as FCS professionals the opportunity to share our triumphs as well as our challenges. The Healthy Communities and Opioid Crisis sessions I attended were extremely relevant and enlightening.

The Association and States Night Out were both enjoyable and served as another great networking opportunity. The food was great too! Lastly, the trip to Capitol Hill was an excellent experience! We were given tips by a panel consisting of a congressional staffer on the best way to communicate with our state legislators. We were also entertained with a skit regarding what to say or not to say during our Hill visits. Congress was in recess the week of the conference, therefore we were unable to meet our actual state representatives; however, we were allowed to meet with their staffers and share our concerns, as well as our successes from NC State University and NC A&T State University. We were also allowed to leave hard copies of our impact report for later review. Two of my favorite take-away messages was "what should we do or what could we do?" and we must always deliver compelling messages that stick. I learned so much more about the importance and value of our work.  

Melanie Thomas, University of Florida/IFAS Extension

Thank you to NEAFCS for the opportunity to attend the 2019 PILD Conference. As a first-time attendee, the experience was eye-opening and wonderful. The opportunity to meet and network, with not only fellow colleagues within NEAFCS but with leaders across all extension disciplines, was very beneficial. We do not often get the chance to expand our sights beyond our own program areas. Unfortunately, the first morning of the conference none of were seeing too far while sitting in the dark due to a power outage. Thankfully, our keynote presenter, Paul Hill, is a TRUE extension professional and never skipped a beat while delivering a dynamic presentation via flashlight. We all just figured we were at 4-H camp for the morning. The highlight of the week was visiting with our Representatives' and Senators' staff on Capitol Hill to briefly share about the work we do and to thank them for their continued support of Extension funding.

I came away with a greater understanding of the structure and funding of the national Extension system and a greater appreciation for the nationwide network of Extension. I consider it an honor and a privilege to have represented UF/IFAS Extension at the national level. The future of the extension system is bright! We have an amazing group of true leaders whose drive and passion for extension is unstoppable. Thank you again for assisting me in this venture.

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Central Region Highlights
Ellen Bjelland (ND), Central Region Director

Illinois, submitted by Jenna Smith:  SNAP-Ed in Peoria has partnered with the University of Illinois College of Medicine (UICOMP) to pilot a food labeling project known as "Greenlight" at two local food pantries. After conducting the Nutrition Environment Food Pantry Assessment Tool (NEFPAT), both SNAP-Ed and UICOMP worked together to establish an action plan to identify healthy options to food pantry guests. Foods that meet the Feeding America "Foods to Encourage" guidelines are labeled with a "green" sticker and foods that meet specific criteria for diabetes-friendly, heart disease friendly and hypertension friendly are labeled with separate identification stickers. Pantry volunteers were provided with materials and training to label and bundle "foods to encourage". The bundled items are placed in a green bag and identified as a "Greenlight bag". Food pantry guests have an option as to whether they would like to choose the Greenlight bag or the other option. We are in the data collection stage and look forward to seeing if the labeling system does increase the using of healthier options.

Wisconsin, submitted by Peggy Olive:  During Money Smart Week in April, University of Wisconsin educators worked with librarians and other community partners to distribute 5,200 'Count on Pablo' children’s books with accompanying parent guides. The 'Dollars During Development' (3D) program uses popular children's books to help families learn key money concepts through reading, play, and everyday spending decisions. 'Count on Pablo' is one of the Money as You Grow Bookshelf selections with several new parent guides created through a joint effort between CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), UW-Extension, and UW-Madison Center for Financial Security. Check out selections at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/money-as-you-grow/bookshelf/.

North Dakota, submitted by Vanessa Hoines:  According to ND statistics, only 3 percent of children meet the daily recommendation for fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that hands-on culinary nutrition education and gardening activities can improve skills and increase the intake of fruits and vegetables.  The On the Move Cooking School curriculum consists of eight hands-on lessons.  Each lesson has specific objectives, key concepts, physical activity, worksheets, associated recipes, a parent newsletter, and evaluation tools. The lesson topics included measuring, reading recipes, identifying and using equipment, safe food handling, reading nutrition labels, meal planning, and hands-on cooking and baking. Each child receives a cooking kit and cookbook at the conclusion of the program. Some 974 children from 18 counties have participated in the multi-session programs. As a result, children improved their knowledge of nutrition, food safety, and health concepts through hands-on learning.

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85th Anniversary - Tidbits of NEAFCS History
Debby Mathews (AL), 85th Anniversary Committee Chairman

In what year did a Republican National Convention occur in the same city and at the same time as the NEAFCS Annual Session? Guess who got the most hotel rooms? Start checking the NEAFCS Facebook page now for more fun facts like this. NEAFCS historian Carol Schlitt has pulled from our archives to come up with fourteen facts to be posted between now and Annual Session in Hershey.

In addition to just learning cool tidbits from our history, you can benefit two ways by reading these posts.

 1) You can help your affiliate president complete the 85th Anniversary Report by telling how you used or shared this info with others.

2) You might be able to quickly complete the 85th Anniversary scavenger hunt at Annual Session by being familiar with some of these facts.

As we get close to Annual Session we will share more about the scavenger hunt. We can’t wait to see all of you at the Hershey Lodge as we enjoy the hunt together! 

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Exciting and Enticing In-Depths Being Offered at Annual Session 2019
Theresa Mayhew (NY), Tri-Liaison

A total of 13 off-site and onsite in-depths are being offered in Hershey. This overview will hopefully give you a taste of what each session offers. More information will be included in the registration materials. The off-site sessions are: 

Before & After Milton S. Hershey -- where you can learn all about the greater Hershey area before Milton S.'s arrival and what has transpired since he left his mark;

PA’s Thriving Spirits Industry -- learn how (and sample why) breweries and distilleries have pumped up the local economy in terms of agricultural production and tourism;

Penn State College of Medicine Public Health Research – this session spotlights diverse programs designed to assure public safety and improve quality of life at every age; capped off with a tour of the Hershey Community Gardens);

Celebrating Nature’s Bounty  -- be a kid again at Flinchbaugh's Orchard & Farm Market where you'll enjoy an autumn snack before visiting a winery/taproom/cidery that’s housed in a French Chateau);

Using Historical Preservation to Revive Neighborhoods -- venture into the state capitol in Harrisburg before heading up to mid-town to learn how the past melds with the future and influences the present as urban areas spring back to productive life;

Experience Amish Life at the Plain & Fancy Farm -- transport yourself back in time to the Lancaster area to get a feel for Amish customs, dress, and adapting to life without electricity;

Lititz: The Coolest Small Town in America -- where you can feast on Julius Sturgis pretzels, Wilbur Chocolates, and have a refreshing beverage at Appalachian Brewery while reveling in small-town life; and lastly

Everything . . . and the Kitchen Sink! -- check out vintage quilts at the Lancaster History Museum before heading on to Kitchen Kettle Village for more Pennsylvania Dutch foods, candles, and handicrafts! While the other in-depths listed above return to the Lodge by 5:30 pm the Kitchen Sink in-depth doesn’t get back until after 7 pm!! This may impact other events you are planning for that evening, so please be advised!  

On-site sessions are Working Smarter Not Harder; Addressing the Opioid Crisis; Creating a Culture of Health; Teen Cuisine; and Counting Down to Retirement. 

Worker Smarter Not Harder – learn from a seasoned team of experts all about the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process and how to conduct a community assessment that will bolster and sharpen your work efforts and outputs;

Addressing the Opioid Crisis – will look at connections between trauma and substance abuse disorder; look at evidence-based strategies and share what’s being done in PA to spearhead community mobilization;

Creating a Culture of Health -- supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this session will share best practices and lessons learned around community health coalition work and how more land-grant universities can get involved;

Teen Cuisine – this curriculum addresses key concepts about nutrition, food preparation/cooking, food safety, and physical activity that enhances learning and behavior change among teens;

Counting Down to Retirement -- this session will cover key topics as you plan for the big day and another phase of life. This session will increase participants' awareness of key financial and non-financial considerations related to retirement planning.


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Meet the Executive Board: Vice President for Awards and Recognition
Susan Routh (OK) 

At our Oklahoma affiliate state meeting in April, the theme of the meeting was “Explore the Possibilities.”  The conference planners chose a quote by Gandhi which reads “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others.”  I would not be surprised if some of you hold that quote as your personal mantra.  I know that as I read this quote and reflected on my 14-year career in Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, this quote resonated in me.

My present position with Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is the Community Nutrition Education Program Unit Coordinator for Comanche and Caddo counties where I provide assistance and supervision to Nutrition Education Assistants in the EFNEP and SNAP-Ed program.  I served as the Grady County Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator for 13 years until last August when I accepted my new position.  As an FCS Educator, I focused on programs that provided financial management education, health, and hunger issues, and parenting education, particularly co-parenting through a divorce.

I am currently serving the second year of a two-year term as the NEAFCS Vice-President for Awards and Recognition.   I previously served NEAFCS as the Southern Region Director.  Serving on the Board for NEAFCS has provided an opportunity to meet and become better acquainted with NEAFCS members from across the nation.  I would highly encourage any member to become active in a leadership position on the Board for that unique experience.  Networking with affiliate officers, administrators, and Board members pay dividends as a NEAFCS member.  Thank you for allowing me to serve you as an officer in our national organization.

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