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August 2019

Table of Contents

President's Message 

Sweet FUN Awaits You in Hershey! 

85th Anniversary – Who Are Greenwood and Frysinger and Why Was an Award Named After Them? 

Nominating Committee: Business Meeting and Election Procedures 

Nominating Committee: Candidate Position Statements 

NEAFCS Merchandise Available at Annual Conference 

Silent Auction – Did you know? 

The Master FCS Volunteer Program Award: Does Your Program Qualify for This Award? 

Diversity Committee: Room for Everyone Under the Big Sky 

Update: Central Region 

Update: Eastern Region 

Update: Southern Region 

PILD 2019 Reflections 

Meet the Executive Board: Treasurer 

Meet the Executive Board: Immediate Past-President 

Important Dates

Webinar: 2019 Annual Session 1st Timer's
August 30, 2019

NEAFCS Annual Session Advanced Rate Deadline
September 12, 2019

Affiliate Leadership Complimentary Annual Session Registration
Deadline September 1, 2019

Webinar: Celebrating 85 years:  A History of Extension FCS
September 5, 2019

Webinar: Highlights of the Developmental Disabilities Training Series 
September 11, 2019

Military Families Learning Network Virtual Conference
September 17-19, 2019

Minnesota Affiliate Extension Program Conference
September 23-25, 2019

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

Minnesota Affiliate Annual Meeting
October 8, 2019
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

University of Illinois Extension Annual Conference 
November 19-20, 2019
Champaign, IL 

Webinar: Creating Recipes with Food Safety in Mind
December 3, 2019

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

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT HEALTHY RETAIL PROMOTIONS IN YOUR AREA (to be included in a  literature review)

The systematic literature review is inclusive of healthy promotions in rural or low income retail stores with interventions ranging from a specific intervention to a corner store conversion.  I am collecting information about programs between October 2010 and December 2018 with quantitative data included.  Specifically now I am searching for unpublished or gray literature until October 1, 2019. Please contact [email protected] with information about your project.  

Linda Fergus, MS RD LDN
Graduate Student, SNAP-Ed
Louisiana State University

Download the 2019 NEAFCS Annual Session App today!

Don’t Miss ‘Relationships for Readiness’, 2019 MFLN Virtual Conference

Relationships for Readiness is the theme of the Military Families Learning Network’s 2019 Virtual Conference, September 17-19.  Top professionals from diverse fields will address various aspects of network building—from building relationships to creativity, communication, and collaboratively working together across specialties and disciplines. 

Cooperative Extension educators and service providers working with military families come from diverse roles, locations, disciplines, and organizations.   Relationships for Readiness invites service providers and Extension educators to begin rethinking their work with military families by re-aligning themselves as connected and collaborative professionals, organizations, and agencies. 

In this conference, the Department of Defense representatives will discuss the Family Readiness System as a function of collaboration across boundaries, whether those boundaries are office doors, installations, communities, organizations, or agencies. Expert speakers will address various aspects of network building and weaving—from understanding networks and building relationships to creativity, communication, and sharing, to working together across specialties and disciplines around the common goal of supporting military families.

Cooperative Extension educators and service providers will learn together in this unique virtual experience and begin rethinking their work with military families by re-aligning themselves as connected and collaborative professionals, organizations, and agencies. 

You don't want to miss it!  For more information and to RSVP go to

President's Message - Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Harrisburg Area
Karen Munden (VA), President 

As we finalize plans for our 2019 Annual Session in Hershey, PA, September 30th to October 3rd, I want to remind you about the 2019 President's Charity, which is Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Harrisburg Area. 

Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical housing ministry with the goal of eliminating poverty housing.  Harrisburg Habitat offers a variety of housing programs, geared towards ensuring that everyone has a safe, affordable place to call home. They offer Home Ownership, Veteran Repair Corps and Critical Home Repair programs to members of the Greater Harrisburg Area.

The Home Ownership program is a joint venture which utilizes 350 hours of families’ labor “sweat equity hours” to successfully build a house.  The home is then be sold to the family at an affordable monthly mortgage payment. The Critical Home Repair program is designed to help keep low-income families in their existing homes by making home repairs for which there is a need.  Both the Critical Home Repair program and the Veteran Repair Corps program address five key areas: Safety, Security, Accessibility, Code Violations, and Energy Efficiency.

As you can see Habitat for Humanity utilize volunteers to help transform communities while building a world where everyone has a decent place to live.  Thus, Habitat for Humanity conducts their business similar to Cooperative Extension in the sense that both organizations utilize volunteers to help families improve their lives and living conditions.  I hope you consider contributing to this great community cause. If you are unable to attend the 2019 Annual Session, you can mail a check to NEAFCS at 325 John Knox, Road, Suite L103, Tallahassee, FL 32303 before September 20th. Please make checks payable to “NEAFCS” and in the memo line, please write “Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Harrisburg Area”. You can also make donations during our Annual Session either by cash or check.  Your donations will be used for the following items:

  • $25 buys a box of nails that will be used to construct a safe, sturdy house
  • $50 buys a bucket of paint to transform bare walls
  • $100 buys a bathroom sink, vanity, and faucet
  • $250 buys a front door and the promise of security in a new home

August will be your last chance to be entered into 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 July winners Rebecca Hagen Jokela, Kimberly Moore, and Barbara Woods. 

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Sweet FUN Awaits You in Hershey!
Denise Continenza (PA), Tri-Liaison  

While there will be enlightening workshops about cutting-edge research and innovative strategies for improving the quality of life for the people we reach, Annual Session 2019 will also be full of many opportunities for fun and diversion.  And that’s important, too! Here are a few highlights:

Welcome Event - Hop off the shuttle and enter a world of chocolate! A venue full of fun and adventure will kick off Annual Session at Chocolate World.  After visiting the various buffet stations, members can engage in the activity of their choice, take a riding tour of the chocolate factory and visit the humungous gift shop where you can buy sweet treats and HERSHEY souvenirs.

Hospitality Drawing - Enter your free ticket at the Hospitality Table to win special items made in the Keystone State such as PA wines, ciders, brews and more!

Tanger Outlets - When your brain goes on overload and you need some retail therapy, over 50 stores are just a quick shuttle or Uber ride away from the Hershey Lodge.  Catch sales, buy a gift for friends at home or get a jump start on holiday shopping!

President’s Reception - The preamble to the Awards Banquet will feature music by The Celtic Martins, a talented family of 8+ members who will make your hands clap and feet stomp!

Marketplace -  From canvass to wool, from stone to metal, a variety of local artisans- including some of our own NEAFCS Eastern Region members – will be selling their handcrafted items onsite on Thursday, October 3rd.

And be sure to stop by the Hershey Annual Session Planning Committee Table in the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday and Thursday! Purchase some tickets for great raffle basket groupings dealing with all things chocolate, butterflies, Pennsylvania Dutch, autumn, Hershey and so much more! We can’t wait to see you in the sweetest place on Earth! 

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85th Anniversary – Who Are Greenwood and Frysinger and Why Was an Award Named After Them?
Carol Schlitt (IL), 85th Anniversary Committee member and NEAFCS Historian

The NEAFCS Greenwood Frysinger award is named after two very influential women who played a significant role in the formation of our association and were important advocates for Extension home economics work.  These pioneers – Mary Nell Greenwood and Grace Frysinger - will always be remembered with NEAFCS awards named in their honor. Originally there were two separate awards but they were joined together in 2011. 

Mary Nell Greenwood began her career as an Extension agent in Missouri in 1951. She rose through the ranks to become Director of Extension Programs at the University of Missouri, responsible for coordinating Extension educational programs involving four campuses and 20 off-campus planning units. She joined Extension Service, USDA, as Associate Administrator in 1978, and was appointed Administrator in 1980, the first woman to hold this position. Dr. Greenwood died in 1986 at the age of 57 and NEAFCS created the Greenwood Fellowship Award in her honor.  This fellowship was designed to allow NEAFCS members to pursue professional improvement through graduate study in the area of their choosing.

Grace Frysinger is considered the "Mother of NEAFCS" as it was her vision in 1933 for a national professional organization of home economists that pushed our association into existence.  Also, she is given credit for organizing the Extension Homemaker groups into a national organization.  Grace served as a Field Coordinator for USDA, serving the Central Region. She worked with state leaders and county agents to extend home economics education.  In 1950 she gave money to our association to fund a fellowship to provide an opportunity for members to study and observe family and consumer sciences education in other states or countries.

Today the Greenwood Frysinger Award is granted to an Extension Educator in Family and Consumer Sciences who has been either formally or informally mentored by one or more Extension Educators in Family and Consumer Sciences.  The award is now sponsored by NEAFCS to give a member with up to five years’ experience an opportunity to grow professionally by expanding their professional’s network or encouraging participation in a Professional Development Opportunity.

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Nominating Committee: Business Meeting and Election Procedures
Lora Lee Frazier Howard (KY), Immediate Past-President

The Southern Region and Central Region Director Candidates will give their three-minute speeches and be elected by voting delegates during their respective Regional Meetings and Awards Luncheons on Tuesday, October 1 which take place from 11:15 am to 1:15 pm. All other candidates will give their speeches during Opening Session on Monday, September 30 (2:30 – 5:30 pm). They will be elected by voting delegates during the NEAFCS Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday, October 2 from 2:15 - 4:15 pm.

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Nominating Committee: Candidate Position Statements
Lora Lee Frazier Howard (KY), Immediate Past-President

Please look for the candidate’s display located near the NEAFCS registration area to view candidate's nomination documentation.  You may also view candidate’s information on the NEAFCS website here.

If you are a voting delegate for your Affiliate, it is your responsibility to read through these position statements and review each candidate’s dossier.  Encourage others to do the same, so you can decide as an affiliate which candidates you support for these offices. 


Dianne Gertson
Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

Our members have inspired me to be actively engaged in our Association and serving has been an honor. Together, let’s dialog, dream, discover and champion the future of our Association.  I seek your support, service, and passion for NEAFCS and pledge the same to you. I am willing to devote the time, energy and hard work to continue the excellent work of my predecessors. I strongly believe in our association and believe that we enjoy wonderful benefits in the professional development, recognition, and networking opportunities afforded our members. Our member benefits survey indicated that a great majority of our current members will retire within ten years, we need to provide mentoring opportunities for our newer members to continue our longstanding legacy.  I have served as an officer at the district, affiliate and state level.  This past year, I have had the honor of serving on the national level with NEAFCS and the outstanding board serving our members. As a Board, we work tirelessly to assure accountability, transparency, and integrity as we provide opportunities for professional growth and development that our members need as leaders.  Looking back at the history of NEAFCS, we have grown accustomed to change and been on the cutting edge of education. To continue our mission and leave a legacy of inspiration for generations to come we need to continue to provide professional development to our members which will enhance those skills and competencies embracing technology and media.  I look forward to continuing service as NEAFCS President‐Elect.  On a personal note, my two terms on the board have given me the opportunity to meet and work with people across the nation. Many of these have become close, personal friends. In addition to the friendships, they have helped me to grow professionally and for that I am ever thankful.

Ellen Bjelland

Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

I am seeking the position of President-Elect because, at this stage in my career, it’s time to give back. It’s time to use my talents and gifts to support the people and the organization that have given so much to me over the decades of my Extension career. To paraphrase the words of servant-leadership scholar Robert Greenleaf, it’s time to serve others.


Barbara Wollan

Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

It was an honor to be asked to apply as a candidate for national office, and my first reaction was a combination of excitement and nervousness. Being treasurer of a large national association is a serious responsibility, and I had to give it some thought. Fortunately, as I reflected further and discussed it with others, I concluded that I am equipped for the task. Although NEAFCS is a larger, more complex organization than any in which I have previously served as treasurer, the duties of treasurer are a good fit for my skills and experience. I am also confident that our experienced professional management team would provide the support I would need to carry out my duties, as well as the opportunity to learn a great deal in the role.

My excitement about the possibility of taking on this role comes from the opportunity to make a contribution at the national level to an organization that is important to me, and to have a voice in the directions our association takes over the next two years. In addition, I would greatly value the opportunity to build new relationships and work closely with the terrific leaders that make up the board.

Vice President for Awards and Recognition

Julie Garden-Robinson

Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

My career in Extension is deeply rooted in service, and I believe I have gathered a wide range of experiences and perspectives from my service efforts at the local, state and national levels on Extension and non-Extension activities. I have served as the National Vice President for Public Affairs for the past two years, and I have found that I have learned a great deal and worked closely with people from around the United States to get the important messages out about our profession. After completing this role, I believe I have more to contribute and perhaps some new ideas to integrate in the Awards category.

I have knowledge of the operations of NEAFCS, and I have worked closely with the executive management team during the past two years. We have made some changes that have increased the efficiency, I have participated in both the National Extension Leadership Development (NELD) program and the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) program. I believe I have gathered valuable experience that would help guide me if I were elected in this role.

I would look forward to continued work with the board to think of innovative ways to accomplish our responsibilities. I would enjoy mentoring others to apply for awards and recognition. I bring energy and dedication to the roles that I fulfill, and I challenge myself to be innovative in my approaches, whether that means greater use of technology or other means to excite our membership, especially the next generation, and those we reach. I enjoy tracking trends, doing research and communicating sound messages as a member of diverse teams.

Vice President for Public Affairs

Mary Liz Wright

Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

I have benefitted both professionally and personally from my membership in NEAFCS. I have learned from the webinars given by our members and have used the website as a source of great information. I have attended three annual sessions and have come home each time armed with tips, tools and material that have helped me in my position. I have enjoyed the networking and sightseeing that are always an interesting component of the annual sessions. I have made friends and widened my professional "net" by being a member of NEAFCS. I am a proponent of giving back to your community and I feel that it is my turn to give back to the NEAFCS community.

Central Region Director

Lisa Barlage

Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

A successful Extension Professional blends a mixture of Teaching, Creative and Scholarly Work, Research, and Service in their career. Our professional association provides members an avenue to share:

  • Research conducted – through journal publications or presentations on interventions and best practices.
  • Creative and scholarly work – curriculum developed, resource materials, online/social media
  • Teaching – through best practices and award opportunities
  • And Service

Giving back to our profession and association through serving as an Executive Board member would allow others to use the benefits I have gained over the years from my NEAFCS membership and work for Ohio State University Extension. I feel that I have a career where I have blended these four main professional roles and I can guide other professionals as they move through their careers as well. From a young age I have always been encouraged to serve, and I love doing it. I don’t mind getting up in front of others, pulling teams together to work on projects, and I love mentoring new professionals.

Vanessa Hoines

Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

I am seeking a challenge.  During my 34 year career in Extension, I have been very involved with professional associations both at the state and national level, working on numerous committees, stepping in to help with judging award applications, helping with organizing professional development opportunities in our state, leading public relations campaigns and encouraging colleagues to become more involved in their association. This is my opportunity to step into an officer role at the national level, a new, exciting and intriguing challenge.

I am passionate about NEAFCS. Together, members form a strong foundation and voice for our profession. Involvement in our association allows members to share program ideas, deal with complex issues nationwide and support each other in our efforts. If given the opportunity, I would work diligently to lead the members of the Central region.

Southern Region Director

Lorrie Coop

Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – President John Quincy Adams, former U.S. President

Throughout my Extension career, being a member of NEAFCS has provided me    with outstanding professional development and recognition opportunities. I have enjoyed traveling to new places, meeting new people, and learning new things. While taking part in those opportunities, I have also learned that being a member is about more than just attending meetings. The people I’ve met and the professional satisfaction I’ve enjoyed have inspired me to step forward and serve our members in a new and meaningful way. One way to do that is by running for office.

It would be my honor to represent the Southern Region and continue the efforts of those before me by working closely with the national board, affiliate presidents and committees to lead the way in providing opportunities for our members to grow professionally. I am willing to devote the time, energy and effort needed to inspire our members to reach their professional goals. 

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NEAFCS Merchandise Available at Annual Conference
Julie Garden-Robinson (ND), Vice President for Public Affairs

Are you showing your NEAFCS pride?  Visit the NEAFCS merchandise booth in Hershey.  We have anniversary pins, luggage tags, post-it notes, flashlight key chains, tumblers and more.  Be sure to check it out!

The NEAFCS merchandise booth will be situated near the Registration Desk until the Exhibit Hall opens and then you can find us there!

Don't forget to purchase your special 85th Anniversary NEAFCS Pin while you're in Hershey this year! 

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Silent Auction – Did you know?
Tonya Johnson (OR), Silent Auction Chair

The annual session is just weeks away, and plans are coming together for a great silent auction. 

Did you know -- One hundred percent of funds raised at the Silent Auction go directly to Awards and Recognition, including cash awards, registration fees, and other items for award recipients?  Contributing to the silent auction is a perfect way to support and celebrate your peers.  

Did you know – it’s simple to donate to the silent auction.  Once you have the item(s) you’d like to donate, send a picture and completed Silent Auction donation form to Elizabeth Lane. She will upload the info into the Online Gallery for all to preview. Then, bring your item to Hershey to showcase at the auction. Did you know – we have an online gallery of silent auction items so conference attendees can preview items that will be available at the silent auction.  We’d love to grow the online gallery. Please consider donating an item to the silent auction. 

Please feel free to call or email with questions, ideas, comments.   [email protected]; 503-373-3763.

With your help, the silent auction is bound to be great.   Thank you! 

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The Master FCS Volunteer Program Award:  Does Your Program Qualify for This Award?
Susan Routh (OK), National Vice President for Awards and Recognition

Does your state have a Master Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Volunteer Program that has evidence-based research which demonstrates the impact of that program?

The Master FCS Volunteer Program Award originated with the development of the Master FCS Volunteer Program and the online national database.  The award honors outstanding educational programming efforts that utilize the Master FCS Volunteer Program curriculum or educational materials as a supplement to enhance existing or new Master FCS Volunteer Programs,

The National program provides core training that includes the history of Extension, leadership and public policy, and marketing and branding.  Additionally, states have developed volunteer training in FCS subject matter which is listed on the website.

The NEAFCS Awards Manual has a complete list of the criteria for this award.  One of the major criteria is that the program information should be reported in the national database.  For more information about how to gain access to the database, please contact Barbara Allen, Montana State University at [email protected].

We look forward to receiving your 2020 award application for the Master FCS Volunteer Program award.

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Diversity Committee: Room for Everyone Under the Big Sky
Kelly Moore (MT), Diversity Committee Member

From the mountains to the plains, Montana embodies diversity in its landscape and its people.  1.7 million people inhabit 147,000 square miles encompassing large cities, rural farmland, 7 Native American Reservations, and two National Parks.   Montana's "live and let live" philosophy is catalyzing for its residents to make inclusion a priority in their lives and their workplaces.  Montana State University was recently named the most LGBTQ+-friendly college in Montana (Best Colleges.com and Campus Pride) due to its student resources and advocacy.  Members of MSU Extension's, Community Development Program, recently put together a planning committee of faculty and County Extension Agents from Billings, Helena, Missoula, Bozeman, and Havre committed to "addressing topics and issues related to diversity and inclusion, specifically as they relate to items in the university's nondiscrimination policy." (MSU Diversity Awareness Office).  Twelve agents completed Safe Zone Training, a nationally recognized university campus program, offering education aimed at increasing knowledge of LGBQ+ terminology and issues.  Participants completing the program received an official "Safe Zone" designation.

A workshop, “Racism and What to Do About It” (sponsored by The Montana Racial Equity Project) was recently held in Havre.   Some of the program topics included; recognizing racism, looking through our cultural lens, stereotypes, and defining microaggressions. 

Montana State University Extension will continue to provide non-biased, research-based education for all in a safe and positive environment, under “The Big Sky”. 

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Update: Central Region
Ellen Bjelland (ND), Central Region Director 

MichiganSubmitted by Carrie Shrier
MEAFCS had 51 members in 2018. Our goals for 2018 were: to develop a strategy to sustain membership and to develop a strategic plan for increasing membership, to investigate fundraising strategies, to work towards hosting NEAFCS National Conference in 2021, to develop a plan for recognition of members and promoting their accomplishments, and to become more inclusive of lifetime members.  We made significant progress in all of these areas. We implemented a $5 discount on membership dues for recruiting new members. We continued to utilize a square card reader to make it easier for members to pay with a credit card. We had staff submit their personal and team accomplishments. We had three members move into administration positions this year, demonstrating the strength and leadership skills of our members. Two members presented at national conferences on behalf of their work in financial literacy and food safety. Members in early childhood completed a five-year national CYFAR grant with measurable results in their programming. MEAFCS members from Michigan were awarded seven Central region and two National awards through NEAFCS.  Over $10,000 in scholarship funds were provided to our members through the Doris Wetters Professional Development fund. We established a Step II review committee to support members as they go through their three and six-year reviews. We added a lifetime member to our board to facilitate communication with lifetime members. Finally, Michigan was selected to host NEAFCS national conference in beautiful Grand Rapids in 2021. We are excited to begin planning and proud to have been selected to host!

MissouriSubmitted by Amy Vance
The University of Missouri Extension has been working on alternative delivery of our programs. MU Extension in partnership with the Link Market and Bi-State Research and Development, the local public transit authority in the St. Louis Region, Leslie Bertsch has had the opportunity to complete monthly cooking demos at the Link Market.  The Link Market is a small non-profit food store set up at two Metro Transit Centers. (Metro is the name of the public transit system in St. Louis.) Transit users can purchase fresh produce, a small selection of meats, shelf-stable panty goods, and healthier snack items.  Each month she completes a cooking demonstration and recipe sample featuring ingredients that are available at the market.  A videographer hired by Bi-State comes to shoot the recipes each month and makes a short clip on how to make the recipes.  The clips are similar to the Tasty video clips and meant for posting on various social media platforms. They are filmed in two segments.  First, she completes a voiceover shot briefly summarizing the ingredients and steps for the recipe and then Leslie makes the recipe.  The videos are super informal and that makes them very inviting!

WisconsinSubmitted by Sara Ritchie
We wanted to take this opportunity to re-introduce UW-Madison Extension to you. As of this July 1st, we’ve fully transitioned to UW-Madison from UW System. This transition has been in the works for more than a year and has involved a lot of significant behind-the-scenes work. You may have noticed that our look has changed a bit, and the way we refer to ourselves has changed a bit – but our mission has not changed!

Extension is returning to our historic home at UW-Madison, and we'll strengthen each other through exchanging experience and research statewide. As a land-grant institution, the University of Wisconsin was the original home to Extension services and research. Just three years after espousing the Wisconsin Idea, UW President Van Hise established the University Extension Division in 1907, and UW-Extension was created as a separate unit in 1965. The UW Board of Regents adopted a resolution in 2017 to restructure Extension as a division of UW-Madison. After a lot of transition planning and operations, this transition is fully complete and fully active as of this month.

Extension's mission is to bring the world-class knowledge and skills of university researchers to communities across the state. Even before this official transition, we hit the ground running, bringing together experts and community partners to collaborate on new ideas for research and resources on opioid addiction and water quality. We've also partnered with the Oneida Nation to use technology to engage Oneida youth in the indigenous knowledge and agriculture, and we are engaging agricultural families with critical tools to understand chronic stress and its impacts on their lives.

We will continue to leverage our relationships across campus and communities. We are bringing educational programming to all 72 Wisconsin counties in addition to five Tribal nations, supporting communities that are addressing critical issues affecting the quality of life and economic development. Our county educators are working in areas such as family, youth and community development, agriculture, health and well-being, and natural resources.

Visit our new website and you will see we still are having positive impacts through educational programming throughout our Wisconsin communities.

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Update: Eastern Region
Sharon McDonald (PA), Eastern Region Director 

While our members have been focused on annual session in Hershey, many other things are happening as well! 

In Delaware, the Delaware Fit Biz program received the Lt. Governor’s Challenge 2.0 Wellness Leadership Award. The program is a SNAP-Ed initiative aimed at addressing the nutrition and physical activity policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) aspects of low-income worksites. The overall goal is for Fit Biz to help employers make the healthiest choice the easiest choice for their employees. Some components of Fit Biz include Healthy and Productive Meetings, Dining and Menu Guidelines for a Worksite Cafeteria, Healthy Vending, Worksite Community Gardens, Breastfeeding Friendly Worksites, and Physical Activity Clubs to name a few. UD Extension partnered with Perdue Farms, Inc. in Georgetown, Delaware to offer the program to its some 3000 employees.

Also, two University of Delaware Extension Scholars and a Master Food Educator Volunteer have been helping members of the FCS team deliver an educational program to young adults at Bright Spot Farm. This urban farm helps youth who have aged out of the foster care system learn business, horticulture and cooking life skills as they move forward on their own.

Congratulations to long-time New York affiliate member Stefanie Hubert on being promoted to Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension-Putnam County.

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Update: Southern Region
Dianne Gertson (TX), Southern Region Director

Submitted by Brittany Martin:  
What a week the Texas Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences had in McKinney! District IV hosted our annual State Conference, which was full of fun, friends, and professional development. The theme of this year’s event was “Our Time to SHINE: Spotlight on Health, Innovation, Nutrition, and Education”.

Our friendship event at Local Yocal highlighted area cuisine and allowed for members to meet and socialize. Members had a variety of in-depth tours to choose from that allowed them to focus in on aspects of Family and Consumer Sciences that were particularly applicable to their interests and job responsibilities. Finally, the week was capped off by John Godwin, who left us feeling inspired and ready to face new challenges!

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PILD 2019 Reflections
Julie Garden-Robinson (ND), Vice President of Public Affairs & PILD Planning Team Member

The Public Issues Leadership Development conference occurred a few months ago, but we can be inspired by what our NEAFCS scholarship recipients gleaned from the speakers and the experiences of being in Washington, D.C.  Please check out their reflections. 

Eugenia Wilson, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Many co-workers had told me PILD would be the best conference I would attend. And they were right!  The conference was an opportunity to be with colleagues in a different atmosphere than our normal training and conferences. This was an opportunity for me to step outside my comfort zone; I often tell people I am not political.  But this time was not about politics; it was about why what we do is important. I think sometimes we work so hard in our counties that we forget that there is a bigger picture and the impact we have is greater than we see in our community.

We are a collection of skilled professionals and together, unified, our voice is strong and our county impacts can spread through the state and even internationally.  With outstanding general sessions with practical information and plenty of time for networking, I was inspired as I discovered our collective efforts nationally.  PILD was an opportunity to step up to those who make decisions and say they look at what Extension does, EVERWHERE. We are skilled intellectuals with the ability and resources to assist families with making the best choices to grow their families and communities as healthy as possible. 

Joy West, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service
I was honored to represent the Arkansas NEAFCS association at the 2019 PILD Conference.  I would like to commend the PILD committee and speakers Paul Hill and Heather Mannix for continuing and being affective during the power loss.  I felt the breakout sessions were helpful, but I would have liked a better description of the sessions, I would have chosen differently had I known more fully what they were about.  I felt the National Program Leader Panel Sessions were very helpful in letting us know what is happening in our areas.

The PILD committee did a great job of preparing us for the hill visits.  I learned a lot from the panel on “Communicating on the Hill’ which included role-playing good and bad examples of meeting with elected officials and staff members. I also thought it was important to have the opportunity to listen to recommendations from a House and Senate staffer to help us prepare. Although I didn’t feel fully prepared for the hill visits, I found the legislator staffers open and willing to listen.  I enjoyed getting to share with them personal stories of how the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service has impacted the people of Arkansas.

Holly Jay, Montana State University Extension
As a first-time attendee, the PILD conference was a great learning experience.  After navigating the weather delays, long lines and uncertainties of travel and hotel power outages, the sessions were all very beneficial.  The workshops and provided many advantageous ideas and tips which we could use later in the week when visiting the hill or at the local level working with county and state officials.

The most beneficial presentations to me were the opening speaker and the FCS breakout sessions.  I will share some thoughts on the FCS breakout session.  Beverly Samuel, National Program Leader, Housing & Environmental Health, Division of Family & Consumer Sciences, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, did a wonderful job sharing all the information available through NIFA.  She understands Extension.  The PowerPoint presentation has been shared to the NEAFCS website.  If you have not viewed it, take a moment and do so.  There are many areas in which we can learn about programs offered, curricula that have been developed for our use and grant funding opportunities.  

One aspect of my programming that I plan to change as a result of attending the PILD Conference is to utilize the resources and curricula available through the NIFA website.  I hope you will take a moment to visit their website and learn about all the wonderful programs available.  I also want to thank NEAFCS for the opportunity to attend this conference and represent the Treasure State of Montana. 

Karen Jones, Louisiana State University Cooperative Extension Service
PILD exceeded my expectations. Thank you for this opportunity!

Heather Mannix enlightened the audience:  Is the program content we are teaching relevant for the time?  So What? And does science really matter?  In the book, Escape from the Ivory Tower, scientists can be dedicated to their research and teaching.   But, maybe the science does not really matter unless they can communicate their findings to the public and decision-makers. As a Nutrition Agent teaching research-based information to the general public, my job is to make the science important for the residents to adopt, which will lead to behavior change.  

Paul Hill told this story: A high jumper used a new technique, continuing to practice and changed the sport.  People will challenge you for challenging the status quo.  Innovation is a journey of endurance with risks, and be okay with failure, see things differently and do not get too comfortable.  Try new things and apply new thinking to new problems.  Growth comes with testing and moving forward because it's a process of stumbles and successes. This has motivated me to evaluate my programming.  He urged us to follow our Congressman, so now I am following them on Twitter. 

According to Dr. Doug Steele: Find passion in your work and pull in the right direction. Connect the dots, continue building trust and be people-centered, answering the why in our programming.  Extension is being connected to the people. Extension is trusted, local, and relevant.  I shared these last two statements during the Hill visits. 

Rachel Lockwood, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
Thank you to NEAFCS for the opportunity to attend PILD. It was an honor to represent Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service as an FCS Educator. As a fourteen-year Educator, this was my first time to attend PILD, as well as my first trip to Washington D.C. This was an amazing experience and far exceeded my expectations, especially the Twilight Tour of D.C. and our opening sessions with flashlights! 

The opening sessions by flashlight was a perfect way to kick off the conference as to how relevant, resilient and resourceful Extension is. The theme of "Enhancing Leadership Capacity for Emerging Issues" was perfect for our challenging times in Extension. The opening sessions on both days and the FCS session emphasized the importance of telling the Extension story and how we, as humble professionals, need to improve on sharing our Extension stories. The sessions of "Creating a Culture of Health" and "Utilizing Technology to Provide Leadership for Emerging Issues" were relevant and empowering as to how Extension continues to revolve around the needs of communities. I also gained a better understanding of where our funding comes from.

This entire experience from networking with others throughout the nation to learning about federal funding provided me a clearer understanding of why so many of us are dedicated to what we do. This enlightening experience also reemphasized why advocacy for Extension is so critical to our communities and the people we serve! Thank you again for the opportunity to attend PILD.

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Meet the Executive Board: Treasurer
Joan Koonce (GA)

Hello from UGA Bulldog Country!

I am currently a professor and financial planning specialist with the University of Georgia (UGA) Extension.  I have worked at UGA for 31 years.  For 17 years, I taught financial planning courses at the undergraduate and graduate level and conducted research in the area of financial planning.  I have been a financial planning specialist for UGA Extension for a total of 14 years.  I really enjoy working with and training our awesome county Extension agents.  I also enjoy direct teaching to different types of audiences, especially those who need it the most, such as low-income individuals, single moms, residents in transitional and other types of correctional facilities.

On a personal note, I have one son.  I studied Taekwondo for about five years, earning my first-degree black belt and winning a couple of trophies at a national competition.  I used to be an avid weight lifter.  In my spare time, I like to participate in church activities and watch Hallmark and Lifetime movies and real-life crime shows.  I also enjoy target shooting.

I hope you are getting as excited as I am about participating in Annual Session in Hershey, PA.  I have served as your Treasurer over the past two years, and my term ends at the Annual Session.  With the assistance of the Board, finance committee, and investment committee, we have accomplished a great deal during my term in office.  I have also learned so much more about NEAFCS by serving on the Board as your Treasurer.  I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU for allowing me to serve NEAFCS in this capacity.

I look forward to seeing you at the annual session soon!

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Meet the Executive Board: Immediate Past-President
Lora Lee Howard (KY)

What a phenomenal three years it has been!

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Past President and represent this great association.  It has been one meeting and LYNC call after another and I have loved every minute of it.  I am representing one of the greatest associations in Extension. Meeting so many of you, learning about programming across the nation as well as individuals from the other associations and states, it has been a highlight of my thirty-eight-year career in extension.

It was my desire to work for you and represent you on the Board.  I want to encourage you to say yes when you are asked to serve as an officer at the state or national level.  It is a decision you won't regret.

My husband Marshall has been my biggest supporter and advocate. We have been married for 34 years. We have two daughters Megan and Kelsey.  Megan and her husband Tyler have our only grandchild, Catherine, the apple of her grandparent's eyes.  We also have a Great Pyrenees at home named Marzi.   I may now have more time for hobbies which are flower gardening, photography, and travel. Marshall and I are active in our local church as Sunday school teachers and caterers.  We have recently decided to become gym members and are enjoying our time together at the gym, believe it or not.

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