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Workforce Readiness & Makerspace Team from Oregon Brings Community Partners to Impact Collaborative Summit, Wins Seed-Funding Grant for Western Region

“The Impact Collaborative provided an ideal space for the Malheur Workforce Readiness team to work through a structured process that challenged their thinking and assisted them with building a strong, informed, foundation. It equipped them with critical insights on how to best evaluate their program and the potential impact, and better communicate and engage with their partners moving forward” – Anita Azarenko, Interim Vice President – Outreach and Extension, Extension Director, Oregon State University. 

Malheur Workforce Readiness is a project from Oregon that is a grassroots collaborative effort co-led by Barbara Brody, Extension Faculty, Oregon State University Extension and Nickie Shira, STEM & Innovation Coordinator, Frontier STEM Hub – Malheur Education Service District.The team also includes Erin Carpenter, Project Director, Eastern Oregon Workforce Board; Melodie Wilson, Education Technology & STEM Specialist, Frontier STEM Hub – Malheur Education Service District and Jerry Peacock, Eastern Oregon Career Technical Education Regional Coordinator. 

This is a workforce readiness program for underserved youth that connects the learning needs of youth to the talent needs of industry resulting in a more inclusive and vibrant local economy. They do this by equipping youth with job-ready skills breaking the cycle of poverty, unlike traditional career-technical education programs that end when students graduate from high school. According to Shira, “we have two components to our project…the overarching project is workforce readiness and we are combining that with the makerspace to provide opportunities for students at the schools with internships and connecting them to local career and job opportunities. The project seeks to narrow the opportunity gap that so many of our students face…”

In 2020, the team partnered with the eXtension Foundation through its Impact Collaborative program at the Impact Collaborative Summit. Teams that participated in the Summit were provided one-on-one coaching by the Impact Collaborative’s network of Innovation Facilitators, including twenty six coaches. Twenty-five Key Informants from across Extension and other external organizations assisted teams on a range of topics, including catalyzation, innovation, program development and evaluation; community partnerships; communications, marketing and digital engagement; diversity, equity, and inclusion; educational technology and instructional design; visualization; and more.

The team leveraged the opportunity to participate in the Impact Collaborative program as a way of formalizing their work together and equipping the team with new skills and tools. “Bringing all of us together and identifying what our roles are and those needs makes us more successful…This opportunity helped us with our skill sets and gave us some other tools to move us forward…We had never been through a training like this as community partners. In my opinion, it really helped,” said Brody. 

The Impact Collaborative trains Cooperative Extension professionals in its Innovation Skill-Building methodology to provide a new way of looking at program development and innovation to assist local teams develop projects or programs more quickly, and strengthen program design. Trained individuals are referred to as Innovation Facilitators and there are currently 151 trained through the Impact Collaborative. At the Summit, Innovation Facilitators serve as coaches with teams to help identify gaps in project and program planning. For the Malheur Workforce Readiness team, their coach was David Keto, Communications & Technology Manager, University of Wyoming. 

“The whole coaching model worked really well for me; David was alongside us wanting us to succeed. It’s hard in a rural community to have resources like this, even in my Extension office, so having the coach was great and his connections had a ripple effect that expanded our capacity,” Brody said about her experience having a coach assigned to her team. Regarding the Key Informants, she shared “when the Key Informants asked us difficult questions and identified our gaps…that was a huge area of growth for me. It enabled us to put together an evaluation matrix for our team. Lastly, it was reassuring that what we were trying to say about our project was able to get across.”

As part of the Summit, teams were invited to apply for $5000 seed-funding grants funded by the Impact Collaborative. One grant was awarded to one team from each Cooperative Extension region that applied. The Malheur Workforce Readiness team received the award for the Western Region. When asked about their next steps and how they plan to leverage these funds, Shira stated “we received additional funding from the Oregon Community Foundation, the Eastern Oregon Border Economic Development Board, and the Eastern Oregon Workforce Board to support this initiative. We are looking to hire an internship coordinator and we have funding for a two-year position to build a solid foundation for the program. With the seed-funding grant, we’ll be able to use that to focus on the evaluation piece. It will be really beneficial for us to make sure that we know the best way to move the needle forward, and how we’re going to evaluate it as we go through the process of implementation to have good measurements. It will also really help us communicate with our partners moving forward.”

Reflecting on the team’s experience and the value of participation, Brody shared that “it was hard work, but it was done extremely well…I liked the remote opportunity and I honestly don’t know if we could have participated because of the cost of travel. I don’t know how the Impact Collaborative matched the coaches with the teams, but David was a great fit for us because he understands rural remote and the environment we work in… I’ve gone back to the Impact Collaborative workbook and tools numerous times…I’ve never had an opportunity like this…it was refreshing to get this learning experience and it’s a comfort knowing that I can email, and someone will help connect us to what we need.”

eXtension’s Impact Collaborative program is available to eXtension Foundation members. The Impact Collaborative fosters the incubation of innovative ideas and provides a unique, structured, and supported process that enables Extension to work with community partners to find and implement the kinds of solutions that will result in the greatest local impact. eXtension Foundation members can learn more about upcoming opportunities with the Impact Collaborative program at extension.org or by joining Connect Extension at connect.extension.org. 

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2021 Impact Collaborative Events: Registration Open NOW for eXtension Members!

eXtension Foundation is pleased to announce open registration for several 2021 events in our Impact Collaborative program. This includes registrations for the Innovation Skill-Building Experience and the Impact Collaborative Innovation Facilitator Training. 

These events are for everyone inside eXtension Foundation member institutions. The eXtension Foundation invites all members to participate in the Impact Collaborative program to build skills in innovation, hone project & program development, and leverage national resources that the Impact Collaborative program provides to our members. 

eXtension Foundation members can click the links below to access event registration pages. Members can also find a listing of events on the home page of eXtension.org, on the Learn Calendar in Connect Extension, or in the Impact Collaborative Subgroup in Connect Extension. 

Innovation Skill-Building Experience (ISBE)

Impact Collaborative Innovation Facilitator Training 

Impact Collaborative Summit

Additionally, eXtension Foundation members will have the opportunity to participate in 50-60 other offerings next year made available through our Impact Collaborative program. In 2020, more than 5000 Cooperative Extension professionals leveraged eXtension’s member offerings on topics that were responsive to the needs of the system including remote work, digital engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more.

2021 offerings will include learnings around leadership development, technology and social media, health, and other customized events created by request from anyone from our member institutions to meet the evolving needs of Cooperative Extension. For suggestions or inquiries on member offerings, please contact impact@extension.org

2021 Membership is required to participate in the Impact Collaborative program. For membership inquiries, please contact membership@extension.org. For assistance with registration, please contact impact@extension.org

More about Impact Collaborative Events!

Innovation Skill-Building Experience

Do you have a project idea that needs incubation, innovation, and ways to get to implementation and impact faster?

Are you looking to learn about design thinking and lean experimentation combined with Cooperative Extension’s best practices for solving important community issues?

Are you interested in becoming an Innovation Facilitator/Coach for future Impact Collaborative events and to support your institution’s teams and teams across the nation?

Are you already an Innovation Facilitator or a team member who would like a refresher on the Innovation Skill-Building process?

If you answered yes, to any of these questions then join us to explore the Impact Collaborative’s Innovation Skill-building experience in a whole new way: The ISBE  will meet via Zoom for four sessions covering specific ISBE building blocks to spark ideas, increase innovation, and turbocharge implementation to ultimately create local impact.

Innovation Facilitator Training

Are you someone who is always looking for new ways to improve?

Do you like adopting innovative ideas and helping others along the way?

Would you like to be a leader that helps teams design cutting edge programs/projects that make real impact?

If so, please consider joining our Innovation Facilitator team!

Our Innovation Facilitator training provides you new ways of looking at innovation.  Once trained, you are an invaluable asset in helping teams develop projects or programs more quickly, and connect them with national resources. You will use our innovation incubator process to bring fresh ideas aligned with institutional goals to every team you work with.

Today, there are 151 Innovation Facilitators across Cooperative Extension working to synergize innovative efforts in their own states, institutions, and supporting regional & national teams.

Who Should Participate?

We recommend Extension Directors and Administrators select individuals with these qualities:

  • Individuals with program leadership experience
  • Individuals who work effectively with your leadership team
  • Individuals who possess strong confidence in facilitation
  • Individuals who are effective in working alongside leadership teams and program leaders to catalyze innovation across the organization

Impact Collaborative Summit

The Impact Collaborative Summit is a team event. Community partners are encouraged to participate on teams. We highly recommend sending teams that include 3-8 individuals focused on a project or program aligned with state/institutional strategic priorities and/or community issues.

Since 2019, teams that incubated with eXtension’s Impact Collaborative program received $5.7 million in grant and partnership funding. 65 project and program teams participated in the past three national Summits, and 92% of participants reported that they would recommend the experience to others. Learn more at extension.org/success about teams that have participated in our Impact Collaborative program.

The Impact Collaborative Summit helps increase Cooperative Extension’s organizational readiness and capacity for innovation and change by connecting teams with skills, tools, resources and partners that can expand and deepen their impact. Participating teams will receive one on one support from coaches to help identify gaps in their project and program planning, and have access to our network of expert Key Informants to help fill those gaps.

For 2021, our Impact Collaborative program is being delivered virtually. We invite members to take advantage of their membership benefit by sending project and program teams to the Impact Collaborative Summit.

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25 Teams Participate in First Virtual Impact Collaborative Summit

For Immediate Release
November 3, 2020
Contact: Aaron Weibe, aaronweibe@eXtension.org

Twenty-five Project and Program teams representing twenty-six Cooperative Extension institutions attended the first Virtual Impact Collaborative Summit on October 13th and 14th. Using technology – including Zoom and virtual whiteboards – participants were connected with tools, resources, coaches, facilitators, and Key Informants in a customized experience designed to catalyze their work.

The Summit kicked off with a thought-provoking keynote by Dr. Scott Reed, Emeritus Vice Provost-University Outreach & Engagement, and an eXtension Catalyst, who spoke about “Legacy and Future: Disruptive Innovation Wins.”  

Teams were provided one-on-one coaching by the Impact Collaborative’s network of Innovation Facilitators, including twenty six coaches. Twenty-five Key Informants from across Extension and other external organizations assisted teams on a range of topics, including catalyzation, innovation, program development and evaluation; community partnerships; communications, marketing and digital engagement; diversity, equity, and inclusion; educational technology and instructional design; visualization; and more.

After two days of hard work, teams participated in a showcase, where they presented their project or program to the Summit community and beyond. All teams have been invited to apply for seed funding grants to support their projects. A graphic summary of the projects is included below:

Results

Highlights of the participant feedback evaluation include:

  • 93% of participants got what they needed
  • 95.3% will recommend the Impact Collaborative Summit to others
  • Aspects of the event that were most useful 
    • Team Time (83.7%)
    • Team Coaches (83.7)
    • Key Informants (79.1%)

When asked What did the Impact Collaborative Summit provide that you can’t get anywhere else?”, participants offered the following responses:

  • The Collaborative helped us to focus on a clear impact statement and messaging to improve our grant application
  • Focused time around a single opportunity with interested colleagues and volunteers; tools specifically designed to hone in on strategies to address issues
  • One-stop-shop for personalized feedback and advice from subject matter experts… without having to secure the services of an external consultant
  • Fresh perspectives, mentorship, connectivity with peers across the country
  • Expert input
  • Help!
  • Tools and resources to move our project forward to fruition

The next Virtual Impact Collaborative Summit is slated for October 12th and 13th, 2021. 

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Impact Collaborative Summit, October 13-14, 2020 – Registration Open

When? October 13 – 14, 2020, 12 PM – 5 PM ET
Where? 
Virtual
For? 
Project and Program Teams from eXtension Member institutions.
Cost?
 Included with eXtension Membership
Registration Deadline? 
September 30th, 2020

Register Here

The Impact Collaborative Summit is a team event. Community partners are encouraged to participate on teams. We highly recommend sending teams that include 3-8 individuals focused on a project or program aligned with state/institutional strategic priorities and/or community issues.

In 2019, teams that incubated with eXtension’s Impact Collaborative program received $700K in federal grants and an additional $50K in grants directly through the Impact Collaborative. 40 project and program teams participated in two national Summits, and 92% of participants reported that they would recommend the experience to others. Learn more at extension.org/success about teams that have participated in our Impact Collaborative program. So far in 2020, teams that incubated with the Impact Collaborative have received $1.3 million in grants.

The Impact Collaborative Summit helps increase Cooperative Extension’s organizational readiness and capacity for innovation and change by connecting teams with skills, tools, resources and partners that can expand and deepen their impact. Participating teams will receive one on one support from coaches to help identify gaps in their project and program planning, and have access to our network of expert Key Informants to help fill those gaps.

For 2020, our Impact Collaborative program is being delivered virtually. We invite members to take advantage of their membership benefit by sending project and program teams to the Impact Collaborative Summit. Teams that participate will be eligible and invited to apply for small grants made available by the eXtension Foundation to help further their project/program development.


Learn More About the Impact Collaborative Summit

The Impact Collaborative Summit Helps Participants: 

  • Grow competencies, insights, inspirations, and capacities to engage in collective impact and innovation to address complex issues
  • Increase understanding and demonstrate diversity, equity, and inclusion principles and practices in team membership and ownership, projects, and implementation plans respective of community culture and norms
  • Increase knowledge of co-creation community success stories and promising models that leverage diverse assets and community partners
  • Identify as members of the Impact Collaborative and are invested in making meaningful local impact, with plans to engage with the connections and resources available through the Impact Collaborative

Teams Participating in the Impact Collaborative Summit Can Expect To:

  • Strengthen community engagement for each project or program
  • Collectively engage partnerships for new capacity for each program
  • Strengthen project or program plans
  • Increase project or program innovation
  • Develop strategies to effectively engage new audiences
  • Strengthen organizational context and readiness to support change needed by their projects and programs
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CRM for Extension – Evaluating the Basics

Stephen Judd is serving as the eXtension Foundation Customer Relationship Management Fellow. This post is an update on progress on this funded Fellowship from the USDA-NIFA New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement.

Virtually all customer relationship management systems (CRM) will have some common core functionality. These features are prerequisites for a CRM to be useful, but the implementations can be different. As an early step in your evaluation, assessing how this core functionality works, how configurable it is, and how it fits with your use cases is important. 

Common functionality

  • Contacts – the people you are keeping track of
  • Accounts – a grouping of contacts, could be a business/company, farm, organization, household, etc.
  • Lists / Campaigns – a set of accounts or contacts that share common attributes or interests
  • Reports – customizable views of the data stored in the CRM
  • Users – the staff who will be interacting with the CRM

People example

A CRM needs to be able to store information about people (contacts.) Typically, a contact will be a single record that has values for various attributes or fields (e.g., first name, last name, email, phone, address.) You should ensure that the provided fields will enable your use cases, or that custom fields can be easily added, given your organizational resources. 

Some attributes may require multiple values, like email. The contact record may have multiple fields – email1, email2, email3 – or it may have a separate record for each email address and allow you to relate them to the contact. Depending on what you know about the contacts you will be storing and how you plan to use the addresses, one method may be better than the other.

Considerations / Questions

  • Object and fields – Does the CRM you are evaluating have the types of objects (contacts, accounts, etc.) you will need, based on your use cases? If not, is there a way to create custom objects or fields, given your organizational resources?
  • Licensing / Pricing – What is the per user cost of the CRM? Is there a limit on contacts that can be stored? Is cost based on the number of contacts?
  • Permissions / Privacy – What information can different users view and edit? Do you need to restrict access for certain users? Can attributes/fields have view/edit restrictions or is it at the object (e.g., contact) level?
  • Types of records – Can there be different types of records and how does that work? You may want certain attributes only for certain types of records, for example, for volunteers you may want the year they started volunteering, but not want that field on other types of contacts.
  • Lists / campaigns – How does the CRM handle creating lists of contacts? Can you send email to these lists directly from the CRM or do you need to export to another system? Is there a cost associated with sending emails? 
  • Interactions – How can you track the interactions with contacts in the CRM? Are these visible to everyone, just the user recording them, or customizable? 
  • Reports – How difficult is it to create reports and run them? Can the report information be exported for use in other programs or visualizations? How is access to reports controlled?
  • Duplication – How does the CRM determine that records are duplicates of each other? Is there an easy way to merge them?
  • Integration – Can the CRM be integrated with other systems you are currently using (e.g., event registration, mass email)? 
  • Bulk data – What is the process to get existing data into the CRM?

Summing up

Given the personas and use cases you’ve compiled, evaluating the basic CRM functionality, as outlined above, will give you a good first pass at the CRM systems you’re evaluating. This will help you determine which ones should be evaluated further, and which are not suitable for your needs.

I welcome feedback and questions at stephen.judd@unh.edu 

Previous post: CRM for Extension – Use Cases

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eXtension: A Look Back at 2019 and What’s Coming for 2020

Working Together For Greater Impact

 In 2019, eXtension leveraged $1.1 million in membership and Cooperative Extension received $2.4 million in return. 

2019 has been a busy and productive year for the eXtension Foundation. From our work supporting members through the Impact Collaborative, to the work being done for the whole system through the USDA-NIFA New Technologies for Agricultural Extension Cooperative Agreement, to supporting Extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs through a Cooperative Agreement with the EPA – we wanted to take a moment to share those highlights with you. We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2020!


Projects Incubated in eXtension’s Impact Collaborative Receive $1.2 Million in Return

eXtension’s Impact Collaborative has reached over 3500 Extension professionals on 250+ project teams representing 50 insitutions at 30 national and local events since 2016. In 2019, $690K in federal grants were awarded to teams that incubated with the Impact Collaborative. $60K in grants were provided directly through the Impact Collaborative. eXtension provided $412K in travel and registration costs for Extension professionals to participate with the Impact Collaborative.

59 New Innovation Facilitators Trained 

The Impact Collaborative’s Innovation Facilitator Training is more than a train-the-trainer program. This network of Extension professionals works hand-in-hand with the Impact Collaborative to deliver a structured process for innovation, integrates within a project or program team to bring a fresh perspective, helps identify potential gaps in planning, and guides teams to support and resources to fill those gaps.

We trained 41 new Facilitators in January, and 18 new Facilitators in March representing 41 Land-Grant Universities. This brings the total number of trained Facilitators to 107, representing 50 institutions.

The next Innovation Facilitator Training will be in February, 2020.


Supercharging Extension Teams through Two National Summits

The Impact Collaborative Summit is an experience for Extension professionals at any stage of project or program development to speed up that process through one-on-one coaching, access to a network of Key Informant expertise to fill gaps and needs, and multiple opportunities to share their story. 93.2% of responding participants recommend the Impact Collaborative Summit to others.

$60K in grants were awarded to teams at the Impact Collaborative Summits in April and October. Teams reported acquiring new skills, more informed projects and programs, new or increased innovation, and team growth. Learn more about what participants experienced, evaluation results, and success stories here

In 2020, the Impact Collaborative will host two national Summits virtually. For eXtension members, there will be no limit on the number of teams that can participate.


Supporting Members Locally

The Impact Collaborative’s Innovation Skill-Building Experience is a structured process designed for Cooperative Extension professionals to help with finding more innovative ways to move projects and programs forward. 

In 2019, the Impact Collaborative brought its Innovation Skill-Building Experience to members at the University of Nevada-RenoNorth Dakota State UniversityUniversity of MaineUniversity of Idaho, and the University of Georgia.

Learn more about the results of those events here


Exclusive Content & Professional Development through Engage & Empower Online 

Unlimited access to professional development opportunities led by Extension and partner organizations for our members.

In May 2019, we introduced Engage & Empower Online to our members. Since then, 1000 Extension professionals have joined the platform to connect with exclusive access to publications and presentations made available through our partnership with the Insititute for the Future. Additionally, members had the exclusive opportunity to participate in a series of 12 Learning Circles ranging in topics from Creating Thriving Family Farms to Self-Branding to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Workplace or Community.

In 2020, two professional development opportunities will be delivered each month along with a new series in partnership with the Scattergood Foundation on Trauma-Informed Practice. Learn more about Engage & Empower Online and register for an account here


Your Partner in 2020

In 2020, eXtension members have the benefit of leveraging our Impact Collaborative program to help guide vision and strategy, support alignment, cultivate community engagement and ownership of projects, establish shared measures across the system, advance policy, and mobilize resources in the diverse program areas of Cooperative Extension locally, regionally, and nationally. Learn more and join us here


New Technology Through USDA-NIFA Cooperative Agreement, Four Extension Projects Receive $185K in Support

In partnership with Oklahoma State University, the eXtension Foundation was awarded the New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement. Our work through this Cooperative Agreement is to support the entire Land-Grant University System regardless of membership in eXtension. For year one (2019-2020), four Extension projects have received $65K in Fellowships and Operating Support, and an additional $120K will be go to marketing firms supporting these projects.

Piloting New Methods for Program Scale and Implementation

As part of eXtension’s New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement with USDA-NIFA, the eXtension Foundation is partnering with four existing programs aligned with USDA strategic goals across Cooperative Extension in Year One to explore new methods and models for program scale and implementation. These initiatives are being documented in a series of eFieldbooks to inform the system of the models, learnings, and outcomes. Professional development opportunities will be created and delivered centered upon these learnings and offered to the entire system beginning in 2020 through the new FlexLearn platform.

Learn more about each project:


The Next Generation of eXtension Technology

As eXtension looks to 2020 and beyond, it has adopted a new set of tools, technology, and services to better serve the Cooperative Extension System. With the success of our legacy tools and custom coded platforms, eXtension has taken steps to preserve that valuable content and build upon the success of those tools. The new tools, technology, and services provide Extension professionals with greater flexibility, expand access to resources, and enable eXtension to deliver professional development for both its membership base and the Land-Grant university system as a whole.

New technology includes an upgraded version of Ask An Expert, branded Ask Extension, that incorporates Artificial Intelligence; WordPress Sites for Multi-State and National Projectsnew eFieldbooks; and professional development opportunities through FlexLearn.

Read about the Next Generation of eXtension Technology here!


Three New eFieldbooks 

Are you looking for a collection of resources pertaining to Evaluation, Urban Extension, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, or Opioid Response? Our eFieldbooks, authored by Cooperative Extension professionals are a great place to start.

eFieldbooks are created with Department of Defense Advanced Distributed Learning technology and are interactive multimedia ebooks that help establish processes and assist with the delivery of new programs. These books work on mobile applications and can be brought into the field.

Through the eXtension Foundation, these eFieldbooks were created by Cooperative Extension Professionals selected by their professional associations and appointed as eXtension Fellows.

New eFieldbooks in 2019 include:

  • Extension Evaluation Matters, Teresa McCoy, NAEPSDP
  • Urban Extension, Cynthia Pierfax & Jody Norman, NUEL
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Lindsey Lunsford, Tuskegee University

You can access the eFieldbook Library here


Customer Relationship Management Fellow Explores Usage Across Cooperative Extension

Stephen Judd, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, is serving as eXtension’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Fellow. His work includes evaluating CRM usage for Extension.

The success of Extension is built on the relationship with clientele, volunteers, stakeholders, and partners. These relationships are developed by multiple staff, over time, and are often not clear to other staff and decision-makers.

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are a tool widely used by companies to track their interactions with customers and partners. CRM is also being used by Extension systems to keep track of their interactions with people, though the preferred term for the “C” in CRM may be clientele or contact.

Take a look here at Stephen’s webinar on CRM, and read his articles here


Dr. Rose Hayden-Smith named eXtension’s Educational Technology Fellow


Dr. Rose Hayden-Smith has been appointed as eXtension’s Educational Technology Fellow. This fellowship is made possible by the New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement with USDA-NIFA. The purpose of this Fellowship is to catalyze adoption and awareness of new educational technologies and practices among professionals in the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service. Learn more here


eXtension Announces Futuring Technology Committee for New Technologies for Agricultural Extension Cooperative Agreement


Through the New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement and In partnership with Oklahoma State University, the eXtension Foundation has formed a Futuring Technology Committee to serve as an advisor for several initiatives within the Cooperative Agreement. The committee is led by Dr. Jerry Thomas, Leader for Innovation and Change, Ohio State University. Learn more here.  


Nearly $1 Million in Funding for Extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs

Through a Cooperative Agreement with the Envrionmental Protection Agency (EPA), the eXtension Foundation distributes funding to Extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs through the Pesticide Safety Education Funds Management Program (PSEFMP).

50 Extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs Applied and Recieved Funding through PSEFMP

In 2019, 50 Extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEP) applied and received funding through the Pesticide Safety Education Funds Management Program. A total of $983,856.90 was awarded to all applicants. The average award for each PSEP was approximately $20K. In return for the funding, PSEP programs develop projects that further support Pesticide Safety Education efforts across their states, and are shared with PSEP programs across state lines.

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CRM for Extension – Use cases

Stephen Judd is serving as the eXtension Foundation Customer Relationship Management Fellow. This post is an update on progress on this funded Fellowship from the USDA-NIFA New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement.

Armed with our goals and personas, it’s time to articulate what our people will actually do with a customer relationship management (CRM) system. At this point, we’re still not evaluating specific CRMs, but identifying its uses, so that we will be able to assess which features and capabilities will be needed for our organization. 

To accomplish our task, we will build up a library of use cases that will help us identify how our CRM should behave. These use cases will be based around the business processes where we believe CRM will be useful and will take the perspective of the personas we’ve created.

Description of use cases from usability.gov:

A use case is a written description of how users will perform tasks on your website.  It outlines, from a user’s point of view, a system’s behavior as it responds to a request. Each use case is represented as a sequence of simple steps, beginning with a user’s goal and ending when that goal is fulfilled.”

In our situation, we won’t focus on the individual steps of a process, but rather on the tasks associated with particular use cases. These tasks will help inform us of the CRM features or capabilities that we will want to be evaluating for when looking at specific CRM systems. We can assume that any CRM will be able to store the contact information (name, email, phone, address, etc.) for people. We’ll also be assuming that the people interacting with the CRM have the necessary licenses and/or permissions to accomplish their tasks.

Example use cases:

Use Case 1 Advisory Councils
Actor Persona – Extension Support Staff – Sam
Each county in our Extension organization has an Advisory Council, comprised of citizens and decision-makers that help guide the activities of Extension in that county. Sam uses the CRM to keep track of current council members, their roles, and term on the council for Sam’s county. Sam is often asked for a list of council members and their roles.
Tasks
  • Lookup or create contact and contact info
  • Add contact to a list of Advisory Council members
  • Create or edit information related to Advisory Council membership
  • Create or run report of current Advisory Council members with specific information about them and their membership
CRM Implications
  • Duplicate person (contact) management
  • Way to create lists or groups of people
  • Custom information (fields) for certain types of lists
  • Customizable reports and filters

 

Use Case 2 Track interactions with people
Actor Persona – Extension Specialist / Agent / Educator – Reilly
Extension professionals have many interactions with the people we serve each day. Reilly would like to keep track of many of these interactions in the CRM, both to help as Reilly has subsequent interactions with the person and to assist colleagues that may interact with the same person. Ideally, Reilly would like to be able to accomplish this using a mobile phone shortly after the interaction or through an email application, without having to log in to a separate interface. Reilly also needs to be able to generate reports of these interactions.
Tasks
  • Lookup or create contact and contact info
  • Record interaction with person
  • Create or run report of interactions for specified time periods
CRM Implications
  • Duplicate person (contact) management
  • Way to create and associate interactions with people (contacts)
  • Visibility of interactions for other users of CRM
  • Integration with email application
  • Mobile interface or app

 

Use Case 3 Government officials / decision-makers
Actor Persona – Extension Administrator – Pat
Part of the continued support and funding for Extension programs is based on the support of government officials and decision-makers. Pat would like to use CRM to maintain the contact information for these people and record interactions with them. Pat needs reports that can be shared with  others in the organization.
Tasks
  • Lookup or create contact and contact info
  • Indicate that person is government official or decison-maker
  • Record interaction with person
  • Create or run report of interactions for specified time periods
CRM Implications
  • Duplicate person (contact) management
  • Way to create lists or groups of people
  • Custom information (fields) for certain types of lists
  • Way to create and associate interactions with people (contacts)
  • Visibility of interactions for other users of CRM
  • Customizable and shareable reports and filters

These three use cases are simplified, but could be made as detailed or complex as you’d like. Their purpose is to describe the way people will interact with the CRM and help identify the specific CRM features and capabilities that we should evaluate.

The use cases should be based on what people will actually need to do with the CRM to conduct business processes that you’ve identified that fit with your organizational goals. Implications for how data may need to be structured and shared will be important when you are doing the actual evaluation of CRM systems.

Based on the use cases above, we can start constructing a list of CRM features for evaluation:

  • Duplicate management
  • Contact grouping or lists
  • Custom attributes for contacts or lists
  • Tracking interactions
  • Sharing and visibility between CRM users
  • Reporting capabilities, including customization, sharing, filtering, saving, etc.

Other use cases you may consider developing include managing mass email, event registrations, and volunteer hour tracking. The sky’s the limit, just keep them aligned with your people and the business processes that fit your organizational goals.

I welcome feedback and questions at stephen.judd@unh.edu 

Previous post: CRM for Extension – Personas

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Seven Teams Awarded Grants for Achievements at Impact Collaborative Summit

For Immediate Release
July 23rd, 2019
Contact: Aaron Weibe, aaronweibe@eXtension.org

Seven teams that participated in the April 2019 Impact Collaborative Summit in Atlanta, GA, have been awarded $5000 grants to assist in furthering their project and program development and help push them closer towards implementation. One team from each region was selected for the grant based upon their presentation during the Impact Collaborative LaunchFest at the Summit. Teams participating in the LaunchFest not only gained valuable feedback from the panel and their peers across Extension, but teams that are most-ready to implement their projects and programs were able to secure an opportunity for funding. 

All teams that did not receive a LaunchFest grant award were eligible to apply for a separate grant.

Teams that received awards included:

Southern Region

Team Name: CIVIC
Institution(s): University of Florida and Florida A&M University
Project Description:
This project fosters civil and inclusive dialogue to cultivate a climate of sustained community conversation around complex and pressing local issues through technical resources and professional development training to enable CES agents to effectively serve as conveners, moderators, and coordinator.

1890 Region

Team Name: Tuskegee Public Dialogue Team
Institution(s): Tuskegee University
Project Description: In 2016, ECOP recognized a need to explore ways Cooperative Extension Service could respond to the deep need for improving race relations across the nation. Through their thoughtful leadership, the Rapid Response Team on Civil Discourse on Race Relations formed to explore existing efforts within Cooperative Extension Service, catalogue resources available, and recommend next steps for building capacity. Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program (TUCEP) responded by sending a specialist to the first cohort group of Coming Together for Racial Understanding Train –the – Trainer Training. Following the training, the Tuskegee Public Dialogue Team (TPDT) formed and travelled to the first national Impact Collaborative Summit to establish a clear project roadmap for creating a program aimed at helping communities engage in civil dialogues around racial issues.

Western Region

Team Name: HEART Team
Institution(s): Utah State University
Project Description: This project is a new four-year initiative focused on the Health & Wellness needs of Utah, specifically the opioid epidemic.

North Central Region

Team Name: Wellness in Tough Times
Institution(s): University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Project Description: Help rural families create and maintain connections for mental wellness; Help local communities in supporting farming/ranching families to address mental wellness and identifying meaningful and impactful ways to create communities of care to support mental wellness.

Team Name: Learn It, Live It, Work It (Separate Grant Award)
Institution(s): Purdue University
Project Description: There are seven sequenced steps in this project: (1) Members of our DEI Indy Team increase their individual DEI competencies and associated skills; (2) DEI Team members assist other Purdue Extension-Marion County staff members and key volunteers in increasing their own DEI knowledge, awareness, competencies and skills; (3) key program constituent groups such as Master Gardeners, 4-H adult volunteers, urban farmers, money mentors, food corps volunteers and Extension Board members examine and strengthen their DEI recruitment and operating practices; (4) impacts brought about by changed internal practices are identified and summarized; (5) CityLAB partners are identified and DEI participation barriers removed to solidify a successful partnership; (6) lessons learned are shared with other organizations; and (7) the DEI Team identifies external organizations to assist in this collective impact work.

Northeastern Region

Team Name: Vermont DEI
Institution(s): University of Vermont
Project Description: This program promotes a shift in culture within CES and its programs to embrace and operationalize a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive atmosphere, recognizing multiple dimensions of identity and experience.

National Grant Award:

Team Name: National Sustainability Summit
Institution(s): University of Florida, Florida A&M University, Washington State University, North Dakota State University
Project Description: The National Sustainability Summit conference brings leading sustainability and energy educators and practitioners together to showcase land grant university Extension and research program successes, share challenges, and identify opportunities to strengthen our collective impacts. It also provides conference hosts with opportunities to build a strong, supportive local community of Extension supporters and partners.

About the eXtension Foundation

The eXtension Foundation is a membership-based non-profit designed to be the engine fueling U.S. Cooperative Extension’s advancement in making a more visible and measurable impact in support of education outreach from land-grant universities/colleges located in every state and territory. eXtension provides an array of opportunities for Extension professionals that foster innovation creation, the adoption of innovations at member institutions, and increased impact of Extension programs.

 

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Uncategorized

Using Artificial Intelligence to Support Extension Services

By David Warren
eXtension Artificial Intelligence Fellow

Alexa, Siri, Google Search and other consumer-facing machine learning services have revolutionized the way that many people find answers to questions that occur in everyday life. With this thought in mind, eXtension is investigating how AI and machine learning tools could be applied to both improve access to information and increase the local impact of Extension Services. 

Our investigation has led to a scoping effort and preparation of a grant application that envisions the creation of a machine learning service. This service would accept questions from clients of partner Extension Services via text input, and deliver answers and resource links.

The type of service we are envisioning is a “chatbot”, which will utilize machine learning algorithms to find the best answers to questions. The chatbot will built on top of eXtension’s large database of thousands of questions and answers gleaned from years of the Ask an Expert service. Additional content hosted by partner Extension Services such as fact sheets, reports, links to workshops, and connections to local offices and resources could also form part of the answers that would be supplied to questioners. 

The chatbot would be accessible via API’s by the various Extension Services for use with websites, text response from phones, and potentially other uses. We hope to superpower local extension websites with this service, with eXtension remaining invisible behind the scenes. The goal is to provide local information and local connections, capitalizing on national data for machine learning to provide high-quality chats/answers.

This project in no way conceived as a replacement for the vitally important people who work in Extension Services. Instead, it is intended to leverage the expertise of Extension personnel in a new way, in order to reach people who likely would not have connected to Extension. We will work hard to give it the Extension feel, with right touch and local feeling.

The initial meeting of an ad hoc advisory group was held on April 10, 2019. Attendees from Land Grant Universities included: Becky Griffin of the University of Georgia; Rose Hayden-Smith of the University of California; Steve Judd of the University of New Hampshire; Robin Baumgartner of the University of Idaho; Eli Sagor of the University of Minnesota; and David Warren of Oklahoma State University.

A second meeting of the ad hoc advisory group is planned for April 29, 2019. The grant application for this project will be submitted at the beginning of June, and if funded, the project should begin late in the summer. Look for further updates here at eXtension.org. 

 

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February 2019 News Roundup

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eXtension’s Impact Collaborative can bring its Innovation Skill-Building Experience to your state or institution. We work with our members on designing an event contextualized for their needs and focused on their goals. Learn more about our State and Institutional Events here

Upcoming Member Events

Impact Collaborative Summit, April 2019: 

We are pleased to announce that the registration for our first of two national Impact Collaborative Summits is now open. The Spring Impact Collaborative Summit is from April 30th – May 2nd, 2019 in Atlanta, GA. Registration is available hereEach of our member Directors & Administrators have been provided a promo code to receive 5 free registrations to the Summit to send a project or program team. A registration fee will apply for additional teams. 

The Impact Collaborative Summit brings unique opportunities to create impactful results at the local level by increasing Cooperative Extension’s organizational readiness and capacity for innovation and change. We help connect project and program teams with skills, tools, resources and partners that can expand and deepen their impact in a continuing partnership with the Impact Collaborative. You can hear what some of our participants had to say about our October 2018 Impact Collaborative Summit here.

The registration deadline is April 7th and space is limited; we encourage you to have your team register as soon as possible.

More information about the Impact Collaborative Summit, registration, and hotel booking can be found here.

Engaged Program Development Approaches for Cooperative Extension Webinar

When?

March 20th, 2019 at 2 PM EDT

Who can attend?

This webinar is part of eXtension’s Engage & Empower Online and is available to eXtension Members through the Impact Collaborative.

Description

We talk about engagement, but what does it mean when we think about how we conduct our work in Extension? How should we approach program planning in an engaged manner? Who should we include in our work? And how does our work change? During this interactive session we will explore answers to these questions based on ongoing research and experiences in this area.

Presenter

Karen Vines
Assistant Professor
Continuing Professional Education Specialist
Virginia Cooperative Extension

Registration Information

Registration information will be sent to eXtension members.

News from eXtension

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18 More Cooperative Extension professionals to join the Impact Collaborative as Innovation Facilitators to advance program impact

In January, 2019, 41 Cooperative Extension professionals representing 28 institutions attended eXtension’s Impact Collaborative Innovation Facilitator Training in Atlanta, GA, and completed initial learning and application of the Impact Collaborative methodology.

To accommodate our members that were unable to attend the January training session, we are hosting a second Innovation Facilitator training in March. 18 new Innovation Facilitators will join us at the session, representing 11 institutions that were not represented in January. The skills learned at this training help these Innovation Facilitators lead innovation skill-building experiences at state or institutional events and at the national Impact Collaborative Summits.

View Results from the January Training

eXtension Launches Redesigned Website

eXtension has launched a redesigned version of its website. The new design provides greater clarity to the mission of eXtension, its flagship program – the Impact Collaborative, and other national and supporting resources.

With user experience as a primary goal, the new design allows for users to quickly access information and see the most up-to-date content on how eXtension is helping Extension professionals’ effectiveness in addressing issues of importance to the nation.

Visit Us Online

Engage & Empower Online 

eXtension has created a new online platform for members designed to collectively drive innovation and action toward meaningful impacts. Engage & Empower Online allows the Impact Collaborative to connect with its Innovation Facilitators, Key Informants, partners, and project/program teams across the nation to help drive collective impact.Engage & Empower Online is hosted on the LumApps platform, a Google-endorsed intranet/extranet solution. Innovation Facilitators and Impact Collaborative project/program teams will be provided access to the platform shortly.

Online Innovation Skill-Building Experience

eXtension has developed an online version of the Impact Collaborative Innovation Skill-Building Experience. This new on-demand resource will enable fast delivery of the Impact Collaborative Innovation Skill-Building process to support teams and help track their progress.

This resource also provides our Innovation Facilitators with a tool to guide project and program teams back in their states and institutions, to ultimately help with program impact.

EventMobi Extends Discount to eXtension Members 

To assist our members with their own events, we have partnered with EventMobi, an Event Registration and experience application, to offer an exclusive discount for eXtension Members.EventMobi provides an award-winning event app, which allows you to distribute your event content, engage and communicate with your audience, and transition away from paper reliance at your meetings & events.

As per the EventMobi 2019 price list here, eXtension Foundation member organizations will qualify for 15% off any of the following packages and enhancements until March 1/2020.

● Pro 500, Pro Unlimited, Max Package
● Sponsor & Exhibitor Promotion
● Live Polling & in-app Q&A

To take advantage of this offer, please send an email to sales@eventmobi.com and mention “EventMobi – eXtension Foundation Member Discount” to their team.

Customer Relationship Management Webinar

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Our eXtension funded fellow, Stephen Judd, hosted a webinar on Customer Relationship Management. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are a tool widely used by companies to track their interactions with customers and partners. CRM is also being used by Extension systems to keep track of their interactions with people, though the preferred term for the “C” in CRM may be clientele or contact.

The webinar provided an overview of what CRM is, what features are most relevant to Extension, and how using it can help Extension systems maintain their clientele relationships. If you didn’t get a chance to view the webinar, you can access it through the link below.

Upcoming Webinars

Check out all upcoming professional development events listed on learn.extension.org

  • The Impact of the Opioid Crisis on Hospitals March 12th, 2019 at 3:00 PM EDT. Learn More or Register
  • Getting Started With Quality Hay & Pasture, March 13th, 2019 at 7:00 PM EDT. Learn More or Register
  • Producing & Using Black Soldier Fly Larva in Small Poultry Flocks March 22th, 2019 at 3 PM EDTLearn More or Register