ESS Business Meeting Agenda

Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, Charlotte, NC

Ballantyne Ballroom AB 

September 30, 2015




Topic and Presenter(s)





Call to Order - Bob Shulstad, Chair

In meeting report:

Chairman Bob Shulstad convened the meeting and the agenda, minutes of 2014 ESS Meeting and interim actions were all approved.  The interim action was the appointment of Karen Plaut as chair of the Diversity in Research Leadership Task Force.  Those receiving the 2015 Experiment Station Awards for Excellence were congratulated and they will receive their awards in Nov., 2015 at the annual APLU meeting.

  • 2015 Winners of the 2015 Experiment Station Awards for Excellence:
    • Dr. Alton Thompson - Association of 1890 Research Directors
    • Dr. Fred Cholick - North Central Regional Association
    • Dr. Michael Hoffman - North East Regional Association
    • Dr. Eric Young - Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors
    • Dr. Ron Pardini - Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors



NIFA Update - Bob Holland

In meeting report:

Bob Holland introduced Jeanette Thurston who will now be assisting Meryl Broussard in the NIFA Director’s Office.  Perag Chitnis, Deputy Director of the Inst. of Food Production and Sustainability, was also introduced.  Dr. Holland indicated that while NIFA travel restrictions have been lifted, only essential travel is expected to occur.  Clarifications were given about a recent conference call with Dr. Ramaswamy as they related to questions that have been received about money that land-grant universities had not used and would be returned to the Treasury.  The amount given was inflated and included, for example, awards that were made in 2014 and 2015 and drawdown on these awards are obviously still in effect.  Additionally all grants do not have a five year duration period.  The accounting information comes from New Orleans and the next report is due in a few weeks and should be more accurate.  If more questions or concerns remain, Dr. Holland or Mrs. Cynthia Montgomery should be contacted. 

In the same conference call the conferees learned that Congress has requested USDA-NIFA to provide a plan to address the matching issues that came to light as they relate to insufficient matching from the states for the 1890s.  The plan has been written, approved by the NIFA Director, and will be sent to the Chief Scientist, the Secretary of Agriculture and then to Congress.  Additionally NIFA was asked to respond to the ‘formula on top of the formula’ that was proposed related to state matching.  The data that will need to be provided for NIFA’s requested report on matching to Congress will need to relate to the amount of money given to land-grant institutions in the states with both 1890s and 1862s, to include a description of how the matching awards are made, i.e. block awards, line items.  The information will be requested primarily from the financial officers of both the states and the universities.  

Dr. Chitnis indicated that NIFA is seeking to address RFAs for land-grant universities’ water programs as this area is a land-grant university priority for increased funding.  NIFA is also trying to reconcile the difference in House and Senate language as it relates to IPM programs.

The new Center of Excellence Program will be a two year pilot so that results can be reviewed.  As stakeholders, the universities should also send in their comments.  NIFA also has a new program with a Commodity Board provision.  If the commodity groups are interested in the topics for funding they can contribute to the award – 50:50.      




BAA-Policy Board of Directors  - Steve Slack and Eric Young

In meeting report: 

The Policy Board of Directors met in Napa, CA on March 31 and Providence, RI on July 22. Below are summaries of discussions from those meetings.

1. By-laws Change

Another vote to change the Board on Agricultural Assembly bylaws on number of votes needed to change by laws to “Approval by 2/3 of those voting, provided > 50% of eligible voters vote” was held in April.  This vote also failed due to less than 2/3 of eligible votes casting ballots. It was decided in July to explore electronic voting further, although D.C. prohibits this practice, an exemption may be possible. The PBD will decide in November how to proceed depending if electronic voting is allowable or not.

2. Unified message

The Riley Foundation and AGREE are both working on developing a message. AGREE’s idea is different from Riley Foundation, particularly related to capacity funds. AGREE does not mention capacity funds. These groups are primarily interested in research, not extension or teaching.  The Board on Agriculture Assembly needs to develop a message that is broad enough to cover the Land Grant University mission.  Wendy Wintersteen is now chair of Riley Foundation and could convene a meeting of these groups.

· Motion to move forward on developing a message, request proposal from Mitch Owens to facilitate process, identify taskforce members

3. Budget and Advocacy Committee Report

· Alan Grant is Budget and Advocacy Committee chair and Orlando McMeans is Chair-elect and Advocacy Chair

· Process for advancing new initiatives has been drafted by ECOP’s and ESCOP’s Budget & Legislative Committees and are being merged into one document 

· Responses from NIFA on water and Pest Management initiatives demonstrate that it is unlikely that any initiative will be adopted wholly by NIFA.  However, NIFA will use key parts, and may also need additional information.  Motion – “Any initiative from parts of the system represented on the BAA Policy Board of Directors in which funds or special requests are being made in which the requestor is doing so as part of the BAA shall be transmitted through the chair of BAA PBD with a written letter of request being part of the formal process. This does not preclude meetings or other communications by members to discuss and develop ideas and concepts before reaching the formal request stage”.  § Tabled to be considered by Sections along with process for bringing forward big initiatives

4. Committee on Legislation and Policy

· Tribal colleges letter asking for recommendation that 1994’s can compete for CYFAR and FRTIP

· Possible change in overtime exempt status for up to $50,000. This impacts all university employees, but Extension would be hit particularly hard 

· A new clause just introduced would require state match for 1862 and 1890 to be equivalent, i.e. have to match at least 1 to 1


· LEAD-21 has paid back APLU loan completely

· LEAD-21 applicants are over 90 per year now, so they have to decide how to handle this much demand 

· LEAD-21 contract with University of Georgia ends January 1, 2016, so an RFP will issued for a new management contract. UGA may not put in a bid. 

· FSLI is currently recruiting and also has more applicants than slots for their next class

· FSLI has raised tuition to meet costs and are maintaining a stable budget

6. Futuring Initiative

· Discussions that Ian Maw had with Peter McPherson lead to decision that APLU will launch a futuring effort at the Presidents’ level focused on food in the broad sense. Randy Woodson will lead this effort. This will be a joint CEFRR and Presidents’ initiative with the BAA heavily involved.   Looking for external funding for effort, will talk with Kellogg Foundation soon

7. Anti-microbial Taskforce Report

· Lonnie King, Ohio State University, is chair.

· Taskforce is making recommendations to various federal agencies on managing microbial resistance related to antibiotic use in animal agriculture 

· Work products also include research needs and knowledge gaps, curriculum adjustments in undergrad and graduate courses, and public education

· Final report is due out in September

8. Communication Marketing Committee Report

· Scott Reed will be chair until November

· Water security will be one of the focuses

· Continuing to make efforts to document the return on investment of this effort

· kglobal has completed message testing that was approved last year and will likely repeat testing on a smaller scale annually. Proposal will be coming from kglobal soon for this activity

9. Infrastructure Survey

· Sightlines has held two webinars and one more will be done

· Almost every institution is participating and has paid assessments. Surveys are currently out for completion. Report is expected in early Fall

10. APLU Annual Meeting

· November 15 -17, 2015, Indianapolis

· Board on Agricultural Assembly session Monday morning: plenary session.  Ideas for session: Unified message, b) Board on Agricultural Assembly initiatives status, c) APLU Futuring, d) GMO issue- Land Grant Universities stand.   BAA initiatives was chosen as the topic

11. 2015 Election for Policy Board of Directors

· Academic Programs Section, Administrative Heads Section, Cooperative Extension Service, 1890, Non-Land Grant Universities need to elect a new representative

· Clarence Watson was chosen to complete Steve Slack’s term. Ernie Minton will be the alternate

At the end of his report Dr. Slack announced he is retiring and appreciated the willingness of Clarence Watson to complete his term on the PBD and for Ernie Minton agreeing to serve as the alternate.  Steve was thanked by Chairman Shulstad for the leadership excellence he had continuously provided for the System. 




Cornerstone Report  - Hunt Shipman

In meeting report: 

A CR has been passed and it depends on the soon-to-be-elected House leadership to see if at the end of the year the House will again threaten to shut down the government over funding disputes.  Still in play is bringing to fruition the movement of Crop Protection/Pest Management lines from 406 to 3D programs.  The request was made because indirect costs are required for 406 but not for 3-D.  Robin Shepard and Mike Harrington are the System’s leaders in finding the fixes requested to satisfy both ESS and CES. 

The State of Louisiana has voted to make Grambling State University its third land-grant university.  Rep. Abraham, Congressional Rep. from Louisiana, has introduced H.R. 3022 to require that Grambling State University be eligible to receive funds under the Second Morrill Act and this action has been referred to the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research. As was the result of the state of Ohio doing the same thing for Central State University, the inclusion of new land-grant universities decreases funding to other land-grant universities as no new money is provided for new institutions.  Thus this may be a precedent that must be guarded against by the entire System as 1862s and 1890s will probably continue to have institutions wanting to have land-grant status and they will have noted that Congress has allowed this to occur. 




Budget and Legislative Report  - Gary Thompson and Mike Harrington 


In meeting report:

These submissions have been sent to Faith Peppers who is working with other communications specialists to develop unified stories that demonstrate impact at the national level. New Budget Initiatives and Strategic Marketing A subcommittee led by Saied Mostaghimi created a Strategic The BAA process for advancing new budget initiatives continues to be put forward and ESS and CES stay engaged on budget decisions by having representation on the B&L Committees of each other.  It is felt however that merging of CES and ESS B&L committees would be unwise as there are unique areas of interest for each section. 

Thompson reminded all to have strong impact statements submitted to the national website database.  Documents will be developed from the strongest impact statements submitted. 

Water Security Initiative
A group from ESCOP, ECOP, the BAC and PBD met with Sonny Ramaswamy and Bob Holland during the Joint COPS meeting to ascertain what was needed to strengthen the Initiative. Robin Shepard and Mike Harrington worked to address the stated needs. The document was transmitted to Sonny by Policy Board Chair, Jay Akridge on August 11, 2015.

Water Impact Statements

As part of the advocacy effort for the Water Security Initiative, ESCOP and ECOP have been collecting important water-related impact stories that address the five Keystones of National Significance:

· Food and Agricultural Production
· Environment and Ecosystems Services
· Energy Production
· Human Health and Safety
· Community Vitality

 Colleges were also asked to enter new water-related impact statements into the national Land-Grant Impacts database (  In response to this request, the B&L committee received 18 responses from experiment stations and 44 impact Marketing Campaign document as a generic template to guide future initiatives such as the Water Security Initiative.

At the same time, BAC Chair Jay Akridge requested that the ESCOP and ECOP Budget and Legislative Committees develop a process document to guide the development of new initiatives such as the Water Security Initiative. Mike Harrington led this effort, engaging the B&L committee members. Both documents contained common as well as unique elements and it was decided to combine these two related documents into a single working document that can be used as a procedural best practices guide for new or existing budget initiatives. Both Budget and Legislative Committees have provided comments. Joint ESCOP-ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee discussions. A breakfast meeting of ESCOP and ECOP members was held during the Joint COPs meeting. Both Chairs participate in the respective committee conference calls. It was agreed that the committees should remain separate but coordinate their activities, bringing together the unique perspectives from each committee. To that end, a joint ESCOP-ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee meeting is being planned for the AHS-CARET meeting in late February-early March 2016.

BAA Process for Advancing New Budget Initiatives

Over the last several years, considerable effort was invested in two budget initiatives: Crop Protection/Pest Management and Water Security. The concept of addressing issues of great importance as described in the Water Security Initiative gained broad support of the BAA, and at least some traction at USDA-NIFA. Several valuable lessons were learned through these processes including:

· Communicating with a unified voice,

· Engaging topical experts in developing white papers,

· Vetting white papers at various levels including the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP), Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP), the Budget and Advocacy Committee (BAC), and the Policy Board of Directors (PBD),

· Enumerating expected outcomes and impacts,

· Articulating how the initiative adds value to the potential funding agency’s programs

· Involving the Executive Directors and Administrators (EDAs) in facilitating initiative development from the beginning to end

At least two years of lead time are needed to get an initiative “in the queue” for consideration by a federal agency. Every effort must be made to have federal partner(s) engaged in the white paper development process. The process, from idea to white paper development and approval, must be completed at least two years in advance of efforts to include in a federal budget request. In addition, it is essential to define important components of the advocacy campaign in order to establish a generic framework or checklist for future campaigns. Finally, it is crucial that there is formal communication of the final initiative from the Policy Board of Directors to the specific federal agency Director, other appropriate agency officials, as well as distribution to BAA members and other partners.

Issue Identification/Workgroup Development Steps

1. Identify the big problem: What is the big issue of the day that can be addressed by the Land-grant University System using integrated approaches? (Ideally only one issue would be selected to avoid potential mixed messages.)

2. Vet idea with Sections, BAC, BAA, other Boards, and other groups as appropriate.

3. Vet idea with Cornerstone for feasibility.

4. BAC charges formation of workgroup (WG) with scope of work to include white paper development.

5. Deans and AES/CES Directors and Administrators identify WG members who agree to participate.

6. Workgroup is created with the assistance of the EDAs; current Section Chairs serve as co-chairs.

7. EDAs facilitate communication among partners and regions.

White Paper Development and Content

With the assistance of the EDAs and Section Chairs, the WG develops a white paper through an iterative process. The white paper:

· Clearly identifies the issue or situation and frames it in terms of its importance to a broad base of stakeholders nationwide.

· Identifies the needs, goals, and objectives of the initiative.

· Summarizes current efforts on the issue and identifies gaps.

· Identifies expected outcomes and impacts that would result from implementation

· Articulates tangible benefits to be realized by the public.

· Specifies time frames for milestones.

· Describes how conditions will change.

· Indicates how the initiative will add value to the federal agency’s portfolio.

· Articulates implications of failing to take action.

· Identifies budget information/implications (a mix of capacity and competitive funding with a larger portion of the funds provided on a competitive basis in support of integrated activities).

· Includes a logic model.

· Includes an Executive Summary.

Approval/Endorsement Steps

Once the WG completes what it considers to be a final draft of a white paper, that document is circulated and approved/endorsed as follows:

1. Endorsed by Section Budget and Legislative Committees

2. Endorsed by Board on Agriculture Assembly Committees

     a. Budget and Advocacy Committee

     b. Committee of Legislation and Policy, if necessary

3. Endorsed by Policy Board of Directors

Internal Communications

EDAs and university communications specialists work with kglobal and Cornerstone to develop messages that will resonate with targeted individuals/groups. EDAs work with kglobal to develop aesthetically pleasing one-page briefs that succinctly encapsulate and highlight the primary conclusions of the white paper.

Communications to Federal Agency

After approvals, the Policy Board Chair formally distributes the white paper to the specific federal agency Director (e.g. NIFA) and other appropriate agency officials and partners. This communication is done by both electronic means with return receipt and registered mail. The white paper is also distributed to all members of the BAA, Deans/Directors who, in turn, distribute to their faculty/staff as appropriate.

Strategic Communications Campaign

A strategic communications campaign is developed and designed to generate support for the proposed approach detailed in the white paper. A steering committee is authorized by the BAC and PBD and identified by the Deans, AES, and CES Directors. The steering committee is responsible for coordination of the strategic communications campaign, including responding to questions, communicating with the interest groups, engaging in social media platforms, and providing news releases. In partnership with Cornerstone, the Steering Committee will develop a timeframe for “the ask” and for generating buy-in from appropriate individuals, groups, and organizations. Kglobal will be engaged to develop a communications strategy that builds effective messaging by launching a media campaign, coordinating the process, and reaching out to elected officials.

Design an effective communications strategy:

· Consider who needs to be involved in the communications network and at what time or stage of the campaign. It is critical to communicate early on and involve federal agencies in the discussion (e.g., USDA-NIFA, NIH, etc.).

· Identify the target audience(s).

· Develop a complete inventory of stakeholders/coalition members (including affiliations and contact information).

· Identify people/organizations that may not necessarily support the issue and work to gain their support.

· Develop a broad and diverse cross-sector advocacy coalition that includes commodity groups, producers, industry, citizens, universities, NGOs, and politicians as appropriate. Design a complete plan of action:

· Develop a statement of vision/goal/strategies and actions for the campaign.

· Create a campaign “brand” (name the issue) to help easily communicate to a broad audience (e.g., “We will cure cancer.”).

· Identify specific milestones, outline a timeline for achieving milestones, and who is responsible for achieving them.

· Develop a range of educational materials targeted at specific audiences.

· Create a mechanism to provide/receive feedback.

· Monitor progress and modify approach as needed.

PBD Chairman Jay Akridge has provided Sonny Ramaswamy with updated materials on the National Initiative on the Improvement of U.S. Water Security proposed by the Land Grant University community.  The update, prepared by members of the Water Security Working Group, addresses issues raised in the NIFA-written response as well as those discussed during the meeting in Providence, RI. The additional materials included expected outcomes and impacts, as requested. Most importantly, the Water Security Initiative proposed by the Board on Agriculture Assembly provides a framework in which to coordinate the various water activities that are funded by NIFA. 




Plan of Work Review Update - Cameron Faustman 

In meeting report:

Please see the Plan of Work Panel of Experts Report at and at

The Panel of Experts was comprised of representation as follows: 5 from ESS, 5 from CES, 4 from the USDA and 6 ‘other’   All were asked to review the reports and to send feedback which is still being accepted.  With a few additions, ESCOP endorsed the report.  Next steps: stay vigilant to see progress, especially in making the reporting of POW more efficient.  Extension still needs better fixes.  It will take at least three more years before some of the recommended changes can be implemented because of bureaucracy.   



NRSP Review Committee Report  - Bret Hess and Mike Harrington

In meeting report:

Background: The NRSP Review Committee (NRSP-RC) met in Denver, CO on May 28, 2015 for its annual meeting to review proposals, budgets, and guidelines and make recommendations for funding. The committee recognized the need for additional clarification regarding peer review of proposals and is currently drafting an appendix to the guidelines to more clearly outline the processes. Recommendations are presented below.

NRSP 2015-2016
Requests for Off-the-Top Funding









NRSP Review Committee Recommendation


























See below









See below









See below





































Approve proposal & 5-yr. budget request









Approve proposal & 5-yr.  Budget request; require committee to investigate alternative funding models & report back to NRSP-RC at mid-term review.









Reject proposal & 5 yr. budget request; with 1-year transition funding for $325,000.









Approve proposal & 5-yr. budget request

As of 2012, all NRSP budgets are approved for the duration of their current 5-year cycle, assuming an acceptable midterm review.

See Ballot at

Summary of NRSPs

Project #

Project name

Project Period

Mid-term Review Year


National Information Management and Support System (NIMSS)




The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP)




Enabling Pesticide Registrations for Specialty Crops and Minor Uses




The U.S. Potato Genebank: Acquisition, Classification, Preservation, Evaluation and Distribution of Potato (Solanum) Germplasm




A National Agricultural Program for Minor Use Animal Drugs




National Animal Genome Research Program




National Animal Nutrition Program




Database Resources for Crop Genomics, Genetics and Breeding Research




A Synopsis of the U.S. Potato Genebank: Acquisition, Classification, Preservation, Evaluation and Distribution of Potato (Solanum) Germplasm (NRSP6)

Background: The official National Plant Germplasm System project for the US potato genebank is in the National Research Support System designated as NRSP6. The NRSP system is a key facet of the State Agricultural Experiment Station (SAES) System. NRSP6 provides germplasm stocks, germplasm data, R&D techniques and tools and custom materials for germplasm evaluation to the stakeholders such as public and private plant breeders, potato researchers, food suppliers and processors both domestically and internationally. NRSP6 has been a viable national project (since the 1950s) with current top 10 state (unit) users from CA, IA, ID, MD, MI, MN, NY, OR, WA and WI and, in reality, nearly 50 states using the Genebank over short timeframes. The Genebank has over 5,000 items of germplasm for the world’s most important non-cereal crop with 45% of these being unique. While the demand for Genebank services is increasing, the overall financial health is declining; thereby creating uncertainties that project evaluators recommend broader discussions to identify options for a more sustainable future. Very preliminary conversations have occurred with the National Potato Council leadership and staff, a NRSP review team member, a state breeder, state potato commission and a regional agricultural research association. Other key leaders, users and stakeholders must be consulted and fully engaged in order to design alternative funding models.


• Potato is a prohibited import crop, so current genetic resources in the US genebank are the only ones readily available to users. Continued restrictions on international germplasm collection and distribution limit new discoveries, thereby increasing the importance and use of the current stocks.

• Historical purchasing power erosion and direct cuts in program support across all of the primary funding sources (USDA Ag Research Service, State Ag Experiment Stations, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Industry, grants) and numerous in-kind contributions negatively impact the overall operation of NRSP6. Budget pressures have negatively impacted: personnel, operations, maintenance, facility and equipment. The end result is a tenuous future.

• A key essence of the NRSP system is to leverage expertise and resources across priority projects such that the SAES System and other users (as appropriate) benefit and share the costs. This is a strength as well as a weakness.

Next Steps

• Fortuitously, several key meetings are occurring which will allow for a more inclusive discussion and evaluation of future prospects for action (National Potato Council board and managers summer meeting, NRSP6 and regional ag research association(s)).

• Assuming that these discussions are favorable, key individuals should be identified to serve on a committee to delve deeper into the challenge and identify potential solutions that will lead to a consistent and sustainable funding model that will ensure a quality, financially stable and comprehensive US Potato Genebank well into the future.

 A Synopsis of the National Agricultural Program for Minor Use Animal Drugs. 


Background:  The minor use animal drug program has been in existence since 1983 with the following mission/objectives:
1. Identify animal drug needs, including naturally occurring biotherapeutics and feed additives, for minor species and minor uses in major species,
2. Generate and disseminate data for safe and effective therapeutic and biotherapeutic applications,
3. Facilitate FDA/CVM approvals for drugs and biotherapeutics identified as a priority for a minor species or minor use.

NRSP-7 functions to coordinate efforts among animal producers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, FDA/CVM, USDA/ Research, Education, and Extension, universities, State Agricultural Experiment Stations and veterinary medical colleges throughout the country. The project has received off the top funding since USDA NIFA funds have not been available for the past 6 years. After efforts to join forces with NRSP4 failed in 2014, the NRSP Review Committee (RC) provided a one year approval with a requirement of leveraging off the top funding and also emphasized the importance of engaging stakeholders in support of the project.

A majority of NRSP-RC members felt that the committee did not demonstrate “new” leveraged funds, as required, and, rather, only did a better job of reporting funds that already existed (based on explanations provided in the proposal). In addition, the RC expressed concern that, even with NRSP funding, there would not be sufficient funds to make the program effective or impactful. Finally, there was concern about a lack of stakeholder involvement.

Thus, by a 7-1 vote, the committee approved a recommendation to reject the proposal and budget. Assuming the recommendation is upheld at the Experiment Station Section Meeting in September, NRSP7 will receive 1-year of funding at the current level to phase out activities.


• New Minor Use Animal Drugs have been approved at a rate of 1.6/yr. during the 32 years of the program and 52 applications have been made.

• The cost of the program to provide information to support a single label claim has risen to approximately $3.1 million. At the current funding level approval of a single drug would require 4-5 years.

• There are currently six active projects.

• There is little or no organized stakeholder involvement (i.e., an advisory committee) in identifying priorities.

• The program has struggled to remain in existence.

• The program has been unable to garner broad stakeholder support. Additional Comments: The NRSP-RC feels that this is an important effort but it needs to have more structure and guidance. This would commence with a retreat of the administrative advisors and other principals at a central location. This meeting would address organizational shortcomings and develop further approaches to codify the program.

A second meeting would bring together stakeholders including the drug industry, producers, USDA, with the aim of directly identifying problems, address funding needs and creating an Advisory Committee.

Several NRSP-RC members are interested in working with the committee to build support for the program to a level that would truly make it effective and impactful. 







Results of NRSP Balloting/Discussion - Bret Hess and Mike Harrington



NIMSS Update and Demonstration - Jeff Jacobsen and Chris Hamilton

In meeting report:

Jeff Jacobsen acknowledged the hard work of all of the EDAs, Chris Hamilton, Sara Lupis, Rubie Mize and Donna Pierce and indicated that as the NIMSS system is transitioned there will be no downtime.  Under Clemson University the new system is stable, secure and readily accepting of changes.  Chris Hamilton gave a demonstration and said that on-line webinar training will be provided.  Clemson will still be available for maintenance.  Efforts will continually be made to improve the system and thus recommendations from the users are welcomed and valued.  The roll-out will be in October. 

Dan Rossi and Rubie Mize were thanked for their hard work in their leadership with the previous system used for many years and a resolution expressing gratitude was read. Dan acknowledged Rubie for her yeoman work with NIMMS from as far back as the 1980s. 




Science and Technology Committee Report  - Marikis Alvarez and Jeff Jacobsen 

In meeting report:

Appreciation was expressed for the work of the previous chair, John Russin. 

Multistate Research Award

The quality of the submissions for the 2015 award was excellent. 

2015 National Winner NC140: Improving Economic and Environmental Sustainability in Tree-Fruit Production Through Changes in Rootstock Use

Award winners receive: Use of $15,000 of off-the-top MRF; up to $5000 for travel to award ceremony; balance of funds to support activities which enhance & contribute to research and/or outreach objectives of project.


• National Award submissions now limited to 3 pages, plus a 1- page appendix listing participating stations. Regional awards, however, may utilize additional documents to select their nominee.

• Regional associations may review, edit and finalize their nomination prior to the final submission

• May 30 – Regional associations submit final regional nominations to ESCOP Science & Technology Committee

Path Forward:

Face-to-face meeting on October 1, monthly/quarterly calls thereafter

• Formalized S&T committee guidelines

• Open access to publications and data

• Continued discussion on various Federal agency, foundation, and related entities reports (Riley Foundation, AGree, NRC Reports and NIFA Updates, NIFA Centers of Excellence, Commodity Boards, etc.) with recommendations to ESCOP

Other topics

• Signature Programs (e.g. breeding)

• Water Security and related issues

• Listening Sessions

• Development of Crosscutting programs (Biomedical, Vet, Eng) • Other 




Communications and Marketing Committee Report - Rick Rhodes and Dan Rossi 

The new incoming chair (Rick Rhodes) thanked Scott Reed (predecessor) and Dan Rossi for their contributions. 


· The Communications and Marketing Committee (CMC) meets face-to-face once per year and otherwise quarterly by conference call. The next scheduled conference call is on October 22, 2015.

· The CMC oversees and guides the Communications and Marketing Project (CMP), a coordinated and targeted educational effort to increase awareness of the value of Land Grant University agricultural and related programs. More specifically, the CMP supports the creation of unified messages and a targeted educational effort to raise awareness and understanding of the impacts and outcomes of federal funding through capacity and competitive lines to the state agricultural experiment stations and Cooperative Extension.

· Two consulting firms, kglobal and Cornerstone Government Affairs, are contracted to lead this effort. These firms help identify key targets and appropriate corresponding strategies to focus communication and education efforts. kglobal then implements earned media strategies utilizing Land-grant University and other stakeholder assets. These strategies include traditional media, the use of grassroots and grass-tops connections (as defined by kglobal), and digital and social media approaches (AgisAmerica website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube).

· The CMP is financially supported by three sections of the APLU Board on Agriculture – Administrative Heads (AHS), Cooperative Extension (CES) and Experiment Station (ESS). The annual CMP $400,000 budget is equally shared by ESS, CES and AHS.

CMC Activities 

· The CMC continues to work closely with kglobal and Cornerstone providing feedback and input to their plans and activities. It also closely monitors the detailed quarterly report generated by kglobal.

· The CMC completed the development of a formal set of operating guidelines.

· The Guidelines established a standing Plan of Work Committee with a charge to prepare an annual report that articulates clear and focused goals and strategies.

· The 2016 plan of work is currently being drafted. The goal is to have a plan in place by late fall that can then be used guide the operations of the CMC during 2016 and to contribute to the development of contracts for kglobal and Cornerstone Government Affairs for oversight of the work as it relates to the CMP.

CMP Update 

· The kglobal quarterly reports provide extensive details on the communications and marketing strategies to highlight these areas along with the general value of the Land-grant University system. Traditional and digital media efforts to increase engagement are described, metrics are reported and results are explained. No attempt to summarize all of the information in these reports but reports  will highlight several specific activities.

· kglobal conducted a message testing study around the two major themes that have been emphasized this past year – Health and Nutrition and Water Security. The study was funded by the BAA Policy Board of Directors. It was completed in January and is guiding the communications efforts of kglobal.

 · An increased effort has been made to more fully engage the institutional communicators.

· A series of Twitter Town Halls jointly hosted by kglobal and individual institutions have been used to further enhance brand identity and increase organic engagement.

· The National Land-grant Impacts Database was launched this year and kglobal provided support to that effort.

· The 125th Anniversary of the Second Morrill Act was a very significant activity this year. kglobal worked closely with the 1890’s Association to develop and implement a traditional and digital outreach plan supporting this important celebration.

Darren Katz reminded the group that Cornerstone lobbies and Kglobal markets.  Kglobal’s aim is to create an atmosphere about the value of what the System does and not advocate on any issues.  




Impact Database Update  - Bill Brown and Eric Young

In meeting report: 

The quality of submitted impact statements should be strong.  The marketing /communications officers should help faculty members who submit to help improve the content.  Oregon State University will be offering training on-line but it is a for-pay system.  

The National Impacts Database (, is continuing to be populated by research and extension impacts. As of September 1 there were 459 research impacts and 996 Extension impacts. Kglobal continues to use the database as a source of marketing information for the Ag is America web site and social media outlets. In addition, various NPL’s and offices at NIFA are using the database more frequently to access information about impacts of NIFA funded research and Extension. Because of the increased use by NIFA, it’s VERY important to select the appropriate funding sources when entering impact statements, particularly the capacity lines. The Oregon State University Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) unit has completed production of the impact writing learning modules, with input from a national team of Land-Grant and Extension communication experts. The learning modules are ready and will be available at a cost of $80/person. There is an open access sample page and video available at: which gives more details on the content. Anyone who would like to have full single-use access to the training modules can arrange that by contacting Chris LaBelle, director, PACE, (541) 737 2807, A group of writers, editors and designers from each region have volunteered to meet together for 2-3 days in a central location to produce compiled national impact statements on a timely topic in each of the six focus areas of the database. The group requested financial support for this work session from ESCOP and ECOP at the July meetings. The team would include 4 writers, 4 editors and 1 designer. A total of $10,000 was requested to offset travel, meeting and production expenses. This proposal was discussed by ESCOP but was not approved due to uncertainty about how the product would be useful to the directors or ESS in general. The group has submitted a more detailed proposal to ESCOP and Bob Shulstad has asked the Communication and Marketing Committee to review it and make a recommendation on support based on the marketing perspective of this activity. The committee will discuss the revised proposal during their call in October and bring a recommendation to ESCOP at the November meeting.  




Healthy Food Systems, Healthy People Initiative Update  - Clarence Watson, Shirley Hymon-Parker, and Eric Young

In meeting report:

On July 23, 2014, as a result of the recommendations from the 2014 Joint COPs meeting, the BAA's Policy Board of Directors, together with the Board on Human Sciences, established the Healthy Food Systems, Healthy People steering committee. The charge to this committee was to develop a broad-based initiative to improve human health and reduce chronic disease by integrating agricultural, food, and nutrition systems with health care systems through alignment of science, education, community engagement, and strategic partnerships, for which funding will be sought in 2018. The Committee is co-chaired by Richard Linton, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, NCSU, and Christine Ladisch, Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue. This action was taken to build on initial work by ECOP's Health Task Force who identified several recommendations as to how Extension could create programs to better address issues related to human health and chronic diseases. The steering committee focused on identifying knowledge gaps and research needs that could support future education and community engagement activities related to human health and would facilitate integration across agriculture, food, nutrition, and health care systems. They also identified a significant number of public and private partnerships that would be essential to move this initiative forward. The research priorities were integrated with Extension programming needs identified by the ECOP task force to develop the final report, which is expected to be submitted to APLU by October 1, 2015. 




Nominations and Election of Chair-Elect - Bob Shulstad

In meeting report:

The next region to offer ESS leadership is to be from the Western Region.  Brett Hess was the nominee and was elected by acclamation.  




Resolutions Committee Report - Clarence Watson

In meeting report:

Congratulations provided for 2015 Excellence in Leadership Award Winners (see list in Item #1) 

Appreciation for those who left their positions in 2014-2015:


· Dr. Barry Bequette, Alcorn State University

· Dr. William Randle, NC A&T State University

· Dr. Teferi Tsegaye, Kentucky State University NERA

· Dr. Michael P. Hoffmann, Cornell University


· Dr. Steve Slack, The Ohio State University


· Dr. William Batchelor, Auburn University

· Dr. Steve Oliver, University of Tennessee

· Dr. Mary L. Duryea, University of Florida

· Dr. George Askew, Clemson University


· Dr. Barbara Allen-Diaz, University of California

· Dr. Steve Sparrow, University of Alaska Fairbanks

· Dr. Don Thill, University of Idaho

· Dr. Lowell Catlett, New Mexico State University

RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION  to Dr. Bob Shulstad, as the outgoing Chairman of the Experiment Station Section (ESS)

Resolution of Appreciation for the work of hosting the 2015 ESS/SAES/ARD meeting to Drs. Shirley Hymon-Parker, Leonard Williams and Carolyn Brooks

Dr. Bob Shulstad passed the gavel to the new ESS Chair, Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker who indicated her acceptance of the leadership role going forward with the help of all of the members of the ESS.  




Changing of the Guard - Bob Shulstad

Final Remarks and Adjourn - Shirley Hymon-Parker



Agenda Briefs Only



ECOP Liaison Report to ESCOP - Bev Durgan