ELC 2022

Thank you for attending the 2022 ELC. We look forward to seeing you at the 2023 ELC.

2022 Program

Download the 2022 Extension Leadership Conference Program (.pdf)

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

4:00 – 6:00 pm

Registration Open

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

7:00 am – 3:00 pm

Registration Open

7:15 – 8:00 am

Breakfast Buffet

8:00 – 8:10 am

Grand Ball Room


8:10 – 8:20 am

Welcome and Introductions

Suzanne Boarts

Steve Siegelin

8:20 – 8:30 am

Welcome from JCEP President

Gene McAvoy

8:30 – 8:50 am

Missouri Welcome

Dr. Chad Higgins, Vice Chancellor, University of Missouri Extension

9:00 – 9:50 am

Keynote Presentation

Aren’t You Ready To Shift From Surviving To Thriving

Jones Loflin

10:00 – 10:45 am

Concurrent Session One Training Workshops

CS 1-1 Grand Ball Room

Managing Pandemic-Related Grief: Guiding Extension Faculty and Staff

Alexander Chan

Explore the concept of pandemic-related losses and resulting grief. Particular attention will be paid to the grief experiences affecting Extension employees and clientele. After identifying the experiences of loss, participants will learn informal, conversational tools to support employees in coping with the loss.

Presentation Abstract

Extension employees have been managing the experience of grief and loss since the pandemic began. For example, agriculture agents visited farms after mass destruction (e.g., livestock culling) events, and 4-H agents confronted the loneliness and loss of connection among youth not seeing their friends at club meetings. Most employees faced losses of routine and professional camaraderie, leading to a sense of isolation. Furthermore, leaders and employees alike have been given little protocol on how to respond to the immense emotional challenges produced by these experiences of direct or witnessed loss.

The presenter developed a workshop grief, complete with an updated conceptualization of the grieving process as well as tools that can be used by anyone to help themselves and others begin the healing process. The presentation outline is as follows:

Exploration of Extension-relevant experiences of loss (10 minutes)

Providing an updated model of grief and the grieving process (research-based; 10 minutes)

Describing narrative tools for resolving grief (research- and practice-based; 15 minutes)

Q&A (10 minutes)

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to identify and define the SIX stages of grieving based on the current psychological science related to grief

Participants will understand the steps of utilizing an informal, conversation-based narrative approach to “meaning-making” as part of the grieving process

Participants will be confident in applying the narrative approach as it relates to the changes and loss experienced in the workplace and for the clientele they serve

CS 1-2 Rockhill

Getting to the Root of the Problem: Using Motivational Interviewing to Motivate People to Reach Their Goals and Take Positive Action

Katie Wantoch

Do you have participants who consistently attend workshops, but don’t take the action needed to move forward? Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a collaborative, goal-oriented communication technique for strengthening a person’s own motivation to change. Learn how the research-based technique of MI can serve as a tool to complement and enhance your work in helping to motivate your Extension clientele to make informed decisions to reach their goals and take positive action.

Presentation Abstract

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a way of working collaboratively with people to support their motivation for and commitment to change. MI is one communication tool of many techniques that can be applied in supporting individuals, farms, and families (i.e. the client). Many educators are equipped with a formal education and professional experience in their field of study (i.e. production agriculture). However, given the current challenges, working with farmers, families, and individuals can involve difficult and emotional conversations, which Extension educators may have little to no experience or training. In this interactive session, educators will learn about how the successful use of motivational interviewing skills provides the ability to ask open-ended questions, affirm authentically, utilize reflective listening techniques, summarize statements, and encourage clients to own their outcomes. Educators will work in pairs to real-play scenarios that will include client statements and encourage them to utilize reflective statements. This activity will enhance educator’s skills with an emphasis on reflective listening and affirming the clients perspective, and leads to recognizing the motivation for change that stems from the client themselves. This MI approach inherently recognizes and teaches the importance of diversity of perspective and sensitivity to the unique and diverse backgrounds of Extension clientele.

Learning Objectives

In this session, educators will increase their familiarity with Motivational Interviewing (MI) and principles of MI. Educators will gain an understanding of the role of open-ended questioning and reflective listening with individuals, farms, and families. Educators will become more comfortable creating reflective statements. Educators will also learn about the differences between simple and complex reflections, and have the opportunity to practice reflective statements. Lastly, educators will gain skills to engage in meaningful conversations on critical and time-sensitive topics to help strengthen a person’s own motivations to change.

CS 1-3 Roanoke

Reconnecting the Past to the Future through Teacher Education – Using Escape Room Strategies Through Classroom Integration to Solve Historical Mysteries

Shelley Mills

Teacher trainings provided by Extension at the local level, serve as a connection between university research and educators. Instructors can expand their knowledge, learn different teaching methods, and integrate a variety of ideas in their classrooms while earning licensure renewal units or college credit. Workshop participants and teachers may easily replicate this format to provide remote or in-person learning for integrating subject areas using an escape room concept to solve a mystery.

Presentation Abstract

This workshop takes an innovative approach as Extension moves into the K-12 education realm. Through these pioneering programs, teachers can earn renewal units or college credit while experiencing different perspective and acquiring new ideas to their classrooms. Teacher workshops combine a historical mystery with modern day crime scene investigations and escape room strategies. Educational escape rooms are being utilized by teachers in both live and remote learning environments. They are an inventive means of bringing technology and critical thinking into the classroom. Applying a historical mystery to the challenge of unlocking clues, lends itself to engagement in learning and collaborative elements that help students make decisions and come to conclusions. Because escape rooms place the students directly in the mystery, the effects of experiential learning can be more effective. When teachers combine the learning activity, they historical relevance, and the emotion associated with the distinct creative experience, youth grasp and retain new concepts more effectively.

In this training session attendees will experience samples of the hands-on activities that make up the two-day workshop. Using their own CSI skills, they will solve puzzles and riddles to unlock clues that will help them unravel the mystery. Participants will leave with the resources needed to develop and implement a professional development program for their local and regional teachers.

Learning Objectives

Expected outcomes of this program include attaining skills and knowledge to plan, build and implement opportunities for teacher training. Participants will leave this workshop with the skeletal structure to implement teacher training using any theme, platform, subject area, or grade level for their clientele. The foundation of the teacher training is to create a positive learning environment for professionals and share new or trending research-based teaching methods. Those engaged in this workshop will explore different learning styles and pedagogical strategies to meet the needs of teachers in their communities.

CS 1-4 Union Hill

What’s the Secret to Being a Great Manager? Break All the Rules

Karly Creguer

This presentation will introduce the four key activities of great managers outlined by Gallup in the book First, Break All the Rules. After years of research, Gallup discovered what great managers do differently to set them apart from their average counterparts. Spoiler alert: they tend to "break all the rules" we typically think a manager should follow. Participants will consider the four key activities through dialogue and engaging interactions leaving with new insights about managing.

Presentation Abstract

Through thousands of interviews, surveys, and focus groups with businesses around the world, Gallup, a management consulting company, uncovered what great managers do differently to set them apart from their average counterparts. Gallup discovered common behaviors of the study participants and applied them to how exceptional supervisors perform these tasks establishing the four key components of great managers. Supervising in today’s world has distinct challenges that managers have never before seen. Drawing upon the four key components of great managers, in which Gallup discusses in the book “First, Break All the Rules”, readers can learn from research-based principles as they re-evaluate approaches to managing staff.

Extension supervisors share similar challenges managing team members who often do not share the same office. During this presentation participants will explore what distinguishes managers from leaders and understand how great managers carry out these key activities. They will work in small groups for an opportunity to apply and align learned principles from Gallup’s model to real life scenarios.

Session participants will also formulate strategies for coaching staff members in a strengths-based manner to authentically connect with and more effectively manage individuals, particularly when managing remotely. Rather than trying to fix weaknesses, managers should coach each person to cultivate individual innate talents.

Learning Objectives

As a result of attending this session, participants will:

-Differentiate between a leader and a manager

-Understand the four key activities of great managers

-Apply these principles to real life scenarios

-Formulate strategies for coaching staff members to cultivate individual innate talents

-Explore authentic approaches to more effectively connect with and manage staff


CS 1-5 Seville 1

Reconnect with Community Partners to Recharge Your Extension Program

Rachel Pienta

The presentation will engage participants in an interactive, hands on workshop that will explore the science of philanthropy and partnership development with real-life applications to the Extension context. Participants will gain skills in building connections with community partners that will help them to leverage existing relationships for greater return and enhanced effectiveness while also learning how to bring new partners into their organization.

Presentation Abstract

The presentation will teach skills designed to help participants develop effective partner relationships that will enhance the quality of their Extension program. The presenter will teach participants how lessons learned from the realms of political and philanthropic fundraising translated into successful resource development as an Extension professional . Participants will learn how to apply the "DIME" Model to leverage donation impact, motivation, and effort for maximum benefit to their organization (Whillans, 2016). Through social network analysis and community relationship mapping strategies, participants will learn how to identify and connect with potential partners and reconnect with stakeholders who can offer one or more of the three "Tees" of talent, treasure, and time that Extension leaders need to sustain impactful programs (Chaudhary and Warner, 2021).

Chaudhary, A.K., & Warner, L. (2021). Introduction to Social Network Research: Application

of Social Network Analysis in Extension. Agricultural Education and Communication Department, UF/IFAS Extension. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/WC/WC196/WC196-D82e4lrqvh.pdf

Whillans, A.V. (2016). A Brief Introduction to the Science of Fundraising. CASE White Paper. Council for Advancement and Support of Education. https://www.hbs.edu/ris/Publication%20Files/WhitePaper_ac7c4ea5-a635-4338-8d1e-4aa736fbe263_b9a54c18-be5e-4cd8-b166-7442361fb64b.pdf

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn:

- how to map community relationships to identify resource gaps.

- how to concentrate organizational effort & time to maximize return on team investment.

- how to build and sustain a network of resources and relationships to support growth and impact.

- how to identify and secure community support for programs.

11:00 – 11:45 am

Concurrent Session Two Training Workshops

CS 2-1 Grand Ball Room

Healthy Georgia Wellness Curriculum: Creating a Culture of Health During COVID-19 and Beyond

Susan Moore

Meeting community needs and creating a “culture of health” was the driving force for creation of the Healthy GA Wellness Curriculum. These lessons are meant to be used in a group setting and do not require equipment but offer hands-on activities that can be taught in a 30 to 45-minute timeframe. Participants will have the opportunity to receive the HGWC to teach in their communities.

Presentation Abstract

Consumers are constantly searching for ways to lead healthier, happier lives. The Healthy Georgia Wellness Curriculum (HGWC), addresses six health and wellness domains: physical, mental, emotional, financial, environmental, and social. HGWC includes fourteen lessons that can be taught in 45 minutes or less without technology. Lesson plans include objectives, scripts, expansion points, handouts, activities, and evaluations. Topics include Physical Activity, Planning for Success, Adequate Sleep, Increasing Financial Capability, and more. During COVID-19, our team created PowerPoint presentations for each of the lessons, so that they can just as easily be taught using a virtual format like Zoom. Over 2,000 adults have completed HGWC. 100% noted they gained knowledge and 90% stated they would definitely use information received in class. 85% intend to change behaviors, including decreasing sugary drinks, increasing physical activity, decreasing portion sizes, and managing their budget better. 90% of participants rated the financial benefit the class provided between $50-$99. Currently, 54 agents from 15 states are conducting HGWC. It is being translated into Spanish to reach a more diverse audience, and we are planning to modify the lessons to make them more kid-friendly for a 4-H audience.

Learning Objectives

Southeast District UGA Extension FACS Agents developed the Healthy GA Wellness Curriculum to meet the needs of consumers seeking to make their lives healthier, happier, and less stressful. This series consists of 14 lessons on a variety of topics, including SMART Goals, Physical Activity, Planning for Success, Adequate Sleep, Portion Control, Understanding Food Labels, Stress, Dining Out, Stress-less Meal Planning, Technology and Apps for Health, Increasing Financial Capability, Housing, Food Safety, Stress, and Time Management. Our objectives are to teach adults and youth how to improve their overall wellness to live longer, happier, and healthier lives during COVID-19 and beyond.

CS 2-2 Rockhill

Something Other Than a Likert Scale

Darlene Locke & Gary Eillis

Extension professionals continuously monitor the immediate experience of program participants to make program adjustments. Too often, we resort to the traditional post-hoc Likert-type response formats that yield imprecise, ordinal data that are often artificially inflated due to the well-known “halo effect.” Break the paradigm! Elevate your evaluations with our minimally invasive labeled magnitude scale (LAM) that measures at a ratio level, quantifying the intensity of participant engagement.

Presentation Abstract

Traditional program evaluations typically consist of a post-hoc satisfaction survey using 5- to 7-point Likert scales. Likert-type response formats yield imprecise, ordinal data that are often artificially inflated due to the well-known “halo effect.” This workshop will describe how we developed a labeled magnitude scale (LAM) that is minimally invasive and measures at the ratio level, quantifying the intensity of participant immersion and engagement. The LAM scale offers a fresh approach to evaluation of any program.


1. Experiential learning activity: participants evaluate taste for two chocolate bars (all ingredients listed) using a Likert scale followed by a LAM.

2. Slide presentation to discuss the two scales:

Categorical (Likert) scales - equally spaced modifiers

LAM scales -- calibrated using physical phenomena; continuous, numerical ratio scale

3. Share how Texas 4-H members created their own labeled magnitude scale that was subsequently used to measure immersion in three camp activities. Workshop participants will have opportunity to experience the line-drawing (LD) and hand-grip (HG) techniques used to calibrate seven adverbial modifiers comprising the LAM. We will also share the data analysis process.

4. Take home: the LAM created with actual participant input provided greater variance in responses across three camp activities and can be applied to other youth programs. Similarly, a LAM was developed from input provided by college students at BYU.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

explore the differences between categorical scales (CAT) and labeled magnitude scales (LAM)

learn how a LAM was developed using Texas 4-H member input

engage in the process of calibrating adverbial modifiers for a LAM through line drawings and hand-squeeze techniques

learn how to use the LAM to evaluate programs.

CS 2-3 Roanoke

Backwards Thinking – Begin Your Process at the End for Promised Success with Accountability and Intentionality

Roxie Price

Create an intentional plan using a backwards mindset. In this session, you will reconnect with refreshing ideas and reap the benefits of a personalized plan based on multistate accountability. Replicating this process has the potential to generate relevant and user-friendly impact that can positively impact your vitae. This process may expedite efforts in completing your scholarly checklist, sometimes required for awards, national presentations, or portfolio of achievement.

Presentation Abstract

Time spent reflecting and recharging can save effort and energy. Taking time to plan ahead, not only saves us time, but assures our destination. Rather than allowing the current to pull us in every direction, we can chart our own course by planning each step. Together, we will reflect on lessons learned over the past year. Then, we will look forward and cast a new vision and devise an adventure, step by step. Wherever we decide to go, together, we can make success our next destination! Create intentional practices from current endeavors and reconnect with refreshing ideas with promising outcomes. Reap the benefits of a personalized plan with timely accountability measures, and enjoy overdue relaxed proactive energy. There is no doubt that commitment to these collaborative efforts will produce a garden of excellence worthy of harvesting. Dedication and replication of this process has the potential to generate relevant and user-friendly impact that may expedite your efforts in completing a scholarly checklist sometimes required for awards, national presentations, or a lengthy document of achievement. Make success your next destination! As a successful chess player plans at least 3 moves ahead, we can also plan ahead for success. According to a recent study on accountability by the Association for Talent Development, having verbally committed your goal to someone else means you are 95% more likely to achieve that goal.

Learning Objectives

Participants will reflect on past planning efforts.

Participants will share the results of their prior planning process

Participants will set and share a long term goal

Starting with the end goal, participants will work backwards defining the steps of achievement

Participants will understand the role of multi state accountability in reaching goals

Participants will leave the session with a personalized planning process to achieve their goals.

CS 2-4 Union Hill

The Space You Create: Building Better Work Environments

Dana Carney

Lights! Chairs! Tables? The spaces we work in, though rarely examined, play a significant role in successful outcomes. Utilizing research from environmental psychology and real-life examples, this session will help Extension leaders build better work environments. Whether it be the office, classroom, or farm, this session will help you use the space you create to align with your desired outcomes more closely. Building a better work environment begins with you.

Presentation Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals began reflecting on their built environment for possibly the first time: repainting walls, purchasing standing desks, and reorganizing office space. As we return to busy schedules filled with meetings, classes, and site visits, our attention to the space we create must not be forgotten. Research demonstrates a clear and strong link between the work environment and our productivity, efficiency, and ability to achieve desired outcomes. As Extension leaders, we are uniquely equipped to actively and mindfully create better work environments for ourselves, our coworkers, and the clients we serve.

In order to do so, this session will utilize the Yerkes-Dodson law and various theories from environmental psychology to analyze the relationship our built environments have in relation to arousal (stress) and resulting performance (ability to achieve desired outcomes). In this framework, participants will reflect on their work environments – whether that be the office, classroom, or community as a whole. Using hands-on models and diagrams, participants will have the opportunity to “build it better” – actively engaging in the redesign of common work environments of Extension professionals. This session will enable participants to return home recharged, with new views of the spaces they create when connecting with their communities.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to…

Understand the impact environmental aspects of workspaces, such as barriers and open spaces, have on desired outcomes

Demonstrate comprehension through interactive models and diagrams of workspaces common to Extension professionals

Formulate a plan to adopt a mindful and intentional approach to the space(s) they create (office, classroom, etc.) to better align with desired outcomes

CS 2-5 Seville 1

Celebrating Community Engagement, Extension Style

Lacey Taylor

Urban and rural Extension programs face similar challenges with program development, establishing lasting community partnerships, and staying relevant. This session focuses on community engagement programs NJ and Colorado, how we reconnected the community to Extension, and how we recharged ourselves and our programs. We will share how we engage the community, how we identified partners, and how these programs continue to evolve, along with all relevant information for program replication.

Presentation Abstract

Extension delivers programs in each community it serves but still has the land grant focus to connect all programs. Cheyenne Co., CO has a population of 1,700 citizens. Middlesex Co., NJ has over 825,000 citizens. These counties are separated by over 1600 miles; but have united to show how community development and relationship building has a common thread, Extension. In 2019, Taylor, utilized the 4-HPRK structure to develop Cheyenne County Night Out.This evening blended youth development, agricultural commodities, businesses, community colleges, and nutrition into an interactive evening celebrating county heritage and foods reflective of county and state products. Youth and adults prepared food samples and presented how each commodity was produced. Local partners set up booths and engaged community members in one on one and group sessions.This event provided a forum for the community to celebrate the county and allowed youth to showcase the lessons learned through their 4-H projects as well as providing partners the chance to offer informational services. Since 1997, Bovitz has worked with 4-H teens on a project to reach urban at-risk families. Project GIFT is a free day of holiday shopping, reaching over 120 families/300 youth annually. Parents shop for free for their children, rather than receiving anonymous gifts. The event includes child care, along with free bus transportation. Over 60 teens take leadership in this project annually.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn how to develop new community relationships, strengthen existing ones by creating new opportunities in rural and urban areas. How to generate volunteer enthusiasm. They will learn how to develop or fine tune event planning.

CS 2-6 Seville 2

Addressing the Digital Divide through Youth-Adult Partnerships with 4-H Tech Changemakers

Kasey Bozeman

Perhaps now more than ever, a COVID-19 world shows the importance of internet connectivity. With over 23 million Americans lacking broadband internet access, Extension is uniquely poised to address the digital literacy divide through 4-H Tech Changemakers. The project uses an adult-youth partnership approach to empower teens to work cooperatively with adult Extension/4-H staff members and volunteers to plan, implement, and evaluate needs-driven educational programming in their local communities.

Presentation Abstract

Aligned with the fourth USDA FY2018-22 Strategic Plan goal to “facilitate rural prosperity and economic development,” 4-H Tech Changemakers project demonstrates how information technology plays a vital role in the community’s governmental, economic, and societal success. Sparse populations, weak infrastructure, net neutrality infringement, and topography challenges are some of the many reasons internet providers refuse to service rural America. Rural internet service providers have no incentive to expand their coverage if potential customers lack confidence and digital skills will not purchase the service.

The digital inclusion pathway commonly includes three barriers: (a) readiness, in which the user lacks basic computer skills; (b) taste, in which the user lacks confidence, need or desire to use a computer; and (c) access, in which the user lacks access to computers, (Reder, 2015). 4-H Tech Changemakers addresses these barriers by empowering youth-adult teams to teach basic digital literacy skills such as using computer applications, e-mail communications, and finding credible information. Youth are advocates for sharing the importance of broadband with local leaders and stakeholders, hoping to influence community decisions regarding strengthening infrastructure and partnerships for internet service.

Learning Objectives

Participants attending this session will learn common terminology related to the digital divide, how USDA and FCC use data to determine connectivity classifications, and be able to locate and utilize free Extension resources (like 4-H Tech Changemakers) to broadband education.

The goals of 4-H Tech Changemakers are: (1) Empower community members to adopt and use technology; (2) Raise the visibility of the partnership and mission as 4-H Tech Changemakers engage with lawmakers, media and other stakeholders; and (3) Infuse positive youth development approaches in relation to citizenship and technology skills development throughout the life cycle of the project.

12:00– 1:15 pm


1:30 – 1:50 pm

Concurrent Session 3 Skill Building

CS 3-1 Grand Ball Room

Low Budget Battery Charging: Wireless Tips for the Mentally Drained Extension Professional

Christina Pay

Due to the responsibilities of their positions and the charge to be innovative while fulfilling the mission of Extension, many Extension professionals feel mentally fatigued, a condition caused by long periods of demanding cognitive activity. Through engaging discussion and review of research based, low budget activities, Extension professionals will learn to recharge their mental battery which in turn, will afford them the energy needed to thrive in Extension.

Presentation Abstract

The combination of modern society and the nature of Extension make it so Extension professionals often feel like they have to be available all the time. Challenged with the charge to be innovative while fulfilling the mission of Extension, develop a variety of educational programs to meet county needs, and find ways to produce scholarly output, Extension professionals may find themselves feeling mentally fatigued, a condition caused by long periods of demanding cognitive activity. Research shows that mental fatigue can result in increased tiredness, lack of energy, decreased motivation, and can negatively impact performance and cognitive functioning. In essence, mental fatigue correlates to a low battery awaiting a jump start.

Break out those jumper cables and let’s look at ways to revitalize and recharge without high costs of time or money. Through engaging discussion, participants will explore causes of brain drain and discuss the symptoms of a low mental battery (mental fatigue). They will learn about research based, low budget activities to incorporate into their day to recharge their mental battery and provide the necessary energy to help them thrive in Extension.

Learning Objectives

1. Recognize the symptoms of mental fatigue.

2. Understand the impacts mental tiredness has in personal and professional life.

3. Identify the various causes of brain drain.

4. Learn about research based, low cost (time and money) battery charging activities to revitalize the brain.

CS 3-2 Rockhill

Tools and Techniques for Measuring the Impacts of Extension Programs and Activities

Lila Karki

The presentation will highlight the need for assessing impacts of Extension activities. Simultaneously, it will educate the audience about various quantitative and qualitative tools, techniques, approaches, and methodological procedures that can be applied to measure the expected changes in clienteles’ lives and community economic development. Moreover, it will illustrate the relevance of evaluating Extension programs to address so what and who cares questions raised by funding agencies.

Presentation Abstract

Impact assessment of Extension programs at individual, family, group, and community levels provides people and institutions with an opportunity to observe and understand the changes that occurred in people’s lives. The desired changes can be reflected as immediate, short, medium, and long-term impacts corresponding to social, economic, environmental, and civic conditions. Evaluation is the only means that objectively verifies such changes: increased efficiency of Extension professionals, programs, and producers; improved anecdotal planning; regularized monitoring; increased program effectiveness, outputs, and outcomes; strengthened decision-making capability; system accountability to stakeholders and funding agencies; and enhanced policy advocacy. Impact assessment are the mirrors that show people the difference Extension programs make to those who participated. Extension’s accomplishments without the evaluation would be ‘The blind men and the elephant’ parable. Literally, impact assessment produces the facts and figures to justify the dollar amount Extension programs channeled to bring desired changes in people’s lives. Equally, evaluation strengthens Extension professionals’ and stakeholders’ capacity to understand the logical framework and linear relationship of inputs and outputs to generate desired outcomes. Thus, participants will gain knowledge and skills about suitable evaluation designs for assessing impacts of Extension activities.

Learning Objectives

1. To highlight the scope of evaluation and impact assessment in optimizing the benefits to the target groups through Extension services

2. To demonstrate evaluation designs to measure the impact of Extension programs

3. To strengthen participants’ knowledge about various quantitative and qualitative tools, techniques, and approaches for assessing impacts

CS 3-3 Roanoke

Strategies for Including 4-H in Your Extension Programming

Sandi Graham

Partnerships across extension programs is a popular way to increase your audience, so how about partnering with 4-H youth? Penn State Extension's 4-H and Food, Families, and Health Teams partnered to provide a virtual cooking series, Stir-It-Up Saturdays, to provide quality healthy living programming to youth during the 2020-21 program year. This presentation will outline the process of working with youth programs, considering online safety, virtual pedagogy, and material preparation.

Presentation Abstract

Stir-It-Up Saturdays was developed to be a state-wide interactive cooking and nutrition program for children and their families. An adult was required to be in the kitchen as the children were cooking for safety purposes. By including the adults during the program time, we effectively presented to a broader audience. Members across the state who may not be able to attend an in-person cooking project could participate in the state-wide virtual format. Since the cooking took place in the participant’s home, planning recipes that used basic equipment and ingredients that could easily be substituted (for allergy or local availability) was imperative.

While the virtual format can have difficulty reaching all socioeconomic levels due to internet availability, we feel that this format has many other advantages to reaching the public. The 4-H Experiential Model and teaming with the Foods, Family, and Health team helps us to bring food safety and sanitation, and healthy cooking techniques into the homes of our participants. Those topics alone can help fight food insecurity issues. The recipes can be adapted for local food availability (Covid food distribution), personal taste, allergy and special diets, and cultural customs.

Learning Objectives

In this session, participants will learn the best practices for partnering with 4-H youth in both virtual and in-person settings. While discussing the best practices, we will consider: keeping youth safe during online programs; pedagogy for youth programming; and determining appropriate materials for socio-demographic populations.

CS 3-4 Union Hill

All In & All Together: Creating a Sense of Belonging in the Workplace

Tycee Prevatt

Do you want to bring back the comfort, connection, and willingness to contribute within your team? This workshop will provide attendees with the ability to create a sense of belonging among all those in the workplace including but not limited to volunteers and staff members.

Presentation Abstract

This workshop will provide attendees with the ability to create a sense of belonging among all those in the workplace including but not limited to volunteers and staff members. With a decreased sense of belonging among Extension Staff and Volunteers due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of in-person opportunities, we will provide research-based information and real-life strategies that can be used in your organization to bring back the comfort, connection, and willingness to contribute within your team. During this workshop, we will reflect on how a lack of in-person opportunities caused a decrease in the sense of team as that sense usually cannot be found over zoom. We will reconnect using research-based strategies and we will recharge using real-life scenarios and team building activities using hard conversations and conflict resolution to motivators and relevant feedback.

Learning Objectives

1) Participants will be able to identify and reflect on how a lack of in-person opportunities have affected their team.

2) Participants will gain the ability to understand how to reconnect their team using research based strategies.

3) Participants will gain the ability to recharge their team using real life scenarios, and team-building activities that employ the use of hard conversations, conflict resolution, motivators, relevant feedback and more.

CS 3-5 Seville 1

Soft Skills: The Key to Our Future

Lisa Ingram

In today's ever-changing work environment, it is not just technical skills that need to be addressed, but also the "soft skills" possessed by the employees. These skills are those interpersonal skills and traits that make employees work in harmony within an organization. In fact, they are the key to not only our personal future, but also to the future of our organizations!

Presentation Abstract

While it is certainly imperative to possess the technical skills required to do a job, employers note that is in fact the "soft skills" that they are looking for in their employees. These skills are the universal skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, work ethic, and time management that make a work place run smoothly. These skills can be easily transferred from one job classification to another, but are often not taught in a classroom. This presentation will discuss the most desired skills by today's employers, as well as conduct a self-examination of participants to determine their personal strengths and weaknesses in soft skills and manners in which they can improve upon them. In today's ever-changing work environment, these soft skills have become even more crucial. Mastery of these skills contribute to marketability and success in the workforce.

Learning Objectives

This session will provide the learner with the following:

Identify skills employers desire in their employees

Discuss the importance of soft skills

Identify personal strengths and weaknesses in soft skills

Examine approaches to enhance soft skills

CS 3-6 Seville 2

Evaluation Guide and Question Bank: An On-Demand Resource for Evaluating Extension Program Impact

Julie Huettman

Participants will learn how to create a resource for Extension personnel to use for measuring the impact of programs. Skills addressed will be how to: 1) generate survey questions designed to measure outcomes, 2) construct responses to measure the outcome, 3) compile responses for results, then 4) construct sentences about outcomes to share the impact of Extension programs. These narratives are perfect for impact statements, websites, and social media posts to share Extension’s story.

Presentation Abstract

Reflecting on the pandemic and how it changed our perspective on, well, everything, we have been looking at how we spend our time. Our roles are to support Extension personnel in evaluating and reporting their programs. But offering program evaluation training sessions during the year never seemed to be at the right time, or when Extension personnel were interested or paying attention, or even ready. Training programs that we offered were poorly attended.

So, we have developed a new approach and a resource for Extension personnel for evaluating programs for outcomes and impact. The process begins with a logic model, specifically the short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes. Learning objectives or goals of a program also work if logic models are not being used.

Outcomes are listed, then written as questions with appropriate responses. Next, the measure is determined by selecting response option totals or percentages. Open-ended responses are reviewed for common themes. Finally, sentences are constructed with the measure and the common themes to describe the outcome of the Extension program which fits nicely into an impact statement or story, or can be shared online or via social media.

This skill-building session will share our practice of supporting and building evaluation capacity for Extension personnel by providing instruction on how to create an Evaluation Guide and Question Bank for documenting the impact of Extension programming.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn how to:

incorporate survey questions that focus on outcomes in program evaluation,

write survey questions for short-, medium-, or long-term outcomes,

generate response options to survey questions,

identify the measure to document response options,

write a statement expressing the outcome measured, and

how to share the outcomes achieved.

2:00 – 2:20 pm

Concurrent Session Four Skill Building

CS 4-1 Grand Ball Room

Recharging your Trust Battery: Increase Motivation, Maximize Productivity, and Become Energized

Andrea Schmutz

The impact of trust in the workplace is dramatic and pervasive - trust affects everything. Research indicates that high trust environments motivate people to do their best work, produce results, collaborate willingly, and think outside the box. Through interactive discussion and using the trust battery metaphor, the presenters will encourage participants to reflect on levels of trust among fellow Extension workers and volunteers and address ways to recharge their batteries.

Presentation Abstract

The impact of trust in the workplace is dramatic and pervasive - trust affects everything. Research indicates that high trust environments motivate people to do their best work, produce results, collaborate willingly and think outside the box. In organizations where trust is low, employees often compete for positions, hoard information, work in silos, and talk “about” one another instead of “to” one another. Lack of trust also lends to employees playing it safe rather than taking risks which hinders innovation and stifles creativity, two critical components in facing challenges and change in Extension.

Through interactive discussion, we will examine trust and discuss impacts of trust in workplace culture. Participants will take a brief trust self-assessment and explore key elements effective in developing trust. Using the trust battery metaphor, the presenters will encourage participants to reflect on levels of trust among fellow Extension workers and volunteers and address ways to recharge their batteries.

Learning Objectives

1. Examine the effects trust has on office culture.

2. Determine personal self trust through trust assessment.

3. Understand ways to change your own behaviors to increase trust.

4. Learn how to use the trust battery metaphor as a way to improve communication and productivity.

CS 4-2 Rockhill

Evaluation That's Worth a Million Dollars

Melinda Grismer

This presentation will focus on lessons learned from evaluating a $40M regional community and economic development effort. The presenter will explain how she and her colleague organized their efforts, built trust with a 50+ member team, created a reporting system, and produced monthly, biannual, and midpoint and final impact analysis reports for the five-year Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN) initiative funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. in 2018.

Presentation Abstract

The presenter will demonstrate how to turn any project's scope of work into a system of metrics and those metrics into a system for tracking outcomes. She will lead participants in recreating the process she used, including: 1) crafting questions that encompass the metrics, 2) including team members as “reporters" and training them to leverage the reporting system in a sustainable way, and 3) demonstrating impact through deliverables. The presenter will conduct an application activity in which the participants consider a project they are working on and how they could implement this type of “multiple reporter, multiple county” evaluation technique. She will also leave time for Q&A regarding pitfalls to avoid and overall keys to success.

Learning Objectives

Keywords: organizational leadership (establishing trust based on transparency and shared responsibilities, referencing the Five Dysfunctions of a Team and Triple Helix concepts)

CS 4-3 Roanoke

Expanding Reach & Growing Volunteers Utilizing Social Media Programming and Exceptional Teamwork

Heather Janney & Daniel Gonzalez

Presenters will share with participants the formatting and development of their character education through a social media platform. 4-H Cares Virtual Program was designed to alleviate stressors of developing programming individually to maintain the footprint of Extension on social media. The program was modified from providing in person programming, to social media delivery, and is now being formatted to be utilized for providing on-demand volunteer training.

Presentation Abstract

According to search engine optimization experts (Dean, 2021), social media use world-wide is calculated at 58.11% of the world’s population. In North America, that number grows to 82% of the population. The 4-H Cares Virtual Program (VP) is designed to 1) Deliver programming with an emphasis on positive character education; 2) Address the need for a creative, age appropriate, hands-on learning style methodology; 3) Improve youth mental health and decrease anxiety by teaching coping mechanisms and strategies encouraging youth and families to communicate and express their feelings in a positive manner; and 4) Raise awareness of community resources, highlighting the power of 4-H Extension programming. 4-H Cares VP is based on a school enrichment program that transitioned to the Facebook social media platform. The program highlights one character trait a month. Weekly, a challenge is presented on social media. Weekly, a member records, edits, uploads and crossposts the message to Facebook. Crossposting enables all counties to have a one click share that mirrors the original post. In only three months, over 8,000 were reached on Facebook with 12 videos. Action research led to condensing the message, shortening video lengths, providing a reflection on the messages at month’s end, and design of publications to enhance the messages and offer implementation strategies. The next phase is to develop on-demand volunteer training related to subject matter.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn methods of communicating, interacting, and planning for programming utilizing existing or new working groups to expand their reach. Technological tools including videos, Canva, Facebook Crossposting, Microsoft Teams, and PowerPoint will be highlighted and encouraged for trial during the session. Instructors will guide participants to usage guides, factsheets, and videos for help in their program expansions. Participants will leave the session with the ability and/or resources to create a successful team-based, high-energy program.

CS 4-4 Union Hill

The Role of Personality in Extension Leadership

Tasha Howard

This presentation will help Extension leaders understand how personality plays into teamwork. Through hands-on personality assessments and teamwork experiences, participants will gain an understanding not only of how to work with various personalities, but also how to lead a team with various personalities. Additionally, participants will receive a resource guide on challenging scenarios faced commonly by Extension leaders and how understanding personalities can help with those challenges.

Presentation Abstract

Imagine a recent team meeting. During routine business you see a person on their phone, another taking notes, a side conversation between two others, and one who questions everything and circles back to the first point for clarification. Virtual and in-person meetings are the same, different personalities function in different ways. How can Extension leaders use this to our advantage? By learning about personality aspects, and helping our team do the same.

Participants will reflect on facets of their personality through personality assessments. They will become familiar with the Myers Briggs 16 Personalities test, Colors test, Communication Style test, Productivity style test, and Kolbe’s Conative Styles. Participants will be encouraged to seek out other tests (Gallup Clifton Strengths, Enneagram test, etc). Using assessment results, we will put teamwork skills into action. Small groups will receive easy, meaningful tasks such as tower building, folding the best paper airplane, and planning a party. After each task, group discussion will explore how various personality types and facets work with or against each other. We will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic changed interaction and how the pandemic may have influenced personality types and preferences, including how social distancing has changed communication. Leaders will receive a resource guide going over personality assessments strengths and weakness and common scenarios for when to use each personality assessment.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will be able to assess various facets of their own personalities and learn how those facets play into their leadership.

Attendees will be able to utilize personality assessments to create effective work/team collaboration trainings and assignments

Attendees will improve leadership based on understanding personality aspects

Attendees will gain a resource library of personality assessments, common scenarios and how to utilize personality strengths and weaknesses of their teams to resolve these scenarios.

CS 4-5 Seville 1

Strategic Partnerships for Shared Success

Julie Robinson

How can leveraging relationships with Extension, research, & state & federal partners reach traditional & new audiences? In 2018, integration of the efforts of the Arkansas Discovery Farms program, the Arkansas Soil Health Alliance, state & federal partners worked together with leadership from Arkansas Extension to develop & deliver virtual demonstration & educational experiences to a statewide network of participants to provide time & cost savings by the ability to participate virtually.

Presentation Abstract

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture integrated the efforts of the Arkansas Discovery Farms and the Arkansas Soil Health Alliance, a nonprofit organization of agricultural producers, along with expertise and networks of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop and deliver virtual demonstration and educational experiences to a statewide network of participants to provide time and cost savings by the ability to participate virtually. Demonstrations and educational sessions provided virtual demonstration of conservation benefits with respect to water quality, irrigation water use, climate change, soil health, and profitability/sustainability on selected farms. Leadership for the project provided by Arkansas Extension, introduced a newer delivery method in 2018 using virtual field trips and reached several new clientele groups including high school science students and teachers. A coordinated marketing and outreach program among Extension and cooperating partners was developed to include promoting joint virtual training efforts and making non-formal demonstrations accessible through social media. Social media streaming leveraged the network of all partnering organizations and engaged the general public in existing conservation efforts and research. As a result of the success of this project, all the collaborative participants are engaging in new projects that will leverage lessons learned.

Learning Objectives

- Participants will learn tips & tricks when leading project management & coordination involving a large team of members representing multiple organizations.

- Participants will learn how to communicate shared vision, goals, & objectives with a diverse team.

- Participants will learn about how a cohesive marketing plan can be built leveraging networks & contacts of multiple agencies & organizations to engage traditional audiences & ways in which to engage non-traditional audiences.

- Participants will learn how strategic partnerships can result in shared success.

- Participants will hear about how new projects will be lead similarly & differently, based on lessons learned.

CS 4-6 Seville 2

How to Bond Client Residents to Extension by Telling Your Story. Lessons Learned from 20 Years in Private Practice

Timothy McDermott

A best practice veterinary goal involves client bonding to develop comfort with the doctor, clinic, and staff forming the veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Extension has a great story to tell. The Client – Educator bond is created by maximizing each interaction, telling, but not selling, the story of Extension. Learn how Extension can tell their story to create a lifelong bond by developing an integrated team -first approach by leveraging all four program areas.

Presentation Abstract

Veterinary medicine is known as “the caring profession” specifically that “a client does not care how much you know unless they know how much you care”. A best practice goal involves client bonding to develop comfort with the veterinary clinic and staff. This cannot be done artificially, as it involves the formation of mutual trust. This starts the first time that the practice staff, regardless of role, interacts with the client or the public. This forms the basis of the Veterinarian – Client – Patient relationship that guides this partnership through both happiness and sorrow with companions who are viewed as family members. Learn how we used deep knowledge of our team members and roles to tell our story to bond with our clients. What can Extension learn from this client bonding, relationship developing process? Extension has a great story to tell, with multiple program areas that once linked can positively affect audiences from early age through their senior years. This Client – Educator bond is created by maximizing each interaction, telling, but not selling, the story of Extension and letting your client residents know that you care. We will interact as a group to hear different stories that detail successful Extension partnerships that can be used to bond clients to our team.

Learning Objectives

The attendees will learn a deeper understanding of how the best management practices for a successful veterinary clinic or small business can be applied to their Extension team. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of how connecting the four program areas can guide our clients from pre-natal through senior. Attendees will learn about multiple different ways to partner with other program areas or stakeholder collaborators. They will hear examples of successful program area collaborations that have been used across different program areas.

2:30 – 2:45 pm

Networking Break

2:45 - 5:00 pm

Association Meetings


6:00 pm

Association Evening Out

Thursday, February 10, 2022

7:30 – 8:30 am


8:30 – 9:00 am

Grand Ball Room

NIFA Update

Suzanne Stluka, Deputy Director, Food Safety and Nutrition

9:15 – 10:00 am

Concurrent Session Five Training Workshops

CS 5-1 Grand Ball Room

Using Community Forums to Increase Public Engagement that Promote Equity and Social Justice

Alicia Betancourt

We recognize that public policy is not very “public” as it is not reflective of all the members in a community. Community forums democratize the process of engagement outside of the recognized spaces for community input. It increases access and can improve social justice. Session participants will learn steps to encourage diversity in a community forum, create value-added reports for decision makers, and identify strategies to overcome barriers for integration of this approach in Extension.

Presentation Abstract

For social justice efforts to be effective, diverse community members must have access to opportunities and possess the skills and confidence to provide input, especially on contentious issues. While traditional Extension utilizes one-way deployment of knowledge; forums present a new system of engaging diverse partners that contributes to collective knowledge and action through dialogue. This approach means integrating deliberative discussion into Extension programs by capitalizing on the Kettering Foundation National Issues Forum Institute model for deliberative discussion. Extension can already convene community forums on local issues of interest and this process creates the opportunity for affected and interested parties to contribute information and knowledge in an open, structured format without any social or political pressure. The commitment to increase individual knowledge builds community capacity and supports municipal staff who tackle important community issues. The use of ground rules and a neutral facilitator in a familiar setting creates a comfortable atmosphere for individuals to share their concerns. Additionally, each participant is not required to be an “expert” on a particular subject, their opinions and local knowledge is all that is required for participation. This type of program builds on that local knowledge to help local community members solve local issues.

Learning Objectives

Session participants will learn steps to engage diverse communities through a forum, create value-added reports for decision makers, and to overcome barriers for successful integration of this approach in Extension. A community forum on a local issue is not managed as a one-time event and participants will also learn strategies for planning multi-step processes. The value in this space for Extension is to increase community capacity while focusing on equity and social justice in public processes. Benefits also include improved visibility of Extension, demonstrated facilitation, leverage Extension as a neutral party, and promote Extension as a purveyor of resources.

CS 5-2 Rockhill

Connection, Collaboration and Commitment to Purpose Key to Intentionally Recharging Virtual Teams

Gina Lucas

“Can you hear me now?” “You are on mute!” “So, what are everyone’s ideas?” Crickets….

Does any of this sound familiar? Is your group or organization finding it hard to function effectively and efficiently while working together virtually?

Join us as we demonstrate some of the tools we used as a new virtual committee in charge of creating a brand-new leadership program in one year. To be successful, we had to be intentional about connection, collaboration, and purpose.

Presentation Abstract

This interactive workshop will allow participants to practice building collaborative and connected teams through purposeful activities designed to build trust and encourage inclusion while remaining focused on their purpose.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual meetings have become the new norm. According to research, there are perceived disadvantages to trying to learn virtually. However, research and our experience has also shown there are a number of advantages. With a little practice, online groups may see improvements in their functionality by working on improving their connection, collaboration and commitment to purpose.

Any successful group must prioritize authentic connection. Each member of a team must have confidence in their group in order to allow themselves to be vulnerable. This trust, once established, will allow them to share new ideas without fear of rejection.

Collaboration is essential when working online. However, this interaction must be more than offering a superficial icebreaker or random poll. Rather, you must purposely engage team members, identifying their strengths and incorporating diversity of thought and experience. Without the limitation of being in a single location all members in an online group can fully participate and enjoy meaningful engagement.

Learning Objectives

1. Participants will increase their knowledge of ways to collaborate in order to productively facilitate virtual working groups

2. Participants will understand how to authentically build a sense of community and connection while encouraging trust in a virtual working group

3. Participants will develop skills to overcome barriers associated with virtual interaction

4. Participants will be able to set goals that address an organizational purpose

5. Participants will be able to identify and build on the diversity of strengths of team members

CS 5-3 Roanoke

Kicking Off Collaboration: Facilitation Tools to Establish Collaborations

Kristi Farner

How do we lead new collaborations well? Collaboration is encouraged within Extension, but how do we get started? In this session, we will reveal the framework used during a two-day working meeting to create a new consortium. We will share facilitation strategies to utilize when you design virtual or in-person meetings to form collaborations in delivery. In this session you will practice facilitation techniques and identify the rationale for the agenda's structure, design, and implementation.

Presentation Abstract

How do we lead new collaborations well? Collaboration is encouraged within Extension, but how do we get started? In this session, we will share the framework for a two-day working meeting used to kick off the Southeast Extension Consumer Food Safety Consortium. The meeting had representatives from 13 institution across southern states, National Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, and the Extension Foundation. The vision for the consortium is to create synergy among institutions to advance the science of consumer and retail/food service food safety and share expertise, training, and developed materials across the Land-grant system. The objectives included: 1) Establish lead institutions where sector/field specific expertise can be housed; 2) Create a model for membership where institutions can collaborate and share expertise efficiently across institutions; 3) Engage relevant agencies and industries to pool resources; and 4) Utilize the consortium to seek, collectively, external resources to support extension and research needs. In this session, we will share facilitation strategies to use when designing meetings to form other collaborations in virtual or in-person delivery. By the end of this session, participants will practice facilitation techniques and identify the rationale for the agenda’s structure, design, and implementation.

CS 5-4 Union Hill

Urban Extension-Reflecting on Successes and Building for the Future

Cayla Taylor

This skill-building presentation will provide attendees with an overview of the National Urban Extension Leaders association and its training opportunities and educational resources available for Extension professionals to utilize in urban-centered programming and where to access them. Attendees will also have the opportunity provide feedback on the types of resources that would be beneficial to have developed and incorporated in an urban Extension communications toolkit.

Presentation Abstract

Strengthen your understanding of urban-focused educational resources and professional development available through the National Urban Extension Leaders association. This skill-building presentation will provide an overview of NUEL and the many educational resources available to support Extension professionals serving (and those seeking to serve) urban areas. Attendees will also engage in discussions on the types of resources that would be beneficial to include in the development of an urban Extension communications toolkit for Extension professionals.

Learning Objectives

-Gain a greater understanding of the National Urban Extension Leaders association.

-Gain a greater understanding of the educational resources available Extension professionals through NUEL.

-Understand where to access educational and communication resources on the NUEL website.

-Provide feedback on what Extension professionals need and would utilize in an urban-focused communications toolkit.

-Learn more about how to get involved in NUEL committees and taskforces.

-Provide an overview of the National Urban Extension Conference May 23-26, 2022 in Camden, NJ and share with participants how they can learn more and register.

10:15 - 11:00 am

Concurrent Session Six Training Workshops

CS 6-1 Grand Ball Room

Self-care for Leaders? What is That?

Janice McCoy

Self-care gets such little attention yet is one of the most important factors leaders must deal with, their own feelings. Managing our own emotions and generally how we feel about something is easier said than done. Learning how other leaders prioritize their own well-being can be vitally important for new leaders and great reminders and encouragement for experienced leaders.

Presentation Abstract

Self-care gets such little attention yet is one of the most important factors leaders must deal with, their own feelings. Managing our own emotions and generally how we feel about something is easier said than done. Learning how other leaders prioritize their own well-being can be vitally important for new leaders and great reminders and encouragement for experienced leaders. Many leaders have experienced delayed stress responses to the pandemic. As they have taken care of their staff members, volunteers, and families, they are now experiencing the effects of the long-term uncertainty and stress caused by COVID-19. The topics we will discuss include:

Staying humble


Overcoming fear

Tuning into the warning signs of personal stress and pressure

Avoiding burnout

Staying motivated

Compartmentalizing competing priorities

Developing strategies for work-life balance

Developing self-care goals for personal and professional success

Learning Objectives

By the end of the workshop participants will:

1. Be able to identify their personal stress signals

2. Be able to connect the effects of stress and self-care to their success as a leader

3. Develop self-care goals for personal and professional success

CS 6-3 Roanoke

Utilizing Technology to Reach National Extension Professionals during COVID

Mackenzie Johnson

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted everyone including Extension. Technology was often used to reach stakeholders during the pandemic. A taskforce of Extension professionals from four states created a webinar series for their colleagues addressing issues related to work-life balance; parenting; social - emotional support and wellbeing. This presentation will describe the webinar series and discuss how technology was utilized to help reach Extension colleagues and clientele.

Presentation Abstract

COVID-19 increased the stress of many professionals. Undoubtedly, many Extension professionals can attest to the obstacles, opportunities, and challenges the pandemic created in their professional lives. To serve our colleagues during a trying time where Extension was called to serve, a taskforce of Extension professionals from IA, LA, TN and NH created a 4-webinar series addressing issues related to work-life balance; parenting; social - emotional support and wellbeing. Access to technology as a teaching tool to deliver this education was a key feature.

While each person’s pandemic stresses were tied to their professional obligations, as well as their personal realities and resources, the team discovered that Extension professionals across disciplines found common ground in the value of new tools, use of technology and strategies for managing stress that comes with working during a pandemic. This was exceedingly clear when the webinar team welcomed over 1,000 registrations and pre-survey responses.

Learning Objectives

This presentation will describe the webinar series, engage participants in a discussion of how they continued to provide outreach during the pandemic and what types of technology were utilized, as well as, offer key recommendations in using technology that we learned in implementing the series.

Participants will learn about the National Extension Webinar Series designed to support Extension Professionals during the pandemic

Participants will discuss how technology was used to advance extension programming during the pandemic

Participants will learn best practices in using technology to deliver a webinar series

CS 6-4 Union Hill

Extension Retention: Causes and Remedies for Employee Turnover

Heather Kolich

Participants will discuss common reasons that employees leave Extension and engage in activities to address scheduling, work-life balance, and leadership concerns for ourselves and Extension employees under our supervision.

Presentation Abstract

High turnover among Extension employees has been an issue of study and discussion for over three decades. Among identified reasons that Extension employees leave are low compensation, high workload, lack of advancement and promotion opportunities, job stress and unrealistic expectations, frequent night and weekend work, lack of organizational support, and lack of trust or confidence in organizational leadership. Factors favoring retention included engagement with coworkers, recognition from supervisor, interesting work, opportunities to contribute to the community, and variety in scheduling.

In this workshop, the presenter will lead participants in a discussion of common reasons that employees leave Extension, as well as reasons they stay, and delve into which of these reasons are within our power to control, for our selves and for employees under our supervision. The presenter will introduce two resources, the Reality Scheduling Worksheet and the Work-Life Balance Wheel, and lead participants through activities using them. Participants will also share Positive Recognition Ideas.

Learning Objectives

From knowledge gained in this workshop, participants will:

Create a work schedule that stays within a 40 hour per week expectation;

Establish two boundaries to protect work-life separation; and

Implement two methods of recognizing staff for exemplary work or achievements.

CS 6-5 Seville 1

Enhancing Collaborations by Implementing a Community Engagement Model: Making a Positive Difference!

Dennis DeCamp

Ever wonder why some collaborations always seem emerging and vibrant while others often fade into the sunset? In this presentation, we will define how proactive Extension offices establish alliances in their community and continually maintain those relationships utilizing innovative practices using community engagement strategies.

Presentation Abstract

Ever wonder why come collaborations always seem emerging and vibrant while others often fade into the sunset? While successful Extension personnel understand the critical importance of engaging essential stakeholders in the community this does not happen without effort. These key relationships are not established when an unmet need is determined but should be continuously cultivated.

In this presentation, we will define how proactive Extension offices establish alliances in their community and continually maintain those relationships utilizing innovative practices. Participants will be challenged to identify an unmet meet in their community and identify potential new community partners that can become an effective team to meet the identified need.

While many Extension professionals practice the belief that they must be the beginning, middle and end of any program, we believe Extension professionals should always be promoting prolific collaborative relationships so interested parties will be easily engaged when an unmet community need is apparent.

Our community collaboration will demonstrate how an open dialogue will develop transparency and trust and impact other agencies to create sustained engagement in any group. With a focus on the development of engaged stakeholders through ongoing collaboration and team effort, this practice can be easily replicated through determined careful planning.

Learning Objectives

In the work completed by Dave Matthews (Co-Intelligence Institute) from the Kettering Foundation (2008), there were seven Core Principles of Community Engagement, including but not limited to collaborator and shared purpose, openness, and learning, transparency, and trust, impact and action, and a sustained engagement. One of the ways Extension is defined is that we are collaborative – within our university, with other universities, government agencies at all levels, and other organizations.

In summary, participant will: Be able to identify characteristics of strong collaborations. Explore ways to engage community stakeholders. Discuss community collaboration to address unmet needs.

CS 6-6 Seville 2

The Grit of Positive Youth Development: Developing Resilience Through Growth-Mindset

Stacey Ellison

This workshop will present the research of Grit, Resilience, post traumatic Growth (PTG) and how these theoretical concepts align with Positive Youth Development and the 4-H Thriving Program model. Presenters will provide both the science underlying these concepts considering the Covid 19 pandemic and provide practical insight for 4-H professionals as they train their volunteers in strategies to promote youth thriving.

Presentation Abstract

While trauma can negatively impact mental health, grief can also pave the way for growth. The act of progressing through a time of turmoil can result in post-traumatic growth. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, youth professionals and volunteers have an incredible opportunity to shape this positive trajectory for many youth. This session will investigate how grit, resilience, growth-mindset and thriving for Positive Youth Development are related theories when used to frame developmental opportunities which encourage post-traumatic growth.

Participants will:

•Increase understanding while looking through a resilience lens: in the concepts of grit, post traumatic growth, growth mindset, thriving, and positive youth development.

•Understand ambiguous loss and boundary ambiguity: a look back at Operation Military Kids

•Increase understanding of how PYD influences grit/resilience and post traumatic growth.

•Articulate ways in which positive youth development and related theories can impact PTG

•Tools for training volunteers to support youth during 4-H experiences: resilience life skill development

•Learn about the Access, Equity and Belonging Champions website with logic models and resources

•Increased understanding of the indicators of Youth Thriving related to resilience.

•Develop practical strategies that can be shared with 4-H volunteers to promote grit, PTG, and growth mindset.

Learning Objectives

Increase understanding through a resilience lens: concepts of grit, post traumatic growth, growth mindset, thriving, and positive youth development. Increase understanding of how PYD influences grit/resilience and PTG. Articulate ways in which positive youth development and related theories can impact PTG. Tools for training volunteers to support youth during 4-H experiences: resilience life skill development. Learn about the Access, Equity and Belonging Champions website with logic models and resources. Increased understanding of the indicators of Youth Thriving related to resilience. Develop practical strategies that can be shared with 4-H volunteers to promote grit, PTG, growth mindset.

11:15 – 11:45 am Grand Ball Room

Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP)

12:00 pm – 1:15 pm


1:30 – 2:30 pm

Poster Presentation Session


Master Gardener Volunteers are Leaders Not Weeders

Mike Hogan

This poster presentation will offer action-oriented suggestions for developing leadership skills in Extension Volunteers to increase the impact of Extension programming. The poster will discuss proven techniques to increase the number of volunteers in leadership positions, increase the diversity of volunteers in leadership positions, and how to increase the impact which volunteer leaders have in the community.


Mix It Up: Making Learning Fun (Again)

Kristie Popa

This poster will provide participants with an opportunity to explore different types of learning activities and tools to truly make learning fun again. With the lack of in-person programs or the need to social distance, participants have been lost in the shuffle and many are no longer engaged in learning.


Going Back to the Basics of Building Community Relationships

Tycee Prevatt

In a lot of ways, the world has changed, but sometimes just remembering the basics is all you need to build successful community relationships. Community relationships are not built by one time a year interaction, but by consistent and thoughtful interactions. This poster will explore ideas for year-round interactions with community supporters.


Successes and Lessons Learned from the 2021 NEAFCS Leadership Experience

Kyleigh Brown

Responding to the need for members of NEAFCS to step into leadership, the NEAFCS Leadership Experience was created by the Mentor and Leadership Committee to empower future leaders of the association by increasing competency, building confidence, and strengthening relationships. While still in its first year of implementation, the program is showing promising preliminary data regarding participants’ perceived leadership abilities and willingness to assume leadership roles within NEAFCS.


Taking the Lead to Recharge Horticulture Education and Reconnect with Statewide Audiences

Robin Trott

This poster presentation will highlight strategies used by the Local Extension Educator Horticulture (Hort Team), to lead expanded horticulture education offerings to increase the impact of Extension programming. The poster will discuss techniques to engage diverse audiences, increase the number of program participants, compile evaluation data and utilize this data to grow and improve programming.


The Key to Equity in 4-H Distance Programs: Learning Kits

Tara Brent

The poster will detail learning kits developed in two rural counties during the pandemic. 25% of households do not have access to reliable internet. Families expressed a need for offline activities for their children. Learning kits reached these youth with high quality, hands-on programming. Lesson development, materials, partnerships, distribution methods, and funding will be shared. Details will be provided for program replication. Outcomes will be shared, as well as the future of the program.


Recruitment Strategies: Evidence from Youth Retention Study

Janet Fox and Sarah Hensley

During the pandemic, many 4-H educators found it challenging to retain members and now is the time to focus on recruitment. Understanding why youth join 4-H and how families hear about the program can help target recruitment efforts. This poster will highlight findings from a multi-state, multi-year Youth Retention Study about the experiences of first-year youth and their parents or guardians. More specifically, how did families hear about 4-H, why youth joined and implications from findings.


Engaging college interns in creating evidence based adult curriculum for remote education in response to COVID-19

Katie Ahern

COVID-19 regulations halted face-to-face education delivery and a typical internship experience. Pre-COVID, 20 out of 32 Oregon counties delivered an adult curriculum. A multi-county Statewide Extension team set forth to investigate a remote delivery curriculum model and while providing a robust college student internship experience.


Covid Positives

Lisa Ingram

This workshop will be an interactive workshop on what we learned during Covid, how we are reconnecting with our audiences face to face and how COVID-19 Positives will recharge and influence future programming.


The Perfectly Imperfect Way to Reflect on Inclusion, Reconnect with Identity, and Recharge Your Creativity

Marlena Griesse

Find your personal superpower in a hands-on, creative art project and explore how your personal and social identities influence your world view. Perfectly Imperfect is designed to engage youth in exploring their identities with art, while lifting up Chicanx, Latinx, and Hispanic voices. It provides youth educators with the tools and modes to engage youth in tough conversations around identity and inclusion while also building the educator’s own skills and awareness.


Charting Your Path: Life Lessons

Tina Cowger

Many times, we know the steps needed to achieve a work-life balance, but we often struggle with making it happen. This presentation will focus on how to use lessons we teach our youth members in our own lives. Our presentation includes hands-on activities designed around the West Virginia 4-H Charting Program. While this program is geared towards youth, there are life lessons from it that are applicable to us all.


Tell Your Story: Biography Writing for the Extension Professional

Shelby Carlson

While most Extension professionals struggle to write one, a well written biography can set Extension apart from other organizations. When Extension professionals optimize SEO and maintain a well written staff biography, Extension websites can attract more visitors, ensure the credibility of staff is demonstrated, and recruit new audiences. This workshop will provide participants with the reasoning behind having a strongly written biography as well as the tools to accomplish that task.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Competency Expectations: Putting Words into Action- A Roadmap for Administrators

Martin Bates

Internal and external issues pose challenges for administrators who struggle to address sensitive diversity, equity and inclusion issues. This session will introduce participants to recent administrative strategies within Cooperative Extension to proactively identify issues, set goals, and prioritize action steps. Participants will engage in collectively creating a roadmap to prioritize DEI competencies. Extension Professionals interested in advancing DEI competency are encouraged to attend.


Moving Beyond Webinars

Lara Milligan

2:45 – 3:35 pm

Grand Ball Room

Capnote Presentation

Recharge and Rejuvenate Your Community

Jenny Jordan

Navy 4-H Youth Program Specialist, NC State Extension

3:45 – 4:00 pm


4:00 – 5:00 pm

Association Meetings and/or Educational Study Tours



We look forward to safely gathering in Kansas City, February 9-10, 2022.

Hotel Information

Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza

4445 Main Street

Kansas City, MO 64111

Airport Information

The closest airport to the hotel is the Kansas City International Airport (MCI).


Get special rates – starting at $129 – in the 2022 Extension Leadership Conference block now. Space in the room block is available to registered attendees only.

Register for the conference and book your room early – the ELC special rate will only be available through Sunday, January 16, 2022. After that, prevailing rates and availability will apply.

Call the hotel toll free at 800-810-3708 ask for the JCEP 2022 Leadership Conference or Click Here for Room Reservations

Reservation details:

  • Rates are exclusive of taxes and fees

  • A valid conference registration is needed to reserve a room at the attendee rate in the conference block

  • Group rate available three days pre and three days post event, based on hotel’s availability.

  • Rooms in the conference block will include complimentary Wi-Fi in guestrooms and public areas

  • All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card.

  • Rooms may be cancelled up 48 hours prior to check-in with no penalty.

  • Reservations cancelled within less than 48 hours to arrival will be charged a non-refundable fee of one night’s room and tax fee

Please be vigilant if dealing with any companies or services other than JCEP, Capitol Hill Management Services or the Kansas City Marriott that imply or claim an affiliation with the JCEP Extension Leadership Conference. Reservations made through any other agency will be at your own risk. If you are contacted by a housing company attempting to sell hotel rooms, please notify Show Management at jcepoffice@jcep.org