eXtension staff recently traveled to Washington, D.C. and met with USDA administration, National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) leaders, National 4-H Council leadership, and staff from the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Military Community and Family Policy (MC & FP).
NIFA: Approximately 40 National Program Leaders attended an eXtension update focused on eXtension use, Communities of Practice, Be Grow Create (institutionalization of eXtension,) technology enhancements, professional development, engagement and partnerships. The audience was especially interested in support for the eXtension infrastructure, strengthening Communities of Practice, use of social media, and overall growth and development of the initiative.
USDA: Molly Jahn, Undersecretary of Research, Education, and Economics; Carol Kramer-LeBlanc, Director of Sustainable Development in the Office of the Chief Economist, and Colien Hefferan, Advisor to the Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) were but a few of the USDA leaders who participated in a discussion and presentation about the eXtension initiative. They were interested in the development of a national delivery system, opportunities to serve international audiences, and how Communities of Practice work and engage with the public.
National 4-H Council: Council leadership was interested in how eXtension is using social media to engage audiences, training and professional development opportunities, the development of 4-H related content by Communities of Practice, potential revenue streams, and corporate development opportunities.
Military Families: The staff at the Department of Defense were interested to learn how eXtension works, how to participate and how to engage with Communities of Practice. Later discussions focused on how eXtension can help serve the needs of helping professionals, those in the military and on bases that assist military families and youth on a daily basis. This is a new partnership in the making!