eXtension announces three new Communities of Practice

eXtension recently awarded start up funds to three new Communities of Practice (CoPs). These newly awarded CoPs went through the Community of Practice application process and were reviewed by the eXtension review panel. The three new CoPs are:

Enhancing Rural Capacity Community of Practice will focus on enhancing rural capacity by partnering with the four RRDCs, various stakeholder groups and a national team of Extension professionals to plan, develop, and deliver top-quality education in leadership and capacity-building to benefit rural communities throughout the country. Mary Peabody from the University of Vermont is the primary contact for this CoP. Others on the leadership team are:

• Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (Co-PI);
• Bo Beaulieu, Southern Rural Development Center;
• Don Albrecht, Western Rural Development Center;
• Scott Loveridge, North Central Rural Development Center;
• Mary Emery, Land Grant Tribal Colleges Liaison, Iowa State University;
• Paul Lachapelle, Extension Community Development Specialist, Montana State University;
• Michelle Craig, UNH Cooperative Extension, Community Planning & Training Coordinator;
• Deborah Tootle, Community and Economic Development University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service;
• Will Andersen, Community Resources Program, University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension;
• J. Caroline Williams, Rural Development Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension;
• Lorie Higgins, Rural Communities Specialist, University of Idaho;
• Jane Haskell, Extension Educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension;
• Walt Whitmer, Community Economic Development Associate, Pennsylvania University Cooperative Extension;
• Ellen Rowe, Community and Leadership Development Specialist, University of Vermont Extension;
• Sally Ward Maggard, Institute for Youth, Family, Community;
• Rod Howe, Executive Director, Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI) , Assistant Director, Community and Economic Vitality, Cornell Cooperative Extension; and
• Betsy Newman, Publications Specialist, Utah State University.

Feral Pig Community of Practice. People continue to release wild pigs despite negative consequences. Public awareness of this behavior and education may help build support for efforts to reduce wild pig populations. Additionally, greater awareness of the negative consequences of wild pig populations may substantially influence future policy decisions regarding allowable techniques for control, as well as regulating legal means and procedures for sport hunting of wild pigs. Jim Cathey of Texas AgriLife Extension Service will serve as the primary contact for this CoP. Others on the leadership team are:

• Gary San Julian, Professor of Wildlife Resources, Penn State University;
• Pete Gibbs, Associate Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Community Economic Development, Texas AgriLife Extension Service;
• Amy Hays, Texas AgriLife Extension, Program Specialist;
• Jack Mayer, Fellow Scientist/Group Manager, Savannah River National Laboratory;
• William Giuliano, Professor & Extension Specialist, University of Florida;
• Mark Smith, Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist, Auburn University;
• Billy Higginbotham, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist; and
• Becky McPeak, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service.

Farm and Ranch eXtension Safety and Health Community of Practice will focus on the health and safety of individuals involved in agriculture. An aging population of principal operators, limited experience of younger operators entering production agriculture and off-farm work stressors are just a few of the challenges this community will help their uses deal with through the creation of multi-level, multi-interactive content and community spaces. Aaron Yoder of Penn State University will be the primary contact for this CoP. Other on the leadership team are:

• Marshall Martin, Purdue University;
• Bradley Rein, USDA-NIFA;
• Dee Jepsen, Ohio State University;
• Michael Pate, Utah State University;
• Robert Aherin, University of Illinois;
• Connie Baggett, Penn State University;
• Roberto Barbosa, Louisiana State University;
• Bobby Grisso, Virginia Tech;
• Dennis Murphy, Penn State University;
• Larry Olsen, Michigan State University;
• Mark Purschwitz, University of Kentucky;
• Glen Rains, University of Georgia;
• Chuck Schwab, Iowa State University; and
• John Slocombe, Kansas State University.