21 Project & Program Teams Attend October Impact Collaborative Summit, 6 Awarded Grants

For Immediate Release
November 26th, 2019
Contact: Aaron Weibe, aaronweibe@eXtension.org

21 Project and Program teams across Cooperative Extension representing 24 institutions attended the Impact Collaborative in Atlanta for a unique opportunity to create impactful results at the local level by increasing Cooperative Extension’s organizational readiness and capacity for innovation and change. Teams were connected with skills, tools, resources, Coaches, Facilitators, and Key Informants that helped expand and deepen their impact. 

Teams were provided one-on-one coaching by the Impact Collaborative’s network of Innovation Facilitators, including 11 Coaches representing 10 institutions. 28 Key Informants from across Extension and other external organizations assisted teams in program development on a range of topics including team development, program development, communications and marketing, readiness, evaluation, and visualization.

During three days of hard work, teams participated in a Presentation Showcase where they presented their project or program to fellow participants, Coaches, and Key Informants. All teams had an opportunity to apply for six $5000 grants to bring new capacity to their project. The recipients of these grants are:

National Sustainability Synergies Squad (Florida A&M University, University of Florida, Tuskegee University, University of Georgia)

Project Description: This team attended the 1st and 2nd Impact Collaborative Summits and we represent leaders from two ANREP Initiatives: the National Network for Sustainable Living Education (NNSLE) and the National Extension Energy Initiative (NEEI). This past April, NNSLE and NEEI hosted the Joint National Sustainability Summit (NSS) and National Extension Energy Summit (NEES) in Tampa, FL.  With a theme of ‘Harnessing Our Collective Energy to Address the Rising Tide”, the conference engaged 185 Extension educators, researchers, students, community partners, and practitioners around issues of climate change, energy, water, land, food systems, and community capacity and resilience. Details of the event are at https://nationalextensionsummits.com.  

CIVIC (Florida A&M, University of Florida)

Project Description: Developing a panhandle In Service Training for agents to identify needs of small farmers and develop deliberative frameworks. Specifics include developing training objectives and curriculum to focus on identifying and training UU community leaders and using a method other than a deliberative forum (world café) to identify audience needs. It is hoped that developing this curriculum will lead to fundability in the long term.

Promoting Rural Community Wellness (University of Minnesota)

Project Description: This team aims to design a tool-kit that will offer communities the resources (e.g., strategies, people, and other materials) to support a comprehensive community approach to building community wellness.  Specifically, this work is designed to address rural stress and the issues arising in the agricultural community. 

Virtual Park Ranger (Oregon State University)

Project Description: This project aims to connect outdoor with health, targeting children and families to enrich their outdoor experience through a co-development of a mobile app with the end users. At this Summit, our team would like to 1) learn more about how to identify and solidify the most feasible feature(s) to begin designing with the vision of building a platform that we can continue to expand, and 2) how to crowdsource and crowdfund to support ideas.

Tuskegee Public Dialogue Team (Tuskegee University): 

Project Description: The TPDT focuses on building capacity within the Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension program to help communities engage in civil dialogues around racial issues and their intersections with the food system. This project represents an integrative community based public dialogue program tailored for the Black Belt region that produces community assessments enabling a platform for action unlike programs that overlook the impacts of the race within community understanding. Ultimately, a key aim of this project is to chart a course for Extension to become more relevant in the Black Belt region. 

Southern Jagriculture (Southern University): 

Project Description: Team Jagriculture’s program addresses Emergency Preparedness, and how to increase engagement for vulnerable populations around the state of Louisiana while also focusing on maximizing our impact within their communities.

Results

The full Summit evaluation report and a detailed listing of the participating teams and institutions is available at impact.eXtension.org/success. Highlights of that evaluation include:

  • 93.2% will recommend the Impact Collaborative Summit to others
  • In what ways did the Impact Collaborative Summit help your team?
    • Team Growth (89.5%)
    • Uncovered gaps in project planning (84.2%)
    • New ideas (78.9%)
    • New innovation or increased innovation (73.7%)
    • Gave ways to tell our team/project story 73.7%
    • New techniques and tools 73.7%
  • Aspects of the event that were most useful
    • Team Time (75.3%)
    • Program Development Key Informants (69.9%)
    • Visualization Key Informants (69.9%)
    • Team Coaches (63%)
    • Propelling Community Impact Framework (58.9%)
    • Evaluation Key Informants (53.4%)
    • Team Development Key Informants (52.1%)

About the eXtension Foundation

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