Journal of Extension Re-opens RFP

Extension Journal, Inc. is reopening its invitation for proposals to provide editorial services for the corporation’s flagship product, the Journal of Extension. Editorial services required range from initial review of all submissions, to writing advice for authors, to working with reviewers, to copy editing of all issues. Please consider our invitation. The deadline for proposals is May 31, 2015, with the contract to begin January 1, 2016. For the full RFP go to:

Plenty of Learning Opportunities Available!

2015 has begun with some very interesting and useful learning opportunities found in eXtension’s Learn! Here I’ve included upcoming ones on various topics for which people have expressed interest by Following, as well as recent learning events in April which have a recording available. Many other and newly added events are also listed so check there for a more complete set of offerings. These learning events are open to all who are interested… check each event listing to see if there is registration needed before the event. Share with your colleagues, clientele, etc. since participation is online from a home, office, etc.

Popular Upcoming Learning Events

Recent events with Recordings
All Bugs Good & Bad
2015 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Common Termites of the Southern United States – Biology, Behavior, and Management, at

Citizen Science
SciStarter: a place for Citizen Science Projects, at

Enhancing Biosecurity at Fairs and Shows, at
Gender and Vulnerability in Emergency Contexts, at

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Working with LGBTQ Clients, at

Evaluating Your Marketing Channels, at

eXtension Innovation Teams
Innovation Team Web Conference–April 2015, at

Farm Safety & Health
Safety Policies for School-based Supervised Agricultural Experiences Programs, at
What is the SAY National Clearinghouse?, at

Health Research
Extension Health Research in Michigan, at

Healthy Food Choices in Schools
Get Smart with the Alliance’s Food & Beverage Resources!, at

Manure and Nutrient Management in Tile Drained Lands, at

MFLN Family Caregiving
Understanding Narcotic Medications for Service Members, at

MFLN Family Development
Wellness Strategies, Burnout Prevention, & Mindfulness-Part 2, at
Wellness Strategies, Burnout Prevention, & Mindfulness-Part 1, at

MFLN Personal Finance
Entrepreneurship Essentials for Service Members and Military Spouses, at

Network Literacy
Google Analytics Overview, at

Organic Production
Innovative Approaches to Extension in Organic and Sustainable Agriculture, at

Empowering Youth Voice on Extension Advisory Groups, at

Small & Backyard Flocks
Neurological diseases of poultry and immunity/vaccination, at

Women in Ag
Risk Management and Your Agritourism Business, at

Go to Learn ( to see more sessions, and to add learning opportunities being offered by you or your institution so you may include more for participation and learning!

Questions and Comments? Contact Beth Raney at If you have web-based events for which you would like more participation, please add them at for others to join in!

We Need YOU!!! Take the Wearable Tech Survey


Are you using wearable technology? Do you want to? eXtension would like you to share your interests and uses by taking a short CES Wearable Technology Interest Survey and joining the Wearable Technology user group.

Wearable technology is becoming increasingly popular in today’s society and by 2018 global mobile data traffic from wearable devices is expected to increase nearly twelve fold from 15 to 175 petabytes per month according to statista and will be a 12.6 million dollar industry by then as well. Already Cooperative Extension educators are exploring wearables that track fitness & health, provide security, create efficiencies through smart watches and in-sight glassware and cameras. Researchers in our system are engineering devices for animal agriculture and looking for ways to connect to Cooperative Extension educators for testing and deployment.

To date, a small group of educators and engineers have started conversations around wearables, sharing their experiences and tests in the field. This Wearable Technology group has been established by eXtension and is striving to reach out to other educators and researchers who are interested in these topics. eXtension invites all individuals to join the Wearable Technology user group in People. The Wearable Technology group would like to know how you are using and experimenting with wearable technology by completely a short CES Wearable Technology Interest Survey.

Taking the survey and joining the user group in People will help connect you to others in the system to explore new possibilities, share ideas, resources and stimulate collaboration. Learn more by joining the Human Augmentation and Wearables Google+ Community Page too.

OSU’s Villegas Certainly Not ‘Droning’ on About ‘Drones’

With more than 15,000 plus folks holding eXtension IDs and some fraction of those working hard in learning networks, user communities, and communities of practice there’s bound to be a star somewhere in the bunch. Whether he’s ready for American Idol or The Voice is up to him but Victor Villegas, Oregon State University Technology & Media Support Coordinator is turning people on to unmanned aerial systems with songs.


Victor is one of the leaders of the eXtension Unmanned Aerial Systems user community. Unmanned Aerial Systems or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are more commonly known as “drones”, a term used by the media and general public. Victor used to fly full size airplanes but now pilots drones with both feet on the ground…whether nano drones that fit in the palm of your hand, remote controlled planes and helicopters, or virtual vehicles that operate on screen more like a video game than a flight simulator.

And, to top it all off…Victor’s married his love of this unique technology with his own unique talent…singing and songwriting. And, he’s getting famous for it. NetworkWorld recently featured him in an article “Meet the Tech Dude Who Doubles as the Weird Al of Drone Songs”. The article highlights Villegas’ penchant for drones and creative song writing…”If You Get a Drone for Christmas” or his personal favorite “Dronie, Dronie”. Reggae, doo-wop, holiday carols, and even disco address this new technology with humor and creativity. But behind all of Victor’s music is his message…drone safety.

Details of Victor’s story can be found in the NetworkWorld article and a play list of his video and musical stylings can be found on YouTube or on SoundCloud.

Coral Owen Joins MFLN; Coordinates Professional Development

coral pic

Coral Owen has joined the Military Families Learning Network as
the Professional Development Coordinator. She has an MS in Health
Education & Behavior from the University of Florida and is a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Prior to joining the MFLN, Coral managed the Department of Defense Military Banking Facility at Camp Darby in Pisa, Italy. Coral will be housed at The Chez Family Foundation Center For Wounded Veterans in Higher Education in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Coral comes to the Military Families Learning Network with significant experience in professional development, financial literacy, and holistic health and holds a unique perspective as the spouse of an active-duty service member of the US Air Force.

eXtension Foundation Board of Directors Elects Officers


Dennis Calvin, (Northeast region/Penn State), will chair the Board and Vernon Jones (1890 region/Langston University) will serve as Vice Chair and Treasurer of the eXtension Foundation Board of Directors. Fred Schlutt (Western region/University of Alaska) is Secretary for the Board. Other Board members include Jason Henderson (North Central region/Purdue), and Doug Steele (Southern region/Texas Agri-Life Extension). Non-voting, ex officio members of the Board are Jane Clary Loveless, USDA-NIFA National Program Leader and Jane Schuchardt, ECOP Executive Director.

The Board is working to refine bylaws and operating documents, a membership handbook for both premium and basic eXtension members as well as working to hire personnel for the eXtension Foundation including the Chief Executive Officer.

eXtension Launches Agriculture, Forestry, & Climate Science Learning Network

Ag Forestry Climate 2

The Agriculture, Forestry and Climate Science Learning Network (CS-LN) is one of the newest communities to be created under the new eXtension model adopted by the Cooperative Extension System. Two key features of this new model include focusing more directly on professional development and aggressively pursuing innovative opportunities. The CS-LN is a joint effort by the eXtension Foundation, the Southern Regional Extension Forestry Office, and the Office of the Chief Economist, USDA.

The CS-LN will work to enhance the outreach and impacts of the USDA Climate Hubs and Land Grant Universities through professional development and innovative opportunities using the Cooperative Extension System’s delivery infrastructure including:

• Interviewing USDA Regional Climate Hub Directors and authoring a white-paper of the results.
• Inventorying current climate change resources available through Cooperative Extension and its partner organizations. This inventory will be made available on
• Developing a database of agriculture and forestry professionals for the Northeast and Southeast USDA Climate Hubs.
• Surveying these professionals to determine their climate perceptions and educational needs.
• Developing and delivering pilot educational modules for Southeast and Northeast Extension and Climate Hub clients. It is anticipated that this program will expand to include all the Regional Climate Hubs.

For more information on the Learning Network contact William Hubbard at

New Ask an Expert Question Widget

We have released a brand new version of the Ask an Expert Question widget, the question form which can be embedded on Cooperative Extension web pages or other third party sites. The new widget offers substantial improvements over the existing one including:

  • better design
  • multiple image uploads (3 vs. 1)
  • dynamic width and height resizing
  • and most importantly, it captures the URL of widget’s parent page

That last bullet is particularly significant because it will allow Questions Wranglers (or anyone answering the question) to get more context about questions that are submitted through widgets. The new widget code is available on your Ask an Expert group’s “Ask Form and Widget” preference page. The old widget will continue to work for now, but we recommend updating your code snippet to get the new features.



Seeing a New World with Oculus Rift

At Ag Outlook

What is Oculus Rift?

The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that gives users the sensation of being inside games, virtual worlds, simulations, and videos. The device achieves “virtual reality” at a level previously unavailable to individuals. It was invented by 19-year-old Palmer Luckey and is now owned by Facebook. The consumer version of the Oculus Rift is still in development and is expected to come to market in late 2015. Other companies such as Google, Sony, Samsung, Microsoft, and Razer have been developing their own versions of virtual reality head-mounted displays.

Who is using Virtual Reality?

The headset was originally conceived as a gaming accessory, but since the Facebook acquisition many other use cases have been imagined. The device works very well with 360° video, so Hollywood is producing virtual reality movies. Consumers will have opportunities to try homes, vehicles, and travel before buying. Streamed content will make it possible for users to experience live events, such as sports and concerts, with the best seats in the house. The prototype headset is already in use by trainers and health care professionals. And educators at all levels are anticipating use of VR in their classrooms.

How is Oculus Rift connected with Cooperative Extension?

As part of its focus on innovation, eXtension acquired use of an Oculus Rift developer kit to become familiar with the possibilities of true virtual reality as a teaching tool. Virtual reality is best imagined as a new kind of experiential learning. Consider the idea of city kids learning where their food comes from by exploring a virtual farm. Growers might walk through a crop field, orchard, or barn along with an Extension specialist, getting a virtual hands-on demonstration. Imagine the potential for food safety learning in all situations. How about tractor safety training? The ideas can go as far as your imagination.

Where can I learn more about Virtual Reality and Oculus Rift?

During eXtension’s recent demonstration of Oculus Rift at the USDA’s Ag Outlook Forum, the unanimous reaction of participants was “Wow, WOW!” To be informed about developments in virtual reality for education, become a member of eXtension’s Virtual 3D interest group. Join here To arrange for an on-site demonstration of the Oculus Rift at your event, contact LuAnn Phillips, eXtension’s Virtual Reality specialist,

Ag Outlook Forum, USDA-NIFA Venues for eXtension Showcase

eXtension featured six emphasis areas at both USDA-NIFA offices and at the USDA’s Ag Outlook Forum in February.

Victor Villegas demonstrates unmanned aerial vehicle.

Victor Villegas demonstrates unmanned aerial vehicle.

Unmanned aerial systems, big data, wearable technologies, virtual reality, and both the Network Literacy community of practice and the Educational Technology Learning Network gave hands on demonstrations or presentations to both national program leaders and administrators at USDA-NIFA as well as to nearly 2,000 attendees at the Ag Outlook Forum.

USDA's research, education, and economics under secretary Cathie Woteki tries out Google Glass.

USDA’s research, education, and economics under secretary Cathie Woteki tries out Google Glass.

“We had a unique opportunity this year at the Ag Outlook Forum,” said Elbert Dickey, eXtension Executive Director. “Our team of both eXtension staff and representatives from our premium members involved in these user communities really reached out to new and different people interested in technology, learning, and innovation.”

Paul Hill explains the educational technology learning network to USDA Radio.

Paul Hill explains the educational technology learning network to USDA Radio.

Paul Hill, Utah State University (Educational Technology Learning Network) Victor Villegas, Oregon State University (Unmanned aerial systems); Terrence Wolfork, Fort Valley State University (Network Literacy); Jerry Thomas, Ohio State University (Wearable technologies) joined LuAnn Phillips, Anne Adrian, Craig Wood, Beth Raney, Ashley Griffin, Terry Meisenbach, and Elbert Dickey, all with eXtension, at both the USDA-NIFA and Ag Outlook events.

Luis Tupas, NIFA's deputy director of the Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment tests out the Oculus Rift.

Luis Tupas, NIFA’s deputy director of the Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment tests out the Oculus Rift.

Participants were able to fly small unmanned aerial devises, test the Oculus Rift and Second Life, try on and use Google Glass, as well as learn more about big data and its applications.

“Our exhibit space at the Ag Outlook Forum was uniquely positioned outside the exhibit hall and along the main traffic area for the conference. We had hundreds of people stopping by to try things out, ask questions and inquire about what Cooperative Extension is doing in these innovative areas,” said Terry Meisenbach, eXtension Communications and Marketing Leader.

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