The annual National Award for Excellence in Extension is presented to individuals who have strived throughout their careers through their local, state, regional, or national responsibilities to achieve the benchmarks reflective of excellence in Extension educational programming. These include, but are not limited to, demonstration of high impact of programs; visionary leadership and anticipation of emerging issues for clientele and the system; commitment to diversity; and integration of programs in partnership with university colleagues and outside clientele. Awardee should be recognized as a leader at his or her university, the communities served, and in the respective field of expertise. They should demonstrate the ability to garner a continual flow of resources for sustainable Extension programs and use innovative teaching methods.
Award nominations must be submitted using an online form by May 1, 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time. Committees formed by regional Cooperative Extension director/administrator associations (AEA, NEED, NCCEA, ASRED, WEDA) will review nominations from their respective region and recommend nominees to the ECOP Professional Development Committee. The ECOP Professional Development Committee will review regional recommendations and select recipients of the National and Regional awards as described below. All nominees, recipients and non-recipients of awards, and their nominators will receive letters as to the outcome of this process by the third week of July. The award letters from the Chair/Co-chairs of the ECOP Professional Development Committee will include details of receiving cash awards, media guidelines and travel to the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly awards presentation at the APLU Annual Meeting in November.
Regional – An Extension professional selected from any of the regions, as defined below, deemed by a regional selection committee to exhibit sustained and meritorious Extension programming, and who has maintained at least five consecutive years of work experience in Extension.
National – An Extension professional selected from the pool of regional award honorees described above, and deemed by the ECOP Professional Development Committee to exhibit sustained, meritorious and exceptional Extension programming.
Honorees receive a cash award from the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP). A plaque from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Director is presented during the Awards Program at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Annual Meeting in November. Travel stipends are typically provided by NIFA. Summaries of honoree’s excellent work are released to the national news media and published in the Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in College and University Awards Program: A Community of Scholars Honoring Excellence along with their professional portraits. Honorees are expected to submit an impact statement for the database which portrays Cooperative Extension impacts publicly (landgrantimpacts.org).
The nominee must be an active Cooperative Extension System professional (state, regional and/or county) with at least 50 percent EFT/FTE university appointment in Extension (Administrative EFT/FTE in these areas does not qualify) as of the deadline of the nomination. Further, the nominee must have responsibility for Extension programming for a minimum of five consecutive years.
Nominations may be submitted by a nominee, supervisor, or peer. However, nominations must include endorsement by the nominee's institution Extension Director or Administrator or his or her designee, conveyed via signatures.
National award recipients are not eligible for renomination. Regional award honorees may be renominated for the national award three years or more after receiving the regional award. CLICK HERE to review the list of previous recipients. Current members of the ECOP are not eligible.
Specially designed blank forms provide assistance to organize and submit the following elements. The links to download these forms are found at the bottom of this page.
500 words or less for each criterion
The due date for nominations is May 1st at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. To be considered, nominations, submitted online, must be completed by this date and time.
Please contact Sandy Ruble, Assistant Director, Cooperative Extension/ECOP at 202.478.6088 or firstname.lastname@example.org if there are questions.
Use links below to download Prep Forms according to region.