Spring 2021
News & updates from your ANREP colleagues
In This Issue:

President's message

ANREP Updates
  • ANREP conference update
  • Award winners announced
  • Newsletter editor needed
  • Foundation update
  • NEWFI update

  • National Extension Energy Summit + National Sustainability Summit

Featured Articles
  • GA Extension demonstration garden
  • Healthy ponds certification program
  • Green Landscape Stewards program launches
  • WSU goes online for forest field days
  • Taylor named co-president of IFOAM North America
  • National Woodlands magazine seeks content


  • Virtual farmer shop talk series
  • Timber sales publication from PSU


Editor's comments
Follow ANREP on Twitter
President's Message
2021 ANREP President
(305) 453-8747

County Extension Director & Community Development Agent
UF/IFAS Extension Monroe County
Hello ANREP Colleagues!
Well, summer weather is upon us here in Florida - plenty of sun and hot weather.

Lots going on in your association this season.
Perhaps the biggest news is that we are excited to welcome everyone to the ANREP Conference at the end of May. There is still time to register. We have a great variety of offerings and we thank Oregon State University for planning this great event. As we continue to get vaccines across the country we look forward to seeing you all in person next year at Kalamazoo in 2022!

Say hello to the soon to be renewed, active chapter in New York. We commend your dedication to natural resources. We welcome and encourage any state to form their own chapter. Just contact your regional representative to get started: Holly Abeels for the South, Erika Lyon for North-Central, Danielle Rhea for Northeast, and Lauren Grand for the West. you can find contact information for the entire executive committee on the ANREP website.

As an ANREP member, you are part of a proud organization promoting sustainable stewardship of our natural resources. Yet you are also part of a much larger Extension organization, the Joint Council for Extension Professionals (JCEP). Your elected executive officers serve on the JCEP board representing ANREP, as well as executive officers from six other Extension organizations. JCEP promotes professional improvement, collaboration, and scholarship.

As an umbrella organization from all Extension disciplines, JCEP has liaisons from USDA NIFA, land-grant universities, and Extension administrators. This provides a unifying voice at the state and national level representing Extension to policy makers and partner organizations. In addition, JCEP also promotes collaboration and scholarship among professionals from other Extension organizations. Every year, JCEP also sponsors within each member organization an award of their choice. You can help these organization, both ANREP and JCEP by serving on committees. Contact me if you would like to serve. See you all soon!
ANREP Updates
The ANREP 2021 Virtual Conference is Almost Here!
We’re looking forward to seeing you at the 12th ANREP Conference, taking place virtually May 24th-26th, 2021 with post-conference initiative meetings on May 27th. This year’s virtual conference will be hosted using the Whova platform.

Registration is open! Registration for both ANREP members and non-members is $150, and a special $35 student registration fee is available (current status as a student is required). Registered participants will receive an email link to the Whova platform before the conference dates.

Conference Program
The program agenda and schedule overview are posted to the conference website, and registered participants have access to all of the videos and meeting links in Whova. Browse the presentation topics online – we’re excited to see all of the knowledge that our colleagues will be sharing! Pre-recorded videos of Ignite and Oral presentations as well as digital posters are available on-demand now. 

We encourage you to view video recordings ahead of the conference so that you can spend your time asking questions and connecting with other attendees. The conference will feature Live Q&A sessions with oral presenters, live workshops, a poster session, and the ability to chat or create virtual meet-ups with fellow attendees.

Conference Events to Note
Here are just a few of the special events happening at this year’s conference!

Film Night May 25th: The West is Burning. This film explores the urgent need to act now, and the potential to generate positive change in our forests, watersheds, and communities, both rural and urban.

Photo Contest: Show off some of the favorite moments you’ve captured on film (or your smart phone) for a chance to win an awesome prize! Photo contest categories include: Landscapes, Wildlife, Engagement with Extension Audiences, and Humor

Use your imagination and send us your best shots! 

Details: Each person can submit one photo per category. Photos must be submitted to Google Drive no later than 12pm (PT) on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Rename your photo to use FirstNameLastName_Institution_PhotoTitle. Top two winners from each category will be announced at the ANREP Awards hour on Wednesday, May 26th. Photo contest judges are excluded from participating in the photo contest. Photos in the contest must be submitted to Google Drive to be included in the contest, but don’t forget to share them in Whova too for everyone to see!

Remembering Amy Grotta: Our friend and colleague Amy Grotta (Oregon State University Extension) passed away in December 2019. Amy had been living with cancer for a number of years and her fighting spirit had been an inspiration for all of us. She was an incredible human being, deeply respected and loved by all who knew her. We will carry her memory with us always. 

We will gather around a virtual bonfire at 4:30pm (PT) on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 to share memories, tell stories, and remember our friend Amy. This will be very informal with no pressure to share. All are welcome to attend.

Volunteers Needed!
Peer-to-Peer Learning & Knowledge Exchange: Monday, May 24, 2021 – half hour sessions will be offered between 2pm and 4pm (PT). Do you feel like you have some knowledge to share about Extension with students and early-career Extension professionals? Then volunteer for a half-hour session to discuss a topic you’re experienced in! This is an informal session where you can share your knowledge and experience with your peers, and answer any of their questions. All are welcome to the discussion. The topics/times are:

o 2 – 2:30pm: Working with advisory boards
o 2 – 2:30pm: Evaluations 
o 2:30 – 3pm: Writing impact statements 
o 2:30 – 3pm: Programs/workshops 
o 3 – 3:30pm: Research opportunities 
o 3 – 3:30pm: Needs assessments 
o 3:30 – 4pm: Scholarship 
o 3:30 – 4pm: Partnerships 

Please email Alicia Christiansen to volunteer.

Silent Auction
We will be running a virtual silent auction during the conference this year. We are looking for donations of items. Please note that we are not collecting the items; those donating will be responsible for shipping to the winner. Also, while we all love that bottle of wine or six-pack of craft beer, you might want to let that age until the 2022 conference auction. Shipping restrictions on alcohol might not be worth the hassle.

Donation Information Due Thursday, May 20
If you are willing to donate an item, please send Kris Tiles an email with the following information
ONE picture of the item
A brief description of the item
A suggested value of the item
Name of person or group donating the item
ALL auction proceeds are used to fund ANREP scholarships so help us twice by donating an item and bidding once the auction begins!

For More Information
Check the conference website for more information or contact the Planning Committee with any questions by emailing Shannon Murray.
2021 ANREP Awards Announced
The 2021 ANREP award recipients have been announced. Congratulations to all award winners! Thank you to Victor Blanco and Tim Daly (award committee co-chairs) and their review team for the hard work in evaluating all submissions and selecting the winners.
ANREP Newsletter Editor Wanted
After seven years and 28 issues, it's time for me to "retire" from the newsletter editor role and let someone else take on the challenge. I absolutely love doing this in service to ANREP (despite some occasional grumblings that my colleagues can attest to!). I've met many colleagues from across the country in this role, most via email exchanges but at conferences it's always nice to make a, "nice to finally meet you!" connection to someone with whom I've emailed over newsletter content.

If you are interested in the role, please contact me. I am very willing to help with a transition over the next issue or two. Experience with Constant Contact is a plus but not required as long as you're willing to learn.

If we have more than one person interested in the role, we'll have to determine a selection process. Co-editors is also an option if you'd like to share the role with someone.

Image credit: Alpha Stock Images - http://alphastockimages.com/
Seeking Founding Contributors to a New NR Extension Foundation
You have a new way to support your profession and leave a lasting legacy. Your colleagues with the new Natural Resource Extension Education Foundation have launched a founding fundraising campaign. Titled $20.21 for 2021, the campaign challenges every natural resources Extension professional to contribute $20.21 (or more!) to ensure a strong future for our profession.

The new foundation, known as NREEF, is dedicated to supporting natural resources educational events, initiatives, and efforts conducted by ANREP and other Extension organizations. We know that natural resources Extension professionals are in the forefront, helping communities address working lands conservation, climate change, invasive species, sustainability, water quality and many other issues. We see a pressing need to support these professionals, helping them to develop advanced skills and supporting their local programs, ones difficult to fund through traditional means.

NREEF gives us all a new way to leave a legacy, supporting critical natural resources Extension programs and the professionals innovating, managing, evaluating, and delivering them. Funds raised through our 2021 campaign will go to one or more of these priorities:
  • 2022 ANREP Biennial Conference special presentation or tour 
  • Regional trainings for natural resource Extension professionals
  • Unique diversity, equity and inclusion training for natural resources Extension professionals

Donations, bequests, memorials, planned giving, volunteering…however you want to make a difference, the Foundation is here for you. Your contributions help strengthen natural resources extension education across the nation! Contribute now to receive a limited edition, full color Founding Contributor sticker and graphics to proudly display your support for your profession.

Learn more about NREEF, and make your first donation, at our website. Thank you!
National Extension Wildland Fire Initiative Updates
The National Extension Wildland Fire Initiative (NEWFI) would like to invite you to join a variety of fire-related sessions and activities during the upcoming ANREP Conference.

In addition, the next NEWFI meeting will be held on Zoom post-Conference on May 27, 2021 from 10-11:30am PST. Anyone is welcome to join, and we hope to see you there!

The NEWFI website now features a map to help ANREP members find wildland fire-related resources in their state. Is your state missing? Please let us know!
Upcoming Conferences
National Extension Energy Summit & National Sustainability Summit

Work continues on the 2021 National Extension Energy Summit and National Sustainability Summit scheduled for October 4-6 at the Penn Stater Hotel on the campus of Penn State University. Penn State Extension is the official host of the Summits which will again be held jointly following the success of the 2019 event in Tampa. The National Extension Energy Initiative (NEEI) and National Network of Sustainability Education (NNSLE), both ANREP-supported initiatives, are helping organize the joint event.

The Summits will have both energy and sustainability tracks with a full schedule of keynote speakers, panel discussions, and breakout sessions in which educators and specialists can give presentations about their programs and successes. Project teams are also encouraged to schedule pre- or post- conference team meetings to help maximize the value of the time spent. Meals, poster sessions and break times will all be included to maximize opportunities for networking informally with fellow extension professionals.

Penn State is a regional leader in energy and sustainability, and will be a great venue for discussing and developing our vision for these important extension programs. Site tours will again be a highlight, with visits to several nearby examples of energy and sustainability activities. When the list is finalized, it will likely include visits to biomass thermal facilities, anaerobic digesters, research labs, biomass crop sites, innovative water quality systems, and local farms that are setting the regional pace for energy and sustainability innovation.

You can stay up-to-date by visiting https://www.nationalextensionsummits.com.
Featured Articles
Extension Demonstration Garden Providing Fresh Vegetables to Local Food Banks
Gwinnett County, GA, has a population of over 900,000 and continues to grow. One rising issue of concern is food insecurity. According to the Community Foundation of North Georgia, 10% of the population lacks proper nutrition access. The Georgia Department of Public Health estimates the number of residents living in food deserts, where people do not have convenient access to healthy food, which is 8%.

UGA Extension Gwinnett addresses the issue by donating fruits and vegetables harvested from the demonstration garden at McDaniel Farm Park in Duluth, GA. A 134-acre park in Gwinnett County is designed to preserve part of a disappearing piece of the county's rural heritage. Tenants on these farms also planted personal vegetable gardens near the tenant houses where they cultivated tomatoes, beans, etc. The family canned and preserved the vegetables for food during the winter.

Since 2006, the Gwinnett County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, under the direction of UGA Extension Gwinnett, have planted and maintained a vegetable garden at McDaniel Farm Park. The garden is based on the original ones planted in the early 20th century by its original owner, Archie McDaniel. The Master Gardeners meet one day a week to plant and maintain the garden.

The Master Gardeners plan and implement the planting of vegetables in the garden, once in the spring and again in the fall. They meet one day a week at the garden to plant and maintain it throughout the year. The vegetables harvested are weighed before being donated.
The garden has educational values. The demonstration garden is visible from walking trails and accessible to visitors. The volunteers have conducted programs on vegetable gardening for the public. Park visitors frequently ask gardening questions when volunteers are present, and they have made over 2,000 contacts since 2017.

The project has received three annual grants of $500 dollars a year for the past three years from the Gwinnett County Master Gardeners Association for a total of $1500. Also, this year, 2021, they received a one-time grant of $1500 from Foodwell Alliance, a local organization that promotes urban agriculture. The volunteers use the funds to purchase seed, vegetable transplants, soil amendments and other items of need in the garden.
Since 2017, the Master Gardeners have grown and donated over 3,500 pounds of produce to local food banks, most notably the Hands-of-Christ Ministry in Duluth, GA and the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op in Grayson, GA. They will continue to utilize the garden as a fresh food source for these ministries and seek new ones. Plans are in progress to expand the garden area to increase its size and production capability. The McDaniel Farm Park Garden has inspired other community gardens to donate their harvest to various charities.

Submitted by:
Gwinnett County, University of Georgia Extension
Wanted: Stormwater Pond Maintenance Education, UF/IFAS Responds with the Healthy Ponds Certification Program
Healthy Pond Field Day participant is trying out different water chemistry probes and putting the results within the context of local pond water chemistry. 
Stormwater pond managers show off their Certificate of Recognition at the end of the field day.
Stormwater is the biggest contributor to water pollution in Florida despite the over 75,000 stormwater ponds that have been created to deal with this issue.  The need for education about these systems was apparent. Extension agents often receive calls from homeowner associations or stormwater pond professionals dealing with pond problems and looking for solutions.

Faced with the need to communicate stormwater pond best management practices and with few published resources, recommendations based on science are difficult to achieve. To help close this information gap, a team made up of county extension agents and state specialist worked to create a training program that strives to provide pond managers with evidence-based tools for a holistic approach to pond management. The Healthy Ponds certification program, modeled after Clemson Extension’s Master Pond Manager program, focuses on enhancing water quality, wildlife habitat, and pond longevity. The program targets technicians of commercial pond management companies, homeowner association leaders (HOAs), community association managers (CAMs), local government pond managers, and private pond owners.

The Healthy Ponds certification program is also a clearinghouse for stormwater pond research and recommendations. Extension agents now have the opportunity to access, facilitate, and offer the program to improve the understanding of the physical, biological, chemical, and cultural best practices for stormwater pond management. These strategies increase stormwater pond function while making them easier to maintain, reducing chemical treatments, and increasing water quality, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity.
The 8-week hybrid Healthy Ponds certification program was offered in the fall of 2020, which included an in-person field day to review skills. The 25 participants could earn up 25 Pesticide Applicator’s License continuing education credits. Of the graduates, 70% reported that because of this course they are able to communicate better with their clientele. As a result of the field day, 30% of the graduates will incorporate water testing into their maintenance protocols. Follow-up monitoring of graduates is in place to look for successes in reducing chemical use, reducing overall problems, utilizing pond management resources, and increases in positive interactions with clientele and pond professionals.

One Healthy Ponds graduate stated, “It was one of the most comprehensive courses available.” Another reported, “Fantastic! This is really well done and answers a lot of the questions I receive from the public about their ponds. I'm really excited to share this with colleagues and pond homeowners.”

Submitted by:
Michelle Atkinson, Manatee County Extension
Abbey Tyrna, Sarasota County Extension
UF/IFAS Extension
Georgia Green Landscape Stewards Program Launches
The University of Georgia Extension has created a statewide sustainable landscape certification program. The Georgia Green Landscape Stewards Program launched March 15th. The program was created by Jessica Warren, Camden County Extension Coordinator and Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, and Martin Wunderly, Northeast Area Water Agent, utilizing funds from a mini-grant from the University of Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture.

The program is self-paced and contains ten educational components: Composting at Home, Encouraging Biodiversity at Home, Invasive Plants in the Home Landscape, Mulching in the Landscape, Protecting Water Quality, Stormwater Management, Water Conservation, Welcoming Wildlife, Welcoming Pollinators to Your Landscape, and Native Plants and Low Maintenance Landscapes. Participants can watch live webinars on the components hosted April-June of 2021, view videos of the presentations on the website or YouTube channel, or view pdfs of the presentations on the website. After reviewing the educational components citizens can fill out a certification metric. If their landscape practices create a score of 70 or more they achieve status as a Georgia Green Landscape. Certification and an electronic or printed certificate are free, and if desired participants can purchase a colorful yard sign to designate their status.

All resources for the program are also available for UGA Extension agents to utilize in their local programs through a password protected tab on the website. Warren and Wunderly are working with new partners to continue adding new content to the program, and a statewide advisory team has been formed to help oversee and guide the program.

The program’s goals are to inspire and educate citizens of Georgia about more sustainable landscaping practices, increase habitat for wildlife and pollinators through connectivity of natural areas and corridors, decrease stormwater runoff and non-point source pollution, increase soil health, water quality and biodiversity in Georgia, protect and conserve natural resources, and save citizens time, money and labor through working with – not against – nature. For more information please visit the Georgia Green Landscape Stewards website or reach out to us via email.

Submitted by:
University of Georgia Extension-Camden County
Washington State University Takes Forest Field Days Online
Washington State University (WSU) Extension Forestry hosts Forest Owners’ Field Days every year at different locations around the state. These out-in-the-woods, all-day events are among our most popular and impactful programs. In 2020, a traditional in-person field day was not possible given the social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We adapted to this by using Zoom to offer an Online Forest Owners’ Field Day.

While “Online Field Day” is a bit of an oxymoron, the goal was to still have a field-based program. Unlike the other webinars we offered throughout the year which were based on PowerPoint presentations, the Online Field Day sessions were based on field videos. These videos were pre-recorded during the summer by WSU Extension Forestry staff together with experts from the Washington Department of Natural Resources and other partner agencies.

Using the videos, we created an event that was a hybrid between pre-recorded and live content. Similar to our in-person field days, participants could choose from a variety of different sessions offered every hour. Instead of the “stations” in the woods, we had different “Zoom Rooms.” For each session, the field video was streamed for the first portion and followed by live Q&A with the instructor. Sixteen different forestry topics were offered.

A total of 591 people registered for the event, represented 29 of Washington’s 39 counties and eleven other states and Canada. The Field Day reached new people, including those who would not have been able to attend an in-person event even without the pandemic. For over a third of participants, the Online Field Day was their first WSU Extension Forestry event. One participant commented, “Doing it via Zoom enabled my spouse and I to attend where an in-person event, even in the absence of COVID would have been hard to get to.”

An advantage of the online format is that the sessions were recorded. This way participants could watch sessions that they missed and were not limited to one choice per time slot. Many participants signed up exclusively to get the recordings instead of attending live. Of the 591 registrants, 283 attended at least one session live while 308 received only the recording links.

There were 93 responses to the Field Day evaluation, including those who attended live and those who received recordings only. 87% said they would probably or definitely watch the recordings, and this included 95% of those who did not attend live. One participant said, “I signed up to get the recordings because I want the information even though I could not attend on the day. I appreciate being allowed to have access after the fact.”

Participants’ overall experience was very positive. 97% ranked it as excellent or good, and 99% liked the online format. One participant said, “The pre-recorded videos allowed visual presentation of the subject matter which we would have all seen if we were able to be there in person. The videos made the presentations as real as they can get these days.”

Participants indicated a desire for this type of online program continue in the future, with 97% saying we should continue doing online field days even after the pandemic. The majority of respondents would attend either an online or in-person field day in the future, though respondents indicated a greater willingness to attend online. In terms of impacts, 99% of respondents learned something new, 100% of respondents said that the program provided practical information they can use, and 91% of respondents with forested property intend to implement new management practices based on knowledge gained.

Submitted by:
Washington State University Extension
Florida A&M University Professor and Small Farms Coordinator Elected Co-President
Jennifer Taylor, PhD, associate professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and coordinator of the Small Farm Program, a participatory capacity building sustainable development program that works to equip and empower underserved small farm populations and their communities, was elected Co-President of IFOAM North America in April 2021. IFOAM is the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. Jennifer works to promote organic agroecology farming systems/organic farming systems, organic agriculture and sustainable living - and policies that enable and build participatory capacity with underserved small farm populations and their communities/Black and Indigenous farming populations and their communities throughout the United States and the world to enable healthy environments, healthy food systems and healthy communities for all.

IFOAM North America works to educate the general public, provide a forum to exchange ideas, and engage in North American-specific activities to advance organic agriculture and its principles. The activities are carried out in partnership with IFOAM - Organics International and the global organic community.

IFOAM North America consist of members from Canada, the United States, and the English-speaking Caribbean.

IFOAM-Organics International and has members in over 100 countries and territories as well as regional bodies and sector platforms and works to build capacity to facilitate the transition of farmers to organic agriculture, raise awareness of the need for sustainable production and consumption, and advocate for a policy environment conducive to agroecological farming practices and sustainable development.

Jennifer has served on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) for the USDA National Organic Program as chair of the NOSB Materials Committee, ad-hoc GMO sub-committee, and on the Policy Committee.  She previously served as vice president of IFOAM North America.

Jennifer is a small farmer, a BIPOC certified organic farmer, and is Vice President of Organic Farmers Association, serves on the Rodale Institute Board of Directors, Standards Board for the Real Organic Project, advisor to the National Organic Coalition, and Board member of Georgia Organics.

In recent years, the markets for organic products have grown rapidly in North America. There are in total about 23,957 organic producers about 18,000 of whom are in the United States, and over 5,000 in Canada. Today the United States is the leading organic market.
National Woodlands Magazine Welcomes Extension Content
National Woodlands magazine, the quarterly publication from National Woodland Owners Association, regularly showcases publications and articles by Extension staff and faculty from universities throughout the US. Our 40,000+ readers are primarily family forest landowners and managers.

We welcome submissions from natural resources and forestry Extension staff and faculty for the summer issue of our magazine (submission deadline June 1, 2021). The theme for the summer issue is forest restoration and resilience, which is meant to address the various risk factors and mitigation strategies associated with wildland fire. Topics range from prescribed fire, wildfire prevention thinning and salvage harvesting, assessment of latter fuels, forest health decline, defendable space and WUI. Please consider sending a short paragraph or outline summarizing your proposal for an article, or submit a previously published fact sheet or other document, and we will be excited to get back to you. Email contact is Dr. Mark Megalos.
Editor's note: This is a new feature in the newsletter where we can honor the retirements of our ANREP members. You can submit 3-4 sentences and we'll post those announcements here.
Virtual Farmer Shop Talk Series
A Virtual Farmer Shop Talk series was developed and facilitated by a multi-state team of Extension professionals in Mississippi River Basin states. The four virtual events offered in February and March 2021 were opportunities for farmers to have meaningful conversations with other farmers and experts about practical ideas to help them succeed with stewardship on their farms. The topics included financing conservation practices, managing on-farm nutrients, benefits of on-farm trials, and next steps for implementing conservation practices. Recordings from the Virtual Shop Talks are available online.

Submitted by:
University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension
New Penn State Extension Publication on Timber Sales
A new publication from Penn State Extension, Timber Sales: A Guide to Selling Timber, is available to help landowners understand how timber sales are conducted. This 12-page publication outlines a seven-step process. “It will assist forest landowners in understanding how a timber sale is conducted and how to retain the services of a forestry professional,” said Dave Jackson, forestry educator and publication co-author. “It is not a definitive how-to guide as much of the process will depend on each specific situation.”

The publication is available as a free downloadable PDF; printed copies are available for purchase. To view the full publication, visit the website or call 877-345-0691.

Submitted by:
Penn State University Extension-Centre County
A Word from Your Editor
I'll end this newsletter issue with thanks. Thanks for sending contributions for the newsletter each quarter. I've very much enjoyed reading your work and helping to share it with our ANREP community. Your creativity and passion are inspiring and have been a big part of me doing this job for so long. It's time for someone new to take on this challenge and bring fresh ideas to the newsletter. I'll look forward to seeing how the newsletter evolves and yet still maintain the mission of serving ANREP and sharing our work across the country.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you are interested in taking on this role. I'm happy to answer questions and provide assistance as the next editor gets up and running.

The next newsletter will arrive in your inboxes around August 15. You can send content any time. Please try to keep articles to 600 words or less and the more complete/formatted (i.e. in a Word document) the better. If you're sending photos, attach those separately to your email, don't just embed them in the document. And please send captions and photo credits if you have them.

Chad Cook | University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension