WCC Weekly Bulletin Week of 12/21

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In this Edition

  • National 4-H Council Closed December 25, 2020 – January 3, 2021
  • Past Due Q4 Reporting
  • Youth Voice and Leadership
  • Professional Development
  • News, Research, and Resources from the Field

National 4-H Council Closed December 25, 2020 – January 3, 2021

  • National 4-H Council will close beginning December 25, 2020 and will re-open January 4, 2021. There will not be a WCC Weekly Bulletin for the week of December 28, 2020.

Past Due Q4 Reporting

  • The Q4 report was due December 15, 2020. If you have not submitted the following, please submit as soon as possible.

The reporting period is September 1 – November 30, 2020.

Youth Voice and Leadership

  • Second Youth Introductory Session, January 19, 2021, 7:00 – 8:30 PM ET

On January 19, 2021, from 7:00 – 8:30 PM ET, there will be another virtual Youth Introductory Session where the youth teams from our WCC communities can introduce themselves and their health issues to their peers. We had a very successful first session on August 26, 2020 with 49 participants. Youth from that session are invited to return to cheer on and learn about their peers. This repeat session is for those communities that did not have youth on the August call and to introduce WCC youth to each other prior to the National 4-H Summit on Healthy Living. Each youth team is asked to prepare 1-2 slides to tell about their communities and their activities. PI’s are asked to register their youth and adult participants using this link.  Slides should be sent to Hayat Essa (hessa@fourhcouncil.edu) by January 11, 2021. 

  • National 4-H Summit for Health Living, February 12 – 15, 2021
    • The National 4-H Summit on Healthy Living will be virtual and held on its usual Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 12 -15, 2021. The number of hours per day is still TBD but will last no more than approximately 4-5 hours on any one day.
  • Cost is $75 per youth or adult.
  • Registration will open Christmas Week and close January 22, 2021.  Once your team is registered, you will have the opportunity to select a track for your team from these 6: Food Insecurity, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Health Equity.  The selection will need to be made by January 29, 2021.
  • Because of the tracks, there will be no limit on the number of registrations.
  • Highlights of the Summit will include keynote and capnote speakers and a speaker of the day, virtual State Showcase, 3 workshops, career exploration, a virtual “Coffee House” for discussion of national health issues, action plan development, and lots of opportunities for networking.
  • New for this year will be TBD follow-ups for pitching action plans in the “Dolphin Tank”, and following those action plans to see the impact on communities.

Professional Development

  • DATE CHANGE Youth-Adult Volunteer Leadership Office Hours

Office hours will be held on Monday, January 25, 2021 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET to entertain questions about Youth-Adult Partnerships or Master Volunteers.  The specific sub-topic we will focus on sharing what each WCC grantee is doing with their LGUs WCC program – training, internship in light of the pandemic, etc.  For example, New Hampshire will be using the training track they sign up for at the HL Summit as part of their MV training which will be at least 4 hours.

Register Here

Additional Youth-Adult Volunteer Leadership Office Hours will be held:

  • April 19, 2021, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
  • July 19, 2021, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
  • October 18, 2021, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
  • Cooperative Extension and its Role in Public Health

January 28, 2021, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Speaker: Roger Rennekamp, PhD

Roger Rennekamp, National Director for Extension will lead the conversation on our collective effort to foster systems change while implementing policies, systems and environment (PSE) change across our Well Connected Communities. This interactive session will focus on:

  1. Cooperative Extension System and its role in public health and health equity.
  2. Driving PSE and systems change through cross-unit collaboration at university and community levels.
  3. Strengthening equity work across communities, urban, tribal and rural.
  4. Creating and disseminating tools and stories for peer-to-peer learning and evaluation.
  5. What to expect in 2021 for professional development sessions, youth-adult partnerships and Master Volunteer Programs.


News, Research and Resources from the Field:

  • NEW The Science Behind Your Traditional Holiday Meal

Holidays are traditionally a time to focus on family, friends and food. This year, as Americans navigate this unprecedented holiday season, many are turning to the kitchen to cook up expressions of love and care. Throughout the year, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funds research across the nation that puts safe, affordable, nutritious food on your table. Here are some examples of NIFA-funded projects that make up an all-American feast:

The United States leads the world in turkey production. In 2019, the U.S. produced 5.82 billion pounds of turkey meat, per USDA’s Economic Research Service. NIFA-supported researchers at West Virginia University are working to improve meat quality through better nutrition and management. The Hatch Act provides funds to support agricultural research at U.S. land-grant universities. Michigan State University researchers have a grant from NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative to address thermal challenge and meat quality. For more information, read the NIFA blog.

RWJF Culture of Health Blog, Nov 16, 2020, Posted by Jeanette Betancourt, Katie Wehr

The lovable Muppets of Sesame Street have a history of tackling tough topics with a compassionate, evidence-based, and age-appropriate approach. Helping us with the struggles of 2020 is no exception.

This year was full of change, loss, and challenges for kids who are learning how to manage big feelings. That’s why RWJF is proud to support Sesame Street in Communities. They are an important and needed resource to help families cope with the stress and uncertainty of the holidays amid a pandemic—and beyond.

Learn more >



How does the world inspire you? Take this quiz to discover how the rest of the world may shape what you do and how you think. The results might surprise you. The quiz is composed of two sets of questions. The first will ask you about how you’ve experienced the rest of the world, while the second will ask you about how you think about other countries.

  • NEW From eXtension
  • Impact Collaborative Innovation Skill-Building Experience. Registration Open for eXtension Members! January 19th & 26th, February 2nd & 9th, 2021. Do you have a project idea that needs incubation, innovation, and ways to get to implementation and impact faster? Are you looking to learn about design thinking and lean experimentation combined with Cooperative Extension’s best practices for solving important community issues? Are you interested in becoming an Innovation Facilitator/Coach for future Impact Collaborative events and to support your institution’s teams and teams across the nation? If you answered yes, to any of these questions then join us to explore the Impact Collaborative’s Innovation Skill-building experience in a whole new way. Learn More
  • Federal Trade Commission Warns of Vaccine Scams
    Roger Rennekamp, Extension Health Director

Now that COVID-19 vaccinations have been approved for emergency use, scammers will not be far behind warns the warns the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  In response, the FTC has developed a blog that include specific warnings and infographics that organizations like Cooperative Extension can use to inform their clients of these possible scams.  The blogs are available in English and Spanish…Learn More.

  • Social Determinants of Health: What’s Happenin’ on the Hill?
    Erin Yelland, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Kansas State University
    I recently attended a Congressional Briefing on the Social Determinants of Health to learn more about what is happening at the national level regarding the social determinants (for a refresher course on the social determinants, see my last blog post here – federal policies are a big part of this equation). So, what’s happenin’? Turns out, quite a bit! And the future is expected to be bright as the 117th Congress begins next month…Learn More

This episode is the audio from a webinar hosted by the eXtension Foundation on December 2nd, 2020, featuring individuals from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. The description of the webinar is available below:

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will be released soon, and anticipation is building around this important roadmap for healthy eating. As a Cooperative Extension nutrition communicator, you play an important role in helping us disseminate key Dietary Guidelines consumer messages to your unique audiences in your local communities throughout the country. While the content of the latest Dietary Guidelines is being finalized, during the webinar we will share key consumer messaging with you and offer suggestions for getting promotional materials ready.

Susan Harris and Soni Cochran from Nebraska Extension about their project – Wellness in Tough Times Toolkit – that focuses on rural Nebraska communities impacted by disaster(s) with limited resources for recovery. This team’s journey working with the eXtension Foundation began in 2019 as a brand new project working through the Impact Collaborative program. Since then, they have received funding to support their work. At present, they are one of eight teams selected by the eXtension Foundation to have their project accelerated through our New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) program.

HHS released a new comprehensive HHS Action Plan and the U.S. Surgeon General issued a complementary Call to Action to Improve Maternal Health to reduce maternal deaths and disparities that put women at risk before, during, and after pregnancy.

HHS also announced a public-private partnership with the March of Dimes to support these initiatives. 

USDA will host a Faith and Opportunity Fellowship convening bringing together faith leaders, faith-based organizations, and houses of worship to engage with peers, discuss common challenges, and hear best practices related to food security and community food system resilience.  Register here. Reach out to alex.cordova@usda.gov with any questions. 

Tuesday, December 15 at 1:00 pm ET.  Building on work conducted by the FORHP-supported Rural and Minority Research Center, this hour-long presentation will review key elements of social determinants of health (SDOH) such as education, income, and health facility availability. 

The Community Connect Grant Program provides financial assistance to eligible applicants that will provide service at or above the Broadband Grant Speed to all premises in rural, economically-challenged communities where broadband service does not exist. The deployment of broadband services on a “community-oriented connectivity” basis stimulates economic development and provides enhanced educational and health care opportunities in rural areas. RUS will give priority to rural areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband services, based on the criteria contained herein.

  • New module of the “Increasing Cultural Awareness and Equity in Extension Programs” series available
  1. Go to https://campus.extension.org
  2. The login pane is on the left hand side of the screen. Enter existing login credentials or choose “Create New account”
  3. Once logged in, search for the course “Increasing Cultural Awareness & Equity in Extension Programs”
  4. To enroll in this course
  5. Select the course
  6. Enter the Enrollment Key (your state name, i.e. Maryland)
  7. Select “Enroll Me”
  • CDC PLACES data for every census tract in the nation

PLACES (Population Level Analysis and Community Estimates) includes 27 different measures of health— including mental and physical health, access to health insurance, and preventive screenings— at a hyper-local level. These data can be used to identify and understand health disparities, establish health goals, and target programs and policies where you live.

  • Explore the new data! Go to https://www.cdc.gov/places to explore health data where you live— by county, city, or census tract!
  • Save the date! On January 28 at 1:00pm (ET), the CDC will host a webinar with a live demonstration of the new PLACES data and their interactive capabilities. You’ll also hear how local leaders are planning to use this powerful new resource in their communities.  Registration details to follow.