Reflections on the 2013 EDEN Annual Meeting

Pyle Center was the location for the 2013 EDEN Annual Meeting
The Pyle Center was the location for the 2013 EDEN Annual Meeting
It turned out to be a beautiful week to be lakeside on the University of Wisconsin campus. While there may not actually be a correlation between the great weather and the great interactions that took place at the 2013 EDEN meeting, participants—including me—learned a lot from colleagues and came away with ideas for integrating disaster education into program areas.

We were honored to have three Extension directors (Drs. Rick Klemme, Nick Place and Ed Jones)  join us in Madison.

Rick Klemme
Dr. Rick Klemme (UWI) gave us a warm welcome and helped the meeting get off to a focused start by talking about how EDEN adds value to Extension’s work at the local and state level.
Nick PDr. Nick Place (UFL) gave an update on ECOP. He concluded his remarks by reminding us that we are communicators, facilitators, conveners, and re-framers—value added to the research-based education and information we bring to our communities.
Dr. Nick Place (UFL) gave an update on ECOP. He concluded his remarks by reminding us that we are communicators, facilitators, conveners, and re-framers—value added to the research-based education and information we bring to our communities.

 

 

 

CEO, National Pork Council, Neil Dierks
CEO, National Pork Council, Neil Dierks. Keynote speaker Neil Dierks talked about food security in a global economy. He noted that most of the agriculture sector is talking about feeding the world in the next 50 years. It is becoming harder for small producers to stay in business. In some cases, older producers are selling their land to developers, and in other cases, young people are not getting into the business because they can’t support their families. The result is fewer farms and ranches—but those remaining are becoming larger and more efficient enterprises. We saw two examples on our Tuesday tour.

 

 Many of the concurrent sessions highlighted curricula that can be adapted for other states. Here are a few.

  • The Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative (MyPI): Fostering Emergency Preparedness, Civic Responsibility, and Empowerment in Teens. MyPI is a 10-week curriculum designed for teens and with MS Citizen Corps that includes hands-on activities for the youth. (Ryan Akers, Mississippi State and David Nichols, MS CERT Program).
  • Local Government Financial Disaster Resiliency Program (Louisiana State University—Matt Fanin and Carol Franze)
  • What Will You Do When a Disaster Strikes? This is a comprehensive curriculum designed to help prepare consumers for possible food-related emergencies. (Tennessee State University—Sandria Godwin and Richard Stone)
  • Using Scenarios to Prepare Extension Personnel to Communicate during Disaster Situations was an interesting, realistic, and engaging what-if session.  (NC State—Sarah Kirby and Ben Chapman)
  • Incident Command System/Emergency Operations Center Interface & Extension’s Role was another hands-on what-if session. It was facilitated by the EDEN Exercise Committee (Linda Williams, Chair).

 

Larry Larson, Director Emeritus Association of State Floodplain Managers
An area to watch and perhaps enter the discussion is flood risk management. Larry Larson (Director Emeritus, Association of State Floodplain Managers) talked about  policy issues associated with the National Flood Insurance Program reform (BW-12).

 

There were 34 states, one territory, the Philippines and Japan represented at this year’s meeting. But this is not the first year we’ve had international visitors. That distinction belongs with the 2011 meeting in Portland, Oregon where three people from Bicol University (Philippines) and one person from China (Beijing Normal University) participated.  In 2012, EDEN delegates approved a pilot international membership for Bicol University.

Leilani Pavilando gives the Bicol University Extension Report.
Leilani Pavilando gives the Bicol University Extension Report.

While no one from Bicol was able to attend last year’s meeting, two delegates attended this year. In addition, a professor from the (non-member institution) Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology attended the Madison meeting.  Bicol Extension Director Leilani Pavilando reported that she and colleagues obtained a grant from USAID and WFP to adapt the Family Preparedness curriculum (Utah and ND) for program delivery in four local municipalities. A paper about the process will be written and shared later.

 

Capstone Speaker and VT Extension Director Ed Jones
Capstone Speaker and VT Extension Director Ed Jones is a former EDEN chair. He  helped us remember that we have accomplished a lot, encouraged us to carefully consider best paths forward, and sent us out with a reminder to stay focused on what we can do—do it right and do it well; constantly make it clear that we are connected to Extension in our states; keep working to institutionalize EDEN in our states.

The full agenda for the 2013 meeting is available online. What do you intend to do with what you learned in Madison?

 

2 thoughts on “Reflections on the 2013 EDEN Annual Meeting

  1. In behalf of Bicol University Extension, we would like to express our sincerest thanks and appreciation for the opportunity to share and the privilege of being accepted as the first international member of EDEN. There is a wealth of resources for disaster preparedness and research based information which we have learned during the conference and on our part an opportunity for applying and contextualizing the resources gained in our local setting and sharing the experience back to the group. Our experience will form part of the EDEN resources which can be rolled out and where other Extension Specialist can draw learnings from. We promise to be more active in documenting and publishing our outputs and participate more in the International Committee on which we were bestowed membership status. It was indeed an educational and exciting experience for us.

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