Posted on March 17th, 2023

A Message From EDEN Chair Tom Ball

There has been a great deal of action and thoughtful discussion by your Extension Disaster Education Network elected officers and Executive Committee chairs since we gathered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for our annual meeting at the annual conference.

The new EDEN Strategic Plan and its action items were the focus of hours of discussion at the Mid-Winter Executive Committee held two weeks ago at the Orange County Florida Extension Office. 

Top consideration by all involved was a focused thrust to improve internal and external communications from EDEN officers and Executive Committee members.

There was unanimous agreement that routine messaging of subjects of broad programming appeal to points of contact and delegates should and must be passed along to member-institution points of contact, delegates, and Extension directors and their constituent associations. There was also recognition of the information gap with our federal and state government partners, and those governmental and non-governmental organizations with potential to be funding sources and research and programming collaborators.

Significant discussion occurred about how to implement the new EDEN Strategic Plan and how to incorporate our critical focus areas of:  Agro- and- Biosecurity concerns as they apply to supply chain logistical stability and food system security, cybersecurity for rural America with a highlighted focus on tribal impacts and how systemic disruptions can alter the food security of Native Americans and small or family-owned businesses and farms, climate variability and impacts of natural disasters and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, whole community resilience planning, preparedness, and training with a primary focus on working with 1890s and 1994 land-grant institutions to help ensure equity for those traditionally underserved populations in long term recovery efforts.

EDEN will also have a study area of how to ensure Extension preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts are chronicled in after action reports, panel-reviewed professional papers, scholarly presentations, and research-based publications.

As you know, the USDA NIFA team has published a request for proposals for hosting EDEN in the coming four years.  If you have questions, there will be a webinar and video available on YouTube.  Also be aware that the Smith Lever Special Needs Grant Program has published guidance for the coming round of awards.  Again, go to the USDA NIFA webpage, or find information on YouTube.

It is an exciting time in the life of our network, and I remain privileged to serve you as chair during this period.  On behalf of Chair-elect Lindsey and Secretary Monty Dozier, let me encourage you to utilize the resources of EDEN to be of great service to all our citizens, stakeholders, volunteers, and collaborators.


Mid-Winter Meeting Overview

The Mid-Winter Meeting of the Executive Committee was held February 28th thru March 2nd in warm and toasty Orlando, FL. Twelve members of the executive committee enjoyed 80 degree temps while setting goals and priorities for the EDEN Network. We were also able to welcome seven members to the meeting via ZOOM. Thanks to Claire, Jason, and Carie for joining us from the Purdue FADI  team and an overall big thank you to all that were able to join the meeting. We were also grateful to have our USDA NIFA national program leader, Ashley Mueller with us as she provided a great NIFA update and brought great insight to all of our discussions. Thank you Ashley!

Our agenda included discussions regarding membership including strategies to expand the network to include more 1862, 1890, and 1994 institutions. We discussed working with the Membership and Marketing Committee on strategies including working with national Extension organizations, reaching out to Extension deans, and utilizing our ambassador programs to assist in educating people about the EDEN Network.

The meeting also included a strategic planning session from the PIE Center at the University of Florida. The team facilitated a ‘next step’ workshop with the Executive Committee that included setting committee goals and objectives that aligned with the strategic directions that were introduced at the 2022 Annual Conference. The session sparked great conversation regarding short-term and long-term goals. Look for discussion regarding some of these goals in your next committee meetings.

UF/ IFAS hosted EDEN Midwinter at the Orange County Extension Office

The FADI team provided a comprehensive report regarding plans to finish out the current FADI project and we are grateful for their support and guidance as we move towards the 2023 Annual Conference in September in Savannah, GA.

On the last day, EDEN officers presented current and potential project opportunities for multi-state projects among EDEN network members. These include conversations with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC). More information to come on these as plans develop.

Overall, a successful meeting with excellent discussions and goal setting. Great conversations with some great people! Thank you again to all who make the trip down to Sunny Florida!


Save the Date: 2023 EDEN Annual Conference

Don’t forget to save the date, the 2023 EDEN Annual Conference is coming up! Scheduled for September 26th-29th, the 29th Annual Conference will be hosted by UGA Extension in Savannah, Georgia!

The 2023 EDEN Annual Meeting Committee invites EDEN DelegatesExtension Professionals, and Researchers to submit an abstract to be considered for presentation at the Extension Disaster Education Network Conference. Please share the call for proposals with eligible colleagues and professional groups that may be interested. For information, view the Annual Conference page. 


Call for Content for the New EDEN Monthly Impact Report

EDEN’s new Monthly Impact Report seeks to spotlight EDEN’s successful programs and the impact they have had, as well as the potential impact of new and upcoming programs. Set to launch in April 2023, the monthly reports will will help to provide insight into EDEN’s standing committees’ actions and measure the progress of EDEN’s program goals. With these monthly reports, EDEN hopes to show the commitment and effectiveness of its delegates in creating and sharing practical, research-based information and resources for Extension professionals across the country.

The first Call for Content will be issued by the end of March 2023 to all EDEN delegates. Please send any content to be shared in the report to EDEN’s Communication Coordinator, Claire Crum, at


Disaster Impact Analysis of Estimated Agricultural Losses Resulting from Hurricane Ian Earns Outstanding Extension Program Award

The University of Florida’s Economic Impact Analysis Program, led by Christa Court, Assistant Professor of Regional Economics and Director of the Economic Impact Analysis Program, received the Outstanding Extension Project Award from the Southern Agricultural Economics Association at their annual meeting in February. Their Disaster Impact Analysis of Hurricane Ian summarizes the findings of the UF/IFAS EIAP’s efforts to rapidly assess state-level and county-level losses for specific commodity groups due to Hurricane Ian. The report will be used in broader studies of the agricultural impacts of these types of events as well as to inform assessments of future events.


Call For Exercises

In 2023, EDEN will be adding an Exercise Library to the EDEN website, to house exercises and share amongst Extension professionals. EDEN is currently collecting exercises of all types to add to the library. Please send any exercises you would like to add to the library to Claire Crum, EDEN’s National Project Associate, at  

EDEN Development Grant Request for Proposals

The purpose of the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) Development Grants Program is to invest in the development of innovative educational resources and Extension initiatives that can advance the work of EDEN and the broader land-grant and sea-grant

systems across the nation in addressing the preparation for, response to, and recovery from hazards and disasters. Proposals will support the development of collaborative teams to conduct applied research to evaluate existing resources, identify gaps in programming, facilitate the develop of, certification methods for, and the regionally-based delivery of training to enhance the capability of Extension professionals in the critical areas.

Applications may be submitted by Extension professionals employed by land-grant or sea-grant universities. At least one individual on the project must be an EDEN delegate or Point of Contact.

The deadline for submission is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, May 1, 2023.

For more information, please visit