August 1997 // Volume 35 // Number 4 // Feature Articles // 4FEA3

Previous Article Issue Contents Previous Article

Joint Council of Extension Professionals: Transition to the Future

The beginning, purpose, and current programs of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) are outlined. Future areas of work described. Current members listed.

Ed Maxa, chair
Joint Council of Extension Professionals
Extension 4-H Specialist
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina
Internet address:

The Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) has its roots in the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP). Approximately eight years ago ECOP underwent a restructuring process that eliminated the sub-committee on agent associations. Members of each of the member associations/fraternity realized the importance of this structure and accompanying dialogue and in December 1989 JCEP was formed. The mission of JCEP is to promote communication, cooperation and professionalism among all Extension educators.

JCEP is a partnership of professional Extension organizations that focuses on strengthening the efforts of the member organizations and does what each cannot do individually. JCEP is composed of the president, past president and president- elect of the member organizations and a representative from ECOP and the Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service - U.S. Department of Agriculture (CSREES-USDA).


During the last three years, JCEP has used the Framing the Future: Strategic Framework for a System of Partnerships as a guide. This guide, developed for ECOP and CSREES, lists JCEP as a supporting group of the following Implementation ideas.

  • Recognize Extension professionals as lifelong education leaders
  • Affirm commitment to issues programming and Extension/Research collaboration
  • Initiate nationwide marketing efforts
  • Recognize and work with organization paradoxes
  • Create norms for balancing work, family and personal time

Excellent programming at the Public Issues/Leadership Development conferences held annually in Washington, D.C. focus on building the capacity of our members to better influence decision-makers at the local, state and national levels. The last two years, Disney University and the Brookings Institute have dealt with the areas of marketing your program and the changing political world respectively. Evaluation of the conferences have shown them to be on target and very useful to participants. In several instances, state teams have brought back action plans that have resulted in significant change. Because of these efforts, funding of additional team members by Extension directors/administrators is increasing.

JCEP, the sponsor of the Galaxy Summit Conference has provided guidance for the Galaxy planning committee. The theme of this conference, "Mission Possible: Uniqueness With Unity," will be realized when we come together in October at Cincinnati. In keeping with the mission of this conference, JCEP has initiated a Team Award. This award to be initiated at the Galaxy Summit Conference recognizes measured impact in interdisciplinary issues programming

JCEP has commissioned a study by The Ohio State University. This study will develop recommendations on how Extension educators can learn to balance their work, family and personal time. Participants in the study come from all regions, all program areas, and for the first time includes spouses or significant others of former employees. The results will be presented in a Super seminar at the Galaxy Summit Conference.

JCEP coordinates the annual regional workshops geared to the leadership of state associations. These workshops have included professional improvement topics such as Balancing Work Family and Personal time; Next-Age Leadership; Contract with America; and On Common Ground.

In addition, JCEP spends considerable time reviewing drafts and being updated on aspects such as legislative strategy, Government Performance Results Act (GPRA), Chaortic organizations, and Research, Education and Economics (REE) strategic planning. Each of these efforts are done to position Extension in the most favorable light possible


JCEP will continue to be member service driven. In June of 1997 JCEP identified three broad areas for exploration. These areas and their components are listed below.

Management ServicesMember ServicesPartnerships
Contracted ServicesCommunicationAudience identification
Electronic listservsProfessional developmentDonor relations
Web site managementScholarshipNon-officers representation
PublicationsPersonal liabilityBuilding support
Conference PlanningRecruitmentLinking with administrators and CSREES
Association liability

JCEP will begin work in the areas of Contracted Services, Memorabilia and Insurance to determine strategies that will enable us to become more effective and efficient in serving our membership.

JCEP has been effective because we are able to keep turf issues to a minimum while focusing on the larger picture. We will continue to work to strengthen our relationship with ECOP and CSREES through continued dialogue on the issues facing us as as organization.

Current members of JCEP are Ed Maxa, past president, National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA),Chair; Margaret Viebrock, past president, Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP), Secretary; Jamie Jenkins, past president National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA), Treasurer; Sharon Anderson, ECOP Representative; Tammara Beckham, president-elect, NEA4-HA; Pat Boyle, president, ESP; Donna Donald, past president, National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Science (NEAFCS); Don Drost, president-elect, NACAA; Joan Gill, CSREES representative; Madeleine Green, president-elect, ESP; Keith Martikainen, president, NAE4-HA; Donna Moramarco, president, NACAA; Emily Remster, president-elect, NEAFCS; and Barbara Tricinella, president, NEAFCS.


Joint Council of Extension Professionals. July 1996

Framing the Future: Strategic Framework for a System of Partnerships. February 1995. pp. 7-11.