The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) is a collaborative network of Cooperative Extension educators across the United States and territories who work to improve the delivery of education and information, and the availability of resources related to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Historically, this grassroots network has been aligned with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) and supported by USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Food and Agricultural Defense Initiative (FADI) grant.
The Extension Foundation in partnership with Washington State University, Iowa State University, and the Cooperative Extension System, will support the administration of the EDEN project. The Extension Foundation assists in aligning system-wide formal work to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services. This partnership will help Extension programs scale and investigate new program implementation methods and models.
The project will build upon and expand related outputs and deliverables of previously funded FADI-EDEN projects by maintaining a competitive grant process to support innovation and curriculum development and directed funding for 1890 and 1994 Land-grant institutions. The continued leadership with additional support from Extension Foundation will ensure the implementation of the strategic plan for EDEN developed under the previous FADI-EDEN grant administration. By doing so, the project will contribute to the ongoing efforts of the FADI-EDEN program to enhance the capacity of Extension professionals to provide research-based information and educational programs to communities across the United States in response to disasters.
This project aims to support the coordination and implementation of EDEN’s strategic plan focusing on disaster management education, targeted communication and outreach, strategic structure, and management growth. Success hinges on strengthening participation and collaborations throughout the Cooperative Extension system and strategic partnerships and enhancing the education and professional development opportunities centered on interdisciplinary expertise and multi-state education and outreach programs that provide national consistency with local flexibility, a hallmark of Cooperative Extension. In addition, success is based on using Extension Foundation services and infrastructure to serve as the backbone supporting EDEN. The goals of this project include:
- Support EDEN Strategic Structure and Management Growth
- Expand Disaster Management Education
- Strengthen Targeted Communication and Outreach
According to USDA-NIFA, “the goal of the Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative Extension Disaster Education Network (FADI-EDEN) program is to maximize the resilience of the U.S. food and agriculture sector to biosecurity risks, extreme weather events and disasters, cyber threats, and other shocks. It is necessary to mitigate threats to sustain the overall competitiveness of U.S. agriculture to maintain an abundant food supply for people and livestock; to support the farmers, ranchers, and workers who drive the U.S. food and agriculture sector; and to sustain the vitality of rural communities, rural and urban agriculture infrastructure, and agricultural businesses. The FADI-EDEN program funds one Extension project that will address its priorities.”
More information and the full news release from USDA-NIFA can be found here.