Videos of the Keynote Addresses at the 2014 ESP National Conference

Dr. Fred Whitford

Dr. Fred Whitford, Coordinator of Purdue Pesticide Programs, Purdue University 2014 is the centennial year for the Smith-Lever Act that established the Cooperative Extension System. In this presentation, Dr. Fred Whitford will provide inspiration and thought-provoking ideas about the challenges and opportunities we face as Extension professionals and the importance of the work we do as we blaze the trail for the next 100 years of Extension.

Fred Whitford is also a champion of Extension and Extension professionals and writes and speaks on topics related to the effective practice of the profession.

Dr. Whitford has won numerous awards for his extension programming including most recently the Frederick L Hovde Award for outstanding educational service to the rural people of Indiana, the APLU award for Excellence in Extension for the North Central Region, and recognition as an Honorary Indiana Master Farmer.

Dr. Whitford is also an agricultural historian who has co-authored three biographies that focus on the history of Purdue Agriculture and Extension:The Grand Old Man of Purdue University and Indiana Agriculture: The Biography of William Carroll Latta; The Queen of American Agriculture: A Biography of Virginia Claypool Meredith; and For the Good of the Farmer: A Biography of John Harrison Skinner, Dean of Purdue Agriculture.

Dr. April Mason

Dr. April Mason joined K-State in January 2010 as provost and senior vice president. She came to K-State from Colorado State University, where she had been dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences.

Mason had been dean at Colorado State since August 2004. She supervised the operations of six departments and three schools with about 100 tenure track faculty, many special appointment and adjunct faculty, 4,000 undergraduates and 850 graduate students. She also was a professor in the department of food science and human nutrition. Before joining Colorado State, Mason was associate dean for extension and associate dean for discovery and engagement in the College of Consumer and Family Sciences at Purdue University. As a faculty member in foods and nutrition at Purdue, she conducted research in the area of trace mineral availability from plant foods. She also taught in the cooperative extension program at Purdue for 20 years.

She was Colorado State's representative to the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities' Board on Human Sciences, where she has been on the executive committee since 2005 and board chair beginning in 2009.

Mason is author or co-author of 24 refereed publications, 40 published research abstracts and seven book chapters and proceedings. Her research has been supported by more than $12 million in grants in the past 10 years, and includes numerous grants from agencies within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Renee McKee

Dr. Renée McKee is the Assistant Director of Purdue Cooperative Extension and serves as the State 4-H Youth Development Program Leader. She has been an ESP member since being initiated in 1989.

Dr. McKee began her Extension career in 1977 as a 4-H Youth Agent in Carroll County, Indiana. She held a split position with  4-H Youth Development and Consumer and Family Sciences responsibilities as an Extension Educator in Warren County from 1981 to 1997. She additionally served as County Extension Director from 1988-1997. Renée became an Extension Specialist in Leadership and Volunteer Management in the Department of 4-H Youth on Purdue's campus in 1997. In 2003, McKee became the Assistant Director – Cooperative Extension Service, Program Leader – 4-H Youth Development at Purdue University.

Dr. McKee’s professional accomplishments include serving on the National Board of Directors for the 4-H Cooperative Curriculum System (2003 – 2006) and their Personnel Committee (2003 –2006). This committee was in charge of developing and adopting 4-H project curriculum. As Chair of CCS, she was instrumental in transitioning this board to the National 4-H Council system. She served as a member of the ECOP 4-H Working Group (2012-2013) and was appointed in April, 2014 to the ECOP 4-H National Leadership Committee.

Renée has been a member of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) from 1977-1979 and 1981-Present. She has served on the Leadership Volunteerism Task Force of Programs Committee (1999-2001) and was the Vice-Chair (2001-2002) and Chair (2002-2003). She has taught or been an invited lecturer at Masters level courses in Extension Education at Purdue from 1997 – 2012.

Renée has co-authored four research publications. Since 2000, she has presented or been a co-presenter for ten seminars or poster sessions at NAE4-HA National Conferences. Additionally, she has delivered numerous presentations throughout the state of Indiana about the Indiana 4-H Youth Development Program.

Through her leadership, the Indiana 4-H program has developed and implemented 4-H Policies and Procedures including grievance procedures, risk management, financial management, governing procedures and volunteer management. The 4-H Volunteer Management System requiring 4-H volunteer applications, references and background checks was established and requires volunteers to annually sign Behavioral Expectation forms. Financial Management requires 4-H clubs to submit a yearly financial report to their local Extension Office and file the appropriate Federal Tax forms. Risk management requires 4-H members to annually sign a liability release statement to put in place practices to limit risk to 4-H members/volunteers. Additionally, State 4-H Program Fees were implemented to provide fiscal support to the State 4-H Program. These funds are used to purchase annual accident/medical insurance for 4-H members and volunteers, increase 4-H program development, leadership training, promotional materials and technology support.

The National Youth Mentoring Program provides mentoring services to high-risk youth populations in three urban counties by launching new 4-H afterschool clubs and replicating programs from Utah State and Oregon State. The goal is to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, truancy and other programs of high-risk behaviors.

Renée leads the 4-H Youth Development program and is always very supportive of the staff. She strives to make the Indiana 4-H Youth Development program the best it can be by setting the example for her colleagues and 4-H members. Renée is well respected in Extension and works tirelessly to promote the entire Extension program.


Dr. Will Miller

Dr. Will Miller has earned the reputation as an extraordinary keynote speaker. He is a recognized expert in the area of stress & coping, interpersonal relationships, organizational health and workplace culture. A therapist and teacher at Purdue University, he lectures at the schools of Organizational Leadership, Management and Mass Communication on the social environment of the workplace and the impact on productivity.

Dr. Miller is one of the country’s leading authorities on stress reduction and life balance. Youce will take away a solid message about what gets in the way of living a life of personal and career well being. Unlike standard, simplistic motivational speeches that feel good in the moment, Will’s content is grounded in solid psychological and sociological science and research.

Will’s his five graduate degrees and years of experience as a therapist, counselor and author make him uniquely qualified to speak to our ESP group. If that were not enough, Will spent 16 years as a top headline comedian in New York City. He has toured the country extensively as an entertainer and has appeared on countless standup comedy programs.

For the past 12 years Will has appeared before thousands of people at hundreds of events in the U.S. and Europe, offering a compelling and entertaining keynote for this country’s top corporations and national organizations. The response has been outstanding.

ESP Calendar

ESP YouTube Videos

Bill Northey accepts ESP 2018 Friend of Extension Award
Bill Northey accepts ESP 2018 Friend of Extension Award

Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation in the United States Department of Agriculture, accepts the 2018 ESP Friend of Extension award in Manhattan, Kansas.

Dr. Tim Cross Ruby Lecture
Dr. Tim Cross Ruby Lecture

Dr. Tim Cross delivers the ESP Ruby Lecture on October 2, 2018 in Manhattan, KS.

Bob Moore ESP Friend of Extension Award Winner
Bob Moore ESP Friend of Extension Award Winner

Comments by Bob Moore after receiving the 2018 National ESP Friend of Extension Award

ESP 2019 Colorado Springs Conference Video
ESP 2019 Colorado Springs Conference Video

Invitation to attend the National ESP Conference in Colorado Springs, October 14-17, 2019

Bob Ohlensehlen ESP farewell interview
Bob Ohlensehlen ESP farewell interview

Elizabeth Claypoole, ESP 2018 President has a discussion with retiring Epsilon Sigma Phi Executive Director, Bob Ohlensehlen.

Learning Digital Marketing Strategies to Promote Your Programming
Learning Digital Marketing Strategies to Promote Your Programming

This is a professional development webinar sponsored by Epsilon Sigma Phi. The presenter is Amy Cole, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. What tactics are best for marketing your Extension events? In this session I'll cover social media, e-newsletter, and website marketing best pr...

Healthy Transition into Retirement
Healthy Transition into Retirement

Extension webinar presented by Epsilon Sigma Phi and Kansas State Extension