Posted on June 20th, 2023

2023 EDEN Annual Conference Registration Now Open!

Registration for the 2023 EDEN Annual Conference is now open! Once a year, EDEN delegates assemble at the EDEN Annual Conference to share best practices, developing research, showcase projects that have been completed throughout the year, and enhance skill sets through professional development opportunities. The conference will offer guest speakers, breakout sessions, educational excursions, networking opportunities and a professional development training. This year, we are excited to be hosted by the University of Georgia in Savannah, Georgia, from September 26th-29th.

To view the agenda, find hotel information, register for the conference or learn more details, visit EDEN’s Annual Conference webpage at For questions, please contact Amanda Mosiman, Purdue FADI/EDEN Support Team, at or Michael Martin, Annual Conference Committee Chair, at

From the Chair

While Extension Disaster Education Network member-institution resources were busy of late dealing with smoke from Canadian wildfires that blanketed the Midwest and East occupied much of the national news; EDEN points of contact and delegates in the South have been dealing with almost every sort of natural disaster. From bouts of flash flooding caused by hail, tornado activity, thunderstorms, and torrential rains in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas, to the almost unceasing severe weather events in Florida and Georgia; EDEN educators and strike team members have been busy assisting with agricultural damage assessment, livestock loss and emergency care, individual assistance, donations management, sheltering, unusually large numbers of utility disruption, and impacts of flash flooding. We thank all of those involved in helping their constituents, business, industry, governmental partners, and citizens in dealing with the impacts of these most unusual weather patterns.

This type of weather situation helps focus attention to the activities of the new EDEN Natural Resources committee, which is currently searching for a vice chair to assist chair Josh Gunn, of Michigan State University Extension, in establishing programmatic goals and objectives for the group for the coming year. EDEN officers and Executive Committee members want to remind you that our website has multiple opportunities for collecting and sharing vital information to help stakeholders, clients, and citizens during times of emergency. Officers also want you to know that our contact information is available for consultation or resource allocation, if and when needed and requested through established emergency management channels. In other news, Tommy Bass, EDEN Agriculture Committee chair since 2022, has recently been named to a seat on the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Agriculture Coordinating Council. (See below for more details.)

Also of interest to EDEN points-of-contact and delegates may be that USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is in the process of determining the new collaborating/host institution for EDEN. Purdue University Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative team will no longer be the logistical base of EDEN. Purdue University officials, with Dr. Jason Henderson’s departure to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and a new dean of the Purdue University College of Agriculture being named, decided not to apply for another four-year term as the foundational/logistical support of EDEN. It is thought that USDA NIFA received about a handful of submissions from institutions and organizations seeking the opportunity to host EDEN and the FADI program in the coming years. We look forward to an announcement from USDA NIFA and Program Leader Ashley Mueller in the near future to inform us of our new home and are excited about the possibilities of becoming a more vibrant, impactful, and recognizable part of nationwide Extension.

Please remember to join and attend your committee meetings, webinars by any EDEN committee, and if you are a point of contact upcoming POC Zoom meetings.

Thank you for what you have done for your member institutions and for EDEN.

Tom Ball

Chair, Extension Disaster Education Network


Wildfire & Air Quality Resources

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there has been 21,305 wildfires that have have burned 644,918 acres across the United States since January 1, 2023 and since May 8, the U.S. has mobilized a total of 823 personnel via the CIFFC/National Interagency Fire Center agreement to Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec.

With all of the recent wildfires and smoke pollution, EDEN has been seeking resources for wildfires and smoke damage. EDEN delegates have submitted over a dozen new resources to support wildfire awareness, prevention and recovery, ranging from websites such as, which offers educational resources for youth and adults, to home emergency management guides. View these resources here, or submit your own wildfire and smoke resources for EDEN here.


EDEN Committee Chair Named to USDA Food and Agriculture Coordinating Council

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Tommy Bass, EDEN Agriculture Committee chair since 2022, has recently been named to a seat on the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Agriculture Coordinating Council.  The council monitors policy activities of USDA and submits best practices and possible policy to the department. He serves with two dozen others representing livestock and animal health, producer, grower, and farm organizations, business and industry, state government, land-grant institutions, state regulators, and homeland security. Tommy is a EDEN longtime point of contact from Montana State University and has led the Agriculture Committee with distinction. Best wishes and congratulations to Tommy!

Committee Meeting Zoom Updates

Starting the week of June 26th, there will be new Zoom links for all committee meetings. Claire Crum, EDEN’s Communications Coordinator, has accepted a new role as a 4-H Extension Educator in Cass County, IN. Therefore, all current committee meeting links will be removed and replaced with new links, made by the committee chairs. Please keep an eye out for new Zoom links for Committee meetings, and reach out to your committee chair with any issues. All committee links will be posted to the website event calendar as well.


New Agriculture Committee Vice Chair

The EDEN Agriculture Committee is excited to introduce the newly elected Vice Chair, Samantha Gehrett. Samantha is a dairy educator based in Cumberland County Pennsylvania. She joined Extension after working at Pennsylvania Farm Bureau as the Director of TrProfile image of Samantha Gehrettaining in the Member Services Division; Samantha developed and implemented trainings for new staff and current staff members. She serviced clients throughout the Agricultural Sector, for whom she was responsible for providing professional services to meet their financial and business needs. Additionally, she worked as a Supervisor for a Grade A milk processing facility in Wisconsin. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences from Penn State in addition to two minors in Environmental Inquiry and Agronomy. She has her Master’s Degree from Penn State in Homeland Security with a focus on Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Safety Defense.

EDEN POC Meeting in July: Learn more about POC Responsibilities

Points of Contact will have a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, July 25th from 3:00-4:00pm (EST). All POCs should attend to discuss responsibilities, best practices, and future plans for POCs. The Zoom invite will be sent to all POCs via the POC listserv. Please contact Claire Crum with questions, or to be added to the POC listserv, if you are not already.