Number CLXIII The Newsletter of Epsilon Sigma Phi  July 2022

 President's Message

Karen Reddersen, National ESP President

Service: A Call to Lead

As we enjoy the turn of the seasons, I look back on my time with Epsilon Sigma Phi as your President, as well as my service on the national board, and I am honored and filled with pride to be able to support our membership and our Association. The mission of Epsilon Sigma Phi is to foster standards of excellence in the Extension System and to develop the Extension profession and professional. Our association has done that through our annual ESP and JCEP Leadership conferences, timely and relevant webinars, networking opportunities, awards for excellence and innovation in our communities, support of our state ESP chapters and expansion of new members into the Epsilon Sigma Phi family.

These service achievements are a direct result of the numerous acts of leadership among our members. Each act, regardless of how large or small, formal or informal, weave the fabric of the success of our association and will have a lasting impact on all of us. It is through your leadership that we help each other to meet the ever changing opportunities and challenges of Extension and to make meaningful impacts in our communities across this great nation.

I thank you for the impacts you have had on my service journey, and I encourage all of you to continue to connect through Epsilon Sigma Phi in ways that strengthen you as an Extension Professional. Whether it is at our 2022 conference in Branson, Missouri, on a virtual committee meeting, an affinity group discussion or other ESP opportunity-Lead, Serve, Connect.

“Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.” –Martin Luther King Jr.


Welcome ESP's Three New Board Members

Second Vice President - Jennifer Wilson

North Central Region Vice President - Barbara Dunn Swanson

Southern Region Vice President - Tyrone Gentry

Donate During Registration for the 2022 ESP National Conference in Branson and Reserve Your Pin Today!

Submitted by the National ESP Resource Development & Management Committee

Reserve a 2022 Branson ESP Conference special pin now during conference registration! See the theme design of the pin online. Give $100 or more now and your pin will be waiting for you. All donations will be appreciated. Not only will you be helping the ESP Development Fund grow to support more professional development activities for your profession, you will be moving yourself up on the Key Level Recognition list. Go to

For a new member, a $100 donation for a pin gets you 100/250th of the way to the first level of ESP Key. In a short time of giving you can reach the ESP Key level of $250 or more and be recognized. The Key Level Recognition information can be found at

Prior donation totals are available. Members can log into ESP and click on their name in the top of the page, find a link to their My Profile. In your My Profile you can see the total amount of donations made under Donations. Just add recent donations onto the total carried forward to get the current total.

Honorariums and Memorials can also be given during donations. You can honor the outgoing President with an honorarium by contributing toward the wooden Key Plaque that recognizes the service of the President. You can honor or memorialize another member or other person while making a donation for which you will be given credit in the Key Level Recognition.


Help Make This Year's Auction FUN!

Submitted by the National ESP Resource Development & Management Committee

What can you donate to the ESP Fundraising Auction that will give the auctioneer and members a fun time in bidding? Remember it is a fun social event but also raises funds to support many of our professional development activities. You get a tax deductible donation, a buyer gets an interesting item and ESP’s endowed funds benefit.

Think of items such as the gift of a B&B stay, a unique, one of a kind product such as an autographed bottle of a favorite beverage, special homemade item, celebrity product, tickets to an event. Coordinate with your chapter to bring a state basket, travel certificates, Christmas ornaments, or a service.

Easy to carry items and gift certificates for products that will be shipped directly to the buyer are great! Give to ESP by buying a gift certificate for a product that buyer can have shipped.

Our plan is to have a silent auction with items valued at $30 or more and then a lively live auction during an evening reception and entertainment. This is to give a tax deductible gift to ESP. A shipping service is planned and items can be shipped to the auction – the address and timing will be given later.

Give and have fun at the auction seeing it sold. Bid for yourself on items and participate in the fun!

If you are unable to attend the conference this year but would still like to contribute to the auction, please email the National Office at


Member Spotlight: Art Redinger

For nearly 30 years, Art handcrafted the famous ESP Key. Over the years, he has made many other cherished woodworking recognition items honoring dynamic leaders and their service in ESP, Extension, 4-H and beyond.  We couldn’t be more grateful for his leadership in ESP, and for the timeless gift he is to so many of us.

We hope you enjoy our first member spotlight and celebration of a one-of-a-kind leader and tremendous example of servant leadership! 

Please feel free to join in honoring Art by emailing him at

The tradition of handcrafting the ESP Key is now ready to transition to the next generation of woodcrafters.  If your ESP Chapter is interested in taking on this labor of love, please contact us at the national office!


Peer Reviewed Articles

Can Youth Engagement with Free-Roaming Horses Shift Public Opinion?

Kalen Taylor and Steven Price, Iota Chapter, Utah

The management of wild horses and burros (WHB) is a highly contentious issue in the West. 26,770 WHBs has been set as the appropriate management level nationally; however, the current 95,000 head could exceed 160,000 by 2025. Strong public opinions, sometimes influenced by misunderstandings of WHB ecology, can be a management limitation for these American heritage icons. Public survey (Frey, 2021) indicates only 35% of national respondents and < 10% of Utah and Nevada respondents understood that WHBs were non-native. Only 40% and 60% knew that horses were even managed in Nevada and Utah, respectively.

Misconceptions of WHB biology has lead some to believe that hands-off “let nature take its course” management is viable. However, research indicates natural population limiting factors alone are insufficient. Resolving such knowledge gaps through research-based outreach is imperative to align popular public opinion with ecologically and culturally relevant, effective, management options to mitigate WHBs’ current negative effects on the land, livestock, and wildlife.

Utah State University Extension formed a collaborative team for WHB youth education. This consisted of faculty from six counties across Utah, USU’s Rangeland Specialist, Wildlife Specialist and 4-H Animal Science Specialist. Our interdisciplinary team led a two-day experiential program which brought together 4-H youth from across the state from a variety of backgrounds and program areas.
Our objective of 2021’s pilot program was to increase awareness of WHBs and their management. This consisted of in-the-field rangeland and equine science workshops, presentations from ranchers and managers, observing WHBs in Utah’s Onaqui and Conger herds, and visiting a Bureau of Land Management holding facility. Youth participants’ changes in knowledge and attitudes towards WHB biology, ecology, and management were quantified through pre- and post-program surveys (N = 21). Over 90% of participants successfully indicated that WHB were not native post-program which increased by 43.5%. Participants that thought WHBs populations should defer to “natural management” without human intervention decreased by 68.17%. Over 70% of participants thought roundups or other administered population controls should be implemented. Other comparisons also indicated positive changes in knowledge and attitudes which are more compatible with effective management options. This impactful program will be repeated in 2022 on a larger scale. An interdisciplinary WHB program of this style can be adapted in many Western states where a strong need for such education exists.

Frey, N. (2021, August). U. S. Survey of the Public Knowledge and Opinions of Free-Roaming Horses and their Management. USU Human and Wildlife Interaction. Retrieved from

Adulting 101 Program…Because Life Doesn’t Come with Instructions!

Pamela Bloch, Brittani Lee, Brittany Teets and Charlene Scott, Alpha Beta Chapter, Georgia

Adulting 101 is an educational series for teens led by four Extension 4-H educators that teaches youth valuable life skills that are not taught in the classroom. Students often graduate high school with a wealth of academic knowledge yet lack basic skills to live on their own without day-to-day parental support. To combat this issue, the team designed a monthly virtual series to engage youth in learning adulting skills such as cooking skills, budgeting skills, time management skills, college preparatory tips, professionalism and much more. Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, 48 students attended the virtual Adulting 101 series with over 80% attending two or more sessions. Students were evaluated after each session to document impact. The evaluation results showed the following data:

  • 84% of students strongly agreed that after participating in the Budgeting Adulting 101 session that they now understand how to      budget and manage money.
  • 77% of students strongly agreed that they now understand the qualities to look for when applying to colleges after attending the Adulting 101 College session
  • 90% of students strongly agreed that they plan to use at least one new time management strategy from the Adulting 101 session.
Four months after the last Adulting 101 session, the 4-H educators followed up with participants to measure long term impact of the program. Anecdotal data collected revealed the following impact:
  • "I learned how to manage my time better, now I can prioritize better, and I can now use my time efficiently.”
  • "I learned to prepare a few meals and I made them over the summer."
  • "I have been a lot more careful about how I spend money."
  • "I have used the time management skills in my life to help balance my school and life, especially with virtual schooling."

Save the Date

2022 ESP Webinar Series

    • Wednesday, October 26: Implementing a Multi-State Social Media Program: Walk-A-Weigh 30 for 30

    • Wednesday, November 30: Ripple Effect Mapping of Community Garden Impacts

2022 ESP National Conference September 26-29 Branson, Missouri

2023 ESP National Conference September 24-28 Billings, Montana

JCEP Extension Leadership Conference February 7-9, 2023, Kansas City, Missouri 

JCEP Public Issues Leadership Development Conference April 16-19, 2023 Washington D.C.

This newsletter is a publication of Epsilon Sigma Phi, Inc. - The Extension Professionals' Organization

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software