The Cooperative Extension System is operated through the nation’s Land-Grant University System in partnership with the federal and state and local governments. As the federal partner, NIFA develops methods to address national priorities, funds and awards grants, and provides program leadership. The agency supports both the universities and local CES offices to bring science directly to the regional and county level.The Cooperative Extension System (CES) is a nationwide, non-credit educational network that addresses public needs by providing non-formal higher education and learning activities to farmers, ranchers, communities, youth, and families throughout the nation. With an organization that has been operating for over a century, CES is well positioned to efficiently get needed tools and knowledge into the hands of the people who need them.UNPRECEDENTED REACHAt a time when social, agricultural, food, and environmental challenges are mounting and needs are growing, CES is more relevant than ever. With its wide reach — an office in or near most of the nation’s approximately 3,000 counties — extension agents and educators help farmers grow crops, homeowners plan and maintain their homes, and youth learn skills to become tomorrow’s leaders. Military families and veterans have always been regular users of CES, however, greater emphasis on these populations is underway. The bottom line is that the Cooperative Extension System is a federal agency that has massive community reach, extensive experience in relevant subject areas, and a long history of a solid reputation. A few weeks ago we discussed the concept of force-multipliers and gave some background on the Cooperative Extension System, today we’d like to re-focus that conversation to discuss how the CES can work towards achieving Total Force Fitness. When working toward total force fitness within military communities, there are three essential questions you can begin with:How do you determine a methodology to assess the health, well-being, and resiliency needs/requirements of your community/population?How do you compare those needs/requirements to the community’s capability to meet those needs?Once you identify gaps in being able to meet your community needs, how do you develop a plan to address these gaps? Working Toward Total Force FitnessTotal Force Fitness (TFF) is a DoD framework for well-being that views “health, wellness, and resilience and as holistic concept”, requiring “a connection among mind, body, spirt, and social relationships”. Main Points:*TFF was created by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and became policy in 2011.TFF is the DoD’s 21st Century paradigm for improving Population Health, and includes eight domains of fitness.TFF is a state in which the individual, family and organization can sustain well-being and performance under all conditions.The Services are responsible for implementing TFF Programs.TFF requires the collaboration of the partners in public health.
Parents of Ehtesham Bilal, 19 — who went missing on October 28 but reappeared on Friday in an online post, wielding weapons under the Islamic State banner — asked their son to return home and appealed to Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind chief Zakir Musa to help them.Distraught and refusing to take meals, Bilal’s mother appealed to her son to shun the militant outfit. “Whatever group you have joined, please return. I appeal to Zakir Musa and will pray for his long life, help me in returning my son,” she said in a video.Bilal, who was a student at Sharda University in Noida was reported missing on October 28by his parents. His father, who owns a hardware shop in Srinagar, expressed shock over his son’s purported audio message,where he pledges allegiance to the IS-motivated Jundul Khilafah and to IS’s Iraq-based leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.“I heard your audio message. You talk about Islam. Islam says heaven lies under the feet of mother. Islam warns against disobedience to your parents. I order you to return to your family, Your mother hasn’t eaten anything [since you went missing],” he said.On Friday, a six-minute audio, attributed to Bilal, and pictures, where he was wielding a gun and weapons strapped with an IS flag in the backdrop, were uploaded on social media. “I was looking into the eyes of those 100 kufaars (non-Muslims) when they attacked me in groups like dogs. I was defending my Afghan muslim brothers. I was even then an advocate of khilaf (Islamic State)…and have chosen the path of jihad,” Bilal purportedly says in the audio.He was apparently referring to a clash that took place between local and Afghan students at Sharda University on October 4. A senior counter-insurgency police officer told The Hindu that Bilal has joined militant ranks and his movement was traced to Srinagar and Pulwama. “We are investigating the matter,” the officer said.National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah described the development as “a worrying trend”.“If this is genuine, it’s hugely worrying. Sometimes, seemingly small actions have huge consequences. If what happened to him at Sharda University has led him to choose such a destructive path, it’s even more tragic. One more life on the path to ruin and one more family in turmoil,” Mr. Abdullah tweeted.