ISU Extension and Outreach Cancels Events, but Still Serves Iowans

April 10, 2020, 3:08 pm | John D. Lawrence

AMES, Iowa – Most Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in-person events throughout the state through May 31 have been canceled. However, ISU Extension and Outreach remains committed to serving Iowans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We still are open for business, and the health and safety of Iowans is our greatest concern,” said John D. Lawrence, vice president for extension and outreach.
“When possible, some group activities will be conducted virtually using video or teleconferencing. One-on-one meetings will be conducted by phone, by video conference, or if meeting in-person is essential, with appropriate distancing and precautions,” Lawrence said.
For information on specific events, please contact your ISU Extension and Outreach county office. If the office is closed, leave a message and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.
Recent steps ISU Extension and Outreach has taken to protect extension staff, faculty and the public include the following.

  • County extension offices have temporarily closed their doors to the public and staff are working remotely or on alternating days in the office to limit physical contact.
  • Campus staff are working remotely as work functions allow.
  • Educators are limiting in-person contact. Any group with an essential function that must meet in person may include no more than 10 people.
  • 4-H livestock weigh-ins are canceled, and livestock ID for the Iowa State Fair is being adjusted.

“We are taking this opportunity to develop and engage in alternate ways of bringing research-based education to all Iowans,” Lawrence said and shared the following examples.

  • Extension and Outreach throughout the state is available by phone, text, email and website to answer questions and provide information and education. Check your county extension office webpage for local news and contact information.
  • ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development has developed a wide variety of youth-led learning resources that are available for at-home learning. These resources will be continually updated and available to the public.
  • Resources are available to help families and communities dealing with the disruptions of COVID-19 cope with concerns about stress and relationships, personal finance, and nutrition and wellness.
  • With limited face-to-face meetings and field days, many extension specialists will provide webinars or supplement their regular webinar series. For example, additional webinars from Iowa Learning Farms will allow timely education on issues related to water, soil, livestock, wildlife, and other topics.
  • Human Sciences Extension and Outreach is offering a series of short virtual meetings to help couples thrive in this new reality. These meetings are facilitated by extension specialists and feature curriculum developed by the National Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Network.
  • ISU Extension and Outreach’s family finance program specialists are providing one-on-one financial conversations with Iowans. These financial educators are available to talk about options for revising a budget, prioritizing bills, paying down debt and connecting Iowans with community resources to stretch reduced incomes.
  • The Iowa Concern Hotline is available 24/7 for free, confidential support from trained staff. Email and live chat are also available.
  • AnswerLine is available for consumers with home and family questions.
  • Continue to check the ISU Extension and Outreach website for news about upcoming opportunities and educational offerings from extension specialists.
  • ISU Extension and Outreach also is compiling research-based resources related to facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the COVID-19 webpage often for updates.

“We all have to do our part and be willing to change our plans for the greater good. We will get through this,” Lawrence said.
 
Audio file available: For use through May 31, 2020
Transcript for :30 audio file. Narrator: Most Iowa State University Extension and Outreach events throughout the state have been canceled through May 31st. Some activities may be held virtually with video or teleconferencing. For information on specific events, please contact your ISU Extension and Outreach county office. The health and safety of Iowans is our greatest concern. Let's all do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Thank you.
 

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About the Authors: 

John D. Lawrence

Vice President for Extension and Outreach
515-294-6675
jdlaw@iastate.edu
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