By  March 23, 2020 - 10:15am

Dear Extension Colleagues,

This week begins our new normal for the foreseeable future. To protect the safety of our employees and our clientele, state and local Extension offices now have very limited public access. We are open for business in a different way. State staff are adapting materials, resources and certifications to meet needs using web-based formats. The county office staff are modifying programming, as well as ensuring clientele can drop off samples, pick up at home teaching/activity kits, etc. Each county has developed and shared a plan for agents to be available via email, phone and/or text. The majority of our state and county staff are working remotely. We are abiding by CDC recommendations to sanitize, follow social distancing, move to online programming, and discontinue groups of more than ten people.

You have already been extremely proactive to assess what services we can maintain, how to stay in touch with clientele remotely and creatively provide programs and resources.

This week, let’s slow down and breathe deeply as we begin our new work arrangements. We know that stress can lower health resistance. Take special care of yourself and your families to keep healthy.

Please contact the following leaders in our organization with questions concerning:

  • County operations - District Directors
  • Agriculture and Natural Resource programs - Dr. Craig Wood
  • 4-H Youth Development Programs - Dr. Mark Mains
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Programs - Dr. Jennifer Hunter
  • Community and Economic Development - Dr. Alison Davis
  • Marketing and Communications- Hayley Pierce
  • Reporting (KERS) – Dr. Ken Jones

It is important that we have stellar communication in this evolving situation. These are the leaders you should be looping into your questions and plans.

Our state team will meet at least once per week to discuss needs, challenges and gaps we need to address and next steps for our work together. Please be particularly alert for communication from your district director and program leader as they will periodically share important updates.

We are working with Department of Local Government to investigate options for those Extension District Boards who cannot meet by videoconferencing for budget approval. At this point do not worry, simply work on budget development as possible and appropriate with EDB members. 

I am available by email or office phone if needed.

Thank you for your positive spirits and commitment, 

Laura Stephenson 
Associate Dean and Extension Director
University of Kentucky

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
S107 Ag Science North
Lexington, KY 40546-0091