ISU Extension and Outreach remains committed to serving Iowans

Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:00 pm

While many things have changed drastically for Iowans in recent weeks, one thing that has not changed is Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s commitment to “Serving All Iowans.”

For over 100 years, we have been engaging all Iowans in research, education, and extension experiences to address real-life challenges. We are prioritizing the health and safety of our staff, faculty, and communities and are following public health and Iowa State University guidance.

While our in-person contact is limited during this challenging time, our service to our communities and all Iowans continues. Recent steps we have taken to protect our 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 have been instructed to work remotely as work functions allow.

• Face-to-face events have been canceled through May 31 and one-on-one meetings will be conducted by phone, by video conference, or with appropriate distancing and precautions.

• Educators are limiting in-person contact. Any group 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, including the following.

• On campus and across the state we continue to be 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: www.extension.iastate.edu/countyservices.

• Previously planned face-to-face events are offered online as we are able or are postponed to a later date.

• 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: www.extension.iastate.edu/4h/4h-at-home-learning-resources. These resources will be continually updated and available to the public.

• We have compiled resources 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: www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/disaster-recovery.

• As we limit 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: www.extension.iastate.edu/news/iowa-learning-farms-host-webinars-during-covid-19-pandemic.

• For families and couples spending more time at home together, we are now offering a series of short virtual meetings to help couples thrive in this new reality: www.extension.iastate.edu/news/virtual-meetings-couples-offer-tips-strategies-cope-covid-19. These meetings are facilitated by extension specialists and feature curriculum developed by the National Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Network.

• Our Iowa Concern Hotline is available 24/7 for free, confidential support from trained staff. Email and live chat are also available: www.extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern.

• AnswerLine is another extension resource for consumers with home and family questions: www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/answerline

• Continue to check the ISU Extension and Outreach website for news about upcoming opportunities and educational offerings from our extension specialists: www.extension.iastate.edu.

Our county staff, faculty, and extension specialists are continually striving to meet the needs of our communities. We know this is a time of great need and we are ready to serve you. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We are all in this together, committed to building a #STRONGIOWA.

John D. Lawrence

Vice President for Extension and Outreach

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