AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala.—“We’re working for you.” Through natural disasters, through personal hardships, through worldwide pandemics—Alabama Cooperative Extension System personnel are hard at work for the people of Alabama.
During the height of the pandemic, Extension programming was completely virtual. As things return to normal, personnel will provide opportunities for in-person workshops, as well as virtual-only and hybrid events. These hybrid events will provide in-person and virtual opportunities simultaneously.
Alabama Extension Director Mike Phillips said personnel learned how to utilize technologies to reach clientele virtually during the pandemic.
“In fact, we reached large audiences who never knew about Extension and what we have to offer,” Phillips said. “Moving forward, many of our programs will contain both virtual and face-to-face program delivery modes. It is vitally important for us to deliver sound, unbiased research information by the most effective delivery mode for our clientele.”
While many teams were able to effectively communicate through virtual delivery, there are program teams whose work still required in-person visits to diagnose issues.
In addition to necessary farm visits, agents were still making the rounds to introduce themselves to producers. One such event was a farm visit in Autauga County, coordinated by the county Extension coordinator, Darrue Sharpe.
“Our row crop and cattle producers, as well as fruit and vegetable growers, throughout the state still relied on Extension expertise throughout the past year,” Sharpe said. “Although programming delivery was mostly virtual, it is still important to work alongside producers and stakeholders in Autauga County to let them know we are still here working for them.”
The same can be said for each county office. When faced with hardships and hurdles, the agents got busy delivering programming. Each agent found the ways that were most beneficial to their communities and stakeholders.
Agents and specialists add programming to the calendar on a daily basis. To find information about programs in each county, visit www.aces.edu/events. Individuals can also contact the local Extension office for more information about county-specific programming.