UI Extension response to COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UI Extension quickly pivoted to provide Idahoans with classes, resources and information in a digital format. Hundreds of classes, workshops and meetings were converted to a virtual environment. Hundreds of videos were created to reach Idahoans in their homes. Educators maintained contact with citizens via social media, phone calls and emails.
Despite the adjustments made to help reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19, UI Extension continued to provide valuable research-based information and programs to help Idahoans. Below are just a few examples of how UI Extension responded during the pandemic. To see what’s been happening in your county over the past year, visit our Extension Trends website.
Community development specialist Paul Lewin and the Rural Studies Program team created a website with infographics to illustrate COVID-19’s impact on each of Idaho’s counties to help state and local leaders respond to the disease.
The UI Extension personal finance team created a webinar series, Don’t Corona My Cash, to help Idahoans navigate the economic implications of the pandemic.
The popular Idaho Victory Garden was offered free of charge to provide Idahoans sheltering at home with education on how to start their own home garden. The course is free through Dec. 31, 2020.
UI Extension Associate Educator Leslee Blanch provided fitness classes online and recorded the classes so that citizens could maintain their physical fitness while staying in their homes.
Cindy Kinder, UI Extension educator in Camas and Gooding counties, created 16 education videos, Virtual Science at Home Lessons, for families and teachers using items you’d likely already have in your home.
When the pandemic first hit, UI Extension Educator Mario de Haro-Marti and Dairy Specialist Mireille Chahine noticed a lack of educational materials available in Spanish. With partners at South Dakota State University, they produced videos and fact sheets about COVID-19 in English and Spanish for dairy workers and dairy owners.
The UI Extension 4-H Youth Development program was forced to make many adjustments to programs, including offering the State Teen Association Conference and state shooting sport and horse contests as virtual events and various changes to demonstrations at county fairs. The program also compiled a list of resources and activities for youth to do while stuck at home.
UI Extension economists are offering free online classes aimed at helping you protect your farm business.
A Sheep and Goat Webinar Series has been offered weekly since the first of April 2020. In addition to the weekly live webinars, recordings of the presentations and additional information and resources are available.
- Jackie Amende, educator in Canyon County, created a COVID-19 resource (pdf) specific to the county.
- Kirstin Jensen, educator in Idaho County, formed a Facebook group for citizens to share activities for families to do at home.
- UI Extension specialists wrote an article on adjusting cropping systems affected by COVID-19.
- Julie Buck, educator in Bingham County, developed a webinar on preparing your Emergency Kits (video).
- David Callister, UI Extension educator in Butte County, provided 4-H youth with several quick bread cooking demonstrations during quarantine.
- Ag Talk Tuesdays are presented weekly by UI Extension faculty to discuss current crop issues — timely topics are being offered virtually in 2020.