March 25, 2020 - 11:37am -- house.238@osu.edu

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Did your usual conference get canceled? Looking to fill the void of the big basketball tournament? Ohio State University Extension is here to help with a new virtual education program for the agricultural community.

“Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness: A Tournament of Education” will include 64 educational events broken into daily brackets. Each day, a virtual educational session will be held at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. The educational tournament is free of charge and will likely continue until mid-May.

“This effort is a direct response to providing a variety of useful and timely sessions for farmers and families across the state during Gov. DeWine’s stay-at-home order,” said Jacqueline Wilkins, interim director of OSU Extension. “While our ‘tournament’ is being loosely tied to March Madness, it’s not a competition, and people can join in at any time for as many or as few sessions as they desire.”

The tournament opens on Wednesday, March 25, with the eFields 2019 Results webinar. Learn how the eFields program used modern technologies to help Ohio farmers learn new practices and techniques to improve farm efficiency and profitability. Tip-off is at 9 a.m., and registration is required at go.osu.edu/eFieldsWebinar.

Also in this bracket is a March 25 noon webinar from Sam Custer, interim assistant director of OSU Extension’s agriculture and natural resources program, to discuss how educators are working remotely to continue serving Ohioans during these uncharted waters of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Tournament “brackets” will change daily. Topics will cover a variety of subjects and be presented in a variety of virtual platforms. When possible, question-and-answer opportunities will be included.

To find complete details on the tournament’s educational opportunities and other event and webinar links, visit go.osu.edu/agmadness.

Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness is just one example of how OSU Extension is employing its online resources during this challenging time to remain engaged with Ohioans. “The intent is to reach the agricultural community in a time of high stress,” Custer said. “OSU Extension has also updated its Ag Crisis website to include a toolbox of resources related to COVID-19. Those can be reached at go.osu.edu/AgCrisis.”

OSU Extension has implemented a teleworking plan effective immediately, and all OSU Extension offices statewide are closed until further notice. The plan mirrors The Ohio State University’s decision last week to require all employees who can do so to work from home and to maintain only critical services on university property across all campuses.

Clients, stakeholders, and other community members can continue to connect with any OSU Extension staff member via phone or email as usual. To contact your local Extension office, visit licking.osu.edu for a staff directory. If you reach voicemail, please leave a message with your name and contact information, and you will be contacted as soon as possible.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), and works to share knowledge with every county in Ohio. Its four major program areas are family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, community development, and agriculture and natural resources.

Writer(s):

Sherrie R. Whaley

Source(s):

Julie Strawser, strawser.35@osu.edu

Teresa Funk, funk.67@osu.edu