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Extension Education

Maegan Perdue
Agent Associate
Snow Hill


During the late winter and early spring, educators within University of Maryland Extension typically provide new and existing small flock and livestock owners with educational programming.  This programming usually takes place at farm and feed stores, which growers frequent to purchase chicks and livestock feed.  When in-person programming was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, educators decided to put together a series of online sessions to offer educational opportunities on backyard poultry, small ruminants, hay, cattle, and beekeeping. A total of 31 Backyard Farming sessions were scheduled, broken up into several series including small flock, small ruminants, hay, cattle and honey bee sessions.  Within each series, sessions were largely focused on management, health, and nutrition for the various livestock species. University of Maryland Extension faculty taught all of the sessions, which had a total of 1,327 participants. Following the completion of the entire Backyard Farming series, a QualtricsTM survey was developed and sent to participants. The survey consisted of 21 questions designed to determine the success of this type of online programming for livestock producers and was completed by 52 respondents across the various industries. Many participants noted that additional free time due to COVID-19 shutdowns and working from home and being available to watch online programs were reasons for attending, with 79% of participants indicating that the COVID-19 shutdowns affected their decision to participate. Almost all participants (98%) found the information valuable, with 90% indicating that the information they learned would help keep their animals healthier and 66% indicating that the information would make their operation more profitable and/or productive.  A further 60% reported that they had already made changes to how they manage their animals based on information received, while 31% more stated they planned to.  The number of attendees and positive survey results demonstrate that this series is filling a needed void, and also indicates that online educational programs offer additional educational opportunities and are a viable option when in-person meetings are prohibited.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: M. A. Perdue, J.R. Moyle, A.M. Grev, S.B. Potts, J.W. Semler, E. Zobel, R.G. Slattery
  1. Perdue, M. Agent Associate, University of Maryland Extension, Maryland, 20740
  2. Moyle, J. Extension Poultry Specialist, University of Maryland Extension, Maryland, 20740
  3. Grev, A. Pasture and Forage Specialist, University of Maryland Extension, Maryland, 20740
  4. Potts, S. Extension Specialist, Dairy & Beef, University of Maryland Extension, Maryland, 20740
  5. Semler, J. Agent, University of Maryland Extension, Maryland, 20740
  6. Zobel, E. Agent Associate, University of Maryland Extension, Maryland, 20740
  7. Slattery, R. Coordinator- Beef and Dairy Extension Activities, University of Maryland Department of Animal Science, Maryland, 20740