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Extension Education

Megan Brew
County Extension Director
UF/IFAS Extension


In response to the public health threat posed by the novel corona virus, Extension Agents in Florida were asked not to travel or conduct in-person events, unless absolutely necessary. This meant that starting in March 2020 routine site visits and in-person meetings suddenly became far less routine. Still, life marched on as normal for the livestock in Florida and livestock producers continued to encounter problems that they needed the help of their county agent to solve. To meet the ongoing needs on their clients, while at the same time protecting public health, members of the Central Florida Livestock Agents Group (CFLAG) decided to transform their approach to program design and implementation by revisiting the way they worked as a group. Instead of holding quarterly all-day in-person program planning meetings, CFLAG members began to hold weekly hour-long virtual meetings on Microsoft Teams. The primary focus of these meetings was to explore ways that members could transition traditional programs to online platforms and to develop new programs that met the changing needs of clients. As a result, a number of new and innovative projects were successfully piloted and traditional programs, such as the Equine Institute and Small Ruminant Production Conference, were able to be successfully executed online.  The weekly meetings also served as an open forum for members to discuss vexing issues, seek out input, and share ideas. As a result of having participated in weekly meetings 75% of the CFLAG members who responded to an online survey (n=8) reported that they collaborated more with colleagues than they had compared to past years. 87% felt more comfortable asking a colleague for assistance and an equal percentage felt their professional development had been enhanced through their participation. Most importantly, 75% of respondents felt better equipped to serve their clients as a direct result of meeting weekly with their colleagues. By taking advantage of available technologies, CFLAG agents were able to use the pandemic era to increase their programing reach and develop their professional competencies while recognizing synergy through collaboration.

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. Brew, J. Walter, C. Cooper, W. Mussoline, Jonael Bosques, Francisco Rivera, E Jennings, C. Bainum, J. Yarborough, B. Justesen, L. Bennett, T. Wilson, K. Taylor
  1. Brew, M. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Lake County, Florida, 32778
  2. Walter, J. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County, Florida, 32926
  3. Cooper, C. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County, Florida, 34461
  4. Mussoline, W. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Flagler and Putnam County, Florida, 32131
  5. Bosques, J. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension HardeeCounty, Florida, 33873
  6. Rivera, F. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County, Florida, 33584
  7. Jennings, E. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Levy County, Florida, 32621
  8. Bainum, C. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Lake County, Florida, 34471
  9. Yarborough, J. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Orange and Seminole County, Florida, 32812
  10. Justesen, B. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Osceola County, Florida, 34744
  11. Bennett, L. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando, Pasco, and Sumter County, Florida, 33513
  12. Wilson, T. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County, Florida, 32092
  13. Taylor, K. Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Volusia County, Florida, 32724