Journal of NACAA

Lessons Learned for the Next Pandemic

ISSN 2158-9429

Volume 17, Issue 1 - June 2024

Editor: Linda Chalker-Scott


Cooperative Extension played an important role in prevention/vaccine education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the likelihood of future pandemics, we must learn from the COVID-19 experience to better prepare Extension for action in the future. This study used listening sessions with Extension agents who were actively working during the COVID-19 crisis to explore the challenges they faced during the pandemic and what lessons we could learn for the future. Extension staff identified the following as important: 1) agent education on facts versus misinformation regarding the pandemic; 2) acknowledgement of their concerns about the reliability of information; 3) clarity of function and reassurance they will not be asked to step beyond their role; 4) support in navigating polarizing issues; and 5) strong centralized leadership from the state’s Extension Office. 

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