Released: April 9, 2020
John Forshee, District Director
K-State Research and Extension, River Valley District
In-person K-State Research and Extension activities suspended through July 4
MANHATTAN, Kan. – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, K-State Research and Extension will continue its suspension of all face-to-face extension programs, meetings and events through July 4, 2020.
The suspension, announced last month, was originally scheduled through May 16 and applies only to K-State Research and Extension staff and activities, not to other university activities.
“We did not take this decision lightly,” said Gregg Hadley, director for extension. “The health and well-being of participants, employees and volunteers must be our top priority.”
In order to ensure quality programs for late spring/early summer, Hadley said extension personnel will shift from preparation and planning for face-to-face activities to alternative activities.
All in-person events including agricultural field days, food-safety trainings and more are affected by this schedule.
“We do want to remind our taxpayers and clientele that although face-to-face Extension activities have been suspended and the River Valley Extension offices are closed to the public our staff remains working remotely,” says John Forshee, River Valley District Director. “Our agents are working to provide you daily educational posts through social media and on our web page. Our team is meeting regularly and working on alternative ways of education and service delivery. Most importantly, we are still available to you by simply calling our offices and selecting the staff member you wish to speak to.” “We remain dedicated to serving the residents of the River Valley District,” said Forshee.
Events coordinated by the state’s 4-H office are also affected, including Discovery Days, 4-H Camps, Campference, Insect Spectacular, Geology Field trip, MYPI, Shooting Sports Matches, Shutterbug Photo Event, district horse shows and district dog shows.
Participants who have already registered for Discovery Days will be given refunds.
“We know the distress this causes as the effects of the COVID-19 situation extend into the summer,” Hadley said. “But we take our responsibilities seriously and are choosing to prioritize the health and safety of the people we serve – especially when we have the ability to innovate and deliver our programs and services in different, safer ways.”
This move by K-State Research and Extension does not include county fairs in the state. Fairs are governed by local county boards. Extension agents will continue to prepare for fairs as much as possible. In case further changes become necessary, extension professionals are looking at alternative methods that would enable 4-H youth to showcase their projects.
“We know this is an incredible disappointment and recognize how much everyone looks forward to these 4-H events,” said Wade Weber, state leader for 4-H Youth Development. “We will make every effort to shift as many of these events as possible to internet-based learning and showcase opportunities.
“While our methods are changing, our 4-H mission remains the same.”
Making a difference in your lifeIn north central Kansas, we cover Clay, Cloud, Republic and Washington Counties. The Republican River runs through the heart of the district affecting the nature of many of our agricultural practices. The Little Blue River runs through the eastern part of the District, and the Solomon River just clips the southwest corner.
K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.