URBANA, Ill. – As the state of Illinois moves into Phase 3 of the coronavirus Restore Illinois plan, University of Illinois Extension continues to provide research-based educational programs for families, farmers, and businesses in formats that support public health and safety priorities. 

On June 1, Illinois Extension announced that in-person events through July 31 will be postponed or hosted online. 4-H general project and 4-H livestock shows and exhibitions scheduled through July 31 will be conducted online using the digital exhibition platform FairEntry. Day and overnight camps are canceled through August 15.

Continuing the phased decision making approach for summer event planning, Extension’s guidelines prioritize the safety of event participants and redouble efforts to support the health and vitality of families and communities across Illinois.

Decisions for Illinois Extension programming for the remainder of summer 2020 will be announced as follows:

  • July 1: decision shared regarding August 1-15 events
  • July 15: decision shared regarding August 16-31 events
  • August 1: decision shared regarding September 1-30 events

Since Illinois’ March 20 stay at home order, Extension educators have created hundreds of online information resources for Illinois residents, businesses, and local governments  responding to the health, economic, and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Examples include:

  • An Extension webinar series will help Illinois restaurants safely reopen  following this spring’s extended closures. The webinars address new safety measures for customers and staff and fresh thinking about business operations such as inventory management. The webinars were developed in cooperation with the Illinois Restaurant Association and the University of Illinois Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition in the College of ACES.
  • Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences team collaborated with agencies across Illinois to create the Food Finder Website. Designed to help people access free food, the tool—still under development—fills a critical need for food-insecure households.
  • Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resources team developed guidance for farmers market producers impacted by the state’s stay-at-home order. The team also developed a plan to reach members of the Amish community, many of whom serve farmers markets, but may not have access to web-based resources.
  • The 4-H at Home resource collection features a range of projects and activities for youth and families to launch deeper learning and to introduce new areas of exploration. 4-H youth educators develop new curriculum units, curate peer-reviewed resource collections for volunteers, and organize virtual hangouts for 4-H members to socialize and share ideas.

 

Writer: Samantha Koon, Director of Communications, University of Illinois Extension