Updates announced 3/18/20 included below

The impact of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to create uncertainty and concern both globally and here in our community. Illinois Extension is in the process of activating strategies with campus to protect everyone’s health and safety.

This week, the University of Illinois announced a suspension on all in-person events and meetings in campus facilities to protect you and our entire community. Illinois Extension, as the outreach program of the university, aligns with all policies related to public health and safety.

Effective immediately, ALL face-to-face events organized by Illinois Extension have been cancelled, suspended, or transitioned to online delivery. This will apply to all events previously scheduled through May 31, 2020.

The Illinois Department of Aging came out with recommendations and the U of I is following, that any meeting or program with the majority of the participants over the age of 60 to be cancelled or rescheduled for after April 15 regardless the number participating.

A collection of resources to assist families and community leaders preparing for and coping with COVID-19 is available online at go.illinois.edu/ExtensionCOVID19resources.

We are working to support all Illinois families at this time. We appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate this situation.

Confirmed event cancellations (Ordered by Date)

           Woodford County Extension & 4-H Foundation Soup & Dessert Fundraiser (March 14 in Woodford)

•           Unity Community Center After-School programming & Food Distribution (Closed to the Public from March 16 – April 15 in McLean)

•           Medical Identity Theft Program (March 16 in Woodford)

•           Growing up WILD Training (March 16 in McLean)

•           Illinois Nutrition Education Program in schools & additional sites (March 17 – April 15 in McLean, Livingston & Woodford)

•           McLean County 4-H Teen Teacher Meeting (March 20 in McLean)

•           4-H Cloverbud Blanket Making Workshops (March 21 in McLean)

•           4-H Cookie Decorating Workshop (March 21 in Woodford)

•           McLean County 4-H Federation Meeting (March 23 in McLean)

•           ALL 4-H Spring Break Workshops (March 23-27 in McLean)

•           Introductory Care for a Calf Program (March 29 in Livingston)

•           4-H New Family Orientations (March 31 in McLean)

•           Certified Food Protection Managers Training (April 1&3 at Heartland College in Normal)

•           Unity Community Center Volunteer Orientation (April 2 at Unity in Normal)

•           Skate Night with 4-H (April 3 in McLean)

•           A Day in the Garden Patch (April 4 in Livingston)

•           4-H Aerospace Workshop (April 4 in Woodford)

•           Chick it Out Embryology Program (April 6-30 in McLean)

•           4-H GPS Technology Project Workshop (April 8 in McLean)

•           4-H YQCA Training (April 13 in McLean) – Will move to later date

•           4-H YQCA Training (April 14 in Woodford) – Will move to later date

•           Diabetes Clinic: IGA Grocery Store Tour (April 16 in at IGA in Eureka)

•           4-H State Robotics Competition (April 18 in Bloomington)

•           Gardeners’ Gathering (April 18 in Woodford)

•           4-H Livestock Learn & Fun Day (May 2 in Woodford)

•           4-H Dog Obedience Program – (All 3 Counties) – Postponed start until further notice

•           ALL 4-H Shooting Sports Shoots and Meetings – (All 3 Counties) – Postponed or meetings moved to digital platform

•           ALL 4-H Club Meetings – (All 3 Counties) – Meetings canceled or must be moved to  digital platforms

•           ALL Master Gardener Help Desks (All 3 Counties) – opening in June or later

*list subject to change daily

For events that required registrations, ticket purchases, donations, refunds, and more, expect staff to reach out with communication about these concerns at a future date as we are currently in the planning stages. We appreciate the support and patience with our programs and the rescheduling of events to later dates.

In some cases, in-person trainings are being replaced with webinars or online meetings, or with digital resources you can review at your convenience. If you have any questions about events, please contact our office at (309) 663-8306.


Notes from Ag & Natural Resources – Master Gardener and Master Naturalists programs

Extension is cancelling all IN-PERSON programs, meetings, etc. with the public, including with Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists until after April 15.

This is an effort to protect our volunteers and the public, based on the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, and the Illinois Department on Aging’s recommendation that all meetings or programs with the majority of the participants over the age of 60 be cancelled, or rescheduled for after April 15, regardless the number participating.

What does this include? Help Desks; all planning, project and committee meetings; any programs hosted by Extension. See below for how to schedule phone or online meeting options.

What are the exceptions here? We are encouraging you not to go to teach at public events, including schools, clubs, or libraries but this is ultimately at your discretion. If you wish to cancel, do so. Speak with the administration of the partnering organization to see whether their events are still ongoing. If you wish to participate in outdoor workdays or group garden maintenance, you do so at your discretion and we recommend you utilize additional personal space and hygienic practices.

Is the office closed? No, and you are still welcome here! We will still support all Extension volunteer efforts, and help find alternative means of program delivery and meetings as appropriate.

If you have a previously scheduled meeting between now and April 15, and you would like to move the meeting to an online format or by phone, contact me immediately.

We understand you may be concerned about how this may affect your hours this year. We will certainly be showing leniency. If you have specific concerns, please contact me.


State and National 4-H Event Updates

State 4-H Awards Banquet (March 14) – cancelled

National 4-H Conference (March 28-April2) – postponed and rescheduled for Sept. 26 – Oct. 1st.

Speaking for Illinois 4-H Training (March 21) - will be changed to an online format – announced later.

IL 4-H Horse Speaking and Hippology Contest (April 18) – The event in Champaign will be cancelled and we are looking at options for online alternatives.

IL 4-H Horse Bowl Contest (April 19) – The event in Champaign will be cancelled and we are looking at options for online alternatives.

Legislative Connection (May 6-7) - Registration will continue at this time. We will re-evaluate in April.

IL 4-H State Robotics Competition (May 9) – the event in Bloomington-Normal will be cancelled and we are looking at options for online alternatives.


Version Updated 3.19.20