Despite COVID-19, the White County Cooperative Extension Service is continuing its programs and has reached 235,244 through its social media programs, according to Brian Haller, extension agent and staff chairman.
At the White County Quorum Court meeting Tuesday, Haller said “We were closed two days when the county closed down in March, that Thursday and Friday, ever since then I have been at the office,” Haller said at Tuesday’s White County Quorum Court meeting.
Through Zoom, the office has held 355 meetings that addressed COVID-19 or the results from COVID-19, he said. Through email contact, the office has reached 6,622 people, while 1,306 have been reached through phone and text.
“We are still taking soil samples even though our doors are locked, just like all the county offices,” Haller said. “Since March, we got 375 soil samples. We are still out making farm visits, even though we can’t have meetings of more than 10 [people], we are still out helping the farmers and producers and the homeowners with their lawns and so forth.”
Haller said the total of these visits came to 417.
The extension office has put out 42 newsletters, reaching 6,400 people. It has also produced 24 news articles.
The volunteer homemaker group has made 760 masks, Haller said. “Nine volunteers did that.” In addition to COVID-19 programs, Haller said those at the office are still doing the things that they are “called to do.”
That includes putting a voter’s guide online, Haller said by Oct. 1, he should have voter guides available and said they would be helpful because they allow voters to make an educated guess on how they want to vote on ballot issues.
“The nice thing about this voter’s guide is that it gives you both sides,” Haller said. “It gives you a chance to look at the facts.”
Haller also brought up the extension office being used as one of the early voting sites this year when early voting begins Oct. 19 and told the justices of the peace that he appreciates them seeing the need for the facilities to be used for such things.