March 12, 2020 Message to Extension Specialists

Message to Agriculture and Environment Extension Specialists from Associate Dean sent Thursday, March 12, 2020, 12:01 p.m.

Agriculture and Environment Extension Specialists,

In support of the messages from Chancellor Cartwright, Provost Ramchand, Vice-Chancellor Stewart, and Vice-Chancellor Daubert, here is some specific guidance for Agriculture and Environment Extension programs regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

  • The University of Missouri remains open; faculty and staff should continue reporting to work, if they feel well.
  • If you feel sick, stay home. Let your supervisor know (Education Directors for field specialists, Division Directors for state specialists) of your absence via normal channels.
  • Field Specialists, please review plans for events (now through March 29) and upcoming travel (now through April 12) with your Education Director. State Specialists should do the same with their Division Director.
    • All out-of-state or out-of-country travel that was pre-approved through April 12 is now unapproved. Any new out-of-state or out-of-country travel is unlikely to be approved at least through April 12. If you have out-of-state or out-of-country travel for which we need to consider an exception, please contact your supervisor. As needed, I can work with you and your supervisor to seek a decision from the appropriate Vice-Chancellor (Stewart or Daubert).
    • Field Specialists should continue local programming and in-state travel, based on their best judgment. Some specific guidance follows:
      • In-state travel should be curtailed for faculty traveling long distances and engaging with different populations from where they normally live and work. This curtailment applies most to state specialists. Please see if local Extension specialists could deliver the educational material instead. If they cannot, consider using Zoom or similar technologies to provide the content.
      • Consider alternative delivery methods (or postponement) for large gatherings, especially those that include hands-on activities where inadvertent touching, sharing equipment, etc. might occur.
      • Consider the potential attendees for the Extension meeting. If the meeting is likely to serve higher-risk populations (older adults, people with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease) make alternative arrangements to serve these individuals. This may include delivering the class via Zoom, webinar or offering the meeting later in the year.

MU Health Care’s website on COVID-19 offers best practices for the prevention of Coronavirus. Please review this information.

Please understand that this is a fluid situation and that our plans may need to change quickly. We will provide additional guidance as the situation unfolds. Please contact your Division Director/Education Director with any questions or situations where you need clarification. As necessary, I will work with them to resolve any issues as fast as we can.

Best wishes,

Robert Kallenbach
Associate Dean and Senior Program Director – Agriculture and Environment Extension
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
University of Missouri
2-44 Agriculture Building
Columbia, MO 65211
Ph. 573-882-6385
Cell 573-819-4172