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May 22, 2020

 

 
 

Extension_Covid-19_Communication_Survey

University of Illinois Extension is asking Illinois residents about what you need to know, how you want that information, and how Extension can serve you better, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to provide timely, easily available information. You can complete the questionnaire in about 10 minutes. Details about the survey, including informed consent, are in the introduction. Thank you for taking the time to share your needs and perspectives. We value your input.

 

 
 

As consumer demand for local food access and summer and fall market seasons approach, local supply access is more important than ever. Whether you’re looking for fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, herbs, flowers, a pumpkin patch, a pick-your-own farm, vineyards, breweries, or distilleries, you’ll find them at the “Prairie Bounty of Illinois” online directory. Prairie Bounty, a directory of over 900 farms, businesses and specialty groups across the state, is available online at www.specialtygrowers.org/shoplocal. The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB), in cooperation with the Illinois Specialty Growers Association (ISGA) and Illinois MarketMaker, publishes the “Prairie Bounty of Illinois” online directory. This directory features an interactive map that contains the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of Illinois farms and businesses who market through pick-your own, roadside markets, farmers markets, farm stands, CSAs, and wholesale.

 

 
 

New FDA food safety guidelines require local produce farmers to review and adapt their current food safety practices. “There has never been a more important time to review food contact surfaces and high touch surface cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection procedures,” says Zach Grant, University of Illinois Extension educator. “Before a sanitizer can be effective on a surface, the area must be cleared of direct and organic debris which would render the sanitizer less effective.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, the difference between sanitization and disinfection is primarily in the concentration of the anti-microbial applied and when the event takes place. “The high concentrations of a sanitizer product used for disinfecting are not meant to remain in contact with food contact surfaces,” Grant says. “After cleaning the surface, apply the disinfectant. Follow labeled instructions on the amount of time the wet solution should remain on the object. After the indicated contact time, it is recommended that the food contact surface be rinsed with water, then re-applied with a normal sanitizer rate solution and allowed to air dry.”

 

 
 

More than 50 environmental and education experts are collaborating to launch The Earth School: 30 adventures for learners of all ages to discover, celebrate, and connect to nature. This global team came together under the guidance and support of TED-Ed and UNEP to design lessons for students of all levels and host Earth School at a time when it matters the most. These experts have been supported by over 30 organizations including National GeographicWWF, and the BBC who have offered videos, articles, and interactive resources that will be shared around the world. The initiative launched on Earth Day on April 22 and will conclude on World Environment Day on June 5. Earth School is comprised of daily adventures, or Quests, each organized around the theme: “The Nature of…” While the initiative is hosted online, the Quests are designed to encourage young people to connect with nature and their environment.

 

 
 

Illinois Extension Local Government Education will continue to offer programming into early June with their Developing Broadband Leadership webinar series. On May 13, the program welcomed special guest Governor JB Pritzker who helped commence the series by addressing the audience on the importance of connectivity across the state.  On May 20, participants will learn the basics of creating a community broadband strategic plan – from information gathering and analysis, assessment of existing services and community demand, to feasibility studies and project development. On May 27, Broadband 101 will showcase strengths and weaknesses various broadband technologies. Finally, on June 3, Adoption, Affordability, and Digital Inclusion will discuss how to adopt broadband in respect to personal context, namely low-cost broadband, connecting digital literacy with relevant content/services, making low-cost computers available, and operating public access computing centers.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

May 26-27 - Grant Writing USA Zoom Class

May 27 (Webinar Series) - Developing Broadband Leadership - Part 3: Broadband 101

June 3 (Webinar Series) - Developing Broadband Leadership - Part 4: Digital Inclusion

June 26 - Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference

August 10-13 - Midwest Community Development Institute CANCELLED

October 31 - Deadline to Complete the Census

 
 
 
 
 

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