Davidson County Center
April News
COVID-19 Update
COVID-19 has disrupted our lives and routines, from how we work, play and parent, to how we learn, shop and connect with our community. To help North Carolinians adjust to this “new normal,” NC State Extension has launched the Extension COVID-19 Resources Portal

Effective April 1, the Davidson County Extension Office will be staffed with 1 person (Matt Barber, Troy Coggins, or Sara Drake) during regular business hours. The outside entrance doors will be locked. You must call the person in the office before you are allowed to enter the building. Staffing and facility adjustments will continue to be updated as the situation warrants.

All Extension Agents are still available via email, phone and other technological means, and will continue to assist you to the best of their ability. Email is the best means to contact the agents. If you call and leave a message, please understand that it may take longer than usual to receive a response. You can find  staff emails here .
Video Conferences with Zoom
Zoom is a video conferencing application that can be used to host virtual meetings and workshops. During this time of social distancing, Extension will be using Zoom more frequently.

If you have never used zoom before, you can use it with your tablet, smart phone, or computer. Please read this article and download zoom on your device.

Davidson County Extension will host several workshops to help you become familiar with using zoom. It will allow you to learn how to use some of the features of zoom before your first meeting or workshop experience.

These sessions are a great way to test your system and will help you know how to use the basic features in zoom. If you are new to zoom, plan to join one of them. If you can't make them, contact Sara to schedule another time.
Fire Ant Workshops
Davidson County Extension will be hosting two Fire Ant Workshops through Zoom. In this workshop, you will learn about the Red Imported Fire Ant (FIFA), how it spreads, and how to treat the mounds.

Registration for the workshops is through Eventbrite. Click the date and time below that works best for your schedule to register.

Both workshops have been approved for one hour of pesticide credit in the following categories K, L, N, O, & X. If you need pesticide credits, you must join the zoom with your camera on and participate in the entire workshop to receive credit.
Home Flock Series
Are you interested in raising backyard chickens for meat, eggs, or both? The N. C. Cooperative Extension, Davidson County Center is hosting a five week series for beginners online through Zoom. The series will be held on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. beginning April 8. You may attend all five or select the workshops that interest you. 

Sessions include:

The series is FREE. Pre-registration is required. Click the links above to register for the session(s) you want to attend.
NCDA&CS Agronomic Division Updates

While the NCDA&CS labs are remaining open, there have been several changes. Routine soil samples are not being accepted. You are asking to wait to submit those samples when the COVID-19 crisis is over. If there is a problem, diagnostic soil and nematode samples are welcome.

The Plant/Waste/Solutions and Media Lab is open. They are accepting all samples except routine liquid manure samples.

Notice of Essential Food & Agriculture Employee
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) has issued a Notice of Essential Food and Agriculture Employee form to help farmers and agribusinesses.

The following document is to be used as a notification method to notify law enforcement or anyone else that people carrying them are involved in the critical and essential industry of agriculture.

Equine Producers
During the shelter in place event, equine caretakers fall under the same blanket as the above article from NCDA&CS and are deemed essential. Only those required for essential care for the horses are permitted to travel and be at the barn though. This only applies to the basic care of horses, not those who are traveling to the barn to groom, ride, or exercise their horse.

Piedmont Regional Goat & Sheep Conference
The Piedmont Regional Goat & Sheep Conference scheduled for April 25 is moving to a zoom conference. More information will be available next week. If you are interested in attending the conference, email Sara.
Beef Basics Online Course
Alabama Extension offers an eight-part online course which features information on management in beef operations. The course covers information related to forages, nutrition, management, breeding, and genetics.

Can I Catch Coronavirus From My Cows?
In this article, Dr. Geof Smith, DVM, professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State explains the coronavirus in cattle and then explains the human strain.
How to Create a Free Online Store for your Farm
Debbie Roos, Extension Agent in Chatham County, is offering a session to learn to create a basic on-line store for your farm that will allow you to accept pre-orders and receive payment for pick-up.

It will be Tuesday, March 31 from 7-9 p.m. You must register online.
NC Choices Launches MeatSuite
MeatSuite is an online marketing tool to help farmers market meat and customers easily find locally produced meat in bulk. 

Local farmers are able to register their farms and customers are able to shop for meat within a given distance from their home.
Farm to Freezer: The Logistics of Online Sales & Shipping Meat
Hear from three experienced panelists who sell their meats online & ship direct to consumers. Let’s turn the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity to connect our niche meats to hungry consumers. It is scheduled for Thursday, April 2 at 12 p.m. EST.

Topics will include: setting up an online store, different web platforms, accepting payments, updating inventory, meat selection, subscriptions versus ala-carte orders, boxes, insulation, dry ice, maintaining cold chain, shipping carriers, costs, & legalities of selling meat across state lines (Rebecca will cover that one).

This will be more of an informal discussion than a formal presentation. Panelists include:

Please pre-register at least 10 minutes before the webinar at this link . All webinars are FREE and will be archived to our  YouTube channel  should you not be able to attend.
Join Our Mailing Lists
Feel free to share this newsletter with others you think may be interested in our events! You can stay up to date on what is happening at the NC Cooperative Extension, Davidson County Center by completing the online form to receive email updates.

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