This week I want to talk about the crisis that we are in. I am sure that everyone knows about Governor Kemp’s order to shelter in place. In this time of crisis, many organizations have had to reorder the way that they operate. The same has been true for myself with UGA Extension. The main message that I want to be heard is that we am still here. Extension is continuing to operate in these strange times, but the way that we are operating is changing. I want to talk about some of those changes, and what I’m doing to continue to serve the people of Towns and Union counties.
For the duration of the shelter in place order UGA has ordered Extension employees to work from home. This means that your method of contacting me may need to change. I am still reachable by email. Email is going to be the best method of contacting me. My phone notifies me when I have a new email, so I check it regularly, throughout the day. My email is Jacob.Williams@uga.edu. You can also contact me through Facebook. If you send a Facebook message to the Union County Extension or Towns County Extension Facebook page, I’ll see that and get in contact with you. You are also welcome to call the office number and leave a message. It will take me a little bit longer to get back in touch with you because we are only stopping by the office a couple of times a week to check messages and mail.
Extension provides testing services for soil, water, hay, radon, and a number of other things. We are continuing to provide those services, but we have had to change the way that we receive samples. Please bring samples by the Union County Extension Office in the Union County Civic Center. We have a table in front of the office door with supplies and a cardboard box to put your test into. You may leave payment for the test in the drop box in the door. We are working on installing a drop box outside the building so that you don’t have to enter to drop off samples. We will come by a couple of times a week to mail off samples. If you have specific questions about testing, send me an email, and I’ll help you figure out what you need.
I am still here to answer questions that are agriculture or natural resource based. You can send me emails with pictures. I am trying to cut back on the number of site visits that I do, and only leaving those for emergencies or if you are commercially involved in agriculture. If you have a question that is difficult to answer by email, send me an email, and then I’ll give you my cell phone number so we can talk. I’m happy to do FaceTime or skype if need be.
I had some programs that I had planned to do in person. Look for those programs to move online if possible. I’ll be doing Facebook live, Zoom, and making videos to continue getting educational content out there to you. Check this column, the Towns, or Union County Extension Facebook page for upcoming programs.
I believe that while I work for UGA, I am here to serve the people in Towns and Union counties. That service may look different but we will continue to do all that we can. Please reach out to me so that I can help your with agricultural questions big or small.