UNIVERSITY PARK – As the world continues to adapt to a new reality created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn State Extension is offering a variety of resources to help farms and other agricultural businesses, families and communities navigate their way through the related disruptions.
Although extension offices in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are closed until further notice, faculty extension specialists and county-based extension educators are working remotely to support the state’s essential, life-sustaining farms and food operations and to provide science-based information to help residents stay safe, eat well, maintain households and manage stress.
The hub for this pandemic-related information is Penn State Extension’s Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information webpage.
There, visitors can access articles, webinars, online courses and other educational materials by topic, find upcoming events and get answers to frequently asked questions.
The webpage features the following categories of information:
—Personal and family resources. Featuring advice on cooking from your pantry, budgeting, activities to do with your children, protecting yourself from scams, keeping mentally fit and other useful information.
—Food safety and food business resources. Guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure for business owners, employees and their families and customers throughout the food system.
—Agricultural industry resources. Information for agricultural operations, including topics such as pesticide applicator recertification during the pandemic, farm contingency and disaster planning and other subjects.
—Business resources. Help with business growth and development, marketing and market development, food systems, local foods, financial management, and information on federal pandemic relief programs for businesses.
—Community, non–profit and local government resources. Information and step-by-step guidance on public engagement, collaboration and deliberative dialogue to help local organizations continue to serve their communities during the crisis.
In addition to online resources, extension educators can be reached by email or phone to address specific questions and issues.
Directories containing contact information and staff subject-matter specialties can be found on each county extension office webpage on the Penn State Extension Web site.