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Seed Consultants Market Watch 10:27 update with Gary Wilhelmi 12/26/2012

first_img Seed Consultants Market Watch 10:27 update with Gary Wilhelmi 12/26/2012 SHARE Facebook Twitter Home Market Market Watch Seed Consultants Market Watch 10:27 update with Gary Wilhelmi 12/26/2012 SHARE By Hoosier Ag Today – Dec 26, 2012 Facebook Twitter Soft beef demand in post holiday period is commonPig crop Friday with 99% expected in all categoriesHog cash steadyCattle cash focusing on beefMarch corn resistance $7.30March wheat resistance last weeks high at $7.22 ¾Jan beans looking up at $15115,000 tons of bean to China and 110,000 to unknownRains in central and southern Brazil Previous articleThree Brothers Join Dad as Indiana Master FarmersNext articleIowa State Climatologist Expects Fourth Year Of Below Trend Corn Yields Hoosier Ag Todaylast_img read more

Reporters Without Borders rallies former hostages in Paris, following the kidnapping of journalist Olivier Dubois.

first_img Receive email alerts News News Help by sharing this information Organisation RSF_en June 8, 2021 Reporters Without Borders rallies former hostages in Paris, following the kidnapping of journalist Olivier Dubois. May 5, 2021 Find out more November 27, 2020 Find out more to go further The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa News May 17, 2021 Find out more RSF helps coordinate support for French journalist kidnapped in Mali Dubois was kidnapped on 8 April while on a reporting trip in Gao, in northern Mali. He remains in the hands of an armed group. RSF organised a major rally, held at the Place de la République in Paris, attended by representatives of Libération, Le Point and Jeune Afrique, the publications Dubois works for. Marc de Boni, spokesman for his support committee, was among friends and family who were present, along with ex-hostage journalists: Florence Aubenas, Philippe Rochot, Jean-Jacques Le Garrec, George Malbrunot, Edouard Elias and Roméo Langlois. “This rally is a message of hope to Olivier Dubois: Hold on, you’re going to get out. French journalists who have been held hostage are here to prove that. Any day now, as soon as possible, you will return to work, you will be reporting again, like all the men and women here,” said RSF General Secretary Christophe Deloire. “This demonstration, organised jointly in Paris and Bamako, makes clear that RSF and Olivier Dubois’ supporters will ensure that all measures are taken to obtain his freedom.” Florence Aubenas of Le Monde, who was held hostage in Iraq in 2005, said, “We know what it is like to be in the hands of people who hold the power of life or death over you. But we know that you will come back, that soon you will be with us at this site.” At the same time, in Bamako, the journalist’s support committee gathered several dozen persons at the Maison de la Presse agency. Those present included Dubois’ friends and family. Dubois, who has lived in Mali for many years, went missing during a trip to conduct a scheduled interview with Abdallah Ag Albakaye, a lieutenant in the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), a coalition of armed groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda. The journalist was not seen until he appeared in a 21 second video released on 5 May, in which he confirmed that he had been kidnapped by the group. Mali is ranked 99th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index.  Two months to the day after the French journalist was seized in Mali, RSF held a support demonstration in Paris while another one was organised in Bamako. The 8 June rallies were a message of hope for Dubois. Those present included members of the media organisations he works for, and many ex-hostage journalists who came to show their solidarity. MaliAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Armed conflictsHostages Follow the news on Mali Reports MaliAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Armed conflictsHostages French reporter says he has been kidnapped in northeastern Malilast_img read more

Finding Your Voice in the Servicing Industry

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago  Print This Post Try new things! Step outside your comfort zone to see if something interests you.Determine if you need to say goodbye to certain people, work responsibilities, or other things that are a distraction and likely won’t be a part of your future. The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Identify what makes you happy and try to leverage and/or incorporate more of those thoughts, activities, and philosophies into your career. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Save February 6, 2020 1,486 Views Related Articles Sign up for DS News Daily Start by working with realistic expectations. As a new mother, I have never felt so insecure or guilty about … well, literally everything. And you don’t have to be a mom to feel this way. Women naturally try to be everywhere for everyone and everything, but realistically we can’t. Identify what is overwhelming you and resolve it. Don’t let it fester and become a bigger problem.Be present. As masters of time management, women are always thinking about the next task. Sometimes, we need to just take in what is right in front of us. If we are thinking about tomorrow, we are wasting the opportunity of today.Our schedules sometimes include social events that stress us out because we think we don’t have time to enjoy them. Try to avoid falling into this trap and instead, focus on having fun.Listen to your mind, spirit, and body. It is important to find some downtime just for yourself. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Previous: CFPB Director Provides Update on Protection Practices Next: Economic Growth Exceeds Expectations in January Finding Your Voice in the Servicing Industry Consider the values and characteristics of people who inspire you, or those who’ve left a positive impression on you. Then, nurture those qualities within yourself so they grow to be uniquely yours.Do your best to diffuse your fears and the vulnerability that manifests itself when faced with failure. Some of our best lessons are learned when we miss our mark.Be self-aware. Know your strengths and weaknesses, forgive yourself for mistakes made, and learn from them.Identify those values that are important to you—integrity, accountability, perseverance, adaptability, discipline, etc.—and cultivate them. Home / Daily Dose / Finding Your Voice in the Servicing Industry Using Your Voice in the WorkplaceMastering how to use your voice in the workplace is certainly an art, not a science. However, there are some concrete things you can do to ensure your voice is not only heard but also understood.Thurmond suggests prioritizing your tasks every day and focusing on what is truly important. She also encourages women to prepare for the long haul.“Ensure you take care of yourself, so you possess the endurance necessary to be successful over several decades,” Thurmond said. “Schedule time for yourself and with loved ones and treat that time with the same importance as a meeting with a client.”Thurmond has also adopted a “Delegate or Die” approach to work—something she pulled out of a book and placed in a little notebook that she carries around in her purse.“The idea is to stop being a control freak. Do not insist people do things exactly the way you do them.  Regularly reminding myself of that has served me well.”Marchant echoes the same sentiment, recalling that “Oftentimes, in order to learn a new task or take on additional responsibilities, I had to work a non-traditional, much longer work-day in order to get the job done. Recognizing the power of teamwork, I learned to embrace the value of delegation and appreciate its impact on the amount of progress an organization can achieve. I also found that when people feel empowered to make decisions, they realize the value of their contributions more and it instills in them greater confidence for any future decisions they may make.”Here are a few additional suggestions that will help you use your voice in the workplace:Choose your battles; don’t let battles choose you—When a battle emerges, walk away, take time to process it, and respond respectfully. You might also consider talking to a confidant or mentor if you need help processing the situation or need advice.Be confident in your abilities so you can accomplish what you set your mind to—Listen to your voice and not your inner critic. Push past resistance from others and know you are capable of doing great things.No matter your gender or race, expect discrimination at some or multiple points in your career—Finding your voice can help you to identify and process discrimination and seek support rather than internalizing your feelings. Also, be sure to discuss the situation with your manager or HR.When someone says something offensive, pause a moment—Take time to process the comment and determine if it really is offensive. If so, talk to the person. You might find they didn’t intend to offend you. You might also consider notifying your manager or HR.Don’t try to manage people’s perceptions of you. It’s not possible—If someone interprets your tone or actions incorrectly, simply explain that was not your intent and ask what you could have done differently. Know that it’s okay if people have a misconception about you. Embrace it and look for ways to change their opinion.No matter what your role is, within the mortgage industry or outside of it, finding and using your voice is something women must endeavor to do not only to achieve professional success, but also to realize true personal satisfaction. It’s the key to achieving work-life harmony while demonstrating to other women in the workplace that confidently expressing yourself is an invaluable tool for finding real fulfillment. in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Print Features Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Dawn Adams is SVP, Default Servicing, at RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation, a leading, national co-issue servicer, loan subservicer, and residential mortgage lender. Editor’s note: This feature originally appeared in the February issue of DS NewsMy family immigrated from Poland a few decades back, and I am a third-generation American. The women in my family are strong-willed and opinionated—but my mom was not like that. She was more of a cheerleader. She wanted me to do more, see more, and be a part of something more than she ever could. As a single mother, she encouraged me to become whatever I wanted and to pursue success with confidence, humility, and honesty. My mom also warned me about letting my ego get in the way. She believed there is a fine line between being assertive and aggressive—between finding your voice but using it wisely.Mahatma Gandhi once said, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” I think that is precisely what my mom was getting at. You never know how your journey is impacting others, so your voice needs to be positive for anyone you may be influencing around you.It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, work for a mortgage company as a loan officer or have a role in default servicing, you must be able to stand up for yourself, your convictions, and your capabilities. To do this effectively, you must find your voice.Where to Begin?I define “finding your voice” as the process through which you determine your legacy. It defines who you are and what you aspire to be. Ultimately, your “voice” is how you want people to describe you. The result of this introspective journey is greater self-awareness and the confidence you need to speak up for yourself.It’s important to go through the process of finding your voice for one critical reason: if you don’t, you run the risk of others defining it for you. Remember, it’s your journey and no one else’s. You can be inspired by traits in others and even admire those traits—but you don’t have to possess them. After all, if you adopt someone else’s approach but feel uncomfortable doing so, it will look and feel more like imitation rather than inspiration.“Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.”—Judy GarlandCheryl Marchant, SVP, Default at Freedom Mortgage, concedes that it was tough to find her voice early in her career.“New to the business, I was eager to learn everything about mortgage servicing—specifically the default world—and that meant taking on challenges outside my traditional comfort zone. Learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable is where I experienced the greatest amount of professional and personal growth.”Steps Along the PathThe first step you must take in your quest to find your voice is to uncover your passion. This can be a difficult thing to do with the non-stop noise, speed, and chaos that accompanies the day-to-day grind. So, make sure you are devoting enough downtime to ascertain what it is that you’re most passionate about. There are several ways to do this: About Author: Dawn Adams Once you have honed-in on your passion, hold yourself accountable to it. Pursue things that will foster your passion in both your work and home life. When you do this, you’ll begin to truly enjoy yourself. Having fun as often as you can is something we all can aspire to.Strive for Work-Life BalanceFor Lauren Thurmond, a Partner at Hutchens Law Firm in Charlotte, North Carolina, achieving work-life balance means “getting enough sleep, exercise, and time with my friends and family to be the best version of myself for my loved ones and colleagues.” She believes this can be best accomplished by being honest with your organization about what your expectations are regarding work-life balance.“My expectations have changed over time as my children have reached school age and there are events during normal working hours that I do not want to miss. I value flexibility at this stage in my life more than I did earlier in my career.”Marchant defines work-life balance as “being fulfilled in both your professional and personal life. It’s about taking time to enjoy the beauty around you at work and outside of it.” She advocates for surrounding yourself with capable individuals who you trust to gain a stronger sense of empowerment.“When you’re empowered, you have a platform to use your voice by being a mentor,” Marchant said. “It allows you to share your experience to sharpen your team members’ skill sets and increase their overall knowledge of the mortgage servicing industry so they can be successful for years to come.”Personally, I am not a fan of the phrase “work-life balance.” The definition of balance in verb form reads: “to keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.” That definition itself puts pressure on us to not let something fall by the wayside. To me, it seems impossible not to let something fall every single day, and therefore we are setting ourselves up for failure.Perhaps we should throw balance out the window and instead simply strive for harmony. This calls for work and life to blend together as one, providing opportunities for a disciplined structure to the management of your day. Be alright with allowing home to take priority over work sometimes and vice versa. Don’t feel like you are choosing one over the other but rather the needs of one are the focus to keep harmony. How is that best accomplished? Servicing Women in Servicing 2020-02-06 Seth Welborn Tagged with: Servicing Women in Servicing Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Subscribe Leverage a variety of support groups that share your passions—be it career mentors, trusted confidants, or spiritual mentors.Give back. Pay it forward by volunteering or championing a cause. Use your voice and the experiences of your journey to inspire others.last_img read more

Future looks brighter for Donegal’s Town Councils

first_img Town Councils could be set for a reprieve with sources close to the environment minister indicating that Ireland’s Town Councils could be given extra powers in the upcoming revamp of local government.Fears have been expressed locally that Letterkenny, Buncrana, Bundoran and Ballyshannon town Councils could be scrapped as part of any reform.However sources suggest councils look likely to be beefed up, while regional authorities now look set to be scrapped under plans being brought to the cabinet. Twitter Three factors driving Donegal housing market – Robinson Facebook Twitter By News Highland – November 9, 2011 Pinterest Future looks brighter for Donegal’s Town Councils Facebook Newsx Adverts WhatsApp Google+center_img Pinterest WhatsApp Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Google+ Previous articleForum concerned at the level of alcohol abuse by Donegal teensNext article76th anniversary of Aranmore tragedy today News Highland NPHET ‘positive’ on easing restrictions – Donnelly Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this weeklast_img read more

Pay audits to focus on age, race and gender

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Pay audits to focus on age, race and genderOn 17 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today More organisations are conducting equal pay audits than ever before. According to the CIPD’s reward survey, more employers (29 per cent)undertook an audit in 2003 than did in the preceding five years and almost half(48 per cent) plan to conduct a pay audit in 2004. The survey also showed that a significant proportion of pay audits are notonly focusing on gender, but are also covering age and race. CIPD assistant director general, Duncan Brown, attributes the step-change toincreased awareness of issues surrounding equal pay and the pressures ofimpending government action on race and discrimination. “The issue of equal pay is now being investigated rather than beingbrushed under the carpet,” he said. He added that HR departments should play a key role in changing the cultureof organisations, in terms of getting them to understand why different socialgroups should be employed and in seeing older employees as more of an asset. He said it was important to drive this message home as the survey revealedthat just under a fifth (17 per cent) of organisations plan to raise theirretirement age over the next two years. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Students strip off for charity calendar

first_imgOxford-based student charity TravelAid has produced a naked calendar with the aim of raising money for projects in the developing world.Oxford Undressed features shots of naked students with their modesty preserved by typical Oxonian adornments such as books and mortar boards.The calendar features classic images such as punting on the Cherwell, string quartet in the Holywell music room and trashing on New College Lane, and will be on sale for £10.Catherine Little, the charity coordinator said, “TravelAid is expanding both in the developing world and out to different universities across the UK, and this calendar is part of our fund-raising ethic which promotes development through enterprise.” The initiative follows a similar calendar that raised over £2000 to buy a school bus in Nepal two years ago.A second-year student at Trinity who participated in the calendar recounted, “Doing the calendar shots was quite a giggle; never before (and never again, I expect) had I sat naked in a punt at 5.30 am in the rain! I’m going to spend the summer vacation teaching in rural China.”One Hertford student, who has previously posed for a naked calendar added, “What an excellent cause – you get to help a charity and support people by stripping off at the same time. Win win.”Recent years have seen a number of naked calendars produced in Oxford. In 2006, St Catz undergraduates stripped for a calendar in memory of a student killed in a cycling accident; in the same year members of St Anne’s, including porters, bared all in aid of the homeless.Naked calendars have not always been greeted with a warm reception, illustrated in 2003 when ten LMH students were given a dressing-down for posing naked in the fellows’ garden without permission.Portia Roelefs, OUSU’s part-time women’s officer, commented positively on the charity’s efforts. She said, “Whilst I personally cannot imagine actually choosing to hang it on my wall, I admire the creativity of Travelaid’s fund-raising.”TravelAid partners with local charities and communities to alleviate poverty and build social capacity in the developing world.Students are offered the opportunity to travel to project destinations during the summer, including China, Ecuador, India, Kenya and Nepal.last_img read more

Sterling drop may halt a lowering of flour prices

first_imgThe plunging value of sterling against the dollar and the euro, combined with a decline in UK wheat quality, may put a stop to the recent falls in flour prices.The pound has fallen in value by more than 20% compared to the dollar in the past month, from around $2 to $1.54. Against the euro, sterling has suffered similarly heavy losses, falling in value from E1.43 at the beginning of the year to around E1.20 last week.According to Alex Waugh, director-general of Nabim, the falls could push up wheat prices. “Imported bread wheat, which accounts for around 20% of the UK market, is priced in US dollars, while UK wheat prices are underpinned by the euro because of the Common Agricultural Policy,” he said. “At the same time, British wheat quality has suffered because of heavy summer rain.”The HGCA said analysis of British wheat had shown low protein levels, while wheat harvested later in the season had high moisture content and was of variable quality. HGCA crop marketing director Alastair Dickie said the economic crisis had undermined the price of milling wheat, which had fallen from a high of £200 a tonne in March to £135-£140 a tonne this month.Both Nabim and the HGCA expect currency turmoil to be more of a challenge than EU proposals to reintroduce import duties on cereals, to safeguard European farmers from falling grain prices. The duties were suspended last December in response to record prices and tight supply. The EU hopes raising import duties to keep the price above E155 a tonne will help ensure European farmers can earn a reasonable living.last_img read more

Colson Whitehead, literary chameleon

first_imgColson Whitehead ’91 has gained a reputation as a literary chameleon, deftly blurring the lines between literary and genre fiction, and using his uncanny abilities to inhabit and reinvent conventional frames in order to explore the themes of race, technology, history, and popular culture that continually resurface in his work. In a country where reading habits and reading publics are still more segregated than we often care to admit, his books enjoy a rare crossover appeal. His first novel, “The Intuitionist,” is a detective story that regularly turns up in college courses; the zombie thriller “Zone One” drew praise from literary critics and genre fiction fans alike; “Sag Harbor,” about black privileged kids coming of age in the 1980s, was a surprise bestseller. In an era when commercial pressure reinforces the writerly instinct to cultivate a recognizable “voice,” his astonishingly varied output, coupled with highly polished, virtuosic prose, makes Whitehead one of the most ambitious and unpredictable authors working today.Beyond the books, Whitehead swims effortlessly in the hyper-connected moment: he maintains an active presence on Twitter, where his sly and dyspeptic observations on the curious and the mundane have gained him a devoted following. A sampling includes sagacious tips for the aspiring writer—“Epigraphs are always better than what follows. Pick crappy epigraphs so you don’t look bad”—and riffs on Ezra Pound: “The apparition of these faces in the crowd / Petals on a wet, black bough / Probably hasn’t been gentrified though.” In the pages of The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker, he has wryly dissected contemporary mores and the light-speed metamorphoses of language in the age of social media. In a widely shared essay from last year, he parsed the current attachment to the “tautophrase,” as in “you do you” and “it is what it is.” Or Taylor Swift’s popularization of “Haters gonna hate.” Swift makes an easy target, of course, but Whitehead takes aim at the rhetoric of those in power too, and the narcissism in our culture more generally. He’s more gadfly than moralist, but there is a Voltaire-like venom to his sarcasms. “The modern tautophrase empowers the individual,” he observes, “regardless of how shallow that individual is.” Read Full Storylast_img read more

English professor examine La Santa Muerte folk figure

first_imgProfessor Desiree Martin, an assistant professor of English at the University of California, Davis, spoke Thursday in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium about the growing following of La Santa Muerte, a skeletal Central American folk figure whose name translates to Saint Death, in a talk called “Borderlands Saints: Reflections on Secular Sanctity and La Santa Muerta.”“It [the current version of the following] dates from roughly the early eighties, and it kind of really gained steam in the mid-nineties during the Mexican peso crisis of 1994”, Martin said. “The origin of Santa Muerte that goes further back — there is no consensus on when belief in Santa Muerte first arose. … She is sometimes linked to Saint Paschal Baylon [a Spanish Friar and Catholic Saint from the mid to late 1590’s], and she’s linked to a saint in France who appears as a skeletal figure and another saint from Oaxaca who looks like a skeleton, so there is no real consensus, but probably the roots are pre-colonial as there are indigenous gods that match their beliefs and take a skeletal form.”Martin said Santa Muerte controversially highlights a contemporary symbol of secular sanctity, where a profane figure is worshipped in a way that is not unlike the worship of a sacred figure.“Since Santa Muerte is so strongly associated with the profane, especially in relation to illegality or transgressivity, she is a particularly extreme example of the collision between the secular and the sacred. Santa Muerte is famous for being very miraculous and loyal but also for being a jealous, vengeful patron who requires the utmost devotion and respect,” Martin said. “Santa Muerte is not venerated for her purity but for her accessibility and for her resistance to the powerful forces of the state, the Catholic Church and wealthy elites.”Matin said the exchange at the heart of devotees’ interaction and relationship with Santa Muerte, however, highlights a darker aspect of the relationship between worshipper and figure. Martin showed clips from Eva Aridjis’s 2007 documentary “La Santa Muerte,” which depicted a woman praising Santa Muerte while in prison.“This woman, who paints murals and images of Santa Muerte for her fellow inmates, situates her art as both offering and commodity. She also openly identifies the death saint as both a provider and a guardian for her drug habit,” Martin said. “The woman seems neither to expect judgment of nor deliverance from her drug habit. Instead, she considers Santa Muerte a friend and companion who will not only protect her from an overdose, but will stay by her side as she gets high, perhaps implicitly participating in her illicit journey.”Martin says the ambivalent and two-faced nature of Santa Muerte is inherently contradictory, leading to her image as a disruptor of class, racial, gender and sexual hierarchies being downplayed in favor of an intimidating image of the pagan, the Satanic, or the criminal.“In reality, Santa Muerte threatens her critics because she helps her marginalized devotees, especially migrants, poor barrio residents, and most contentiously, criminals,” she said. “But for the majority of devotees, Santa Muerte’s dark side is not exclusively or even primarily linked to the criminal underworld. Instead, it manifests through the Death Saint’s purported jealousy and the price she supposedly exacts from believers who use her powers recklessly or who fail to pay her proper tribute.”Tags: Desiree Martin, Santa Muertelast_img read more

Digital Extension Delivery

first_imgDue to social distancing and shelter-in-place guidelines necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents and specialists quickly shifted gears to deliver in-person programs online. But they didn’t expect the overwhelming response they received from the public.In Fayette County, Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Agent Kim Toal and Program Assistant Cynthia McCrary have been offering hour-long programs via Zoom three days per week since March. “To me, it’s been a really great experience. I’ve had people email me saying they have enjoyed the online format because they usually weren’t able to come in person,” said Toal, who previously organized weekly in-person seminars on Tuesdays. “We try to do weekly themes and offer a mix of programming on vegetables, ornamentals, etc. Native plants and pollinators have been really popular.”The response to online delivery has been much higher than Extension employees originally expected, with an average of 50 people logging in to each online session versus 30 to 35 participants attending weekly face-to-face meetings, according to Toal.Camden County ANR Agent Jessica Warren has seen a similar jump in numbers. Her Friday “lunch and learn” series has attracted 25 to 60 people each week, double or triple the previous average number of participants. If that many people were to show up in person, they wouldn’t be able to fit in the local Extension office.“When we started working at home, I thought I wouldn’t hear from anybody, but it’s just the opposite,” Warren said. “It’s also less of a commitment to take a lunch break and learn something online (than to travel to attend in person).”While UGA Extension was already using digital platforms for professional development and meetings, this has changed the way many agents and specialists will use technology for outward-facing programming.“In an effort to continue to provide educational content to the citizens of Georgia during the periods of reduced mobility and social interaction, Extension has significantly increased its use of digital learning technologies,” said Mark McCann, assistant dean for Extension in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “The most popular method has been through online webinars. This is a platform that UGA Extension has used frequently in the professional development of our faculty and staff over the past several years.”Already a tight-knit community of colleagues, producing new online content has increased opportunities for collaboration among Extension specialists and agents across the state and beyond.For a four-week backyard fruits webinar series, Fannin and Gilmer County Agent Ashley Hoppers is collaborating with Josh Fuder in Cherokee County and Ashley Brantley in Muscogee County, as well as colleagues from Auburn University, University of Tennessee, North Carolina State and Auburn University to present sessions on everything from berries to specialty fruits. Hoppers has been amazed at the level of participation — each session has had an average of 300 participants and more than 1,000 people have registered for the sessions.Faculty have found that online sessions have attracted their “regular” local audiences as well as participants from all over the U.S.“It has been neat to see who has tuned in and to see this level of engagement. It’s very humbling, actually. I had no idea this program would be embraced like it has,” said Hoppers, who surveyed participants to see where they were tuning in from, including one from Italy.Poultry science Extension specialists who previously held fee-based poultry housing workshops for 100-125 individuals on campus, with additional attendees via webinar, have held eight free weekly webinars. These have reached over 8,000 people with 5,800 live viewers and nearly 3,000 more watching recordings.“It’s been sort of an explosion of interest,” said Michael Czarick. “We’re reaching smaller farmers, a broad and more diverse audience than was held before.”He and his colleague Brian Fairchild have seen their reach expand to 40 states and 77 countries. Their email list, which they use to announce workshops, has doubled in the number of subscribers through their website, poultryventilation.com.Extension specialists and agents have shared their expertise about trending topics to employees statewide and answered questions via webinars. Subjects have included specific health information related to COVID-19, working and parenting at home, personal finance, gardening and many others. These resources are available at extension.uga.edu/emergencies.The webinars have served a public relations role for Extension as well, reaching audiences that were previously unaware of Extension and its many offerings.“One of the questions in my pre-webinar survey is whether this is your first Extension program and many people said yes. I think it is growing our base in a way that was unanticipated. Through this program alone, having an online presence is engaging with new audiences. They are tuning in and then become interested in finding their own local office,” Hoppers said. “UGA Extension is a statewide entity and we are letting people know that Extension exists in their own home counties and that Extension is here and ready to help regardless of where they are located.”People aren’t just listening, they’re engaging and following up, too.“One couple was in New York looking to move to the area,” said Warren, who answers many questions for retirees who move to coastal Camden County as well as for locals. She covers topics including misunderstood species, beekeeping, seed saving, citrus issues and water quality. Composting at home has been the most popular, she says.“I’ve been surprised how many people actually choose to turn their camera on,” said Warren. “For a lot of people, they like to learn something and do something, but it’s also a time to make connections and even see other people that they know in some cases, especially since we’re not doing a lot of that right now.”Agents and specialists field dozens of questions during and after the virtual sessions.“Loads of people are really appreciative of what we are doing,” said Czarick. “We probably get 30 to 50 emails afterward with follow-up questions and feedback, and we answer 50 to 100 questions during the webinar through the chat.”The overwhelmingly positive response from the public has served as a case study for virtual Extension programming.“I believe the reception of the recent webinars indicates that our audiences are ready for more content delivered digitally,” said McCann. “The time and distance constraints of our audiences make this a convenient and efficient teaching tool.”Extension employees and offices are also ramping up their social media presence and reach during this time by posting events, videos and tips. Although many offices were already on these platforms, they have seen more interest and engagement from followers.   “We’re reaching way more people with this online way of doing things,” said Hoppers. “The trade-off is that face-to-face human interaction that is the bread and butter of Extension — having that personal engagement is important — but there is definitely room for technology in our future programming.”For a list of upcoming Extension programming, visit extension.uga.edu/calendar.Find recordings available on the Extension YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/ugaextension or contact your local UGA Extension office for more information by visiting extension.uga.edu/county-offices.Maria Lameiras contributed to this story.last_img read more