Wrapping Up 2020, Looking Ahead to 2021

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By Rebecca Seratt,
Extension Agent

The falling leaves are a sure sign of the times…Autumn has arrived, shared its magnificent array of colors and crisp breezes with us, and now has given way to frosty mornings and cool November evenings. The Halloween costumes have been worn and the football games have been played. Now it is time to start making those late fall and winter plans. It is time to plan your Thanksgiving menu and shop for that perfect turkey. It is time to organize your holiday shopping lists and take the family photo for your Christmas cards. It is time to properly winterize your homes and your herds.
Fall and winter are extremely busy times for UT Extension. We are meeting 4-H clubs, prepping for the regional Livestock Judging contest, and wrapping up our Girl Talk program. We are evaluating the effectiveness of the programs we conducted this year and publishing data into annual reports that will showcase the Extension work that is done in Chester County and all across the state each year.
We are also busy planning for next year. As Extension professionals, it is our duty to provide the residents of Chester County with high-quality, educational programs that provide real life solutions to their real life problems. Every fall we take several days to evaluate the needs of our community and plan programs that will address those needs in the coming year.
Steve Rickman, our Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, is busy planning a Master Beef Producers course for early 2021. If you have any needs concerning livestock, forages, crops, lawn care, pest control, garden maintenance, or any other “ag” topic—then Steve is the person you want to call!
I am busy planning programs for next year that will focus on enhancing culinary skills in both adults and youth. I am also planning to host another Tai Chi for Beginners program next spring, and if you missed seeing food demonstrations at the Henderson Farmers Market this summer, we are making plans to bring those back next year. I know that the COVID pandemic has affected many families and individuals financially so watch for programs coming next year that can help you get your financial goals back on track.
Steve, Layla, and I are busy planning our 4-H Youth Development program goals for 2021. We will continue our efforts of promoting workforce preparation skills in our young people, while also offering civic minded leadership opportunities to the youth of Chester County.
So why do we put so much effort into planning the programs and services we provide in Chester County? It’s simple—we believe in the mission of UT Extension:
“…to provide a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. It (UT Extension) is a statewide educational organization, funded by federal, state and local governments, that brings research-based information about agriculture, youth, families and communities to the people of Tennessee where they live and work.
Programs in agriculture and natural resources, 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences, and resource development. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture and county governments cooperating. UT Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.
If you have any questions, please call us at 989-2103, or follow our Facebook page, UT Extension—Chester County.

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