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Story in Brief

COVID-19 caused significate changes to how the UGA Extension Service could provide information to the state’s citizens. On March 16 several Extension agents in Hart, Jones, Mitchell, Seminole, Stephens and Wilkes counties and a FFA Advisor came together to create a temporary virtual program that would provide 4-H'ers and their families with agriculturally related information. On March 23 the first of the Daily Ag Zoom sessions occurred only one week after the Governor’s initial order to close schools due to Covid-19. The Daily Ag Zoom Session program was initially only planned to last until the end of March but was continued until April 27. The program provided timely and relevant information to viewers on topics in agronomy, horticulture, farm safety, forestry and natural resources, and livestock production. After the completion of the Daily Ag Zoom Sessions, evaluations were conducted in two parts to determine the overall effectiveness of the program. The first part was as an Ag Trivia Game to test viewers' knowledge of material covered during talks. The second part of evaluation was a short survey on how the program went and improvements that could be made in the future. In total about 620 individuals attended the live Zoom sessions, and video posted on social media received over 1,100 direct views and over 15,000 indirect views. Post evaluation of 4-H'ers' knowledge gained through an Ag Trivia Game showed 70 percent overall retention of information. Qualtrics XM survey on program effectiveness showed 100 percent of participates either thought the program was good to very good, and 100 percent of participants reported gaining valuable knowledge from programs. More important than knowledge gained was the sense of community provided to viewers at a distance. One parent wrote, "I was impressed with the Ag Zoom sessions. They provided a broad curriculum covering many topics of the agricultural industry. My child learned information relating to agriculture production and careers. We are grateful for the time and effort from the leaders and speakers. It provided a great way to learn and socialize during the COVID-19 quarantine.”