The Board of County Commissioners met on March 17, 2020 and declared that Jackson County is now operating in a State of Emergency due to COVID19. At this time, there have been no positive cases of Corona Virus confirmed in Jackson County. The Commissioners want to keep their employees working and serving the public, but have implemented several key measures to provide the recommended social distancing. One of the key action steps taken to slow the spread of this pandemic locally, was implementing a limited public access policy for county offices. Use the following link for the press release that provides full details.
Starting March 18, 2020, the Jackson County Agriculture Office Complex that is the home of the Extension Service, three USDA agencies, the County Forester, Florida Peanut Producers, Jackson Soil & Water Conservation District, and the regional Office of Ag Water Policy representative will remain open for business, but will be operating under a limited public access policy through March 30th. All public meeting room use at the Ag Center on Highway 90 and The Ag Office complex on Penn Avenue has been suspended for the next 30 days. All currently scheduled meetings will need to be rescheduled after April 17. However, the Board Chairman and the County Administrator were given the authority to extend the limited access policy and the meeting room use suspension as needed through April 14. April 14 is the next scheduled BOCC meeting, when these policies will be reevaluated.
What this means for the Jackson County Extension and other agricultural agencies located at the Agriculture Office Complex is that the exterior doors will remain locked to limit public access, and provide the social distancing needed to slow the spread of COVID19. With this action, the Board is encouraging citizens to conduct business over the phone, or via email whenever possible. While the Commissioners realize the inconvenience this will create for citizens, they want to protect their employees as long as possible, so they can continue serving the public. Citizens are not being excluded from access Agriculture Office agencies, but employees have been asked to limit access only to healthy individuals who have business that must be conducted in person. Citizens are asked to call or email to set up appointments, and upon arrival for the appointment, call the corresponding agency to be let into the building. Farm and forest visits are still being conducted on an as needed basis by agency personnel, but these appointments must be arranged in advance by phone or email.
Contact Information for the Agriculture Office Complex Agencies
Jackson County Extension
General questions – email@example.com
Doug Mayo, County Extension Director (livestock, pasture, and fish ponds) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethan Carter, Regional Crop Agent (peanut, cotton, corn, soybean, hemp) – email@example.com
Caroline Chappell, 4-H Agent (youth education and 4-H activities) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Terri Keith, Family and Consumer Science Agent (Starts March 20, no email assigned yet)
Soil & Water Conservation District