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Jackson County Extension Service Enters Phase 1 of County Re-Opening Plan

As a part of Phase 1 of the Jackson County Board of County Commission’s Re-Opening Plan, the UF/IFAS Jackson County Extension Office is open to the public once again.  The Extension Staff have been working in the office throughout the Shut-Down, but have only been accessible via phone or email until recently.  We had a soft re-opening last week to develop a system that will provide good service, while also protecting citizens and employees.  So far, this new system seems to be working smoothly, so I wanted to make sure all our clientele were aware that they are welcome to come to the Extension Office in person when necessary.  The Jackson County Extension Office is open during the same business hours as before, 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM Central Time.  The Florida Peanut Producers Association is also open to visitors again.

As I am sure most of you are aware, COVID19 is still a serious issue in Jackson County.  The number of positive cases continues to rise.  As of May 19, there have been 148 people confirmed with COVID19 in the county.  On April 22, there were only 11 confirmed cases. The point is that it is still advisable to handle business over the phone or via email as much as possible.  However, there are some discussions or actions that are more efficient or only possible in person, such as picking up soil test kits, bringing in plants and insects for identification, pesticide applicator exams, grower permits, etc.  Appointments are required for pesticide applicator testing or CEU trainings, as we are limited with only two testing computers, and one computer for CEUs.

Jackson County Extension
2741 Penn Ave Suite 3
Marianna, Florida 32448
850-482-9620

Email Contacts:
General questions – jackson@ifas.ufl.edu
Doug Mayo, County Extension Director (livestock, pasture, and fish ponds) – demayo@ufl.edu
Ethan Carter, Regional Crop Agent (peanut, cotton, corn, soybean, hemp) – ethancarter@ufl.edu
Caroline Chappell, 4-H Agent (youth education and 4-H activities) – chappell@ufl.edu
Terri Keith, Family and Consumer Science Agent – teri2003@ufl.edu

Florida Peanut Producers Association
(850) 526-2590 Office
(850) 326-3928 Cell
Ken Barton, Executive Director – ken@flpeanuts.com

If you come to the Extension Office in person, we ask that you come through the main entrance in the center of the building.  As you enter the Extension Office there will be a hand sanitizer station immediately inside the door. We are asking every visitor to sanitize before you socialize.  The reception area with a plexiglass shield.  We are also keeping a visitor log at the reception desk, just in case it is needed for tracing.  I am asking everyone to sign-in, so we have a record of the time and date of your visit.  The receptionist will contact the staff member that can best assist you, and you will be led to a room set up for consultations, CEU training or exams.

I realize that this is not how you are accustomed to doing business at the Extension Office, but the goal is to minimize the areas of the Office that require daily cleaning and sanitation.  The consultation and testing room will be sanitized daily, and will offer seating with more than 6 feet of distance between staff and our guests.  All of the doors and restrooms in the hallway will also be sanitized daily.  In these uncertain times, our staff is making every effort to stay open to the public, while protecting the health of our guests and employees.

Meeting room rental reservations can be made starting in June, however the Board of County Commission is closely following the guidelines of the Governor’s Step-by-Step Plan for Re-opening Florida.  Currently Florida is in Phase 1, which allows social gatherings of up to 10 people.  Phase 2 will allow social gatherings of up to 50 people.  It is not until Phase 3 that reservations for social gatherings of more than 50 people is advised.  It would be wise to wait for the Governor to announce the phase that fits the size of your group, before making reservations and planning large events.

USDA Agencies

The three USDA federal agencies that occupy offices on the south end of the Agriculture Office Complex have not yet been cleared to reopen to the public.  They are still operating primarily by phone or email, with in-person visits only by appointment. To contact the USDA agencies, use the contact information provided below:

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA)
850-526-2610 extension 2
Shelly Sale, Regional Director – shelly.sale@usda.gov

USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
850-526-2610 extension 3
Corey Ware, District Conservationist – corey.ware@usda.gov

USDA Rural Development
850-633-6474
Loria Phillips, Area Director – loria.phillips@usda.gov

State Agencies

Florida Department of Agriculture employees have not yet been cleared to return to the office, and continue to work from an alternate work location (at home).  They are available for consultations via cell phone and email.

Barry Stafford, Florida Forest Service
County Forester for Jackson County
850-628-6751 (cell phone)
Barry.Stafford@FDACS.gov

Justin Bryan, FDACS Ag Water Policy
Environmental Specialist
850-661-1674 Cell
justin.bryan@FDACS.gov

Soil & Water Conservation District
850-372-4793
lola.allard@jacksonswcd.com

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