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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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Published: 25 Mar 2020

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Due to the Covid-19 response, the TIA dairy extension team won't be conducting on-farm farmer group meetings until restrictions are lifted. Instead, online discussion groups and webinars will be conducted.

The TIA dairy extension team would like to provide an update on our extension activities during the Covid-19 pandemic. As you would have noticed, there are a lot of procedures being implemented around the country to minimise the spread of coronavirus through our communities. Based on the advice being provided by the government, the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) have put in place a number of measures to protect staff and the people we work with.

These include:

  • Staff working from home
  • Only conducting essential research
  • No international or interstate travel
  • Moving to online lectures for students
  • No face-to-face meetings – including farmer group meetings

Because of these procedures, it means we need to re-think how we are going to conduct our discussion groups, pasture coaching groups and other face-to-face extension activities. This includes trialling a virtual discussion group which people can join online as we walk and talk with a Tasmanian dairy farmer as well as the more standard webinar style events. If you have any suggestions for activities you would like to see (that don’t involve face-to-face group meetings) or topics we can cover in an online environment, please share your ideas with us.

We acknowledge this isn’t the ideal way to conduct extension activities. However it does offer an opportunity to have some broader industry discussion than we might see in our regional, face-to-face discussion group meetings. We also recognise some of these measures might seem extreme but we do believe it is best to follow government advice to reduce the spread of coronavirus in our communities. It is also challenging as no-one knows how long these restrictions will be in place. We hope you understand and will support our first virtual discussion group – we will send details soon – and please feel free to contact us with any questions or feedback you have.

Kind regards

The TIA dairy extension team

Symon Jones: Symon.Jones@utas.edu.au, 0418 876 089

Samantha Flight: Samantha.Flight@utas.edu.au, 0409 801 341

Nathan Bakker: Nathan.Bakker@utas.edu.au, 0427 112 459

Lesley Irvine: Lesley.Irvine@utas.edu.au, 0428 880 287

P.S. The situation with Covid-19 changes on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. We will keep you as up-to-date as possible with regards to our activities. This is easiest through electronic media. If you aren’t already a member, join our TIA Dairy Discussions Facebook group. If you do not use Facebook, we are also communicating through our regional discussion group email lists. If you don’t receive these emails from us and would like to be added to the list, please contact one of the dairy extension team.