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Turning challenges into opportunities
Donna Krug

My head is spinning from all of the information that has come to me in the past week via Zoom meetings, emails and webinars. In fact, three days this past week I had the opportunity to join with Extension faculty from across the country for some serious networking. Since I am serving my state professional association as president this year, I was registered to attend the Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. With the current shut down of events, the committee worked quickly to take us to Washington DC virtually. 

The speakers at the conference were great and their message consistently was, “We can come out of this challenging time in our lives, stronger than we were before.” I know for many people, that statement may be a hard sell. A self-employed business owner doesn’t get a pay check when they can’t be open for business. Medical staff and all other essential workers have to be feeling tired and stressed from the long hours and strict protocols that have to be enforced.

K-State Research and Extension Administrators made some difficult decisions this week as they pushed the date forward to July 4th for no face to face meetings or events. This is a busy time of year for agents in the Cottonwood District with many youth events, crop tours, and educational meetings that would normally be scheduled. While cancelling these events is disappointing, it is the right thing to do.  

In a letter from Wade Weber sent to our 4-H families, our State 4-H Leader he states, “We did not take this decision lightly. We are doing this because the health and well-being of our participants, employees and volunteers must be our top priority. In order to ensure quality programs for late spring/early summer, we need to shift from preparation and planning for face-to-face activities to alternative activities.”

You can be sure that our Cottonwood Extension District Team is working hard to create those alternative activities; turning these challenging times into opportunities. Our staff meets weekly to discuss ways to utilize technology to better meet the needs of our families. For those who don’t have access to on-line resources we are happy to visit via phone calls and send information to you in the mail.

Please reach out to us at the Cottonwood Extension Offices and let us know “How can we help you?”

Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. Contact her at 620-793-1910 or