The New Normal 

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Dwight Loveday, Interim Director and Statewide 4-H Program Leader

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us a couple of new phrases – “social distancing” and “new normal”. The new normal has brought us working from home, separation from family and friends, safe at home and many other new habits that are unfamiliar to us in our traditional active lifestyle and work style. I know this has been very frustrating for our hustling 4- H agents. Hands on, interactive, experiential learning has been our mode of action.

But out of the need to be “safer at home,” I am amazed at the resiliency the 4-H agents have shown to continue deliver programs and engage Tennessee 4-Hers and most likely other youth. The Tennessee 4-H Professionals Facebook page showcases many of the outstanding, creative learning activities 4-H agents have produced to assist youth and other agents. Some agents have used this venue to communicate with their 4-Hers, promote 4-H project groups, teach science, lean in the outdoors and encourage healthy lifestyles. The post that caught my eye was the virtual “exchange trip” between Tennessee and Colorado. New learning tools for judging and skillathons have also been developed.

Congratulations on a job well done. These new tools are quite impressive and will be of great benefit to the Tennessee 4-H program as we move forward.