COVID-19 Info.

UW Madison, Division on Extension is dedicated to helping and informing you through this difficult time. Below is a list of our programs with updates related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. These program areas will be frequently updated to inform you on how each area is coping with COVID -19 and how we can help you.

For media news and health updates related to COVID-19, please visit the Polk County Public Health Department Health Alerts for the latest updates on Polk County and the State of Wisconsin.

Below is the latest news feed from the State of Wisconsin website.

  • DHS Announces $10 Million in Funding for Health Clinics May 28, 2020
    Today the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced $10 million in funding for health care providers serving the state's most underserved populations. The funds, provided through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, will reimburse clinics for expenses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic . “The clinics eli […]
  • Resilient Wisconsin Expands Reach May 22, 2020
    Today the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced an expansion of the Resilient Wisconsin initiative. The initiative, which was launched last month, provides strategies for Wisconsinites to reduce stress and build resiliency. The new supports specifically cater to populations most significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “DHS is commi […]

Get In Contact with UW Madison Extension Educators

4-H Youth Development:;
Human Development:
Community Development:
Area Extension Director: kristen.bruder@

4-H Updates

Resources for Members and Families: 

Extension educators from around the state created a handy list of easy-to-access activities and curriculum ( The page is organized by grade level and is chock full of Extension and 4-H resources as well as high quality, fun, learning activities from a range of other sources. As you would expect, we focused as much as possible on experiential learning and fun.

Got kids at home all day, every day right now? We’ve got over 20 activities that can help keep their brains engaged in learning!


General Agriculture

Pesticide Applicator Certification Testing Temporarily Suspended

Release Date: March 18, 2020

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is suspending pesticide certification testing. Exams scheduled on and after March 18, 2020, are canceled. DATCP is extending certifications until June 30, 2020, for anyone who has a pesticide applicator certification that expires January 31–May 31, 2020.

Eligible new applicators can submit a 30-day temporary trainee registration form to work under the supervision of a certified applicator. The form is available at For all temporary registration applications received March 18–June 1, 2020, DATCP will extend the 30-day limit until June 30, 2020.

To receive updates about certified pesticide applicator information and requirements, subscribe to DATCP’s email list.

Pesticide Extension Information

DATCP Extends Pesticide Applicator Certifications to October 31st!

For more information, please visit The Pesticide Extension Press Release

Heart of the Farm – Women in Agriculture introduces online ‘Coffee Chat’ series

Menomonie, Wis. – Northwest Wisconsin will be one of seven hosts to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension’s Heart of the Farm-Women in Agriculture new online ‘Coffee Chats’ weekly series starting Tuesday, May 12th through Tuesday, June 2, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The Heart of the Farm -Women in Agriculture Conference series is an Extension program that addresses the needs of farm women by providing education on farm business topics, connecting them with agricultural resources and creating support networks.

Due to COVID-19 we were not able to host the 2020 Heart of the Farm – Women in Ag Conferences in person, so we’ve switched to an online way to connect!  This new, interactive online series will start with four interactive sessions, each 45 minutes in length and focused on a particular topic.  These four sessions are just the beginning, following each session will be a survey and/or conversations about more topics and needs for future webinars.  Sessions will be facilitated by local Division of Extension county educators.  Anyone with a web connection can register or you can also connect by phone.

You must register for the individual “Coffee Chat” you are interested in attending. Please check the Heart of the Farm website: to see which date and time work for your schedule.

Grab your lunch and spend time on the “Coffee Chats” webinars hosted by Northwest Wisconsin Extension county educators. Below is a list of four different and unique “Coffee Chats” you can be apart of. You can be apart of one or all four, just click on the registration link to register for as many as you would like.

Time Management: Structuring your Day with Purpose

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Registration link:

Time is both valuable and limited: it must be protected, used wisely, and budgeted. People who practice good time management techniques often find that they are more productive, have more energy for things they need to accomplish, feel less stressed and get more things done. This session will help participants understand some of the best practices associated with time management and increase understanding of why and how to use the different strategies to their benefit.

Communications: Exploring Perspectives to Improve Communication

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Registration link:

Join us as we dive into the topic of effective communication skills. During this session, we will explore how to listen for and respond to each other’s different perspectives to deepen the understanding of the issues at hand and help guide decision-making.

Relationships: Nurturing Healthy Relationships Under Times of Stress: Bidding for Connection

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Registration link:

During this session, learn what bids for connection are and why they matter in building and maintaining a healthy relationship.  Participants will learn how to respond and bid for connections in positive, healthy ways.

Financial: Finding Financial Well-Being

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Registration link:

People who feel good about their finances have four things in common. We’ll explore what those four factors are and ideas to find your own path to financial well-being. Spoiler alert – you don’t need money to get started!

Once registered, you will receive meeting connection information (website link and phone number). Registered participants will only need the meeting website link or phone number to participate in the meeting.

For more information on registration contact:  Katie Wantoch, Agriculture Agent, UW-Madison, Division of Extension-Dunn County,, 715-232-1636; the Heart of the Farm website:, or contact Jenny Vanderlin, Center for Dairy Profitability,, 608-263-7795.

Community Development Updates

COVID – 19 Response and Guidance for Non-Profits/Small Business and Families

  • Governor Evers’, “Badger Bounce Back Plan” guidelines and criteria.

  • Scholz Non-Profit Law provides guidance on how non-profits can apply for state aid. Complete with checklists, application and overviews. Topics include:
    • COVID Tax Credits
    • EIDL – Economic Injury Disaster Loan
    • PPP – Payroll Protection Program
    • Wisconsin Work-Share (Unemployment Insurance)

  • UW-Madison, Extension’s website on reviewed supports for small businesses, non-profits, local government and families. Resources include overviews on:
    • Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act, EIDL, PPP, Small Business 20/20 Program, Save Small Business Fund, Bridge Loans, Debt Relief and more.

  • Small-Business guidance and updates via Small Business Development Center

  • Wisconsin Humanities CARES Relief Grant – for organizations and programs serving in the area of the Humanities.

Wifi Access:

4)      T-mobile:  Hotspot loan programs made available to K-12 districts ($20 / month for unlimited data; $0 device).  No link yet but confirmed by T-mobile Gov’t account manager

Health, Families & Finances

Coping With COVID-19

Times are tough during this unknown time with COVID-19, just remember, Extension is here to help. Local Physician Kathy Farah, MD, who is a Senior Facility Member of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine and Selena Freimark, MA, who is a Health and Well-Being Educator with UW Madison Division of Extension are inviting you to join them to bring calm and reduce stress in this time.

Whether you want to attend all four meetings or just one, each Zoom session will teach you coping and stress reduction skills that you can practice in everyday life. Click on the COPING WITH COVID-19 Flyer to see full details including how to sign up for these free Zoom sessions.

FoodWIse Updates

Food Pantries Are Still Open

With businesses and organizations closing in response to COVID-19, many more people are facing hunger.  Food pantries are open to help meet these needs but may have different procedures or hours so please call ahead.  Many schools are also offering free lunch and breakfast options to families.  Make sure you and your neighbors know about the resources available in your community. For questions or if you need food assistance, please call 211 (from a 715 area code) or 1-877-947-2211.

Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19

Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Can I Get Sick from Eating Food with Coronavirus? – Safe & Healthy: Preparing and Preserving Food at Home

In this article posted by Barbara Ingham, she walks you through several topics regarding, “How is COVID-19 different form food born illnesses?” and “Can I get COVID-19 through the food I eat?”  For more information on this topic, please go to

Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Tips for Grocery Store Items.

In this article written by Barbara Ingham, she discusses ways to stay safe while grocery shopping and what to do when you get your goceries home. To read this article, click on the link here:


Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Take-Out Food

In this article written by Barbara Ingham, she discusses how likely it is for a person to come down with COVID-19 from take-out food from a local restaurant or item purchased at the grocery store. Click on the link to read what the article says.


Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Cleaning & Disinfecting

In this article written by Barbara Ingham, she discusses the best ways to clean and disinfect the surfaces of your kitchen. To read this article, click on the link listed here:

Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Is There Enough Food?

Many of us have had the experience recently of seeing empty, or nearly empty, grocery store shelves. Do we need to worry, is there enough food? Click on this article by Barbara Ingham to learn more:

Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Tips on Handling Fresh Produce.

In this article by Barbara Ingham, she discusses simple tips and tricks to handeling and cleaning fresh produce and if canned or frozen produce are safe to eat during this pandemic.

Click on the link to read her full article:

Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Is Our Food Supply Still Secure?

In this article by Barbara Ingham, she discusses the current food supply and food product dating. Click on the link to read the full article:


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