Our lives have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has and will continue to impact how we gather and interact and how information is extended from BCG to our members, and to all Australian broadacre farmers, for the foreseeable future.
With restrictions on gatherings as they currently stand in Victoria, BCG has held our first in-person event since the initial shut-down measures were introduced in March. Thus far, in late June we held a pulse crop walk in Pyramid Hill, ensuring that all Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines and regulations were strictly adhered to.
BCG will continue planning for in-person events, provided it is safe to do so and all DHHS guidelines and regulations can be adhered to. However, as we have seen in the past couple of weeks, restrictions will not always ease in a straightforward manner. To account for this, we are ensuring flexibility in our events planning so that we can quickly adapt to any changes in regulations. We will continue to have back-up plans in place for all events, with options for adjusting the format of the event if possible (eg. splitting groups and staggering locations and/or times) and having plans in place to switch to online delivery if needed.
We are also planning to deliver larger events, including Main Field Day, in-person. However, we know that this may require some changes to the usual structure of the day, we are discussing how this may look and what contingency plans need to be in place if this does not prove possible or if it restricts possible attendance.
So far during this unprecedented period, we have successfully run digital webinars and online discussion group meetings, with recordings of some available in the ‘Webinars’ section of the BCG website. These methods of delivery will continue to be a part of the extension program and will complement the tried and true methods of face-to-face extension into the future.