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During Pandemic, Annual Blueberry Walk Goes Virtual

Man in front of fields
Dr. Reza Rafei, Extension Specialist Broadcast Blueberry Fields VSU’s Randolph Farm. (Photo: Virginia Cooperative Extension)

Each year, Virginia Cooperative Extension holds a Blueberry Field Walk at Virginia State University. With social distancing measures in place, it wasn't possible to hold a public event in person.

So this year, Reza Rafei broadcast his work on the internet, in a Facebook live stream. That meant even more people than usual were introduced to his work.

Usually dozens crowd around to watch him at work - but this time, some 750 people tuned in, ten times his usual audience. And other extension specialists are now scrambling to reproduce his success with programming and content to be delivered virtually.

In the end, Dr. Rafei says it's all for the best: "We need to have the challenge to take the university to peoples’ homes."

If you missed the live show, you can still stream it from the VSU Horticulture page.