Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program is committed to continuing to support farms in the region as they work daily to provide safe and abundant food for consumers.
In a recent article, “Biosecurity for People: 7 Steps to Protect Farm Workers from COVID-19”, by Mary Kate Wheeler, Farm Business Management Specialist with the South Central NY Dairy and Field Crops Team, key considerations for employees were outlined. Wheeler highlights the need to have open communication with farm workers to ensure they understand the symptoms of COVID-19 and how it spreads. Providing this information in their native language can promote comprehension and help make sure employees follow best practices. Additionally, following OSHA guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting at work and in the home may reduce the risk of exposure. Employers should provide an assigned schedule for cleaning as well as approved Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cleaning products. It is also important to limit the amount of contact between employees and with outside service providers. This can be done by maintaining six feet of distance between people, postponing face to face meetings when possible, limiting traffic coming onto the farm, using technology to communicate, or adapting procedures to have only one person working on a task when feasible. Finally, make sure employees are staying home if they feel sick. To prevent employees from feeling financially obligated to come to work, even when sick, you may consider reviewing your farm’s sick leave policy, New York State’s COVID-19 sick leave regulations, and Federal Emergency paid leave policies. Following these guidelines can help protect the health of famers and their employees.
Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program specialists are here to help provide research-based resources and support during this challenging time. Their team of four specialists include:
- Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management (716-640-0522 or email@example.com)
- Joshua Putman, Field Crops (716-490-5572 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Alycia Drwencke, Dairy Management (517-416-0386 or email@example.com)
- Amy Barkley, Livestock Management (716-640-0844 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program is the newest Cornell Cooperative Extension regional program and covers Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Steuben Counties. The Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops regional specialists work with Cornell faculty and Extension educators to address the issues that influence the agricultural industry in New York by offering educational programming and research based information to agricultural producers, growers, and agribusinesses in the Southwestern New York Region. Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. For more information about this program, or to be added to their contact list, contact Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Team Leader, at 716-640-0522, email@example.com, or visit their website swnydlfc.cornell.edu.