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COVID-19 Resources for Agricultural Workers

Compliance Corner: Reopening Farms After the "Pause"

Click here for resources from New York Farm Bureau on reopening.

Equine Operations in NYS

Click here for practical tips for equine operations to help protect public health. 

COVID-19 Safety Plans Required for All Businesses in “New York Forward”

New York Forward is the state’s plan to begin re-opening in phases as regions of the state achieve certain COVID-19 management metrics. An important part of New York Forward is for all businesses to have a customized, written safety plan that details specifically how each business will prevent and manage COVID-19.

USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Whether your farm is large or small, if you’ve lost business due to the pandemic, you are now able to to apply for financial aid under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. farmers.gov/CFAP

Click here for more information.

Interim Guidance for Prevention and Response of COVID-19 at Farms

New York state has released official guidance specific to farms addressing COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). You can find the document titled “Interim Guidance for Prevention and Response of COVID-19 at Farms” at this link: https://agriculture.ny.gov/interim-guidance-prevention-and-response-covid-19-farms.

The document covers: cleaning and disinfection, face coverings, social distancing, high-risk locations, coordination with local health departments, employee health screening, quarantine/isolation, and farm-provided employee housing.

A companion document is a helpful checklist for farms to be sure they have covered every required item: https://agriculture.ny.gov/covid-19-operator-checklist-farms.

Also included is a tip sheet intended for farm workers (https://agriculture.ny.gov/covid-19-prevention-tips-farmworkers). This document is presently in English but should be available in more languages soon, and I recommend that you distribute it to all employees. Please carefully read the last section of the document titled “Empower Yourself,” this section informs workers about how to file complaints. Make sure that your business is in full compliance with all federal and state COVID-19-related sick leave and paid family leave requirements and that you are communicating this information to employees, see this post (https://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/2020/04/01/covid-19-employee-leave-and-farm-employers/) for more information.

Best Management Practices for U-Pick Farms During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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U-Pick is a critical direct marketing approach for many of our farms and provides customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light of what we understand about the spread of COVID-19, new management practices will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. This document provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick operations for the 2020 season. Click Here for the document.

Businesses of all kinds are required to have a COVID-19 written safety plan in place

As the New York Forward plan is implemented across the state, businesses of all kinds are required to have a COVID-19 written safety plan in place. Both essential agricultural businesses that have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and those non-food related agricultural businesses who will re-open must have a safety plan. A task force of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) specialists developed a new setf resources to help farms comply with this requirement and efficiently prepare plans during this busy time of the year. NY Forward Business Safety Plan Support for Farms contains:

  1. Plan Templates. Download these blank forms that you can use electronically to write your plan or simply print out and hand write your plan. Available in Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word formats.
  2. Considerations and Examples for Your Plan. The CCE team prepared two new documents that provide ideas for your consideration and examples of how you might complete your plan for common farm situations. The main document here is intended for most farms engaged in production agriculture and a companion document is for those farms that include retail sales as part of their business.
  3. Key References and Support Documents. A huge number of resources have been created since March. We have selected the most relevant documents that farms need to complete business safety plans, including guidance documents from state government and best management practice (BMP) documents from Cornell experts. These references focus on specific types of farms and their specialized needs.

Last updated June 5, 2020