By the New York Farm Bureau
New York State has issued comprehensive guidance to help farms manage and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and New York Farm Bureau is asking farms across the state to review the information and put it to practice.
The guidance follows a letter NYFB President David Fisher wrote to Gov. Cuomo in April asking for this assistance. Farms have implemented a number of health and safety practices to protect their families and employees, but still had lacked comprehensive protocols from state officials that are specific to the unique aspects of agriculture. The new guidance includes information for farmworkers, detailed cleaning protocols and a checklist for farms to follow.
“Planting season is underway and guest workers are arriving on farms. If we are to farm and produce food in a safe and responsible manner, farmers need to understand how best to do that amid a pandemic. I would like to thank Gov. Cuomo as well as the commissioners of Agriculture and Markets, Health and Labor for the newly released guidance,” Fisher said. “Farm safety is extremely important, and we must do all that we can to inform our farms, protect our valuable employees, and prevent a potential spread of the virus. No place of business is immune from the virus, and I ask my fellow farmers to continue to be proactive in their efforts.”
NYFB has emailed the guidance to its members as well as published the information on the COVID-19 page of its website. Since the pandemic began, the organization has worked with its partners across agriculture to provide members with the resources they need in these times. In addition, NYFB and Cornell Cooperative Extension have been conducting outreach to county health departments across the state to assess preparedness and quarantine housing options should an outbreak occur on a farm. NYFB has also established a farmworker relief database to connect farms with potential temporary employees should they be needed.
Links to the NYS documents in English are below. NYFB expects NYS to release similar versions in Spanish in the near future.