COVID-19: Resources for farmers, growers, producers, and farmers’ markets

The information here is intended to help guide the local food and farming community in the face of COVID-19. If you have concerns or additional suggestions please contact Russ Norton at rnorton@barnstablecounty.org or Rebecca Westgate at rebecca.westgate@barnstablecounty.org.

MDAR (MA Department of Agricultural Resources) compiled a list of resources to keep our agricultural community informed and aware of relevant policies and best practices. Following the guidelines of health and government officials in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, MDAR is temporarily limiting face-to-face meetings, visits to farms, educational events, etc. MDAR will work with farmers an agricultural stakeholders via phone, email, and webinar to ensure that work continues to move forward. Please click here for state resource guidelines and MDAR contact information.

Farmers & Growers

Considerations for Fruit and Vegetable Growers Related to Coronavirus & COVID-19 by UVM Extension Ag Engineering

Handling COVID-19 at U-Pick Farms – NC State Extension

The Farmer’s Response to Disease Outbreaks: Biosecurity, Simple Cleaning, and Disinfection Can Slow or Stop the Spread of COVID-19 – University of Maine

Farm Food Safety Worker Health and Hygiene – UNH Extension

Novel Coronavirus Prevention & Control for Farms – Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers – CDC

Building Farm Resilience in this Crisis – Cornell Small Farm Team

Is COVID-19 a Food Safety Issue? – NC State Extension

Is Coronavirus a Concern with Fresh Produce? – NC State Extension

Is Coronavirus an Issue in Produce Production? – NC State Extension

Farmers with Livestock

University of Maine – How Can Livestock Farmers Prepare for the Coronavirus Outbreak? (via Morning ag Clips)

University of Maine – The Farmer’s Response to Disease Outbreaks

Farmers’ Markets

Handling COVID-19 at Farmers’ Markets – NC State Extension

Local Farmers’ Markets do their part to Flatten the Curve on Coronavirus – NC State Extension

Farmers’ Markets’ Responses to COVID-19 – Blog – Farmers’ Market Coalition

Is COVID-19 a Food Safety Issue? – NC State Extension

Handling COVID-19 at Community Gardens – NC State Extension

Is Coronavirus a Concern with Fresh Produce? – NC State Extension

Is Coronavirus an Issue in Produce Production? – NC State Extension

Delivery & Pickup

Consider reducing the number of people on the farm at one time by assigning staggered pickup times.

As people enter your barn or farm store for pickup, consider how YOU will remain safe. Limit your interaction with customers by adding additional signage, and communicate directions via email prior to pickup.

Keep doors and windows open to ventilate air when pickup occurs.

No sampling or food demonstrations.

Consider boxed shares in lieu of open or free choice CSA. Communicate to your customers that this change is being made for their safety. If time does not allow you to pre-box shares, make steps to make pickup as quick as possible, limit the amount of touch points. Do as much as you can to pre-aggregate product.

Consider asking members to remain in their vehicle and have an employee bring product to them.

Consider a pop-up stand, off the farm. Promote this using social media and email communication.

With the renewed interest in local agriculture, you may have new customers. Be sure to share recipes and cooking ideas to support these new customers.

This is a great time to promote yourself on social media. The public is looking for locally sourced product in order to avoid a crowded shopping center.

Many online services and payment apps exist to help you connect directly to consumers. The following list has not been vetted and should not be considered an endorsement of a particular product:

 

Soil / Plant Diagnostic Services Update: Due to the public health concern caused by COVID-19, all Barnstable County offices have been closed and we are adjusting diagnostic services until further notice. We are still here to help you diagnose problems remotely! Please contact Russ Norton at rnorton@barnstablecounty.org or #508-375-6692 for assistance.