COVID-19 Resources

Resources for Farm Business Safety Plan Required

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 set of 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:

  • Plan Templates
  • Considerations and Examples for Your Plan
  • Key References and Support Documents

Important! State COVID-19 Guidance for 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". 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.

Also included is a tipsheet intended for farm workers. 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 for more information.

COVID-19 Safety Plan Required for All Businesses

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. Details for particular industries, including agriculture can be found here

Information on EIDL and PPP on Business pages

FYI...Find the latest information on EIDL Loan Program and Paycheck Protection Programs (PPP) on the Business page of our website.

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

USDA to Host Webinar for Producers Interested in Applying for Direct Payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Producers new to Farm Service Agency programs are encouraged to participate

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) will host a webinar on Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET, for farmers, ranchers and other producers interested in applying for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).

This webinar is an opportunity for producers to learn about the general application process and required documentation prior to the official beginning of signup. Producers interested in participating may register in advance for webinar.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. We encourage participants to submit questions through the Q&A box or by emailing While questions will not be answered live during the webinar, answers will be posted at

USDA is hosting this webinar to share what information is needed to apply for direct payments through CFAP, once the application period begins. Producers who are new to participating in FSA programs are especially encouraged to join the webinar. More details about CFAP direct payments will be announced soon.

As part of President Trump and Secretary Perdue's April 17 announcement of a $19 billion Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program, USDA will provide $16 billion in direct support based on losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted. Also, USDA will assist eligible producers facing additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.

A recording of the webinar, the answers to its questions, and other CFAP information can be found at  

Please see instructions below if you have not worked with FSA in the past. This is a very IMPORTANT step in the process. Our team will share more information about the program after the USDA webinar. We are very cognizant that many folks will be unable to listen due to the time scheduled. Stay tuned for more info by way of either podcast/webinar/factsheet.

CFAP, authorized in the CARES Act will provide $16 billion in direct support to agricultural producers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Direct support for farmers and ranchers available via CFAP will include:

CFAP will provide direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted.
CFAP will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.

USDA evaluated commodity specific losses occurring during the January to April time frame for immediate assistance. In addition, near-term adjustment costs and supply disruptions over the next few months were also evaluated to the extent possible for sectors where prices have declined significantly for additional assistance.

CFAP is available to farmers regardless of size and market outlet, if they suffered an eligible loss.

USDA will be going over the rules for the program and details about the payments on a webinar on the 14th at 1:00. You can subscribe for the webinar here 

How to Apply
The rules for CFAP are coming out soon, with details about how losses will be measured and program payments will be calculated. However you need to be in USDA's system to be eligible for CFAP - this is the case for most USDA disaster programs, so even if you don't qualify for CFAP now, you may need USDA assistance someday.

USDA will soon begin taking applications for CFAP. As part of applying for the program, you'll need to contact the Farm Service Agency county office at your local USDA Service Center to schedule an appointment.

Your local FSA staff will work with you to apply for the program, and through forms that will ask for this type of information:
• Contact
• Personal, including your Tax Identification Number
• Farming operating structure
• Adjusted Gross Income to ensure eligibility
• Direct deposit to enable payment processing

Please do not send any personal information to USDA without first initiating contact through a phone call. You can find contact information for your local USDA Service Center here

In addition to the application form, USDA staff will work with you to complete portions of the CCC-902 - Farm Operating Plan - if necessary. Additionally, the following forms will be needed for CFAP. If you are an existing customer, this information is likely on file at your local Service Center.
CCC-901 - Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity. Member Information will be completed by legal entities and joint operations to collect the following:
o member names, addresses, and Tax Identification Numbers
o citizenship status
CCC-941 - Reports your average adjusted gross income for programs where income restrictions apply.
CCC-942 - If applicable, this certification reports income from farming, ranching and forestry for those exceeding the adjusted gross income limitation.
AD-1026 - Ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed, identified wetland areas are protected, and conservation compliance provisions are met.
AD-2047 - Provides basic customer contact information.
SF-3881 - Collects your banking information to allow USDA to make payments to you via direct deposit.

What Can You Do Now?
While the application process has not started, you can start gathering/understanding your farm's recent sales and inventory.

FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed.

How Will USDA Accept Applications?
USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. Once the application period opens, please call your FSA county office to schedule an appointment.

USDA staff are working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email, fax, mail, and online tools like Box to accept applications.

EIDL Program Re-Opening for Agricultural Business

EIDL Application Re-Opening

The EIDL Advance/Loan portal will be re-opening shortly. The re-opening of the portal is for agricultural businesses that were previously ineligible for the program. New non-agricultural business applications will not be accepted.

The portal will be opened for a limited period, and it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible. The link to the portal will be:

If you have already applied under the streamlined application (March 30th to program closure), there is no need to re-apply.

Agricultural Businesses Defined:

  • Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
  • SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box

As part of the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program Secretary Perdue announced on April 17 that the USDA is exercising authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute up to $3 billion of agricultural products to those in need. USDA will partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase fresh produce, dairy, and meat.

USDA will issue a solicitation to invite proposals from offerors to supply commodity boxes to non-profit organizations, identified by the offeror, on a mutually agreeable, recurring schedule. USDA will award contracts for the purchase of the agricultural products, the assembly of commodity boxes and delivery to identified non-profit organizations that can receive, store and distribute food items. 

Agricultural Marketing Service's Commodity Procurement Program will procure an estimated $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, and $100 million per month in meat products. The distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

For details on purchases, visit the solicitations page.

Request for Proposal and Applicable Attachments
• RFP Attachment 2 Compilation of TEFAP sites for AMS (xls)

Additional Resources

Links to Services

FDA Food Safety 

NY FarmNet: Hotline : 1-800-547-3276 (24 hr service)

Farm Partners (part of Bassett Health Care system and NYCAMH) 1-800-343-7527

County Health Departments:

** Please note, not all small businesses fall under SBA, please call the Syracuse office to determine***
** Although not all of our counties may not have been declared emergency status, SBA Syracuse confirmed they were waiting on the directive from government you can create an account and update when available*

Continue to watch for emails from our team for upcoming webinars that may be of interest. Specialists from across the state are working to provide continual service through different mediums.

Managing Stress- NY FarmNet Links

There are two articles on the NY FarmNet Farm Stress Management Page: Managing Stress in Unprecedented Times and Managing Financial Stress on the Farm in Uncertain Times.  Find this page at

Sometimes taking healthy steps on your own to lower stress is not enough, and that is ok. Recognize when you need more help. If problems continue, or you are thinking about suicide, talk to a doctor, social worker, or professional counselor.

NY FarmNet 1-800-547-3276
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) 
Crisis Text Line Text "GOT 5" to 741-741

PRO-DAIRY Webinars & Podcasts

The following webinar and podcast information was sent out through PRO-DAIRY.   

Growing Great People: Training Skills for Dairy Farmers
Become an Effective On-The-Job Trainer

This webinar is free but registration is required.

Presented by: Jason Karszes, Dairy Farm Business Management Specialist, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY, and Richard Stup, PhD, Agricultural Workforce Specialist, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development

Moderated by: Rob Lynch, DVM, Dairy Herd Health and Management Specialist, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY

On many farms, multiple people might be able to do, or train others on, many day-to-day tasks, but fewer can take care of management tasks that occur daily, weekly, or monthly. This webinar focuses on developing plans to backup people who perform key management tasks, from middle to senior management roles, if they are unable to work.

Dairy Responding to COVID-19: A Limited Podcast Series
New Episode

This episode describes how to safely reduce milk your cow's milk production without sacrificing future milk production. It also describes considerations for feeding milk to cows.

Presenter: Dr. Tom Overton, Faculty Cornell University, Director PRO-DAIRY

Companion Articles
By: Mike Van Amburgh, Tom Overton, and Julio Giordano

By: Tom Overton, Mike Van Amburgh, and Rob Lynch

About the Podcast
Hosted by Rob Lynch, DVM, Dairy Herd Health and Management Specialist, PRO-DAIRY, and
Kathy Barrett, Dairy Education, PRO-DAIRY, with interviews of key dairy industry professionals.
Check the PRO-DAIRY Podcast Webpage for the latest podcasts.

Recent Episodes
COVID-19 Overview and Milk Distribution - Mark Stevenson and Rob Lynch
Feed and Nutrition Services - Scott Lyndaker and David Horn
Dairy Farmer and Farm Consultant Perpsectives - Meghan Hauser and Corwin Holtz
Animal Health Service Provides - Rick Watters and Allen Fournier
Essential Care of Cows and Equipment - Bob Church, Steve Zehr, and Charles Biche
Milk Supply Chain Challenges - Andrew M. Novaković and Christopher Wolf

Managing During COVID-19 is a PRO-DAIRY series of new and updated resources to help you navigate through the uncertain environment created by COVID-19. Recognizing the range in circumstances faced by farmers across the state, these resources cover a full spectrum.

By: Mike Van Amburgh, Tom Overton, and Julio Giordano

By: Tom Overton, Mike Van Amburgh, and Rob Lynch

By: Jason Karszes

By: Wayne A. Knoblauch and Jason Karszes

By: Rob Lynch

By: Tom Overton, Jason Karszes, Robert Lynch, Julio Giordano, and Mike Van Amburgh

By: Joe Lawrence

By: Larry Chase and Tom Overton

April 29 | 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT

This webinar is free but registration is required. It will include two one hour sessions with a 10 minute break.

Join Katie Downes and Brenda O'Brien of NY FarmNet as they discuss managing stress and the impact it can have on mental health, building resiliency, suicide prevention, and the importance of breaking down the stigma related to these topics.

There is no precedent with the novel coronavirus. Whatever our age, a life-altering event can leave us hoping there is some magical cure that will help us feel less anxious or overwhelmed. While no such magic exists, there are ways we can focus on the good.

Stress is inevitable - it's how you respond to and manage the cause, or stressor, that can make a difference in your daily life. Whether the stressor is a medical diagnosis, low milk and commodity prices, weather that impedes crop production, or tensions within the family, there are tools we can use to help manage our emotions during challenging times.









Upcoming Events

Farms on Film Webinar Sessions

February 26, 2024
February 28, 2024

This virtual seminar will feature film industry experts on how to "market" your property and its use in the film and TV industry. As well as, how to prepare and what to expect should a company crew utilize the farm. $10 to attend.

View Farms on Film Webinar Sessions Details

Managing Weeds in Field Crops

Event Offers DEC Credits

February 28, 2024

DEC Credits available.  Two locations to choose from.

View Managing Weeds in Field Crops Details

Baskets to Pallets

March 13 - March 14, 2024
Norwich, NY

Are you looking to diversify sales beyond the farmers' market, CSA, and farm stand? Food hubs, grocery stores, restaurants and cooperatives are looking for your products to meet growing consumer demand for local and sustainably produced food. However, successful business with wholesale buyers requires planning and preparation.  Two-day event.  Morning Refreshments and Lunch provided each day.  Space limited.

View Baskets to Pallets Details


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Spotted Lanternfly

Lycorma delicatula, or Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), is an invasive plant hopper from Asia and is an agricultural pest. In the United States, it was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014. Spotted Lanternfly has been found in New York State on Staten Island, all New York City boroughs, Long Island, Port Jervis, Sloatsburg, Orangeburg, Ithaca, Binghamton, Middletown, Newburgh, Highland, and the Buffalo area. SLF threatens the agriculture and forestry industries, and is also a nuisance pest. The nymphs and adults feed on over 70 different plants, but is especially detrimental to grapes, a black walnut, hops, maple trees and apples. New York State Ag and Markets supported CCE efforts to help bring awareness to communities and we developed this Public Service Announcement and would appreciate you sharing it with your member lists. 

To view the PSA please click here.

CCE Livestock Program Work Team

See the Livestock Program Work Team website for news, upcoming programs, and NYS Slaughterhouse Map.