Novel Coronavirus Prevention & Control

Ashley McFarland, Area Livestock Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

March 25, 2020

Novel Coronavirus Prevention & Control for Farms

The U.S. is confronting an outbreak of a novel coronavirus that causes serious respiratory disease and may be deadly for older people and those with weakened immune systems. The World Health Organization is now calling the outbreak a global pandemic because it is affecting countries all over the world. People and organizations can still fight coronavirus by taking steps to prevent transmission of the disease, the whole point of widespread cancellation of events is to create "social distancing" to lower the infection rate and prevent health care systems from being overwhelmed. New York State Department of Health has a Coronavirus Website with English and Spanish posters for preventing coronavirus infection (https://health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) provides clear guidance about preventing infection in both English and Spanish. They also provide a number of printable factsheets and posters in English and Spanish suitable for use in the workplace. (Download at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/factsheets.html) Employer Actions Steps Your farm workforce is not immune to coronavirus, please begin taking steps to protect yourself and your employees.

  • Talk with your employees about coronavirus, how it spreads, and how to prevent getting infected.
  • Print the CDC factsheets and posters, post in your workplace and employee housing facilities.
  • Provide guidance to help employees clean and disinfect employer-provided housing. Follow up with employees and manage the process to be sure that this happens. Set up a regular weekly and daily schedule for cleaning.
  • CDC guidance for cleaning homes: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html
  • Clean and disinfect your workplace. The employee breakroom and bathroom are great places for virus to be transmitted. Clean and disinfect any areas where employees congregate or routinely touch items such as doorknobs and computer keyboards. Set up daily and weekly cleaning schedules.
  • Provide cleaning supplies such as cleaning solutions, buckets, mops, brushes, etc for cleaning at work and for those living in employer-provided housing. (CDC list of approved antimicrobial cleaning products: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf)
  • Review your sick leave policy. The first advice for people who are sick is to stay home except to get medical care. Do you provide paid sick leave for your employees? If you do not, will employees feel financially obligated to come to work even if they are sick?
  • Communicate with employees that they should stay home if they are sick. Employees sometimes come to work believing they will face punishment or firing if they miss work. Be sure your employees understand that their health and that of their co-workers' comes first. Communicate and make a plan to cover for sick employees. CDC provides posters in English and Spanish covering symptoms of novel coronavirus.
  • Prepare your disaster contingency plan. What will you do if 50% of your employees become sick and unable to work? Are there neighboring farms who might be able to share resources in an emergency? Who will manage for a few weeks if you or another key manager are unable to leave your house or are hospitalized?

Cornell provides the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) to provide community education resources across the entire disaster cycle of preparedness, response, and recovery.

Penn State also provides farm disaster preparedness resources.

At minimum, share the guidelines below from New York state with your employees and family. New York State Department of Health Prevention Tips

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent this virus, these simple steps can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

To see the whole article, see: http://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/2020/03/12/novel-coronavirus-prevention-control-for-farms/?fbclid=IwAR31dANSe_cOqifqWqr6nSh-n2utShLE8WHu1Hwl1WrBdhf0FOQA8t9XiGU _________________________________________________________________________________ By Richard Stup, Cornell University. Permission granted to repost, quote, and reprint with author attribution. The post Novel Coronavirus Prevention & Control for Farms appeared first in The Ag Workforce Journal 




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Upcoming Events

Livestock Trainings Offered Online

March 25 - December 31, 2020

During this time away from the field we have had quite a few producer's asking about certifications offered online.

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Virtual: To Market, To Market

October 6 - November 10, 2020
9am - 12pm

Have a great idea? This exciting six-week class will help you develop a product or service from start to finish! Local CCE Educators Mariane Kiraly, David Cox, Nicole Tommell, Laura Basillio and Jim Barber have partnered to offer "To Market, To Market," a six-part series to be held virtually and in-person at five regional locations to make your learning experience comfortable, safe, and flexible. Participants will learn how to develop and screen an idea, analyze current trends, develop a budget, consider cash flow, determine pricing, manage marketing and distribution, access funding, test a prototype, consider legalities, manage risk, navigate regulations, and much more. A logical, process-oriented curriculum will lead to dynamic business plans that create new economic opportunities in the region.
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Virtual: Design Your Succession Plan

October 8 - October 29, 2020
6:30pm - 8pm

How will your family farm operate in the future when the owner retires or is gone? Are you currently working with another generation who may be questioning their role in the future of the farm or are you yourself questioning your current role?

To help NYS farm families start their succession planning process, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators will be utilizing a new interactive program designed by North Dakota State University Extension, Design Your Succession Plan. This program will provide tools and resources for producers who want to begin the succession planning process.

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Announcements

Onboarding Dairy Employees~Safe, Engaged and Productive from Day One

Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development is seeking farmers to participate in the second year of an onboarding project funded by the New York Farm Viability Institute.

Employee onboarding is a management process to bring new employees into the farm business, complete necessary paperwork, equip them with safety and performance knowledge and skills, and help them feel connected to and engaged with a worthwhile team.

Find all the details at their website: http://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/onboarding/

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
See the complete guidance


COVID-19 Safety Plans 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.

Dialing Into Your Best Dairy-Podcast series

Find the podcast series "Dialing Into Your Best Dairy" on the PRO-DAIRY website.

PRO-DAIRY offering Webinars and Podcasts

PRO-DAIRY has sent out a list of Webinars and Podcasts.  Find this list and more at our Resource page.

Team Programming and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

To all of our valued program participants and partners:

The Central NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team will not be conducting any meetings or in person assistance until further notice. All scheduled meetings have been cancelled as we look to support efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19. If possible we may move them to an online format.

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep in touch with you.

Please continue to reach out to us by cell phone, email, and text as we will gladly respond. We will also continue to contact you by those same methods as we put out newsletters or share other pertinent pieces of information.

Again we are still here expecting to assist you as always, just for the near future not in the in-person way we have in the past.

Stay healthy.

Erik Smith, Field Crop Specialist
David Balbian, Area Dairy Specialist
Ashley McFarland, Area Livestock Specialist
Nicole Tommell, Area Ag Business Management Specialist

COVID-19 response:
Need information? View the following Cornell CALS and CCE Resource Pages Updated Regularly
General Questions & Links: NY Extension Disaster Education Network 
Food Production, Processing & Safety Questions 
Employment & Agricultural Workforce Questions
Cornell Small Farms Resiliency Resources  


Prevention & Control of the Novel Coronavirus for Farms

Find the an article on how to prevent and control the Novel Coronavirus on farms at: Novel Coronavirus Prevention & Control for Farms

Interim Guidance for Animal Care Operations

Interim Guidance for Animal Care Operations release from New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets on March 22, 2020.  Find article here

Links to Services

As we navigate through some very uncharted territory over the next few days/weeks/ months, the CNYDFLC team would like to offer you a list of services that may be of help to your farm business. Remember, our entire team is only a phone call, email or video conference away. Please do not hesitate to contact us if a need arises, we will do our best to assist you in the ways previously mentioned.  Find our contact information for each team member on the Contact Us page.

The list of websites and/or phone numbers can be found at our Resource page


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