This is a long email – things have been piling up in my inbox so you get them all today!
The MOST IMPORTANT – Safety plans are required and are meant to protect your business from liability. Even if you have been open all along! Yes, they are long and yes, you are busy. Consider it cheap insurance and maybe you will find something that makes your business better even when we are out from under the COVID cloud.
Help from Cornell’s Ag Workforce Development program – examples and things to consider
For those with ag production only: https://cornell.app.box.com/s/nzzp5b43jeswivj6yk8jstk0f1gfptlq
If you have retail also – there is a direct market supplement – https://cornell.app.box.com/s/fm9607vzk1t54cvbekfr7e4f26cluwpg
Both follow the required NY FORWARD safety plan template – https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/NYS_BusinessReopeningSafetyPlanTemplate.pdf
Don’t forget to read and affirm the guidelines at https://forward.ny.gov/phase-one-industries
Scroll to Agriculture for production. If you have retail, you must read and affirm the Retail Trade guidelines. (Florists, and Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores are specifically mentioned in the list but the form says Interim Guidance for Curbside and In-store Pickup Retail Business Activities. Yes, it is confusing – do it anyway and then you are covered.
If you missed the webinars on the safety plans, you can find them here (ornamentals coming soon) – https://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/ny-forward-business-safety-plan/
I’m feeling mischievous and might go ask at the local big box store for their safety plan 😊
As things change, more things change. The EPA updates its N List of disinfectants and has added a tool to help you choose which one to use based on information like use site, active ingredient and contact time. https://cfpub.epa.gov/giwiz/disinfectants/index.cfm
How do they decide what goes on the list?
While surface disinfectant products on List N have not been tested specifically against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, EPA expects them to kill the virus because they: Demonstrate efficacy (e.g. effectiveness) against a harder-to-kill virus; or Demonstrate efficacy against another type of human coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2. All surface disinfectants on List N can be used to kill viruses on surfaces such as counters and doorknobs.
EPA guidance on what to do if you can’t get the required respiratory protection (relating to Worker Protection Standards) during COVID 19 – https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-06/documents/covid19statementrespirators.pdf
CDC Guidance on Ag Workers and Employers
Information on work site assessments, hierarchy of controls, etc. – and might be useful in creating your safety plans
Signage for Farmers’ Markets – which might work for other sites, too.
Selling Real Farm Products in a Virtual Marketplace –
Webinars from the Northeast Dairy Management series – but might have useful information
July 1, 2020 – Managing Employees in Challenging Times (Because They’re Always Challenging Times)
Tom Wall, The Dairy CoachTM
With economic uncertainty higher than we’ve ever experienced, surviving these difficult times is a higher priority for most businesses than thriving through them. But during good times or bad, the basics of business and employee management remain unchanging. It’s time to get serious about what matters most. In this webinar, we’ll talk about how these tough times are the perfect opportunity to improve your dairy’s culture and team’s performance.
July 8, 2020 – Adapting Management to Changing Labor Regulations and COVID-19
Moderator: Rich Stup, Cornell Ag Workforce Development
Panelists: Kim Skellie, El-Vi Farms LLC; Mike McMahon, E-Z Acres LLC; and Crystal Grimaldi, Ideal Dairy Farms
State regulations regarding overtime, day-of-rest, and now, COVID-19 affect most dairy farms and the people who work in them. Dairy managers must adapt their policies and procedures to meet requirements, while also communicating and maintaining effective relationships with valuable employees. This panel discussion will explore how three dairy managers are meeting the challenge.
For your customers – the Mississippi Fruit and Nut blog has done a series on Yard Fruit – yes, it isn’t quite the same here in NYS but plant geeks like me might enjoy the different fruits covered and you might sell them some plants https://msfruitextension.wordpress.com/
Save this for when you have more time – The Jolly Green Scientist podcasts – https://jolly-green-scientists.captivate.fm/episodes.
Congratulations if you got this far! Have a great week!