Cornell Cooperative Extension offices across the Hudson Valley and New York State are distributing FREE hand sanitizer and face coverings to farm businesses helping to ensure clean, safe food production, harvesting, and distribution. Hand sanitizer is available in gallon containers with hand pumps (it's a powerful pump, press gently!) and face coverings in packages of five while supplies last. The products are provided free of charge, thanks to New York State Ag and Markets who’ve provided the supplies. *Please contact the County Extension where your farm business is located for these free supplies! To find contact information for your local County Extension office visit cce.cornell.edu.
COVID19 is creating hardships and challenging times for so many members of our community. It’s important that we keep our local food systems supported during this time and Cornell Extension offices around the state are here to help. As of May 15, 9,500 gallons and 22,000 masks have been delivered to 13,000+ farmworkers statewide in a 10 day period!
If you have a farm in Ulster County and would like to request hand sanitizer and/or face coverings for your operation, fill out our request form at tinyurl.com/UCFarmSupport. CCE Ulster is working on getting more supplies and will contact you with pick-up times. If you have a farm in New York State that is not in Ulster County, please visit cce.cornell.edu to find contact information for your Extension office and information on product distribution.
CCE Ulster thanks the Rondout Valley Growers Association for their assistance in distribution of supplies!
*Please call ahead to ensure staff and products are available. We are continuing to update this map to provide alternative food source solutions. If you need to edit your information or would like to be added, please email email@example.com
Never before has our work as farmers and stewards been so important. Take care of your farm’s most important asset: you. Wash your hands more frequently and make sure you are getting adequate sleep. We need our strength these days.
Revisit your farm’s food safety plan, especially the health and personal hygiene plan. Keep yourself and your employees in good health.
Make a plan for running your farm if you, your family or employees get sick. Consider the scenarios of 10, 50 or 75% of farm labor out sick for 2 weeks and try to be realistic. Involve the whole farm team in this conversation. Reach out to neighbors or other farm friends who might be able to help. Here are some questions to consider:
Prepare for market changes. We are already seeing the impacts of this pandemic on wholesale and direct markets and getting calls from farmers who are concerned. Customers may shy away where there are crowds. What creative solutions could help address these concerns and keep customers connected to our locally-grown food?
Reach out to farmers and community members around you that you know are having challenges. Now is the time to strengthen the fabric of our own communities by increasing our social connections. Pick up the phone and call them. It is that simple.
Don’t think social distancing means social isolation. We are being asked to practice social distancing to slow the spread of the virus, but we have many ways to keep and grow our connections with each other. Call someone. Stay connected to those around you. Ask for help. Offer help. We are in this together.
Release stress. In times of stress, it helps to take a pause and slow down. Do what works for you, such as:
In times like these — when uncertainty upsets the daily rhythms of our communities — we agriculturists have the opportunity to tap into timeless rhythms of a new season and deliver on a call to action.
We have a history of rallying to grow more food during times of national crisis. During WWII, the U.S. channeled citizens’ energy into practical action by encouraging Victory Gardens. By doubling efforts at home and on the farm, we strengthened our communities and provided hope in a time of stress.
As farmers and gardeners, we have tremendous biological wealth. While we may not always have cash, we have access to soil, plants, and animals that are the foundation of life. We can share that wealth and help lead our communities through this time of struggle.
Reach out to us if you need help. We may not have all the answers, but we can listen with compassion and try to connect you with resources. Please also share your stories of hope!
We are in this together.
Last updated May 29, 2020