The COVID-19 pandemic has become much more serious and has brought the need for business health, safety and continuity planning to the forefront. Now is the time to communicate with employees and family members regarding plans to keep them safe, healthy, and working.
“While much of the negative impact on agriculture by COVID-19 is out of our control, there are things you can do now to reduce or prevent the impact of COVID-19 on the health and productivity of your farm,” said Jim Versweyveld, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension Walworth County Agriculture Educator. “First and foremost, please take care of yourself. Secondly, Extension has many resources for managing a farm during COVID-19 at our website https://farms.extension.wisc.edu/coronavirus.”
“Employees are concerned about their health as well and risks in the workplace,” said Maria Jose Fuenzalida Valenzuela, UW-Madison Extension Dane County Dairy and Livestock Educator. “The COVID-19 Guidance for Farm Employers (https://farms.extension.wisc.edu/covid-19-guidance-for-farm-employers/) is a concise resource that considers the unique challenges of farms with tips for farm employers about communicating COVID-19 protocol to employees reflecting the most current and recommendations from the Center for Disease Control. This guide is also available in Hmong and Spanish, including a 6-minute video.”
The COVID-19 Response Plan Template for Fruit & Vegetable Farms (https://go.wisc.edu/4k3h98) is available to help farms plan action related to COVID-19 on their farms. Because every farm is unique, each farm’s response will be unique. The template is set up as a series of prompts, which sample policy language drawn from other farms’ experiences and fact-based best practices to reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. It includes example risk reduction measures that you may use, delete, or adapt.