By Kelsey O’Shea, Ag Business Management Specialist, Cornell North Country Regional Ag Team
As you have heard and read, it has been established that all essential businesses must complete a “reopening safety plan”. Although the name is deceiving, leading us to believe that only those business that were closed would have to complete them we do know that all businesses must have one in place. The Cornell Cooperative Extension Farm Businesses Management (FBM) Team has quickly assembled by areas of expertise to get more helpful resources out to you.
The FBM Team is working on developing industry specific examples of the safety plans, including examples of add on documents that are required by the plan such as health questionnaires, links to required signage, and best practices. These example plans will address questions that can arise when completing the plan and spark critical thinking about how to address some of the required actions. Just like you, the Team is working quickly to get these out but recognizes the need to make sure these examples are deliberate and thorough to be of the highest quality.
The FBM team will have these resources available to farms VERY SOON, so be sure to check back here or be on the lookout for an update email. In the meantime, getting started on completing your farms safety plan is a great way to jump start the holiday weekend. With nicer weather comes planting, chopping, more customers, and ultimately more opportunities for interaction that could cause the spread of illness. By working through the NYS Template Plan you can solidify your businesses preventative practices as well as identifying areas for improvement.
CCE Regional Specialists and others are available to help your business work through these written plans, please do not hesitate to reach out to them with questions or for guidance. It is important to remember that these regulations and the legislation surrounding them are coming out FASTER than we can get clarification- so there may be areas where there are no good answers to good questions. As our example plans come available you can use them to clarify any areas of confusion or further strengthen your farms Safety Plan.
The busy season is upon us, and with only so many hours in a day- one more form can seem near impossible to get to. We recognize this, we know that farming has small windows to get work done. But people’s health and safety does also deserve our attention during these unique times- of course a written plan won’t stop the spread of illness, but it may change people’s actions and those changes TRULY add up to reduce the spread. We will continue to notify you as our new resources become available.
By Kelsey O’Shea, Cornell Cooperative Extension. Permission granted to repost, quote, and reprint with author attribution.
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