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Steve Bishop of LBJ Farms improved the ventilation in his barn and milkhouse with funding assistance from the Stop COVID on Your Farm program

Funds available for supplies and equipment to help area farms fend off COVID-19 - October 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has added a new burden to already challenged farmers. In response, the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) has created a matching fund program for farms in Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, and Tioga Counties. The funds help to pay for supplies and equipment needed to prevent COVID-19 from spreading on farm operations.

Unlike many grants applications, which can be complicated and lengthy, the application process for the Stop Covid On Your Farm program is very simple. Fill out a short, easy-to-understand application. Meet with a NYCAMH Ag Safety Educator at the farm to learn how COVID-19 could spread and explore possible ways to prevent that. Complete the project and submit your receipts. You are then reimbursed 50% of the cost of the project – up to $1500

 The application includes a list of suggested projects, such as:

  • Cleaning supplies (soap, laundry detergent, disinfectants, single use towels)
  • Thermometers and visitor logs
  • Handwashing stations
  • Plexiglas/curtain separators
  • Touchless time clock software/services
  • Hooks, hangers, lockers for employees
  • Equipment for improving ventilation or air quality

Because each farm is unique, farms are encouraged to propose projects based on their specific needs. For example, LBJ Farms, a dairy in Delaware County has improved ventilation by installing fans in the barn and the milk house.

"Airflow in the barn and milk room are now amazing after installing the fans," said owner Steve Bishop.

This matching fund program is made available through a generous grant from the Community Foundation for South Central New York."Keeping farmers safe and healthy means they can continue to provide vital food and dairy products to communities experiencing food insecurity," said Tina Barber, the Foundation's program officer. 

NYCAMH's Director Julie Sorensen added, "The pandemic has presented challenges for all of us. However, given farmers designation as "essential workers" they have had the unenviable task of looking for ways to stay open while keeping workers safe. We hope the funding and technical assistance provided through the Stop COVID On Your Farm Program will make it easier for farms to balance these demands."

Questions? Contact NYCAMH by phone at 800-343-7527 or e-mail at stopCOVIDonfarms@bassett.org

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