Navigating COVID-19 on the Farm – Best practices for Daily Management of Sanitation, Deliveries, Equipment Repairs, and People

by:  Lisa Pfeifer, Educational Program Manager, Agricultural Safety & Health & Dee Jepsen, Ph.D., Associate Professor and State Safety Program Leader, Agricultural Safety & Health

Click here for a PDF version of this article

Practices for limiting exposure and risks related to coronavirus.

While agriculture has been a part of the essential work that continues to hum with a focus on keeping our food supply chains open amid stay at home orders, it is important not to lose sight of the fact business, as usual, will demand course correction and new plans to keep family and employees safe, and farms operable and secure. Information changes quickly in the face of the unknowns of this pandemic, but one prediction that has remained stable is the timeline for a vaccine. It will be 12 to 18 months before a vaccine is available, necessitating plans to see farms through spring planting, summer, harvest, winter, and spring a second time. To delve into some ideas on how to navigate a normal workday on the farm in the face of a public health emergency and an economic crisis it will take thinking outside of the box and a commitment to change some rote behavior and practice. Continue reading

H2Ohio Deadline For Accepting Applications Moved Back to March 31

Taken from Ohio Department of Agriculture and Paulding Soil and Water Conservation District

The deadline for farmers to submit applications for the H2Ohio program is moving back to the original date of March 31, 2020.

Governor DeWine strongly believes in the H2Ohio water quality initiative and farmers have shown overwhelming interest to implement the program’s best practices.  Our state and nation are facing an unprecedented economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In an effort to preserve resources for H2Ohio, ODA is suspending the acceptance of new applications after March 31 but will continue to process all current applications.

ODA recently extended the deadline to accommodate workflow changes due to COVID-19 and ensure all applications could be processed electronically or via telecommunications.  The work transition has gone smoothly and all remaining applications will be handled similarly within the original timeline.

Further information regarding the H2Ohio program will be forthcoming.  Updates will be posted to this website and distributed through the Soil and Water Conservation Districts.  For a complete list of SWCD offices, go to http://h2.ohio.gov/agriculture/.

Additionally, information from the Paulding SWCD

Phone number to office 419-399-4771.  Link to the website for H2Ohio information http://www.pauldingswcd.org/technical-programs/h2ohio/

Celebrate National Ag Day March 24 — Thanks to our Farmers …. Food brings everyone to the Table

Taken from www.agdaily.com/news/national-ag-day-2020/

Today, we celebrate National Agriculture Day, even if that means celebrating with 6 feet between us or online. It takes a lot more than a virus to stop farmers and ranchers from celebrating this special day. The Agriculture Council of America will host National Agriculture Day today, March 24, 2020. This will mark the 47th anniversary of National Ag Day which is celebrated in communities across the country. The theme for National Ag Day 2020 is “Food Brings Everyone to the Table.”

In a Proclamation on National Agriculture Day, President Donald Trump said, “As our nation continues to face the unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, we pay tribute to the unbeatable strength of America’s agricultural producers as they once again answer the call to feed our country and the world.  On this National Agriculture Day, and now more than ever, we salute and honor the men and women who contribute daily to our national prosperity. Continue reading

March Madness in an Agriculture Way

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: Julie Strawser (strawser.35@osu.edu), Teresa Funk (funk.67@osu.edu)

OSU Extension Announces Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness:
A Tournament of Education

Columbus, OHIO – Did your usual conference get canceled? Looking to fill the void of the big basketball tournament? Ohio State University Extension is here to help with a new virtual education program for farmers.

Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness: A Tournament of Education will include 64 educational events broken into daily brackets. Each day, a virtual educational session will be held at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. The education tournament is free of charge and will likely continue until mid-May.

“This effort is a direct response to providing a variety of useful and timely sessions for farmers across the state during Governor DeWine’s stay-at-home order,” said Jacqueline Wilkins, interim director of OSU Extension. “While our ‘tournament’ is being loosely tied to March Madness, it’s not a competition, and people can join in at any time for as many or as few sessions as they desire.” Continue reading

Resiliency in a time of Pandemic

Many of our Ohio agricultural business partners are settling into teleworking, the challenges of setting home office boundaries with children who are out of school and taking care to keep family and friends most at risk for COVID-19 infections. It can be challenging.

Meanwhile, our Nation’s farmers are entering a third consecutive year of “never before seen” impacts on their livelihoods – First trade wars, then disastrous climate change impacts, and now… a global pandemic plus sharp commodity price drops associated with effects of crude oil price drops on ethanol production.

To paraphrase John Piotti, President and CEO of American Farmland Trust: “None of us know how this is going to unfold over the next few months, but one thing is certain: America’s farmers and ranchers will be out in the field planting and getting ready for the 2020 season.”

Unsurprisingly, those who work in food and agriculture are “essential critical infrastructure workers” according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

The stress is enormous. Still – across Ohio, farmers are getting ready for the spring planting season. Some operations have commenced in the southern part of the state. They are a resilient bunch. Continue reading

Virtual Coffee Shop – Get online or call in on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Flowers and Birds

Native flowers and birds

I’m sure most of you have heard that The Ohio State University, along with many other organizations and businesses, have closed classes and reduced services.

All OSU offices have been closed in an attempt to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Though we are closed, all employees in our office will still be working full time from remote locations. We want to continue to serve our community, but do it in a safe way that does not contribute to the spread of the Coronavirus.

Here is how you can contact me during this time:
Email: noggle.17@osu.edu
Remote Work Phone Line: 567-344-5013 or call the office (Katie will connect you  to me directly) 419-399-8225
Zoom/video conference by appointment Continue reading

OSU Extension Office is temporarily closed

March 18, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LOCAL CONTACT: Paulding County Extension, 419-399-8225

OSU Extension offices throughout Ohio will implement teleworking options for staff amid current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak concerns

Columbus, OHIO – Governor DeWine recently issued a state of emergency for the state of Ohio, and along with the Ohio Department of Health, has implemented a variety of strategies to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To do our part in reducing risk to Ohio State University Extension employees or clientele, we have implemented a teleworking plan effective immediately, and all OSU Extension offices will be closed to the public until further notice. Continue reading

NW Ohio Newsletter

Looking for Agriculture or Horticulture events in NW Ohio ……. pesticide testing, re-certification, agronomy topics, farm management?  Check out the online NW Ohio Newsletter for any of these events.  There is so much more than what is list.  Don’t miss out on these great opportunities.   Follow this link to the newsletter and calendar of events. https://paulding.osu.edu/sites/paulding/files/imce/OSU2019WEB.pdf

Moving from an E-mail newsletter to a Blog

Happy New Year!!

As we look forward to 2019, I am switching from an email monthly newsletter to a blog.  I have already transferred all of my current subscribers to receive a weekly update of my new posts from this blog site.  Click on the information that pertains to your operation.  Feel free to sign up additional employees or others related to your farming operation.  This will include local and area events.

Let’s make 2019 a successful year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from OSU Extension in Paulding County.

2018 has been a year of ups and downs in Agriculture.  Please be sure to enjoy this time with your family and friends.  I hope each of you have a joyous break.  I look forward to working with each of you in 2019!!