New York Dept. of Agriculture Commissioner Ball warns about mysterious seeds sent from China

“Our office has received questions from a few New Yorkers who have received unsolicited packages allegedly sent from China that are marked as containing jewelry (or other items) but which actually contain plant seeds. Similar packages have been received in other states and the United States Department of Agriculture is investigating. People who receive seeds should not plant or handle the seeds. They should store them safely in a place children and pets cannot access and email USDA immediately at erich.l.glasgow@usda.gov for instructions. Seeds imported into the United States are rigorously tested to ensure quality and prevent the introduction of invasive species, insects, and diseases. We will continue to monitor this issue and will pass along guidance as it is received from USDA.”

*Note to newsrooms: Please advise consumers to email USDA with their full names and telephone numbers, pictures of the package and any other relevant information. 

Business Safety Plans Required For All Farms

Cornell Cooperative Extension Webinar Series on developing safety plans for compliance and to reduce liability risk

NY Forward Safety Plan Webinar Series Flyer

New York State requires businesses to have a specific business safety plan in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes all farms, both food and non-food producing. In addition, a well-written and executed business safety plan will help reduce business liability risk during and after the pandemic. A Cornell Task Force recently developed materials to directly support farms in the plan writing process.

Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development are offering a “NY Forward Business Safety Plan Support” webinar series with specialized webinars for Dairy/Livestock/Crop Farms, Fruit/Vegetable Farms, Retail Farms, Equine Farms and Greenhouse/Landscaping/Ornamental Farms.

The webinars, led by Extension specialists, will walk farmers through the need for and process to complete a safety plan as is required by all businesses for compliance with NY Forward, demonstrate project tools developed by Extension to write and complete a plan, share curated resources for specific industries

WEBINAR DATES

Registration is FREE and REQUIRED. The webinars will be recorded and the links will be posted.

For more information visit http://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/ny-forward-business-safety-plan/

 

Click here to view the leader board.

Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Federation of Sportsmen Clubs are pleased to announce the 22nd Wayne County Youth Fishing Derby for anglers ages 4-16. The event runs June 19th-July 26th and covers the waters in Wayne County. 

Responsible local conservation recreation is a crucial part of continuing to help New Yorkers stay active and a great way to spend time with immediate household and family members while building lasting memories of having that “FISH ON”. Social distancing and masks encouraged.

New this year, the Ontario and Palmyra County Max stores will be weigh in stations. Both stores sell bait are a perfect way to expand fishing opportunities on the Erie Canal and Lake Ontario west. Other stations are Krenzer Marine, Hughes Marina, Davenports and Bay Bridge bait shops.

The Youth Derby is designed as three tournaments in one.
• AL SHULTZ MEMORIAL CHALLENGE is for youth ages 4-7 years of age. Anglers compete to catch the most pan-fish; Blue Gill, Perch, Rock Bass, Sun Fish. Although the fish, other than perch do not need to be weighed anglers must complete a fish entry form.

• MERCHANTS CHALLENGE is for youth anglers ages 8-16 and is considered the “Grand Slam” – Catch all 5 of shallow-water species Perch, Walleye, Largemouth bass, Northern pike & Smallmouth bass for the grand prize.

• SPECIES CHALLENGE is open to all entrants. In this derby, anglers compete to catch the largest fish in any of the 5 species: Perch, Walleye, Largemouth, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass

The entry fee is $5.00. Prizes will consist of merchandise and trophies. Prize structure is based on the number of registered entrants.

Due to the COVID-19 safety concerns, the District will not be accepting cash. Registrations are being taken online and paid using any major credit card. The entrant’s registration number is generated at checkout. For those without WIFI, the Bay Bridge Bait Shop, Ontario Country Max and Palmyra County Max will all have WIFI enabled tablets available for online registrations starting on June 16th. According to Maxine Appleby, Conservation Specialist” No angler will be left behind.” The District will provide opportunities to any youth between the ages of 4-16 that does not have the means to enter the derby. Special arrangements can be made by calling the office M-F at 315-946-7200 by July 3.

Thank you to McDonald’s of Wayne County for their continued support along with  PJ Unisex Salon, Lyons National Bank, Sodus Rotary, Katlynn Marine, Rubinos on the Bay, Sodus Point Pit Stop, Martin’s Tideside Marine, Ashley Insurance, Lyons Veterinary Clinic, Clingerman Taxidermy, Dynalec Corporation, Fishin Magician Charters, Patons Sodus Market, Humbert Farms, KC Baily Orchards, Farm Bureau of Wayne County, Dobbin’s Drugs, Ely & Leene Insurance,  Hughes Marina, Joey’s Northside Grocery, Fowler’s Marina, Key’s Energy, Krenzer Marine, Port Bay RV Park and Campground, the Steger Haus, Termatec Molding, Wayne County Tourism, Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District, Wayne County Federation of Sportsmen Clubs, Sodus Bay Sportsman Club and of course, all the bait and weigh stations.

Participants will enter fish personally caught only in the Wayne County, NY in the waters of Lake Ontario (1/2 mile west of Ginna Plant and east to Blind Sodus Bay) and its embayments; the waters of the Erie Canal and streams located in Wayne County, NY in accordance with all NYS Department of Conservation Fishing Rules and Regulations. Participants must have a valid NYS fishing license unless exempt by law.
The Derby Awards Banquet, sponsored by McDonald’s of Wayne County is August 9th at the Firehall in Sodus Point where prizes and trophies will be awarded. The Federation of Sportsmen Club and the District are working out ways to practice social distancing but still provide awards and prizes to youth anglers.

To register for the Youth Derby visit https://waynecountynysoilandwater.org/youth-derby/

This event has been canceled, however, there are ongoing activities where you can help out.  Please read more to view the video.

Macyville Woods Nature Preserve
7474 Seaman Street Sodus Point, NY, 14555 United States (map)

https://www.geneseelandtrust.org/volunteer-events

Other ongoing activities at Macyville Woods:

Japanese wineberry is another invasive that you can safely remove with gloves. Thanks to support from the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management, we are removing this and other invasive plants from Macyville Woods Nature Preserve and have begun planting more beneficial shrubs and trees to improve bird habitat. Japanese wineberry looks similar to raspberry and blackberry plants, but its stem has more hairs and fewer thorns. Learn more about wineberry here and watch the short video below with Stewardship Assistant Will Macaluso.

TOOLS REQUIRED: Gardening gloves and trash bags
WHERE TO GO: Macyville Woods Nature Preserve
PLEASE REMEMBER: Stay safe, practice physical distancing, and dress appropriately. We would like to track when and where you volunteer for this project. Please call, text, or email Kevin Farrell at (585) 484-0250 or land@geneseelandtrust.org.

Sharing information on how to take care of ourselves, our employees and our customers.

As we move toward reopening our businesses and lives, we need to make sure we are prepared for doing things differently. Taking care of ourselves, our employees and our customers will require planning ahead to make sure we have COVID-19 safety in mind.

We are getting used to wearing our cloth face coverings in public, and maintaining 6-foot physical distance from others. These practices also apply to our farms, and when we are interacting with the public. Health and safety precautions, such as providing hand sanitizer for employees and the public, will take some planning ahead.

Below we share some important resources to help you plan. We will continue to update our farm resilience resource page as new information becomes available.


Cornell Cooperative Extension Distributing Free Hand Sanitizer and Masks to Farms

CCE has been working with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to find ways to assist farmers with continuing their operations while improving safety precautions.

Through CCE offices, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) is distributing 500,000 face masks to essential farm workers across the state. Also being distributed is hand sanitizer, produced in New York State and secured by NYSDAM.

Across the state, CCE offices have mobilized to receive and distribute hand sanitizer and masks to New York farmers, free of charge. Farmers can contact their local CCE office to request masks and sanitizer for their employees and retail areas.

Meanwhile, the Cornell Farmworker Program is also working hard to protect farmworkers. Anyone can get involved with the #4HMaskTask to help make reusable cloth masks for communities in need. These collaborations are evolving and ongoing.


How to Effectively Use Cloth Face Coverings

 

In New York State, there is an Executive Order on the use of face coverings to limit the spread of COVID-19. It mandates that “any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.”

The CDC recommends that these cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
  • be secured with ties or ear loops.
  • include multiple layers of fabric.
  • allow for breathing without restriction.
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

Providing Face Coverings to Your Employees

New York State has also issued guidance that all employees who interact with the public must wear cloth face coverings. You may have family members that are interacting with the public.

These recommendations apply to them, as well as those paid to work on the farm:

  • Provide employees with cloth face coverings and gloves.
  • Cloth face coverings must be used by employees if they are interacting with customers. These coverings must be provided by the farm.
  • Instruct employees on proper use, storage, and washing of face coverings.
  • It is recommended that one, five-pack of masks should be provided per employee.

Observing the Recommended 6-Foot Social Distancing

New York State’s guidance all states that we must observe a 6-foot physical distance from others. The virus is transmitted person to person through respiratory droplets, which is why this 6-foot physical distancing is so important.

As you prepare for employees and farm customers, you should:

  • Welcome people with a smile and a wave, but at a distance. No hugging or handshakes.
  • Post signs to emphasize physical distancing and hand sanitation.
  • Redesign customer flow to maintain physical distance.
  • Post signs at check-out to emphasize physical distancing while waiting.
  • Employees must maintain a 6-foot distance with each other and customers.
  • Enforce their use of cloth face coverings.
  • Consider installing clear plastic shields or dividers between employees and customers.

Maintaining a Clean and Sanitary Workplace

Establish a cleaning and sanitizing standard operating procedure (SOP) for frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, scale platforms, registers, other electronics, chairs, cash boxes, hand rails and port-a-john handles. Write these down and implement them daily.

For an example SOP that you can adapt to your farm, check out the Sanitation and Postharvest Handling Decision Tree.

Follow this four-step process for cleaning and sanitizing high-touch surfaces:

  • Remove visible dirt and debris.
  • Wash with soap and water or appropriate detergent.
  • Rinse the surface of debris and detergent.
  • Sanitize with a food contact surface approved sanitizer.

Emphasize hand washing and sanitation as recommended for food safety in general.

  • Upon arriving at work, before and after eating, after using the restroom.
  • Provide training on how to properly wash hands.
  • Emphasize hand sanitation between customers.
  • The University of Minnesota created a low-cost hand washing station DIY.

Make sure you have an adequate stock of hand sanitizer:

  • About 750 ‘servings’ (about 5 mls) of hand sanitizer are in a gallon.
  • If one employee uses sanitizer 6 times in a day (at start and end of day, before and after lunch, before and after restroom visit), then a gallon would last approximately 125 days.
  • If you have a farm stand or U-Pick farm, and customers are using sanitizer 4 times (at start and end of visit and before and after checkout), a gallon would be enough for about 190 customer visits.

Instruct employees on proper use of disposable gloves for when dealing with customers or when using gloves as PPE during sanitation practice:

  • Wash hands before putting on new gloves.
  • Remove gloves before breaks, meals or toilet visits.
  • Take off gloves in a way that avoids touching the outside of the glove with either hand and dispose.
  • Wash hands.
  • Put on new gloves before starting work again.
  • If gloves are worn at check in or check out, sanitation between transactions must still be observed.

Encourage employees to arrive each day wearing clean clothes. Also, encourage employees to wash their farm clothes separately from other clothes.


Taking these proactive steps will protect your team and your customers and create a positive experience on the farm during this pandemic.


For Additional Information:

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets has created an official COVID-19 resource page offering details and latest guidance as it relates to agriculture in the state.

The Cornell Small Farms Program is keeping a list of resources for farms to build resiliency through potential impacts from COVID-19.

The Cornell EDEN website is the hub of information for COVID-19 issues and resources.

The Cornell Ag Workforce is a great resource for updates on labor management issues and programs and policies related to ag workforce issues and COVID-19.

The Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University answers questions around the risks associated with food production with useful links to expert resources to ensure that a safe and robust food supply is maintained.

Kacey Deamer

Kacey Deamer

Kacey is the Cornell Small Farms Program’s communications specialist. In this role, she manages all storytelling and outreach across the program’s website, social media, e-newsletter, magazine and more. Kacey has worked in communications and journalism for more than a decade, with a primary focus on science and sustainability.

As part of the Lake Ontario REDI project, the Village of Sodus Point, located in Wayne County is presently beginning a beach nourishment project to build dunes for natural shoreline protection. This Friday & Saturday there are volunteer opportunities six feet apart to plant dune grass. Families are encouraged as they can work in a group. You must wear a facemask for protection. Groups will be spaced apart. Registration is required.

To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sodus-point-beach-grass-planting-tickets-105807904290

When:
Fri, May 22, 2020, 12:00 PM – 3:30
Sat, May 23, 2020, 3:00 PM – 5:30

Where: Sodus Point Beach, end of Wickham Drive, Sodus Point, NY – meet up at the beach.

Please see the registration form below
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sodus-point-beach-grass-planting-tickets-105807904290

  • Sodus Point Dune and Beach Restoration
    Dune and Beach Restoration Along the Numbered Streets West of Sodus Bay Channel funded by the New York State Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, Follow this link to read more about the Lake Ontario Dune and Beach Restoration Project
  • The District, working with Wayne County is also assisting in the management two REDI projects, for more information on (Click here)
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