NYS Ag and Markets Announce NYS Grown & Certified scavenger hunt

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets announced the 1st annual NYS Grown & Certified scavenger hunt! Find the #NYSCertified seal on a product at your local grocery store, farmers’ market, or Taste NY market, email them a photo of the product – and they will send you a NYS Grown & Certified hat so you can let everyone know that you care about shopping for local, sustainable NY foods!

Here are the rules

1. Visit your local grocery store, farmers’ market, or Taste NY market.
2. Look for the NYS Grown & Certified seal on a product (hint, check produce, and dairy items).
3. Take a picture of the product showing the seal.
4. Email the photo and the store name and location to NYSgrownandcertified@agriculture.ny.gov.
5. The first 20 entries will receive a NYS Grown & Certified hat! (They will email you back to ask for a shipping address.)

On your marks, get set…hunt!

Are you located in an Ag District? Do you need a Soil Group Worksheet?

The agricultural assessment program allows eligible farmland owners to receive real property assessments based on the value of their land for agricultural production rather than on its development value.  Any assessed value which exceeds the equalized agricultural assessment on the land may qualify for a reduced tax assessment.

Landowners must apply through the local town assessor for an agricultural assessment. Further Information on Agricultural Districts can be found here, contact information for local assessors can be found here.

Do you qualify? Find out by visiting the Soil Group page, there you can find more information about the program and will be able to download a brochure. You may also call our office at 315-946-7200

Agritourism businesses – New York State Fall Season Guidance Issued

Long Acre Farms, Macedon – for a complete list of area Mazes visit Wayne County Tourism

The State has issued new guidance for agritourism businesses as New York State enters the Fall season. The businesses, which include corn mazes, pick-your-own fruit and vegetable operations, hayrides and haunted houses, are considered low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment and are permitted to operate under New York’s NY Forward guidance. New Yorkers can also visit the State’s farmers’ markets and craft beverage trails, which have remained open under State guidance, supporting agriculture and tourism in the state.

Guidance from Ag & Markets Available Here

“New York State’s amazing outdoor attractions and recreational opportunities are a boon for families and communities during the fall season each year, and we want New Yorkers to be able to enjoy this time with their family responsibly and safely,” Governor Cuomo said. “The new guidance announced today will ensure that these businesses can open to the public, allowing families to enjoy their favorite fall activities while providing a boost for our farming communities and local economies.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “As one of the nation’s top agricultural states, New York traditionally comes together in the fall to celebrate the harvest—from apples to grapes to pumpkins. This year, while things may not look exactly the same on your favorite farm, I am happy to say we can still celebrate agriculture’s bounty and the many family-friendly activities that go with it. With this new guidance, we hope New Yorkers will be able to enjoy some of the best of New York agriculture in a safe and socially distanced manner.” 

The businesses that can reopen are subject to Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment and Public Transportation guidance. Guidance includes, but is not limited to:

Corn Mazes – permitted consistent with Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

·         Reduced capacity

·         Face coverings required

·         Social distance maintained between individuals/parties

 Hayrides – permitted consistent with Public Transportation guidance and the following conditions:

·         Mandatory face coverings

·         Social distance required between individuals/parties

·         Frequently touched surfaces, such as handrails, cleaned and sanitized between rides

 

Pick-Your-Own Fruit/Vegetables Operations – permitted consistent with Low Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

·         Reduced capacity

·         Face coverings required

·         Social distance maintained between individuals/parties.

 

Haunted Houses – permitted consistent with Low Risk Indoor Arts and Entertainment guidance and the following conditions:

·         Reduced capacity

·         Face coverings required

·         Social distance maintained between individuals/parties

 Petting zoos are not permitted.

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has issued a full slate of guidelines for the agricultural industry, including guidance for farmers’ markets and for its food and beverage producers. All guidance can be found at https://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus.

 

 

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Wayne County Youth Derby – Big Win for All

Young anglers Natalie Thomas, Cassandra Thomas, Jullian Thomas

LYONS, NY – The 22nd annual Wayne County Youth Derby wrapped up with the McDonald’s Awards ceremony held outside at the Sodus Point fire hall.  The Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District (WCSWCD) and the Wayne County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs manage the annual event. Ken Miller, Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors, assisted with the awards. Anglers fished in three separate tournaments in one and received prizes and awards for places 1-6.

As water quality improves in Wayne County, so does fishing opportunities. Fish are an excellent indicator of long-term effects and broad habitat conditions. For 2020 there were over 122 fish registered with the largest caught by Isabella Vuittonet, age 6 fishing the Erie Canal.

Fishing is also a wholesome outdoor activity that many families can enjoy while building lasting memories. “For me, it was exciting to see so many young female anglers win awards,” said Maxine Appleby of WCSWCD, a former fishing charter captain herself. “I was introduced to fishing by my grandfather when I was five or six years old and still remember my first fish.”

Isabella with her winning Northern Pike

Noah Wazinski won the Merchant’s Challenge for the second year in a row.

There was a three-way tie in the Al Shultz Memorial Challenge (ages 4-7). Isabella Vuittonet, age 6, tied for first place with Natalie Thomas and Logan Smith. The Memorial Challenge is named for Al Shultz who died in a boating accident. Shultz gave countless hours to enrich youngsters in outdoor sports. “His unselfish dedication and professionalism have positively impacted hundreds of youngsters and given them memories for a lifetime,” said Federation president Gene Vandeusen as he announced the award winners. Donated tackle boxes were also awarded to Thomas Perrin, Joe Barnes, Andrew Patchett, Tobin Thomas and Payton Williamson for their participation.

Noah Wazinski, age 14 won the Merchant’s Challenge for the second year in a row. Noah successfully caught all five species—Perch, Walleye, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike & Smallmouth Bass—for the grand prize.

In the Species Challenge, where the largest fish in any division is a winner, prizes and awards were given to places 1-6. The first-place winners were: Issiah Jarvis of Wolcott 4.lb 6 oz. Largemouth Bass, Scott Barnes of North Rose with a 3lb 11oz. Smallmouth Bass, Isabella Vuittonet with a 6lb Northern Pike caught on the Erie Canal, Daisy Barnes for Perch and Noah Wazinski in the Walleye division.

Tripp Knapp, age 4 received the ‘Captain Larry’ award for the youngest angler. The award is named for Larry LaForce who passed away unexpectedly in 2018. Larry was an avid angler and a dedicated volunteer at the annual event.

Madison Knapp was surprised with the “ugliest fish” award for her 3.5lb bowfin. The bowfin is the sole living survivor of a group of fish whose fossil representatives date back to when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Bowfin are bimodal breathers which means they have the capacity to breathe both water and air which makes them an excellent indicator of environmental quality.

Thank you to the donors, without whose support the tournament could not happen. Here is a list of donors for this year’s event:
 
Nancy Wilkes and McDonald’s of Wayne County, Patons Sodus Market,  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, 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, the Steger Haus, Termatec Molding, Davenport’s Bait and Livery, Bay Bridge Bait, Palmyra Country Max, Ontario Country Max, Wayne County Tourism, Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District, Wayne County Federation of Sportsmen Clubs and Sodus Bay Sportsman Club.

A complete list of award winners can be viewed at https://waynecountynysoilandwater.org/youth-derby-leaderboard

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Statement From Commissioner Ball regarding unsolicited packages allegedly sent from China

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. 

NY Forward Business Safety Plan Support for Farms – Webinars Planned

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/

 

Building Resilience through COVID-19 Health and Safety

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.

Financial assistance for farms facing COVID-19 Early options available for farms to support cash flow

Photo Credit Morning Ag Clips

Farm businesses and operations have been deemed essential and will continue to remain in operation producing high-quality, safe food products for consumers all across the world. However, with market disruptions, employees’ family obligations, and low commodity price projections, farm profitability uncertainties are an added source of concern. There have been early announcements of assistance that can ease cash flow issues and help farmers keep employees on payroll while maintaining their highest standards of quality, environmental stewardship, and animal wellbeing. Please keep in mind that this is a rapidly changing situation, and we can hope for additional funding announcements in the near future.

American Farmland Trust, a national organization dedicated to keeping our rural lands in agricultural production, has announced their “Farmer Relief Fund” initiative. This program will offer direct-market producers cash grants of $1,000 each to help ease the effect of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus. This can include the closure of farmers markets, decreased or interrupted sales to restaurants and institutional buyers, or to makers who use farm products as inputs.

The deadline to apply is April 23rd with grants awarded by May 1st. For more information, visit farmland.org/farmer-relief-fund.

Farm Service Agency (FSA) has made changes to their farm loan, disaster, conservation, and safety net programs to make it easier for customers to conduct business. While their county service centers are closed to the public, their staff are available to continue to work with the farming community by phone appointment. FSA has relaxed the loan-making process by extending the deadline for applicants to complete farm loan applications and preparing Direct Loans documents even if record searches cannot be completed because of closed government offices. FSA will continue to offer farm loans, commodity loans, farm storage facility loans, disaster assistance programs, safety net programs, conservation programs, and acreage reports with modifications meant to benefit the farmer and this situation’s unique challenges. For more information, contact your local service center or visit fsa.usda.gov.

The CARES Act’s recent Paycheck Protection Loan Program announcement will also provide emergency funding to farms via Small Business Administration loans. This low interest, forgivable loan program will be available starting April 3rd to cover payroll costs, utilities, mortgage interest, and/or rent. Farm owners should work with their existing lenders, if they are participating in the PPL program, to determine their eligibility and complete the expedited application. For more information on this program, visit sba.gov.

This situation can bring a lot of stress and anxiety for farm owners and managers. It is important to remember that managing and addressing risks early on, rather than avoiding them, will provide decision makers more time to make sound action plans to manage cash flow and long term profitability. The only way to make accurate decisions is to know the farm’s current financial situation which will involve record-keeping and business analysis. For more information on creating financial statements for your farm, contact your lender or Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management Specialist. Additionally, NY FarmNet recently released a helpful guide to “Managing Financial Stress on the Farm in Uncertain Times” and their consultants are available for free and confidential financial and personal counselling. For more information, call 1-800-547-3276 or visit nyfarmnet.org.

Beth Claypool, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s office in Wayne County has put together an extensive list of programs for Farmers related to farm operations during the pandemic. Visit http://ccewayne.org/environment/emergency-preparedness/up-to-date-information-on-the-corona-virus . These resources include recordings of recent agriculture related webinars related to COVID.  You can find other ag recordings on production practices, etc on the Ag Specialist Teams website.

If you would like more information please contact Cornell Cooperative Extension Wayne County at 315-331-8415 or email Beth at eac9@cornell.edu

(portions of content from this article was reprinted from Morning Ag Clips )

 

Novel Coronavirus Prevention & Control for Farms

The U.S. is confronting an outbreak of a novel coronavirus that causes serious respiratory disease and may be deadly for older people and those with weakened immune systems. The World Health Organization is now calling the outbreak a global pandemic because it is affecting countries all over the world. People and organizations can still fight coronavirus by taking steps to prevent transmission of the disease, the whole point of widespread cancellation of events is to create “social distancing” to lower the infection rate and prevent health care systems from being overwhelmed. New York State Department of Health also has a Coronavirus Website with English and Spanish posters for preventing coronavirus infection (https:/health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) provides clear guidance about preventing infection in both English and Spanish. They also provide a number of printable factsheets and posters in English and Spanish suitable for use in the workplace. (Download at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/factsheets.html)

Employer Actions Steps

Your farm workforce is not immune to coronavirus, please begin taking steps to protect yourself and your employees.

  1. Talk with your employees about coronavirus, how it spreads, and how to prevent getting infected.
  2. Print the CDC factsheets and posters, post in your workplace and employee housing facilities.
  3. Provide guidance to help employees clean and disinfect employer-provided housing. Follow up with employees and manage the process to be sure that this happens. Set up a regular weekly and daily schedule for cleaning.
  4. Clean and disinfect your workplace. The employee breakroom and bathroom are great places for virus to be transmitted. Clean and disinfect any areas where employees congregate or routinely touch items such as doorknobs and computer keyboards. Set up daily and weekly cleaning schedules.
  5. Provide cleaning supplies such as cleaning solutions, buckets, mops, brushes, etc for cleaning at work and for those living in employer-provided housing. (CDC list of approved antimicrobial cleaning products: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf)
  6. Review your sick leave policy. The first advice for people who are sick is to stay home except to get medical care. Do you provide paid sick leave for your employees? If you do not, will employees feel financially obligated to come to work even if they are sick?
  7. Communicate with employees that they should stay home if they are sick. Employees sometimes come to work believing they will face punishment or firing if they miss work. Be sure your employees understand that their health and that of their co-workers’ comes first. Communicate and make a plan to cover for sick employees. CDC provides posters in English and Spanish covering symptoms of novel coronavirus.
  8. Prepare your disaster contingency plan. What will you do if 50% of your employees become sick and unable to work? Are there neighboring farms who might be able to share resources in an emergency? Who will manage for a few weeks if you or another key manager are unable to leave your house or are hospitalized?

At minimum, share the guidelines below from New York state with your employees and family.

New York State Department of Health Prevention Tips

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent this virus, these simple steps can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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By Richard Stup, Cornell University. Permission granted to repost, quote, and reprint with author attribution.
The post Novel Coronavirus Prevention & Control for Farms appeared first in The Ag Workforce Journal 

Create a whimsical garden or conifer wind block – Order Now!

Create a whimsical garden with woodland ferns, iris, white dogwood, conifers and many other trees and shrubs offered at the District’s annual Forever Green Tree and Shrub Sale. By planting a row of conifer trees on the north and northwest sides of your property creates a wall against cold winter winds – saving you heating costs.

Locally grown bare-root stock is a great way to get started
at very reasonable prices. 

Blue Bird Boxes make great giftsWith over 50 varieties of trees, shrubs and flowering plants to choose you can choose from evergreen trees, deciduous trees and shrub, berry bushes, ground covers, woodland ferns, and other conservation packs. There are also five different habitat boxes for birds and bats, tree tube kits, marking flags and fertilizer tablets to help establish and protect transplants, as well as barley straw rolls for pond management.

Products can be ordered by phone, through the mail, or through the online.

Start by visiting  https://waynecountynysoilandwater.org/forever-green-sale/

A catalog with images and item descriptions can be found on the website along with a printable form that can be used to mail check payments.

Orders with payment, accepted through Friday, April 10th 2020. All major credit cards are accepted.

If you have questions about plant selection or would like to place an order by phone, please call our office at (315) 946-7200.

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