Minnesota Extension provides resources to support farmers through pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected Minnesota’s 68,000 farm operations. Widespread closures and partial closures of processing plants due to infections meant there was no market for approximately 45% of hogs. Crop and produce farms were designated critical businesses, so were required to develop and implement a COVID-19 preparedness plan.
University of Minnesota Extension educators assisted producers by providing financial assistance programs for farmers. They identified best practices to avoid the spread of COVID-19 among essential workers and the community to keep the supply chain safe for fresh and locally produced fruit, vegetables and meat. The resources were made available in English, Hmong and Spanish, reaching a broader range of producers. A five-part video series about best practices for reducing risks on farms related to COVID-19 was viewed nearly 700 times. Nearly 600 attended webinars on COVID-19 planning.