HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Center for Dairy Excellence is working to ensure Pennsylvania dairy farm families have contingency plans in place to protect their employees and businesses in light of the COVID-19 situation. Dairy producers who are interested in having assistance in preparing a contingency plan to address critical areas of operation related to COVID-19 will be paired with dairy industry professionals. The industry professional and farm team will work together remotely to address farm management questions and develop detailed plans for operations amidst the pandemic.
“It is imperative for Pennsylvania dairy farms to have written contingency plans to ensure they can continue to operate in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Jayne Sebright, Executive Director at the Center for Dairy Excellence. “Using virtual communication tools, dairy farms will work with industry professionals to develop plans for protecting employees, maintaining operations, and preparing for any potential loss in product sales.”
During remote meetings, dairy farms will discuss the following guidelines and establish written contingency plans for navigating these new restraints:
- Strategies for practicing social distancing and communicating with farm staff
- Steps to protect employees, which may include informing them about coronavirus, providing appropriate cleaning supplies, cross-training for critical jobs, and providing resources like travel letters for potential “Shelter in Place” restrictions
- Procedures for farm visits and deliveries to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and ensure farm safety
- Preparations for maintaining dairy and medical supplies and plans for how to operate if they become in short supply
- Strategies to mitigate any potential losses in product sales associated with the COVID-19 situation
- Financial calculations to determine how the business can continue to operate given any potential loss in product sales
“Thinking about these new guidelines and restraints can be stressful, but it is essential for us to come together and confront this uncertainty with action,” Sebright added. “The Pennsylvania dairy industry is filled with talented and dedicated professionals who are willing to help farms take action and create written plans to move forward during COVID-19.”
Dairy farms should contact Melissa Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-636-0779 to be paired with an industry professional who can assist with contingency planning.
Visit centerfordairyexcellence.org/covid-19-farm-resources/ for additional COVID-19 farm resources.
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence