Extension educators and researchers are on the front lines addressing food supply interruptions and providing counseling and resources for Minnesota farmers caught in the unique challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through topic-specific blogs, podcasts and webinars, they continue to deliver Extension education to give Minnesota's food producers tools to survive tough times.
Applying COVID-19 information and guidance to the day to day operations of fruit and vegetable farming is a challenge. Extension educators Natalie Hoidal and Annalisa Hultberg have developed a workbook that farmers can use to create a plan that fits their unique operations.
Find out more about their COVID-19 response plan template and FAQ for fruit and vegetable farms on the Fruit and Vegetable News blog.
Swine educator Sarah Schieck Boelke shared a comprehensive strategy for pork producers faced with meat processing plants closing due to workers in these facilities testing positive for the disease.
The Swine blog regularly updates pork producers on biosecurity and training available for farmers and handlers. And the swine program team has curated COVID-19 related resources so they are easy to find.
Extension's Agricultural Business Management team (ABM) is making sure Minnesota farmers have the latest information to help them apply for new federal money available through the Families First Act, the CARES Act, and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
The ABM team wants to make sure Minnesota farmers have what they need to make it through the sometimes complicated process to secure these loans. Funding may lapse quickly, so farm businesses should work immediately with their lending professionals to access federal loans, as applicable.
Read more about How the Families First and CARES Acts affect farm businesses on the ABM blog.
This resource page has a complete list of financial programs available to Minnesota farmers.
Extension crop researchers are continuing work in the fields and pivoting to deliver valuable training online. They are finding creative ways to keep crop producers up-to-date on new findings and on-going research in crop production and nutrient management through interactive technology.
The Minnesota Crop News blog is where you can find podcasts and the latest on how to keep learning while staying apart.
Extension researchers Joleen Hadrich, Megan Roberts and Brigid Tuck have published several reports on the effects of COVID-19 on livestock operations and the Minnesota economy.