Preparing for Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Farms

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has brought the need for business continuity planning to the forefront.  China’s influence in agriculture is wide-ranging.  In the case of the COVID-19 public health situation, there will almost inevitably be some unexpected consequences as supplies become limited or unavailable.

A farm business continuity plan will help pinpoint contingencies in critical areas related to employees/staff and could include backup plans for work practices, transportation, communication, service and supply chain, and cash flow.

Farms could involve suppliers, and customers where appropriate, in developing these plans.  Farms may consider running outage scenarios to assess the possibility of unforeseen impacts.  This is also a good time to review important community contact information including your county Emergency contacts and Public Health Department.

Farm Businesses  Resources

COVID-19 Guidance for Farm Employers   Farms have unique challenges with the rapidly spreading COVID-19. UW-Madison Extension experts provide tips for farm employers about communicating COVID-19 protocol to employees. (In Spanish)

Six Possible Impacts of COVID 19 on Farms   University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension – specific considerations that farmers, farming families, ag employers, and employees need to be aware of and plan for (March 16, 2020)

American Veterinary Medical Association   Information on COVID-19 and the impact on veterinary medicine and other supply chain effects.

ReadyAg Workbook
A detailed planning guide to help farmers better prepare for general disasters.

Business Preparedness tools:

Preparedness, Response, Recovery Plan
A template tool for organizational/business preparedness for epidemics by Extension Disaster Education Network

Get Your Workplace Ready for Pandemic Flu
A workbook (set of factsheets), on workplace preparedness for flu pandemic by the Center for Disease Control

Epidemic Preparedness for Community Organizations
A resource for organizational/business preparedness specific to epidemics (factsheets, templates and online course) by the Extension Disaster Education Network

Ready Business
A general business preparedness planning resource, by the Federal Emergency Management Agency/Dept. of Homeland Security

Learn the facts about COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), and local health departments have compiled information for the general public to learn more about COVID-19.

As an individual, there are things you can do to help prevent the spread of illness.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze.
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