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Farmer Programs Newsletter for June 26, 2020

Hi folks, this is the MOFGA Farmer Programs newsletter for June 26, 2020. We are now issuing our newsletter every two weeks. If you happened to miss a past issue this spring or want to look up an item, the back issues are archived on the MOFGA website. Please send inquiries, suggestions, corrections or advice regarding this newsletter to [email protected].


 

NEW: Organic Price Report Forms. MOFGA has created a new system for farmers to report their organic retail or wholesale prices for three seasonal price reports this year. These are simple Google Forms, which should allow you to open and use them readily on any device and can be closed and reopened any time, at your convenience. We will compile and share the data three times during the growing season of 2020: in mid-July, late August and mid-October. Submit your pricing information at any time. There are separate forms for Vegetables, Fruit, Dairy, Meat and Eggs, Herbs, Flowers and Decorative Squash, each with dropdown menus of product/unit combinations to click and report. Send any questions, suggestions, comments, etc. to Nicolas Lindholm: [email protected].


MOFGA's Primary COVID-19 Resource Document for Farmers

The MOFGA Farmer Programs staff has compiled this clearinghouse of almost every topic and issue related to farming during the COVID-19 crisis, with links and information and resources about insurance, employees, farmers' markets, online marketing, loans and grants, etc. We update it regularly – newest updates are highlighted in yellow. Resources that may be of particular interest to farmworkers are highlighted in green.

 

Resources

 

  • Maine COVID-19 Interim Guidance for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers, Their Employers, and Housing Providers. Produced by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Mobile Health Program, this newly released, 14-page document outlines the recommended safety protocols and procedures for farms to protect and manage their workforce during the coronavirus pandemic. It provides information on prevention and control measures, including forming household groups, transporting workers, handling suspected or confirmed cases among the crew, accessing the services of the Maine Mobile Health Program, and other topics of importance in keeping our farms and our food system safe.

  • COVID-19 Testing Available for Farm Workers and Seasonal Farm Managers. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services put out this standing order on June 8, allowing all seasonal and migrant agricultural workers in Maine to be tested for COVID-19 whether they are showing symptoms or not. If you and your farm crew would like to get tested, you can print this standing order and arrange to be tested at a test sight. A statement from Gov. Mills on the same date also allows for greatly expanded testing services, including mobile test units to be used throughout the state. At this time, the Maine Mobile Health Program is honoring this standing order and will be working some of the test sites.

  • Signage for Direct Sale Farms/Markets During COVID-19.  You can print these 19 signs (8 ½" x 11"), produced by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, for use at market or on the farm, to inform customers and staff about parking, lines, social distancing, rest rooms, etc.

  • Signage for U-pick Operations during COVID-19. This is a single 8 ½" x 11" sign, produced by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, that you can print to inform customers about safety protocols and procedures at your farm during the pick-your-own season this year.

  • Swine Health Update Summer 2020. In response to a large number of reports and inquiries about sickly, coughing pigs, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Animal Health Team recently released this statement with recommendations and considerations for your pigs' health. It includes several links and resources for additional information.

  • Small Bites. Two new posts are now available: "Who Does What on the Farm" and "You Actually Like to Wash Eggs? Some Jobs We Love, Some Are Slogs." These short, informational articles offer practical ideas about stress reduction, improved communication and family well-being written by coaches from UMaine Cooperative Extension's farm coaching team. Farm coaches are available at no cost to work remotely with farmers and farm families.

 

Get on the Map!

 

 

Upcoming Webinars

 

  • How to Generate Visibility and Traffic to Your Business webinar. Tuesday, June 30, 11 a.m. Learn how to drive online traffic to your website and enable more customers to find your site. Presented by John Paglio, digital marketing specialist, Flyte New Media. Hosted by Maine Small Business Development Centers. Free of charge.

  • Start Selling Online with WordPress webinar. Thursday, July 9, 2 p.m. This webinar will cover e-commerce concepts that are fundamental for using any website platform, but it is geared toward small business owners who either already have a WordPress website or want to create one. Hosted by Maine Small Business Development Centers. Free of charge.

 

Upcoming Bond Issue

 

  • Question 1 on the July 14 statewide ballot gives voters a chance to support a $15 million bond to invest in high-speed internet infrastructure that will be matched by $30 million in private, federal and local support. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of high-speed internet for Maine farm businesses, as many Maine farmers need to increase their online business activities and/or pivot to using more online platforms to sell their products This need for high-speed internet service in Maine will only increase in the future, not only to support farm businesses, but also to provide farm families with access to important educational and communication resources. Farmers can help bring high-speed internet to rural Maine by

    • Voting YES on 1 on the July 14 ballot

    • Spreading the word about Yes on 1 to other farmers and farm-related businesses

    • Endorsing the Yes on 1 campaign HERE

For more information about the Yes on 1 campaign, go to https://www.betterinternetformaine.org.

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