This week brought a number of changes with COVID-19 and trying to stop its spread. We wanted to remind you that we have continued to work on updating the Farmer Resource page on the Virginia Farm Bureau website. You can access it here: https://www.vafb.com/FarmerResources
Here are some of the highlights of what we have updated:
Agriculture Labor Tab:
• Letters for workers or farmers to carry when traveling in North Carolina and Maryland. You still do not need a letter to travel in Virginia. We have also posted the State Police guidance that they issued on April 1st.
• Looking for guidance with providing farm employees information: https://bit.ly/2UDJtFB
Farm Financials Tab:
We have summarized the U.S. Paycheck Protection Program with links to applications and to let you know farms are eligible.
VDACS links on the right side of the Farmer Resource page:
Based on questions this week from members, VDACS issued guidance last week on:
• Farmer’s Markets – https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/covid-guidance-farmers-markets.pdf
• Pick Your Own and Individual Farm Stands – https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/covid-guidance-farm-stand.pdf
• Equine Operations – http://www.equinediseasecc.org/coronavirus-resources
• Livestock and Produce Auctions – https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/covid-guidance-auctions.pdf
Other Farm Issues Tab:
This includes information for individuals that need to complete their commercial pesticide applicators test.
New Tab: How Can I Help?
This includes information on donating to local food banks and the information about applying for a tax credit for donations from the farm.
Educational Resources Tab:
Don’t forget that all of the links to all of the Agriculture in the Classroom activities are located under the educational resources tab. If you are on Facebook, they have new activities that students and teachers and parents can utilize. https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaAgintheClassroom/
Virginia Farm Bureau staff have partnered with Farm Credit Knowledge Center in helping to bring you additional information through educational webinars. For a schedule of all their webinars: https://www.farmcreditknowledgecenter.com/Local-Events/Calendar.aspx
American Farm Bureau:
American Farm Bureau is holding several conference calls each week with Presidents as well as state Farm Bureau staff to collectively learn about issues farmers are experiencing as a result of COVID-19. Today, President Duvall sent a comprehensive letter to USDA Secretary Purdue requesting additional help each commodity sector. Virginia Farm Bureau staff included several commodity sectors that were covered.
Virginia Farm Bureau staff has been working closely with the farmers that depend on getting H2A workers for their planting, field work and harvesting. If you have any questions, please refer to the Agricultural Labor tab on the Farmer Resource page or email Ben Rowe at firstname.lastname@example.org with your specific questions.
Commodity Market Updates:
Don’t forget to follow Virginia Farm Bureau on Facebook and Plows and Politics blog for Robert Harper’s commodity market update each Friday with Merchandiser Minute.