DELAWARE COUNTY - About 300 members of the Farm Bureau Leadership were briefed by The New York Commissioner of Agriculture and Market Richard Ball on Thursday March 19, regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.
Key members leading discussion included Director of Farm Bureau Public Policy Jeff Williams, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall and President of the New York Farm Bureau Director David Fisher.
“We discussed measures we are taking to keep the milk plant workers safe,” said Delaware County Farm Bureau President Duane Martin. “The plants are going at full capacity because milk is flying off of the shelf.”
He added that the state farm bureau workers are working remotely as much as possible and are following the advice of New York Governor Cuomo.
“The farm bureau lobby team is doing a phone conference everyday and we are working to make sure that farmers are getting items such as seeds, parts and fuel,” said Martin. “We are working ahead at solving problems before they arise - this is for all commodities, not just milk.”
He said the biggest obstacle at the moment is distribution.
“The trucking industry - there has been such an increase in getting food into stores,” said Martin. “We will not be running out of food, there will be disruptions here and there because of bulk buying. There is plenty of food and no need to panic.”
As many who sell goods at farmers markets. Martin said in the future, they will look into spacing tables accordingly and only letting a certain amount of people attend at a time.
Martin said in the coming days, weeks and months, individuals will be thinking worst-case scenario.
“Let’s put aside our partisan differences and listen to our elected officials and implement their recommendations. Let’s show everyone how strong Delaware County is and take care of our families, neighbors, co-workers, employees, employers and the area businesses. We should also keep our local medical and health workers, law enforcement and first responders in our thoughts, because we have never seen anything like this.”
Martin encouraged the public to visit Instagram for farming posts and updates by searching #stillfarming.