COVID-19

Farm Flavor Magazine Features Extension Programs

group of people in masks at a farm
Commissioner Hurlburt doing farm visits to meet with producers to discuss the challenges they faced.

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, farmers urgently needed access to the newest information on government compliance, health protocols, federal aid and more. UConn Extension put together its own website for COVID-19-related information for both farmers and consumers on production, distribution and processing. UConn Extension also responded by organizing an initiative that enlisted UConn 4-H members and volunteers to distribute more than 144,000 pounds of surplus milk and other products from Connecticut dairies to 53 food pantries in the state.

Read the full article and the article on the work our Connecticut Sea Grant program is doing.

Hurricanes and COVID – 19

Preparing for the 2020 hurricane season or severe storms during the COVID – 19 pandemic requires more planning than usual. 

First, make a “go kit” – a bag you can grab and go should you need to evacuate!  Pack a kit for each household member and pet with a 2-week supply of emergency food, water, medicine and a thermometer for storing refrigerated medicines, flashlights, chargers, cell phones, close contacts list, important documents (unless you store these in the cloud) and personal items.  Since the pandemic, you should pack hand sanitizer and/or hand wipes, gloves, disinfectant/disinfectant wipes, soap, and at least 2 masks per person for people older than two years. 

If you are exempt from wearing a mask for medical or behavioral reasons, discuss how to manage community requests with your health care provider.  If you require specialized care, discuss potential shelter, hospitalization or other options with your health care provider well in advance of approaching storms. 

Check with your town hall to learn about shelter admission policies since COVID – 19, occupancy limits, and perhaps new locations for both people and pets.  Bring copies of veterinary records such as a rabies certificate and vaccines, certificates of adoption or ownership, photos of you and your pet, and consider getting a microchip for your pet. 

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/covid-19/prepare-for-hurricane.html

COVID-19 Resources: Hand washing & Activity Risk Chart

hand washing
Photo: Clemson Extension

Are You Keeping Your Hands Clean?

Keeping your hands clean is a good way to keep germs away. Make sure you are washing your hands effectively and are scrubbing every part! California.gov has published a graphic that details parts of our hands we often miss when handwashing. To view click here.

Estas Manteniendo Tus Manos Limpias?

Manteniendo sus manos limpias es una buena forma de mantener alejados los gérmenes. Asegúrese de lavarse las manos de manera eficaz, tallando todas las partes. California.gov a publicado un gráfico que enseña partes que muchas veces no so talladas. Para verlo haga clic aqui.

covid 19 risk chartCOVID-19 Risk Chart

What activities put you more at risk of getting COVID-19?

The Texas Medical Association has created a chart ranking activities from low to high risk.

Click here to view the chart.

 

 

Silvopasturing at UMass – Tri-State SARE Virtual Field Workshop

man sitting at an Apple computerJoin us for a tour of the silvopasture work at the UMass Agricultural Learning Center in Amherst, MA. With Nikki Burton of UMass Extension, we will have an online tour of their silvopasture, which includes sheep within a chestnut grove, and follow that with questions and discussion.

The workshop will be Tuesday, August 18th from 9 – 11AM

To register and receive the link for the webinar visit:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd5IkTjdHvGjQvMzqXPOjjIXa5LA2UV6vOPmSU98z6r4Md1sw/viewform?fbclid=IwAR2irTFUNVv5zWgS8DuEdTQwQmE8_zhpbD7gC19f73pRo4EFzWzXarYjFAo

If you have questions that you would like to send in advance that Nikki can address, please email rachel.bespuda@uconn.edu. You can also submit your questions at our registration page.

Other Learning Opportunities

 

COVID-19 & Social Capital Resources

man sitting at an Apple computerUpdated COVID-19 Resources from CDC:

CDC has a new Toolkit for Young Adults: 15 to 21 that includes easy to read FAQ’s, fact sheets, infographics, PSA’s, social media messages, and videos. The webpage contains a Coronavirus Self-Checker with questions to help individuals determine if they need to seek medical care. Compiled mental health resources are also published on the Support For Teens and Young Adults webpage to include COVID-19 prevention messages along with contact information for disaster, domestic violence, child abuse, and suicide prevention services. We have identified these resources to be particularly useful for youth.gov’s efforts in communicating with youth. In addition, on the Toolkit for K-12 Schools, programs can find updated social media messages, posters, and videos on how to properly wear face masks, appropriately practice social distancing, and safely manage youth sports.

Social Capital Resources from HHS/ASPE:

·         Virtual Training Series on the Value of Social Capital for Incarcerated/Reentering Populations: This training will offer concrete strategies for organizations working with incarcerated/reentering individuals to help them improve participant outcomes through building and leveraging the social capital of their participants. Webinar 3 will have a focus on youth mentoring and have speakers from OJJDP and Roca describing their work in this area.

·         Bi-weekly Tuesdays 2-3 p.m. EDT starting August 4, 2020, Register here: https://bit.ly/3e2C88M

·         Social Capital Considerations for the Incarcerated and Reentry Population: This issue brief summarizes six considerations for organizations working with incarcerated/reentering individuals who are interested in improving their participants’ outcomes through strengthening their individual social capital. The brief provides specific examples of how these action-oriented considerations are being implemented by four different organizations.

·         Networks that Work Podcast: This podcast features conversations with human services researchers and practitioners to better understand how to help program participants create and access social capital to improve their lives and outcomes.

CDC COVID-19 Resources

covid bannerAre you having trouble deciding whether you want your child to do virtual or in-person learning this coming school year?

The CDC has a School Decision-Making tool for Parents, Caregivers and Guardians to help you with your decision. This tool will help you weigh the risk and benefits of each learning style. To access the tool click here.

 

 

The CDC has a Happy Handwashing Song that can help kids time how long they have to wash their hands. There are also videos that detail key times to wash your hands, clean and disinfect your home, wear gloves, and wear a cloth face cover:

 

COVID-19 Trail Impact Report: April-May 2020

CT trail census logoCONNECTICUT TRAIL CENSUS RELEASES 

COVID-19 TRAIL IMPACT REPORT FOR APRIL-MAY 2020 

We are pleased to release the latest data on how several of the state’s most popular multi-use trails are being impacted by COVID-19. The new report documents trail use during April-May 2020 at 12 sites on multi-use trails in Connecticut, and compares use with the same period in 2019, as one indication of the changes in trail use occurring simultaneously with the outbreak of COVID-19. “The trend of increased trail use occurring simultaneously with the March outbreak of COVID-19 is continuing,” observed Charles Tracy, Coordinator for the Trail Census, “The Trail Census team wanted to share these initial findings as soon as the data was available.” Overall, three quarters of the trails participating in this study recorded an increase of greater than 50%, compared to April-May 2019.

The report released today is part of an ongoing trail research project conducted by the Connecticut Trail Census. Other Trail Census projects include “On the Trail” a new weekly podcast; organizing a multi-state conference on bicycle and pedestrian data collection; a new data visualization portal; and work on creating a statewide trails website.

The Connecticut Trail Census is a statewide volunteer-based data collection and education program. The program collects information about trail use through trail use counts recorded by infrared counters and user intercept surveys administered by trained volunteers. The goal is to develop an accurate picture of who uses trails in Connecticut, and to advance and inform new trail policy, design and construction throughout the state. 

Initiated in 2017 as a partnership between UConn Extension, Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments, Connecticut Greenways Council, and local trails advocacy organizations, the Trail Census has expanded to over 20 data collection sites on trails across the state. The program receives funding from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Recreational Trails Program. For more information, visit www.cttrailcensus.uconn.edu   

Link: COVID-19 Trail Impact Report: April-May 2020

Survey Impacts of COVID-19 on Agricultural Producers

Angus beef cattle crazing on horsebarn hill at UConn

Agricultural Producers: You are invited to participate in a research study. UConn Extension has many educational programs for agricultural producers. You may or may not have participated in these in the past. We are surveying agricultural producers to determine the impacts of COVID-19 on your agricultural business and what educational programs you need from UConn Extension and our partners because of COVID-19.

This study should take five minutes of your time. Your participation will be anonymous. The full information sheet and link to the survey is available at: https://bit.ly/AgCOVID_June

Mental Health Resources / Recursos Para Su Salud Conductual

stress spelled out with scrabble piecesThe COVID-19 virus has struck the nation unexpectedly. We recognize that taking care of your behavioral health during a pandemic can be a challenge. Worrying about your health and the health of your loved ones can cause extreme stress, fear, and anxiety.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has provided many Mental Health Resources that include information and tips on how to take care of your behavioral health. Resources also include information and tips for caregivers, parents, and teachers on how to help children. 

For more resources visit:

https://store.samhsa.gov/

 

La pandemia de COVID-19 ha golpeado a la nación inesperadamente. Reconocemos que cuidar su salud conductual durante una pandemia puede ser un desafío. Preocuparse por su salud y la salud de sus seres queridos puede causar estrés, miedo, y ansiedad.

El Departamento de Salud Y Servicios Humanos de EE. UU. ha proporcionada muchos recursos que incluyen información y consejos en cómo cuidar su salud conductual. Los recursos también incluyen información y consejos para cuidadores, padres y maestros sobre cómo ayudar a los niños.

 Para más recursos visite:

https://store.samhsa.gov/

 

 

What to Know Before You Go: Visiting a Farm During COVID

strawberriesFacemasks and social distancing have become the norm in all parts of our lives. Farm stands, community supported agriculture (CSA) operations; farmers’ markets and pick-your-own operations have remained open despite the pandemic. However, the operations have changed to adhere to regulations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Before you visit the farm or farmers’ market, there are a few things the farmer wants you to
know:
Wear your mask at all times. We are responsible for the health and safety of our
family, workers, and all of our farm visitors. Everyone must comply.
Minimize the number of people in your group. Although parts of the operation
are outdoors, we still have to follow state and CDC guidelines on the number of
visitors on the farm at one time. Reducing the number of people in your group helps.
Keep your children close at all times. If you do bring your children, make sure
they stay with you the entire time.
Don’t eat at the farm. Do not eat anything at the farm. If it’s a pick-your-own
operation, do not eat any fruit in the field. Wait until you get home, wash the berries
or other produce and then eat it. Do not bring snacks from home to the farm either.
Visit http://www.foodsafety.uconn.edu/ for more information on food safety.
Leave your pets at home. We love our animals too, but in these challenging times
we cannot have them at our farms or farmers’ markets. If someone was sick, they
can increase the spread of disease. Please leave your dogs at home.
Practice physical distancing. Even though we are outside or picking in the field we
need to maintain our physical distances from others. Our farms and markets are
setting up signs and marking areas for physical distancing to the best of our ability.
Please help us out and stay conscious of your proximity to other farm visitors and
workers.
Stay home if you feel ill. Please help us keep everyone safe and healthy.
Smile. Even with your facemask on, we’ll know that you’re smiling. We can’t wait to
see you at the farm, and appreciate your continued support.

Although these challenging times have created a new normal for all of us, going to a farm stand, pick-your-own operation or farmers’ market can restore some semblance of normal activity. Farmers want you to visit and purchase products. Crops are ripening daily and we all want to enjoy some Connecticut grown foods. Keep these tips in mind as you visit the farm so we can all enjoy the best that our farms have to offer.
To find a farm operation near you visit http://ctgrownmap.com/.

Article by Stacey Stearns and Nancy Barrett