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New Jersey Farm Bureau News

The USDA is finalizing rules for Covid-19 financial assistance for farmers. In addition to regular FSA programs, the agency will likely play a key roll in any additional disaster assistance due to this pandemic. All producers should be prepared to contact their local Farm Service Agency when the time comes, to ensure they get the assistance they need.

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Please note: USDA Service Centers in New Jersey will continue to be open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, but they will be working with producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. In the event a Service Center is not currently available to serve customers on location, producers can receive assistance from the closest alternate Service Center by phone. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

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New Jersey Service Center Phone Numbers

Dial extension 2 for FSA, 3 for NRCS, and 4 for RD (*where available) 

– Columbus Service Center, Columbus*, NJ – 609-267-1639

– Freehold Service Center, Freehold, NJ- 732-462-0075

– Frenchtown Service Center, Frenchtown, NJ- 908-782-4614

– Hackettstown Service Center, Hackettstown*, NJ- 908-852-2576

– Vineland Service Center, Vineland*, NJ- 856-205-1225

– Woodstown Service Center, Woodstown, NJ- 856-769-1126

The Equine Science Center has created a webpage with a resource list for Covid-19 Equine Related Resources for New Jersey.

The page is a compilation of resources that have been made available by groups such as the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, New Jersey Farm Bureau, American Association of Equine Practitioners, Equine Disease Communication Center, American Horse Council, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

View the webpage by clicking here.

And be sure to check back regularly as the Equine Science Center will continually provide updates as more resources are available.

As farms that market direct to the consumer they can be open. The farm owner/manager sets the conditions for those visits. The order for entertainment and exhibitions, fairs and shows means all events are cancelled!

It is recommended for the next 10-14 days that horse owners with no direct care responsibilities avoid going to the farm. 

Access can be permitted for horse owners to come care for and work with their animals if that has been part of the stabling agreement.  Farms should set up schedules and limit the number of persons on the farm at any given time. (10 people and under rule is good here) Horse owners should respect the farms limits and guidelines.

The owner or their designee should be the only person to come and work or care for the horse, Families should not all come and visit as a group.

Hand washing and equipment sanitizing should be practiced by all visitors to the farm.

Workers employed by the farm, as well as farriers and other contractors are also able to work and come to a farm. These people need to follow the social distancing rules and respect the operational hours of the farm owner.

The American Horse Council has posted more detailed information about the responsibilities of horse owners and those visiting equine operations fined that information here:

https://www.horsecouncil.org/covid-19-resouces/

As we expect COVID-19 case numbers to grow over the next week this is a prudent recommendation. Farm owners/operators should begin working on plans for owners to see their animals and begin riding as soon as practical. They should work on schedules and protocols to continue social distancing even as they try to return regular business. 

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board today approved a suite of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
 
The package of initiatives includes a grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information. Taken together, they will provide more than $75 million of State and private financial support, with the opportunity to grow to more than $100 million if additional philanthropic, State, and federal resources become available. The initiatives will support between 3,000 and 5,000 small and midsize enterprises and are meant to complement recently announced federal economic recovery initiatives.

Click here for more information.