As North Dakota slowly moves into a phase of re-opening, the risk of illness from COVID-19 has not faded. Farmers, ranchers and their employees interact with each other regularly, so they need to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) physical distancing guidelines to minimize the risk for themselves and their families. Here are some tips to protect farm employees:
- Maintain a 6-foot distance between people whenever possible.
- Wear a mask when working around others.
- Develop a cohesive plan for the whole farm.
Daily plans can be communicated virtually through phone calls, emails or group text messages. If in-person meetings are necessary, try to meet outside in an open area rather than in a small shop with limited space that won’t allow for physical distancing. If you have space, set chairs apart or mark spots on the floor for distancing. Here are some other tips for physical distancing:
- Have enough vehicles so people can drive separately or in pairs as often as possible. Assign equipment, tractors and pickups to individuals as much as possible, especially for those who may be considered at higher risk of developing illnesses.
- Limit the number of individuals in vehicles when riding from field to field, and wear a mask when sharing this space.
- Limit ride-alongs of nonessential workers or family.
- Stagger breaks and mealtimes to minimize the number of individuals in the breakroom at one time, and encourage cleaning and disinfecting between uses.
Visit NDSU’s COVID-19 in agriculture website at