If you farm in Vermont and need a relief milker during this unprecedented time, NOFA-VT may be able to help.
The organization has launched a relief milker program to help farmers whose workers are out sick, or if they are sick and need someone to take over.
“We have heard a growing concern from dairy farmers about what will happen if they get sick with COVID-19 and cannot work. Dairy farmers are already economically stressed, and milking is not the type of work that can pause for a week or two,” according to a press release from NOVA-VT.
Bill Cavanaugh, farm business adviser for NOFA-VT, says the organization has gotten 75 qualified milkers from each of the state’s counties. He says that no farmer has taken advantage of the program yet.
“In a best-case scenario, no one will have any need of this service, but we feel that being proactive is the best policy in the face of this pressing issue,” he says.
Cavanaugh says that NOFA-VT is paying the relief milkers out of its Farmer Emergency Fund.
“These relief milkers will be available to both organic and conventional farmers,” he says. “This pandemic will hit all Vermont farmers equally and we want to make sure that our efforts are able to have the maximum impact in supporting Vermont's dairy industry.”
To participate and get a relief worker, contact Cavanaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also make a donation online to NOFA-VT's Farmer Emergency Fund.