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COVID-19 links to additional help for on farm
Fiona Gower

COVID-19 links to additional help for on farm

Farmers and growers who are required to isolate or quarantine on farm or have staff self isolating, can get some extra support from Rural Support Trusts and regional groups of industry organisations around the country.

A ‘cluster’ of agencies is on call to provide specialised advice including primary industry sector representatives, with RSTs playing a key role. This will be in addition to support provided by your health-care provider.

We have been working with Beef+Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, Pork NZ, Deer Industry New Zealand and the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand.

Extra government funding of $400,000 was announced on 8 February to provide extra support for farmers, growers, and their staff, on how to navigate issues that arise if required to isolate or quarantine. 

The support each RSTs is putting in place will help anyone to:

· Get a plan in place for getting through COVID-19 on farm,

· Offer one-to-one support from a facilitator and keep in regularly touch by phone

· Provide wellbeing resources.

RSTs have been working for months to prepare for the arrival of COVID-19 in rural communities. We have been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work, promoting the on-farm checklist and supporting a few farmers who have had COVID-19. Around the country RSTs will continue to work with their local District Health Boards and other agencies, to ensure there is good understanding of the unique needs of primary industries.

Rural communities are really good at helping each other out. Therefore, take the time now to encourage your neighbours and friends to ask for a hand, if they have to isolate.

Prepare by stocking up on pantry supplies, regular medications and talk to your staff about doing the same. If you haven’t already completed an on-farm readiness plan, now is a good time to do this (see links below).

The targeted funding is being administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries and is initially available until 1 April 2022.

If you are notified that you are positive for Covid or a close contact of someone who is, ask for a call from the RST or call 0800 787 254 

Free COVID-19 checklists for farmers, growers and lifestyle block owners:

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