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Helping protect farmers during the pandemic

Helping protect farmers during the pandemic

Some New York state farmers can pick up face masks and hand sanitizer free of charge

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

New York state farmers in search of personal protective equipment can pick some up for free thanks to a partnership.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties and the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets are holding multiple distribution events to provide farmers with free face masks and hand sanitizer.

Producers can pick up their supplies at the Schoharie County Fairgrounds in Cobleskill or at Northern Eagle Beverages in Oneonta. Pickups are scheduled for May 13, 14, 20 and 21 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Farmers must register in advance to ensure a smooth distribution process.

Producers in other parts of the state can receive free supplies too.

Cornell and the state ag department will host other distribution events in Delaware County in the coming days and weeks.

Free hand sanitizer and face masks will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Watershed Agricultural Council on May 15, at McDowell & Walker in Delhi on May 21 and at the Stamford Farmers Cooperative on May 23.

Producers are also required to register for these events.

County Farm Bureaus will be assisting with some of the distribution.

Keeping farmers safe will help ensure they can produce food safely and keep New Yorkers fed.

“It is important for our farmers and employees to have access to (personal protective equipment) to help mitigate the spread,” Steve Ammerman, public affairs manager with the New York Farm Bureau, told in an emailed statement. “It has been a challenge in some parts of the state to access enough equipment and this effort will make a difference to help protect everyone on the farm.” has reached out to Cornell University and the state agriculture department for comments.

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