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Resiliency in a time of Pandemic

Many of our Indiana conservation partners are settling into teleworking, the challenges of setting home office boundaries with children who are out of school, and taking care to keep family and friends most at risk for COVID-19 infections. It can be challenging.

Meanwhile, our Nation’s farmers are entering a third consecutive year of “never before seen” impacts on their livelihoods – First trade wars, then disastrous climate change impacts, and now... a global pandemic plus sharp commodity price drops associated with effects of crude oil price drops on ethanol production.

To paraphrase John Piotti, President and CEO of American Farmland Trust: “None of us know how this is going to unfold over the next few months, but one thing is certain: America’s farmers and ranchers will be out in the field planting and getting ready for the 2020 season.”

Unsurprisingly, those who work in food and agriculture are “essential critical infrastructure workers” according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

The stress is enormous. Still - across Indiana, farmers are getting ready for the spring planting season. Operations have commenced in the southern part of the state. They are a resilient bunch.

Let’s help our farmers maintain that resiliency. But let’s not add to our farmers’ stress. Let’s do our jobs and keep our farmers safe in theirs. Please follow guidelines provided by your organization, the State of Indiana and the Centers for Disease Control.

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to unfold, CCSI is working with our partners to keep our communities safe - while still working to promote the adoption of soil health practices.

  • CCSI Staff have been asked to telework through at least April 6th. With Governor Holcomb’s announcement earlier in the week of K-12 school closure through May 1, we may extend this timeframe.

  • Following Purdue Extension directives, CCSI will cancel all in-person events through May 17.

We have experienced – and heard of others’ experience – of trouble accessing teleconference lines and web-based conference platforms. Consider changing your start time to something other than top of the hour or bottom of the hour. For example - 1:10, 1:15, or 1:20 instead of 1:00

Please keep in mind that many of our Indiana Conservation Partnership staff who are working remotely live in more rural locations with limited broadband capabilities. Video conferencing will be difficult for those individuals. You may wish to discuss using platforms approved by your organization, such as Box, to share and collaborate on files.

We are committed to work with our partners to plan future events and trainings - and are working to provide adaptive means of communication – so that we can continue to educate and promote the use of soil health practices on Indiana cropland. Please reach out to any of us for support.

Stay safe

Lisa Holscher

Director, Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative


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