Relief for farmers: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County creating care packages

Local News

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Central New York farmers have been hit hard. Many are struggling to get through the coronavirus pandemic but a little relief is on the way.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County, or CCE MC, received a grant of $7,500 from the CNY Community Foundation and the Madison County Rural Poverty Fund. They then received a supply through the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets so more farmers could receive these care packages.

More recently, the Madison County Farm Bureau, or MCFB, partnered with them, donating about $4,600 to help this project go even further.

“I’m picking up masks for our business. That’s one of the things we’ve been having a little bit of a hard time getting ahold of,” said Adam Carvell one of the owners of Old Home Distillers, a farm distillery in Lebanon.

Farmers were struggling before COVID-19 and now with schools closed, part of their supply chain is cut off. So not only is their income a reason to worry, there’s another concern about getting sick.

“A lot of our farmers they work husband and wife on a farm by themselves, if one of them gets sick the cows still need to be milked,” said Myron Thurston, Agricultural Economic Development and Marketing Specialist with CCE MC.

So nearby organizations are stepping up. “It shows that we’re there, we’re supportive, we’re doing what we can to help in the small way that we can,” said Shawn Bossard, President of the Madison County Farm Bureau.

The CCE MC has already given out 1,726 face coverings, 189-gallon pumps of hand sanitizer, and supplied 657 farmworkers. Bump says the goal is to reach at least 200 of the 600 farms.

Those at Old Home Distillers also reworked part of the distillery to make hand sanitizer. They then donated four-ounce bottles to go to other farmers in these packages. “It’s about finding things that your neighbors need,” said Carvell.

This round of donations also comes with a form for farmers to write down three Madison County businesses their farm could benefit from. The information will be used to help the CCE MC determine which businesses to purchase gift cards from for the next phase of care packages.

“The growing season is just starting so we’ll have a lot more workers that come in just for the growing season, so the needs only gonna continue to increase,” said Bump.

“It’s been crucial to people, you know, give and get and that’s what’s gonna keep us going,” said Carvell.

Lending a hand to local, so our farmers can keep growing.

If you’d like to help:

Karin Bump
100 Eaton Street
Morrisville, NY 13408

For pickup of face coverings and sanitizer, farmers can go to the CCE MC office the rest of this week and through next week, excluding Memorial Day.

  • Tuesday: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.           
  • Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Thursday: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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For more local news, follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter @NeSommavilla.

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