Vermont's Pick-Your-Own Operations COVID-19 Restart Plan Implemented
June 3, 2020 | Montpelier, VT - An important part of Vermont's agricultural landscape now has a plan to open safely during the Covid-19 response and recovery period implemented by Governor Phil Scott. Pick-Your-Own (PYO) farms provide local access to fresh, quality food and contribute to the fabric of their communities. The Pick-Your-Own Restart Plan guidance is intended to support Vermont farms that offer pick-your-own opportunities to safely invite to customers to their farms. With the guidance supplied by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), Pick-Your-Own operations can now begin the work to allow for safe access to their agriculture products when ready to pick. Maintaining public connections to our working lands and its benefits is of great importance to our farmers and farming communities during these stressful times.
The below information and resources are now avaialble on the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets for Pick-Your-Own operations and the public to understand how to operate this traditional Vermont agricultural tradition while protecting the health and safety of all who visit the farm.
Required Practices For Pick-Your-Own Operations
Pick-your-own agricultural producers, including berry farms and orchards, shall adhere to the ACCD’s Phased Restart Work Safe Guidance for retail operations and follow the guidelines identified in the Pick-Your-Own Restart Plan. Read the Pick-Your-Own Restart Plan for required steps all Vermont PYO operations must implement in order to open this season.
Risk reduction and best practices to consider:
(1) Risk Reduction Options for Pick-Your-Own Farms During the COVID-19 Pandemic - University of Vermont Extension
(2) Best Management Practices for U-Pick Farms During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Cornell University
(1) Considerations for Fruit and Vegetable Growers Related to Coronavirus & COVID-19 - University of Vermont Extension
(3) Download signs to communicate with customers from the Vermont Agritourism Collective Safety, Liability, and Regulations page.
Questions? Contact AGR.CovidResponse@vermont.gov or (802) 585-6225.