Past and recent news of economic losses and hardships for farmers have tightened agricultural biosecurity measures, increasing the need for industry and commercial businesses to ensure their employees are adhering to best practices when working on farmland. When company representatives anticipate working on a farm, whether as a delivery driver, surveyor, or for construction work of any type, it is vital that they understand and are sensitive to their impacts regarding farm operations.
The Penn State Extension Shale Education team along with Veterinary Science educators have designed a course to help employers train their staff regarding sensitive biosecurity and farm etiquette issues. The short online course, “Farm Biosecurity Best Practices for Contractors, Vendors, and Visitors” covers the importance of biosecurity, necessary farm etiquette, and best practices for keeping animals and humans safe when visiting a farm.
“For any farm visit, whether it’s related to oil and gas work, pipeline, surveying, right-of-way inspections, or making deliveries, it’s important for industry to show communities that they are dedicated to protecting farms and livelihoods” states Tom Murphy, Director of Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR) and Extension educator. “They are part of the community, and building and maintaining a positive relationship is important. This online course is an ideal way to properly educate employees on following these best management practices and building a solid relationship with farmers.”
The course provides videos, short readings, and knowledge check questions to learn what to be aware of, how to conduct yourself and your equipment, and how to effectively communicate with a farm owner or manager. Upon completion, the employee will obtain a certificate of completion. The course is available at group rates as well as for individual registrations.
For more information on the course, please view our short video trailer or visit the course webpage.