How to Prepare When It’s Hard to Plan

Dear Rebecca,

Greetings to you and your loved ones. If the sun’s out, hopefully the first cut of hay is in and the farm is looking as good as it will for awhile. It is difficult to read the tea leaves right now, and perhaps more than anything, we are certain that you cannot be certain. The country is facing record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 and so much remains unpredictable. With that in mind, what are the considerations and preparations you can make now so that you are as prepared as possible for the future?

When it is so hard to plan, sometimes it can be helpful to prepare for what you can. Here’s the best wisdom circulating in my farming circles:

  • Take a good look at your pastures. What do you see? What do they need?
  • Have you looked at year on year data around temperature, production, and rainfall? What can you predict in these numbers? What patterns or trends can you identify?
  • How secure are your markets, now almost 5 months into a world changed by the pandemic? We know that many of you made and are making changes to adjust your business model in order to sell products. Will your existing clients and outlets still exist or be able to buy from you in the future?
  • If your slaughter plant is booked up for months, reduces operating capacity or closes down, what alternatives exist? What resources can you use to identify those alternatives?
  • Do you have back up plans in place if delivery services, farm pick up or methods of getting products to customers are disrupted?
  • Do you have the resources and labor needed to help with farm tasks, packing products, preparing for delivery and/or communicating with customers? How can you find help with these tasks if needed?

Our team wrote “info or call to let us know if you need help or an ear to listen to challenges, frustrations, or possibilities due to the current realities you are facing on your farm or ranch and in your communities.

Thank you for your non-stop, dedicated work. You will find more from the AGW program below.

Hosting People On-Farm? Do it safely.
Allowing people access to farms is an important part of working with your local community and potential customers. During the pandemic, some of you may be offering on-farm pick-up or creative ways to safely provide agritourism experiences. As you develop your own safety protocols for your plan, in addition to the COVID-specific resources linked above, AGW’s Information Sheet “Guidelines For Farms that Host Open Days” outlines other important considerations for the health and safety of visitors and your livestock.


New Merchandise: Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW Vinyl Decals
These 6×6 inch square vinyl decals, available in packs of five, are designed to catch the eye of shoppers and draw attention to your retail products. AGW-certified farmers, ranchers and businesses, place your order online today!
Making the Most of Your Certification
AGW-certified businesses are able to use some of the most valuable, meaningful labels leading the marketplace today. This growing community of certified farms, ranches and businesses are industry leaders in farm animal welfare and environmental sustainability. Are you interested in knowing how to make sure you take full advantage of the services offered by the AGW program? A quick and important read, Help Us Help You explains how we can work together to maximize your certification—and by doing so, convey your hard work and sustainable farm management practices to your customers.
News from the AGW Family
We are excited to announce the world’s first Certified Non-GMO by AGW tomato chutney from BaBa Foods Co., a Seattle-based artisan food manufacturer. This wholesome chutney is made with fresh ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, and the chutney recipe has been passed down for multiple generations from owner Jasdeep Saran’s mother’s side of the family. PR Underground highlighted AGW-certified AGN Roots, producer of certified grassfed whey protein powder. West Hawaii Today covers the beef donation made by the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council to The Salvation Army, helping to provide prepared meals for those impacted by the pandemic. AGW-certified Hawaii Meats is one of the donating businesses. As always, we will continue to share news from our growing family, and if you have news from your farm or ranch, please let us know.

Andrew Gunther
Executive Director
P.S. AGW’s Summer Sale on Certified Non-GMO by AGW is still running. If you have questions, want to know more about the benefits of certifying your products as Non-GMO or explain howCertified Non-GMO by AGW stacks up to other non-GMO labels out there, please get in touch with your regional coordinator with any questions and review the discounted rates.
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