News Flash

Wright County News

Posted on: March 31, 2020

U of M Extension Offers Advice As Farmers Deal with COVID-19

By Adam Austing, University of Minnesota Extension Educator

As we learn more and more about the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems to be harder and harder to predict how long this crisis could last. So as we creep closer and closer to the growing season, I have been wondering how this respiratory virus might affect Wright County farmers that might contract it.

There are a little less than 700 Wright County farmers that are over age 65, which makes up over 31 percent of the county’s farmer population. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), those roughly 700 farmers are in the age category at higher risk for serious illness. This means that farmers, and those that work with farmers, should be following preventive guidelines. These guidelines from the CDC include washing hands, staying home as much as possible, and avoiding close contact with others. These are a few simple things we can do to keep each other healthy. When the growing season kicks off in the next month or two, I urge everyone that works with farmers to be mindful of these recommendations and do everything we can to keep our farmers healthy and in the field this spring.

Farmers and their families often do less traveling and naturally experience fewer physical encounters because of their lives in rural Minnesota. This may lead us to believe that social distancing will be an easy task for our farmers. However, many of the places that farmers encounter people- such as their kids’ schools, their churches, and local stores- are changing the

way they operate. If the places where our farmers are normally interacting with others become unavailable, “social distancing” may quickly start to feel like “isolation.”

A lot of these institutions are using online communication resources to compensate for closures. This is usually a good solution, but definitely is not helpful for the 20 percent of Wright County farmers that do not have internet access. On top of that, some farmers have internet access, but not connections capable of handling the high-speed requirements of video conferencing, webinars, and other means of virtual connection. Although many farmers are on the cutting edge of technology use, we are finding out that our rural internet infrastructure is lacking for some of our farms.

The University of Minnesota is following recommendations for social distancing and all in-person Extension events are canceled through March 31. Extension is still here to help if you have questions related to agriculture, horticulture, or yard and garden. Please contact me, Adam Austing, at or (763) 682-7381 if you have questions, concerns, ideas, or just want to talk about the 2020 planting season. During this time, Extension is offering many online learning opportunities at

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Wright County News

Fish Houses Must Be Off Lakes By Monday

Posted on: February 24, 2021

Two 4-H Summer Internships Available

Posted on: February 17, 2021

Members of Solar Farm Work Group Named

Posted on: February 16, 2021

I-35W Bridge to Glow Purple Tonight

Posted on: February 16, 2021

View Today's Press Conference

Posted on: February 11, 2021

Sheriff's Office Statement on Shooting

Posted on: February 9, 2021

County Offices Closed Monday, Jan. 18

Posted on: January 15, 2021

Public Health Releases COVID-19 Dashboard

Posted on: December 31, 2020

DNR Warning Residents About Thin Ice

Posted on: December 18, 2020

MEADA Receives $125,000 Federal Grant

Posted on: December 10, 2020

Public Health Releases COVID-19 Dashboard

Posted on: November 30, 2020

Sheriff's Office Releases Activity Report

Posted on: November 30, 2020

Sheriff's Office Releases Activity Report

Posted on: November 16, 2020

Santa Coming to Bertram Park Dec. 5

Posted on: November 5, 2020

View the Ballot You Will Be Filling Out

Posted on: October 21, 2020

Buckthorn a Problem in Woodland Areas

Posted on: October 13, 2020

Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day

Posted on: September 18, 2020

Absentee Voting In Person Starts Friday

Posted on: September 14, 2020

CSAH 30 Project Nearing Completion

Posted on: September 8, 2020

Road Work on Hwy. 25 Starting Sept. 8

Posted on: September 3, 2020

Sirens to Sound at 1 P.M. Today, But Why?

Posted on: September 2, 2020

Road Closure in Monticello Tuesday

Posted on: August 24, 2020

Why Are Flags at Half-Mast Today?

Posted on: August 19, 2020

Where Is My Polling Place Location?

Posted on: August 10, 2020

Trailblazer Ridership on the Rise

Posted on: March 4, 2020