Each farmer should have a plan in place to have help, in case they become ill with Covid-19, according to Beef Plan’s national chairman, Patrick Rooney.
He is urging the farming community to follow guidelines such as handwashing, social distancing and communicating by phone. “Your task is to protect yourself and your families and that you remain to be able to provide to so many.”
He said that farmers have a national duty to ensure that shopping baskets remain full for the citizens of Ireland and Europe.
“For our farming community, never more should you be more valued for the produce you provide every day, which shall be needed in the days, weeks and months ahead.”
“Farmers are not bulletproof to Covid-19. The cows must be milked, the ewes must be lambed, the cows must be calved, the seed must go in the ground.”
“If there is someone in the community, who is not in work currently, please come forward to be trained for milking and other farming duties. This is of fundamental importance.”
“We must plan for the months ahead. As farmers, we fill the meat counters, the fridges with dairy, the vegetable trays and many other sections in the supply chain.”
He praised the efforts of doctors, nurses, health care providers, truck drivers and all those who “come to help turn the wheel”.
The farm organisation is calling on young people, with their education and “quick learning capabilities” to come to the forefront of the battle.“We cannot place old heads on young shoulders, however, old heads can provide knowledge to the heads on those young shoulders and to not be afraid to come to the forefront.”
Rooney said leaders are needed in parishes, counties, housing estates and apartment blocks to rally in these environments and communities, to help service providers.
“For those that are being laid off and being made redundant, please answer the call to enrol and to help.”
“The bills and the money worries will be sorted out after, once we get through this unchartered experience.”
He is advising communities to implement plans for elderly and vulnerable citizens and health care workers. These plans, Rooney added, should involve teams, which can interchange on a rota basis to give rest to teams that will require rest.
“Let us take the Covid-19 curve and bend it back into as much of a flat line as possible. We can be shrewd by using our civic duty to adhere to the guidelines and not endangering anybody.”
“We ask the citizens of Ireland to unite in this national emergency and rise to beat Coronavirus.” Rooney concluded.