Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Findlay have fully transitioned to learning and working remotely. However, there are a few facilities where working remotely just isn’t an option. Unlike most universities, Findlay has multiple barns that house hundreds of animals which require daily care.
Through the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, the staff at the University of Findlay’s Western Farm, James L. Child Jr. English Equestrian Complex, and Dr. C. Richard Beckett Animal Science Building remain committed to ensuring the animals continue to receive the best care. Jake Bowman, farm business manager, assures in a news release that, “animal care remains a high priority for the University and there has been no disruption to the high-quality care our animals receive.”
While the farms already practice excellent standards of disease prevention, they are closely following all of the restrictions and recommendations set forth by the Gov. Mike DeWine and the university and are utilizing hospital-grade cleaners to disinfect high-touch surfaces. Though the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that there is no evidence to suggest that animals can carry or spread the novel coronavirus, increased health and safety precautions are being practiced throughout every part of the facilities.
Essential employees are still at the farms daily to clean stalls, feed and exercise animals. But without the large number of students these programs rely on throughout the academic year, the farms have started switching their operation over to their traditional summertime schedule and hope to have most of the animals turned out and enjoying their time in the pastures as soon as the weather will allow.
Bowman states, “It has been incredible to watch everyone step up, pitch in, and work so hard to care for the horses and livestock. We are very thankful for, and proud of, everyone that is working so diligently at the farms each day.”
Bowman’s advice for other farm and animal owners to get through situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic is to, “use good judgement and do what is necessary while limiting exposure to others. It is a good idea to maintain a reasonable inventory of supplies such as feed, bedding, and other essentials to limit the number of times you need to make a pick-up or receive a delivery.
“Lastly,” Bowman continues, “enjoy your animals and be thankful for the opportunity to care for them. They can often provide a healthy outlet for stress relief while still practicing appropriate social distancing.”
For more information on how the University of Findlay is handling COVID-19 or operations of the university farms, contact Natasha Lancaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.