Iowa State University has responded to the recent COVID-19 outbreak by developing policies that emphasize social distancing and safety of employees. University operations for classroom instruction and associated office activities have shifted to remote, work-at-home and on-line interactions.
University research policy emphasizes downsizing research efforts where feasible and stressing social distancing for continuing research efforts.
University research farms are unique for several reasons. The farms have livestock/animals, which require daily care, 7 days a week, without exception. In addition, preparation for the upcoming growing season involves daily seasonal activities of seed, soil and field preparations, crop pest management operations, orchard pruning, orchard and vineyard spraying, and related crop production activities. Depending on the season and duration of the pandemic, these operations will include planting, pesticide application, fertilizing, and potentially harvest. The farms also must care and maintain for facilities, machinery, grounds and land, in general. Remote data collection also is maintained at the farms, for example automated weather stations requiring maintenance.
All farm locations will post notice of these COVID-19 protocols/precautions near the farm entrance and office entry door, as appropriate.