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CAFE Farms Use During Coronavirus Emergency

The CAFE farm facilities are open to researchers and other facility users who have an approved Research and Continuity Plan from the VCRE. In order to protect the health and safety of all facility users, CAFE requires all individuals accessing facilities to have prior authorization. Please contact Bob Skalbite, CAFE Farm Manager, at to request access to farm facilities. 

Reading the Covid-19 Farm Facility User Access Protocol is required before going to any CAFE Farm Facility. 

Covid-19 Farm Facility User Access Protocol

The Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment is committed to maintaining a safe environment for on-site essential staff and facility users. This includes mandatory social distancing, use of appropriate PPE, enhanced cleaning/sanitation measures, etc. at all Farm Facilities.  CAFE will make every effort to work with PIs to ensure support of critical core research continues during this unprecedented time. Beginning May 5, 2020, and until further notice, the following Policy is in effect at all CAFE Farm Facilities:

  • Access to facilities is at the discretion of the Farm Superintendent and/or Manager. Access must be scheduled in advance with the Farm Superintendent and/or Manager.
  • Access to field sites will be limited to assigned research plots/locations.
  • All research projects must have a Laboratory Research Continuity Plan approved by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement. An approved Plan must be presented to the Farm Manager or Superintendent before access to facilities will be permitted.  All approved plans must comply with the requirements of this policy.
  • Access to facilities is limited to business hours (Monday-Friday, 7AM-3PM). Off-hours access will only be permitted with prior approval of the Farm Superintendent and/or Manager.
  • Use of facility equipment will be at the discretion of the Farm Superintendent. All facility equipment must be cleaned and sanitized by the user after each use. The Farm Superintendent will advise procedures for proper enhanced cleaning/sanitization of equipment.
  • All persons on site will follow social distancing policies including maintaining a 6 ft distance between themselves and others whenever possible, not congregating in break rooms or “community” areas, etc.  
    See UMass Guidelines.

In addition to these procedures above, all recommended safety, sanitation and social distancing requirements as defined by the university, state and CDC MUST be strictly adhered to.

  • All persons accessing the farm facilities to work on research projects will wear disposable gloves at all times. Farm Superintendents will notify facility users of the location of glove supplies. All persons working at or otherwise on location at farm facilities must wear a face mask / covering wherever social distancing of 6ft or greater is not possible.
  • Failure to follow these guidelines may result in revocation of access privileges at CAFE Farm Facilities.  
  • Questions regarding this policy should be directed to Bob Skalbite, CNS CAFE farms manager: 413-320-1841


CAFE Farm Facility Contact Information


Covid-19 Farm Facility User Access Protocol