Engaging Communities Through Issues Forums

Case Study 5 - Natural and Built Environments

Pat is a watermelon farmer who has 500 acres in production. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns, there is a lack of seasonal and migrant help to assist with the harvest. In addition, harvested watermelons can’t be transported because of the lack of drivers. Pat has tried to sell at the local farmer market but lacks consistently available workers to support this initiative. Unfortunately, prices are falling because the quality of the product is in decline – the longer it takes to get them to market the lower the price that can be received. He doesn’t know what to do with all the watermelons! Additionally, Pat recently went to an urgent care center where he was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Pat doesn’t have hea lth insurance and is not sure how to access care or pay for treatment for this diagnosis.

The following questions were used for each of the case studies but were updated with each story's character names.

1. Now that you have heard XXXX’s challenges, what ar e some of your first thoughts? 2. Given the current circumstances, what are the next steps for XXXX? What actions would help XXX and the operation come back from these setbacks and become more resilient during future disruptions? 3. What information or resources could your organization bring to support this farm enterprise to recover and become more resilient going forward? What specific resources, opportunities, or assets do/can your organization help provide? Please provide the name and organization that provides resources and the resource.

Note: These stories are fictional. They were developed based on the data collected through a review of literature, popular farming press, discussions with key stakeholders and extension educator experiences.

Story Writers: Maria Pippidis and Laurie Wolinski, UD Cooperative Extension and Bonnie Braun, University of Maryland Extension

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

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