Some Fresno State students still working at farm during COVID-19 outbreak

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The work never ends on a farm.

Over 100 dairy cows need to be milked twice a day at Fresno State. While thousands of students check in for virtual classes, 12 students continue their daily duties.

"All the students appreciate that they still have a job to go to," says senior Logan Real. "And not only that, they know how important it is. How important their job is specifically because of the care they have to give for the animals."

Dairy operations, though, have been altered to guard against the spread of the coronavirus. The students work in staggered groups to reduce interaction with each other.

"They try to keep a distance," says Dairy Unit Manager Kyle Thompson. "Try to keep six feet apart and wear masks as needed while they're in their shifts. As part of our normal milking routine, we wear gloves as it is."

Some of the milk produced and ice cream made is sold locally at the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market at Fresno State.

So are cuts of beef from cattle raised on campus.

Thompson says the students have stepped up to keep operations running smoothly.

"Their work ethic, as well as trying to balance their life and trying to keep this hectic situation mentally under control for themselves, I have to say they are very impressive," he said.

The students are grateful they work in an industry deemed essential. Their situation provides food for thought.

"Just because this happened, it's kind of an eye-opener for a lot of people, especially people in my generation, because it kind of gives them that reality that, 'Hey, agriculture is a job that never stops,'" Real said.

Fresno State's campus farm covers 1,000 acres. Strawberries and asparagus are now in season. Students help with all of the crops.

Don't worry about the sweet corn. It's already been planted and will be ready before you know it.
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