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Guide COVID-19 Resources for Agriculture

In response to the spread of COVID-19 and the measures being taken to address it, MDAR has compiled a list of resources to keep our agricultural community informed and aware of relevant policies and best practices. Following the guidelines of health and government officials in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, MDAR is temporarily limiting face-to-face meetings, visits to farms, educational events, etc. We will work with farmers and our agricultural stakeholders via phone, email, and webinar to ensure that work continues to move forward.

Table of Contents

Re-Opening Guidance for Industries

Addressing COVID-19 Impacts, Bulletins and Guidance

Companies that sell hygienic and protective supplies

NEASDA Dairy Letter to Secretary Perdue

Guidance of the Commissioner of Public Health Regarding Operations of Nurseries, Greenhouses, Garden Centers, and Agricultural Supply Stores Under the Essential Services Orders - 3/31/20

Agriculture Day 2020 Letter from Commissioner Lebeaux - 3/25/20

Travel Template for MA Ag Employers - 4/1/20

COVID-19 Essential Services - Emergency Order - 3/23/20 - Food & Agriculture “Essential” - Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon. *Governor Baker's order has been extended until May 4th.

*Updated list of Essential Services - As of March 31st.

COVID-19 Essential Services FAQs

MDAR Bulletins

Marketing and Distribution

Connecting consumers with local food during COVID-19 

The Massachusetts Grown and Fresher website continues to be the portal for direct sales to consumers looking for farms and farmers markets.The MassGrown Map offers up to date retail locations and users can now search for farms that offer delivery and mail-order.  If you need to to get listed or have edits, contact Richard.LeBlanc@mass.gov.

The COVID-19: How & Where to Buy Local site offers new links to Curbside Pick-up and Delivery Options as well as Buy Local Group listings.

Matching CSAs and Farmstands with Value Added Food Businesses

With the increased public demand for CSAs, MDAR is launching a pilot project to match CSA farms with additional crops and products. As a CSA farmer or farmstand operator, have you thought about expanding your offerings with other crops or value added products? Or are you a value added producer or farmer looking for alternative marketing outlets for your products? If so, MDAR's CSA-Producer Match Spreadsheet can help you match up your needs with other value-added producers or food businesses. 

Matching Needs + Surplus

Farm to Institution New England (FINE) has created this spreadsheet allowing farmers, buyers, and distributors to interact, connect, and bridge the gaps in the New England institutional food system. They welcome anyone to add, view or contact others on the list directly.

Food Safety

Farmers' Markets

The following organizations have information relating to farmers' market operations during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Order of the Commissioner of Public Health for Farmers Markets, Farmstands and CSAs - 4/27/20

Guidance for Farmers Markets, Farm Stands and CSAs- 3/26/20

MA Farmers Market Association - Guidance for Market Managers - 4/7/20

Animal Health

Labor

Financial Resources and Funding Opportunities

Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program (6/11) - Infrastructure grants in the food system that were created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this program is not to buy food or employ people; it’s to provide support to fund necessary modifications to business practices created by the response to the virus.

Department of Treasury (Treasury) and Small Business Administration (SBA) released an interim final rule on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Agricultural producers are eligible to participate in the program and should reach out to their bankers and/or agricultural lenders to apply immediately. While SBA still needs to confirm some administrative details, loans will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis and producers can get started on the application now:

Mental Health Resources

In the Spotlight: Farms, Food Banks, and Ag Businesses Supporting the COVID-19 Response

As I See It: Local farmers help state respond to COVID-19 (Telegram) Commissioner Lebeaux

Ag-related articles now posted via MassGrown Twitter.

More Resources

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