NOTICE: To protect the health and safety of the public and our employees, DOAG has limited the number of employees at our 450 Columbus Blvd office and as such, mail and messages may receive a delayed response. Please use our online services and email specific COVID-19 related issues to agr.covid19@ct.gov

 

Agribusiness General Information  |  Produce  |  Dairy, Livestock & Equine  |  Aquaculture  |  Farmers' Markets & Farm Stands/Stores  |  Food Safety  |  Food Industry  |  Labor & Employer Resources  |  Business Services  | Pets  | COVID-19 General Information

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is following guidance issued by the Governor's office, White House and other federal partners and we are actively speaking with producers and various agricultural organizations across the state in order to minimize the negative impact on growers and address your concerns and issues. Please continue to communicate your questions and concerns to us. We will do our best to respond and share as much information as we can during this time.

In addition, the agency has developed, implemented and maintained an Emergency Management Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) which complies with all applicable internal agency policies and state regulations. Staff has been briefed and is ready to follow procedures to ensure functions critical to the agency and industry needs are met and carried out in the interest of public safety and public health. Critical functions include investigating animal welfare complaints; caring for rescue animals under the agency’s care, custody and control; sampling of water, meat, and milk; and licensing related to dairy, livestock, poultry, domestic pet-related operations, agricultural commodities, and seafood.

Below we have compiled information from various sources for your reference to help support your business and to protect yourself, employees, and consumers. 

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, visit ct.gov/coronavirus. General questions can also be answered by calling 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is only intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider to seek treatment.

Per Executive Order 7H, 'essential business', as it relates to food and agriculture, includes:

  • farms and farmer’s markets
  • food manufacturing, processing, storage, and distribution facilities 
  • nurseries, garden centers, and agriculture supply stores
  • restaurants/bars (provided compliance with all applicable executive orders is maintained)

AGRIBUSINESS GENERAL INFORMATION

AFT Farmer Relief Fund

CT Farms and On-Farm Deliveries Considerations for COVID-19

Online ordering platforms for farmers

Healthy Workplace Posters: English and Spanish

-- Don't Spread Germs (English)
-- Don't Spread Germs (Spanish)
-- Stop the Spread (English)
-- Stop the Spread (Spanish)
-- Keeping Your Workplace Safe
-- Additional Resources and Posters from the CDC

PRODUCE

Consideration for Fruit and Vegetable Growers from UConn Extension

Coronavirus: Fresh Produce Industry Resources (United Fresh Produce Association)

 

DAIRY, LIVESTOCK, AND EQUINE

Guidance for Horseback Riding Schools and Stables / Boarding Stables

COVID Fact Sheet for Dairy Herds (Available in English and Spanish)

AQUACULTURE

Aquaculture and COVID-19

 

FARMERS' MARKET AND FARM STANDS/STORES

Guidance on COVID-19 and Farmers' Markets courtesy of the MA Farmers' Market Association

Farmers' Market and On-Farm Market Considerations for COVID-19

 

FOOD SAFETY

Food and Environmental Virology (Journal): Survival of Respiratory Viruses on Fresh Produce

Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s COVID-19 website, advice for food workers

 

FOOD INDUSTRY

COVID-19 Resources for the Food Industry (The Acheson Group)

Coronavirus Resources (Food Marketing Institute)

 

Preparedness ChecklistCoronavirus and Pandemic Preparedness for the Food Industry (includes recommendations for supporting consumers, associates, human resources, retail stores, distribution centers/transportation, product suppliers, and interacting with the media).


LABOR AND EMPLOYER RESOURCES

Essential Food and Agriculture Work Permit SAMPLE (English and Spanish) from the National Milk Producers Association 

 

USDA H2A Labor and COVID-19  

 

Employer Action Steps:  Your farm workforce is not immune to coronavirus, please begin taking steps to protect yourself and your employees.

  1. Talk with your employees about coronavirus, how it spreads, and how to prevent getting infected.
  2. Print the CDC factsheets and posters, post in your workplace and employee housing facilities.
  3. Provide guidance to help employees clean and disinfect employer-provided housing. Follow up with employees and manage the process to be sure that this happens. Set up a regular weekly and daily schedule for cleaning and view the CDC guidance for cleaning homes: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html
  4. Clean and disinfect your workplace. The employee breakroom and bathroom are great places for virus to be transmitted. Clean and disinfect any areas where employees congregate or routinely touch items such as doorknobs and computer keyboards. Set up daily and weekly cleaning schedules.
  5. Provide cleaning supplies such as cleaning solutions, buckets, mops, brushes, etc for cleaning at work and for those living in employer-provided housing. (CDC list of approved antimicrobial cleaning products: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf)
  6. Review your sick leave policy. The first advice for people who are sick is to stay home except to get medical care. Do you provide paid sick leave for your employees? If you do not, will employees feel financially obligated to come to work even if they are sick?
  7. Communicate with employees that they should stay home if they are sick. Employees sometimes come to work believing they will face punishment or firing if they miss work. Be sure your employees understand that their health and that of their co-workers’ comes first. Communicate and make a plan to cover for sick employees. CDC provides posters in English and Spanish covering symptoms of novel coronavirus.
  8. Prepare your disaster contingency plan. What will you do if 50% of your employees become sick and unable to work? Are there neighboring farms who might be able to share resources in an emergency? Who will manage for a few weeks if you or another key manager are unable to leave your house or are hospitalized?

 

BUSINESS SERVICES

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers (CDC)

 

Extension to Connecticut Filing Deadline for Certain Annual State Business Tax Returns


SBA Disaster Relief Loan Fact Sheets in English and Spanish (for aquaculture, nursery, agricultural cooperatives, and producer cooperatives)

 

PETS

CDC Guidance for People who Isolate in Home and Have Pets

AVMA Disaster Preparedness for Pets

USDA's Animal Care Emergency Programs

 

COVID-19 RESOURCES: GENERAL INFORMATION

USDA's COVID-19 website

CDC’s COVID-19 website

FDA’s COVID-19 websiteFDA Statement: FDA steps to ensure quality of foreign products

DHS’ COVID-19 website

State Department Travel Advisories