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  |  All Guidance Documents  |  Aquaculture   |   Business Services  |   COVID-19 General Information   |   Dairy  |  Equine, Poultry & Livestock  |  Farmers' Markets & Farm Stands/Stores Food Safety and Produce  |  Food Industry Labor & Employer Resources Pets and Service Animals 

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. COVID-19 related issues should be emailed directly to AGR.COVID19@ct.gov. 

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

Guidance for Farm Stores/Stands and CSAs (Updated September 17, 2020) 

AgCareers.com - Offering free temporary and seasonal job postings during the pandemic.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Farmers/Ranchers  (Webinar recording)

Community Garden and Urban Agriculture Guidance (as of April 8, 2020) (English)

Community Garden and Urban Agriculture Guidance (Spanish)

Farmers' Market and Farm Stands Currently Open Sign Up Sheet (to be added to CTGrownMap.com)

AFT Farmer Relief Fund

What Ag Producers Need to Know About COVID-19 (recorded 3/23/2020)  Agrisafe Network

USDA FSA and NRCS Service Center Information

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

Farm to Institution New England food and labor matchmaking spreadsheet for farmers to add to

Direct to Consumer Sales Software Platforms from the National Young Farmers Coalition (New 4/23/2020)

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

ALL GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY DOAG

Animal Shelters: Guidance for Animal Shelters holding Adoption Events

Aquaculture: Direct Marketing Guidance for Shellfish Producers  

Community Garden and Urban Ag, English: Community Garden and Urban Agriculture Guidance  

Community Garden & Urban Ag, Spanish: Community Garden and Urban Agriculture Guidance 

Equine: Equine Guidance Phase TWO Updated (August 14, 2020)

Equestrian Competition: Equestrian Competition Guidance (Updated August 14, 2020)  

Farmers' Markets: Farmers' Market and On-Farm Market Guidance for COVID-19  Updated September 17, 2020)

Farm Store/Stand & CSA: Guidance for Farm Stores/Stands and CSAs Updated September 17, 2020

Food Safety: Food Safety Guidance During COVID-19 Updated August 14, 2020

Pick-Your-Own: Guidance for PYO Farms During COVID-19 Updated September 17, 2020

Poultry: Backyard Flock Guidance

Poultry: Biosecurity Guidance for Poultry

Municipal ACO: Municipal Animal Control Officer Guidance

AQUACULTURE

Direct Marketing Guidance for Shellfish Producers
 


BUSINESS SERVICES

EIDL from the SBA  

CARES Act

SBA CT Office

Facebook Small Business Grants 

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)

 

COVID-19 RESOURCES: GENERAL INFORMATION

USDA'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

DAIRY

COVID-19 Guidance from the National Milk Producers Federation

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

EQUINE, POULTRY, AND LIVESTOCK

AVMA Disaster Preparedness for Livestock & Large Animals

Backyard Flock Guidance

Biosecurity Guidance for Poultry

COVID-19 Consideration for Animal Activities at Fairs, Shows, and Other Events- From the CDC

DOAG Equestrian Competition Guidance Updated August 14, 2020

DOAG Equine Guidance- Phase Two Updated August 14, 2020

Equine Resources during COVID-19 

Swine Crisis Planning Tool 

FARMERS' MARKET AND FARM STANDS/STORES

Farmers' Market and On-Farm Market Guidance for COVID-19 Updated September 17, 2020

Safe Store Guidance from DECD

COVID-19 Related Farmers' Market Signage

   -Bagging Assistance 8.5 x 11

   -Bagging Assistance 18 x 24

   -Shopper Crowd Control 8.5 x 11

   -Shopper Crowd Control 18 x 24

   -One Way 8.5 x 11

   -One Way 18 x 24

COVID-19 Related Agritourism Signage

   -Wait In Line 8.5 x 11

   -Wait In Line 18 x 24

Physical Reconfiguration of Farmers' Market, Farmers' Market Coalition Webinar

FOOD SAFETY AND PRODUCE

Food Safety Guidance During COVID-19 Updated August 14, 2020
Coronavirus: Fresh Produce Industry Resources (United Fresh Produce Association)

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

COVID-19 Farmworker Testing FAQ

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 COVID-19, please begin taking steps to protect yourself and your employees.

  1. Talk with your employees about COVID-19, 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. 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?

PETS AND SERVICE ANIMALS

Municipal Animal Control Officer Guidance

Guidance for Animal Shelters holding Adoption Events

If You Have Pets - from the CDC

Helpful Questions and Answers About Covid-19 and Your Pets - From the FDA

What to Do if Your Pet Tests Positive for the Virus that Causes COVID-19

COVID-19 in Pets - Information from the American Veterinary Medical Association

Pets and Other Animals- From the CDC

State Public Health Veterinarians and Animal Health Officials- From the CDC

CDC Guidance for People who Isolate in Home and Have Pets 

USDA's Animal Care Emergency Programs

COVID-19 Recommendations for Pet Stores, Pet Distributors, and Pet Breeding Facilities- from the CDC

For veterinary clinics: Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Veterinary Clinics Treating Companion Animals During the COVID-19 Response

Guidance for Handlers of Service and Therapy Animals- From the CDC

COVID-19 Considerations for Animal Activities at Fairs, Shows, and Other Events- from the CDC