October 19, 2020
The Maryland Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for a new relief program for farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Farmer COVID-19 Relief Program will provide payments for contract poultry producers who were not eligible for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) funds, as well as bonus payments to farmers who received federal relief from the first round of CFAP funding. (more…)
September 9, 2020
As an agritourism operator…
Am I able to operate my agritourism operation?
Agritourism is a broad term (defined in Md. Code, Land Use Art. Section 4-212) that can encompass many types of activities on a farm. This guidance is meant to highlight some of the concerns and restrictions agritourism operators may face. Depending on the nature of the operation, however, there may be state or local Orders, restrictions, recommendations, and/or guidance documents that are more appropriate for the operation or portions of the operation. (more…)
June 26, 2020
COVID‐19 Facility/Site Compliance: Agricultural Safe Business Practices, Face Covering, and Social Distancing Compliance Checklist
This checklist will help agricultural businesses including farms to implement best practices to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace. It can be used as a self-assessment tool by agricultural businesses or as a tool for the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Department of Health and/or the local Health Departments to evaluate COVID-19 safe business practices for facilities. All recommendations for signage and communications should be made available in the written and spoken languages of the employees. Simple language and infographics are strongly encouraged. (more…)
All training should be provided in the native language of workers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidance and signs available in multiple languages. (more…)
Employers and employees can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This guidance will help Maryland agricultural employers know how to prevent COVID-19, and what to do if there is an outbreak. The most important prevention measure is good communication, presented so that everyone understands how to prevent disease. This means that all communications with workers should be in their native language. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has downloadable signs and guidance available in several languages. (more…)
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Individuals infected with COVID-19 and those exhibiting any of these symptoms should not work. COVID-19 is primarily spread from person-to-person contact and is highly contagious. To maintain a healthy workforce, you should develop and implement a plan to protect workers on your agricultural site. All policies and procedures you put in place on your agricultural site should be communicated to workers in their native language through posted signs, verbal reminders, and training. The following checklist is intended to assist you with ensuring you have implemented all the necessary precautions. (more…)
The following guidance and recommendations for farms has been developed to assist farms in limiting exposure and risk related to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). As always, it is critical to practice biosecurity for the safety of animals, workers and the public. It is now critical to also consider ways to limit person-to-person contact and if necessary congregating safely while maintaining social distance. (more…)
June 11, 2020
The State of Maryland continues to be vigilant in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 as we begin to safely reopen certain businesses and activities across the state. The Maryland Department
of Agriculture understands that summer represents peak season for livestock shows and competitions at local fairs and other agricultural events.
For show managers who plan to move forward with their events, the State Veterinarian’s office has provided the following guidance to ensure your event is in compliance with state orders and
standards set by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH)and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). (more…)
May 20, 2020
Agricultural production is considered essential for maintaining a safe and abundant food supply during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Many agricultural producers rely on auctions as the primary means for getting their product into distribution channels. However, traditional agricultural auctions are congregation points and pose a risk for transmission of COVID-19. Agricultural auctions may include, but are not limited to: livestock, produce, farm equipment and machinery. (more…)
April 22, 2020
All Marylanders are advised to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Any place where people congregate is a possible opportunity for COVID-19 to spread. It is absolutely essential that pick-your-own farm operators do what they can to reduce the risk of transmission. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for Maryland Pick-Your-Own Operations During COVID-19 State of Emergency.
April 9, 2020
The Hogan administration acknowledges that agriculture is Maryland’s top industry with an estimated economic impact of $15.8 billion. Maryland’s food, feed, and fiber industries provide more than 65,000 jobs across the state. Given the economic hardships posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, agricultural businesses may be eligible for the following relief programs: (more…)
The Hogan Administration acknowledges that the seafood industry is an iconic Maryland industry with commercial landing values over $82 million. The seafood industry also contributes over $600 million to Maryland’s economy. Given the economic hardships posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial watermen who are self-employed may be eligible for the following relief programs: (more…)
April 7, 2020
UPDATED: FAQs & Operational Guidance for Farmers Market Managers and Vendors During COVID-19 Response
Farmers markets and farm stands remain essential during the state’s response to COVID-19. The Maryland Department of Agriculture has provided additional guidance for farmers market managers and vendors to ensure the safety of their staff, vendors and customers.
April 6, 2020
New Resources Connect Consumers with Farmers, Producers, and Restaurants
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Food and agriculture businesses remain essential under Governor Larry Hogan’s Stay at Home order; including grocery stores, farmers markets, farm stands, and restaurants offering carry-out and delivery service. In compliance with the governor’s order, the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s marketing program, Maryland’s Best, is working to connect Marylanders with farmers and seafood producers providing fresh, local food products. The program is also working with state and industry partners to promote restaurants offering carry-out and delivery services. (more…)
March 30, 2020
Governor Larry Hogan has issued an executive order requiring Marylanders to “Stay at Home,” effective 8 p.m March 30, 2020. As the state moves into the next phase of its efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, essential industries are encouraged to continue operations while implementing best practices designed to protect employees, customers and the general public. (more…)