FFBF and FDACS Host Town Hall on COVID-19 & Florida Agriculture

Dan Economy, Field Crops, Florida, Fruits, General, Hemp, Specialty Crops, Sugar, Vegetables

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Florida Farm Bureau President John L. Hoblick held a town hall meeting on Thursday with the state’s agriculture community on pressing issues. Some of the topics of discussion included: Ensuring agriculture and all related industries are essential at the federal, state and local levels. Promoting the continued and efficient processing of H-2A worker visas. Inter- and intra-state weight waivers for …


Agriculture Must Be Included in Disaster Loan Program

Dan Economy, Industry News Release

(AFBF) — Thirty-one agriculture organizations and businesses are calling on the U.S. Small Business Administration to include agricultural businesses in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, as intended by Congress in the CARES Act. The notice on the SBA website currently states applicants must certify they are “not an agricultural enterprise (e.g., farm), other than an aquaculture enterprise, agricultural cooperative …


Commissioner Nikki Fried Guidance on Essential Food and Agriculture Workers During Stay-at-Home Order

Dan Florida, Industry News Release, Labor and Immigration

(FDACS) — In response to the Governor issuing a stay-at-home order due to COVID-19, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried offered the following statement on the essential role of food and agriculture workers who are exempt from this order. This exemption is consistent with the Department of Homeland Security’s identification of essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response. “Agriculture is Florida’s second-largest industry, and it’s first-largest in …


Asking for Agriculture Assistance in Florida

Dan Economy, Florida, Industry News Release

(NSF) — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants the federal government to act as quickly as possible to deliver part of a new stimulus package to aid farmers. In a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue this week, Fried said many of Florida’s 47 thousand growers are sitting on surpluses of products as restaurants and other establishments have closed …


Farmers and Other Essential Food Production Workers will Carry Permission Letters during COVID-19 Shutdown

Dan Florida, Industry News Release, Sugar

(U.S. Sugar) — All U.S. Sugar employees and suppliers who have been deemed essential to the nation’s food supply and national security will begin carrying authorization letters to inform authorities that they are approved to be out of their homes and working. “Our farmers, workers and other essential food production vendors will continue working around the clock to keep safe, …


Commissioner Nikki Fried Letter to USDA Secretary Perdue: Ensure Farmers Are “Not Left Behind”

Dan Economy, Florida, Industry News Release

(FDACS) — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting flexibility to help move Florida perishable crops quickly to food banks, school meal programs, and other federal food purchase programs. With many restaurants and food service establishments closed, Florida agricultural producers are facing a sudden market decline for fresh commodities ready to be harvested such …

soil covid

UF Plant and Soil Diagnostic Labs Essential to Florida Agriculture, Economy During COVID-19

Dan Florida, Industry News Release, Research, Soil

(UF/IFAS) — In the time of COVID-19, plants still get sick, and the soil that nourishes them needs care. The health of plants and soil is critical to agriculture, an industry designated an essential service in response to the pandemic. That’s why, when many American universities have transitioned to online-only and their employees adapt to working from home, scientists at …


COVID-19 Update for Growers and Packers

Dan Florida, Industry News Release

(UF/IFAS) — The CDC, FDA and USDA all agree “Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19”, including imported foods and materials. FDA has issued guidance that if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 they “do not anticipate that food products would need to be recalled or be withdrawn from the market”. Citrus growers, harvesters, packers, …

crop insurance

Commissioner Fried Advising Farmers to Utilize New Flexibilities on Crop Insurance Due to COVID-19

Dan Economy, Florida, Industry News Release

(FDACS) — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is advising farmers to utilize new flexibilities for crop insurance announced by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA). “Our team has been in constant communication with agriculture producers, industry leaders, and the USDA throughout the coronavirus outbreak — we have relayed concerns and challenges facing the …


Secretary Perdue Statement on Coronavirus Rescue Package

Dan Economy, Industry News Release

(USDA)– U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after President Donald J. Trump signed the CARES Act: “The passage of the Coronavirus response legislation will provide much needed relief to Americans across this country, especially workers and small-business owners who have been impacted by COVID-19. President Trump has made the safety and security of the American people …