COVID-19 agriculture updates: April 01
Hello DeSoto and Sarasota County Producers,
Things are changing so rapidly that it is time for another update. As you are probably all aware, the state of Florida will be under a 30-day safer-at-home order starting Thursday at midnight. Precisely what that means for you is still unclear, but here are a few pieces of information you need to know right now:
- It is now time to provide all of your workers with an “Essential Worker Movement Letter” that they should keep in their vehicle and you should keep in any vehicle that your operation uses to make deliveries.
- See the attachment called “2020-04-01 – Essential Worker Movement Letter DRAFT” attached. This is the version of the letter suggested by FDACS. If you do not have limited technology and need help in drafting or printing these letters for your employees, please let me know asap.
- I also attached the Essential Infrastructure Workforce and Enforcement Bulletins again to this email. Not a bad idea to print those for employees as well.
- U-pick and safer-at-home – I am working on getting an answer right now about how the safer-at-home order affects u-pick operations. I’ve talked to our regional FDACS representative and he is, at this moment, working to see if there is any guidance on this coming from Tallahassee. I don’t have any solid guidance on hand yet, but I’m working to get you an answer and will let you know as soon as I know more.
- The 2020 Census – I know that filling out the census is the last thing on everyone’s minds right now, but please take five minutes to fill it out. And encourage your employees to fill it out too. Here’s why: Census data is used to allocate billions of dollars in federal funding to improve schools, infrastructure and services. This is an especially critical moment in time to be counted. Here’s the link: https://my2020census.gov.
- 4. The USDA has a website up that I think is going to be very helpful going forward: https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus.
- 5. If you would like to read the Safer-at-home order, here is the link: https://static-s3.lobbytools.com/docs/2020/4/1/120824_executive_order_20_91.pdf.
Thank you to everyone who has called and emailed me with questions and requests. Please keep the questions and request coming.
All my best to all of you,