COVID-19 agriculture updates: May 12
Hello DeSoto and Sarasota County Producers!
It has been an entire week since I last had information to send your way. The pace of new information is finally slowing down.
I am going to continue to send coronavirus-related updates as long as there are updates that need sharing. Since these updates are slowing down, I am going to start the transition over to sharing more general agriculture updates. Today’s email is split: the first three updates are coronavirus-related, the last four updates are not.
And just a reminder that if you need to access the last two months of info I sent your way, this link will take you to it: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasotaco/tag/covidagupdate/
- The Farmers to Families Food Box Program is up and running
- Here is a link to FAQs on the program: https://www.ams.usda.gov/publications/content/farmers-families-food-box-program-faqs
- Here is a link to all the farms and distributors in the Southeastern US that received a contract: https://www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food-to-usda/farmers-to-families-food-box/approved-contractors/south-east
- I see two on the list from our region (GA Foodservice of Pinellas County, Inc and Hardee Fresh, LLC)
2. Transition Sarasota seeking growers for gleaning partnerships.
- If you have questions or are interested in donating your product via gleaning, please contact Rebecca Brey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-286-3070.
- For information on tax breaks, liability, and tips on having volunteer harvesters on your farm, see the three very helpful attachments called:
- How Is Food Recovered on a Farm; Field Gleaning Tips and Rules; and A Farmer’s Guide to Food Donations
3. Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Equine Businesses and Allied Industries
- Previous impact surveys did not sufficiently capture the impact of COVID-19 on equine businesses. To learn how wide-spread the impact is, UF and LSU created a short survey (five minutes) just for equine businesses (boarding/lessons/training facilities), equestrian/show facilities, and allied industries.
- Here is the link to this survey: http://lsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9sh5QCupVkuc40l
- Please share this link if you know someone who is in the equine business
General Agriculture Updates
- UF’s Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona has a new director
- Dr. Brent Sellers, Ona’s pasture weed specialist, has been named the Center’s new director.
- To read about Dr. Sellers and lots more news from Ona, check out their spring newsletter:
2. Upcoming webinars about USDA and SBA programs and services offered to rural businesses.
- Both the USDA and SBA will be talking about all of the loan and grant programs they offer to rural businesses (not just disaster-related loans and grants).
- They are offering the same presentation on two different events. For more info and to register, follow one of these links:
- May 19 event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-department-of-agriculture-and-small-business-administration-programs-for-rural-small-business-tickets-104456405922
- June 3 event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-department-of-agriculture-and-small-business-administration-programs-for-rural-small-business-tickets-104466797002
3. S. Florida Vegetable Pest and Disease report for April
- The final S. Florida Vegetable Pest and Disease Hotline of the season was last week and will start back up in a few months. Attached is the S. Florida Vegetable Pest and Disease report for April
4. New article about strategies for managing hypersensitivity to insect bites in horses:
All my best to all of you,