COVID-19 agriculture updates: April 23

Hello DeSoto and Sarasota County Producers!

I hope that you are doing ok on this hot, steamy day that feels mighty like summer.

I have three updates for you today: a potential new market, a change to federal country-of-origin-labels agricultural products, and a small business loan for Sarasota-based businesses:

  1. Publix will be buying produce and dairy directly from farmers and donating it to food banks across Florida
    • They plan to donate 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk in the first week alone
    • See attachment named “Publix” for more details
    • I am not sure who to contact if you want to sell to Publix, but I will let you know when I figure it out.
  2. Federal changes to “Country of Origin Labels” went into effect April 20th
    • The basics: in order re-direct food that is only labeled for sale to restaurants, the USDA is allowing food that does not contain country of origin labels (COOL) or method of production labels to be sold to retail stores (grocery stores). This change is authorized to last for 60 days.
      • To read more detail about this change, see attachment named Changes to COOL
      • To read a letter from Gregory Steube opposing this change, see attachment called COOL.Sec.Perdue.Letter.
  3. Sarasota County Small Business Resiliency Loan Program
    • Applications open tomorrow: Friday, April 24th.
    • See attachment called Sarasota County Small Business Resiliency Loan for full details.
      • There are strict eligibility requirements
      • If you meet eligibility requirements, you will need to upload significant amounts of documentation as part of your on-line application. It may take some time to collect all needed information, so if you are interested, start collecting required information now.

All my best to all of you,


Posted: April 23, 2020

Category: Agriculture
Tags: Ag, Agriculture, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Covidagupdate, Pgm_Ag

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