The MDA has created and compiled information related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and food and agriculture. This page will be updated as information changes.

A woman at a farmers' market wearing a face mask

Learn more about Minnesota’s COVID-19 Response and Preparation. You can read here about Governor Tim Walz's Executive Order 20-81, which requires Minnesotans to wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings.

Do you have general questions about food and agriculture in Minnesota during the COVID-19 pandemic? Email the MDA at: mdaresponds@state.mn.us

Latest Updates and New Resources

  • NEW: The AGRI Value-Added Grant Program, aimed at increasing sales of Minnesota agricultural products, is accepting applications through October 29, 2020. This year, investments in equipment that boost production capacity, market diversification, and market access for products that help businesses respond to changing market conditions as a result of COVID-19 will also be considered.
  • NEW: The Retail Cost-Share Program provides financial assistance to Retail Food Handlers impacted by COVID-19. Funds are available to help purchase equipment and supplies to keep employees and customers safe and operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, to develop safety procedures as they relate to COVID-19, update and retrofit retail locations, and for public education efforts on the need to follow safety procedures.

General Information

Food and Beverage

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food grown in the United States or imported from other countries. However, food safety is important at all times and the MDA helps to ensure that food is produced and sold in a safe manner.

Farmers and Ranchers

If you need assistance with carcass disposal, call the Minnesota Board of Animal Health's Carcass Assistance Hotline at 651-201-6041 this hotline is for livestock carcasses only) to schedule a one-on-one consultation to talk about carcass disposal options, technical guidance, or get connected with contractors for equipment/materials. The Board also has emergency carcass disposal resources on their website.

The COVID-19 pandemic may be adding to farmers’ financial problems, price and marketing uncertainties, marital difficulties, and social pressures. You can:

  • Contact the Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline anytime (call 833-600-2670 or text FARMSTRESS to 898211).
  • Visit the Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline website for information and resources.
  • Reach out to a of Minnesota Farm Advocate who can offer one-on-one help for many kinds of crises (e.g., operating loan problems, mediation, foreclosure, natural disasters).

The Minnesota Rural Finance Authority (RFA) also helps farmers whose operations are affected by COVID-19. New rules mean farmers can access the Disaster Recovery Loan Program if they they experience loss of revenue due to human contagious disease. Visit the RFA Disaster Loan Recovery Program website or contact 651-201-6004.

Other Resources:

Farmers' Markets, U-Pick Operations, and On-Farm Markets

Nurseries, Garden Centers, and Community Gardens

Events

Grant and Cost-Share Opportunities

The AGRI Value-Added Grant Program, aimed at increasing sales of Minnesota agricultural products, is accepting applications through October 29, 2020. This year, investments in equipment that boost production capacity, market diversification, and market access for products that help businesses respond to changing market conditions as a result of COVID-19 will also be considered.

The Retail Cost-Share Program provides financial assistance to Retail Food Handlers impacted by COVID-19. Funds are available to help purchase equipment and supplies to keep employees and customers safe and operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, to develop safety procedures as they relate to COVID-19, update and retrofit retail locations, and for public education efforts on the need to follow safety procedures.

Farm to School Rapid Response Grant for Schools and Farm to School Rapid Response Grant for Food Vendors provide financial assistance to help schools begin, diversity and expand purchasing from Minnesota producers and improve market access to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Safe on the Farm Direct Marketing Cost Share Program provides financial assistance to Minnesota U-Pick Operations, On-Farm Markets, and Community Support Agriculture (CSA) Farms to purchase supplies and equipment to prepare for safe sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.