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: email@example.com
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.
- All critical and non-critical businesses, including farms and farmers' markets, are required to have a COVID-19 preparedness plan. A template is available to assist in creating a plan.
- Q&A for Farm COVID-19 Preparedness Plans
- WEBINAR: COVID-19 Preparedness Plans - Workplace Safety
- WEBINAR: COVID-19 Preparedness Plans - Serving Food and On-Site Consumption
- CDC: What should I do if an employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19?
- Preparing for Sick Agricultural Workers and COVID-19 - English | Hmong | Somali | Spanish
- Minnesota Department of Health: Resources for businesses and employers
- Minnesota Department of Health: Protecting yourself & others from COVID-19
- EPA: List of disinfectants approved for use against COVID-19
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.
- COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for Food Processors and Manufacturers
- Food Processing and Manufacturing COVID-19 Best Practices Checklist
- Reducing Food Waste through Donation The MDA and Minnesota Department of Health have compiled information for food businesses impacted by the dine-in service prohibition to donate surplus food to help your communities.
- FDA: Temporary Flexibility Policy Regarding Certain Labeling Requirements for Foods for Humans During COVID-19 Pandemic
- FDA: Summary of Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Infographic)
- Food Establishment and Cottage Food Producer Guidance - English | Hmong | Spanish
- Guidelines for Small Minnesota Meat Processing Plants - English | Hmong | Somali | Spanish
- COVID‐19 Health and Safety Guidelines for the Meatpacking Industry. This document is available in English, Amharic, Hmong, Karen, Laotian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese.
- WEBINAR: Dairy Plant COVID-19 Preparedness
- FDA: Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Food Safety for Delivery and Pick-up Services - English | Hmong | Somali | Spanish
- Frequently Asked Questions about Executive Orders Related to Bars, Restaurants, and Other Places of Public Accommodation
- Customers Best Practices For Reusable Bags and Food Takeout Containers - English | Somali | Spanish
- Farm Winery Alcohol Sales - Minnesota Department of Public Safety: On Sale Liquor Licenses and On Premises Consumption
- Production of Hand Sanitizer for Donation or Sale
- FDA: Temporary Policy for Manufacture of Alcohol for Incorporation Into Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products
Farmers and Ranchers
- WEBINAR: The ABCs of Small Meat Processing Options in Minnesota, or view the presentation slides (PDF).
- MAP: Minnesota Meat Processors
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.
- USDA’s Coronavirus and USDA Assistance for Farmers page that provides easy-to-find information about federal help available to farmers.
- University of Minnesota Extension’s Ag Business Management Team offers information as well as help navigating financial assistance programs (including loan and direct payment programs).
- Farmers Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) has published a A Farmers’ Guide to COVID-19 Relief.
- The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has a guide for small businesses (including farms) that need help.
Farmers' Markets, U-Pick Operations, and On-Farm Markets
- FLYER: Shopping the Farmers' Market During COVID-19 flyer (Digital Version) (Print-Ready Version) | Hmong | Somali | Spanish
- SIGNAGE: COVID-19 Farmers' Market (32"x48") (Digital Version) (Print-Ready Version)
- FACT SHEET: Guidance for Minnesota Farmers' Markets and Vendors - English | Hmong | Spanish
- FACT SHEET: Guidance for Minnesota U-Pick Operations and On-Farm Markets - English | Hmong | Spanish
- WEBINAR: COVID-19 Preparedness Plans - Serving Food and On-Site Consumption
Nurseries, Garden Centers, and Community Gardens
- FACT SHEET: Guidance for Minnesota Community Gardens - English | Hmong | Somali | Spanish
- FACT SHEET: Poster for Community Gardens - English | Hmong | Somali | Spanish
- Guidance for Minnesota Garden Centers/Nurseries to implement in order to conduct business under Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-33
- Expanded Guidance to Include Employee Health and Safety
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.