The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has established this Coronavirus (COVID-19) website to provide relevant and up-to-date guidance and resources related to agriculture and agribusiness concerns.
Visit Coronavirus In Virginia for guidance, up-to-date information, and frequently asked questions.
Virginians are strongly encouraged to make sure they are pre-registered for the COVID-19 vaccine at vaccinate.virginia.gov, or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA, to ensure that the Virginia Department of Health has all the relevant information to reach out when individuals are eligible to schedule vaccination appointments.
Protecting Farms, Industry or Agribusiness Operations
The following is a list of federal and state resources to help protect farms, industry and agribusiness operations:
Following a request by Governor Northam, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Small businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the Commonwealth affected by the COVID-19 public health crisis can now apply for low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million from the SBA to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other expenses. Click here to submit a loan application through the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Federal and State Resources Pertaining To Food, Fiber, Feed and Other Agriculture/Forestry Issues
The USDA has established the following websites to address COVID-19 related questions and issues pertaining to agriculture and food:
Food Supply Chain
Any questions about the food supply chain (including farm, food, fertilizer, feed, food processing or logistics) should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
H2A and Emergency Visas
To access information and changes regarding decisions made by foreign consulates and embassies, growers, contractors and others visit farmers.gov/manage/h2a.
School nutrition during school closings
Waivers have been issued by the USDA to allow meal service during school closures. Nutrition assistance questions should be sent to email@example.com.
Virginia/DC Pet Food Pantries
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and VDACS are working together to continue the availability of meals to children through the National School Lunch Program waivers for Summer Food Service Program or Seamless Summer Option. For a list of approved sites, please call 2-1-1.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the Federation of Virginia Food Banks is working through seven regional food banks across the state to provide food to those in need.
|Feeding Southwest Virginia
1025 Electric Rd., Salem, VA 24153
|Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
96 Laurel Hl., Verona, VA 24482
|Capital Area Food Bank
6833 Hill Park Dr., Lorton, VA 22079
|Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank
3631 Lee Hill Dr., Fredericksburg, VA 22408
|Feed More, Inc.
1415 Rhoadmiller St., Richmond, VA 23220
Virginia Peninsula Foodbank
96 Laurel Hl., Verona, VA 24482
Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore
800 Tidewater Dr., Norfolk, VA 23504
The VDACS' Food Distribution program manages the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) in the Commonwealth. CSFP works to improve the health of low-income elderly persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods. TEFAP is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. Foods from these programs are made available to food banks for distribution to Virginians in need.
VDACS’ Food Distribution program proudly supports Virginia’s agriculture industry and markets Virginia products as well as USDA-donated foods to schools and institutional buyers. Contact the VDACS' Food Distribution program if you have a product suitable for Virginia food service programs.
Latest Information about Waivers and Relevant Changes to Agriculture Related Services and Regulations
Frequently Asked Questions
How is VDACS instructing employees to work during COVID-19? What is the best way to reach them?
ANSWER: VDACS continues to provide essential services during this emergency. Staff are responding to request for service using normal communication methods, so please continue to contact these services in the manner in which you contacted them prior to COVID-19.
VDACS’ employees are adhering to the best practices that apply to everyone - frequent hand washing; watching for symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath; staying home if sick; and limiting social contact
- QUESTION: Can I still apply for agriculture best management cost share for conservation practices on my farm?
ANSWER: Each soil and water conservation district determines whether their offices are open to the public. Please call your local soil and water conservation district and inquire how they are handling sign-ups. Click here to find which soil and water conservation district works with farmers in your county or city.
- QUESTION: Are the VDACS Regional Animal Health Laboratories open to help farmers and veterinarians with diagnostic testing?
ANSWER: VDACS is working toward maintaining continuity of service to the fullest extent possible given the current public health concerns and logistical challenges. As operations are changing frequently in response to COVID-19, please call the VDACS Regional Animal Health Laboratory in your area to ensure hours of operation.
Are there any changes to schedules for livestock markets? Are VDACS graders still supporting these sales?
ANSWER: VDACS is not aware of any markets that have closed at this time. VDACS Livestock Services is continuing to support livestock auction sales. Before attending a livestock auction, you should call ahead to verify the schedule.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files.