Oklahoma Farm Bureau remains a steady and unwavering voice for farmers and ranchers across the state, even during unprecedented and uncertain times.
As farmers and ranchers continue to produce the food and fiber on which the nation depends, below are a variety of resources curated to help agricultural producers navigate the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you have questions or concerns regarding COVID-19’s impact on agriculture, please contact OKFB public policy at (405) 523-2300.
Agriculture considered critical infrastructure
Gov. Kevin Stitt has issued a fourth amendment to Executive Order 2020-07 requiring the closure of all non-essential businesses located in Oklahoma counties that contain COVID-19 cases.
Oklahoma farmers, ranchers and farmworkers are included in the critical infrastructure worker list for agriculture and food production, along with workers across our state’s food supply chain.
The governor is adhering to federal guidelines for essential businesses, which designate food and agriculture as one of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors during emergency situations. Read the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency’s list of workers defined as “essential critical infrastructure workers” in the food and agriculture industries here.
Gov. Stitt also provided an expanded list of businesses considered essential for the food and agriculture industry which includes:
- Farm supply and hardware stores
- Groves, greenhouses, nurseries and vineyards
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
- Food manufacturing
- Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing
- Manufacturing of fiber and forestry products
- Veterinary services
- Certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands
- Food cultivation, including farming, livestock and fishing
- Support of agricultural production including manufacturers, processors, sellers, transporters and suppliers of livestock, poultry, feed, seed, water, fertilizer, herbicides or insecticide and those that care for animals, crops, groves, greenhouses, nurseries, vineyards, forests, farms and ranches
- Hardware stores, farm stores and garden centers
Find the governor’s full list of critical infrastructure businesses here.
Essential business employee letter
Farmers and ranchers, who are considered essential, may download, print and customized the letter template (below) for your employees to use to identify as part of an essential business as outlined by Executive Order 2020-07.
Download an essential business employee letter provided by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
How to protect your farm and ranch
Agriculture is incredibly important to a sustained food supply. To continue supporting our food supply, please implement the following practices at your facilities:
The virus spreads primarily from person to person. The health and safety of employees/volunteers should be the focus of every agribusiness.
- Follow all CDC guidelines on preparing your place of work for continuing business.
- Employees and volunteers who are sick or show signs of respiratory illness should not work until they are symptom free.
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before eating, after using the bathroom, coughing or sneezing, and touching surfaces. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Have hand washing stations and plenty of hand sanitizer available.
- Frequently sanitize common areas with EPA registered products for use against COVID-19 that are safe to use in and around livestock.
- Maintain 6 feet of space in between workers
- Keep groups of employees congregated in one area to less than 10.
Find more guidelines in the ODAFF’s COVID-19 and Agribusiness PDF.
*Page last updated March 27, 2020. Links and resources will be updated as needed.