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  • June 5, 2020 | “Yellow Phase” UDAF’s COVID-19 Food Establishment Permit Guidelines for Farmers Markets.  Click here for updated rules and guidelines.
  • June 2, 2020 | CDC published COVID-19 guidance for agricultural workers and employers.  You can access the guidance at the following link:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-agricultural-workers.html
  • May 27, 2020 | The USDA recently announced $1 billion in loan guarantees available to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business and Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions. https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-and-industry-cares-act-program
  • May 25, 2020 | CFAP provides vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities. Producers can apply for assistance beginning on May 26, 2020.  Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap.
  • May 21, 2020 | The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) recently put out a press release on newly introduced federal legislation that will provide $1 billion funding to state departments of agriculture to support producers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • May 20, 2020 | UDAF’s COVID-19 Food Establishment Permit Guidelines for Farmers Markets Issued – click here to learn more.
  • May 06, 2020 | The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has now opened the application process for the UDAF COVID-19 Relief Grant Program to Utah agriculture operations that qualify.  This grant funding is in association with the CARES Act and Utah S.B. 3006.  Click here to learn more and apply.
  • May 05, 2020  | National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) President and North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring released the following statement in response to the start of negotiations for a U.S.-U.K. free trade agreement.  Learn more here.
  • May 04, 2020 | The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. Apply for assistance here.
 
For previous updates – expand menu:

April 29, 2020 - UDAF to Allow Private Custom Meat Plants to Slaughter and Process Livestock for Commercial Sale.  Click here to learn more.
April 21, 2020 - Click here for UDAF’s COVID-19 Food Establishment Permit Guidelines for Farmers Markets
April 20, 2020 - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program will take several actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. President Trump directed USDA to craft this $19 billion immediate relief program to provide critical support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to receive and have access to the food they need. Click here for more information.
April 16, 2020 - DHS and USDA Move to Protect American Farmers and Ensure Continued Flow of America’s Food Supply. The Department of Homeland Security, with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment, protect the nation’s food supply chain, and lessen impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. These temporary flexibilities will not weaken or eliminate protections for U.S. workers. Click here for more information.
April 10, 2020 – U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration – Office of Foreign Labor Certification Covid-19 – Frequently Asked Questions.
April 7, 2020 – UDAF remains open for business and as committed as ever to provide prompt, efficient service to the public. However, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, and protect our workforce and the public, the UDAF building will be locked, even during normal business hours, starting Wednesday April 8, 2020 until further notice.  Learn more here.
April 2, 2020 – Secretary Pompeo, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has authorized consular officers to expand the categories of H-2 visa applicants whose applications can be adjudicated without an in-person interview.  Consular officers can, if they so choose, now waive the visa interview requirement for first-time and returning H-2 applicants who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility.  Learn more here.

March 31, 2020 -  For the next 30 days the State of Utah, under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture and Food, will allow restaurants to repackage and resell raw and prepackaged foods in their inventories. Click here to view new retail requirements for restaurants for repackaging and selling food during Covid-19.
March 31, 2020 - The following letter template is meant to be used by farms and food businesses. While the department has tried to craft a letter that meets importation and movement requirements under the current COVID 19 restrictions, the letter is not guaranteed to be accepted by interstate border patrol and individuals should check local and state origin and destination restrictions daily to ensure compliance. Click here to download the letter template.
March 26, 2020 - State Veterinarian Statement on Veterinary Elective Procedures
March 26, 2020 - USDA released three additional nation-wide waivers for Child Nutrition programs, including National School Lunch and Breakfast, Summer Food Service Program, Seamless Summer Option, and the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program. Click here to learn more.
March 24, 2020 https://www.aberdeennews.com/farm_forum/usda-and-dol-announce-information-sharing-to-assist-h-/article_6fb119d0-6c74-11ea-9aef-f7ef957c1425.html - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Labor to help facilitate the identification of foreign and domestic workers that may be available and eligible to transfer to other U.S. agricultural sector employers to fulfill critical workforce needs within the U.S. under existing regulatory authority during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 23, 2020 - SLC Emergency Loan Program -  The purpose of this loan program is to provide financial relief to small businesses that will most likely see a downturn in business due to an unforeseen emergency.  The program is intended to help businesses keep their employees and stay afloat during a time of economic hardship. It is meant to bridge the gap for what may be a shortened financial hardship period.
March 19, 2020 - CISA Releases Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 - The US department of homeland security has designated food and agriculture an one of the essential critical infrastructure industries. Thank you farmers, ranchers and food system workers for keeping the food moving during this critical time.
March 18, 2020 - USDA Announces Feeding Program Partnership in Response to COVID-19 - This collaboration with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, PepsiCo, and others will allow delivery of nearly 1,000,000 meals to students in some rural schools closed due to COVID-19.
March 17th, 2020 -  All WUSATA activities scheduled for between now and through June 30th have been postponed. WUSATA will be evaluating each activity on an ongoing basis. Complete details will be shared by the end of May. Click here for more information: https://www.wusata.org/programs/updates/
March 17, 2020Click here to learn about H2A updates - H2A: In response to the global pandemic COVID-19, and in line with the Mexican government’s call to increase social distancing, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and all U.S. consulates in Mexico will suspend routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services, including H2A migrant farm worker visas starting March 18, 2020, and until further notice. The Monterey embassy will continue processing returning workers who do not require an interview.
March 17, 2020 - Click here for the full USDA press release that was given today, March 17, to stakeholders.
March 16, 2020 - Click here for an important update from the Utah Food Industry Association and Utah Retail Merchants Association about grocery stores and other food retailers related to COVID-19.

 

BUILDING OPERATIONS/ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE

    • April 7, 2020 The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) remains open for business and as committed as ever to provide prompt, efficient service to the public. However, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, and protect our workforce and the public, the UDAF building will be locked, even during normal business hours, starting Wednesday April 8, 2020 until further notice.
      Anyone needing to do business in person at our office is strongly encouraged to make an appointment in advance, as most of our employees have been instructed to work remotely until further notice. If you do not know the name or number of the person or program you need, call our main number: (801) 538-7100. If you need to enter the building ring the doorbell next to the main doors. Anyone entering the building are strongly encouraged to bring their own mask and wear it at all times while in the building.
      Members of the public are strongly encouraged to do all the business they can with the Department on the phone or online. Many services can be accomplished through our website: https://ag.utah.gov. Again, if you need further assistance, please call (801) 982-2200. We want everyone to stay safe and healthy while they get the services from our agency they need. We apologize for any inconvenience and sincerely hope this is a very short term situation.

       

ANIMAL INDUSTRY:

    • March 26, 2020 State Veterinarian Statement on Veterinary Elective Procedures
    • March 25, 2020Guidance for Veterinarians on Elective Procedures and Surgeries – Utah Department of Health announced restrictions on medical, dental and veterinary procedures that are non-urgent in order to preserve personal protection equipment until 11:59p on April 25, 2020, unless otherwise modified.
    • March 19, 2020 – In response to the COVID-19 guidelines, the prudent action is to reschedule upcoming board meetings at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.  The Brand Board Meeting on March 24, 2020 will be rescheduled.
    • In response to the COVID-19 guidelines with the Animal Industry Division, the prudent action is to cancel upcoming board meetings at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.  This includes the Fish Health Policy Board and the Brand Board meetings that were scheduled for 10:00 AM. For questions about the Fish health Policy Board, please contact Anna Forest at annaforest@utah.gov or call 801-870-9339
    • The UDAF Animal Industry Division will continue business as usual. If businesses that use our services are open and operating we will be there!
    • That includes:
      • The Meat and Poultry Inspection Program will continue to provide our State  inspection services as normal throughout the state of Utah. This includes slaughter and processing facilities.
      • Our domesticated elk facilities will continue to be licensed and inspected.
      • Our brand inspectors will continue to work as usual, and will staff auctions as long as they are open.
      • Our predator control program trappers continue to operate as usual.
    • We will continue to man the phones and answer questions and deal with travel permits for livestock.
    • Permits may be obtained by calling 801-982-2246 and Dr. Taylor’s phone number is 801-982-2243 for questions and issues that need his attention.

 

PLANT INDUSTRY:

    • March 30, 2020 – We will halt the production of Certificates of free sale and origin until at least April 30th.
    • All UDAF Plant and Insect inspection programs will continue as usual. The Plant Industry Division has a line of succession in place so that if a program manager or lead is unavailable there are others designated to fill in.
Robert Hougaard – 801-982-2311 – rhougaard@utah.gov
Mark Ashcroft – 435-752-6263 – mashcroft@utah.gov
Henry Hahalewski – 801-538-4923 – hnahalewski@utah.gov
Kris Watson – 801-982-2311 – kwatson@utah.gov
Dave Basinger – 435-636-3234 – dbasinger@utah.gov
Aaron Eagar  – 801-538-7186 – aeagar@utah.gov

REGULATORY SERVICES:

    • April 27, 2020Food Industry Guidelines

         

    • April 10, 2020 Click here for FDA’s Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • March 21, 2020Click here for the AFDO COVID-19 Situation Update. As part of AFDO’s commitment to providing information and resources to members, we will offer links to information that has been developed by our partners and other subject matter experts. We appreciate everyone who helps us all be more informed and prepared.
    • March 18, 2020Click to open UDAF’s Food Industry Guidelines
    • For the lab, we will continue normal operations and laboratory testing that is done for department regulatory purposes, including cannabis and hemp testing. However, depending on the available personnel resources, we may need to decline testing that is requested by private entities (e.g., businesses and other organizations).