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Strain commends Homeland Security guidance recognizing agriculture as critical infrastructure in response to COVID-19

March 21, 2020

Baton Rouge, La. (March 21, 2020) – As the Nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the president’s guidance for America, as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, includes those who work in the food supply chain and have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules to continue providing nutritious food for families without interruption.

On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued this guidance identifying the following as critical infrastructure for food and agriculture:

  • Workers supporting groceries and other retail that sells food and beverage products
    • Restaurant carry-out, delivery and quick serve food operations
    • Food manufacturer employees and agriculture processors
    • Farm workers and support service workers
  • Agriculture warehouse, distribution and transportation workers
    • Governmental agencies involved in regulatory and program support of agriculture
  • Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest
    products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood
    • Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of agriculture equipment

“It is imperative for our national security that we continue to provide food, fiber,
energy and health requirements for the human and animal populations. We must ensure these vital goods and services are protected and not interrupted,” said Strain. “We are committed to facing this crisis head on and working as a team at the national, state and local levels.”