Maryland Department of Agriculture Provides Clarity on Social Distancing For Ag Related Businesses

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

By Sarah Everhart

Image of vendor at Red Hook Farmers Market. Photo Credit Edwin Remsberg.
Image of vendor at Red Hook Farmers Market. Photo Credit Edwin Remsberg.

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In an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic the State of Maryland has in recent weeks announced many restrictions on public gatherings and the operation of certain non-essential businesses. The various restrictions, unfortunately, caused confusion related to the operation of certain agriculture-related businesses. In an effort to clarify how the restrictions impact agriculture-related businesses, on March 19, 2020 the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) released some important guidance related to these vital businesses.

According to the guidance, any business involved in food distribution, production, processing, sales and supply will be considered essential, including, but not limited to:

  1. Agricultural equipment sales and service

  2. Agricultural supply businesses

  3. Animal feed supply and distribution

  4. Farms

  5. Farmers markets and food banks

  6. Feed mills

  7. Food and meat processors and manufacturers, including bakeries, etc.