Sunday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced a ‘stay-at-home’ executive order, signed by Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, to the list of efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio. As he announced details of this new measure, he pointed out the importance of the food supply chain. He deemed people who have jobs along that chain as essential, giving those involved in agriculture an exemption from the order to continue to supply consumers with the food they need.
“We do not do these things in isolation. We consult with business and labor and all kinds of advocates to develop the policies that the governor is taking action on,” said Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. “We have support of the Farm Bureau, along with numerous other business and trade organizations so that we can put something together that will keep us healthy and keep essential business functions in the supply chain moving.”
Ohio Farm Bureau has been working with the DeWine administration, emphasizing the importance of not disrupting the food system and how agriculture plays an integral part in keeping food on the table for those heeding the ‘stay-at-home’ order.
“One of the keys to winning this fight against the coronavirus is ensuring reliable agriculture and food systems for the short and long term,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “We appreciate the governor reaching out to Ohio Farm Bureau and the agricultural industry to seek our input on what is best for Ohio’s food and agricultural community and businesses as he takes additional actions. He fully recognizes that all components of Ohio’s food system are essential services. Gov. DeWine’s use of the Department of Homeland Security guidance as well as other good models will allow farmers, processors, truckers and everyone who keeps the food shelves stocked to continue to work. The governor’s recognition of agriculture as an essential service should give consumers throughout Ohio peace of mind when it comes to our healthy, safe and affordable food supply.”
The list of essential services in Ohio’s stay-at-home order includes all aspects of the food production supply chain, as well as grocery stores, pharmacies, certified farmers markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of groceries, canned food, dry goods, frozen foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh meats, fish, poultry and prepared food.
There will be no credentialing required to show you are an essential service and need to be on the road.
To find out more about the stay-at-home order and how it impacts you, your family and your job, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Guidance: Am I an Essential Employer/Employee?