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Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences


Last Updated: 07/15/20 ; 8:45 a.m.

Updates and information from the University of Florida

The Screen, Test & Protect initiative uses public health guidance and best practices aimed at fostering a culture of care for our community while taking steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as the University of Florida gradually returns faculty, staff and students to the campus environment. 

Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

For questions not addressed here, please visit the UF COVID-19 FAQ page.


What is the status of my UF/IFAS Extension county office?

Please see the Local Updates tab on this page. 

How are UF/IFAS programs and events affected?

UF/IFAS events and gatherings scheduled through May 15 are postponed. That includes workshops, celebrations, and social events. Face-to-face programs are postponed or moved to an online format. 


Faculty & Staff

Resources and answers to frequently asked questions for faculty and staff can be found on the Extension Administration resources page.

Local Updates

Note: Facilities and offices are open and fully operational unless otherwise noted. Check with your local UF/IFAS Extension office for more inforamtion about programs and events. 

Other Status Updates


Are you a farmer looking for opportunities to connect and sell directly consumers? UF/IFAS is assisting commodity associations in collecting this information for promotion. To be listed on FDACS site, fill out and submit this online form. To be listed on the FFVA site, follow instructions on the consumer sales page and email the requested information.

Are you looking to buy directly from growers?  Check these pages for produce availability:

Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association | FDACS Florida Farm to You

Assistance for Farmers and Small Businesses

Relief Programs

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Florida's major economic sectors of the agriculture industry have already been significant. UF/IFAS has assembled a list of disaster relief programs from the State of Florida and the federal government to support businesses and individuals through this tough time. Florida’s Department of Agriculture website contains more information and resource for businesses. That includes the CARES Act Economic Impact stimulus program. We will continue to add to this list, so please check back.

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

This program from the USDA will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

CARES Act Assistance for Small Business and Agriculture (blog post)
Farmer Relief Fund 

To help directly support farmers impacted by the current crisis, American Farmland Trust is launching a new Farmer Relief Fund. 100% of donations to the fund will go directly to farmers.

U.S. Small Business Administration programs

In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak.

Paycheck Protection Program

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Emergency Advance

Express Bridge Loans

Debt Relief

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Florida small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may now apply for short-term, interest-free loans through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program.

Reemployment Assistance 

For those who have been laid off

Other Resources

NIFA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources For Partners
FDA: Food and Agriculture: Considerations for Prioritization of PPE, Cloth Face Coverings, Disinfectants, and Sanitation Supplies During the COVID-19 Pandemic
CDC’s interim guidance on Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to COVID
Interim guidance from CDC and OSHA: Meat & Poultry Processing Workers and Employers
CDC: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
Helping Buyers and Sellers Connect During COVID-19 Disruptions to Florida Food Markets (blog post)
Dairy farmer support updates (FDACS, April 10)
Resources for Seafood Producers and Small Businesses (blog post)
How Can Small Farms Cope With COVID-19 Impacts? (blog post)
Touchless Transactions: E-commerce Guidance  

Guidance for rural business managers considering online sales.

For U-Pick Farms

Guidance for U-pick farm managers to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Community Gardens

Guidance for managing community gardens with regards to COVID-19

Is Coronavirus a Food Safety Issue?

Information about food safety in relation to COVID-19

Is Coronavirus an Issue in Produce Production?

Information about produce production in relation to COVID-19

COVID-19 Considerations for Animal Activities at Fairs, Shows, and Other Events

CDC guidance on biosecurity steps and materials for maintaining healthy environments in animal interaction areas, precautions for animals, maintaining healthy operation, and social distancing strategies for livestock and horse shows.

UF/IFAS Plant Diagnostic Center - How to Send Samples by Mail

Open for receipt of shipped samples but are working with reduced personnel and limited tests, subject to state and university mandated closures

UF/IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory 

 Offers a variety of tests for mineral soils, container media and irrigation water

Food Service & Grocery

Food Service FAQs

Grocery Store FAQs

Farmers Markets

Food Banks

Family and Health

Please use the following resources to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe. 


COVID-19 Considerations for Animal Activities at Fairs, Shows, and Other Events

CDC guidance on biosecurity steps and materials for maintaining healthy environments in animal interaction areas, precautions for animals, maintaining healthy operation, and social distancing strategies for livestock and horse shows.

Super Soap versus Klaus the Germ 

Dr. Karla Shelnutt with the UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program, reads the children's book Super Soap vs Klaus the Germ, which teaches kids about proper handwashing. Download the book for free.

Follow Florida 4-H on Social Media 



For Media

For media inquiries related to the University of Florida's response to COVID-19, contact Steve Orlando, 352-273-3819.

If you are looking for a local UF/IFAS expert, please contact the public relations specialist for your region. For specific agriculture inquiries, please contact

UF/IFAS PR Specialists Map


Essential Work Update 8/6/20

Dear UF/IFAS Extension Colleagues, We know that over these past few months there has been a great deal of uncertainty and concern resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic we all are going through. Currently, we see an increasing number of positive...

COVID-19 Resources for Seafood Producers and Small Businesses

Originally published March 31 2020. Last updated August 6 2020. Wow, there is a lot of information out there right now. Daily emails to share the ever-evolving list of news, opportunities and assistance programs can be overwhelming, so...

Stakeholder Spotlight: How Central Florida Nurseries are Coping with COVID-19

By Brandon White In the face of COVID-19, many businesses nationwide had to adapt business practices to comply with new regulations and public health safety standards. MREC spoke with nurseries around Central Florida to understand impacts of the...