As COVID-19 upends the economy, hurting agricultural businesses and causing increased demand at food banks, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is studying the pandemic’s impact on agriculture and aquaculture businesses. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is urging Florida farmers to participate in the study, which will help inform government decisions on disaster relief and recovery.
“This unprecedented pandemic is taking a toll on Florida’s agriculture community, and we need detailed, accurate information to effectively inform recovery efforts,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “The University of Florida’s IFAS study will highlight COVID-19’s impact and will help our local, state, and federal government take action to support our state’s agriculture and aquaculture businesses. I’m encouraging all of our farmers, ranchers, and aquaculturists to take part in this important survey.”
Through Friday, May 15, faculty from the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics department are conducting surveys through UF/IFAS Extension Agents and industry professionals to capture important information on how agricultural producers and marine businesses have been impacted by COVID-19.
The surveys are designed to encompass agricultural production, processing and transportation, and several marine sectors. Overall, the surveys cover:
• Agriculture and aquaculture production, processing and transportation*
• Commercial fishing
• Charter/For-hire operations
• Seafood wholesale dealers
• Marine recreation support businesses
* Including crop production, forestry/timber, nursery and greenhouse operations, agritourism, beekeeping, etc.
The surveys can be accessed through the links below:
• Agriculture/Aquaculture Production, Processing, Transportation
• Commercial Fishing
• Seafood Wholesale Dealer
• Marine Recreation Support
The first round of surveys will be conducted through Friday, May 15, all agricultural, food, and marine businesses that fit the categories listed are encouraged to participate.