Keeping Farms Working

FARFA has gotten multiple requests from farmers and food businesses concerned about their employees being stopped while traveling. Please recognize that no one has any experience with a situation like this, so we do not have definitive guidance on what to do.  Below is a sample letter that we have drafted that we think should be helpful.  You can download a Word version of the letter here.

If you need help tailoring the letter based on a local shelter-in-place order, please contact

LETTERHEAD or Business Name & Full Physical Address

Critical Industry Employee Travel Authorization

To Whom It May Concern:

[NAME of person], the individual in possession of this letter, works for _______ [name of the farm, ranch, or food business], in the Food and Agriculture industry and must travel to and from work and engage in their work activities both during normal working hours and beyond.  It is essential to the food supply that this individual is permitted to proceed to or from their job and otherwise perform their job functions.

The Food and Agriculture industry has been consistently designated a “Critical Infrastructure Segment” under Presidential Policy Directive 21 and Department of Homeland Security emergency readiness programs since 2013.  The United States government’s policy is that these industries continue to function with minimal disruption in the event of any emergency.

On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security specifically identified workers on crop farms, livestock operations, food manufacturing businesses, and food retail (including delivery) as essential critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 crisis.  See U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response (March 19, 2020), at page 6, available at

As such, the individual in possession of this letter is a “critical infrastructure industry employee” of the Food and Agriculture industry and should be exempt from curfews, shelter-in-place orders, and other mobility restrictions when reporting to, returning from, or performing his or her work functions. [Check your local shelter-in-place order.  Many of them are explicitly identifying farms, food delivery services, etc., as being exempt.  If your local order has language to that effect, add it here]

We ask that you allow this individual to continue with their job in the interest of providing food for the people in our community during this crisis.

If you have any questions, please contact [NAME], [TITLE], [COMPANY] at [XXX-XXX-XXXX].


_________________________ [Sign your name]