Coronavirus Updates

Effective Thursday, July 16, 2020

 

Dear Farm Community,

 

I am writing to provide you with an update related to the status of the Ag History Farm Park Building (AHFP) as well as the agricultural services provided to you by the all of the agencies.

 

As things continue to evolve around the Country, this COVID environment remains very fluid and uncertainty persists. The County is taking a very thoughtful approach in its plans to re-open its buildings and return employees to their workspaces.

 

This measured re-opening strategy, being implemented in stages, is based upon CDC guidelines, health of employees, staff family situations (i.e., childcare, MCPS closure/remote education, elder care, etc.), ability to ensure proper cleaning/sanitization, appropriate PPE and worksite modifications, among other things.

 

Update Specific to the AHFP and Ag Agencies

The Ag History Farm Park building will remain closed to the general public indefinitely; however, entry (of 1 person) for agricultural business purposes may be scheduled as noted below.

 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to the people/groups accustomed to using the meeting spaces or just walking in to see the staff.

 

The good news is that COVID did not reduce or cease any of the agricultural services we offer to the farm community! We are very proud of the fact that we have been able to successfully continue providing all of our services remotely, especially since teleworking is new to most of us and began with little notice. Regardless of where we are physically located, we remain committed to being responsive and to providing you with excellent service.

 

  • University of MD Extension (UME)

    • Staff is tentatively scheduled to return to the office for limited hours on a staggered basis beginning July 20

    • If there is a need that cannot be met by phone, email, or virtual meeting, please reach out to the staff person to schedule an appointment

  • Soil Conservation District (SCD)

    • Staff will continue to work remotely and can be reached via phone, email, or virtual meeting

    • If there is a need that cannot be met by phone, email or virtual, please contact staff to schedule an in-person meeting or on farm visit

  • Office of Ag (OAG)

    • Staff will continue to work remotely and can be reached via phone, email, or virtual meeting

    • If there is a need that cannot be met by phone, email or virtual meeting, please contact staff to schedule an in-person meeting or on farm visit

  • Farm Services Agency (FSA)

    • Staff will be working in the Office to provide services via phone, email, mail, or virtual meeting – No in-person visits or meetings will be allowed at this time

 

Thank you for your continued patience during this challenging time.

 

 

Jeremy V. Criss

Office of Agricultural Services, Director

Notice: Coronavirus Outbreak Forces Change In Operations

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020

 

In response to the Montgomery County Government and Governor Larry Hogan’s actions taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the agricultural agencies are altering their operations as outlined below.

 

The Agricultural History Farm Park (AHFP) building is closed to the general public until further notice.

 

All of the agencies are currently functioning, and staff will be available during the normal business hours of 8am – 4:30pm; however, employees are teleworking. We will be utilizing technology and electronic formats and appointments will be held via email and/or conference call.

 

University of Maryland Extension (UME)

  • Leave a message at 301-590-9638 which is being monitored during these business hours and your message will be routed to the appropriate faculty or staff.

  • All UME in-person public meetings will be cancelled, postponed or held via teleconference.

  • Governor Hogan issued an executive order providing a grace period for any state licenses, permits and/or registrations that may be expiring or up for renewal during the state of emergency. Renewal deadlines will be extended up to 30 days after the state of emergency is lifted. This order applies to a number of items issued by MDA programs, including but not limited to: pesticide applicator licenses, State Chemist product registrations and nutrient management certifications.

  • Any questions regarding specific programs or services should be emailed to your program leader or yingling@umd.edu to be directed to the proper person.

 

Montgomery Soil Conservation District (MSCD)

  • During this time, the MSCD will be focusing on 3 areas of critical operations listed below. All other services will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

  1. Coordinating with appropriate officials concerning any imminent environmental water quality impact;

  2. Providing oversight with construction projects that are ongoing and underway; 

  3. Processing cost share program payments to minimize delays for reimbursements to cooperators. 

  • For MSCD, NRCS, please call 301-590-2855 or 301-590-2831 – calls will be returned as soon as possible.

 

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

 

Montgomery County Office of Agriculture (OAG)

 

This is a rapidly changing situation and further actions may become necessary as conditions are reassessed and warranted.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. Please understand that these measures, although temporary, are necessary to limit in-person transactions and safeguard the health of its employees, stakeholders and the general public.

 

For more information on the statewide response to COVID-19, please visit https://governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus/

 

For Montgomery County COVID-19 information, visit https://montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS/RightNav/Coronavirus.html

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Montgomery Soil Conservation District

18410 Muncaster Rd

Derwood, MD 20855

301-590-2855

Hours:

8:00am - 4:30pm

Monday -Friday

Copyright 2019-2020. Montgomery Soil Conservation District - All rights reserved.