Food and Agriculture Listed as Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

Critical Workers PR News Header

March 20, 2020

HELENA, Mont. (March 20, 2020) – On March 16, 2020, the President issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America. This guidance states that:

“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) developed an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help State and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.

The list identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continued critical infrastructure viability. The industries these workers represent are many, but specifically list, food and agriculture under the list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.”

Although advisory in nature, state and local communities are encouraged to utilize this list when considering COVID-19-related restrictions. MSGA has been in communication with Senator Daines’ office to ensure agricultural will continue to be labeled as ‘critical infrastructure’ as CISA has advised.

During this crisis it is vitally important these “Priority 1 Function” are able to be met to ensure not only the safety of our food, but the continuance of commerce in the agriculture industry. MSGA will work with our state officials to ensure the following functions will continue;

  • Maintaining livestock markets,
  • Continuing diagnostic lab tests,
  • Animal health import inspections, and
  • Inspections of meat and eggs

We also want to emphasize the importance of keeping these essential critical infrastructure workers safe and healthy as they do vital jobs to our society.

As Montanans, we know the importance of our agriculture industry and hope our state government leadership will ensure our agricultural workers are able to continue their duties.

For more information regarding the Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19, visit

Keni Reese
Director of Marketing & Communications, MSGA

To view more MSGA news, visit