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Department of Agriculture, Weights & Measures

For Immediate Release

Sonoma County launches online application for Agricultural Access Verification Card Program for commercial operators

SANTA ROSA, CA | November 03, 2022

En español »

The Sonoma County Department of Agriculture / Weights & Measures today announced the launch of an online application in English and Spanish for the Sonoma County Agricultural Access Verification Card Program. The new program is designed to facilitate safe access to areas under evacuation orders so that agricultural operators can evacuate, transport, shelter, feed, water, and administer veterinary care to livestock; irrigate crops; fuel emergency generators or provide auxiliary support to emergency personnel.

The Sonoma County Agricultural Access Verification Card Program application, as well as information regarding the application process, program eligibility, fire safety training, card issuance, and additional program information, may be accessed here:

English: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/awm/agaccess  

Spanish: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/awm/agaccess-espanol

Under the new verification program, access cards will be issued to operators or full-time employees of commercial agricultural operations following completion of in-person fire and worker safety training in requested languages and accessible formats for all cardholders. The policy maintains that operators are responsible for compliance with state and federal safety regulations, including protective actions that may be required due to changing conditions during a flood, storm, wildfire, or other disaster.

The Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution on Aug. 30 establishing the Agricultural Access Verification Card Program and delegating authority for program administration to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Harvesting or sowing crops, food processing, and facility repairs are not considered eligible activities as part of the new program. The Department of Agriculture / Weights & Measures will be providing outreach support to the agricultural community regarding the application process, and the Sheriff’s Office will be responsible for monitoring, compliance, and reporting on the Program.

Since 2019, the county has worked across 43 different stakeholder groups to develop the Agricultural Access Verification Card Program, including hosting 18 stakeholder meetings. The Board of Supervisors Ad Hoc Committee on agricultural access during evacuations included Supervisors Lynda Hopkins and Chris Coursey and staff representatives from various departments and offices including Emergency Management, Agriculture/Weights & Measures, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Office of Equity, and the University of California Cooperative Extension. 

For more general information regarding the Sonoma County Department of Agriculture / Weights & Measures, please call (707) 565-2371, email SonomaAg@sonoma-county.org or visit the website at: 
https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/natural-resources/agricultural-weights-and-measures

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Media Contact: 
Dan Virkstis  
publicaffairs@sonoma-county.org 
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-3040

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