Agricultural Pass Program

About the Program

The purpose of the Agricultural Pass Program is to provide options for commercial agriculture and livestock operators to access restricted areas during or following a natural disaster. Section 2350 of California Food and Agricultural Code authorizes local government organizations to establish a pass program for the purposes of providing access to closed areas to vetted agriculture operators, during an emergency for the purpose of performing eligible activities. Access into closed areas may be permitted at the discretion of incident commanders and the law enforcement personnel having jurisdiction for the scene. Safety is the number one priority and participation in the program does not guarantee access during an incident.  

The decision to provide access can rapidly change during a fire or other natural disaster and will be dependent on safety conditions at the time and upon approval of emergency personnel. Livestock care shall only be made during daylight hours, and all persons must immediately depart the restricted area by the same route as entry. An escort may be required in any instance and all restricted entry will be dependent on approval of onsite emergency personnel. During initial evacuation phases, access will likely be restricted to all individuals, including ag pass holders. Once the situation has stabilized, which may take over 24 hours or even days, then the agriculture pass will be considered an option by fire and law enforcement personnel.  

Eligible Activities

  • To evacuate or care for livestock
  • To provide feed, water, medical treatment, and other care to large-scale commercial livestock operations
  • To perform irrigation of crops or turn on water systems
  • To provide access to property or facilities used as part of an agricultural operation
  • To transport/deliver necessary equipment needed to re-establish water supplies or irrigation systems

Ineligible Activities 

  • To conduct firefighting operations, including fire suppression or fire mop-up
  • For the removal property, other than livestock
  • To harvest crops 

Types of Agricultural Passes

Pre-Incident Pass

Issued to qualifying individuals in advance of an incident. To be issued this pass, agriculture operators must submit the required documentation, complete the necessary online training, complete the online application process, and be issued a pre-incident agriculture pass.

One-time Pass

One-time passes may be issued to qualifying individuals during an incident. Temporary passes may be obtained from the Ventura County Human Services Agency at an operational Temporary Evacuation Point (TEP). Temporary evacuation points are centers activated during an emergency incident requiring prolonged evacuation of residential structures. In the event of an evacuation, information will be published on the location of all active TEPs.

 

Appication Process for Pre-Incident Pass

Pre-Incident passes may be issued at the discretion of the Ventura County Agriculture Commissioners Office.

  1. Complete the U.S. Fire Administration Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior S-190 training online.
  2. Start a new application for a Pre-Incident Agricultural Pass online by visiting vcemergency.com and clicking on Agriculture at the top of the page.
    1. Upload supporting documentation, including
    2. Sign release of liability waiver electronically

Your request will be reviewed by the Ventura County Ag Commissioner’s Office and if appropriate, a pass will be issued.

 

 

Eligible Agricultural Operations

Livestock Operator – Includes all commercial livestock operations within Ventura County

Proof of commercial livestock status may include any of the following:

  • International Revenue Services schedule F (Form 1040) attesting to the applicant’s Profit or Loss from farming.
  • Assessor’s parcel numbers confirming agricultural zoning for the property or properties upon which assess is sought.
  • Agricultural land lease documentation.
  • Documentation from the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency attesting that the applicant is a commercial livestock producer.
  • Current registration of a livestock brand with the Bureau of Livestock Identification.
  • An operator identification number or restricted materials pesticide permit issued by the Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner.

Agricultural Operator – Includes all commercial agricultural operations within Ventura County

Proof of commercial agricultural status may include any of the following:

  • An operator identification number or restricted materials pesticide permit issued by the Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner.
  • An Internal Revenue Service Schedule F (Form 1040) attesting to the applicant’s Profit or Loss from Farming.
  • Assessor’s parcel numbers confirming agricultural zoning for the property or properties upon which access is sought.

Documentation from the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency attesting that the applicant is a commercial agricultural producer.