The San Mateo County Ag ID program provides a uniform way of identifying commercial livestock producers, owners/operators, and managerial employees to firefighting personnel, law enforcement officers, and other emergency personnel. Possession of an Ag ID during a wildfire or similar disaster may allow the rancher limited emergency access to restricted areas for the purposes of moving, transporting, evacuating, feeding, watering, administering veterinary care to, or sheltering livestock, or providing auxiliary support to peace officers and emergency personnel.

Fire Safety Training Ag ID Eligibility Requirements Application Process
Fire Safety Training

Disaster Access Fire Safety Training - REQUIRED

Attendance of a four-hour CAL FIRE safety training is required to participate in the Ag ID program. Please RSVP and indicate if you have a need for translation services, and in what language. 

CAL FIRE Training Followed by Q&A and ID Issuance Event

October 19, 2023

9am to 3:30pm

Ted Adcock Community Center, Grand Oak Room

535 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

Lunch Provided

RSVP

Attendees of the training may be issued Ag IDs after completion of the training, if eligibility criteria is met and required documentation is submitted. Please direct questions to Jeremy Wagner at (650) 363-4700 or smateoag@smcgov.org.

Ag ID Eligibility Requirements

For the purposes of the Ag ID Program, the San Mateo County Department of Agriculture defines commercial agriculture as the cultivation of arable land by the raising of agricultural or horticultural crops and livestock and their products as a principal or supplemental source of income and intended for sale off the farm, and distribution to wholesalers or retail outlets. At this time the Ag ID program is only available to commercial livestock operations AND Ag IDs will only be issued to Owners/Operators and managerial employees.

Minimum Number of Livestock Requirements

A minimum number of livestock is required for an operation to be considered commercial, subject to a verification site visit by our department.

  • Cattle: 20 head
  • Goats or Sheep: 20 animals
  • Pigs: 20 animals
  • Poultry, Fowl, or Rabbits: 50 animals
  • Honeybees: 100 hives
  • Horses: Horse breeding operations with 20 or more broodmares are eligible. Horse boarding facilities and other equestrian operations are not eligible.

Supporting Documentation Requirements

Supporting documentation includes, but is not limited to:

  • Valid Operator Identification Number or Restricted Materials Permit issued by our department
  • Valid Certified Producer Certificate
  • Current State Organic Certificate
  • Current Registration of a Livestock Brand (CDFA Bureau of Livestock Identification)
  • Current Annual Apiary Registration Certificate (commercial beekeepers only)
  • Current Registration as an Egg Producer with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)
Application Process

Provide a valid driver's license or other state-issued form of identification for each person requesting Ag ID.

  • Confirm Program Eligibility: Are you an Owner/Operator or Managerial Employee of a Commercial Livestock Operation?
  • Submit An Ag ID Application Packet, including:
  1. Ag ID Program Application Form
  2. Ag ID Program Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreement
  3. Disaster Livestock Plan Emergency Checklist
  4. Maps of all production agricultural properties that access is being requested for
  5. If the applicant is a managerial employee, an additional Employee Attestation and Worker Protection Statement signed by both the business owner and managerial employee will be required.
  • Mandatory CAL FIRE In-Person Training. Ag Commissioner’s staff will register Ag ID Applicants at training and verify completion of 4-hour training. 
  • ID Issuance: Once application materials have been submitted and training is completed, the San Mateo County Department of Agriculture will review the materials, confirm program eligibility, and contact the applicant to schedule an appointment to issue the photo Ag ID Card. Ag ID Cards will be valid for three years, expiring on December 31st of the third calendar year after the ID is issued.

AG ID APPLICATION PACKET - ENGLISH

AG ID APPLICATION PACKET - SPANISH

Administration of the Ag ID Program and Ag ID Terms and Conditions:

 As the administrators of the Ag ID Program, the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office will have the responsibility of verifying eligibility, coordinating, and verifying completion of fire and safety training, printing and distributing of Ag ID cards, record keeping, and renewal notifications.

The Agricultural Commissioner’s Office reserves the right to revoke an Ag ID if the following terms and conditions are not adhered to:  

  1. The protection of life is at all times the priority. Ag ID holders are not exempt from mandatory evacuation orders.  Only emergency personnel and law enforcement are allowed access to an area during a hard closure.  Reports from law enforcement or other agency officials regarding unauthorized access to areas under evacuation orders may result in Ag ID revocation.
  2. Failure to follow property access restrictions including date, time, length of access and other restrictions imposed by emergency personnel, law enforcement, incident command or their representatives may result in Ag ID revocation.
  3. Reports of activities otherwise not authorized under the Ag ID Program may result in Ag ID revocation. 
  4. Failure to follow orders and directions from emergency personnel, law enforcement, public works and other personnel managing access to areas under closure may result in Ag ID revocation.
  5. Failure to follow orders and directions from emergency personnel, law enforcement, public works and other personnel regarding entry and exit requirements to the property listed on the Ag ID may result in Ag ID revocation.
  6. The Agricultural Commissioner’s Office reserves the right to revoke the Ag ID for other reasons as designated by the Agricultural Commissioner.
What is Ag ID?

An Ag ID is a document for identifying commercial livestock producers, owners, and managers to firefighting personnel, California Highway Patrol Officers, Sheriff Deputies and other law enforcement and emergency personnel. Possession of an Ag ID during a wildfire or a similar disaster may allow the qualifying livestock producer or manager limited emergency access to restricted areas for the purposes of:

  1. Sheltering, moving transporting, feeding, watering, or administering veterinary care to livestock; or
  2. Evacuating livestock; or
  3. Providing local expertise, when requested, to peace officers and responding emergency personnel.
Who is required to have an Ag ID?

Each person attempting agricultural property access through a road closure must have an Ag ID in their possession.

When does Ag ID expire?

Ag IDs are valid for 3 years. Passes will expire on December 31st, three years after issuance.

What are the eligibility requirements for obtaining an Ag ID?

For the purposes of the Ag ID Program, the San Mateo County Department of Agriculture defines commercial agriculture as the cultivation of arable land by the raising of agricultural or horticultural crops and livestock and their products as a principal or supplemental source of income and intended for sale off the farm, and distribution to wholesalers or retail outlets.

A minimum number of livestock is required for an operation to be considered commercial, subject to verification by our department. Please refer to our eligibility guide for current eligibility criteria. In the case of specialty livestock or other situations not addressed by the chart, please contact us at (650) 363-4700.

ELIGIBILITY GUIDE - ENGLISH

 

ELIGIBILITY GUIDE - SPANISH

How do I apply for an Ag ID?

To apply, complete the Ag ID Application and supplemental forms and attend the initial CAL FIRE Training. You must also provide a driver’s license, required eligibility document and maps of all land owned or managed in San Mateo County including parcels in neighboring counties. Passes will only be issued to owners of a livestock operation and/or authorized managerial employees (employees must provide an authorization form from their employer).

AG ID APPLICATION PACKET - ENGLISH

 

AG ID APPLICATION PACKET - SPANISH

What verification document(s) do I need to provide to prove my commercial Livestock producer status?

Eligibility will be confirmed by San Mateo County Department of Agriculture staff who may require documentation that includes, but is not limited to, at least one of the following documents:

  • Valid Operator Identification Number or Restricted Materials Permit issued by our department
  • Valid Certified Producer Certificate
  • Current State Organic Certificate
  • Current Registration of a Livestock Brand (CDFA Bureau of Livestock Identification)
  • Current Annual Apiary Registration Certificate (commercial beekeepers only)
  • Current Registration as an Egg Producer with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)

Additional site visits or documentation by our department may be required to confirm eligibility.

I have horses, can I apply for an Ag ID?

In San Mateo County, a qualifying livestock producer is a commercial livestock producer that owns at least 20 head of either cattle, sheep, or goats, 100 honeybee hives or other livestock permissible by the Department of Agriculture. Equestrian facilities do not meet the requirements above and are not eligible to be issued Ag IDs. Everyone, including equestrian facilities and small ranch owners, should have an evacuation plan in place in case of emergency. Large animal owners are encouraged to contact the San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation Group (SMCLAEG) at smclaeg2@gmail.com.

Are poultry, fowl and rabbits eligible for an Ag ID?

Yes, if minimum requirements (50 animals minimum) are met and commercial production can be verified.

How many copies of Ag ID can I make?

The Ag ID will be issued as a photo ID card, and the original must be presented to traffic control points for access consideration. If you have lost your Ag ID, please contact smateoag@smcgov.org to obtain a replacement.

Who will be checking Ag IDs?

Passes will be checked by law enforcement personnel at designated road closures during a wildfire or other disaster.

If I have an Ag ID, will I have access behind a road closure?

An Ag ID does not grant automatic access beyond a road closure. An Ag ID will only verify that an individual is a commercial producer with legitimate need to preform essential activities at a site located inside the disaster zone. Permission to enter an area under evacuation is discretionary based on incident conditions.

Can I use the Ag ID to check on my house?

No, the Ag ID only grants access to perform essential agricultural activities. A breach of the established guidelines will result in removal from the Ag ID Program.

What happens if I hold an Ag ID through my employer’s business and I stop working for them?

The Ag ID will be void and the card shall be surrendered to the Department of Agriculture.  A new application and Letter of Authorization Form from a new employer will be required for continued or future participation in the program.

What happens if an employee that has acquired an Ag ID through my business stops working for me?

An employee issued an Ag ID must maintain employment with the employer listed in the application, otherwise the Ag ID will be void and the card shall be surrendered to the Department of Agriculture.  The agricultural operation owner/operator is responsible for notifying the Department of Agriculture when an employee cardholder is no longer employed by the owner/operator.

Can a commercial beekeeper request an Ag ID?

Yes, but only if they meet minimum requirements for number of hives and have registered their hives in San Mateo County for the current year. Registration status can be checked on the BeeWhere website by clicking here and logging in with your BeeWhere Account. If you have not yet registered your commercial  hives and would like to, registration can also be completed on the BeeWhere website.