• Wandro & Associates

COVID-19 Relief Resources for Farmers

As the Coronavirus outbreak spreads across the country, and states enact varying levels of restrictions, farmers are facing uncertain times. If you’ve been impacted by this recent outbreak, there are a number of resources that can provide support.

GENERAL ARTICLES AND INFORMATION

The Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) just published their Farmers' Guide to COVID-19 Relief, which offers a description of various programs that might benefit farmers, including those that were passed as part of the CARES Act that became law on March 27 (we've previously written about the CARES Act and how it affects either you as a person or as a business owner here and here). FLAG'S comprehensive guide includes:


  • Recovery Rebates for Individuals

  • SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program

  • Unemployment Insurance

  • Foreclosure Moratorium and Loan Forbearance

  • Funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC)

  • Funding for Specialty Crop and Other Producers

  • Changes to the Bankruptcy Code

  • Regulatory Guidance for Financial Institutions

  • USDA Administrative Actions

  • Crop Insurance and Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)

  • Court and State and Tribal Government Responses

  • Scams and Discrimination


There are other informative resources available for farmers. Here is a list and links to important information that could be helpful to you and your farming business:


  • Check out the USDA's page for Frequently Asked Questions, Resources, and USDA Actions on COVID-19.

  • USDA released a resource matrix with funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America.

  • National Farmers Union has an extensive selection of resources by state, guidance for farmers, financial resources, actions that NFU has taken, as well as learning you can do at home!

  • The National Young Farmers Coalition has shared how COVID-19 is affecting young farmers, resources, and ways to get involved in their continuing advocacy for farmers at this time.

  • ATTRA has a great list of national resources, financial assistance, alternative marketing options, as well as access to their videos and webinars.

  • For an ongoing list of articles on COVID-19 and its effect on the broader food system, please check out this document compiled by Michigan State University grad student Vanessa Garcia Polanco.

  • Center for Dairy Excellence has a great list of resources for both dairy and non-dairy farmers.

  • Meredith Leigh has a great blog post called How to ensure access to local meat during COVID-19 and beyond; for consumers, farmers, processors, and more.

  • SBA guidance & loan resources, including disaster loan information and local assistance directory.

  • Practical Farmers of Iowa created a great list of resources and are holding weekly meetings for producers to learn from each other.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Federal Funding


  • USDA released a resource matrix with funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America.

  • Farmers' Legal Action Group has a comprehensive Farmers' Guide to COVID-19 Relief, which offers a description of various programs that might benefit farmers, including those that were passed as a part of the CARES Act that became law on March 27.

  • Growing Farmers created a very helpful guide with more information about the SBA programs available to farms and food businesses.


Other Sources


  • American Farmland Trust has launched a Farmer Relief Fund to award farmers up to $1,000. Initially, eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers' markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs.

  • Food Animal Concerns Trust has a list of resources as well as mini-grants of up to $500 to help livestock and poultry farmers.

FOOD SAFETY


NEW OPTIONS FOR YOUR FARM


How we manage our businesses, whether they are farming related or not, is rapidly changing due to COVID-19.


New Marketing and Distribution Options


  • Cornell published "Building Farm Resilience in this Crisis"

  • Wit for Grit posted a comprehensive list of ways to build resiliency in this time.

  • Is Shipping Right for Your Farm?

  • Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) published a new podcast with tips for Marketing Farming in a Pandemic.

  • R-CALF has created a database of local beef producers for consumers to purchase directly from farmers and ranchers. If you raise beef, sign up to be connected today!

  • Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. Sign up for updates and they'll share more details as they become available.


Collaborative Marketing Software Platforms


Here are some collaborative marketing software programs (note: we have not used these software programs and do not officially endorse any of them, but encourage you to do your own research with these as a potential starting point):


STRESS, MENTAL HEALTH, AND WELL-BEING


This is a stressful time for farmers, and struggling with your mental health right now is a totally normal consequence of what you are experiencing on a day to day basis. Do not be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. Here are a few resources to help you manage your mental and emotional well-being during these times:


  • Farm Aid has a hotline available Monday through Friday 9-5 EST at 1-800-FARM-AID, or you can get in touch with their Farmer Services Team by filling out this online form.

  • If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

  • You can also text the Crisis Text Line and be connected to someone. Text "CONNECT" to 741741.

  • 211 - You can dial 211 or visit the website to find local resources and counselors.

  • Michigan State University's Managing Farm Stress Program

  • The University of Maine's Recognizing the Signs of Farm Family Stress

  • FarmStrong

Have questions? We have answers.

Contact us at (515) 281-1475 or email us at akanne@2501grand.com

This Wandro & Associates Update is intended to inform firm clients and friends about legal developments, including recent decisions of various courts and administrative bodies. Nothing in this Practice Update should be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion, and readers should not act upon the information contained in this Update without seeking the advice of legal counsel.

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