COVID-19 Resources for Farmers

Important Updates in the News

A new aid relief package was approved to fund the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). The EIDL has also been expanded to support agricultural operations with 500 employees or less. As we saw with the first round - these funds will go fast! Please reach out to your lender as soon as possible if you would like to apply for these programs.

You can also check out this comprehensive Farmers Guide to Covid-19 Relief here, which outlines these and other programs available for farmers.

The USDA has developed a Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to support farmers and ranchers during this pandemic. This will include a direct payment program to support agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and a Purchase and Distribution Program in which agricultural products will be purchased from producers and delivered to food banks and community organizations serving those in need. Read more here.

Financial Support

Fork 2 Farm Relief Grants are now available to provide restaurants and ag-related retailers with immediate debt relief and support to qualified small farms. Qualified agricultural vendors/suppliers must be located in the six-county region (Yolo, Sacramento, Placer, Sutter, El Dorado, Yuba), AND identify as small farmers as defined by the USDA, selling $1,000 to $250,000 per year in agricultural products, or source products from such small farms. For more information and to apply, click here »

Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is rolling out an emergency fund. Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000, with half of the funds reserved for farmers of color and those from immigrant communities. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply here.

California FarmLink is offering emergency loans. Farmers and ranchers experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19 may be eligible for loans of up to $20,000 at 0% interest, with no payments required for two years. Eligibility is largely based on repayment history and pre-COVID-19 income. Current and former borrowers will be prioritized. New borrowers are also eligible and encouraged to apply.

For current borrowers, they are offering flexible payment plans and can defer loan payments and restructure existing loans.

In addition, they will continue to offer operating, equipment/infrastructure, land purchase and land refinance loans to farmers and ranchers who cannot access conventional financing. FarmLink staff are also available to provide business assistance. They can connect you with the people and resources that can help with business decisions, navigate relationships with other lenders, and more. More information »

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is assisting farmers and ranchers through their programs:

The Small Business Administration offers protection and relief programs as well as loans to support small businesses. Check it out here.

California's Small Business Finance Center provides supportive programs for disaster relief. To see if any of these are available for your business, visit their website.

IRS Tax Relief is available to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. Visit their website to learn more.

USDA Rural Development has issued measures to provide immediate relief and are included here.

Market Support

A Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms was developed for farmers by the National Young Farmer’s Coalition to support direct-to-consumer sales and compares farm-specific software models and platforms available. View the free guide here.

The Farmers Market Coalition is maintaining updates for market and vendor information here.

Sell your Products in a Market Drive-Through Common Kettle Farm is looking for farmers to sell their products in farm market boxes that will be picked up by customers in a drive-through in Orangevale or midtown Sacramento. If you would like to participate, give them a call at (916) 215-7713.

The UC SAREP Agritourism Directory, calagtour.org, is helping consumers purchase directly from local farms and ranches by sharing connections to local farmers all over California.Your ag business can be included in this by contacting Penny Leff, UC SAREP agritourism coordinator, at paleff@ucdavis.edu.

Cooperative Extension developed a presentation regarding Safe Handling Practices for Fresh Produce in a time of Covid-19. The slides for this presentation can be found in this [pdf].

Resource Libraries

The USDA has developed a Covid-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide [pdf] which offers technical assistance and training, financial support, and local and state resources available.

California Department of Food and Agriculture is providing updates about the critical infrastructure of the food supply, food safety, health and safety resources for employers, and economic resources for businesses at their website.

EcoFarm is keeping a list of resources for farmers that includes information for CSA's, webinars for using online platforms, food safety, and farm advocacy. Their webpage is being updated regularly and can be found here.

The National Young Farmers Coalitionis maintaining a library of resources for BIPOC, education, food safety, marketing, mental health, and much more here.

California Certified Organic Farmers has a crisis resilience resource page full of information on marketing online, farmers markets, financial assistance, health and safety, and governmental guidance.

ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture has a list of resources that includes a video series for agricultural specialists, resources for specific types of producers, alternative marketing options, and resources in spanish.

UC Cooperative Extension has a FAQs for Farmers page that covers answers about sheltering in place, food safety, employee health and wellbeing, marketing, and financial assistance. There is also a list of local food and farm direct sales resources by region.

UC Davis Western Center for Ag Health and Safety has developed a list of responses to important questions for ag employers, growers, and farmworkers.

Places to seek support or share your thoughts

Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) has created a survey for individuals to indicate if they are in need of support to help, sell, buy or distribute local food as a result of Covid-19.

Updated 5/18/2020