Resources for Ranchers/Farmers Impacted by COVID-19

In the coming weeks and months, Quivira will be working collaboratively with our New Mexico Coalition to Enhance Working Lands (NMCEWL) partners to identify and interpret resources for relief and resilience for farmers and ranchers experiencing impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. These materials will be distributed here and social media channels, as well as through the NMCEWL Listserv and social media channels.  If you know about resources that many farmers or ranchers might not know are available to them, please email them to tyler@quiviracoalition.org.

Financial Resources (Federal)

NCAT Specialists Can Help Farmers with CFAP2 Applications

Specialists from the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program of the National Center for Appropriate Technology are available to help farmers and ranchers apply for assistance through the U.S.  Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 2.

The CFAP2 program has almost $14 billion available to help almost every form of agriculture business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More crops and agriculture operations are eligible under CFAP2 than under the first CFAP program earlier this year.

Farmers and ranchers can apply directly at www.farmers.gov/cfap or by contacting their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office. The application deadline is December 11, and those interested in applying are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

Farmers and ranchers interested in getting help applying for CFAP2 can contact the staff at ATTRA’s free hotline at 800-346-9140 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT or at askanag@ncat.org. ATTRA also has an online chat system at attra.ncat.org.

In addition, a downloadable Excel workbook can calculate a farmer or rancher’s total relief payment and generate part of the application paperwork. The workbook can be accessed at www.farmers.gov/cfap or by calling a local USDA FSA Office. NCAT’s agriculture specialists can also help farmers and ranchers through the workbook.

Compared to the first CFAP program, CFAP2 offers a new category of relief payments for producers of sales commodities, which includes hundreds of specialty crops, aquaculture, nursery crops, floriculture items, and other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate payment categories.

Relief payments for this wide category of goods are roughly 10 percent of the value of a producer’s 2019 sales. For example, a farm with a 2019 gross sales revenue of $125,000 could receive a relief payment of slightly more than $12,500.

 
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

USDA has made $16 billion in aid available in the form of direct payments to farmers who have suffered economic losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you’ve suffered a 5% or greater price decline as a direct result of the pandemic and are facing additional costs in marketing your inventory due to unexpected surplus and disrupted markets, you may be eligible. Funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. If you think that you may be eligible, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. This program just opened 5/26/20.

To learn more about if you’re eligible, how to apply, and how payment amounts are being determined, see the link below. We will be updating this document as new information becomes available.

Link to CFAP Quicksheet

 

Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance Program (EIDL)

Farmers and ranchers are now eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) through the Small Business Administration (SBA), as of Friday April 24th, 2020. The EIDL program provides an emergency grant of up to $10,000 for small businesses suffering a loss of revenue because of COVID-19. EIDL has two options: the EIDL “advance,” is a grant; the EIDL loan is a loan. The advance does not have to be paid back. The loan does have to be paid back. Previously the loan option was for up to $2 million at 3.75% interest, but word on the street is that SBA is now only doling out $150,000 loans. SBA is also only offering advances of $1,000 per employee (including self-employed individuals).

Link to EIDL Quicksheet

Link to Farm Commons EIDL webinar

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The PPP is a forgivable U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll (including self-employment income), rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Farm Commons hosted an informational webinar that went over the details of this program. Access the webinar recording and a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation here. One of our staff members participated in the webinar and summarized the most pertinent information in this document, specifically for our New Agrarian Program mentors. There was still money available in this as of 5/28/20.

Link to the PPP Quicksheet

 

There are are nine new programs open in the state of Montana for individuals and small businesses, including farms and ranches, for COVID-19 relief. Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund Advisory Council, Governor Bullock is making $123,550,000 available in the first round of emergency grants funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Get more info here.

Financial Resources (non-Federal)
CARES Relief Grants through New Mexico Finance Authority

To apply go to NMFA https://www.nmfinance.com/cares-continuity-grants/
To watch the Small Business CARES Relief Grant Program Overview see:
WEBINAR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGu-4U-iC-s&t=147s
PPT https://www.nmfinance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Small-Business-CARES-Relief-Grant-12-1-2020.pdf

Here are a few summary take-aways from the webinar:

  • Farms, ranches, and non-profits qualify as being eligible for grant funding
  • Applicants need to show a loss because of COVID – either proving a revenue loss or increase in COVID-related expenses
  • Funding is scaled based on number of employees (for example: 0-1 employees: $2000, 76+ employees: $50,000)
  • $100 million will be allocated by the end of the month
  • Applications open Monday, December 7, with three decision rounds. Finishes December 18th.
  • Application should take about 10-15 minutes to fill out, but applicants should have all relevant documents they need to fill it out, as the application must be completed in one sitting
  • Can use chrome, safari, or firefox as web browser

For questions farmers/ ranchers have on how to document losses, try to reach NMFA directly. Marquita Russell is the director of the programs: mrussell@nmfa.net . Adam Johnson is Chief of Programs ajohnson@nmfa.net. The website has a call -in line too.

 

Emergency Mini Grants for Livestock and Poultry Farmers will award $500 on a rolling basis until funding is depleted. Eligible applicants own or are employed by a farm that raises livestock and/or poultry and express a commitment to raising their animals using humane management practices. Farmers can request mini-grants for materials, services or equipment that would help them to transition to an online or alternative sales strategy or for other projects that would help their farm business to maintain sales during this crisis. Apply here.

Farmers Legal Action Groups most recent Farmers Guide to COVID-19 Relief can be found here.

The New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association’s Local Food Supply Chain Response Fund: The first round of grants were funded on April 30. Check back for new funding that will become available. New funding is likely to be available in June (please check back). $110,000 was awarded to the first round of applications on May 1. Thank you to funders: The Thornburg Foundation, #NoRegrets Initiative, and First Nations Development Institute.

Food Safety Guidelines

Farm Commons: Helpful info on food safety on farms and ranches during COVID-19.

New Mexico’s Online Food Safety Training: All food safety training is now online for all growers, including those planning to sell to New Mexico’s Public Education Department (PED). Here are your options:

  • 1) PED returning vendors: Deadline June 1 Complete Returning PED Vendors: Approved Supplier Program online videos and quizzes (login required).
  • 2) New PED vendors (Deadline June 1), and other growers: If you will be selling to the schools in the 2020-2021 school year as a new vendor, you must complete the Online Produce Safety Risk Assessment Training (read the complete list of training requirements and FAQs here).
    • Webinars will be offered between April 20 and May 9. To learn how to schedule your webinar head here.
    • Your training coursework must be completed by May 21.
  • 3) Open source viewing of the NMFMAs food safety video modules (no quizzes or course certificate) head here.

 

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility, from the CDC

New Mexico Agriculture Industry Information Related to COVID-19 includes Public Health, Food Safety, Produce Safety, Cooperative Extension Service information, For Business/Employers, For Employees, NMDA, Veterinary Diagnosis Services, New Mexico Livestock Board, Livestock Markets, Farmers Markets, Beef Council

NMDA Produce Safety Videos includes videos on: Food Contact Surfaces, Hand washing for Agricultural Workers, Packing Zones and Cleaning

Produce Safety Matters includes four animations that illustrate how contamination can spread from field to table and suggest ways to avoid this. This information is good for growers, packing centers, and retailers who rely on one another to prevent contamination and keep consumers safe.

On-farm/ranch employee guidelines

Our New Agrarian Program Director Leah Ricci wrote these safety guidelines and protocols for the NAP mentors. They apply to any ranchers or farmers who have employees or apprentices.The suggestions in here are meant to be used as a starting point—it is up to you to decide which precautions to take based on your situation. We recognize that the situation is different in every state, as well as in each household. As a community, we expect everyone to be willing to discuss safe practices, to respect the health and safety requests of those around them, and to do your part to ensure that those who you live and work with stay safe.

COVID-19 & the New Agrarian Program

Educational Resources

Free Advising for Farmers/Ranchers Impacted by COVID-19: Farmers and farmland owners in New England who are impacted by COVID-19 can receive FREE, in-depth technical assistance to access farmland, draft leases and other tenure agreements, improve landowner relations, or plan for their farm succession or transfer. Land For Good is committed to serving farmers and farmland owners through the difficult road ahead. To get help, contact Land For Good as soon as possible: online Inquiry Form, call 603-357-1600, email info@landforgood.org, landforgood.org/contact.

Farm Commons: They have hosted many relevant webinars and podcasts for farmers and ranchers on impacts from COVID-19. Go to their website for a full listing.

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES): Resources for Farmers, Market Farmers, Livestock and Dairy Farmers. Row Crop and Commodity Farmers, and Health and Safety Info

Earth Care New Mexico: Lots of different resources including health, phone trees, food banks and free food pickups,

BIPOC* Farmers Skillshare on COVID-19: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color* Farmers and Food Sovereignty Activists across the country are meeting bi-weekly to share skills, ideas, and mutual support during the pandemic. Join on alternating Sundays from 5-6:30 pm MT. English-Spanish interpretation is provided. Allies and accomplices are asked to please respect the space. After the meetings, resources are sent out to everyone.

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Food Policy Networks: This team has compiled a list of resources, models/examples, funding, and other shared practices in COVID-19 response. While the resources include some focused specifically on food policy councils, many of them are relevant to other local, state, regional and tribal food system efforts happening in communities across the country (and world).The resources focus on:

ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Covid-19 Resources Page: Videos, general info, alternative marketing, financial assistance, recursos en espanol

Alderspring Ranch: Start Selling Online & Shipping in Five Days – A mini course on shipping frozen product! We’ve designed this course for farmers and ranchers who have frozen products that they would like to start directly delivering and selling via an online storefront.

The Society for Ecological Restoration: They are launching Wednesday Webinars! Every Wednesday from 1-2 PM EDT, you can join SER for a live webinar focused on a range of restoration topics; the webinar recordings will also be open access after the event. SER hopes these will serve as a resource for anyone looking to stay connected, maintain their professional development, or find interesting content for their online course. Take a look at their upcoming webinars here. You can also view past webinar recordings in their library here.

 
 
Operation Open Doors Checklist – Guidance for reopening small businesses
Connect to Direct Markets

Freshtable: A turn-key platform that lets farmers markets move to delivery.

Edible New Mexico: Support Local Guide – Where to Find Local Provisions

Selling Meat Direct to Consumers from the Ranch or Farm – From New Mexico State University: This publication will provide information that will help both producers and their customers become educated in direct beef sales off the ranch or farm. Before this can take place, it is important to understand the regulations that are in place in order to maintain animal welfare and food safety standards.

Farm Cart NM: New Mexicos first virtual farmers market.

National Young Farmers Coalitionan extensive guide on how to navigate various online platforms, models, or online resources might be best for your operation, also available en Español

Podcasts/Recorded Webinars

Farmworkers, COVID-19, and Our Capitalist Food System Webinar – April 24th

The panelists were Lucy Lopez and Australia Hernandez Cosby from Community to Community;  Xolotl Edgar Franks from Familias Unidas por la Justicia; and David Bacon, a labor photojournalist.

 

Covid-19: The Food Dimension –  March 16th

Dan Saladino tracks the origins and impact of coronavirus within the global food supply chain. Where are pressures being felt and who’s making decisions about feeding Britain?