An updated guide to resources for these trying times

Many of us are struggling with being overwhelmed by everything that is happening right now. Even just looking at the world of local food and farming, you’re likely engulfed by a flood of information. We share your feelings and are doing our best to create resources that are easy to navigate as well as helpful!

To that end, we offer this expanded and categorized list of resources for farmers, small food businesses, and local food advocates. Please let us know how else we can continue to help you through this time.

Education and Advocacy Resources

  • The fight to get the PRIME Act passed continues and has only become more vital as small producers face ever longer waits to process their animals (some are having to schedule processing two years ahead at this point). Please take action on our PRIME Act alert today.
  • Farmers’ Legal Action Group’s Farmers’ Guide to COVID-19 Relief from April 27 covers a range of information. This guide includes info on financial resources, and we have additional specific updates about financial resources in the next section, below.
  • This Thursday, two of our allies (the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance and La Semilla Food Center) are co-presenters in a webinar called “BIPOC Producers – Sowing the Seeds of Liberation.” Presenters will address how the legacy of colonization and enslavement has shaped the U.S. food and farm system today as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by farmers and fishers who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).
  • When: Thursday, June 18th at 1pm EST
  • Register: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMrfu-hqj4jG9U4OifM7jjMXFXiE9wPBk3M?link_id=5

Financial Resources

  • FARFA is working with several organizations to distribute Farm Aid emergency relief grants in Texas. More information, including links to the application, are at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/farmaid-covid19-relief-fund/.
  • The USDA is providing direct payments to eligible farmers and ranchers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). While CFAP is not well-designed for small, highly diversified operations, many of our livestock producers and some crop producers may qualify. Learn more at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/new-covid-relief-fund-for-farmers/.
  • As of today, SBA has re-opened the EIDL applications for all small businesses, agricultural and other. The EIDL provides low-interest loans and includes up to $10,000 in initial grant money (i.e. it does not have to be repaid). SBA has been basing the amount of the grant on the number of employees (e.g. if you have 3 employees, you can qualify for $3,000 in grant money, and then be eligible to apply for more in loans if you need).
  • SBA is also continuing to accept applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) until June 30. The PPP covers up to 2.5 months of payroll expenses, including 2.5 months of self-employed income.
  • Farmers who showed a profit on their 2019 Schedule F can use that as self-employed income for the PPP program. See Question 3 on this guidance document.
  • Congress has amended the rules for the PPP, providing a longer time period for the funds to be used for payroll and still have the loan forgiven (i.e. not have to be repaid). Find more information on the revised requirements here.
  • Get more information on both the PPP and the EIDL at the SBA’s website.
  • Check out this excellent short handout and table that set out the basics of seeking relief from any of these, and many more, programs. (Thank you to Farm Aid, FLAG, and the other organizations who put this guide together.)

Stress, Mental Health, & Well-Being Resources

  • The Farm Aid mental health hotline is available Monday-Friday 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 at 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Text the Crisis Text Line to connect with a real person: Text “CONNECT” to 741741.
  • Dial 211 to find local resources and counselors.
  • Here are more resources you can read about how to manage your stress during this or other difficult times:
  • Michigan State University’s Managing Farm Stress Program
  • Recognizing the Signs of Farm Family Stress
  • FarmStrong