Resources for Agriculture during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Building Farm Resilience During COVID-19 from Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Small Farms Program, including:
Farmers Markets Should Continue Operations During State of Emergency: The Maryland Department of Agriculture considers farmers markets an essential business and an important source of food for many Marylanders.
Maryland State Resources for Business: Information, resources, and guidance for Maryland business owners can be found at govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business.
COVID-19 Readiness Assessment for the Continuty of Farm Business: Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture in collaboration with Penn State Extension created this open-source assessment for farmers to help you develop a continuity of business plan during the pandemic. Completing the steps in this assessment will help you modify your operations to protect the health of everyone on your farm, as well as your customers, while having a backup plan for worst-case scenarios—such as you or your employees falling ill, suppliers shutting down, or markets closing. Farmers, market managers, and related businesses are permitted to use, modify, and distribute this resource as needed.
Essential Farm Worker and Farm Contractor Permits: Governor Hogan issued a stay-at-home executive order March 30. However, agricultural labor is identified as a critical component of that food supply, and thus it is important that workers who make up an essential part of the food supply chain be allowed to remain operational. Download the permits for farm workers and contractors here.
National & State Resources
- Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture (American Farm Bureau Federation)
- Coronavirus Update Center for Maryland Agriculture (Maryland Farm Bureau)
- Farmers.gov COVID-19 Resources (USDA)
Food Safety Resources
- Novel Coronavirus Prevention & Control for Farms (Cornell University)
- Food Industry Resources (Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)
- COVID-19 Food Safety Resources (NC State Extension)
FDA Briefing to Food Stakeholders: Recording of FDA briefing for food stakeholders to discuss food safety and food supply questions related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). FDA provided an overview of current activities, respond to stakeholders’ concerns identified in recent days, and highlight important FDA resources in response to COVID-19 pandemic.
Food Safety Resources: FSMA & Other Updates: EAS Consulting Group is providing the following summary gathered from recent information releases and summaries from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding their operations during the continuing COVID-19 public health challenge. FDA, as part of their updates, does provide additional references, including questions and answers.
USDA Coronavirus Food Assstance Program (CFAP): USDA's Farm Service Agency is accepting applications for the CFAP. Applications will be accepted through September 11th.
Future Harvest CASA’s Safety Protocol for Food Safety and Distribution: This document provides guidelines for: On-Farm Pickups & CSAs, Farmers Markets, and Employee Safety.
- COVID-19 Resources for Health & Wellness (University of Maryland Extension)
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions About Mental Health (Maryland Department of Health)
- Maintaining Emotional Health & Well-Being During the COVID-19 Outbreak (Massachusetts Department of Mental Health)
- Rural Response to Farmer Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (Rural Health Information Hub)
Small Business Relief Funding
Read through the requirements of these funding sources carefully before applying.
Agriculture Business Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance: In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories were able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
- SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processing these applications on a first-come, first-served basis. SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.
The new eligibility is made possible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 'Agricultural businesses' include those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
- SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.
- At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying. https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ and https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
Maryland Agricultureal and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO): MARBIDCO has five new grant programs to provide immediate pandemic adjustment and economic development assistance to agricultural and rural businesses in Maryland. For additional information and to access the applications, please CLICK HERE.
Maryland Department of Labor - Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program: The Work Sharing Program is a voluntary program that provides an alternative to layoffs for employers faced with a temporary, non-cyclical decline in business due to lower economic activity. The program is designed to avoid layoffs by preserving jobs for trained workers.
Farmer Relief Fund Through American Farmland Trust: American Farmland Trust has created a Farmer Relief Fund, which will award eligible farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The initial focus will be on farms that sell at farmers markets or to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products. That focus could change over time as the negative impacts of the crisis become more widespread within U.S. agriculture. Learn more at farmland.org/farmer-relief-fund/.