Recent articles reveal the unequal distribution of federal farm aid which has prioritized big farms and southern farms, and has been largely inaccessible for direct market, small-scale, and speciality crop producers and farmers of color. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition continues to update us as they dig into reports regarding the next round of federal funding.
There are some regional relief opportunities for Vermont and New Hampshire farmers highlighted below. Note important upcoming deadlines for COVID assistance.
A resilient way forward for small farms through challenging times continues to be through cooperatives. You can join a discussion on how cooperative farming and racial equity in federal policy can create economic sustainability in Black communities, linked below. Highlighting a recent article about small farms who are surviving the pandemic, they find co-ops are a lifeline:
If you look historically at when people have really recognized co-ops . . . it’s been in times of economic or social turmoil,’ said O’Brien. ‘One of the great advantages is their resiliency. The co-op knows what farmers are going to need to survive, and they want the farmers to survive—because they are the farmers.’” Lisa Held for Civil Eats
Our week in review is a digest of noteworthy items that we are seeing, sharing, and saying on social media. We’re sharing it here to our farmers, supporters, and fellow farming advocates who may not follow us on all social platforms. If you do follow us on one social platform you might not be seeing all that we share, so this blog digest is a good place to get access to highlights from across platforms.
Federal COVID Assistance shows shortcomings for farmers
- Read: Federal Pandemic Aid Hasn’t Reached Most Kentucky Farmers, Community Farm Alliance
- Read: Independent Watchdog Report Finds Inequity in Farm Aid Payments, New York Times
- Keep tabs: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is digging in to the initial reports regarding the second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) as it becomes available
Regional Aid, Upcoming Deadlines
- Vermont: Deadline to apply for Vermont COVID-19 agricultural assistance is October 1st
- New Hampshire: Two more application periods for the Registered Farm and Expanded Farm Programs, October 15th and December 10th
Cooperatives, a Resilient Way Forward
- Read: Solidarity, Not Charity by Qiana Mickie
- Read: For Small Farms Surviving the Pandemic, Co-ops Are a Lifeline, by Lisa Held for Civil Eats
- Attend: Black Farm Cooperatives, a panel discussion on how cooperative farming and racial equity in federal policy can create economic sustainability in Black communities, hosted by National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive