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Farm & Food System Resources amid COVID-19

Now is a time for coming together and sharing resources of all kinds. During this pandemic, we want to provide farmers across New England with information and resources they need to adapt and sustain their farm businesses. 

Our mission has always been to help farmers, farmland owners, and those who serve them. This kind of guidance feels more crucial than ever. So we’re going to keep doing what we do best to serve you. We appreciate you, and we are shoulder-to-shoulder with you.

For People Who Want to Support Farms

American Farmland Trust Farmer Relief Fund (national). A new grant program to help farmers weather the market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
FACT Emergency Mini-Grants (national). To support livestock and poultry farmers across the nation. Fund goal of least $30,000.
CISA Emergency Farm Fund(western MA). An interest-free loan program of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture’s (CISA) for farmers in Franklin, Hampshire, or Hampden counties in MA who are facing financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food & Land Sovereignty Resources for COVID-19. Needs and offers for specific mutual aid specifically for BIPOC farmers, and food and land sovereignty activists compiled by Soul Fire Farm, Black Farmer Fund, and Northeast Farmers of Color.
NOFA-VT Farmer Emergency Fund (VT). A fund of Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA VT) for ALL farmers in VT,  including organic, conventional, migrant farmers, and anyone else who is affected by COVID-19.

For Farmers (owners, managers and workers)

Farm Business Management
A Readiness Assessment for Continuity of Farm Business – Checklist to develop a business continuity plan to adapt to and do contingency planning during the pandemic. PASA and Penn State Extension
Building Farm Resilience. Resources from the Cornell Small Farms Program
Preparing your food operation for a coronavirus situation lists action steps you can consider for preparing your farm or food business. Penn State Food Safety
U-Pick farms COVID-19 info sheet includes general best practices, tips for communicating with customers, disinfection guidelines & more. NC State Extension
A legal information hub for farms in the form of  an on-going podcast series about COVID’s impacts on farm businesses. Farm Commons
USDA Actions to Respond to COVID-19

Food safety
Considerations for fruit and vegetable growers related to COVID-19. University of Vermont Extension
Coronavirus Prevention & Control for Farm. Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development
Farmers Markets COVID-19 info sheet includes best practices, tips for communicating with customers, cleaning & disinfection guidelines. NC State Extension
Food Safety Fact Sheets. Over two dozen fact sheets on food safety for Farmers Markets, Food Service, Grocery Stores, U-Pick operations, and Food Banks.  Univ. of Florida

Dairy farming family resources amid COVID-19. Center for Dairy Excellence
In your Dairy, what you need to know about Coronavirus with tips to protect yourself and your coworkers at the dairy; also available in Spanish version. Farm Journal

Farm labor health
Multilingual resources on COVID-19 for use in communicating with employees.
Easy-to-understand infographics and short video clips that farm workers and managers can listen to or watch in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Maya Mam. Agricultural Justice Project
National Center for Farmworker Health for latest updates and resources on COVID-19
COVID-19 resources for worker cooperatives, small businesses, and individuals including a list of needs and offers from our USFWC members across the country. US Federation of Worker Cooperatives
Disability considerations during COVID-19. World Health Organization

For Adapting Your Farm Business 
Selling Real Farm Products in a Virtual Marketplace article. Cornell Small Farms Program

Online direct sales platforms. Includes names, features and prices of 15 direct sales software platforms. National Young Farmers Coalition
Launch a Farmstead Bakery:  Recipes and Resources.  Created by a team of WI women farmers as a guide to add a value-added component to diversify your farm business mix by selling baked goods made in your home kitchen under your state’s cottage food law

For Emergency Farm Grants,  Loans & Loan Flexibilites
American Farmland Trust (AFT). New Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers, across the nation, with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help you weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis. Applications open on March 26, 2020.
Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA).  Emergency Farm Fund will award farmers operating in Franklin, Hampshire, or Hampden counties in Massachusetts with $5,000 loan at a 0% interest rate. Applications open on April 1, 2020. 

Paycheck Protection Program. New SBA program for forgivable loans to cover payroll for businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Available starting April 3, 2020.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan. New low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19.
USDA Farm Service Agency. New changes to loans and safety net programs.
Risk Management Agency. New flexibilities for crop insurance.

For Non-Emergency Grants & Loans
MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources Agricultural Grants and Financial Assistance Programs
Grants and financing opportunities for farms includes opportunities for farms that preceded the current public health crisis. Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA).
US Small Business Administration guidance & loan resources includes disaster loan information and local assistance directory.

For Policymakers & Advocates
Farm to Institution New England (FINE). An Institutional Food Systems and COVID-19: Resource Guide:
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) statement on COVID-19 impact on the farm and food system with resource page
National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) statement on COVID-19 impact on young farmers with resource page
COVID-19 – Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources. An amazing list from Racial Equity Tools that includes analysis, tools, healing, lists of lists, and much more!
Six Possible Impacts of COVID-19 on Food Security (3/16/20). Successful Farming article
Small Farms also struggle as restaurants shut down due to Coronavirus (3/17/20). Civil Eats article
International Food Policy Research Institute on preventing global food security crisis under COVID-19 emergency
Food Systems Leadership Network COVID-19 Response Group. A new listserv hosted by The Wallace Center, who will distill and share back learnings from the dialogue
Key national listservs by topic:

  • Farmers Markets: Farmers Market Coalition Listserv
  • Community Supported Agriculture: CSA Innovations Network
  • Nutrition Incentive Programs: Wholesome Wave’s National Nutrition Incentive Network
  • Food Hubs: Wallace Center’s Food Hub Community of Practice
  • Young Farmers: National Young Farmers Coalition
  • Fresh Produce Industry: United Fresh Produce Industry Coronavirus Resource Share Group
  • Food Policy Councils: Johns Hopkins Food Policy Network Listserv
  • General topics and questions related to community food systems: ComFoods Listserv

For Stress & Wellness
Communicating with farmers overwhelmed by stress. Center for Dairy Excellence
Farm and Ranch Family Stress and Depression checklist and guide for making referrals. Colorado State University Extension
Love in the Time of Corona a positive message “In a time of Corona, let us acknowledge our fear, but feed our hope. What we feed will grow.” Cooperative Development Institute
Managing Farm Related Stress communication tips, resources and warning signs. University of Maryland Extension
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline connects to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7. 1.800.273.TALK (8255)
Stress and Wellness Resources for farmers. Dairy Center for Excellence

State Resources & Networks (New England, alpha order)

UConn Extension. Valuable resources for all audiences including farmers, youth, and families.
Connecticut Food System Alliance (CSFA). Important information on food access, food banks, SNAP, and school meals; information for CT farmers, as well as state and federal policy updates.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA). An expanded map and directory, developed in coordination with CT Department of Agriculture, to connect yourself to food and other farm products in this time of crisis.

Beginning Farmer Resource Network (BFRN) at UMaine Extension. Resources, farmer survey, and  farm product and pickup directory.
Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (MOFGA). Find local and organic products.
Cultivating Community has created an Emergency Food Fund to support New American farmers and low-income families. Allagash Brewing Company will match first $8,000 raised.

MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR). COVID-19 Resources for Agriculture
Community Involved in Sustainable Agriculture (CISA). COVID-19 resources for farmers, markets, and local businesses and updates.
Massachusetts Food System Collaborative. A list of readings and resources to keep the MA food system community informed and aware of relevant actions and activities.
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project. A Farm and Food Resources for the COVID-19 pandemic including a shared resource document of compiled links and articles.

New Hampshire
UNH Extension. Guide for CSA farmers, resources addressing community, business and economic impacts of COVID-19.
New Hampshire Food Alliance.
Vital Communities. Working to cultivate the civic, environmental, and economic vitality of the Upper Valley.

Rhode Island
Rhode Island Food Policy Council. COVID-19 Response Resource page with sections on agriculture and fisheries operations, as well as food access, food businesses, consumer, and general food systems.

Farm to Institution New England (FINE). Matching up needs with surplus in the New England institutional food system, active forums, and resources.
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB). Multitude of resources for working lands businesses.
Vital Communities. Working to cultivate the civic, environmental, and economic vitality of the Upper Valley.
Farm First. Resources, support, and counseling to help farmers resolve issues that cause stress. Any farm owner and their family members have automatic and immediate access to confidential help with any personal or work-related issue.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA VT). Building a list of people skilled enough to lead milkings on farms for the duration of the sickness. Funds available to pay relief workers through their Farmer Emergency Fund. Not a skilled dairy worker, but wanting to show up for Vermont’s farmers? Make a donation.


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