COVID-19 Guidance for Farms and Communities
Despite the uncertainty around how COVID-19 will continue to affect our immediate day to day lives and the longer-term future, we must still find ways to work together on big picture issues that impact our future. How we farm and get food to our plates, and how we work together as communities is critical – perhaps now more than ever.
Together, we can support healthy farms, food and families
Support a resilient farm and food future for Kansas
KRC will continue to update and maintain this list to help share resources and navigate questions. Please reach out to us using any of our points of contact to share resources, updates and how you or your community is working through this complicated time. Check back here for updates and new information.
Stay connected through these communication and social media channels.
Kansas Government, Agencies, & Organizations
Office of Governor Laura Kelly – Find current executive orders and updates from the Governor here.
KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center – Updates on the status of COVID-19 in Kansas, public health updates and recommendations
Kansas Department of Agriculture – Ag and food safety coronavirus resources and updates
Kansas Department of Commerce – Learn more about the resources and assistance available to businesses affected by COVID-19. KDC now has a live chat feature on their site to help answer questions about loans and other CARES Act provisions that help businesses.
Kansas Department of Labor – File for unemployment benefits online or learn more about resources and information for employers and workers affected by COVID-19.
K-State Research & Extension – This page helps you find local extension offices, agents, and lists resources, stories, and information specific to COVID-19 response.
KSVotes.org – Quickly verify your voter registration status, request an advance ballot or register to vote in Kansas. Advance ballot requests are now available for the August primary and November general election. Plan ahead and vote by mail this year!
USDA Farmers.gov – Find updates to FSA farm loans, NRCS conservation programs, and disaster assistance programs here. FSA announced important changes to direct and guaranteed farm loans to provide credit more quickly to producers in need.
USDA Rural Development – Find updates on loans, rural utilities, business services here. USDA now has a “one-stop-shop” of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide can be found here.
USDA Rural Development – Business and Industry CARES Act Program
This program provides loan guarantees to rural businesses and agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans. It appears that lenders must first apply to participate in the program to make funds available to businesses. Interested borrowers should inquire about the program with their lender. For more information visit – https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-and-industry-cares-act-program
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)– Direct farmer aid
USDA announced they will begin accepting applications for farmer direct payments on May 26. Farmers who produce specialty crops, livestock, dairy, wool, and commodity crops are eligible to apply. Visit https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more information on eligibility and application process.
CFAP USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program – The RFA for the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box purchasing program was released April, 24. “Entities that can qualify for contracts are not limited to food hubs and distributors, but any entities that can procure food, assemble boxes and distribute the boxes to nonprofits engaged in efforts to feed the needy are eligible, that includes farmer cooperatives, farmers market operators, schools and restaurants.” This is AMS’s webinar on the program for producers, distributors, and nonprofits.
April 28, 2020 Webinar, in which the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Commodity Procurement Program discussed technical details of the Request for Proposal for the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
National Food & Farm Organizations
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition – COVID-19 resources, updates on national policy and action needed to support farms and community and local food systems.
American Farmland Trust – American Farmland Trust Launches Fund to Help Farmers Affected by the COVID-19 Crisis. AFT’s Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Farm Commons – Farm Commons fosters the discussions and connections that build a strong legal backbone. They are providing updates and response to COVID-19 issues arising for farmers.
Farmers Legal Action Group – Farmers’ Legal Action Group is a nonprofit law center dedicated to providing legal services and support to family farmers and their communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land. They recently published, the Farmers’ Guide to COVID-19 Relief. This guide focuses on how the various CARES Act programs can provide relief to farmers.
MOSES (Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service) – Updates and a great list of resources for specialty crop and livestock market farmers.
Farm to School – National Farm to School Network is compiling resources related to COVID-19 that will be relevant to the farm to school and farm to early care and education community.
National Young Farmers Coalition – NYFC has built a COVID-19 Online Resource Library for links to partner organizations, webinars, mental health resources, and other resources to help you and your farm through this difficult time. NYFC has released the guide, “Farmers Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms.”
National Farmers Market Coalition – updates, best practices, and resources for farmers markets responding to COVID-19.
Growing for Market – Strategies for staying healthy and in business through the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 Readiness Assessment for Continuity of Farm Businesses – created by Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, in collaboration with Penn State Extension, for developing a continuity of business plan during the coronavirus pandemic. Farmers, market managers, and related businesses are permitted to use, modify, and distribute this resource as needed.
Food Animal Concerns Trust– Emergency Mini-Grants for Livestock and Poultry Farmers. FACT is accepting mini-grant applications of up to $500 from livestock and poultry farmers who are experiencing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kansas Cattleman’s Association – Information and updates for Kansas cattle and other livestock producers.
Livestock Marketing Association – National information and updates for livestock producers.
Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network – COVID-19 resources for processors and producers. Farm to Freezer: The Logistics of Online Sales & Shipping Meat webinar recording.
Produce Safety & COVID-19 Update – April 6th webinar hosted by K-State and University of Missouri Extension.
Kansas Specialty Crop Growers Association – Connect with other specialty crop growers and resources around the state. Membership is $10 but scholarships are available.
Rural Grocery Initiative – Information regarding guidance for grocery stores and other food retailers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Hospitality Industry Relief Emergency Fund (HIRE) – Visit to apply and learn more about how the fund can help your business. **HIRE announced that all initial funds available have been allocated at this time. However, they are keeping the form open and will continue to collect information from Kansas hospitality businesses on the losses they are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One Fair Wage Emergency Fund – Providing cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more who have been laid off and need assistance to get through. One Fair Wage is also asking for donations to the fund.
Paycheck Protection Program – The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. Farms are eligible to apply for this however please read KRC’s breakdown in the FAQ section.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan – The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expands the Small Business Administration’s long-standing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). The EIDL program was created to assist businesses, renters, and homeowners located in regions affected by declared disasters. This loan program is now available for farms. This Farm Commons webinar provides information for farmers/ranchers applying.
Employee Retention Credit – The refundable tax credit is 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.
Specific Recommendation Updates for Farms & Communities
USDA FSA Service Center Changes
FSA announced important changes to direct and guaranteed farm loans to provide credit more quickly to producers in need. Recent FSA loan changes include:
- Extending the deadline for applicants to complete farm loan applications;
- Continuing to prepare Direct Loans documents even if FSA is unable to complete lien and record searches because of closed government buildings; and
- Closing loans if the required lien position on the primary security is perfected, even for loans that require additional security and those lien searches, filings and recordings cannot be obtained because of closed government buildings.
For the full announcement and list of changes visit:
FSA’s website – Press release
NSAC Blog Post – IMPORTANT EMERGENCY USDA CHANGES FOR FARM LOANS AND CROP INSURANCE
KDHE/KDA Recommend Voluntary Reduction in Burning
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic currently impacting all states, including Kansas, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Agriculture strongly encourages all land owners and managers to voluntarily reduce the number of acres that they intend to burn this spring.
The full press release is available on www.kansascattlemen.com.
Livestock Sales and Other Services
Numerous live sales at local livestock commissions have either been cancelled or moved online to video auction. Some are restricting access, so be sure to check with your local sale barn for their policies. Additionally, veterinarian clinics, feed stores, and other related suppliers are implementing protocols to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Be sure to check with your suppliers for their specific protocols prior to visiting their respective physical locations.