Blog | April 6, 2020

Resources for Farmers Affected by COVID-19

As the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the country, and states enact varying levels of restrictions, farmers are facing uncertain times. If you’ve been impacted by this recent outbreak, there are a number of resources that can provide support.

The list below is not comprehensive, as the news changes by the hour. We’re doing our best to continually update this page with articles and resources for farmers and ranchers across the country. If you have resources to add, please email our Hotline Manager Maddie at maddie@farmaid.org. 

*Last updated July 10th*

Articles and Information

  • Check out the USDA‘s page for Frequently Asked Questions, Resources, and USDA Actions on COVID-19.
  • USDA released a resource matrix with funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America.
  • Farmers Legal Action Group has a comprehensive “Farmers Guide to COVID-19 Relief” which offers a description of various programs that might benefit farmers, including those that were passed as part of the CARES Act that became law on March 27
  • National Farmers Union has an extensive selection of resources by state, guidance for farmers, financial resources, actions that NFU has taken, as well as learning you can do at home!
  • Our friends at the National Young Farmers Coalition have shared how COVID-19 is affecting young farmers, resources, and ways to get involved in their continuing advocacy for farmers at this time.
  • ATTRA has a great list of national resources, financial assistance, alternative marketing options, as well as access to their videos and webinars
  • For an ongoing list of articles on COVID-19 and it’s effect on the broader food system, please check out this document compiled by Michigan State University Grad Student Vanessa Garcia Polanco
  • Center for Dairy Excellence has a great list of resources for both dairy and non-dairy farmers.
  • Meredith Leigh has a great blog post called How to ensure access to local meat during COVID-19 and beyond; for consumers, farmers, processors, and more.
  • Small Business Administration guidance & loan resources includes disaster loan information and local assistance directory

Financial Assistance

  • Federal Funding:
    • Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Applications are live as of May 26th. To apply,  please call your local Farm Service Agency office. You can find your local office here.
    • USDA released a resource matrix with funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America.
      • Farmers Legal Action Group has a comprehensive “Farmers Guide to COVID-19 Relief” which offers a description of various programs that might benefit farmers, including those that were passed as part of the CARES Act that became law on March 27.
      • Growing Farmers created a very helpful guide with more information about the SBA programs available to farms and food businesses
  • Farm Aid’s Farmer Resilience Fund is working with local organizations to distribute $500 emergency household grants to farmers affected by COVID-19.

Food Safety


New Options for Your Farm

During this outbreak and time of social distancing, farmers may want to look into new marketing and distribution options:

  • Cornell published “Building Farm Resilience in this Crisis”
  • Wit for Grit posted a comprehensive list of ways to build resiliency in this time
  • Is Shipping Right for Your Farm?
  • Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) published a new podcast with tips for Market Farming in a Pandemic 
  • R-CALF has created a database of local beef producers for consumers to purchase directly from farmers and ranchers. If you raise beef, sign up to be connected today!
  • Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. Sign up for updates and they’ll share more details as they become available.

Collaborative Marketing Software Platforms

As you consider your options, here are some collaborative marketing software platforms, this isn’t a comprehensive list, and we aren’t endorsing any of them. It may be worth connecting with farmers in your area to see what they’ve used and what they like.


Stress, Mental Health, and Well-Being

  • Our Farm Aid hotline is available Monday-Friday 9-5 EST at 1-800-FARM-AID, or you can get in touch with our Farmer Services team by filling out this online form 
  • If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • You can also text the Crisis Text Line and be connected to someone : Text “CONNECT” to 741741
  • 211 – You can dial 211 or visit the website to find local resources and counselors 
  • There are a number of resources to read more on how to manage your stress in this time:

State Resources

We’ve seen that most efforts are happening at a local level, if your state isn’t listed here, we’d recommend reaching out to your local or state level farmer organization and see what they’re working on!

Indian Country

Arizona

  • Local First Arizona has upcoming webinars, resources for businesses, and resources for consumers affected by COVID-19.

California

Florida

  • The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19.These short-term, interest-free working capital loans (up to $50k) are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources.

Georgia

  • If you are a member of Georgia Organics and are facing losses as a result of COVID-19, you may soon be eligible to apply for a grant through their Farmer Fund

Illinois

  • Illinois Extension has a long list of resources, including information on financial assistance and loan program

Indiana

  • Perdue compiled a list of helpful resources as well as Indiana-specific suggestions on how to shift your business in this time

Iowa

  • Practical Farmers of Iowa created a great list of resources and are holding weekly meetings for producers to learn from each other

Kentucky

  • Community Farm Alliance pulled together a great list of resources for farmers, farmers markets, small businesses, and people affected by COVID-19.

Maine

Maryland

  • Maryland Farmers Market Association is compiling a list of farmers and ag-based businesses that are willing to engage in direct sales to Maryland shoppers. if you would like to be included, please fill out this simple form

Massachusetts

Minnesota

Nebraska

New Hampshire

New Mexico

  • Quivira is offering weekly virtual community forums on Friday mornings on topics related to resilience, whole-systems thinking, and regenerative agriculture. You can join them on Fridays at 9:30am MT for community and conversation: https://zoom.us/j/459826129

North Carolina

Ohio

  • Our friends at OEFFA have compiled an extensive list of resources on COVID-related relief efforts for farmers, farmers markets, and others in the farm world. They also have a great list of resources for online marketing options.

Oregon

Pennsylvania

  • PASA is sharing the PA Department of Ag’s guidelines and other helpful tips for farmers in PA
  • PA Department of Ag launched the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI) is a statewide public-private financing program that invests in new or expanding grocery stores and other healthy food retail outlets in communities throughout Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Vermont

  • VT Agency of Ag, Food and Markets has shared resources for each sector of the ag industry as well as guidelines and  information for farmers in Vermont
  • Vermont Housing and Conservation Board has extensive resources for business and technical assistance as well as financial assistance for farmers in Vermont
  • NOFA-VT is offering payment to experienced milkers to help step in when farmers get sick. This relief is available to ALL dairy farmers and farm workers. Email bill@nofavt.org to learn more
  • Farm to Institution New England (FINE) is matching up needs with surplus in the New England institutional food system, active forums, and resources
  • Land for Good has extensive resources for farmers and folks across the food system

Washington

  • Washington State University is pulling together a COVID-19 Resource Hub covering food systems resources as well as policy information

Wisconsin

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