Farmer Resilience Initiative

Farm Aid has committed $400,000 to launch a national COVID-19 Farmer Resilience Initiative, working with more than 120 local, state and regional organizations across the country to pair immediate relief efforts with longer-term resilience strategies. Farm Aid is proud to invest in our farm and food system, from farm to plate, and take care of the farmers and ranchers who are providing essential services by feeding their communities.

“The time to build a resilient family farm food system is now!” – Willie Nelson

Our Approach

Through our partners, we will distribute at least $100,000 in each of four U.S. regions, using the following multifaceted approach built upon our three decades of disaster response:

Leveraging immediate relief to build resilience.

Farmers experience significant lag time between the moment a crisis strikes and when federal and state resources actually begin to flow to community levels. Farm Aid works with local partners to quickly distribute emergency funds in the amount of $500 to farm families in order to provide immediate relief and foster resilience before larger sources of money become available.

Grassroots at its core.

We believe that who distributes relief money matters, which is why Farm Aid funds are administered by local organizations and service providers that are positioned to build relationships with them over the course of their recovery and beyond. This approach has the benefit of sharing power between the grantor (Farm Aid) and grantee, while handing major decision-making authority over to the local and regional organizations that work most directly with farmers.

Convening leaders to build capacity, increase knowledge, and spark model-sharing.

Throughout the duration of the crisis, Farm Aid is hosting weekly calls with the partners coordinating fund distribution locally, as well as with national partners who are experts in immediate and long-term disaster recovery. The calls allow us to share status updates on the crisis, learn from each other, share response models and identify areas for further collaboration.

Connecting crisis intervention to lasting structural change.

Time and again, we find that what we learn when trying to save one farm informs the policies and interventions that help all farms. Those lessons also help build a more resilient food and agricultural system. Farm Aid coordinates farm service providers and policy advocacy networks so that on-the-ground lessons can be translated into important policies.

How Farm Aid is Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Investing in farmer-led solutions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Deploying emergency grants to family farmers and ranchers in need
  • Coordinating our national network of experts to create comprehensive resources for farmers
  • Offering support to farmers under stress through the 1-800-FARM-AID hotline and connecting farmers to the legal, financial and mental health support resources they need to recover
  • Supporting local, state and national farm organizations working on-the-ground to help farmers navigate this crisis
  • Advocating for needed COVID recovery funds and resources from the federal government for short-term relief and long-term resilience

National Partners

Our national partners serve as critical links that connect national and local crisis recovery efforts. Farm Aid has funded the creation of The Farmers’ Guide to COVID-19 Relief, a comprehensive guide authored by the Farmers’ Legal Action Group in coordination Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, Intertribal Agriculture Council, and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. This guide outlines key provisions in the CARES Act and other emerging policies related to farmers, as well as recommendations on avoiding scams and mitigating discrimination in program implementation. We continue to brief farm service provider networks on this guide, stress assistance strategies, and other critical programs through webinars.

Regional Partners


Great Lakes Response

All funds have been awarded.

Covers: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio
Partners: Illinois Stewardship Alliance – Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association – Wisconsin Farmers Union – Ohio Farmers Union – Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS) – Michael Fields Agricultural Institute – Illinois Farmers Union – Indiana Farmers Union – Michigan Farmers Union – The Land Connection – Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service – Rural Action – Purdue Extension – Northwest Indiana Food Council – Michigan Farmers Market Association

Iowa Agriculture Pandemic Relief

Click Here to Apply

Partners: Iowa Farmers Union – Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) – Women, Food & Agriculture Network (WFAN) – Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement – Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors

Kansas & Missouri

All funds have been awarded.

Partners: Kansas Farmers Union Foundation – Kansas Black Farmers Association – Missouri Farmers Union – Kansas Rural Center – Common Ground Producers and Growers – Cultivate Kansas City


Click Here to Apply

Partners: Land Stewardship Project – Minnesota Farmers Union – Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota – Hmong American Partnership


All funds have been awarded.

Partners: Nebraska Farmers Union Foundation – Women Involved in Farm Economics – Rural Response Hotline – Legal Aid of Nebraska Farm & Ranch Project – Nebraska State Grange – Nebraska Department of Agriculture – Disciples of Christ in Nebraska

North Dakota & South Dakota

All funds have been awarded.

Partners: Dakota Rural Action – Dakota Resource Council


Northeast BIPOC Farmer Relief Fund

The Northeast BIPOC Farmer Relief Fund is now accepting applications from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) folks living in the Northeast who work in agriculture and have been economically impacted by the COVID crisis.

All Funds have been awarded.

Covers: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
Partners: Black Dirt Farming Collective – Black Farmer Fund – Black Urban Growers and Farmers of Pittsburgh Cooperative – Dreaming Out Loud – Farm Alliance of Baltimore – Farm Fresh Rhode Island – Just Food – Land for Good – National Young Farmers Coalition – Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust – Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey – Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York – Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont – Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) – Pasa Sustainable Agriculture – Rural Vermont – Soil Generation – The Carrot Project – Urban Tree Connection

Donate to the Northeast BIPOC Farmer Relief Fund here.



Click Here to Apply

Partners: Federation of Southern Cooperatives – Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network


More Information Here

Partners: Arkansas Land and Farm Development Corporation – Livestock Association of Eastern Arkansas (LAEA) – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Small Farm Outreach Program

Central Appalachian Family Farm Fund

Click Here to Apply

Covers: Kentucky, West Virginia, Southeast Ohio, Southwest Virginia, Eastern Tennessee
Partners: Community Farm Alliance – West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition – Appalachian Center for Economic Networks – Foundations for Appalachian Kentucky – Appalachian RC&D – Community Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) – Central Appalachian Network Institute – Rural Action – Appalachian Sustainable Development – West Virginia Department of Agriculture – Appalachian Impact Fund – Laurel County African American Heritage Center – Kentucky Center for Ag and Rural Development – Black Soil – Bluegrass Farm to Table – Kentucky Horticultural Society

Georgia & Mississippi & Louisiana

More details soon!
Partners: Federation of Southern Cooperatives – Mississippi Association of Cooperatives – Southwest Georgia Project – Georgia Organics.

North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida & U.S. Virgin Islands

All funds have been awarded.

Partners: RAFI-USA – Local Food Hub – Carolina Farm Stewardship Project – Land Loss Prevention Project – Federation of Southern Cooperatives


All funds have been awarded.

Partners: Oklahoma Farmers Union – Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project


All funds have been awarded.

Partners: Federation of Southern Cooperatives – Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (TOFGA) – Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance – La Semilla Food Center – GROW North Texas – Texas Landowners Council – Hope for Small Farms


California & Nevada

All funds have been awarded.

Partners: California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) – Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) – NevadaGrown – Fallon Food Hub


Click Here to Apply

Partners: Hawai’i Farmers Union Foundation, Kohala Center, HFUU-Kauai, HFUU-Wai’anae, HFUU-North Shore, HFUU-Waimanalo, HFUU-Lahaina, HFUU-Kahalawai, HFUU-Haleakalā, HFUU-Hana, HFUU-Kona, HFUU-Kohala, HFUU-East Hawai’i, and HFUU-Puna

Intermountain West Partnership

All funds have been awarded. 

Covers: Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, and Utah
Partners: Idaho Organization of Resource Councils – Montana Farmers Union – National Young Farmers Coalition – New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association – Northern Plains Resource Council – Powder River Basin Resource Council – Quivira Coalition – Rocky Mountain Farmers Union – Utah Farmers Union – Western Colorado Alliance – Western Organization of Resource Councils

Pacific Northwest

All funds have been awarded.

Covers: Washington, Oregon and Alaska
Who Can Apply? Family farmers who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and have suffered hardship as a result are eligible to apply. Funds are reserved for farmers that have the highest need, as well as those who are from historically underserved populations: Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) including refugees and immigrants.
Partners: Friends of Family Farmers – National Young Farmers Coalition – Northwest Farmers Union – Oregon Rural Action – Alaska Village Initiatives, Alaska Farmland Trust – Community to Community – I-Collective – Birch Basket Catering – Viva Farms.

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