We’ve reached the end of another week, and for many of us this new “abnormal” is starting to settle into an odd routine. Headlines continue to alternately disturb and give hope, along with more immediate concerns–whether financial, social or health-related. Like last week, in the absence of testing there is only so much we can know about the trajectory of the disease and efficacy of prevention (and thus ability to resume any normal activity). That said, we are also seeing inspiring work from people and organizations—and many of you—working to help ease the impact of this pandemic and get through this thing together.
Taking a look both at home and around the world, policy is looking similar globally—independent farmers are working desperately to be treated fairly while commodity groups and corporations look set to take the money and run. We launched a sign-on letter with twenty-one other agricultural and environmental groups this week to demand farmers be included in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, available to every other small business except farmers. We got some traction and are hearing hopeful sounds on this bipartisan cause, but the proof will be in the pudding. Here’s what else we’ve been up to:
From your peers: We continue our video series this week with Rinkse de Jong of Working Cows Dairy in Slocomb, Alabama who has seen an explosion in demand from local customers and hopes it will endure. Rinske says, “Think outside the box. You have to think outside the box. If something was working three years ago it’s not working… Start thinking about other things you can do.” Follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to see it first.
The hard but hopeful: For farms facing severe financial losses and having trouble with other programs it may be possible to file for unemployment through your state. A webinar from Farm Commons has a good overview, available recorded on demand and via Facebook.
The new: We’ve added new listings and resources to both our Marketplace and Collected COVID-19 Resources for Farmers pages. Our Online Shopping page (which lists national and regionally available online shopping options) continues to be the most popular section of our website, along with our directory, so if you’re not listed and should be, please get in touch with your coordinator as soon as possible to be added.
The upcoming: ‘Help Farms Feed Hungry Families’ Fundraiser. You should have received an email from us sharing this opportunity for farmers to help raise money and be reimbursed for providing food to their local community. We have some wonderful project shaping up and would be glad to add yours. Feel free to fill out this form or get in touch with your outreach coordinator to help.