🌱 May 2020: What Farmers Need to Know 

(PPP, CFAP, USDA Food Boxes, Pest Monitoring, HPAI, Survey Updates & More!)

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Dear Nahid,

I hope you and your family and friends are continuing to stay safe and healthy.

A huge thank you to everyone who completed our COVID-19 Farmer Survey. We got a ton of information that will be hugely helpful to our Policy Team and Farm Services Team to better inform our work in supporting you. While we are still analyzing the results, one theme that stands out from the early data is that 35% of the farms who responded have seen their sales drop by more than $1,000 a week since COVID-19 started compared to the same period in 2019. If you’re interested in more survey data, keep an eye on our blog, where we will share survey themes next week.

With so much going on these days, we have started doing Facebook Friday video broadcasts in order to keep everyone up to date on what CFSA is up to and to communicate time-sensitive information with our friends. Join us every Friday at 10 am on Facebook, or watch the recording whenever you get the chance (we’re sharing them on Instagram too).

Speaking of things CFSA has been up to, don’t forget to check out the Lomax Research and Education Farm. We’ve been busy growing food for local food banks and conducting exciting research on scale-appropriate no-till equipment and doing variety trials.

In addition to all the information below, I want to make sure you don’t miss:

As you continue to navigate through the landscape in which we find ourselves, please know that CFSA is here to support you and you have our sincere gratitude.

17d23be7-04af-4c4a-9488-363af1015381.pngCheers,

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Karen McSwain, CFSA Associate Executive Director for Programs

PS – If you value the work that CFSA provides, including this free newsletter, now is a great time to give to CFSA!

Until May 31, one of our amazing donors is matching all gifts to the CFSA fund, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000! Your gift will go twice as far to ensure we can continue advocating for local farms and food systems.

Are you a CSA first-timer?

You’re not alone! Now more than ever, CSAs are playing a strong role in local food supply chains across the nation.

Many of you are asking for guidance on CSA how-tos. One of our favorite resources is by Growing Small Farms (a program of NC Cooperative Extension) Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Resource Guide for Farmers.

PPP Loans Still Available Through Self-Help + CFAP Direct Aid First Steps
There is updated information about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and direct aid to farmers impacted by COVID-19 under the USDA’s soon-to-be-announced Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP):

  • PPP loans may still be available through Self-Help Credit Union for those of you who have been unable to secure one so far and would like to apply. Self-Help is especially interested in working with small and mid-sized farms and others who are part of the local, sustainable food system. There is no guarantee that the funds will be available to everyone, but if you are interested in finding out more, email David Beck at david.beck.
  • Farmers interested in CFAP direct aid program should set up a phone call now with a Farm Services Administration (FSA) agent (find yours here) who will be able to assist you in the process once sign-ups start. The USDA website has a list of the required documentation and forms to fill out, and if you are considering applying, you should begin gathering information for your application right away. The agency is requiring a significant amount of data, especially from those who don’t already have a relationship with FSA.

The USDA has yet to release the final rules for the CFAP direct aid program; we will keep you updated as we learn more about eligibility and program details!