Coronavirus Relief for Farmers, Ranchers, and Food Systems
Pandemic Assistance for All Producers
The USDA is also following up on the American Rescue Plan with an additional $6 billion in Pandemic Assistance for Producers (PAP) including expanded funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grants, the Farmer Opportunities Training and Outreach (FOTO) program, and the Local Agricultural Markets Program (LAMP) and much more. NSAC has posted a full recap of coronavirus relief for producers on its website.
Farm Debt Relief Now Available to Farmers of Color
As part of the American Rescue Plan, the most recent coronavirus relief package, Congress authorized $5 billion in direct aid to Black, Native American, Alaskan Native, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Latinx farmers. This includes $4 billion in debt relief on current FSA loans, and $1 billion in other forms of aid, from land access, training, and technical assistance to funding for minority-serving colleges and universities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) is distributing the $4 billion in farm debt relief payments for farmers of color who have farm loans made directly by FSA or through private lenders (i.e. Farm Credit, ag banks) with USDA guarantees.
Information on how the relief funds will be distributed and what farmers need to know about accessing this relief: https://www.farmers.gov/americanrescueplan?emci=1215f51c-80ae-eb11-85aa-0050f237abef&emdi=c024b043-4daf-eb11-85aa-0050f237abef&ceid=6663426
Frequently asked questions:
Other Funding Opportunities
The Farmers Markets and Local Foods Promotion Program is offering an unprecedented $77 million in funding for a wide range of local food and direct-to-consumer market development in 2021. Of this large sum, $47 million came through coronavirus relief legislation, and matching requirements have been reduced to facilitate wider access to the program. Check out NSAC’s blog on this funding opportunity, which includes information on how to apply.
The USDA has announced $15 million in funding available for the Regional Food Systems Partnership (RFSP) program, which was established in the 2018 Farm Bill as part of the Local Agriculture Markets Program (LAMP). Covid relief legislation added $10 million to the $5 million mandated by the Farm Bill, making for a larger program that can fund more products in 2021. Click here to learn more including how to apply. Application deadline is July 6.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced $25 million in funding for Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) On Farm Trials. Priorities include soil health, climate friendly agricultural practices, and irrigation management. Applications are due June 21.
Marketing grants for local agriculture
USDA marketing programs for local agriculture now open
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is making $92.2 million in competitive grant funding available for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs (FMLFPP) and Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) program to support the development, coordination, and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets and enterprises, and value-added agricultural products.
More information on how to apply to the various marketing programs is available at https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants
Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP)
$76.9 million is available for FMLFPP. Projects under the Farmers Market Promotion Program support direct-to-consumer markets like farmers markets and CSAs. Projects under the Local Food Promotion Program supports indirect-to-consumer markets like food hubs and value-added product incubators. Applications are due by June 21, 2021.
For more information about grant eligibility and previously funded projects, visit the FMPP webpage, LFPP webpage or RFSP webpage or contact USDAFMPPQuestions@usda.gov, USDALFPPQuestions@usda.gov,or IPPGrants@usda.gov.
Learn more about FMPP and how to apply: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/fmpp
Learn about LFPP and how to apply: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/lfpp