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COVID19 Resources and Information for MA Vegetable Growers

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MassGrown Map
April 8, 2020

COVID-19 Guidance & Resources for MA Vegetable Farms

This webinar includes some information that is specific to New York farms and is presented clearly as such. See below for some of the equivalent information in Massachusetts.

 

Worker Safety & Other Workforce Issues

Food Safety Resources

Marketing & Sales Resources

  1. Search the map for all the categories that might represent your business.
  2. Be sure you are listed with all the crops and products you grow/produce.
  3. Is your farm phone and description accurate?
  4.  Does it includes your website (or Facebook link)?
  5. CSA Farms: Have you added drop off locations/or offer deliveries? Let us know.

If your farm is not listed, MDAR offers a marketing survey that you can complete to help them promote your business. If you are listed and have edits, please send them to Richard.LeBlanc@mass.gov.

Financial Resources

Assistance for Individuals & Families

Assistance for Small Businesses

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a new guaranteed loan program, which includes money for small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll. Eligible businesses include nonprofits, veterans’ organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors – with 500 or fewer employees. The first round of PPP funding ran out very quickly. As of April 27, 2020 PPP funding was replenished. Apply quickly! Apply through any SBA 7(a) lendor or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.
  • Economic Injury DIsaster Loan Program has been expanded to allow agricultural operations with fewer than 500 employees to qualify. EIDL offers emergency loans of up to $10,000 in cash to businesses that are losing revenue amid the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Farmers to Families Food Box Program is a federal program that will support the distribution of food boxes from producers to non-profits. Request for proposals, application documents, and informational webinars available on the program website.
     
  • USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers farm assistance. While all local FSA Offices in MA are being staffed each day, they are only available by telephone to assist producers with any program issues and questions. At the present time, no one is allowed to visit the officers in person. Individuals with program questions should contact the local FSA Office that serves their farming operation.

    The phone number of your local office can be found at: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=ma&agency=fs

    Additionally, if anyone has a question concerning FSA Farm Loan Programs, please contact the following number depending on the location of your farming operation:
  1. Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, Worcester, Middlesex and Essex Counties: (413) 585-1000 x2
  2. All other counties: (508) 295-5151 x2

USDA Programs

  • Conservation Reserve Program
    More than 3.4 million acres selected for the general signup Conservation Reserve Program. Through CRP, farmers and ranchers receive an annual rental payment for establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland.
  • Farm Service Agency has made changes to farm loan, disaster, conservation and safety net programs to make it easier for customers to conduct business. This includes relaxing the farm loan-making process, servicing direct loans, and servicing guaranteed loans. Click here for more information.
  • Risk Management Agency
    The Risk Management Agency is authorizing additional flexibilities due to coronavirus while continuing to support producers, working through Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) to deliver services, including processing policies, claims and agreements. These flexibilities include: enabling producers to send notifications and reports electronically, extending the date for production reports and providing additional time and deferring interest on premium and other payments. Click here for more details, or contact UMass Extension Risk Management Specialists Paul Russell (pmrussell@umass.edu) or Tom Smiarowski (tsmiarowski@umass.edu).

MA-Specific Financial Resources

 

Topics: 
Agriculture