This is page is being updated as new information and resources arise; please check back for updates. If you have a resource to share, please contact email@example.com so we can add them to this page.
General Information on COVID-19
The EPA lists disinfectants that are effective against coronavirus.
Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s COVID-19 page has regular updates and federal, and state resources that cross different pieces of the agricultural value chain. This page also includes messages from the Commissioner. General information about selling on online platforms can be found here. This page includes platform profiles and comparison in costs and features to each other.
Federal, State, and Local income tax filing deadline has been extended from April 15th to July 15th.
Voter registration deadline has been moved to May 23, 2020 and Kentucky primary elections have been moved to June 23, 2020. To review your registration visit GoVoteKY.com
COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide from USDA is HERE.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Text Line: Text “CONNECT” to 741741
Grants & Loans
Farmer Relief $1000 Mini-Grants: American Farmland Trust launched a Farmer Relief Fund that will provide cash grants of up to $1,000 to small and mid-size direct market producers impacted by the coronavirus crisis. Applications will be accepted through April 23, with grants starting ~May 1. Information, resources, and applications for farmers are in both English and Spanish. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Emergency Mini-Grants for Livestock and Poultry Farmers: Food Animal Concerns Trust
FACT is accepting mini-grant applications of up to $500 from livestock and poultry farmers who are experiencing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mini-grants will be awarded on a rolling basis to eligible farmers until funding is depleted, after which time farmers will be placed on a wait-list in the event that additional funding becomes available.
CARES Act Funding:
1) Price Loss Payments: USDA will provide $16 billion in a single direct payment to farmers. Producers will be compensated for 85% of price losses from Jan 1–Apr 15, 2020 and 30% of expected losses from Apr 15 thru the next two quarters. Payment limit is $125,000 per commodity with an over limit of $250,000 per individual or entity. More info to come on how farmers can apply for funding!
2) Harvest Box: USDA will partner with local & regional distributors to purchase and distribute $3 billion of ag products to those in need. For more info & awarded applicants visit the AMS Commodity Procurement website.
Program & Loan Flexibilities
FSA Loans: The Farm Service Agency is relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans, including extending deadline for applications, temporarily suspending loan accelerations and foreclosures, and considering temporary payment deferral and forbearance. More details HERE.
USDA Single Family Housing Direct Loans: From USDA’s website, “USDA’s Rural Development has placed a foreclosure and eviction moratorium on all USDA Single Family Housing Direct (SFHD) loans for 60 days effective 3/19/2020.”
USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA): is authorizing additional flexibilities through July 15, 2020 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. For specifics on these, click HERE. RMA is also authorizing self-certification on replant inspections and waiving witness signatures for approval of Assignment of Indemnity. For specific on these click HERE. For the most current updates on available services, visit farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program If you’ve experienced a price decline or have been unable to sell your product because of market disruptions (including closed or delayed farmers markets), you may qualify for relief payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. USDA’s Farm Service Agency is administering these direct payments for eligible crops and livestock. If you’ve never worked with USDA or FSA before, CFA’s Farm to Table team is available to help you decide if this program may benefit you. For assistance and support please reach out to CFA’s Farm to Table Team: Laurie White email@example.com or Jennifer Weeber firstname.lastname@example.org
Farmers Guide to COVID-19 Relief from the Farmers Legal Action Group. This guide will focus on how these various programs can provide relief to farmers. Check FLAG’s website (flaginc.org) for updates as the pandemic and farmer relief unfolds.
Legal Advice: If you have questions about legal obligations in this time of COVID-19 from paid sick leave to farm stand zoning codes, check out the Farm Commons podcast.
A Guide for Local Producers to Navigate the COVID-19 outbreak: this guide can help you navigate these uncertain times by offering ideas on:
- Changing your business model.
- Meeting the needs of the market.
- Reaching your customer base without increasing potential exposure to COVID-19.
- Continuing to generate income during this difficult period.
Marketing: Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development is answering questions related to marketing in light of COVID-19 HERE.
Selling Online: National Young Farmer’s Coalition has created this comprehensive guide of online sales platforms.
UK’s Resources for Local Producers and Direct Marketers: This page includes links, information, and support from a broad team of universities, governmental and non-governmental partners working to serve our communities.
Set Up an Online Store with Square: Are you interested in exploring ways to maintain or expand your sales during this time of social distancing while also taking steps to protect the health of you and your customers? Check out this webinar. For more information on this topic, you can contact Brett at email@example.com.
Visit our Farmers Market COVID-19 Best Practices page for information, resources, and best practices for farmers markets during the pandemic.
Home-based processors guide to COVID-19 can be found here.
Standards & Rights: Visit OSHA’s website for workplace standards and workers’ rights regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
H-2A: Effective April 20th and the next 120 days: Employers can allow H-2A workers to begin work after USCIS receives a visa petition (as opposed to having to wait for visa petition’s approval). In-person interviews for visa applicants have temporarily been waived. H-2A workers may remain in the country when they reach their 3-year stay limit. For more updates on H-2A status, visit HERE.
Farmworker Justice is collaborating with farmworker-serving organizations and many other organizations to help farmworker families confront the very serious challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tons of resources can be found HERE.
Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky has extended the eligibility period by three months for Medicaid, SNAP, & K-TAP cash assistance benefits; participants’ benefits are automatically extended to three months from the original expiration date.
Medicaid: Anyone who has lost their job due to COVID-19 is immediately eligible for Medicaid. Apply HERE.
SNAP/Food Stamps: The COVID-19 Response Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (CR-SNAP) package suspends work and training requirements, and allows states to request waivers that provide emergency benefits allowing beneficiaries to stock up at grocery stores. Call 855-306-8959 to apply.
WIC: $500 million in additional funding has been set aside for pregnant persons and mothers under the COVID-19 emergency aid package. Call 1-800-462-6122 to apply.
Seniors: $250 million from the COVID-19 emergency aid package will go toward home-delivered and prepackaged meals for seniors.
Child Feeding Sites: Due to schools closing, Kentucky has been approved to use funding from the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to serve meals at school sites and by delivery. Families can follow information from their school district or visit the KY Dept. of Education webpage for information about meal availability in their area. Furthermore, see USDA’s “Meals for Kids” interactive map in English and Spanish to find meals for children while schools are closed.
Food Banks: Through the end of April 2020, Kentuckians who make up to 185% of the federal poverty level are eligible to receive food from food banks (an increase from 130%).
Bluegrass Community Foundation Grants: Charitable grants will fund organizations and programs that have deep roots in Central and Appalachia Kentucky and strong experience working to provide residents with access to food, prescriptions/healthcare, and other childcare and basic needs.
SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Small businesses are eligible to apply for the PPP. Farmers are eligible but must have fewer than 500 employees and less than $1 million revenue, explore FSA options first, and cannot use PPP loans to cover payroll for foreign workers or independent contractors. General info on PPP HERE, borrowers FAQ HERE, and more info on farm eligibility for PPP HERE.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): Kentucky businesses (now including farms) are eligible for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. For more information, visit HERE or call 1-800-659-2955. You may prepare your application now and submit once Kentucky’s request is accepted. Video on how to apply for EIDL here.
Unemployment Insurance: The waiting period & proof of job search for unemployment insurance has been waived. If you or your employees qualify, either call 502-875-0442 or visit uiclaims.des.ky.gov to apply. You may apply by phone from 6:30 am-4:30 pm CT Monday-Friday, or online from 6 am-6 pm CT Monday-Friday and 9 am-8 pm CT on Sunday. Because there is high demand, please apply on the day in accordance with the first letter of your last name:
Sunday = A-D
Monday = E-H
Tuesday = I-L
Wednesday = M-P
Thursday = Q-U
Friday = V-Z and if you missed your day
Small Business Grants from Facebook: Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries.
The James Beard Foundation is providing grants to independent restaurants to help them weather C-19. More information can be found here. They also have a variety of webinars available to independent restauranteurs as well on a variety of topics relevant to this current crisis.
Southeast Kentucky Downtown Business Stimulus Fund from CEDIK: Eligible businesses are invited to apply for up to $3,000 in grant funds to support operations that have been hindered because of COVID-19. There is a rolling application with first round of reviews on April 17th, 2020–apply HERE. Businesses in Bell, Clay, Estill, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knox, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Owsley, Perry, Whitley, and other counties in Southeast Kentucky can apply. Eligible business types:
a) a business must be locally owned AND
b) a downtown business that falls under one of the following categories: restaurant or experience retail that includes the arts, tourism, accommodations, and entertainment.
Contact Shane Barton, Downtown Revitalization Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
SafeServ is offering free online courses through April 30th for food handlers and folks doing delivery and curbside pick-up. Is aimed at food service workers, but certainly relevant to our home-based processors and any of our farmers doing delivery or curbside pick-up: https://www.servsafe.com/Landing-Pages/Free-Courses
At times like these, it is imperative for us to hold our neighbors up. Several communities across the state are coordinating mutual aid networks—connecting folks who need help during this time with folks who can offer resources and assistance.